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Victoria
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Alison Vardy
Apasionada

solo celtic harp

Allen Dobb Bottomland

Released: 2002
Label: Skipping Stone Music / Pacific Music
Producers: Blair Calibaba / Allen Dobb

The path leading to Victoria-based musician, Allen Dobb's latest CD, Bottomland (Skipping Stone/Pacific Music), has been a long and varied series of adventures. His quest has led Dobb from his youth in rural Alberta farm country, to several years in southern Africa using his agriculture degree from Washington State University and another land management stint on an Apache reservation in Arizona, to singer-songwriter showcases on stages of roots music hotbeds in Austin and Nashville. Dobb has documented his path of eclectic experiences with several recordings including a pair of CDs with his brother Cameron as Dobb and Dumela and 1998's Horses and Hills (Resource/Festival), his acclaimed solo debut.

The Kingston Whig Standard's Greg Burliuk wrote, "His exceptional songwriting skills make Dobb's CD, Horses and Hills extraordinary." The Georgia Straight's Tony Montague wrote, "Dobb skirts deftly past the temptation of cliché to create a highly individual album."

For all of Horses and Hills' lyrical gifts, it merely laid the groundwork for Dobb's musical achievements on Bottomland. Stony Plain Records' Holger Petersen, one of the world's most knowledgeable roots music authorities, enthused, "I'm a huge fan of Allen's work. His writing, arrangements, playing and singing have taken a big step forward with Bottomland."

Co-produced by Dobb and Blair Calibaba at Vancouver's Mushroom Studios, Bottomland features a host of Canada's finest musicians (drummer Pat Steward, bassist Rob Becker, Luke Doucet on electric guitar and pedal steel, organist Dave Kershaw, Jesse Zubot on mandolin, and harmony vocals by Robyn Carrigan), to produce a muscular, powerful soundscape reminiscent of Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen's most compelling work.

Finely-drawn characters like Della the two-step queen and "that ole hayseed Jimmy Roy…the hippest cat in Hollywood" populate Dobb's lyrical narratives, but the most fully realized writing are the descriptions of the vivid landscapes that frame the songs on Bottomland. Dobb takes the listener deep into those varied worlds, from the dusty Sonora desert, to the Canadian prairie's "big wide open", to the title track's broken and littered shadows.

It's an exquisite song cycle, fueled by a rich and varied life and a poet's eye for detail. The songs feel lived in and real. Roots music never sounded better.

Dobb's sophomore release Bottomland (Skipping Stone/Pacific Music) was released to great critical acclaim. Stony Plain Records' Holger Petersen, one of the world's most knowledgeable roots music authorities, enthused, "I'm a huge fan of Allen's work. His writing, arrangements, playing and singing have taken a big step forward with Bottomland." The album features a host of Canada's finest musicians (drummer Pat Steward, bassist Rob Becker, Luke Doucet on electric guitar and pedal steel, organist Dave Kershaw, Jesse Zubot on mandolin, and harmony vocals by Robyn Carrigan), to produce a muscular, powerful soundscape reminiscent of Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen's most compelling work. ". Indeed, the word has spread. Bottomland is slated for release in the UK through Pinnacle on October 14, with a major promotional push from Frontier. The album has also recently been released in the USA through Burnside Distribution. A rigorous fall tour schedule will see Dobb perform across Canada, the Northwest US and the UK to further support the release of Bottomland. For the WISE Hall show Paul Rigby will accompany Dobb on guitar, lap steel and mandolin, and Rob Becker on bass and vocals.

Andrews & Lawrence Old Time Gospel

In the harmonizing and gospelizing tradition of the Monroe, Stanley, and Louvin Brothers comes Andrews and Lawrence. They've put together an old time gospel show tailor-made for
your festival stage, theater, church hall or coffeehouse.


You don't have to know a lot about gospel music to get caught
up in the sing-along atmosphere, with enough story-telling to
bring the folk, country, and bluegrass audiences along for the
ride. In addition to the main show, Andrews and Lawrence host a gospel workshop full of opportunities for unison and harmony singing, as well as pointers on musical arranging and historical background to really bring this musical genre to life.

Andy Ruszel sings lead and plays rhythm guitar. His songs have been performed by Juno award winning artists Charlotte Diamond and the Rovers.

Larry Lawrence plays lead guitar and sings tenor. He is also
a well known producer, arranger, and choral singer.

