Cover Oct 22, 2010

Facebook spoke, Michelle Wright listened and now she’s back on the road with a reissue of her ‘lost’ debut album, Do Right By Me

Story: Lenny Stoute

Belleville, ON. 


Inspiration, of both the positive and horrific varieties, can come from the most unexpected of sources. Country singer Michele Wright’s just rolled into Belleville for the next gig on her Do Right By Me Tour and the vibe in town’s got her a little sideways. For this is day two of the sentencing hearing for Col. Russell Williams, the sex killer whose deviant behaviour put on display in the courthouse was making strong men hurl. 

Gut Feeling


One of the hardest things in the world to never stray from is to follow your gut feeling about some decision in the music business.

Even after years and years of experience in the music industry, every now and then I have to make a decision that I am confused on. I have taught the same principle over and over; again to follow your gut feeling and yet I still often do not follow my own gut and when that happens I again make a boo boo.

All too often we want something to be true so badly we ignore our gut feeling that something isn't right. We make our decision and it blows up. Whether it is a day, a week or a year later we end up saying, "I had a gut feeling this wasn't the way to go."

It takes a tremendous amount of self discipline to ignore the wishful thinking and listen to our inner voice but the wise person in the decision making process is the one who follows the gut feeling.
The Music Business, Ya Gotta Luv It.

Keith Bradford


Tayna Davis

The lady explains ‘How To Be Alone’ and the video scores a mil plus lonely hits.
Story: Lenny Stoute
Photo: Killbeat Music

Video may have killed the radio star but it can do wonders for a poet’s career. Hottest testifier to that truth’s Tanya Davis, a reasonably obscure Halifax poet who’s currently blowing up like Justin Beiber with her video for a tune off newest album, Clocks and Hearts Keep Going.

See, she also has a career as a singer/songwriter going on which has yielded three albums and while her press stuff’ll tell ya she does both things with equal fervour, when pressed she admits to being more poet than songwriter.

“ I stared writing poetry before songs and I do tend to go there first with an idea. A poet’s job is to observe and report; song writing is more about interpreting. Lyrics are structured differently because you have to keep rhythms and tempo in mind. Generally, it’s better for a song if the lyrics are shorter so you come at an idea differently.”

Both disciplines have their strictures but Davis seems to enjoy more freedom of experimentation as a poet. The fact that she specializes in ‘spoken word’ poetry creates a natural springboard to doing music. ‘Spoken word’ is poetry written purely to be performed live, making for a different approach than the stuff intended to appear on a printed page. Its power is in being heard, not read.

Dan Hill – Getting Back On The Long Road?

Cover Oct 15, 2010

Story: Lenny Stoute

Little by little, it seems that Canadian icon and trailblazing singer/songwriter Dan Hill is heading back on that long road again. He stepped out recently by adding author to his list of accomplishments with ‘I Am My Father’s Son : A Memoir Of Love And  Forgiveness’ The recounting of his early years and his father/son relationship wasn’t that much of a stretch for a man who’s spun million selling tales for a living. As well, writing runs in the family, brother Lawrence Hill recently charting with his acclaimed novel, ‘The Book of Negroes.’

Next, Hill found humself thrust into dealing with the death of lifelong pal and fellow songwriter Paul Quarrington. The two had on occasion performed as a folk duo, billed as Quarrington/Hill. The pair's final collaboration, a song about death called "Are You Ready", was completed just ten days before Quarrington's passing in early 2010, and will be featured in an upcoming TV documentary, Paul Quarrington: Life in Music


Now, as the stately oaks of his Beach neighborhood turn golden with autumn’s first kiss and after nearly a decade of focusing his efforts backstage, Dan Hill is back in the spotlight. He’s stepping back in with Intimate, his first album with new material since 1996’s ‘I’m Doing Fine’. 

Job Description


You wouldn’t think of going to a veterinarian with your sore elbow no more than you would go to your dentist for a sore foot. So why is it then that singers fall for these companies that claim to be a one stop all inclusive music company?

If a company is a publisher and a darn good one, it would only make sense to try and get your songs published through them and not think they can get you bookings. A talent agency on the other hand may be able to get you to open for a big named star and not even have a clue how to fill out a copyright form.

Please don’t fall for these people claiming to be able to do it all. This is a highly specialized business. You need to surround yourself with people that are experts in what they do, and no one company can do it all.

The Music Business, YA GOTTA LUV IT.

What is an EPK?


