By Stevie Connor
You can never get enough Festive Spirit right ? !
The run in to Christmas is always a very busy one for us at Blues and Roots Radio, lots of Christmas and New Year show s to schedule, a couple of award shows to air too, this year we have our Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide Album Of The Year to announce, a special one hour show will be aired and tracks will be played on the run down of the ten nominations before the winner will be announced, this is our second year for this award, last years winner was Stephen Fearing for his album Every Soul's A Sailor, this year's nominees have released amazing albums too, so the jurors have another tough decision to make, we still have five more albums on the lead up to the New Year to consider so it's exciting to see who will be announced as this years winner.
We will be presenting the beautiful trophy in January to whoever that may be, a huge thanks to the Blues & Roots Radio judging panel from around the world who take the time to consider the entries.
The album Every Soul's A Sailor, last years winner has set a very high bar indeed.
In addition to our Album Of The Year Award we are running a Song Of The Year Competition, this is the inaugural year and closing date for entries is December 31st, again, a judging panel from various countries around the world will be sitting down in January to pick the winners of each category and decide on an overall winner.
The mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard by as wide an audience as possible, we are offering various packages this year for the winners with am award for the overall winner, it is hoped that in coming years the event will be supported by a sponsor or two and the monetary value will increase, it is a great responsibility to take on by the jurors and again I'd like to thank them for the time they will put in to consider each song in the various categories.
There is an entry fee per song, all the proceeds of this will go to help with the running costs of the station, as an independent network for the last six years we have provided a free platform for all the music we play on our shows.
We were criticized by a songwriter last week for charging an entrance fee ( $10 ), I looked at various competitions and awards that are handed out in the industry and each one has a much bigger entrance fee, they do also have much bigger prizes granted, but, they are all sponsored by multi national companies, we are the little guys and we do what we can with what we have got, we hope to increase the prizes each year going forward, the one thing we guarantee is that each entrant is given the utmost respect and consideration, the competition judging is done with integrity and a great deal of deliberation, the award I'm sure will be coveted by the recipient, personally if I was not connected to Blues & Roots Radio I would be submitting a song or two, It will be a great honour I'm sure for the winner to say they were the first ever songwriter to be given the award.
More information can be found at the links below
Good luck to all who have entered so far !
Fatea Magazine are also coming up to their annual awards in January, we have aired a special two hour show from England for the last four years where the winners are announced in each category, Neil King, the founder of Fatea Magazine, has just celebrated thirty years of the publication, Neil and his team laid on a feast of music with a festival and some amazing acts past and present performed to celebrate.
I am honoured each year to be involved with the selection process for the awards, a big thanks to Neil for inviting me to do so.
Look out for the airing of the annual awards on Blues and Roots Radio Essential Channel on Friday January 11th
December is a busy month as far as gigs go too, one thing though, why is December 8th such an important day for artists to perform ! I have been invited to attend about half a dozen performances by amazing artists on that day, unfortunately I can only attend one, Steve Strongman hosts his annual Christmas show, I wish I could make that in Hamilton, but I'll be in St Catharines with my wife Anne and BRR host Ken Wallis and his wife Angela to attend a performance by the Mighty Duck Blues Band with special guest Samantha Martin, it's the last chance i'll get to see Sam perform before she heads out on an epic tour of Europe, to all my European friends and followers, you have to go and see this lady perform with her band Delta Sugar, they'll blow you away, trust me.
This powerhouse of a singer and her band have been working their butts off for a number of years honing the sound, they are nominated in a number of categories for a Maple Blues Award,
Check out the dates and where they'll be, go see them perform and tell your friends, you'll thank me !
Huge Kudos to her record label Gypsy Soul Records for putting this epic tour together, they'll need a holiday when they get back !
Tune in to my radio show each week and I'll keep you up to date with what we have going on at the station. Under The Radar Radio Show features many Canadian and international artists each week from Roots and Blues to Folk, Americana, Celtic, bluegrass and everything in between. It airs on a Thursday at 10pm ET, Sunday 9am ET and again on a Wednesday at 7am ET on the Essential Channel.
I have a Four Chords & The Truth Special from the Dakota Tavern featuring interviews with Ian Sherwood, Joni Delaurier, Matt Mays and Theo Tams, there is also a special show with an in depth interview with Hamilton based artist Deeps, all coming soon.
If you can, spread the word for us and tell your friends, the artists will appreciate that.
I have enjoyed working with blues musician Spencer MacKenzie over the last few weeks, I did a re design of his website, check it out and have a listen to his music, he is a great talent, his latest release is Cold November and it's a cracker, he's based in the Niagara region of Southern Ontario and is the New Artist Of The Year Maple Blues Award Winner.
I had a lot of fun on this project.
If you need a website makeover or know someone who would like a redesign drop me a message, I'd be happy to chat about it. A website redesign can give you the opportunity to re-address how you communicate with all your visitors . Fresh and unique website content is a very important factor in encouraging people to revisit your site more often.
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Thanks for all your support