Mind the Gap

Fri Aug 16
Peter Åstedt

I recently saw a post in a web forum from a manager that was asking for connections to a couple of big publications. His artist had been added to two bigger “editorial” playlists on Spotify and was doing some 100,000 streams.

He was certain that these playlists would get him interest from bigger publications but none of them replied to his emails. And several comments were just that being on playlists you need over 20 million streams on Spotify before things happen.

I did a panel this Spring with the top four bloggers and big publications on a Showcase Festival. One of the quotes was “If you start your mail to us by describing how many Spotify streams you have, that is a good reason right way for us to throw it in the trash.”

All You Need is 3Notes and a Grace

Fri Aug 16, 2019

I recently had the pleasure of being at MIDEM in Cannes, France where Cashbox Canada co-produced an official Showcase at Morrison’s Pub. One of the added pleasures was to meet an incredible woman named Grace Puluczek. Grace is one of those people who is personable and a powerhouse all at the same time. We formed an immediate friendship based on mutual respect and interest in each other’s careers and basic life goals.

We caught up with Grace at her home in Madrid, Spain, and she shared her story with us:

Myer Clarity album “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” Part Two Breaking Out on Spotify

Fri Aug 16
Myer Clarity

Myer Clarity, 27, is a Toronto based multi-genre producer, songwriter and hip hop artist with 3 self-produced albums under his belt. His unique blend of hip hop, punk and jazz combined with his honest story-telling has gained him a dedicated fan base both at home and overseas. 

Born and raised in Montreal to a French-Canadian mother and a Jewish father, Myer expressed an interest in music early, at age 11. His neighbour Sagi, a member of local rap group NL5, brought Myer to his first recording studio at age 12, where he learned about audio production first hand. 

At 13, he studied piano and music theory under jazz legend Ernie Nelson. Sadly, Ernie passed away shortly after from natural causes, prompting Myer to compose a heartfelt piece to his teacher which he performed in honour of him at Concordia’s Music Hall. He went on to study jazz theory and piano for 4 more years with one of Ernie’s students.

Todd Taylor Made His Grand Ole Opry Debut with The Legendary Oak Ridge Boys

Fri Aug 09
The Legendary Oak Ridge Boys And Todd Taylor

Todd Taylor is an American five string banjo player. He held the Guinness Book of World Records title for "world's fastest banjo".

He has played and toured with other notable bluegrass players including Bill MonroeCarl StoryJim & Jesse. Taylor became the first banjo player to take the Banjo to the Rock-n-Roll worldwide Top-40 countdown, with his remake of the classic rock tune "Free Bird". Taylor is a four-time Grammy Award nominee.

It’s a dream come true for the six-time Grammy Award nominee, who first became interested in playing the banjo when he was 6 years old. He travels to Nashville on Monday to get ready for his performance at the iconic venue where many country legends have played.

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.

Kate Gillespie - From Toronto to Nashville to New York

Fri Aug 02, 2019

A thirteen-year-old Kate Gillespie would have had no idea that when a mutual love of country music led her Dad to take her on a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, that she was glimpsing at her future.

As a young girl, Kate attended an arts school in her native town of Toronto, Ontario and began collaborating with other young singers and songwriters. Her journalist father and lawyer mother were very supportive of Kate and encouraged her to follow her dreams. So it was with their blessing that when young Kate decided she wanted to attend the well respected Belmont University in Nashville to study songwriting and learn about the music business her family was behind her 100%.

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.

Swedish Group The Magnettes Got the ‘Shakes’ (Falling in Love)

Fri Jul 26, 2019

Falling in love is universal, and no matter how many decades of love songs there are out there, the feeling and angst is the same. With social media, ‘instant’ ways of communicating, and disposable relationships in this fast-paced world, the heart and emotions remain the same.

The latest offering from Sweden’s supergroup, The Magnettes ‘Shakes' (Falling in Love) combines the throwback feeling that we all recognize with a current twist that is well-crafted, capturing the timeless feeling we all so easily recognize. 

 Rebecka Digervall, Sanna Kalla and producer Tomas Bäcklund Tuneström make up the musical backdrop of The Magnettes, and have been steadily gaining momentum on a global level, sharing their unique style of music and videos, which quite frankly is refreshing with what is currently being played on radio, YouTube and all other sharing platforms.

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.

The Musicians Hall of Fame Class of 2019

Fri Jul 19, 2019

The sign at the entrance of the Musician’s Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee says it all, “Come see what you’ve heard”. Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is the only museum in the world to honour the lesser known folks who provide the music for the superstars and the recording artists we know and love. The Hall is housed in the historic Nashville Municipal Auditorium where some of the biggest acts on the planet have graced the stage. Elvis, George Jones, The Rolling Stones, Beach Boys and Michael Jackson. The Hall pays homage o some of the greatest recording musicians to ever play a note a gives you a llok at behind the scenes activity.

The members of the Hall is an impressive list of some of the finest musicians to ever live and this year 2019, the elite membership will be increased by thirty. And what a fine a varied group they are.They will be honored with a concert slated for Oct. 22 at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

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.