April 18, 2015
 
  Showcase


Canadian Musician magazine showcases unsigned Canadian acts in our Showcase section. We publish this section online to help further promote Canadian artists.

To have your band considered for Showcase, go to www.sonicbids.com/cmshowcase.

The Midnight Sons Band

The Midnight Sons Band

What: Rock
Where: Whitehorse, Yukon
Visit: www.themidnightsons.ca

Slight shades of the jam band scene and the Allman Brothers abound in the sound of Whitehorse’s The Midnight Sons Band. The group, formed in late 2012, employs melodic guitar, soulful vocals, and occasional time signature bending drums to create a sound that is at once dynamic and unique, drawing from contemporary rock, blues, and folk music. Earlier this year, The Midnight Sons Band celebrated the release of their debut record, Traction.

The album’s title track serves as the perfect complement to the Yukon’s seemingly endless summer days while they flex their muscles a little more prominently on “Next Time Around” and “Contraband.” Following in the footsteps of acts like The Sheepdogs, The Midnight Sons Band could be destined for a career of rock and roll glory.

Ellen Doty

Ellen Doty

What: Pop, Jazz
Where: Calgary, AB
Visit: www.ellendoty.com

The first adjective likely to come to the listener’s mind upon hearing Calgary’s Ellen Doty is “smooth.” On her full-length debut album Gold, released in May 2014, Doty’s voice effortlessly and almost breathlessly glides over the smooth jazz influence heard in songs such as “I Think I’m In Love” and “Perfect Day,” the latter of which really showcases Doty’s impressive vocal range. Last year, Doty had the opportunity to entertain audiences all over Canada on her national tour, which saw her play 30 shows over six weeks.

Doty’s history with music is relatively extensive, dating back to pre-school where she was a member of her church choir before eventually moving on to study vocal jazz at Ottawa’s Carleton University. Gold marks the beginning of what should prove to be a long career in music

The BelleRegards

The BelleRegards

What: Folk
Where: Toronto, ON
Visit: www.belleregards.com

Formed in 2012 by members that met at the Harris Institute, Toronto folk band The BelleRegards have been making waves worldwide thanks to their high-energy live shows and infectious songs. The band’s spirited material draws equal influence from the worlds of bluegrass, country, and folk, earning them comparisons to neo-traditionalist acts like the Punch Brothers.

They released their debut effort, Nothing To Lose, in 2013, supporting the album with shows throughout Canada at prestigious music festivals like Mariposa. In 2014, they had the opportunity to venture overseas for performances in Glasgow, London, and Cardiff. Given the momentum that the group built with their debut album, potentially greater things lay in store when The BelleRegards drop their sophomore effort later this year.

The Cardboard Crowns

The Cardboard Crowns

What: Ska
Where: Ottawa, ON
Visit: www.thecardboardcrowns.com

With a balanced mix of ska, reggae, and punk rock, Toronto band The Cardboard Crowns offer something for a wide array of listeners, with lofty themes of social injustice set to infectious beats that boast a passion for life.

The current line-up of the group was solidi ed in 2009, and since then the band has been forging a buzz-worthy name for themselves. The Cardboard Crowns released their debut album, Global Citizen, in October 2014. The nine-track album leads o with “Pulling Teeth,” a thoughtful slice of a rock anthem before moving into high-energy, ska-influenced territory on “Global Citizen” and “Sun and The Stars.”

The Cardboard Crowns’ world-class sound adheres tightly to the well-established tradition of upbeat ska music while also pushing it forward with a unique voice.

Hats Off

Pyramids On Mars

Pyramids On Mars

What: Rock
Where: Hamilton, ON
Visit: www.pyramidsonmars.com

Although the music of Hamilton’s Pyramids On Mars takes on a heavy influence from guitar great Joe Satriani, guitarist Kevin Estrella also infuses his output with progressive and electronic elements, lending an otherworldly feel to the band’s debut album.

The more progressive elements of Rush can be heard interwoven into Pyramids on Mars’  music, keeping the listener engaged with time signature changes and virtuoso playing anchored in interesting melodies. This has earned them airplay in markets ranging from Canada and the U.S. to Brazil, the Netherlands, and the U.K. If anything, it is taking the road less travelled – in this case, guitar-driven, instrumental music – that helps Pyramids On Mars stand out from the plethora of other groups vying for a piece of the prog rock pie.

Battle for Rome

Amelie Patterson

Amelie Patterson

What: Folk, Blues
Where: Banff , AB
Visit: www.ameliepattersonmusic.com

Amelie Patterson is a Western Canadian singer-songwriter whose music traverses territories from blues to folk to rock.

