REAY Butterfly Tongue Revisited

Fri Aug 09
REAY

Some species of butterfly spend their entire existences in migration, journeying to the ends of the Earth on nothing more than sheer determination and undeniable instinct. 

Sean Murray can identify. The veteran Ontario musician has also devoted a vast portion of his life to the all-consuming pursuit of a distant, seemingly unreachable goal: The completion of his magnum opus Butterfly Tongue Revisited, a long-gestating labour of love whose arrival also heralds the birth of his new alternative indie-rock project Reay (pronounced Ray, after his grandmother's maiden name). 

Why Isn't There A Grammy For Best PR Team?

Fri Aug 09
Peter Åstedt

You always get that the artist is the genius around the whole song.  Still, in most cases, they would have been nothing if it wasn't for that perfect PR team. It’s like saying that the success in Formula 1 is the driver. Actually, in Formula 1 they enter as a team.

I hear it all the time; artists coming up to me saying they have done the best song ever and it's produced by some dude you have never heard of in your life. Okay, it could be a really good song. But I know so many good songs, even brilliant songs that never reach a big audience. Many of the best albums I know never get anywhere. To build that perfect storm that a good song needs to become a classical song, that is up to your PR team and a bit of luck. What I can definitely say is that a perfect song cannot be a hit just by being perfect. As little as the driver in Formula 1 being the whole team - it’s impossible.

Bruce Cockburn New Instrumental Album Crowing Ignites

Fri Aug 09
Bruce Cockburn Crowing Ignites

True North Records announces a September 20 world-wide release date for Crowing Ignites, the new all-instrumental CD from legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn. Cockburn also announced his North American tour (dates below) with more shows to be confirmed.

Crowing Ignites was produced, recorded and mixed by Colin Linden, and recorded at the Firehouse in San Francisco. It showcases 11 all-original compositions by Cockburn, who plays acoustic guitar throughout, backed by a stellar cast of sympathetic musicians. Cockburn will support the new disc’s release with a summer/fall tour schedule throughout the United States and Canada.  

In 2005, Bruce Cockburn released Speechless, a collection of instrumental tracks that shone the spotlight on the singer-songwriter’s exceptional acoustic guitar playing. The album earned Cockburn a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Instrumentalist and underscored his stature as one of the world’s premier pickers. 

BTW Amadou & Mariam and Blind Boys Of Alabama, Matthew Chaim, The Dollyrots, Jacques Gaines, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Habari Africa Festival, Grace Bakker, Melina Melle, Nefe, Jong SL, Shari Ulrich, Fergus Hambleton, Shake The Bellows

Fri Aug 02
Amadou & Mariam

Malian musical duo and Grammy Award nominees Amadou & Mariam are teaming up with five-time Grammy Award-winning gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama for the new singles, “Bamako To Birmingham” and “Two Cultures, One Beat,” out today via Because Music. Listen to/share both tracks at https://tinyurl.com/yxs3aho7.

The cross-genre collaboration came about after conversations between the groups on opposite sides of the Atlantic. The Blind Boys kicked off the recording process by laying down two tracks in the U.S. featuring their distinctive vocals, with Amadou & Mariam adding their contributions from the studio in Mali.

The two groups are currently on a joint tour together in Europe, with upcoming performances set for Cork, Ireland; Cambridge, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Västra Götalands län, Sweden. See below for a list of tour dates.

Katherine Penfold Sweetest Thing

Fri Aug 02
Katherine Penfold Photo Credit Lindyn Williams Photography

West Coast Soul/R&B artist Katherine Penfold is set to release her Justin Time/Nettwerk Records album debut with the Neo-Soul tinged "Sweetest Thing" featuring her take on Roberta Flack's timeless "Feel Like Makin' Love", a blissed-out collaboration with Moonchild's Amber Navran ("Far & Away"), and "Better" co-written and mixed by Grammy award-winning producer Chin Injeti (Drake, Eminem).

