Victoria Prepares for Beautiful: The Carol King Musical

Presented by Broadway In Victoria Beautiful—The Carole King Musical is the Tony & Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical about the early life and career of the legendary and groundbreaking singer/songwriter, premieres at the Royal Theatre, Victoria for 5 performances, January 31 – February 2, 2020. 

“Carole King might be a native New Yorker, but her story of struggle and triumph is as universal as they come – and her music is loved the world over,” producer Paul Blake said, “I am thrilled that Beautiful continues to delight and entertain audiences around the globe, in England, Japan and Australia and that we are entering our fifth amazing year of touring the U.S and CANADA. We are so grateful that over five million audience members have been entertained by our celebration of Carole’s story and her timeless music.”

Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.   Beautiful features an array of the greatest hits from the American songbook, written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” as well as the title song.

Tickets for Beautiful – The Carole King Musical are on sale now. Visit rmts.bc.ca, call 250-386-6121 or visit The Royal or McPherson Theatre Box Offices in person.  Broadway In Victoria presents the show for 5 performances only: Friday 8pm (Jan. 31st), Saturday 2pm & 8pm; Sunday 2pm & 7:30pm.

For more information and a video sneak peek, please visit BeautifulOnBroadway.com

Corey Hart Never Surrenders

Corey Hart with Glass Tiger – Rogers Arena – June 25, 2019

Corey Hart wrapped up the Never Surrender Tour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. His first tour after over two decades away from the music spotlight was supported by Glass Tiger, themselves celebrating the 33rd anniversary of their debut album.

Glass Tiger

As the early audience arrived, they were treated to a set filled with nostalgic hits from three of the original members of Glass Tiger. Alan Frew, who just two weeks prior to the start of the tour underwent surgery on a broken neck suffered in accident, was in fine form and voice. Covering the stage to reach out to their fans who were having a great time singing along to old favourites, plus a couple of new tracks, he built up the energy in the arena.

After a short intermission filled with other retro tracks, Corey Hart bounded on stage to a roar of approval from the now ample audience. The 2+ hours that followed were filled with an array of hits from the Montrealer’s catalogue. From the energy and engagement, you would never guess that the singer had taken a 22 year break from the stage to raise his family with wife (and back up singer) Julie Masse-Hart. While he made light of the fact that he, and we all, were older, he performed like he was years younger than his 57 years.

Corey Hart thanks his fans

However, there were moments of father-figure, maturity as he spoke passionately of his signature theme to Never Surrender and when speaking of his family. A couple of the more nurturing moments came with a couple of surprises. Mid-set the singer regrouped to a grand piano at the centre of the arena, to reach out to more audience members. At this time, he told how he’d had to cancel a 1987 tour and as a result the fan who’d won a meet-and-greet with the singer missed out on her prize. At the start of this tour, she’d reached out on Facebook to remind him of the long lost prize, she was at the show, so keeping true to his word he invited her to the stage to finally claim her meet-and-greet, 32 years later. At the opposite end of the fan spectrum, Corey was also joined onstage by a new supporter, 13 year old singer, Tyson, from the Sarah Mclachlan School of Music. Tyson blew the audience away with his powerful vocals on Goin’ Home.

Not letting any of his fan favourites slip past, the setlist was filled with sing-along tracks, and a couple of new songs from his latest EP, including First Rodeo, with Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew joining onstage to perform a part sung by Jim Cuddy on the record. Boy In The Box, Everything In My Heart, It Ain’t Enough, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Sunglasses At Night and, of course, Never Surrender, all found new life and old memories. Those old memories were joined by new ones from this stellar performance from a genuinely warm, and engaging performer, who seems to be back and ready to bring more music to his fans.

Never Surrender

Jake Bugg charms the Commodore Ballroom

Jake Bugg – April 1, 2018 – Commodore Ballroom

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”.

 

Jake BuggThe 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.

Check out jakebugg.com for more gigs and info.

Light Organ Record’s Railtown Sessions – July 13

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.

Sarah Jane Scouten
Sarah Jane Scouten

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

Friday Find : Vancouver Singer – Sophia Danai

SophiaHeader

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.

Glen Hansard Plays Vancouver

Glen Hansard – Orpheum Theatre – November 12, 2015

GlenHansard_IG_2015-11-14, 17 28 01This 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.

GlenHansard_IG_2015-11-14, 17 27 46A 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.

 

 

Jess Cullen wins Squamish Valley Music Festival Rising Star Contest

SquamishFest13On 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.

For the full line-up and more festival info visit SquamishFestival online and follow the Fest on Twitter @squamishfest  #vmsquamish & Facebook. Follow Jess” performance behind the scenes on Twitter @JessCullenMusic