Monthly Archive for May, 2008

Update: Elizabeth Shepherd’s releases ‘Parkdale’

The Making of Parkdale

In case you don’t remember this beautiful, talented lady as well as you should, here’s a refresher.

Elizabeth Shepherd pushes the boundaries of what is considered conventional jazz, all the while creating a sound completely her own. From London to Tokyo, Elizabeth has captivated audiences and critics on both sides of the pond. Her Juno nominated debut album Start To Move continues to receive critical acclaim, and was voted the Top 3 Jazz Albums of the Year by the listeners of the Gilles Peterson show on BBC Radio 1 UK in 2006. Continue reading ‘Update: Elizabeth Shepherd’s releases ‘Parkdale’’

Abdominal in profile: a lesson in vocal diversity

Alright friends, let’s be honest with each other here. Just in case it somehow wasn’t painfully obvious, here’s a big secret from me to you: my knowledge of hip-hop? Sorely, sorely lacking. That being said, today’s profile is of my newest favourite hip hop artist: Abdominal and he’s… awesome! A text from TCR editor to myself stating “Abdominal. Good artist. Canadian?” was enough to get me very curious about this guy. Abdominal? I thought. Yep – Abdominal. When I spoke to the man himself, he had this to say:

‘Abdominal’ came about ‘cuz years ago I was doing 1 of my 1st shows & I lifted my shirt up to wipe the sweat from my face…a random girl in the crowd yelled out, “nice abs!”, & my friends started jokingly calling me Abs afterwards. Kinda just stuck from there.

Abdominal (Andy Bernstein) grew up in Toronto, Ontario where he formed his first rap crew with DJ Serious and Scott C. called Rushholme and right away they started recording tracks. Continue reading ‘Abdominal in profile: a lesson in vocal diversity’

May 31st (OTT): The Souljazz Orchestra: Still an Ottawa band!

(This is part one of two videos, the second of which can be seen right here.)

It is, Pierre Chretien insists, still very much an Ottawa band.

But increasingly, The Souljazz Orchestra is bringing its infectious global sound around the globe.

Late last year, it was a string of sold-out shows in Europe. Last month, the sextet was wowing them in Brooklyn. Come July, it’s back overseas for club and festival dates in the U.K., France, Austria, Denmark and Hungary. Further shows in such exotic locales as Iceland are in the works. “To them,” Chretien muses with a laugh, “we’re exotic Canadians.” Continue reading ‘May 31st (OTT): The Souljazz Orchestra: Still an Ottawa band!’

Brian MacMillan in profile: Rooted in folk, pop and soul traditions

Brian’s music is rooted in the folk, pop and soul traditions of his heroes. He often draws comparisons to artists such as James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Bruce Cockburn and Stevie Wonder. Brian has recently released his second cd of original material entitled “Let The Darkness Go”. Approaching the stage like an old friend; excited, warm and ready to engage, Brian’s command of his guitar allows him to create a complete sound as a solo performer or as the focus in a duo or trio. The Ontario Council of Folk Festivals recognized his songwriting in 2005 by awarding him the Colleen Peterson Award. Brian has performed at such festivals as Home County, Mariposa, Shelter Valley, Winterfolk, Toronto City Roots, NXNE, SXSW and Boston’s NEMO festival. He was recently a performer on the 2007 Barenaked Ladies Ships and Dips Carribean cruise tour. Outside of his solo career, Brian can be seen performing regularly with many local greats such as Lori Cullen and Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies). He can also be heard on recordings by The Wailin’ Jennys, Lori Cullen, Kevin Hearn and Harmony Trowbridge. Continue reading ‘Brian MacMillan in profile: Rooted in folk, pop and soul traditions’

Terra Hazelton in profile: She’s everyone’s baby

Terra Hazelton has been singing her whole life, but never imagined herself as a singer. Originally from Calgary, she moved to Toronto to find fame and fortune on the stages there. Someone once gave her a guitar for a variety show and suggested that she write three songs for the sketch. Three chords later, that was the seed that led her on a career path she had never anticipated. Terra moved from performing silly songs in a cabaret setting to forming her own band, leaning towards being a rock chick extraordinaire. She began sitting in with the long-running Melody Ranch afternoon matinée at the Brunswick House in Toronto, where famed singer/guitarist Jeff Healey happened to hear her sing one Saturday. Healey was himself moving into new musical territory after opening a night club and following his love of traditional jazz with his own Saturday matinée band, the Jazz Wizards, with whom he played trumpet instead of guitar. When he decided he didn’t want to be the singer for the Jazz Wizards, he remembered the belt and wail of Terra Hazelton from some months prior.
Continue reading ‘Terra Hazelton in profile: She’s everyone’s baby’

Attention: Canadian Musicians! We Want You!

calling canadian musicians

Like what you see? Are you dying to be featured on TransCanadaRadio? We’d love to hear from you! We’re always looking for new, awesome talent to put on display for our readers to enjoy.

As always, you can contact me at: bambi(at)transcanadaradio(dawt)[calm]

Layah Jane in profile: A resonance all her own

Singer-songwriter Layah Jane is a hearty young musician with a mission. With soulful vocals and a poetic, articulate tongue, Layah’s sound recalls Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones and Ani Difranco, with a resonance all her own.
Continue reading ‘Layah Jane in profile: A resonance all her own’

Mia Sheard in profile: Anemone

Over the course of three albums, Toronto’s Mia Sheard has seared herself into the consciousness of the Canadian music scene. She has been favourably compared to Mary Margaret O’Hara and Jane Siberry. The lyrics that defined her sophomore album Reptilian were provocative, insightful and witty – the words of a poet (Globe and Mail). Anemone is Mia’s latest CD, recorded at Toronto’s Chemical Sound, with co-producer Howard Redekopp (54.40). For this record, Mia brought her working band into the studio – and the results are evident with a more live-off-the-floor sound. “This album sounds like a band” says Sheard. “Having played with Chris, Dan and Ryan now for two years, I’ve had a chance to hear my songs develop over time. We arranged the songs as a group, and let them morph naturally. Like growing old, they change subtly over time, but you don’t see the lines that have developed unless you step away for a while.” Continue reading ‘Mia Sheard in profile: Anemone’

Dan Mangan in profile: Lyrical ruminations

At the tender age of seven, Dan Mangan’s first goal was to memorize and recite Abbey Road’s side ‘B’. At 17, it was to record his first EP. Now, at 24, it’s to meander into the stereo and hometown of music lovers worldwide. With the recent release of his debut full-length, Postcards and Daydreaming, five recently completed tours of the US, UK and Australia – including a feature in the Brit-tastemaker magazine, NME – and let’s not forget the umpteen festival performances (SXSW, MusExpo, The Great Escape, NXNE, etc.), one could definitely say he’s off to a good start.
For your listening pleasure, here’s a great track “So Much For Everyone” – my personal favourite – off of Dan’s album Postcards and Daydreaming:

Click below to play!

Dan Magnan – So Much For Everyone

Continue reading ‘Dan Mangan in profile: Lyrical ruminations’

Amy Honey in profile: Honky-tonk heroine

Amy Honey is a Canadian singer/songwriter/rocker/honky-tonk heroine. Born and raised in the wilds of rural Nova Scotia (West Chezzetcook, to be specific), she moved to Vancouver in 1996, and set about turning the town on it’s ear.

In 1998, she joined the ladyrockin’ band, Clover Honey, and together they won CiTR’s 1999 Shindig battle of the bands competition, put out their critically acclaimed Go Horse Go album and Continue reading ‘Amy Honey in profile: Honky-tonk heroine’