Soul resides just beneath the exterior. Upon meeting Katherine Penfold, you might initially notice the prominent tattoos along her shoulder and arms before the conversation veers to her lifelong affinity for motorcycles, skateboarding, or woodworking - let alone music. Listening to her sound elicits a different impression altogether - as a  sultry, smooth, and sweet delivery belies the rustic badassery she exudes with ease. This gorgeous contrast illuminates the artist’s 2019 full-length debut, Sweetest Thing, available October 4th (via Justin Time/Nettwerk).

Dropped Because of Laziness

Fri Aug 02
Peter Åstedt

Recently I attended a festival where I met a friend who is doing management in the same style as me. I have helped him in some cases with a specific artist so of course, I asked how it was going around that?

“I dropped that artist he explained. I was busting my ass off to get them opportunities and get things going. Still, it felt like they very just in for the ride, and when we got eight on the chart and they didn't even post something around it on social media I just dropped them.”

This is very common. In most cases when I start talking to managers I have known for a while I ask if they are still working with that specific artist.  In many cases, they just grew tired of all the work they did for them and then they are treated like shit.

Several Nails In The Coffin For Spotify

Fri Jul 26
Peter Åstedt

A few weeks ago, Spotify announced that they are deleting the program where artists could upload themselves straight to Spotify. No explanation was given or how they would deal with their partnership with Distrokid.

This was just the most stupid thing from the beginning, so no surprise that it was closed before it even survived a year. I guess they wanted to be able to pick out some good artist straight from a new artist that would upload. The reality is that most artists who have something going is already going through a label, most labels wouldn't use a distribution that is open for everyone since they always have the worst percentage and the worst service.

Grammy-Nominated Hayes Carll Announces New Tour Dates

Fri Jul 26
Hayes Carll Photo Credit David McClister

Grammy-nominated country, rock and roll singer/songwriter, Hayes Carll, will be strumming his way onto Canadian soil this August and September, playing seven shows across our Western provinces. The tour kicks off at Vancouver’s Biltmore Cabaret, on August 31 with following shows in Nelson, Calgary, Lethbridge, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Full tour details are listed below and tickets can be purchased here.

Hailing from Houston, TX Carll’s year started off with a bang when he released his sixth highly anticipated album, What It Is, mid-February. Featuring the hit single, Times Like These, What It Is, has received praise from many media outlets including Rolling Stone, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, NPR Music, MOJO, American Songwriter and No Depression. Carll has recently performed on multiple television programs like The Tonight Show, Austin City Limits and Later with Jools Holland and has had his songs recorded by artists including Lee Ann Womack, Kenny Chesney, Kelly Willis and Hard Working Americans.

This Is What You Need As An Artist!

Fri Jul 19
Peter Åstedt

It's incredible how many artists don't have their act together. I was compiling media on artists for our festival and we use a site that you can upload your pictures, bio, and links. Okay, I can understand that you feel that it is too much to upload every other site now and then, but you really need a homepage that has specific elements.

You’re the Boss!

Fri Jul 12
Peter Åstedt

We have all had the boss that no one really likes, that comes into your room and scream at you. Whatever you do it's not good enough. Yes, we all have had that boss.

Revealing, many artists are that boss. If you are an artist you are the boss, sure it doesn't feel that way when you sit in the record label room or in other situations. Still, it's your music that is being promoted and the people that work on the promotion team are in fact, your employees.

Sure, you can look at it like you are a customer. Same here, we all have worked in a job when they had customers that are just ugly, ignorant and you just want to tell them to shut up, but since this is a business you can't just do that. We all had that job!

And yes, many artists are that boss or that customer. In my daily life as a manager, my job is to get the artist away from the decision makers to keep them from looking like the bad person. Most of the time, because they are acting just like the person we all hate. The risk is that they accidentally do that to someone really important.

BTW-Kete Bowers, Heather Bambrick, Waingro, Altameda, Tome, Go North Music Festival, Tribe Royal

Fri Jul 12
Kete Bowers

It’s a blue-skied and sunny day and pouring out of the speakers is the most melancholic UK voice since Bert Jansch. It belongs to Kete Bowers, a Liverpudlian singer-songwriter and it’s rolling out the tunes of the current album, Paper Ships. It has a Canuck connection, produced by and featuring Michael Timmins alongside his Cowboy Junkies drummer brother Peter and released on the Current Records. The material is very much about loss, depression, fear and despair on both a community and individual level, delivered in tones reminiscent of Leonard Cohen and Townes Van Zandt.