For Andrews and Lawrence, it's about giving each performance their all, and making it a good time had by all. They look forward to seeing you at the show.

"Brothers in song. Andrews and Lawrence transformed the hall into an authentic old time gospel showcase on Friday night.
Andy Ruszel and Larry Lawrence wove their own version of the close-knit vocal harmonies and exacting flat-pick guitar runs that characterize the superlative sound of duos like the Monroe,
Louvin and Stanley Brothers. The audience joined in on renditions of old standards that would have done an Appalachian church
choir proud."

- Gabriola Sounder

Barry Newman
Noontide

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Noontide" - a term used by German philospoher, Neitzche - with reference to the Apocalypse

This LP (now on CD from GrooveDigger Records - GDR22) was written and recorded by Barry Newman (publisher of Cosmic Debris Musicians Magazine) at Studio One, Vancouver, BC, in August, 1974. It is one of the province's first real "indie" recordings. Newman, who had previously performed in Victoria-based bands Pastime, As Sheriff and Buckeye, plays electric guitar, 12-string acoustic and sings most of the lead vocals.

The four members of Noontide, aged 18 to 21, packed a rented car with as much gear as they could squeeze in, and hopped the ferry to Vancouver to record the project in five days. During the evenings that week, Bryan Adams and John Booth were recording Sweeny Todd in the same studio (Booth now owns a record store in Courtenay and plays in a classic rock band called XLR8).

Some of the studio's commercial accounts (large department stores; there were only a couple of studios in BC at the time), kept interrupting the band's allotted daily sessions to fix up radio jingles, etc. So by late Friday afternoon, instead of having 40 hours to produce the album, only 17 hours had gone into recording the tracks... leaving only 90 minutes left to mix the entire album (other acts were booked with the studio and the band had just enough pesos left for the ferry ride back to the Island).

Considering the multi-tracking of the saxes (at times sounding like a blend of Glen Miller and Blodwyn Pig), this was quite a feat (single songs often take over 100 hours to produce). The studio's echo unit was being repaired, so reverb had to suffice in accenting the band's trademark "psychedelic" guitar/sax harmonies (more dramatic at their live shows).

Becky Bernson Sagebrush and Lilies

When Becky Bernson died of cancer in February of 2000, the community and the world lost a great musician and creative spirit. Becky wrote songs that celebrated the natural world and our relationship with it, and with each other.

Becky's music is being preserved in "Ramblin' Woman", a book that includes all her songs and fiddle music. All this music will also be in a soon-to-be-released CD, which was recorded March 4, 2001 at the Victoria Folk Music Society Coffeehouse.

Songs included in both the songbook and CD are: Sagebrush and Lilies, Tree-Planting Song, Save a Piece of the World for Me, Willamette River Song, Munchkie Rag, Give Yourself Love, Reign of Love, Ramblin' Woman (Backpacking Shanty), Moss on the Ground, This Wild Land, Environmentalist's Shanty, Everything Gonna Be OK, Cowichan River Song, Lady of Light, Violet Jean Waltz, Song For Gordon, and Gaia's Grace.

Becky's original fiddle tunes included are: Denis Donnelly's Favourite, Gene's Rocky Mountain Hornpipe, Buttle Lake Paddle, Over the Glacier, The High Rocky Peaks, Genna's Jig, Wolf Island Waltz, Winter's Turning, and Dance of the Big Trees.

Bill Johnson Blues Band, The LIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Johnson is on the move with his 2nd cd release " The Bill Johnson Blues Band 'LIVE' ".

His first cd "Why I Sing the Blues", is a collaboration between Bill and top US and Canadian poets.
Debuting to sold out shows in Vancouver and Victoria, Bill is beginning to be seen by a wider audience.

When the first version of his band debuted, Victoria's Times-Colonist dubbed him "Victoria's Guitar Flame Thrower" after his performance at the International Jazz Festival. The title has stuck even though Johnson's style has matured. While his contemporaries have pursued FM rock's version of the blues, Bill's style is more that of yesteryear, citing his influences as Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Eric Clapton, and BB King.

Previously Bill Johnson has been heard with Vancouver Island's Auntie Kate on her debut CD, and then again on a collaborative blues CD featuring Bill. In 1998 Bill teamed up with Grammy Award Winning Texas Bluesman Don Johnson for the CD "Donald Ray". Songs from that CD are currently play-listed on cable's Galaxy Networks blues channels, and on CBC radio, as well as some US stations.

