By Stevie Connor
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Well I made it through the launch of the new channel on Blues and Roots Radio, with a soft launch last weekend, no glitches so far and a great effort by the team, we now have two fab platforms for people to find new music and artists along with their old favourites.
The channels are BRR Essential and BRR Discover going out on
www.bluesandandRootsRadio.com ... but then you already know that because you are here !! :)
It was while putting together the BRR Discover channel that my eyes were popped wide open. I am exposed to a huge amount and variety of music in my role of scheduling and programming, over the last four years I have been sent over 5000 CD's and twice that number in downloads from artists in Canada and around the world, they are housed on custom made shelves gifted by my wife who I think was getting fed up of tripping over them and moving piles to watch TV, they are in alphabetical order ( it's my pet peave not to be able to put my hand on a CD when looking ), newer music housed on the lowest shelf and placed in order once listened to ... in alphabetical order. So now you know my system ! It makes sense to me.. and that's what matters I guess.
I digress ... while putting together the new channel I was able to listen to an awful lot of CD's that I had just never gotten around to listening more than once or twice to, it really did make me more determined than ever to make sure that BRR Discover would become the portal for many of these artists ....hence BRR Discover.
Jesse Waldman - Mansion Full Of Ghosts
Imagine my delight when I heard in it's entirety a debut album from an artist that I had known about, tracks have been played on shows on the station since it's release, but to listen to all 16 tracks back to back made me realize just what a masterpiece this young man has put together.
It took him four years to get the album just the way he wanted to, he had written songs for it, taken on other projects and come back to it having written more material in between. The release has 16 fabulous tracks and the title ' Mansion Full Of Ghosts ; is a reference to Vancouver and it's dark side underneath the image that some might imagine it to be.
Originally from Ontario, now residing in Vancouver he has pulled on his experiences of travelling and the music scene of the city he has called home for quite some time now. There is some wonderful songwriting and arrangements on this release and it is amazing to think it's a debut album, I foresee lots of awards coming this young mans way.
I was so impressed that I chose it as this weeks Album Of The Week as we had a very sought after space emerge this week in albums to feature due to another artist putting back a release date. I had no hesitation putting it in ahead of some more established artist releases. You can listen to the show in it's entirety on our homepage as we have a listen on demand player for these shows as well as them being played on both our channels. Included in the show is an interview Jesse did with Ken Wallis host of the fab blues show ' Blues Blast ', Ken has a rare knack of finding and introducing us to fantastic Canadian artists from coast to coast.
I was also extremely impressed when I received a personal message of thanks from Jesse just today thanking me for choosing his album, he sent me a brand new hot off the cutting room floor video that he is extremely proud of and we have included it on the promo page for his Album Of The Week spot
Take time to check out the show and I would highly recommend you add it to your collection, it really is that good. Jesse has the option to buy the physical copy or to download the album Visit his store and find out more at his website
here is the brand new video " Lone Wolf " Written and performed by Jesse Waldman in Burnaby, British Columbia June 2017. Video by Wood Box Films.
Big thanks to Sarah French Publicity who sent the album to me, she works with some awesome artists.
This week I have gone from Vancouver to Halifax on my journey discovering new ( to me ) music, my time is running out for submitting this blog but I could not let it be published without me telling you of the amazing new release by this next band.
The Barrowdowns - Come What May Come
Based in Nova Scotia having first developed in Alberta they have diverse instrumentation and soaring five-part vocal harmonies which characterize the unique alternative folk sound of this Halifax-based band,
Born in a cold dark Albertan winter in 2014, the band was started by Halifax musicians Kendra Breen and Rowan Swain. Upon their move back to Nova Scotia, the duo joined up with veteran Halifax musicians Dave Fultz, Adam Martin, and Neal Read to create an eclectic brand of folk music that is both energetic and haunting. With gripping songs that stick with you long after the last chord has rung out, The Barrowdowns create music that will keep you spellbound—even while you stomp your feet.
I actually listened to the album in it's entirety straight after Jesse Waldman, you can imagine that I was in my element going from one fabulous release to another, no chores were done that Saturday and I am laying the blame firmly at the feet of Jesse Waldman and The Barrowdowns.
I have to say huge thanks to Kimberly Sinclair at Spincount publicity on the east coast who sent me through the album, I think she knew I was going to like this one.
The Barrowdowns are....
Kendra Breen - vocals, violin
Rowan Swain - vocals, guitar
Adam Martin - vocals, cajon, drums
Dave Fultz - vocals, banjo, violin, guitar
Neal Read - vocals, bass
I challenge you to listen to the album and try and do a task at the same time, it will mesmerize you and there is no chance of you completing anything until their musical journey is over and they release you from their ethereal grip.... it really is that good. It is a classic cut, by that I mean in it's maturity of thought on how the instruments fit together and I include the vocals when I say instruments, all finely tuned as a perfect ensemble with great detail placed on space to breathe.
They debuted at No.1 in the Earshot National Radio Charts in Canada so it's not just me who thinks they are brilliant.
Their masterful building of a songs momentum and atmosphere really had me spellbound. You will be seeing and hearing a lot more from them rest assured.
Find out more at their website
A short blog this week but I am almost certain that once you have made your way to this point that you will spend at least the next couple of hours getting to know Jesse Waldman and The Barrowdowns more intimately.
Until next week, have a safe and fun long weekend.