January 2011 Archives

Studio H Sessions - Laura Merrimen

Posted by Glenn Meisner

Laura Merrimen is an old soul who wears her Americana drenched heart on her sleeve. Keeping true to her roots she infuses a blend of rock and roll know how with an old-timey country and pairs it with catchy melodies and smoky sometimes haunting bluesy vocals. Some have compared Merrimen to a female Bob Dylan or Neil Young, others to Lucinda Williams and Neko Case, but you can't put your finger on it, the sound is uniquely her own. She is a prolific writer who delivers soulful thought provoking lyrics that are steeped in honesty and raw emotion.

Laura's debut album 'Love Letters For Lonely Hunters', won a Nova Scotia Music Award in 2010 for 'Country/Bluegrass Artist/Group Recording of the Year'.

Accompanying Laura on this session were Tom Terrell on drums, Adam Pye on bass and Andrew Sneddon on dobro.

'Time'

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'The Bullets'

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Studio H Sessions - Max Keenlyside

Posted by Glenn Meisner

Max Keenlyside is an 19-year-old pianist and composer from Canada. He first got involved in music at the age of 9, and since then has ammassed a formidable roster of over 60 original compositions. Max is also known for his stride and "Jelly Roll" Morton chops, as well as a firm grounding in the ragtime piano tradition. A favorite at jazz and ragtime festivals across North America, and a PEI representative in the Canadian National Artist's Program held in conjunction with the 2010 Olympics, pianist and composer Max Keenlyside is a "musician's musician" in the very best sense. Keenlyside plays with plenty of pep and energy (but never too fast!) and his performances are laced with humor, all the while remaining faithful to the spirit and intent of the original composers. He is known especially for his renditions of pieces by Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Eubie Blake, and other stride and early jazz composers. Max's first album, "KeenlyStride," was released in May of 2010. He currently lives in Charlottetown, pursuing various musical projects.

Max Keenlyside - video feature

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'One For Dad' - written and performed by Max Keenlyside - aka Ragtime Max

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'One For Mom' - written and performed by Max Keenlyside - aka Ragtime Max

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'Airplane To Chicago' - written and performed by Max Keenlyside - aka Ragtime Max

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'Charlottetown Rambler' - written and performed by Max Keenlyside - aka Ragtime Max

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'Northern Lights Rag' - written and performed by Max Keenlyside - aka Ragtime Max

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On the program for Saturday January 29, 2011

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A concert from Catherine MacLellan recorded at CBC Radio Studio H in Halifax - Part of The 'Studio H Sessions' series
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It's been quite a journey for Catherine MacLellan over the past few years. The daughter of the late Canadian songwriting icon Gene MacLellan, Catherine is following her own path toward success. With a voice like honey dusted in gold, MacLellan shares the gentle darkness of her lyrics, which are sometimes countrified, sometimes lamentful, and sometimes tinged with joy. She's already been recognized with East Coast Music Awards, PEI Music Awards and Canadian Folk Music Awards. After hearing Catherine there will be no doubt as to why she has become one of the most celebrated new singer-songwriters in Canada, and around the world, by her contemporaries and media alike.

concert sample - 'Stealin'

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On the program for Saturday January 22, 2011

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A very special concert - A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King , featuring the Nova Scotia Mass Choir.
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The Nova Scotia Mass Choir has been together since 1992. This multi-racial / multi-cultural group performed at the 30th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's March on Washington, in Washington, D.C. and at the Southern Christian Leadership Convention in Dallas, Texas. So, who could be a better fit to lea...d a musical tribute to Dr. King's memory.

The choir has been presenting a concert marking Dr. King's birthday for several years and this year CBC co-produced the show which features some of the best gospel and R&B artists in Eastern Canada.

The N.S. Mass Choir have won two East Coast Music Awards and had two seasons on national television with the show 'Hallelujah'. Many of the guests on this show are award winners as well. Internationally acclaimed arranger, conductor and pianist Woody Woods was the musical director for the show.

So join us for this sensational concert at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax and shout "hallelujah" See More

On the program for Saturday January 15, 2011

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A feature on Jenn Grant and her brand new recording 'Honeymoon Punch'
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It was back in 2006 when we first met Jenn Grant. Her first recording 'Orchestra For The Moon' and her subsequent first steps into the world of entertaining were born here at CBC Studio H in Halifax. Fast-forward five years, hundreds of concerts, and thousands of road miles later, we find Jenn in a place that makes us happy. And judging by her new record, 'Honeymoon Punch', Jenn is certainly in a place that makes her happy.

