HAPPY NEW YEAR
A new year is when we often look back and contemplate what has gone before, and when doing so at Blues & Roots Radio just before Christmas, we realized how very fortunate we were to be in a position to meet so many artists whose music we play. From Canada and the USA, UK and Ireland to as far away as Australia . we hope to meet many more this year.
Blues & Roots Radio Album Of The Year Award 2017
We also took stock of the many releases in 2017 which captured our attention, and felt that it would be right to choose an Album Of The Year that stood out and was worthy of recognition. That proved to be no easy task let me tell you. The year was full of outstanding releases.
We have always steered away from awards, maintaining that for an award to mean anything, it would have to have integrity, not be open to a public vote, but carefully considered and decided upon, we felt this year we had the credibility to be trusted to do just that, we certainly have the knowledge that is needed to judge an album not just on how the songs sound, but on the content within the lines, the musicianship the presentation of the album and the hard work and heart put into it.
We had a short list ( more of a long list ) of fifty releases, and we sat down for a couple of weeks to carefully consider. Our final choice was an amazing body of work, and like the artwork, the songs draw you in deeper, begging answers to questions about each song. It's the job of a Singer / Songwriter I guess, to paint pictures, weave tales and beg the questions, as well as create melodies and musicianship that enhances the experience for the listener. Stephen Fearing has managed to do all of that with his fantastic release ' Every Soul's A Sailor ', the photograph on the front of the album just draws you right in, and it's a wonderful album that leaves you craving more. I did a review of the album back in March and it sums up the reasons why I think Stephen is worthy of this inaugural award from Blues & Roots Radio.
So the very first Blues & Roots Radio Album Of The Year Award 2017 goes to Stephen Fearing for ' Every Soul's A Sailor '
Read our full review of the album
I have 10 albums on my desk already that are contenders for next year.
Click the button below to hear Stephen's thoughts
SEE STEPHEN FEARING'S WEBSITE FOR TOURING DATES
FATEA MAGAZINE AWARDS UK
It's awards time of year all over, a time to recognize achievements and hard work. Our association with Fatea Magazine in the UK has been an excellent one over the years, Neil King and his team have established a reputation second to none for integrity and their mandate of putting the artist first echoes that of Blues and Roots Radio. Neil established the magazine 30 years ago, an amazing achievement in itself, one which Fatea are planning to recognize by way of events this year, so visit their website and look out for details of what's to come.
Their annual awards will be aired exclusively on Blues and Roots Radio this Friday 12th January at 8pm GMT, 3pm EST, we are very honoured to be hosting the event for the third year in succession.
Fatea is proud to announce the shortlists for the Fatea Awards.
The awards are nominated by the Fatea team and recognize excellence over 2017.
Each award has a shortlist of three and we congratulate all artists on the shortlist as well as the many others that were nominated and every artist and band that released music or performed live during 2017.
No artist is allowed to win more than one award and all have featured in the magazine during the last year. The nominations are listed in alphabetical order
The winners of the Fatea Awards will be announced during a two hour radio special, this year hosted by Blues & Roots Radio.
Click the button below for a list of all the nominees, and congratulations and good luck everyone
McMichael Canadian Art Collection
A group of seven world-renowned Canadian guitar makers inspired by the Group of Seven, the famous painters who changed the way Canadians saw their country, built extraordinary instruments that demonstrate the depth of artistry that exists in Canada. Each luthier created a guitar inspired by one of the original members of the Group of Seven.
Our coverage of the Acoustic Conversations series started this week and featured luthier Grit Laskin and musician Jesse Cook inspired by the painter FH Varley.
Episode 1 can be listened to on demand here on our website, it's well worth a listen not only for the conversation and insight into the making of the guitar but also for the outstanding playing of world renowned guitarist Jesse Cook.
The next show - Episode 2 - airs Monday January 8th at 10pm EST and is repeated on Saturday January 13th and features luthier Sergei de Jong and musician Emma Rush providing another fascinating insight into how craftmanship, music and art are all interlinked, the insiration for Sergei's guitar was group of seven painter JEH MacDonald.
For more information about the shows visit our page here on our website
The Group of Seven Guitar Project exhibition is on at the
McMichael Canadian Art Collection until March 18, 2018
For more information, visit mcmichael.com
2017 was a great year for awards for Blues & Roots Radio too.
We won the Business Excellence Award 2017 in October presented by Charles Sousa MPP on behalf of the Legislature of Ontario and the Mississauga Board of Trade for our efforts in promoting independent artists in Canada and around the world, and just last week we were voted Best Radio Station 2017 by Laurel Canyon Music UK.
It is always an honour to receive these awards on behalf of the Blues & Roots Radio team around the world. We have some of the most passionate people around who all share our core values. Big shout out to them all.
Thanks to all who are responsible for the awards, we greatly appreciate being recognized for our work.
At Blues & Roots Radio we don't look back for long, we assess what has worked and what has not and move on into the future. We have many new projects that will be rolled out this year, McMichael being one of many we hope in Canada, and there are also some exciting projects taking place with our media partners in Australia.
David Harris has established an international reputation as one of the worlds leading music photographers, and along with his team at Music World Media he will be working more closely in 2018 with us at Blues & Roots Radio. He brings photography, news and reviews from the music and art world.
Check out their website and all the projects they are involved with at the moment all across Australia. I will keep you updated as we get close to announcing some collaborations.
Lots of hard work ahead in 2018, but as my Dad would always say " You only get out what you put in "
Until next week, stay safe and warm in the Northern Hemisphere, and stay out of the sun in the Southern Hemisphere, those temperatures are nuts !