July 2012 Archives

The Songs of Gene MacLellan

Posted by Dean Gallant

CBC Maritimes is proud to present a remarkable concert which pays tribute to the legendary PEI singer/songwriter, Gene MacLellan. The concert was recorded at Zion Presbyterian Church this past January, and aired on CBC Television, Saturday, July 21 at 8 p.m.

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The Songs of Gene MacLellan was produced by Music PEI. The concert features performances of Gene's songs from his daughter, Catherine MacLellan, Newfoundland's folk singer-songwriter Ron Hynes, and PEI-born singer-songwriters Lennie Gallant, Meaghan Blanchard and Dennis Ellsworth and Haunted Hearts, among others. John Connolly was the musical director for the concert. "Gene wrote some beautiful songs that stand the test of time and these wonderful new interpretations by some great PEI artists will delight new and old fans alike!" says Music PEI's Executive Director Rob Oakie.

The late Gene MacLellan left behind a huge musical legacy. From Anne Murray's first hit Snowbird, which sold over a million copies to Put Your Hand In The Hand, one of his other major successes recorded by Elvis, Anne Murray, Bing Crosby and others, the PEI songwriter's music has sold over 80-million records and has been performed by over 100 artists in more than 25 countries.

His legacy lives on through his daughter Catherine, who hosted the evening, and performed Snowbird for the appreciative audience. Catherine MacLellan, is well-known throughout the Maritimes and beyond for her own very successful singing and songwriting career. "It was really a thrill to be a part of this tribute concert for my father. My whole family was truly honoured and moved by the whole event, realizing how much people still love Dad's music and hearing all the stories about Gene that resurfaced from old friends during this time."

Banded Stilts - Dylan Guthro - Atlantic Airwaves Saturday July 28, 2012

Posted by Glenn Meisner

On this Saturday's edition of Atlantic Airwaves we'll have two concert segments from the 2012 ECMA Breakout Stage featuring Banded Stilts and Dylan Guthro.
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Banded Stilts' are a alternative-folk band that play unique singer-songwriter tunes backed by a folk ensemble of mandolin, banjo, violin, keys, guitars and drums. The sometimes odd lyrics, beautiful melodies, folk styling and storytelling narratives of lead singer/songwriter Steve Haley appeal to young and old alike. Banded Stilts made their live performance debut at Halifax's "In the Dead of Winter" Music Festival, followed shortly thereafter by an ECMA showcase, a 6 song EP release, a subsequent Canadian tour and showcases at Halifax POP Explosion, Stereophonic Music Festival and the 2012 ECMA's. The band is currently back in the studio recording their debut LP.
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The fact that Dylan Guthro was brought up in a musical household is quite evident. He picked up his first guitar at the age of four and has since toured with his dad, the internationally renowned Bruce Guthro, as far afield as the prestigious Tonder Festival in Denmark and as close to home as the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso Nova Scotia. The experience has obviously helped Dylan hone his skills as a musician and a songwriter; his electric guitar work is more than worthy of a David Gilmour comparison and his songwriting is solid for one so young.

The Boys and Their Ballads part 1 - Atlantic Airwaves July 14, 2012

Posted by Glenn Meisner

On this weekends' edition of the program we'll bring you a concert from the 2011 Celtic Colours International Festival titled 'The Boys & Their Ballads' featuring Buddy MacDonald, Dougie MacLean, Archie Fisher and James Keelaghan.
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Dougie MacLean has been at the forefront of the Celtic music revival since the early 1970s. He was a member of such respected bands as the Tannahill Weavers and Silly Wizard. Since 1983 he has performed extensively as a solo artist and with his own backing band. At the same time he has established his own record label, Dunkeld Records, and a wonderful festival called Perthshire Amber. Dougie was presented the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to music and charity in Scotland by Queen Elizabeth.

An avid horseman and master guitarist, singer and songwriter Archie Fisher is Scotland's foremost troubadour and was inducted into the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame and in 2006 was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire), a prestigious honor nominated by his peers and bestowed by Queen Elizabeth.

James Keelaghan is one of the finest songwriters of this or any other age and is both a national treasure and one of the most popular male folksingers on the planet. His masterful story telling has, over the course of nine recordings, been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan nominations and awards - including a Juno and acclaim from Australia to Scandinavia.

And Cape Breton's own man of song, Buddy MacDonald, completes this truly rare lineup of modern day balladeers. Born and brought up on the Northern Shores of Cape Breton Island, Buddy was exposed at an early age, to the singing and storytelling of some of the great Celtic singers of his native Island. Much of his song-writing is still influenced by this style he was so familiar with as a young boy.

Christina Martin - The Rockabillys - on Atlantic Airwaves, Saturday July 7, 2012

Posted by Glenn Meisner

On this Saturday's edition of the program we'll have a feature on Christina Martin and her recent release 'Sleeping With A Stranger' - and, a feature on The Rockabillys and their debut full length recording 'Better Places'.
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Christina Martin is an East Coast Singer-Songwriter, musician and performer. Her music achieves an effortless union between alt-country and rock with pop-sensibility. This award-winning artist has been attracting Roots/Rock listeners across North America and Europe for nearly a decade. An eminent singer songwriter and storyteller, she has released five albums on her independent Canadian label Come Undone Records. Having opened for Wilco while living in Austin TX, she returned to the Canadian East Coast to dig her heels into the Music Business and formed an independent music label to manage her relentless touring and recording schedule. Now in 2012 she is releasing her fifth album Sleeping With A Stranger and will tour Canada, Europe and the US to support this endearing album. "For all of us trying to find the life we're meant to live, here's a soundtrack." Bob Mersereau CBC Maritimes

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'The Rockabillys' are Alex Surette (drums), Cameron Nickerson (guitar,lead vocals), Matt Wilkinson (lead guitar,vocals) and Spencer Muise (stand-up bass,vocals). They are all in Grade 12 at Yarmouth High School, except for Alex who is in grade 11. They all live in or around Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. They came together as a band in May of 2011 so they could enter a battle of the bands at their high school and try out some of their original material in front of a live audience. Things went well so they recorded a five song EP 'Hicks from the Sticks'. The song 'Hicks from the Sticks' is actually who they really are. Four guys that love the outdoors, driving their four wheel drive trucks, having a good time and writing and playing their own music. They like all types of music but country-rock is what they really like to write and perform.

In November of last year 'The Rockabillys' were chosen as the winners in CBC Nova Scotia Mainstreet's School Of Rock contest which was open to public voting. They were given the opportunity to record two songs in CBC Halifax's Studio H, and then went to Liverpool to record another eight tracks with Tim Feswick at Feswick Productions. The result is their excellent debut full length recording 'Better Places'.