Hello from Blues & Roots Radio HQ in Port Credit
I hope you have all had a great week, I've just settled back to normality after the Folk Music Ontario conference and resumed my routine, I work from our home office space and it's a difficult balance to get right at times, I don't know how many of you work from home ? It takes a bit of discipline and getting used to,
I know many musicians and publicists juggle day jobs with their music careers and admire those that can maintain the pace, I know how hard it is to make the leap of faith into a full time commitment, it's very scary to let go the safety of a guaranteed pay cheque coming in and having to be resourceful, putting in many more hours for the same sort of money ( or less ).
I get a little upset when I see full time musicians having a go at those that have full time employment outside of music, there are many factors to consider, in Canada there are no medical benefits so a full time job is sometimes the way chosen to guarantee being covered, the diminishing number of venues playing live music, or let me rephrase that, the diminishing number of venues that book artists that play original material is a major factor. There seems to be a swing towards open mic evenings, cover bands or just plain old DJ's. Many wonderfully talented artists just can't get enough gigs to make a full time commitment worthwhile, with rent to pay, bills to pay, it all adds up. Some musicians are extremely talented in other fields and have wonderful jobs that pay huge amounts of money and giving a successful career up in another field in no way should pigeon hole them as ' Weekend Warriors ' as I've heard the term put forward when referring to them in a derogatory fashion, their talent is no less than a full time musician, and in some ways it takes a lot more stamina to prepare a set list, rehearse, and focus to produce the goods night after night, I take my hat off to those that do it well and still keep down the day job.
A shining example of this was my Dad, he was a successful businessman in the trucking industry in the UK, he travelled the length and breadth of Britain but still managed to get back to Shotts in Lanarkshire twice a week for band practice, he did this for 14 years and went on to win a handful of World Championships, keep down his job and run a household of three boys and a very understanding wife. He succeeded because he had a goal to become the best at his craft and by determination, talent and a lot of hard work he achieved this. He came a long way from the young Army Piper to World champion,
I always consider what he would have advised me in given situations to this day, it's his birthday this month, he would have been 81, and I know he still guides me in my success,
He would always say to me ' You only get out what you put in ' and it is very true, sometimes a little luck is needed but he would also say ' you make your own luck in life, nothing gets handed to you on a plate ', wise words indeed and a good ethic carried into Blues and Roots Radio.
I know a few musicians who have worked two or three jobs plus played gigs just to get them through college or university whilst studying music or business degrees and I salute them for their determination and dedication to achieving their dreams.
It's not only musicians that are part time either, radio hosts are some of the most selfless and dedicated people I know, giving up hours of their time to listen to albums, research the artists, script and record their shows, write reviews, believe me that takes a lot of time. On top of that most radio hosts attend performances to meet and sometimes interview artists, travel home and get ready for a full time day job, that takes dedication too, especially when they are not even promoting themselves, they have to love what they do, and I understand that side also. It can be expensive too, if you add up the equipment required, software and the money on travel and concert tickets ( Add meals and beer in there ) and it all becomes quite an expensive little ' hobby ', so spare a thought for the radio guy who you would like to cover your gig, he might have had three or four offers that week, the gig might be too late at night during a work week, or they may even have blown their budget on previous shows and just not be able to afford to go out, don't take it personally, they will at some point be able to come and see you.
I am passionate about what I do because I know how hard it is to achieve success and If I can help others through our platform to gain a foothold somewhere along the line then I have succeeded myself, my wife says I eat sleep and breathe music !
I really can't imagine life without it, I have been going to music events since I was about three or four and would walk in front of my Dads Pipe Band back home in Scotland holding the trophies they had won as they marched through the streets before I could even play a note myself, I guess something rubbed off on me.
