So Long, Leonard Cohen

Canada’s greatest poet and legendary songwriter, Leonard Cohen, passed away on November 7, 2016 at the age of 82. Always the well-dressed gentleman and all around cool guy even in his senior years, he was loved by many and still performing live shows in his 70’s to his dedicated fan base.

Here is one of his early classics from 1967, “So Long, Marianne”, about a relationship breakup he was going through at the time. I think we can all relate.

So long, Leonard…we’ll miss you.

Barenaked Ladies – Lovers In A Dangerous Time (Cover)

This video is a true slice of Canadiana with a Canadian band covering a song from a Canadian singer. The band, Barenaked Ladies, do an awesome job with this cover of Bruce Cockburn‘s “Lovers In A Dangerous Time”. Bruce’s original version is, of course, a classic, but the “Ladies” bring a sense of humour to it with the music video shot in and around Scarborough, Ontario during the early 90’s.

Showing a day in the life of fans from Canada, we see a typically cold day with snow on the ground and a game of street hockey going on (also featuring a few Canadian singers). CAR!! I remember those moments from my own childhood playing in the streets with my friends.

Great song, great video. Enjoy!

“Nothing worth having comes without some kinda fight
Gotta kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight”

Bruce Cockburn – Wondering Where The Lions Are (Audio Only)

One of my favourite Bruce Cockburn tunes and a song I used to play often on air back in my university radio DJ days many years ago. Bruce has written many great songs, but this one stands out for me.

Probably even more relevant today with the state the world is in then when it was first recorded in 1979 and eventually we really will be wondering where the lions are…

“Sun’s up, uh huh, looks okay
The world survives into another day
And I’m thinking about eternity
Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me”

Treble Charger – Red (Original)

I first heard this on a compilation CD of indie Canadian artists that also featured Hayden and then I seen them live in a concert with Sloan a year later. I prefer this rougher early version from their album “NC-17” over the more polished release on their later “Maybe It’s Me” 3rd album. It’s a great example of that alternative 90’s EMO rock sound, or whatever it’s called these days. Makes me feel old to be nostalgic of music that’s now over 2 decades old. Even the video itself was uploaded to Youtube over 10 YEARS ago. Whoa!!!

“As the red fades from your wrinkled dress
A picture of the people you’ve impressed
Hangs on a wall around here
Vision starts to crawl when I’m near
And the evening waits
While you get caught up to your own mistakes
Made up of different lines
I wouldn’t wanna keep in my mind”

Pavlidi Vocal Academy Recommendation

pavlidi-vocal-academy
My name is Christy and I am 35 years old. I always wanted to learn how to sing properly. My voice was “good”, however… I never really had the opportunity to work on it. As with life, you find yourself busier than anticipated, and you’re always the first person to say “Yeah, I’ll get to it sometime.”, but the “sometime” doesn’t really happen.

My son who is 6 years old also seems to carry a good tune when he hums and sings along while he’s carrying on doing his thing. I really wanted to inquire about singing lessons for maybe the both of us; but we don’t have vocal academy’s in this area.

Out of curiosity, I searched online, and come to find out, there was an online singing academy which seemed to be legit and knowledgeable about not only just “singing lessons”, but they had opera lessons as well; not that my son and I would be interested in opera, however I know there are many people out there who would want to explore that avenue.

The Pavlidi Vocal Academy is a place which offers both one on one in their area, and online lessons for people who wish to learn and expand on their vocals. They offer a wide variety of courses, workshops and seminars that they put on right in their own studio. They have tutors who are qualified singing teachers who fit every need required.

When speaking with them, and through email, you can easily tell that they are proud of their online vocal academy, as they help many singers to develop themselves to present a fantastic portfolio in order for them to have a great career. The told me they believe that a good singer needs to be a good musician, that’s why they know that their programs will assist others to become better and a complete performer.

My son and I did sign up, and we are currently in the middle of our separate sessions, and we are having fun with it. We have shared a lot of laughs, and will continue to do so. My son is most certainly carrying on a much better tune, while I am feeling a little more confident with each session I have with our tutor.

I know you will enjoy it too, because this is surprisingly a really good place with experienced staff, and the tutors there are real, and itโ€™s legit.
Just look into it. ๐Ÿ™‚

http://www.pavlidivocalacademy.com/

Gentlemen Husbands – Shelter Valley Video

I recently “discovered” this band as the opening act for Matt Good and found out they had also opened for The Tragically Hip earlier in the year and have received rave reviews from other well known Canadian bands as well. After listening to their set I immediately agreed with the general consensus that these guys fuckin’ ROCK!

