Hello again from Sunny Port Credit in Ontario !
I said last week that I'd continue on the story of Blues & Roots Radi and how taking advice and accepting help played a role. There are quite a few people who have given valuable advice to us freely, none more so than Richard Flohil, he is a bit of a legend in Canada and beyond and I found out just how far his reputation stretched whilst in Australia earlier this year where we attended the Port Fairy Folk Festival in Victoria, about a four hour drive west of Melbourne, having been invited by the festival committee to do some Live broadcasts and interviews we got the chance to sit with the legendary Dobe Newton ( The Bushwackers ) and Richard while they regaled us with stories of the music business in Canada and Australia over many years, fascinating stuff !
FMO October 2017 is in Mississauga
The reason I mention Richard is because he was extremely kind when we were first starting out on our journey, we met for lunch a few times in Toronto and had chats, advice and a few pints, one day he said to us " Have you ever thought about attending Folk Music Ontario ? " , we had never heard of it, he continued " well, I think you'd like it, meet me in Niagara Falls at the hotel, let me know you are coming and I'll show you around for a bit and give you a taste of what happens " as it turned out he was on the board of directors.
Folk Music Ontario we know now is a fantastic conference that has been going on yearly and it's in it's 31st year in 2017 always falling on my birthday weekend.
The conference is the key event for Ontario’s folk, roots, and traditional music community. Over four days and three nights in October 2017, over 700 delegates will:
Quite the event !
We met Richard in the reception area of the hotel where he gave us a whirlwind guided tour of key things to do and see, where showcases would be happening, and introduced us to Loreena McKennitt ... I know, I just about fell on my back at that point !
It was probably the key weekend for us deciding what we were going to do, we found that the array of talent was beyond belief, artists we had never heard of before, music and genres that leapt from every room and corridor .... we walked through the hotel foyer to witness Ariana Gillis her father David Gillis and a few jammers playing acoustic to the reception staff and hotel guests as they passed on by !
Our mind was made up, we wanted to help showcase the amazing talent that did not have a voice on mainstream radio, we had a vision of being ' The Voice Of The Independent Artist ' but we had no idea of how we were going to achieve that, we had started a small promotions company and were toying with the idea of a concert of some kind, our minds raced from that day forward.
Building a solid reputation with the artists was the thing that was at the forefront of our minds, without their support and acceptance there would be no point, so we decided that each year we would take up Richards advice and become members and be involved at Folk Music Ontario, find out more of who these artists were, where they came from and it lead from one thing to another.
It's crazy to think now after such a short period of time that we have two stations broadcasting independent artists, the BRR Essential channel with all the exclusive shows from around the world playing independent artists goes from strength to strength notching up more than a million listeners this year so far and the addition of the BRR Discover channel has helped compliment that greatly.
I started my own radio show over five years ago, preceding the station by one year, and that was the first foray into the radio world, internet radio that is, ' The Hoose Radio Show ' has gained a lot of listeners since the early days and has been at the forefront of the BRR schedule, and internet radio has come a long way also gaining much respect and Blues and Roots Radio I am happy to say are at the forefront, I decided to do many interviews from the conference each year to get to know some of the artists better, and them to get to know who we were, we have done special hour long shows on the artists performing and also new releases that are given to us over the course of the weekend. I'll explain what happens as far as that is concerned ....
Each year at the conference member radio stations, radio presenters, festival directors, promoters and organizations are invited to have a ' Dropbox ' , this is situated in a secure room all weekend long and artists attending the conference are invited to drop off any of their CD's and bio's as away of introduction.
It's a fantastic way to get to hear artists whose showcases we might have missed, or to hear the finished sound as all showcases after the official ones are performed acoustic with no amps or microphones.
But here is the thing, the first full on conference we attended our dropbox had over 100 CD's in it, and it took a long time for me to get to some artists who I had never met yet whose music was incredible. Always in the back of my mind I have been trying to work out a way of being able to play as much of this music as possible straight after the conference and being able to justify the good will shown by the artists in trusting us with their music, most of it brand new releases. You can count up 6 conferences and that is a lot of music.
