What A Week That Was - Miss Emily, Borealis Records, Grit Laskin, Lisa MacIntosh, Carolyn Fe, Andy Griffiths....
It just got crazy busy with lots to do.... do you feel that too ?
This week I had the fabulous honour of meeting a wonderful array of very talented people in the Canadian music and arts scene .... I love being able to connect with the arts world .... music, visual art, instrument building .... I got to chat to some of the most amazingly gifted and passionate people this week.
Andy & Helen Griffiths
I've known Andy for a number of years now through his passion for music, and his connections stretch the breadth of Canada, he and his wife Helen - who is a wonderful artist - are heading to Scotland in the summer and we talked about some of the places they could visit, hopefully they have a few ideas, I tried to steer them away from the usual tourist traps, I even tried to talk them into letting me go to be their tour guide, but they were having none of that !
Andy has just released his latest album called ' Our Cat Flash ' which contains songs for children, and the wonderful album design was done by his talented wife Helen, his plan is to tour in Canada and also try and schedule some dates in Scotland when he is there.
I got my personal copy of the album when they dropped by HQ
It's not just children's songs Andy performs, he has released a couple of pretty cool solo albums that we have played on the station in the past few years.
So look out for him at the festivals in Canada over the summer and look out Scotland... he'll be coming to a child friendly distillery near you !
Music Makers: Portrait Of The Great Hall
Lisa MacIntosh - The ' Music Makers ' Photographer
I have to thank Stephen Fearing for the wonderful gift of being introduced to Lisa MacIntosh, an amazing photographer and amazing human being.
Lisa embarked on a journey over two years ago, she would photograph over two hundred musicians including Jake Clemons, Sylvia Tyson, Gowan, Fred Penner, Tom Wilson, The Trews, Albert Lee, John Mann from Spirit Of The West and many more.
Many artists in the book are friends and acquaintances of mine, it's an amazing body of work that she should be truly proud of.
Lisa is a Toronto-based portrait photographer.
Published: Music Makers: Portraits at The Great Hall, PhotoLife Magazine, Digital Photography Magazine, Toronto Star, National Post, Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, Backstreets Magazine, SOCAN Magazine, People Magazine, Hello! Canada
We were so very honoured when Lisa contacted us to say she wanted to present a copy to Blues & Roots Radio
Thank you to Stephen Fearing for the introduction, and thank you to Lisa for the book and ongoing friendship.
William ' Grit ' Laskin
I've known Grit for a long time now through meeting at conferences and performances of many of the artists that he is involved with, a musician, world renowned luthier, founder of Borealis Records and founder of The Canadian Folk Music Awards, he is such a passionate man with everything he is involved with., very inspirational.
I was honoured Grit agreed to an interview about The Group Of Seven Guitar Project at The McMichael Canadian Art Collection for which he was one of the luthiers commissioned to build a guitar for and take part in the film documentary produced for the gallery.
The interview started with a tour of his workshop, my father was a bagpipe maker, so it was interesting to see the similarities in the build process.
We sat down for a chat and what was originally supposed to be an interview about the McMichael exhibition turned out to be a three part fascinating insight into the exhibition, Borealis Records and The Canadian Folk Music Awards.
I'll be featuring parts of the interviews on various upcoming radio shows for Blues & Roots Radio. I'll let you know the airing dates as soon as they are scheduled.
A couple of artists you might know that are on the Borealis Records label are
and .... James Keelaghan .... just to name a few ...
I could have spent all day listening to Grit and the amazing stories he related about Stan Rogers, Ken Whitely, Jesse Cook, guitar inlays .... it's all recorded for future shows !
Thanks to Grit for his valuable time.
Where do I start with our wonderful friend from Montreal, singer, lyricist, actor, radio host, she has it all going on.
Carolyn is one of Montreal’s original Renaissance women. She started her career as a contemporary dancer and began acting in a variety of theatrical productions, TV and movie spots. She found her true voice singing the blues and jazz and has been performing around the country with her band the Carolyn Fe Blues Collective releasing a number of albums.
Carolyn has a fabulous radio show on Blues & Roots Radio called ' Unsung And On The Side ' where she showcases artists who don't fit in to the mainstream music genres, playing music from all around the world, from Blues to Jazz and all their derivatives.
The reason she is in Toronto, and has been since mid December, is because she is appearing in a very successful run of a play called ' Calpurnia ', it's receiving rave reviews all over the place, almost all of the remaining performances are sold out, get your ticket to see it before they all go,
Onstage now at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre - must close February 4th! Get your tickets: http://buddiesinbadtimes.com/show/calpurnia/
I had met Carolyn a couple of years ago in Ottawa and we talked about having her radio show on Blues & Roots Radio's schedule, she has been with us ever since and it was so good to reconnect in person in Toronto and talk about the future. We are going to see the play and meet before she heads back to Montreal, if you get a chance and are in Toronto, go see her perform, if not check out her website for performaces with her band and the schedule for her radio shows. www.carolyn-fe.com
Thank you Carolyn.
I was honoured to be a guest of Miss Emily at the iconic Cadillac Lounge in Toronto just a few nights ago, it was in support of her album release ' Between '
I am from Scotland, as some of you may know, I was very familiar with the sounds of The Tragically Hip when at school and college, they broke into the charts back then creating some of the soundscapes of my youth, and so I was delighted to be able to say hello to Rob Baker at this event, he was a member of the band and co-writes with Emily.
For 15 years Miss Emily has captivated listeners across Canada, the US and the United Kingdom with her unique combination of passion and talent.
That passion and talent was cultivated by an unparalleled work ethic. It began with playing night after night after night in bars and nightclubs where she learned her trade and gained a loyal following. Later, she graduated to regional theatres and starred in several Broadway-style shows. This willingness to step outside her comfort zone and learn new techniques paid off by giving her opportunities to become a regular at large outdoor venues like Ottawa Bluesfest. Then, in 2011 in front of 25,000 people outside the tiny town of Bobcaygeon she opened for The Tragically Hip and began a relationship that would change the direction of her career.
Miss Emily’s new record takes the listener on a tour of her experiences and musical influences under the guidance of The Hip’s Gord Sinclair as producer/co-writer/bass player and bandmate Rob Baker as lead guitarist/co-writer.
Between featuring Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker is the fifth album from Miss Emily.
Thanks to Emily for an amazing evening.
The Cadillac Lounge specializes in Roots Music and its related genres, rock, rockabilly, blues, country, bluegrass, soul, r&b, reggae, zydeco, cajun... a very cool venue indeed and one we will continue to support for playing Live music. Great staff, fantastic sound and brilliant atmosphere.
Thanks for following my journey through the awesome musical landscape here in Canada.
Until next time.