Cover Story

M.T.L. (Made Them Lions) Forgotten How To Dream

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

M.T.L. (Made Them Lions) is a name you should remember – because they are hot and ready to break internationally and they are not only Canadian but from the intoxicating and beautiful city of Montreal, Quebec.

Founded by Mike Valletta and Matt Gillis, the band is known for their pop rock with hints of “feel good” reggae. Having shared the stage with some of today’s best known artists, including Simple Plan, Down With Webster, Sean Paul, B.O.B, The Wanted, Flo Rida and many more.

Speaking to Mike at his home in Laval (a suburb of Montreal) it is obvious why there is such energy on stage with these five young artists. “Matt and I have known each other since we were kids and as the expression goes we are brothers from another mother. Our families know each other, there is history there and I believe it resonates within the band. We grew up in Laval, went to High School together and with the grace of our families, got to use home to learn to play and hone our skills. Quebec is hard to compare to anywhere else as far as the music scene goes but we are all bilingual so we fit on both sides comfortably.” (Two tracks on their album has been written and recorded in both English and also French as a way to pay homage to their bilingual roots and culture.)

Mike Goudreau Still Boppin’ the Blues

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Reading the bio on Mike Goudreau’s website it says he was born in Newport, Vermont and that he was raised in Stanstead, Quebec, population 2500. So how did that happen? ‘Years ago, the closest hospital for people to go to was in Newport, so babies were born there and brought home to Quebec. I had a Francophone Dad and an Anglo Mom and ended up with dual citizenship. Pretty cool actually !’

Music was always part of the mosaic in the Goudreau home. ’My parents were huge music fans. They loved country music; Conway Twitty, Hank Williams were two of their favourites. They even went to Nashville for holidays.  Rock ‘n’ Roll was also on the turntable at home – Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, Bill Haley and the Comets. I grew up on it all and I am a better musician for it.’

Blues and Roots Radio The Way It Used to Be

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

With my Scottish roots and my radio history, how could I not feel an instant kinship with Stevie Connor?  The soft spoken burr of the lad from Scotland, now residing here in Canada is enchanting and his dream to make a difference in music is even more noble.

Six years ago, his wife to be Anne travelled to Scotland, to work for a short time in the land of her ancestors. The classic story; they met, fell in love and Stevie followed the lovely Anne back to Canada.

“Anne was instrumental in getting me to continue to do music when I got to Canada. She basically picked up the reins and managed me. I was a professional Piper playing at the highest level and spent 12 years in Edinburgh with the Edinburgh Police Pipe Band. I discovered Canadians have a place in their hearts for bagpipes. I could busk playing guitar, whistle and Pipes and making $400 in an afternoon. Anne would find the right pipe tunes or songs for me to play that would draw a crowd.” 

Then fate opened a door. “In 2012 we were asked to do an internet radio show. Two hours was how we started. The short version of this story is we eventually were offered to lease the license and take over the radio station. We decided to do this and we never looked back, buying the station in 2013."

Beverley Mahood Atmosphere

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Submitted by Don Graham

Beverley Mahood was “A Girl Out Of The Ordinary “ in 1998 and has risen to extraordinary heights in the interim. The Canadian singer/songwriter/actress is moving steadily ahead, always with her eyes on the prize. With the new single, “Atmosphere” currently at radio and  there is an album with the same title due out shortly.

“I guess you could say that I am living in my perfect "atmosphere" right now,” Beverley said by phone as she was packing to head back to Nashville. “This new song of mine “Atmosphere” pretty well sums up how I feel right now and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Bob Funk did a great job on the production and kept it honest and true to who I am.” When reached in Nashville Bob Funk said, " It's pleasure working with a talent like Beverley. She's always open to new ideas and wants to create her own sound and make unique records,"

Ray Wylie Hubbard The Ruffian’s Misfortune


Submitted by Don Graham

Ray Wylie Hubbard may not be a household name but he is in my house. I’ve been a fan since back in the Cosmic Cowboy days of Jerry Jeff Walker and that Austin outlaw bunch.We caught up with Ray in Austin, Texas during SXSW. We talked about his new album The Ruffian’s Misfortune and his five decades in the music business.