An EPK is an electronic press kit. The opinions of why they are so efficient in today’s music industry are varied but here is a brief summary:

A talent buyer or record producer can play the DVD Electronic Press Kit and in 8-10 minutes check out the artist’s appearance, pitch, stage presence, and how well the artist conducts himself during an interview. How can all of that be accomplished by listening to someone’s CD? We all know that it can’t.

A good EPK should be available upon request on DVD and should contain at least one fast song and a slow one as well. It should also contain a brief interview in order to show the artist’s personality. You would have to submit a photo, a CD, a biography, your contact information, and some kind of performance video to match what can be accomplished with one DVD copy of your EPK.

The music business YA GOTTA LUV IT

The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Opens Its Doors

Cover Oct 8, 2010

You’re In For A Big Night Out!
The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Opens Its Doors

Story and Photographs: Natasha Slinko

Just when you thought something couldn’t get any better, it does. The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts unveiled its swank all new look in celebration of the 50th Anniversary Season on Friday, October 1st, 2010. The press was invited for a sneak peep earlier in the week.

The Centre has gone through many shows and many changes. Torontonians first fell in love with it as The O’Keefe Centre and brought their families to experience the arts from its opening on October 1st 1960. At one point it was briefly re-branded as The Hummingbird Centre, but in truth most Torontonians still called it the “O’Keefe”.

Dan Brambilla, CEO of The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, says that it has been “an incredible undertaking” but that they are “eager to welcome Torontonians into the venue to see the exciting new technologies integrated with the magnificent architectural beauty of this historic building”.

The Surround Sound WallThe Surround Sound WallA huge undertaking of renovations, design, new technologies and innovations, this wonderful theatre is now being re-launched in its 50th season of celebrating the Arts as The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Are You Ready For The Band?


When a band asks you to come up and sing a song with them, please know what key you sing the song in. Recently a young lady sat in with us and wanted to sing “ROCKY TOP.” I asked what key she wanted to do it in. She said I don’t know just pick one. I said how about A? Her reply was oh no that’s too slow.

Song writers please don’t say here is one I wrote the other night that I hope you like, kick it off boys. They have never even heard it before let alone know how to play the intro.

Never try to sing a song the band doesn’t know. You are headed for a big embarrassment and the band isn’t going to be placed in a pleasant experience either.

The Music Business, YA GOTTA LUV IT

ERIC SOLOMON: The Man Who Would Be Prince

Cover Oct 1, 2010

Story: Lenny Stoute

Vancouver-Except for the one genre, Canadian music of all stripes, from Celine Dion to Alexisonfire has proved successful on the world stage. Homegrown soul is the one style that’s yet to cough up a genuine international star.

Montreal-born, globally raised Eric Solomon wants to change all that and he’s not kidding. He’s just dropped his calling card, an EP Antarctica, made his acting debut for MTV and is putting the finishing touches on a full-length album. It’s Eric Solomon all the time, on all fronts and on the line from his Vancouver home, he sounds like the right man for the gig.

The first single from the album, ‘ALL.’ hit radio like a hurricane, with and adding it immediately on serious rotation. So how does hearing his tune on the radio make the twentysomething Solomon feel?

“It was like walking on a cloud, I wanted to walk in the streets blessing people. Yeah”.

Sounds like something the artist frequently known as Prince would say and Solomon’s not shy about naming the Minneapolis mojo man as his primary source of inspiration.

Faith Comes Through for Diane Wirtz

Diane Wirtz

Story: Bill Delingat

Diane Wirtz started singing at the age of 5 on week-ends when her father’s band would let her join in on their practices. At the age of 8 years her father was transferred to West Germany with the Air Force, where they would live for the next 4 years.

At the age of 12 the family moved back to New Brunswick but the Air Force transferred them again to Cold-Lake, Alberta. There was a group from the television show ” the Funny Farm Show ” who were singing on the base there.

Wirtz said. I had an opportunity to sing with their band called” Prairie Fire “. They invited her to go to Edmonton, Alberta where they were going to do a television program for the Variety Club Telethon. It was her first experience on television at the age of 17. She met Jamie Farr from the television show MASH, and Shari Lewis and Lamp Chop, the Alan Sisters from the Tommy Hunter show and Skyles and Henderson.

Wirtz said,”It was a fabulous experience for me and it gave me a chance to go in the recording studio with Prairie Fire and see what it was all about. I had gotten married and after a few months of marriage we were expecting a baby.

“ When I was in my eighth month of pregnancy the baby died. My brother who was 18 died in a motorcycle accident, then my Mother died and then my Grand-Mother died. She was the first person in my life to introduce me to our wonderful Savior.

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