This week, British singer/songwriter Jake Bugg played the Commodore Ballroom on the North American leg of his Solo Acoustic Tour. Supported by Scottish singer Nina Nesbitt, who warmed up the audience before the young headliner took the stage. Although only 24 year old, Jake Bugg is touring in support of his fourth studio album, the autumn 2017 release, Hearts That Strain. The mostly acoustic release follows with this acoustic solo show, the hour plus set covered songs from all four albums plus an excellent cover of Neil Young’s “Old Man”.
The bare staging, suited the stripped down performance, just Bugg with his guitar and a mic stand. A roadie switching out guitars every few songs, and the occasional sips from a red cup were all that broke up the setlist. Jake Bugg has a youthful charm and charisma that comes across while singing, and fills the room. The audience appeared to include a number of expats and fans who hung on and sung along with every tune. A man of few words, Bugg, politely thanked the audience after tunes and told the titles and albums of some, which adds to his charm; a polite , British young man who breaks into his signature heartfelt folk/country inspired tunes.
Jack Bugg Solo Acoustic Tour continues around North America this week before heading down under to Australia, followed by an Asian leg.
Light Organ Records is a Vancouver indie record label with a goal to bring attention to the best, raw West Coast talent.A new project by Vancouver songwriter/producer Andy Bishop fits right into that goal, for The Railtown Sessions Bishop invited his favourite local artists to record four original songs at Light Organ’s Railton studios.
For the first Railtown Sessions album, four artists, Sarah Jane Scouten, Johnny 99, Rob Butterfield and Debra-Jean Creelman, backed by the same crack band, to record four original songs each. The result is Light Organ Record’s first Railtown Sessions, a raw yet polished collection of each songwriter’s style and voice.
The recordings will be released digitally over the next five months with a series of intimate concerts at Light Organ’s performance space, with a limited amount of public tickets available exclusively through social media. Each performance will be live streamed through Light Organ’s website and broadcast on Roundhouse Radio. The release shows happen in July, August, October and November then all the musicians join together for a wrap up show at the Fox Cabaret in December.
Sarah Jane Scouten is the first to kick off the series on July 13th with her exclusive performance at Light Organ’s live space in Railtown. The Canadian Folk Music Award nominated singer/songwriter who’s fond inspiration in Willie P. Bennett, Hank Williams and Stan Rogers and echo they sounds in her old-time style and pure twang-infused vocals.Catch her Railtown Session July 13th or at the Vancouver Folk Festival July 15th-17th. Buy the EP on release at lightorganrecords.com/store
Independent Vancouver artist, Sophia Danai recently released her second album Love Royale. The result of two years of working with a number of renowned, award-winning collaborators to advance her producing and writing. The singer/songwriter finds the ability to express her own emotions and experience through her music a cathartic experience. As she finds herself empowered by her favourite music she hopes her own music can carry the same message to listeners.
The lead single, “Something To Nothing” is a sultry, soulful track that is co-produced by Ms Danai and her drummer/producer Jon Holisko in addition the single has been remixed by Anthony Walker, Jonathan Hirsch, SNAZ and Diana Boss. The original track plus the club friendly remixes can be heard on soundcloud.com or check out the video below.
If you like what you hear and want to check out Sophia Danai in person, she is performing at The Biltmore for her Love Royale album release on April 1st.
Advance tickets are on sale now, $15 at Highlife, Zulu, Red Cat or $20 at the door.
This week, Academy Award winning Irish singer/songwriter/actor Glen Hansard made his way to Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre. As lead singer with The Frames along with starring in the film ONCE, which lead to the formation of The Swell Season with his co-star Markéta Irglová, Hansard’s music has reached a wide and varied audience, reflected in the enthusiastic crowd braving a stormy night to soak up the sweet sounds.
A simple spotlight shining on Hansard, on his own, opened the set then the band members joined him onstage, gradually filling the stage with more lush sounds as the show progressed. The audience contributed to the set too, making use of the Orpheum’s acoustics to join in on a number of tracks. The participation was punctuated by the spontaneous bursts of applause as the audience boisterously enjoyed the show.