So with all the years of planning and ideas that come off the back of original introductions and advice and thoughts on how we could help showcase as many artists as possibe we have to flip forward to September 1st 2017 when we launched our brand new channel on the Blues and Roots Radio platform BRR Discover.
The whole idea behind this channel was to give the new music a bigger voice, so interspersed with some fantastic syndicated shows that are well known to BRR listeners we created playlists for genres of music, we now have the Roots Hour, Blues Hour, Celtic Hour, Folk Hour and the Discover Show. They have been well received and we now are in the position to add another playlist or two to the schedule.
So from November 1st we will be adding a playlist that is dedicated to music discovered at Folk Music Ontario, a two hour show will air tracks from various artists and genres, airing daily on the weekly schedule multiple times to cover time zones in Canada / USA, Europe and Australia.
The seed of an idea that came six years ago and that we are now able to implement has given us a great thrill and we have plans to roll that out to other conferences worldwide, say for example NERFA ( North East Folk Alliance ) and more are a possibility. I am also extremely pleased to say that the very first music organization that we became members of anywhere in the world is the one we have chosen to roll this out for, as a way of thanks to the organization but more importantly as a way for the music that is generously made available to us by the artists to be heard by as wide an audience as possible daily on the station !
The conference this year begins on October 19th and we look forward to meeting old friends and new..... just some of the artists who will be attending are Cara Luft who I have been a long term admirer of as a solo artist but even more so now she plays at some festivals and gigs as part of the duo ' The Small Glories ' with JD Edwards.
Chris Ronald from Vancouver who has just released his brand new album ' Fragments '
From the east coast we have Ian Sherwood who has a brand new album ' Bring The light ' due for release.
and Murder Murder from Northern Ontario who have just released a new album and are on a tour currently promoting ' Wicked Lines & Veins '
a mention for an incredible artist from King City just outside Toronto, Jon Brooks will be there too
And finally a new duo out of Toronto who are being mentored by Samantha Martin and who Richard Flohil is helping to get the word out on are Moscow Apartments ... look out for them, they'll be playing a lot of festivals very soon !
With help from our friends and listening to well placed advice at key moments on our path we have arrived at having a new platform for the very people we had the vision of being able to help in whatever small way we could all those years ago.
Accepting help and advice from the right people with years of experience is something I have done all my life, my late Father was my mentor, advisor, teacher and friend, since moving to Canada I have always looked upon Richard as that same person to listen to with open ears and heart, there are many in the industry who can say that about him, a well loved and respected man of integrity, he pushed me in the right direction that is for sure and look what happened ! .... I am very happy to call him friend.
More next week on shows we added to the station from around the world and some of the media partnerships we have formed over the years that we continue to nurture and grow.
Have a great week ahead !
Hello to all
I hope your summer has gone well, and where did that summer actually go !
For me this year there has been so many highlights at venues, festivals and some amazing interviews that I have managed to cover, I really am a blessed man to be in a position to meet and chat with many great artists, radio hosts and people that make the cogs turn like festival directors, publicists, media teams and the list goes on, we are a small but important cog in that wheel in the ever changing landscape that is radio land.
My role has changed a lot since the inception of Blues and Roots Radio and what really got me thinking about the content for this weeks blog was the conversations I had with Ken Wallis last weekend at the Southside Shuffle Blues & BBQ Festival in my hometown of Port Credit, Ontario, Ken hosts the popular show ' Blues Blast ' on BRR and the Hawk FM ( Mohawk College Radio in Hamilton, ON ), he is the former Dean of the media department at Mohawk College and previously he spent many years in TV production and writing. The college has a fantastic reputation for nurturing young artists and students who want to pursue careers in the media.
Ken heaped praise on our achievements and that meant a lot coming from someone of his standing,.
When explaining what we do now at the station it really drove home to me what a monster we have created that seems to snowball from one thing to the next, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, the core team we have are extremely good at changing direction very quickly and communicating to each other regularly, we have complete trust in each others abilities and decision making that it sometimes seems that the train drives itself.