Ray became one of the key musicians who took folk music to honky-tonks.He would play anywhere that had beer and somewhere to plug in. With his anthem “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother”he brought the hippies and rednecks together, at one time on stage referring to them as “hipnecks”. Bob Livingstone was at the party the night Ray conceived ‘Redneck Mother’ after an ill-fated trip across the street to buy beer. Later on while Livingstone was playing in Jerry Jeff’s band, J.J. broke a string and said to Bob, “Play something while I change this string.” Bob only knew a verse and chorus of ‘Redneck Mother’ but sang it anyway. Then in 1973, knowing only one verse and the chorus, Jerry Jeff Walker called Ray from a recording session asking for the rest of the lyrics. Ray says, “Jerry’s version had an intro on it that said, ‘This song is by Ray Wylie Hubbard.’ Now the trouble with irony is that not everybody gets it. So, I’d go and play clubs and people would keep requesting “Redneck Mother.” I was a folk singer and I’d have these other songs I’d want to do. So I finish the song and people would shout,“Sing it again! Irony!”

Patricia Conroy Right Place Write Time

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Submitted by Don Graham

Patricia Conroy has had 8 number one singles and 5 number one videos on CMT and was 
CCMA Independent Female Vocalist of the Year in 1999, 2000 and 2006. Pretty impressive laurels to be able to comfortably rest on. But the Montreal born, Nashville based singer/songwriter is far from living off that legacy but rather is one of the most productive and active Canadian songwriters in Music City.

“I’m really happy with where I am right now musically and personally here in Nashville. I’m writing with and for some great Canadian artists and feel as productive as I ever been. And some of the productivity includes cuts of her songs by Emerson Drive "She Always Gets What She Wants", Smalltown Pistols. "I Only Smoke When I Drink" Beverley Mahood " Hope and Gasoline","Sunday I’m an Angel",Tebey "Now I Do”, Michelle Wright "Crazy Stupid Love", Morgan Evans " Like a Tornado" (which was the  #1 song and video in Australia) and  Bobby Wills "Undressed". I saw Bobby Wills perform this song in Edmonton at last year’s CCMA Awards Week show and was impressed with how thrilled he was to be able to write with Patricia. There are also 9 co-writes with Jimmy Rankin on his current album,  including the  title track  "Backroad Paradise" and the hit  "Cool Car."

And the Winners Are Juno Winners 2015


Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Once again the Junos have come and gone and we think this year they got it right. The fans still love Michael Buble, the Arkells are still making great music, Kiesza is breaking through, Magic truly are magic, and Sam Smith is popular here. We are extremely please that Leonard Cohen received Album of the Year, which goes to show age truly doesn’t matter but talent tells it all!

John McDermott: Traditionally Yours

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Submitted by Bill King

Editor’s Note: In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, we wanted to pay tribute to an amazing Canadian icon who has a great set of Irish/Scottish lungs – John McDermott.

John McDermott is a fascinating man - one who seems to have dropped in from another century. He’s outspoken, a politician, a musician, enterprising, spontaneous and always on the move. His life is a rigorous schedule.

Michelle Wright Says Laugh a Little

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Submitted by Don Graham

The crown jewel of female Canadian county artists, Michelle Wright is shining as bright as ever. She has a new name for her fan club, The  Wrighteous, along with a brand new single, ‘Laugh a Little’ now being released to radio. “It’s a very exciting time for me and I couldn’t be happier. There are  a lot of good things going on and I have the best and most loyal fans in the world and calling them TheWrighteous just seemed to fit. I love them all so much and am so grateful they allow me to do what I love to do and appreciate and support me. They are Wrighteous.”Make no mistake Michelle Wright is not a legacy artist resting on her past hits but is always writing and recording new music. “I am so blessed to be in this business and love staying current with my music and feel better now than I have ever felt.”

Bowser and Blue Still Funny After All These Years

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Submitted by Don Graham

Canada is well known for its great musicians, singers, songwriters, comedians and entertainers. George Bowser and Rick  Blue, collectively known as Bowser and Blue, are each blessed with all five attributes. Each is musically talented, good vocally, write well crafted songs ,have comedic timing nonpareil and have entertained small intimate audiences as well as 5,000 seat venues. For over 35 years the duo has been crisscrossing the continent of North America with their unique brand of musical comedy and wry satirical wit and show no signs of slowing down.

Both George and Rick were born in England and both ended up in Montreal, Quebec where the duo was formed in 1978. George was born and raised in Sussex, England where he had a band called People Like Us with Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) and Bill Bruford ( King Crimson) and arrived Montreal in 1970. Rick was born in Liverpool, England, left when he was 8 months old (I didn’t have an accent yet)and took a more circuitous  route to Montreal. He came by way of New Hampshire , Maine, New Jersey, Brooklyn ,Toronto ( I might have missed a few stops) and finally landed in Montreal. Once in Montreal each of them were in various bands and duos and solo acts performing in the vibrant Montreal club scene. Bowser made a couple of records and worked constantly; Blue did the same.

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