The Best Slots Devoted To Music

Fri Jul 12
SAMBA BRAZIL

If you are not only a fan of gambling but cannot live without music, you should simply try all these online slots at www.baocasino.com/en-CA/games/slots. They are devoted to various singers, musical groups, melodies.

They can let you feel being at a live concert and take pleasure of the sound. Here is the top-5 of slot machines that will let you dive into the musical life.

 

5. SAMBA BRAZIL
Rio de Janeiro, the capital of passion and carnivals, the city where the hottest dancers live and the most beautiful girls show their perfect bodies, attracts millions of tourists. This slot attracts gambles as well: its Latin music, Brazilian professional dancers and charming girls are amazing!

The symbol of a jolly Latin dancer is also surprising. This guy can be “separated” – it brings a gambler an award. This is called Mix Pay and lets the player win more.

Phantom's Curse

Andy Kim Celebrates 50 Years Of The Archies Sugar, Sugar

Fri Jul 12
Andy Kim

Let’s talk about 1969 – 50 years ago - for a moment – The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records, First Concorde test flight is conducted In France, Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its debut, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am the epitome of the American muscle car is introduced, Woodstock attracts more than 500,00 and a singer-songwriter named Andy Kim co-writes The Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar,” a song that debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1969, a full 2 months after released as radio doesn’t want to play a cartoon band.

In September, it hits #1 on the way to becoming Billboard’s Record of the Year and the biggest-selling single of the year. Wilson Pickett, Tom Jones, Ike & Tina Turner, Bob Marley, The Germs, Mary Lou Lord, and even Homer Simpson goes on to cover the song.

BTW Scattered Clouds, Kardinal Offishall, Bruce Cockburn, Honey Harper, Clover The Girl, Jean-Paul De Roover, Alain Caron/Pasquale Grasso, Ada Lea, Drive-By Truckers

Fri Jun 28
Scattered Clouds

Quebecoids Scattered Clouds gets all official languages with us on this most recent release.“Lapolitique, concours pseudo-érotique, “is the new single off fresh album, the scarily titled Take AwayYour Summer out on Boiled Records. Inspired by the dichotomous terrain of their hometown of Hull, Québec, the experimental outfit of Philippe Charbonneau and Jamie Kronick’s second album is a futuristic broken romance set amidst a burning dystopian landscape. Shot and edited by Patrick Lozinsky during amateur wrestling event Lutte 07 in Gatineau, the restrained, hypno-funk plod of “La politique” is belied by the reckless battle at play in the bright lights of the ring.

“‘La politique, concours pseudo-érotique’ is about the current political climate, how there’s a growing sense of powerlessness in democracy and how world politics seem to play out like a theatre show,” says the band. “The video is a metaphorical exploration of amateur wrestling entertainment and how it is analogous to the satirical and barbaric presentation of the modern day political stage.”

Do Your Research And Plan Ahead

Fri Jun 28
Peter Åstedt

Never fails, in June you get all the artists asking you how to get a festival gig this Summer. It seems they only think when things appear in front of their eyes. You know the festival is probably almost booked when they start to get ads in your Facebook feed.

A lot of the failure by the artists is that they more or less do things on the spot, there is no planning for the future. This summer’s gig was probably booked between October to April or sometimes the lineup is almost ready by January. Right now, you can't really do anything. Sure, there might be a gig coming up because an artist is cancelling but there is really no point of sending stuff to festivals who are already in turmoil to get their things going next week.

I just saw my own festival last week when we stopped the intake. The last 48 hours got more applications than the whole of March and April. In reality, we already booked most of the acts earlier this Spring, so you got a very slim chance to get on if you sent in the last 48 hours. Now a week later, I get emails from people missing the deadline and still want in.

