Canadian Musician


A Conversation with Recording Engineer Blake Harden

Thursday, April 19th, 2018


Canadian Musician contributor Jeff Gunn recently caught up with engineer Blake Harden (Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, SZA) for the latest installment of his “A Conversation with…” series.

Do you know anyone who has packed up everything they owned, drove across a continent, and made a fresh start in pursuit of their musical dreams? One day about five years ago, engineer and producer Blake Harden made such a journey. After working in the Atlanta music scene for years, he set off in search of bigger opportunities in L.A., and the risk has paid off.


A Conversation with Sons of Apollo’s Billy Sheehan

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

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Canadian Musician‘s Jason Raso connected with legendary bassist Billy Sheehan ahead of a pair of Canadian dates with Sons of Apollo, his new progressive metal project featuring some other monster players. The band hits Montreal on Thursday, April 19th and Toronto on Friday, April 20th.

Sons of Apollo finds Sheehan joining forces with former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy (drums) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards), guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (ex-Guns N’ Roses), and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Journey, ex-Rising Force). Their debut album, Psychotic Symphony, dropped in the Fall of 2017 via InsideOutMusic/Sony Music.

Sheehan tells us how the band came together, his experiences playing with different drum icons, and more.


Tickets On Sale for Music Heals’ Strike a Chord Benefit Concert

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

strike a chordTickets are now available for Music Heals’ fifth annual Strike a Chord benefit concert, which will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. The star-studded concert raises money for the Music Heals Charitable Foundation, which supports music therapy programs across Canada.

The artists have not yet been announced for the show, but past performers include am Roberts Band, The Sheepdogs, Big Sugar, Serena Ryder, Dan Mangan with a children’s choir, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer with Jim Byrnes, Delhi 2 Dubin, and many more. Tickets are limited and the show often sell outs quickly.


A Conversation with Controllerist Alluxe

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Alluxe by Suzanne Strong

Canadian Musician contributor Jeff Gunn is back with the latest edition of his “A Conversation with…” series. This time, we’re venturing out of six-string territory and into controllerism with the one and only Alluxe.

If you watched Logic’s performance at the 2018 Grammys or caught a show on one of Kanye West’s recent tours then you have been witness to one of L.A.’s most in-demand controllerists, Laura Escudé, aka Alluxe. A controllerist, producer, live show programmer, and violinist, Alluxe has opened for Garbage and toured the world with Kanye West and Miguel. She has personally trained numerous people for her live show design company, Electronic Creatives, who are the soundscape-operating gurus behind Logic, Harry Styles, Camila Cabello, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kid Cudi, Pentatonix, and many more. Her diverse musical skill set has even led her to develop shows with the likes of jazz legend Herbie Hancock.


A Conversation with Guitarist Tristan Avakian

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Tristan Avakian by Samantha Katz

Canadian Musician contributor Jeff Gunn brings us his latest guitar-focused interview with musical theatre vet Tristan Avakian.

Musical theatre can offer both a challenging and exhilarating avenue of expression for guitarists. The ability to bring charts to life and support a story is a unique craft that requires guitarists to read and develop a diverse sense of musicality. Perhaps no one knows this better than Tristan Avakian. Since moving to Canada in 2005, he has performed both in the pit and on stage in some of the world’s top musicals, including We Will Rock You, Kinky Boots, Bat Out Of Hell, Rock of Ages, and, currently, Come From Away.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Tristan and ask some questions about the role of the guitar in musical theatre.


A Conversation with Guitarist Nathan Whitney

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

Processed with VSCO with v8 preset Canadian Musician contributor Jeff Gunn brings us his latest interview with a fellow six-string slinger: Thomas Rhett guitarist Nathan Whitney.

Imagine covering one of your favourite artists night after night in a local club. Now imagine getting a call to board a plane, and 12 hours later, starting rehearsals with that artist in preparation for a major tour. For Toronto-based guitarist Nathan Whitney, this dream for many became his reality. Over the past year, Whitney went from playing Thomas Rhett covers to playing with the man himself on stadium, arena, and festival stages throughout North America.


Submissions Now Open for 2018 Project WILD Albertan Artist Development Program

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Project-WIld-winners-2017Heading into the third year of accelerating the careers of Albertan artists, Alberta Music and WILD 953 have once again come together to launch the 2018 season of Project WILD. Submissions are now open and run until Friday, April 20 at 12 p.m. MT.

Project WILD is an artist development program designed to educate, promote, develop, and launch the careers of Alberta’s most up and coming country and roots artists. After the jury deliberation of hundreds of entries, the Top 12 finalists of the program will be selected based on musicianship, vocal performance, songwriting ability, and live performance. These Albertan artists will each receive a $5,000 development grant and participate in Project WILD’s music industry boot camp – an intense one-week workshop to excel their skills in performance, songwriting, marketing, media strategy, music business, music accounting, tour strategy, and social media.


#CMPremiere – Astrocolor’s “Smell of Acid (feat. Tyler Rowe)”

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Astrocolor performs and records live electronic music, fusing digital and organic sounds in a sonic collage that includes everything from funky house to balearic to breakbeat to ambient and more. In this exclusive #CMPremiere, we’re sharing the track “Smell of Acid (feat. Tyler Rowe)” from the third and final EP of their self-titled trilogy, available soon via Softtone/eOne.


A Conversation with Guitarist James Bryan

Monday, March 19th, 2018

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Longtime Canadian Musician contributor Jeff Gunn sits down with guitarist James Bryan, who since beginning his career with The Philosopher Kings has gone on to perform alongside a who’s who of international talent.

Sitting across from one of Canada’s most talented guitarists and songwriters, it’s hard not to feel inspired. That was the case while talking solo guitar and songwriting with James Bryan. His professional career stretches back to the 1990s, when he found success in Juno Award-winning group The Philosopher Kings. Since then, he has garnered a Latin Grammy for writing and production on Nelly Furtado’s Mi Plan, performed at the Princess Diana Memorial Concert at Wembley Stadium, shared the stage with Sir Elton John, Kanye West, and Pharrell, and worked with the likes of Jason Mraz and James Blunt. And the list goes on…


Halifax Pop Explosion Now Accepting Artist Submissions

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Tokyo Police Club at HPX  [Photo: Chris Smith]

Tokyo Police Club at HPX [Photo: Chris Smith]

Halifax Pop Explosion, one of the east coast’s premier new music festivals, is now accepting artist submissions from acts who wish to play the 2018 edition of the festival. This year’s Halifax Pop Explosion is being held from Oct. 17-20, 2018.

Artists interesting in apply are asked to include a hi-Res photo, MP3s, links to video/streaming/social media sites, and a stage plot.

Earlybird fee is $20 until March 31, 2018 and the regular fee is $25 until submissions close on May 18, 2018.


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