(CBC Christopher Friesen)
"Next" is a knock on the door for artists on the rise from all regions of Canada. This week it's all about Manitoba and it features Del Barber, Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers, Trio Bembe and Kin. When you hear that line up you may recognize the names and maybe even the music but, while some may be household names on Manitoba's music scene, they may still be relatively unknown in the rest of our huge country.
Next! is a way for our region's artists to shine on a National stage but, we too play a part in this process. It is our duty to champion the best from our province year round so the Nation takes notice. It has been my experience at music conferences in Canada and the U.S. that when people hear Manitoban musicians on stage, they are surprised. They usually ask the same question...where are they, she or he from?....and a fan is born. The only problem with that is it takes a huge toll on artists physically and financially. Word of mouth and cyber-support are much more efficient tools to help out your favourite bands. Manitoba will only be an underdog in the National music picture if nobody knows any better. It's up to us to make sure that doesn't happen. If you aren't sure you know any Manitoba music that you love or you just enjoy listening to new local music you should tune in to 89.3 FM for the Prairie Playlist on Up to Speed with Larry Updike. Also check out "Next" on Canada Live on CBC Radio 2.