A native of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, she learned to play guitar around the intimate con nes of the camp re, no doubt helping lend a gritty, soulful tinge to her music. Most impressive is her ability to tailor her vocals to the accompanying music. On tracks such as “Don’t Ask Me” and “Lights Down Low,” Patterson’s vocal approach is delicate, matching the accompanying cello and violin while she proves equally capable of cutting loose on songs like “Mirage.”

Patterson recently completed a six-week music residency at the Ban Centre for the Arts and has also participated in the VIA Rail Artist on Board program. She may very well be one of the next big things to come out of Canada.

Dont’ Ask

Amasic

Amasic

What: Pop punk
Where: Laval, QC
Visit: www.facebook.com/AmasicOfficial

For a group that has only existed since 2013, Quebec-based pop-punk band Amasic has already racked up an impressive list of achievements.

Since releasing their debut EP, The Things We Say, in March 2014, the group has performed dates on the Vans Warped Tour while also playing a number of summer festivals throughout Quebec and Ontario.

Amasic has received support from a number of high-profile groups, including fellow Quebecrooted pop-punk outfit Simple Plan, with whom they have already shared stages. The group was also given the opportunity to pen a trio of songs with Simple Plan members Pierre Bouvier, Chuck Comeau, and Sebastien Lefebvre.

Amasic’s music videos for their tracks “All For Myself,” “Another Night,” and “You’re A Freak” have seen extensive airtime on MusiquePlus in their home province and the three have also accumulated more than a combined 330,000 views on YouTube.

Given how impressive their resume is for a new and independent act, the sky could be the limit for Amasic moving forward.

Double Helix

DoubleHelix

What: Jazz
Where: North Vancouver, BC
Visit: www.facebook.com/doublehelixjazz

It only takes a few seconds of a typical track from British Columbia jazz guitar duo Double Helix for members Tony and Peter Chotem to stun listeners with their impressive instrumental prowess.

It was their father, Neil Chotem – an accomplished Montreal composer and musician in his own right – who instilled in the brothers the importance of originality and who also encouraged their development both as players and as composers.

That education seems to have served the brothers Chotem well as their versatility takes centre stage on bluesy tracks like “Bluesoph,” while other songs such as “Mermel’s Moment” and “Sigrid” are relatively straightforward jazz numbers that showcase some impressive chops.

The duo keeps themselves busy as active members of the thriving Vancouver jazz scene. Following performances in Salt Lake City and at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Double Helix embarked on a Canadian tour that saw them touch down in many cities in Central and Western Canada. Expect more progress from this pair in the near future.

Sigrid 3

Max Tell

MaxTell

What: Children’s Music
Where: White Rock, BC
Visit: www.maxtell.ca

With more than a quarter century of songwriting and performance  experience under his belt, it should surprise few that British Columbian children’s entertainer Max Tell has amassed such a loyal following.

Aside from festival appearances throughout North America, South America, Asia, and Australia, Max has also received recognition in six different international songwriting competitions.

Among his achievements, “The Kid Who Hid His Head In A Box” placed  second in the Royal City Literary Arts Society’s Write-On Contest this year while “Cat In My Hoody” was both a 2012 Great American Song Contest award winner and a runner-up for the 2013 Australian Songwriters Association Contest. In 2010, “Cow In The Cowitchen” was a semi-finalist in CBC’s Canada Writes Competition. Max was also one of three Canadian storytellers selected for the TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour in 2013.

Max Tell’s ability to connect with children is undeniable. It is simply a matter of time before he joins the ranks of other illustrious children’s entertainers cherished by those of all ages.

Crazy Crazy Zoo Song

Olivia Wik

SP_CM_SeptOct14olivia

What: Country
Where: Edmonton, AB
Visit: www.oliviawik.com

For an artist that hasn’t even reached age 20 yet, Edmonton’s Olivia Wik is making mighty big waves in the Canadian country music industry.

Having performed at the Canadian Country Music Awards, the Calgary Stampede, and the Big Valley Jamboree, Wik is quickly becoming an in-demand sensation. She has written no less than 100 songs with 40 different songwriters in the last three years and had two of those (“Alberta Pride” and “Taste The Sun”) used in the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Off The Beaten Palate. More recently, Wik helped write the title track for Be Yourself, the Every Woman Organization compilation CD, alongside notable figures Dan Hill and Sophie Serafino.

A three-time Alberta Country Music Award nominee and a 2014 Edmonton Music Award nominee, we believe that it won’t be long before national accolades begin rolling in for this talented songwriter.

Olivia Wik – Firework

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