By Stevie Connor
How long do you celebrate your birthday for ? With me it's always at least a week before and a week after, that's normal right ? Maybe not, I do know someone who celebrates a birthday month !
That can get expensive so I err on the side of caution and settle for just the one week.
My birthday week celebrations started with a visit to the wonderful Al Green Theatre in Toronto to see the launch of ' Your Perfect Matador ' the latest album by Jay Aymar, the performance featured the amazingly talented Sahra Featherstone on violin and equally talented Chloe Charles on guest vocals. The album itself has guest vocalists Alejandra Ribera and Shakura S'Aida appearing and it was produced by Michael Wojewoda who has worked with Spirit Of The West, The Barenaked Ladies, Bufft Sainte-Marie, Ashley MacIsaac, Great Big Sea and many more.
You can see with that much talent and brilliant songs that this is one hell of an album, an almost cinematic journey from start to finish, I highly recommend purchasing a copy, and if you do, on first play turn the volume to the highest level it can go to, you'll thank me, your neighbours might not though !
Tuesday I had a day off from celebrating, I had to work to catch up, work should not be allowed on a birthday celebration week ! But I looked forward to an invitation from my friend Kat Goldman to visit her and meet two artists who are on tour in Canada from the USA, they were performing a house concert and having a meet and greet at Kat's place in Toronto. Before I go any further, I think you should check out Kat's blogs for Blues and Roots Radio, they are a tongue in cheek swipe at the music industry and are hilarious, everyone can relate in some way to them, here is the link The Disgruntled Songwriter
The two artists who performed a couple of small sets were Megan Slankard and Alex Wong, I must admit I was unfamiliar with their music, Alex lives in Nashville and is working on his second album, Megan lives in San Francisco and has independently sold nearly 40,000 copies of her five self-released albums, and she is currently touring extensively across the US and Canada, performing brand new songs from her planned 6th independent release in late 2018. Her fifth, and latest release, Running on Machinery, was recorded with the help of Nashville producer Alex Wong (Vienna Teng, Delta Rae), and her preceding album, A Token of the Wreckage, was recorded with help from David Bryson (Counting Crows) and Jerry Becker (Train).
I was so impressed I bought both of their current albums and am spinning a track from Megan this week and one from Alex next week. They head across the USA heading home for thanksgiving, check them both out, I am enjoying what I've heard so far, big thanks to Kat Goldman for the introduction.
So, I'm on the final leg of my celebratory week and have one more gig to take in, this was in fact my birthday gift from my wife, she knows how much I admire the hard working guys in the band Monkeyjunk, so she bought us tickets to attend their performance at Hugh's Room Live in Toronto, Steve Marriner, Tony D and Matt Sobb are amazing JUNO award winning musicians. They were one of the first bands I went to see in concert when I arrived in Canada ten years ago, I've been a fan ever since, they've been together for a decade.
By almost any ordinary metric, like a marriage or a job, 10 years is a respectable milestone. For a hard-touring and recording band, however, a decade is a sweat-soaked, anecdote-amassing feat. Appropriately, the corresponding anniversary gift is way better something made of tin.
Ottawa’s ace swamp roots-rockers MonkeyJunk — fêting 10 triumphant years together in 2018 — are preparing to lift lids from Saskatoon to Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay to Nanaimo, as they hit the highway supporting their scorching, career-best Time To Roll album. Audiences will be dazzled.
This promises to be an amazing performance, there are still a few tickets left if you want to come along and buy me a dram, and of course take in the performance too !! You'll thank me.
Tickets for Hugh's Room HERE
International Song Competition
Entry is now open for songwriters / duo's and bands to submit a song into a category,
the closing date for entries is December 31st 2018
The competition will be judged by a panel of jurors from the Blues and Roots Radio network from Canada, USA, UK and Australia, many of whom sit on provincial and national industry recognized award panels. There are some great prizes and an award for the overall winner.
Four categories will be recognized and the winner from each will be considered for the overall award.
If you can, spread the word for us and tell your friends, it's appreciated.
My radio show ' Under The Radar ' airs every Thursday at 10pm EDT, and on Sunday's at 9am EDT on the Essential channel on Blues and Roots Radio exclusively.
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Until next week, happy listening