Well it is Friday folks! HELLO WEEKEND! I have had one heck of a week and I plan to sleep in for the next 2 days. It has been a busy time.
Things have been moving along swimmingly for the blog! I am now an industry member of the Manitoba Country Music Association (MCMA), I’ve had almost 1000 views since August 3rd and the first t-shirt designs are ready to go! I couldn’t be happier with the successes that I have been having with this thing, and I owe it all to you guys! Thanks so much for your support of me and of new artists.
Now. On with the show!
A Salute to Soldiers:
There is an absolute connection between American country music artists and all branches of their military. On September 16th, Brantley Gilbert performed “One Hell Of An Amen” at Chattanooga Unite: A Tribute on the River to pay respect to the soldiers who lost their lives during a shooting at a military recruiting centre and a Navy-Marine training centre in Chattanooga, TN in July. Gilbert took a moment to honour the 5 victims and is quoted as saying, “Put your finger in the air one time. Tell ‘em you love ‘em, that you miss ‘em, and we’ll see ‘em again soon. God bless y’all, Chattanooga.” During the concert, Lorri Wyatt, widow of one of the victims, spoke to the crowd and thanked them for their support and generosity during this difficult time.”
Music City Walk Of Fame Inductees:
If you’ve never been to Nashville, one thing you should take the time to go and see is the Music City Walk of Fame. Located down town near Bridgestone Arena, It is home to a collection of over 65 polished stars that honour artists, industry executives and others that have made a contribution to the music industry and have some connection to Nashville. Two of the latest inductees to the walk will be country music legend Johnny Cash, and Texan songstress, Miranda Lambert. In a recent press release, Lambert thanked the City of Nashville and the Music City Walk of Fame for the honour. She will be joining the ranks of powerhouse female artists such as Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire. That is a pretty esteemed list. Congratulations on this prestigious award, Miranda!
Clearing Things Up:
Blake Shelton is pretty much fodder for news every day (especially considering I am a die-hard BS’er). There has been a lot of rumours and speculation about his love life and downward spiral over the last few days. From Gwen Stefani to Rhianna to needing rehab, Shelton took to Twitter this week to put things back in check for his followers. The first one was to clear up is apparently blossoming love life. Shelton tweeted this to 13.5 million followers:
Of course, we mustn’t forget his clever response to hearing that he has also hit “rock bottom” and is in desperate need of rehab:
I will give him this much; even if all of these rumours are true, the guy has one heck of a sense of humour about it! Give ‘em hell, Blake!
Even my husband, who would not be what you would call “countrified”, has an amazing belt buckle. Now, I should be more specific here. Belt buckles in general came in to use around the 6th or 7th century. I am referring to the “cowboy” belt buckle.
During the civil war, military buckles were used and they had a huge part in the way that cowboy buckles looked. However, cowboy buckles themselves did not become popular until the early 20th century, when they began to grace Hollywood with their presence.
Most buckles told a story of the wearer. They had their name on it or some symbol of who they were and who their family was. Sometimes it even had a symbol of their occupation on it. Contemporary buckles continue to do this. Many buckles have flags on them or patriotic text so that the wearer can show their allegiance. Some buckles have the wearers name or maybe it depicts a prize they received in a contest.
These interesting pieces can be made from a variety of materials. From pewter, to silver, to copper or even bone, the varying designs and styles make them very collectible to some…including my Dad. So much so, that he had a bar designed SPECIFICALLY to house his collection:
I was first told about TwoShine County just before their latest single dropped. Not being from Calgary and being relatively new to this whole writing thins, I hadn’t heard of them. Honestly, I am sure glad I did hear of them! These 2 guys have incredible voices and a sound that is spectacular.
Having been acquaintances for more than 10 years, Daron Schofield and Dennis Hann tended to cross paths in more of a songwriter/producer and artist kind of way. Dennis’ punk/pop band at one time had one of the most requested songs on Calgary radio (“Rockstar”), which had been produced by Daron. After repeatedly coming across one another, the relationship eventually took on a student/ teacher one when Dennis decided he wanted to transition in to country music.
Daron is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia and moved to Calgary. His passion for music comes from his parents, who were also musicians. Over the years, Daron has established himself as a respected and accomplished producer and songwriter in many circles. That all aside, TwoShine County and his relationship with Dennis has become his focus.