Bill is very proud of his band. Featuring the multi-talented Gary Preston on harp, piano, and voice, Rick Erickson on acoustic/electric bass, and Paul Nixon on drums. The versatility of this band is amazing and sure to please blues fans everywhere.

Bills, The Let Em Run

Produced by Joby Baker, Marc Atkinson and The Bills. Recorded and mixed by Joby Baker at Baker Studios, Victoria, BC
Mastered by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA

Billy Goats Gruff (now 'The Gruff')
The Million Dollar Tip

currently unavailable

The Million Dollar Tip is our first CD. It was released in January 2002. We had a great time recording it with Kate Simms at Bent Sound in Victoria. (Kate has now relocated to Vancouver) It is full of traditional fiddle tunes and vocal hits. There are also a couple of original tunes (the first of many). We had the pleasure of playing with a few other musicians on the disc so there's a nice full sound complete with bass and accordion!

Brad Howland
Northern Soundings

Music for Trombone by Canadian Composers

Mr. Howland's first solo CD, with Frances Perriam on piano, Darren Buhr on double bass, and the Pacific Trombone Quartet

"Northern Soundings is a fine recording of both solo and ensemble music for trombone by Canadian composers. Trombonist Brad Howland, who serves as the soloist, quartet leader and producer, has gathered an assortment of compositions along with a refined group of musicians to present a quality recording. The CD cover design is crisp and clean and the selection order is presented like a well planned recital...he represents these works by Canadian composers with admirable musicianship." ...Online Trombone Journal

Carmen Hillary
Chameleon

features 6 songs
Artist Information

Instrumentation
Carmen Hillary - Vocals/Piano
Tim O'Brien - BG Vocals/Guitar/Piano
Eric Tonning - Bass
Rob Gretsinger - Drums

Biography
Carmen Hillary's EP "CHAMELEON" (6songs) has definitely wetted the appetite of both industry professionals as well as the eagerly awaiting public. "Everyone's a Critic” just screams radio hit! I just don't understand why the heck she isn't already a nationally recognized singing phenomenon!" (Linton Valdock, Kenora Daily News).

Clearly in a base of solid Pop/Rock, her ethereal melodies and addictive musical hooks are peppered with electronic, symphonic and worldbeat undertones. "This talented up and coming singer/songwriter has a unique musical style that I would describe as a blend of Sarah McLachlan, Delerium and Enya - a Noir Magical genre" (Craig "Killer" Kincaid, The Wave 102.3).

"I was really impressed with Everyone's A Critic. Her voice sounds great and it has an excellent melody! A track like that should get a lot of commercial airplay." (Chris Logan, Owner - Logan's Bar).

Pleased to be generating her own audience independently thus far, it has been a busy summer. Carmen recently received a grant from FACTOR and has been touring all summer to promote Chameleon -also making television appearances on The New VI (CHUM), The Daily (Nanaimo), CH Channel 6, The Daily (Victoria). The next stop is The Western Canadian Music Festival, where she has been chosen to perform among other artists such as Kim Barlow, Jessie Farrell and Brundlefly. In past shows, Carmen has performed with ANET Ducharme, Trish Klein (of The Be Good Tanyas) and Vancouver based Hip Hop siren Kia Kadiri and in line-ups including Sarah Slean and Holly McNarland. Her song, "Memorial" is on the compilation album Secrets of the Universe that includes other top artists Morry Stearns and David Foster.

Victoria based with a four piece band, Carmen's inspiring songwriting is self-explorative and introspective. "Everyone is free to interpret my music however they want. My underlying motivation is to engage the listener is such a way that it awakens passion within them. We live in a world of over stimulation. We are for the most part told how to live and what to feel. If I can inspire someone through my music to live their life the way that they want to I've done my job."

Carmen Hillary was brought into the world by two very musical parents. Her Mother has stated that Carmen could sing before she could talk. How fitting that her name actually means “song”. Speaking of song, she wrote her first at age 7 and she has continued to write ever since. In High School, she was given the Department Award for Music and has already received accolades and label interest from Nettwerk, Virgin and The Music Publisher. Her Great Grandfather was Gitz Rice (famed Broadway composer) known for his performance during wartime. It was Christmas and as he and his fellow men started to sing Silent Night from inside the trenches, German soldiers from across the way joined in singing in their own language. Carmen feels that music is not just in her blood, but that is IS her blood. Her life dream.