Glen Hansard’s tour continues around North America through to December 1st, if you get the chance, go see him.
On the eve of the start of the 2014 Squamish Valley Music Festival comes the announcement of Jess Cullen as the winner of Virgin Mobile Presents Squamish Valley Music Festival and Galaxie’s Rising Stars talent competition. The Australian-born singer/songwriter has won the opportunity of the summer, a chance to perform in from of the Festival’s 35,000 fans, in addition to a $3000 cash prize.
Contestants submitted videos to the Rising Stars talent competition online and thousands of fans voted for their favourite artist. Five judges made the final decision in selecting the grand prizewinner.
Executive Producer of the Festival Paul Runnals says, “We had some absolutely outstanding applicants this year, it was an incredibly difficult decision but the artistry Jess Cullen presented in her video submission was what really stood out to the judges. We are very excited to welcome her to the 2014 Festival lineup.”
Jess Cullen grew up in Australia, spending her early years with a dusty untuned piano and her parent’s old country albums, to eventually pursue a University music degree while preparing for the release of her first album. She spent five years touring England and Europe, before deciding to plant her folky/rock roots in Vancouver. Jess’ melodies on her self-titled debut album have been praised for the sophisticated balance of catchy classic rock tunes, softer introspective folk, pop sensibility, and witty lyrics. Her rich and powerful voice, along with her passion for songwriting, ultimately won over the hearts of the fans and judges, as well as the Rising Stars title. She is scheduled to perform on Friday, August 8th on the Meadow Stage at the Festival.
The 2014 Virgin Mobile Presents Squamish Valley Music Festival, headlined by Bruno Mars, Arcade Fire and EMINEM, takes place this weekend, August 8, 9 & 10 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Centennial Fields in Squamish.
Australian DJ/Producer/Singer/Songwriter Anna Lunoe spun her way into the hearts of the crowd at Shine Nightclub in Vancouver late on Thursday night. A small but enthusiastic crowd eagerly awaited the performer to take her turn on the decks. While it appeared some headphone issues caused her initial few tracks to sound a bit off, it didn’t seem to deter those filing on to the dancefloor and by the time she changed her headset she was in perfect form. A great mix of familiar samples from the 90’s and 00’s made the tunes accessible and catchy, a perfect way to warm up to the audience. Once it was time for Anna to play some of her own original tracks the house had filled considerably as had the dance floor. It’s hard to tell if the energy from the audience fed her’s or if her own infectious dancing behind the booth fed the audience’s through the night. This was a return visit to the city for Anna Lunoe, after playing an opening set for The Weeknd’s two sold out shows this summer at the Orpheum. She continues to tour, including a set at Coachella Music Festival later this spring, in promotion of her recent single release, Breathe and collaboration with Flume, I Met You, .
For a taste of Anna Lunoe’s music listen to Breathe & I Met You below:
The road to success is a rocky one for most aspiring music artists, Victoria’s Dougal Bain McLean has taken that literally in his performance of his latest single. The roots-rock singer is one of the Top 20 finalists in the 2013 Peak Performance Project. Dougal aims to make the most of reaching this Peak and is presently recording his first full length album. In his recently released video for his track “Four Walls” he documents a hike up one of the famed Lions peaks near Vancouver and performing the tune upon reaching the Peak. With a melodic, gritty voice and sound that matches the rugged, wild beauty of British Columbia, Dougal has an ‘everyman’ appeal that’s sure to reach a wide audience.
While recording album the singer will be taking part in the Peak Performance Project showcases at Fortune Sound Club on October 10th (showcases happen every Thursday until October 17th) . Over the project’s five year history a number of well respected BC acts have gained exposure and acclaim as finalists; Beekeeper, Stef MacPherson, Kyprios, Vince Vicarro, and Redgy Blackout are just a few of the past performers. Watch and listen for Dougal Bain McLean as he scales new heights in his career.