When analyzing that statement I realize that the trust has been earned over four years of working together, riding the storms through the ups and downs of what we were trying to achieve. We have met some very good people along the way, we have also met some not so nice people who at certain points have tried to derail the train, but that made the team we have now more determined and stronger winging us way above what we even thought could be achieved. Have you ever been in a situation when someone says when you offer them help ' That will never happen ', that is where our journey began.
Blues and Roots Radio was sitting with 4 radio shows when we started with nobody listening,, we quickly increased shows within the first two months to about 20 with a lot of hard work and persuading people to come on board., We leased the station back then and were extremely green and gullible .We hired a studio and producer because we all had day jobs, but were never allowed to schedule shows ourselves on the system, red flags straight away. Commercials would appear on the station without our knowledge and a whole bunch of other situations, we even had radio hosts refusing to say ' you are listening to Blues and Roots Radio ' on a platform we paid for and provided free of charge to the hosts, they made it seem that it was our privilege to have them. When one day I was in the studio and saw the producer saying that he had too many shows to schedule and it would cost more money I offered to help and was told ' That will never happen '
When I thought about it on the way home I came to the conclusion that I just might be in the process of being taken for a mug, and decided from that point forward that we would be in control of the destiny of what I saw as potentially the worlds best online radio station. We decided to offer to buy the station, the offer was accepted and we have never looked back.
My late Father always told me that it was important to be in control of your own destiny, a valuable lesson, and completely true in my experience, there is no one that can carry forward your vision for the future except yourself, if you involve too many people they all have their own ideas and will try and change your course, that might be good for some ideas but in the long run in takes away the focus of the final destination.
This is true in all walks of life, from music to business to sport, just look at the top athletes and the amount of training they put in and their complete dedication and focus on the end result, if you want to succeed at anything, focus is the key.
Having a great team and trusting that team is also a major factor, I have been very lucky that my wife has been a rock throughout and contributes amazingly to the content we have and also to our business partner Neil in Australia who can finish my sentences before I can, and likewise me his, we have complete trust in each others judgement and core values and we know that whatever happens we will all muck in and make it happen. Our history in business has helped a great deal coming from corporate backgrounds but also being musicians and knowing the needs of independent artists makes a huge difference.
Too many times I have seen radio hosts acting as though the show they have and they themselves are the most important thing in the universe instead of the station and shows being the deliverer of the message that is the music and the artists that create it. We don't have radio hosts like that on the station anymore, everyone that is part of the BRR team we can honestly say are genuinely nice people with the same passion for the music and artists that create it and that is why I think we have become so successful across the world, we have gained the trust of the artists to deliver their message and the trust of the listeners that we will consistently give them great, honest content.
We receive many testimonials for the work we do on behalf of artists and I have included one here as an example of the way our vision for the station matches that of the perception by one of the most respected artists in Toronto and beyond, who has become a dear friend over the course of this journey.
" Blues & Roots Radio's tag line is " The Voice of the Artist, " and the station is true to its promise. In a world where the medium has more often than not sought to eclipse the message, the team make it their business to ensure that both the message of music and its messengers arrive safe and sound in homes around the world. This is a radio station run by folks with enthusiasm, generosity, determination, good humour, and - above all - integrity. In short, they're in it for the long haul, and for the right reasons " - Andrea England
More testimonials can be found here
In thinking back on all of the above and having gone through changes since the inception of the station it has been a proving ground for us, a very valuable one, maintaining the core values and mission statement is paramount to our success, along with the organizations we partner with who share our values, Fatea Magazine, Music Wold Media, 67 Music, The Acosutic Yard Festival, Randy MacNeil Photography and Four Chords and The Truth, all of these organizations are run by passionate and genuine people.
