May 2011 Archives

On the program for Saturday May 28, 2011

Posted by Glenn Meisner

On this weekends' edition of 'Atlantic Airwaves' - A feature on Halifax based Norma MacDonald and her new release 'Morning You Wake' - and a concert from multiple JUNO Award winner Stephen Fearing.
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Norma MacDonald is a singer-songwriter and an avid biology nerd. She was raised on AM country stations and Willie Nelson cassettes in her hometown of New Waterford, Cape Breton, but has made her home in Halifax, NS for the last number of years. On her sophomore recording, 'the forest for the trees', Norma manages to seamlessly meld her innate old-school country sensibilities with contemporary influences (Wilco, Patty Griffin, Bruce Springsteen) without losing a drop of authenticity. The album was honoured with nominations for Female Solo Recording of the Year in 2009 by both Music Nova Scotia and ECMA. It has been a staple on the CBC Radio 2 playlist, and her track "we're ghosts" has been featured on the hit CBC crime drama "The Border". The past year has seen her share the stage with folk legend Eliza Gilkyson, rising indie star Dan Mangan, as well as showcases at NXNE, the Halifax Pop Explosion and the Chicago Celtic Festival. Her third album "Morning You Wake", produced by Phil Sedore (Amelia Curran, Catherine MacLellan) will be released in June, 2011. She will be touring Canada extensively this spring and summer with plans to head to the UK next winter.
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For the full concert click here

Stephen Fearing is known for mixing powerful lyrics, creative arrangements, and displaying brilliant guitar playing. The consistent quality of work produced, from his 1988 release Out to Sea, to his last Juno winning album Yellowjacket, has established his reputation as a solid and captivating entertainer, building a faithful Canadian and international fan base. Like many contemporary songwriter/performers, Stephen is not bound by any particular musical genre or category as will be evidenced in this concert. Stephen Fearing dropped by our CBC Radio Studio H in Halifax for an intimate sampling of some his material.

On the program for Saturday May 21, 2011

Posted by Glenn Meisner

Two features this week - Kim Stockwood and her latest release 'Back To The Water, - and - Michael Bastarache and his debut self titled release.

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While Kim Stockwood's world spills out well beyond the shores of Newfoundlandand Labrador, she is anchored heart and soul to this place. She seeks out what is special here and searches for a voice that will reflect her longing and love for the province. One way she has found to capture that voice is to go Back To The Water. When Kim left her beloved native spot eighteen years ago she could not have known the paths she would travel or the heights she would scale. Kim is an accomplished artist on many fronts, from singer to songwriter to television host and radio personality. These things she does with humor, grace, and class. Her hit songs, her awards and accolades, her solo work and her work with Shaye, have seen her mature as an artist. Her wealth of experience and her longing for home have laid the foundation for Back To The Water. This album is filled with the sound and fury of a place that surges upward with a fist of rock and grabs life from the sky's air. The album is enriched and enlivened by Newfoundland musical luminaries and session players who would shame the Nashville Scene. It is a great source of pride for Kim to have her wonderful Dad play with her. The power of the sea can be heard here, roaring beneath Kim's soaring vocals. The album, Back To The Water, is indeed a musical trip through the beating heart of the province. Surrounded by water, yes, her place is made rigid by granite pillars like those Cliffs Of Baccalieu, that Kim navigates so beautifully as she dances among the tunes of her native land.

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At quite a young age Michael Bastarache realized that music had a huge impact upon him, but it wasn't until he grew out of his teenage years that he started to really hunger for music that meant something to him. He began poking his nose around every genre that agreed with his ears and searching out new-to-him artists. To his surprise, he ended up back where he started. he was listening to all the same songwriters that he grew up hearing his parents play, Howlin Wolf, Johnny Cash and Steve Earle just to name a few. It was the likes of these artists that lured him into falling completely for folk & blues music and pretty much anything that was generally played with feeling and emotion.

On the program for Saturday May 14, 2011

Posted by Glenn Meisner

On this weekends' edition of Atlantic Airwaves - Two features - Ian Foster and his recent release 'We Begin Here - and - Breagh MacKinnon and her debut release 'Breagh MacKinnon'
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When an artist makes enormous progress in the quality of their work from one recording to the next, one is likely to take notice and pay attention. Certainly one ought to and Ian Foster is a prime example of such an accomplishment. Already a proven talent, Foster's route as an emerging artist has seen him pass thought the labyrinth and onto a clear trail propelled by his narrative skills. Musically Foster also continues to expand his compositions, his sensibilities and dexterity evident by the use of viola, cello, violin and piano. The simple and lovely third release, "We Begin Here" is a fine example: mostly guitar/piano driven rounded out superbly with delightful cello on four songs, harmonica and a smattering of strings. Ian Foster regularly tours in Canada and abroad. His music is played on radio internationally, from Newfoundland to The Netherlands. He has been a finalist for the International Songwriting Competition and is a multiple MusicNL and ECMA (East Coast Music Award) nominee.
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Although Breagh Mackinnon began taking piano lessons at the age of six, no one knew she could sing until a Grade 12 music teacher asked her to pick up a guitar, write a song and perform it in class. Within months, MacKinnons' first composition, "Pretty Lies" helped her win The Next Big Thing High School Talent Search. During the competition one of the judges' commented, "You're blowing me away with your writing. That's deep stuff. Not only the song writing but the chord structures, they're not coming from a teenager. You're an old soul to be able to write and arrange like that. If you recorded a CD, I would definitely buy it!" Once she turned 19, MacKinnon began to perform regularly at local pubs, festivals and musical events. Her song writing styling has been influenced by many genres ranging from her parents' vinyl collection, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock, Iron and Wine, Ella Fitzgerald, Imogen Heap, and numerous musicians across the east coast of Canada. MacKinnon is now studying jazz at St. Francis Xavier University and has just released her first recording.