What is the point of this weeks ramblings ? I think it's to say that I appreciate all the radio hosts from all over the world that contribute their time to Blues and Roots Radio, there are approximately sixty of them currently, they are all extremely good at what they do, that's the reason we picked them :) .... that's not fair, some picked us and floated a show or an idea to us which worked extremely well, the point is they all put in immense effort and time to their craft, be it part time or full time, and they do it in the hope that others are listening to their words and recommendations and to listen to artists they like in the hope that you might buy their music, or visit live shows and support them and the venues that are doing a wonderful job of hosting original music
Blues and Roots Radio is a global family, it's a community filled with passionate people, whether they be bloggers, reviewers, radio hosts or adnins devoting valued spare time to help get the word out, it's a community of listeners from around the world who value the work and enjoy the shows and music presented to them.
It's also a family of artists worldwide who we thank for their continued creativity, if we all work at supporting each other we will make a difference.
THIS WEEK AND BEYOND
Just a few words on what's coming up on my radio show this week and some gigs I will be attending in the next few weeks to mark in your diaries ....
Four Chords and The Truth
A recap of the last event at the Dakota Tavern airs this evening at 10pm EST with chats with SATE... Ian Janes... Sarah Jane Scouten .... Scott Helman and Andrea England with music from them all on a one hour special. Thanks to Andrea and Mike who put on an amazing event and all the artists for their time.
The next event is at The Dakota on November 23rd, doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm and you don't want to miss it, here is the link to buy tickets and guarantee a seat at the hottest event in Toronto. >>>>
Lloyd Spiegel Special
Sunday November 5th at 9am EST we feature Lloyd Spiegel who was on tour from Australia in August, I had a chat with him in Toronto to talk about his music and influences, he is a Blues & Roots maestro and undertakes relentless tours of the world.
We present a one hour special, hope you can tune in
Kat Goldman CD Release
Sunday November 5th at Hugh's Room Live.
She’s been called one of Canada’s best songwriters. Kat Goldman gained a local cult following in Toronto back in 2002, when she released her debut The Great Disappearing Act. The record, produced by Juno Award winner Gavin Brown, so impressed New York City manager Ron Fierstein (Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Dar Williams), that he flew up to one of her shows and signed her on the spot.
Kat’s newest and fourth release, The Workingman’s Blues, is by far Kat’s best album to date. Produced by Bill Bell in Toronto, the songs tell a story of a young, tough punk from Boston, who tries to overcome his hard scrabble past of poverty, economic rage and resentment, family violence, and drug abuse. The songs range from country rock, to pop, to punk and even gospel.
Kat’s songs have been covered by an array of artists worldwide, including Grammy-Nominated band The Duhks, and prolific American singer-songwriter Dar Williams, who has been one of her great supporters.
Gate 403, Toronto November 18th
Love this lady, such a talent and when I talk about determination and talent combined with hard work then look no further than Australian / Canadian Gina Horswood.
When Gina packed her life in a bag and bought a one-way ticket to the other side of the world, she had no idea what was in store for her or her music career. Since October 2011, she’s traveled to a whole new hemisphere, bringing with her a distinctive voice and songs inspired by her nomadic life.
Gina’s debut “Our Way”, penned with sister Melanie, was released in 2006 and boasted two Top 10 country singles in Australia. The duo extensively toured East Coast Australia and shared bills with multiple-Aria-winning artists Kasey Chambers and Pete Murray. In 2009, Gina’s sophomore CD and first solo album, “Crazy Brilliant Mess”, received critical acclaim in the rich musical landscape down under, with the video for her single “Ordinary Girl” reaching the top 50 on the national Country Music Channel charts.
In July 2015, Gina was the winner of the first Collingwood Live & Original Music Series – a competition which “celebrates finding musical creativity and innovation at the grass-roots level”. Gina went on to record her next release “Porcelain” shortly after the Collingwood win, with Canadian producer Andre Wahl (Luke Doucet, Hawksley Workman, Amy Sky, Shania Twain). Musicians on the project included Tom & Sly Juhas (Jadea Kelly), Rich Levesque (Blue Rodeo, Melissa McClelland) and Robbie Grunwald (Jill Barber, Coco Love Alcorn). This was Gina's first full length release since “Our Way” and marks a significant departure from her country / ballad roots. The sound is rich, organic and compelling, inspired by her experiences around the world.
I hope to see you at one of the gigs.
Until next time