Stepping outside the fish bowl and being able to look in is a much greater place to be than inside the fish bowl looking out. You quickly discover there is a whole new world out there to explore and you will not be swimming around in circles looking at the same ornamental castles you have been building
I have gone from keeping down a day job, hosting a show and scheduling a handful of radio shows for one Blues & Roots Radio station, to now spending all day working on the service platform, website content, scheduling over 60 shows on two stations, liaising with a whole team of writers, bloggers, radio hosts, artists, publicists, festivals, venues and the energy it gives to work with like minded passionate people is completely fantastic and a drive in itself. We offer reviews, photography, blogs and radio shows from around the world but we never forget it's about the artists and their music wherever that may be in the world.
All of this because someone once said ' That will never happen '
what would the outcome have been if they had said thank you and accepted the offer, we will never know the answer to that.
I'll share with you next week what happens when you do accept genuine peoples help when they offer it, something that completely revolutionized Blues & Roots Radio just when we thought we were at the final destination and should pull over for a rest.
Have a safe week ahead, and if someone say's it can't be done, it's only their opinion, where there is a will there is a way. If you are prepared to put in the grunt work, keep focused and determined, anything is possible, trust me !
Hey Music Lovers !
I missed a week due to the craziness of launching our new station channel, I can report it all went well and I am now in need of a break, but this is Blues & Roots Radio and we keep rolling right along on the high speed music train !
Lloyd Spiegel Canadian Tour
No rest for the wicked as the saying goes, last Monday ( I can't believe it has been a week already ) I went to see Lloyd Spiegel play in Toronto on the invitation of his agent Sarah Porter and am I ever glad we did, for those not familiar with him he is an Australian Blues & Roots living legend, I got the chance to have a chat with him for the station and he indicated he has made a commitment to come here every year for approximately four or five weeks to play, if you get the chance to go and see him he is heading East from Toronto and will be in Canada until September 19th. I was stunned when I heard him live, Since age 13, he has toured the globe with frequent visits to Europe, New Zealand and the United States where he has performed at major festivals and iconic Juke Joints as well as supporting the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James on tour. He has sat with the founding fathers of modern blues from Brownie McGhee to Luther Allison and more recently, found great success in Japan, performing sold out concerts at Tokyo Disneyland.
The venue was the very intimate and friendly Sellers & Newel a great bookstore in the Little Portugal area and the owner Peter, was very gracious in allowing us to chat with Lloyd before the show. Check out their line up for some great evenings of music ahead.
Look out for The Young Novelists and The Beck Sisters coming soon.
Lloyd has a brand new album out, his ninth to date. I highly recommend the album and seeing him perform live.
TOUR DATES IN CANADA >>>>
The Southside Shuffle Port Credit
Port Credit is the home of Blues & Roots Radio and I have been at every Shuffle since moving to Canada, heavily weighted on the Blues side as you would expect from a Blues & Jazz festival it brings in the cream of artists from Canada and beyond, this year there is no beyond as they have a full on Canadian line up to celebrate Canada 150.
I am particularly excited and looking forward to seeing my friend Stephen Fearing perform along with Tom Wilson and Colin Linden as the amazing ' Blackie and The Rodeo Kings ' one of my favourite Canadian bands, not a Blues act but certainly will pull in the crowd as they headline Saturday night, they can pack in anything from Roots, Americana, Folk and blues and will blow the crowd away I am sure, great live performers.
If you want to find out more on the Shuffle check out Ken Wallis' blog Blues Source here on the blog pages, he covered it pretty well last week.
Along with Blackie and The Rodeo Kings another firm favourite of mine is Hamilton, ON based JUNO winner Steve Strongman, he'll be there on Friday, look out for him.
An amazing live performer is headed back to Ontario from his home province of New Brunswick playing shows all along the way, I find his music infectious and uplifting, his latest album has it all, it is one of my contenders for best release of 2017. ' Go All In ' packs a punch and has some amazing co writers, it should be in your collection, here is what I had to say about it.
View Here >>>> Mike Biggar Review
I will be interviewing Mike to finish up his video blog tour he has been doing for the station, and will be in attendance at The Moonshine Cafe for his debut there on Wednesday September 13th. I hope you can make it, his guest for that night will be Toronto guitar maestro Chris Bennet, that's a winning combination right there.