The Strange Phenomenon of Heavy Rock-Themed Slot Machines

Fri Jun 28
Guns N' Roses

If you scratch the surface of most heavy rock bands, you’ll probably find that they aren’t just as anti-establishment as some of the tales suggest. Certainly, the big ‘hairspray rock’ bands of the 1980s were perhaps overselling their credentials as “the most dangerous band(s) in the world”. Yes drug-taking was copious, but so too were the appearances at corporate events, inproduct commercials and Christmas ballads.

 "Ain't singin' for Pepsi/ Ain't singin' for Coke/ I don't sing for nobody/ Makes me look like a joke."So Neil Young warned us, but everyone from Led Zeppelin to Iggy Pop has taken the marketing dollar at some point. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but the sight of Iggy Pop selling car insurance is still something that feels a bit strange.

BTW White Cowbell Oklahoma, Jean-Paul De Roover, Texas Hippie Coalition, Sessa, Linda Carone, Kim Doolittle, Cabana Room Electric Reunion, Big Groove, Rocky Mountain High, Allison Tizzard Benefit

Fri Jun 14
White Cowbell Oklahoma

They may not be legendary but sure ain’t another like them on the scene. Durable and outrageous rock army White Cowbell Oklahoma mark their 20th year with the video 'Harder Come, Harder Fall' from the album "Seven Seas of Sleaze", which was released April 3, 2018. The trippy, high contrast video comes packed with groove and hints of whiskey-fueled southern rock n' roll that has just enough grease to slide into the ears and hearts of fans around the world. Which is kinda strange, given their appeal has mostly been seen as regional.

"Seven Seas of Sleaze" was released on the band’s Slick Monkey label and has garnered attention from listeners far and wide and has shot the band to a position where they will be playing throughout Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands in the early summer of 2019. Fans of Deep Purple, ZZ Top, and Frank Zappa will find White Cowbell Oklahoma winning a place in their hearts with heart-warming raunch and crunchy, rough-edged rock.

Why I Go to Showcase Festivals, Forget Facebook Time

Fri Jun 14
Peter Åstedt

I did two festivals on the same weekend. First Focus Wales where The Magnettes was playing. Then New Skool Rules where Adée and Tale the Rapper where playing. So, during six hectic days I did two panels, two speed meetings sessions, over 30 booked meetings sessions. Traveled  to two countries and two cities. Saw over 50 showcases and meet people. Yes, it is a hectic time right now. And it di not stop there. Many more festivals came in May and they all collided. Youbloom in Dublin, Midem in Cannes and Medimex in Bari and of course Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan at the end of June.

Some people ask why I'm doing so many festivals. I guess we can reveal now why. Three years ago I decided to build a network all over the world so I have the contacts myself to evaluate different offers and situations. In the end, I want to have such a vast network that I can break an artist on a global scale. I guess right now I'm pretty close. They have been joking around me in meetings I always answer, well I know someone that can provide that if they asked a specific knowledge or service in a certain area.

Neverfriend Strong Like a Girl

Fri Jun 14
Neverfriend Strong Like a Girl

Strong vocal melodies, hard hitting sound, and honest-to-the-bone songs about strength and survival…this is Neverfriend.

Fraser first founded the band back in 2006 with his wife Gina. They hit Ottawa’s Big Money Shot contest that same year (under another band name) and received airplay for their flagship song “Naughty in the Dark”. Learning from the experience, they adjusted their band strategy, added seasoned musicians Dan and Arek who share the same drive and passion for their craft, refocused their song writing direction to discuss heart-felt topics like addiction, strength gained through pain, courage to love, and survival, with even more gut-wrenching honesty, and adopted a harder, heavier sound with alternative rock, metal, and punk influences.

Nathan Bartgis is That Kinda Man

Fri May 31
Nathan Bartgis is That Kinda Man

When you think of small towns in the USA, Hedgesville, West Virginia is just that vision. A small town where everybody knows everybody and most have lived there all their lives.

Nathan Bartgis is one of those folks. “Just about everybody knows everybody and most people who live here have lived here their whole life as well. I was fortunate enough to have grown up on my Grandparent's farm. It was a place where my brother and I and my next door neighbors, who you might as well call my brothers, would fish, ride bikes, build forts, play in the creek at the edge of the farm, and maybe even get into a little trouble from time to time,” Bartgis reflects.