- AND -

A concert from Natalie MacMaster recorded at the Whycocomagh Education Center as part of the 2010 Celtic Colours International Festival held on Cape Breton Island.
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Natalie MacMaster is an electrifying performer whose passionate proficiency on the beloved four-string amplifies the traditional East Coast sound for contemporary times. It's a signature sound that has resonated with world audiences through 10 albums, multiple gold sales figures and 27 years; numerous Juno and East Coast Music Awards; two honorary degrees (from Niagara University, NY, and Trent University) and an honorary doctorate (St. Thomas University); the Order Of Canada - and a reputation as one of Canada's most captivating performers. She also has the respect and admiration of the crème de la crème of top-notch musicians: master violinist Mark O'Connor, whose camp MacMaster frequents as a guest instructor; legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma - who recently invited her to prominently participate as a guest performer on his 2008 holiday-themed album Songs Of Joy & Peace; banjo prodigy Béla Fleck; fellow fiddling marvel Alison Krauss; spiritually electrifying superstar guitarist Carlos Santana - the list goes on.

This performance from Natalie and pianist Tracey Dares was but part of a marvelous evening billed as 'Women In Tune'.

NEW TAKE 5 VIDEOS - ( 5 questions - 5 answers)

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A video feature where we ask musicians the following 5 questions:
new this week - Thom Swift and John Campbelljohn

What's your favourite album?
Who is the musician you most admire?
What was the turning point when you decided to become a musician?
What was your most memorable musical experience?
What was your favourite concert?

Thom Swift

Posted by Glenn Meisner

Known for his down-to-earth charm, soulful baritone voice and skillful musicianship, multi-award-winning singer-songwriter Thom Swift performs a distinctive blend of roots-blues. Chosen by CBC as one of Canada's top songwriters in 2010 and recent winner of Music Nova Scotia's Blues Artist of the Year, he released his latest album blue sky day (GroundSwell/Warner) in February. Thom's debut solo recording Into the Dirt (2007) won an ECMA, a Maple Blues Award, a Galaxie Rising Star prize and two Music Nova Scotia Awards, including Musician of the Year in 2008.

Your all time favourite record

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The most memorable concert you've seen

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Your own most memorable musical experience

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The musician you most admire

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The turning point when you chose to be a musician

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John Campbelljohn

Posted by Glenn Meisner

Many artists have their specialties - some cut great records but need support to realize their studio sounds in a live setting while others are born performers who never quite translate to records as well as they do live. Rarely do you find an artist who excels at both. John Campbelljohn does. In each of his many forms.

In his solo, acoustic blues performances he makes the most of the song. Campbelljohn soulfully commands the stage with rich vocals, while his powerfully prolific technique on guitar or trusty dobro lap steel further embellishes each composition. His power trio ups the ante with an electric sound that can pummel an audience into submission or captivate them with the subtleties of ace musicians driven solely by the love of their craft.
A tight rhythm section fronted by Campbelljohn's distinctive prowess on slide guitar quickly demonstrates that, although John's a Cape Bretoner, he's been cut from a plaid of a very different colour. Power blues that touch on rock, reggae and roots with a few overtones of pure country - these are John Campbelljohn's stock and trade. He's also added the wondrous sounds of the pedal steel to his live band shows to haunting effect. The overall quality of the musicianship, the energy of his delivery and the guaranteed good times that spring from the band's performances are proof of the pudding.

Acoustically, John combines the influences of such diverse players as Fred McDowell, Ry Cooder and John Hammond while his electric shows earmark everyone from Sonny Landreth to Johnny Winter, Clapton to Duane Allman. A simple listen to any of his six CD releases tell the tale that John Campbelljohn - solo or otherwise - is a born performer and a credit to his accomplishments: Blues Artist of the Year, Guitarist of the Year, Slide Guitarist of the Year.

Your all time favourite record

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The most memorable concert you've seen

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Your own most memorable musical experience

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The musician you most admire

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The turning point when you chose to be a musician

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On the program for Saturday January 8, 2011

Posted by Glenn Meisner

A feature on Rawlins Cross and their new recording 'Heart Head Hands'.
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Rawlins Cross, one of Canada's most accomplished and beloved Celtic bands, rekindles the magic with the Fall 2010 national release of Heart Head Hands (Ground Swell/Warner Music). This marks the band's first full album release in 12 years. - You can download a free three song sampler from the new album here

AND

A feature on Jon Bryant and his recording 'Two Coasts For Comfort'
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Half a decade ago, Halifax native Jon Bryant packed his bags and journeyed across the sea to Europe to travel and unravel the thread surrounding his purpose in life. While backpacking across the hills of Austria and breaking the soles of his dirt-stained feet in Greece, Jon began to write songs. Described as a phenomenal experience, Jon felt he was figuring out who he was in relation to himself, his place in the world and who he was before God. After this remarkable year, Jon moved to Seattle, to volunteer at various ministries and churches, where he was personally mentored. While living there, Jon was inspired to live a life against society's expectations. The call to return home came and so Jon left and enrolled at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. During his time of art education, Jon became serious about writing music. He worked hard to craft songs that reflected truth, life and love. These songs ended up on his debut album Two Coasts for Comfort, released in late 2009.