TOUR DATES IN ONTARIO >>>>
Mike has been doing an awesome blog for Blues & Roots Radio, we look forward to catching up with him soon, we hope to see you out at one of his shows.
Four Chords and The Truth
The amazing show of talent that graces the Dakota Tavern stage every quarter for Andrea England's show Four Chords and The Truth continues with another stellar line up.
The Show has been a sell out since 2015 so my advice is to get your tickets early and take a friend along, they will thank you and buy you lots of drinks ... and that reminds me..... Jack Daniels is the presenting sponsor, they always have a stand inside the Dakota and offer samples of their products and have a T-Shirt and baseball cap or two to give away and the music is top drawer with special guests appearing on the night that no one knows about.... sounds cool right ? .. It is ... and here is who we know will be there so far
Sarah Jane Scouten is going to bring some old school modern country with her
Find out the State of Sate who will be gracing the stage too.
Photo by Lisa MacIntosh
Ian Janes will be there with somgs from his brand new album we hope ...
Andrea England is the founder / host and she always performs a song or two on the evening often giving her seat up to secret guests along the way ....
we will see you at the Dakota September 14th
TICKETS ON SALE HERE >>>>
Blues and Roots Radio Behind the scenes
As always I will be doing a behind the scenes show where I have a chat with the performers on the night, we have interviewed 39 artists in the three years for this series, an amazing cast of Canada's finest singer / songwriters, and I really look forward to meeting the artists on the 14th.
I hope you can listen in to my show on Sunday where I will be re airing the last Four Chords show I did, just to give you a teaser of what's to come, Sunday at 9am EST, 2pm GMT, 11pm AET on www.BluesandRootsRadio.com on the BRR Essential channel
Now who said it was going to slow down any time soon, what a week of stellar music ahead !!
Hello all !
Thanks for visiting my blog again and supporting independent artists.
It's been a crazy old week as I head into the launch proper of our brand new channels BRR Essential and BRR Discover, I thought this week I'd give you an insight into what it's all about, and how it's going to work ... Hopefully :)) ...
NEW CHANNELS .... NEW SCHEDULE LAUNCH SEPTEMBER 1st
TWO CHANNELS ON BLUES & ROOTS RADIO
The back story to it all is that we have too many listeners at times ... not a bad fault at all I hear you say ... well, we are all about quality and with too many listeners logging in at the same time or during any particular hour we can have buffering issues, which is annoying if you are trying to listen to your favourite show and it keeps cutting out, it's to do with our bandwidth daily usage. Our maximum capacity before we have this problem is 10 000 listeners every hour, yes you did hear me right, 10K listeners an hour is a lot... and yes we are maxing out at times.
To alleviate this we put our heads together, when I say we... there are three of us who go over things like this, Anne Connor in Canada, Neil Mitchell in Australia and I pour the drinks, I have long arms that can reach Melbourne from Toronto.
We decided to launch new channels for many reasons, one of them was because we had so many offers of people wanting to do shows exclusively for the network and we had to tell them that as it stood there was really no room on the schedule, so with a new channel it gives us the opportunity to move some of the shows we have that are syndicated to other stations as well as Blues & Roots Radio over to the new BRR Discover channel creating a schedule for syndicated shows and allowing us to furnish the BRR Essential channel with mostly shows that are produced exclusively for our network. There are a few exceptions to the rule as some shows are produced in other Countries for us to air in Canada exclusively although they may go out on other stations in another country and are part of a long standing agreement, but mostly BRR Essential are all our shows that you will not be able to hear anywhere else.
It's something we have been working on for a couple of years now and finally it's upon us, amazing really, and I thank all the hosts that have helped to make it possible. It almost happened in February this year but for various reasons we put it back a few months which has worked in our favour.
Our philosophy is that if we attract more listeners through exclusive shows then the artists win because their music has a larger audience, and to us that's what matters. We will probably max out again sometime soon as our percentage increase month on month has always gone up and never down, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
My job is to build the audience for each show for the artists to be presented to as wide a listenership as possible, I have done this through determination to have exclusive shows to a single channel, and I have to thank Neil and Anne for working with me on it.
SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR US ? ... MORE CHOICES !
I was a quality supervisor in the automotive industry for a while in a previous life, it's very boring, but, it helped us develop a continuous improvement plan for Blues & Roots Radio ... I told you it was boring.... and what that means is we continue to evolve, implement new projects and develop the station for the good of the artists and listeners to our best ability.
The new BRR Discover channel will be the exciting home to a lot of genre specific show hours that will be full of new music and releases complimented by shows that you will be familiar with.
THE DISCOVER HOUR
Discovering new music is what these two hour show segments are all about, from all genres and from artists from around the world, mainly playing tracks from newly released albums.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK & FEATURED ARTIST SHOWS
Airing on both channels these shows present an opportunity for artists to showcase their existing music or new releases.
THE ROOTS HOUR
For instance The Roots hour will contain music by artists such as The Barrowdowns ( Canada ) ... Oka Vanga ( UK ) .... Ben J. Carter ( Australia ) ... Andy Ferrell ( USA ) and many many more ...
THE BLUES HOUR
Packed full of fantastic new Blues music and artists from around the world like Jimmy Bowskill and Carlos Del Junco ( Canada ) .... Ash Grunwaldl ( Australia ) .... Ruthie Foster ( USA ) ... King King ( UK ) and lots more
THE CELTIC HOUR
Fabulous new music on the hour dedicated to Celtic music from around the world like John McSherry and McPeake from Ireland
THE FOLK HOUR
and lets not forget the Folk music both traditional and contemporary
On top of all that we will be airing some of the best syndicated shows on the planet playing everything from Roots, Blues, Celtic, Folk and everything in between, with some of your favourite shows being complimented by brand new ones joining this schedule.
The home to exclusive shows that you love listening to from around the world with some brand new shows joining the schedule straight off the hop from the USA, Australia and Poland.
We are excited to have all the exclusive shows together on the one channel and are delighted to be welcoming onboard more.
The Folk N Celtic Punk Show with Gareth Olver ( Australia )
Coming to us from Victoria, Australia. The best in Celtic punk, Celtic rock and folk punk from around the world.
Finnegan's Wake with Joe Pszonek. ( USA )
Delaney's Pub in the heart of Nowheresville, USA hosts Finnegan's Wake. The Mayhem is presided over by Joltin Joe, who plays enough Celtic punk and rock to wake the dead! The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, and so much more with an occasional expletive thrown in for good measure. After all it's Celtic Punk at it's finest !
BLUES & ROOTS
Radio Nowhere with Joe Pszonek. ( USA )
An eclectic mix of new releases from independent artists. New discoveries are a top priority ! Genres range from Singer-Songwriters, Americana, Blues, Folk and whatever else might catch our ears ! Joltin' Joe, the Mad Scientist hosts the show from the dungeon in Nowheresville, USA.
The Radio Pole with Slawomir Stepski. ( Poland )
A show from Poland featuring Polish artists with song lyrics either explained or translated if not sung in English, from genres varying from Blues Rock, Classic Rock to Celtic, Alt Country and Folk featuring bands, singer / songwriters from past and present.
There will be more shows added in the near future from Canada and the UK as well as all your favourite shows on the existing schedule. Dates and times for the new shows will be announced very soon... and that reminds me ... I better get back to setting up the schedule.
I hope you can join us for some amazing new programmes and support the hosts who all put in so much time to promote independent artists on BRR Essential and BRR Discover.
I will be doing a few workshops in the near future and have prepared some articles on internet radio, topics will include a lot of the things we have learned over the four years we have been doing this, good and bad :))
So look out for them !
Until next week, have a safe one ahead and take an Essential journey to Discover great music on www.BluesandRootsRadio.com
By Stevie Connor
email@example.com | Facebook | Twitter | Website
Hello music lovers !
Last week I got to catch up with the Julian Taylor Band in Toronto and they were terrific, if you get the chance and they are playing near you go and see them, this week I am going to highlight a couple of artists that are going to be in the Toronto area over the next week or two that I think are well worth checking out.