Upon just hearing them for the first time I ended up liking EVERY original song they played, and that’s no mean feat for a band that has yet to release a full album of material. I bought their 4 song EP after the show and loved it. However, it was more of a “WTF?” moment when I noticed it didn’t include half the great songs they played. Why haven’t these guys released a full album? They easily have enough material, as even their live songs I’ve heard that haven’t been recorded yet are ALL catchy and well-written.

Think along the lines of Blue Rodeo, The Wallflowers and Tom Petty to get an idea of what their brand of tuneful, infectious alt-rock sounds like. It’s instantly likeable, hummable and puts you in a good mood, even if you’re stuck in traffic for an hour. Their live shows are high energy and highly worth the effort to attend. I actually feel sorry for those who usually skip the opening band and arrive late just to see the main act, as they are really missing out on something wonderful here. Easily the best “unknown” opener I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to a LOT of concerts over the years.

‘Nuff said. Check out the video for their first single, Shelter Valley, below…

Go to the Gentlemen Husbands website and get your ass on their mailing list!!

Wintersleep – Dead Letter & The Infinite Yes

Powerful song with very meaningful lyrics. This plays during a scene on the show Being Human (filmed in Montreal) while the vampire character Aiden is with a dying patient. It’s one of my favourite Wintersleep songs, and I’m a huge fan of the band. Got to see them playing a free show live in Halifax on Canada Day 2012 and it was an awesome experience.

I don’t usually post full lyrics, but these words by singer Paul Murphy are so well put that I felt they needed to be read by everyone.

“I found a letter it read
‘Our existence has serious side effects’
Turned on the television
It’s telling me the world is collapsing
I think it’s coming and it comes so fast
I’m hearing whispers of an infinite yes
And I don’t know why it is
Our bodies are dead, why you look so sad?

And my therapist said
‘We’ve evolved through a series of accidents’
There’s been talk of chemical imbalances
Restless sense of detachment, nausea and or violence

I think it’s coming and it comes so fast
I’m hearing whispers of an infinite yes
And I don’t know why it is
I feel it coming, I think it’s real and significant
I think I think I think a little too often
That’s what my therapist said
We’re alone in this wilderness
Left to choke on the pills and to feed on the viruses
I think it’s coming and it comes so fast

I think it’s coming and it comes so fast
I’m hearing whispers of an infinite yes
Our bodies are dead, why you look so sad…”

Watch and listen to “Wintersleep – Dead Letter And The Infinite Yes” here:

What does the song mean to you? Is it about global warming, religion, personal struggles, death, or…? Please comment below!

Ben Caplan and The Casual Smokers – Stranger

Ben Caplan is a crazy man…at times singing like a vodka soaked Russian Tom Waits with songs influenced by folk, jazz and gypsy melodies intertwined in an engaging blend that will have you singing along by the time it’s over and banging on the table for more. The performance in this video is without his band, The Casual Smokers, but the intimate setting in a small pub gives this great showman his chance to shine.

Here is the wonderful Ben Caplan performing the song “Stranger”…

BEN CAPLAN – Stranger from Mitch Fillion (southernsouls.ca) on Vimeo.

Heather Russell Youtube Singer

Heather Russell is a 10 year old singing sensation from Toronto who has been compared to Mariah Carey, Joss Stone and other talented female singers. She was “discovered” on Youtube (just like Justin Bieber) and has recently gained the interest of American Idol heavyweight Simon Cowell.

Looks like she has a very bright future ahead of her and I think it’s really cool that she writes her own songs too, and, of course, that she’s Canadian! I’ve added 2 of my favorite music videos of her for your listening enjoyment, so here she is, Heather Russell singer extraordinaire with her composition “Every Step Of The Way”…

Be Good Tanyas – Littlest Birds

The Be Good Tanyas trio of lovely ladies combined a mixture of traditional, bluegrass, country and sometimes straight rock and roll to create the album Blue Horse, which is one of my favourite CD’s of all time. It’s impossible to listen to this collection of songs without becoming infected with a case of toe-tapping euphoria instantly. No kidding!

There isn’t a bad song to be found anywhere and it gets even better with every spin! While my personal fave is their take on the old tune “The Lakes Of Pontchartrain”, I present here, for nostalgic reasons, their first big radio single, “The Littlest Birds”. Yes, it was used in a Zellers TV commercial, but a gal’s gotta eat, right?

Even though the band hails from Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada, there are several scenes in this video shot in the southern U.S. area (New Orleans?). Great atmosphere! Crank it up and hum along!!

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