Photographs - Anne Connor
Festival season is firmly upon us and it's not just music, in Toronto there is so much to see and do, last weekend was Taste of the Danforth, which is a yearly festival held in Toronto, in the Greektown area along Danforth Avenue for a period of three days in August, spawned from the Taste of Chicago It is one of Canada's largest street festivals. It started in 1993, and in 2017 completed its 24th year celebrating Greek food and culture. Past attendance numbers have been reported as high as 1.6 million people over the three-day event.
This weekend in Ontario it's one of my favourite music festivals, Summerfolk starts Thursday through to Sunday and takes place in Owen Sound, Georgian Bay on the shores of Lake Huron, a spectacular setting and well worth the visit.
The line up each year is always amazing, this year it's spectacular ... I will name just a few here to give you a taste of what's in store .. Matt Epp ... Shakura S'Aida ... The Jerry Cans ... Serena Ryder .... Kelly Prescott ... Matthew Byrne ... Murder Murder ... Madison Violet ... Delhi 2 Dublin ... Ruthie Foster .. Buffy Sainte-Marie and it goes on ... here is a link to the full list of performers. http://summerfolk.org/performers/
A huge congratulations to artistic director James Keelaghan, the directors, the media team and all involved for putting on one of the best festivals in the world, and I've been to a few.
Ian Foster & Sarah Hiltz @ The Distillery District, Toronto
Back down in Toronto you have Music City Summer Series in the Distillery District this coming weekend. Featuring the best in emerging Canadian talent, the Music City Summer Series features, Folk, Trad, Blues, Bluegrass and more from the best artists on the Canadian scene !
Saturday afternoon sees one of my favourite songwriters all the way from St John's Newfoundland perform, he's just released a brand new album ' Sleeper Years ' and is one of the best storytellers and performers on the folk, roots scene today
Ian Foster http://ianfoster.ca is on at 2pm
Sarah Hiltz http://www.sarahhiltz.com/Sarah_Hiltz.html takes the stage at 4pm
They will both weave together storytelling and beautiful vocals on the Distillery District's Trinity Square stage. If you are downtown I highly recommend it.
This is 'Feels Like It Wants To Rain' - the new single from Ian Foster's brand new album 'Sleeper Years'
And a little taste of what to expect from Sarah with a track called ' How To Pour Whiskey For Strangers '
Multi Award Winning Australian's Canadian Tour 2017
Coming up within the next week or so I am very excited to be attending a performance by multi award winning Australian Blues & Roots artist Lloyd Spiegel in Toronto, he plays two nights at Sellers and Newell downtown on August 28th and 29th just after a night in Bancroft on August 27th, I have been given the chance to interview him before the performance which means he will be one of a handful of artists that we have interviewed on two continents, he was a guest on Blues & Roots Radio with a spot on Baz Maxwell's show out of Melbourne not so long ago.
Lloyd's unique history, command of his instrument and powerful stage persona puts him at the cutting edge of Australian Blues, re-inventing the style for the masses and opening new doors for Australian blues artists while maintaining a close relationship with the foundations and traditions of the blues.
In 2015 He released "Double Live Set" which peaked at #7 on the Australian independent charts, #14 on the ARIA Jazz/Blues chart and debuted at #1 on the Australian Blues/Roots chart. The album won 4 Australian Blues Music Awards.
His new release "This Time Tomorrow" contains 10 new tracks inspired by Spiegel's recent tours through the USA, Europe and Central America.
Check out his website and get along and see him if you can
Thanks to Sarah French Publicity and Sarah Porter for arranging the interview for us.
Mike Biggar @ The Moonshine Cafe, Oakville, Ontario
I will be back next week with a look at what's coming up festival wise in and around Ontario and a wee bit further afield .... but before I go I have to mention that on September 13th Mike Biggar makes his debut at The Moonshine Cafe in Oakville, Ontario
It's going to be a packed out show for this multi award winning artist, get your tickets while you can and I'll see you there... and just in case you need reminded how good he is I've left a clue below.
Have a great and safe week ahead, support live music and the venues that promote it.