Dennis also has his family to thank for his musical roots. However, coming from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Calgary was a pretty big shock. He had success with his band “For The Weekend” but decided to eventually come back to his country roots.
Their new single “Love This Song” Is available on iTunes and has been serviced to Canadian radio. It has a great, light-hearted beat. In fact I listened to it a few times back-to-back because, well, it “felt good”. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to check them out! They have opened for the likes of Dean Brody, Emerson Drive and Kip Moore. They’ve even shared the stage with Blue Rodeo and the Sheepdogs.
These guys are very talented and were also awesome enough to answer some questions for me (which I always love). Here you go – “8 questions for TwoShine County”:
You are both from different communities. How did you end up in Calgary?
Daron: I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. That’s where my life and my music career started. I began my journey at a very young age, with many different musical instruments and it wasn’t long before I was playing in bands and writing songs. After my original project in Vancouver had run its course I was looking for a change of scenery and ended up moving to Calgary to start something new, with a completely blank slate. It wasn’t long before I was making connections and working in studios as a writer, session player and eventually a producer. I met Dennis when he was just a young lad. We ended up working together on a few projects and eventually came together to do some writing, which ended up becoming, TwoShine County.
Dennis: I was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. All of my roots in country music sprouted there, and it’s really where I discovered my love and passion for music. At only 15 years old, my family made the decision to move to Alberta to pursue a better life. Upon arriving in Calgary, feeling intimidated by the new big city, and not knowing anyone and having to start over, it really made me focus on my music as a way to cope with the adversity of the change. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the following years would take my dedication to music and song writing to an entirely new level. Upon growing into the music scene and community here, Calgary really started to feel like the right place to be, and to this day I still call Calgary home.
What are some of the things you miss about home?
Daron: I miss the rain, the ocean and the Vancouver Canucks. Haha. Yes, I am truly Canadian. I do miss the laid back lifestyle of the West Coast, but I haven’t changed who I am or where I come from, most people who meet me, often comment or ask, “You’re from the West Coast aren’t you?” All of my family is back in BC…..so it is tough being away from them too. I’m definitely due for a visit….can you say….radio tour???
Dennis: Growing up in St. John’s compared to Calgary, it really was like growing up in those “small towns” that you hear about. Everybody seemed to know everyone, and you really get to know every corner and area about the city. You really get attached to the feel and humble beginnings of a town like that, and that’s why I visit home every chance I get. I’ll proudly say I’ll be a true and true Newfoundlander until I die! And the ocean. Who wouldn’t miss that?!
What is your song writing process?
Dennis: Anything goes!!! Leave no stone unturned. To boldly go where no man has gone before. Haha. But seriously we have a great dynamic. There’s no set formula or starting place. One of us will bring a guitar riff to the table, or lyrics….or even just a little hook. Then we get started. It doesn’t take too long to decide whether we have something exciting going on or something that we just need to finish, so that we can get it off our plate. The main thing is, we never throw anything out before we’ve given it a chance.
Creative differences – how do you settle them?
Daron: We arm wrestle! Dennis works out a lot, but I have old man strength. Haha! Fortunately, when we get together to write, it really is a cohesive and easy process. We are both pulling towards the same vision, which definitely makes song writing a fun, creative and inspiring thing! We draw from ALL of our influences and it somehow comes together to create a unique and identifiable sound.
“Love This Song” was just released on Monday (Aug 31). When you send a new song out in to the world, what are some of the thoughts that go through your mind?
Dennis: Sending a song out really is like letting one of your babies out into the world, so nerve racking, but watching one of your creations grow and find legs, especially on radio, is an immensely rewarding experience. When we lock ourselves up in the studio to make new music, the excitement of knowing we are going to release these to the world and share them with music lovers is ever present. If only we could release a song a day.
When you are on the road, what one thing is a “must have” (BESIDES an instrument or an electronic device)?
Dennis: Daron typically takes the wheel for the entirety of our radio tours, leaving me to man the passenger seat. And if you’ve ever driven for hours across a country in a vehicle, you’d know the importance of having your trusty pillow handy! Catching much need z’s on the road between shows and cities is certainly a lot easier when you can use one of those babies! I just hope Daron doesn’t crash while I’m sleeping…
Daron: Coffee… Coffee… Coffee… Coffee. How else can I stay awake and keep my eyes on the road while Dennis is catching his beauty sleep? When we finally reach our destination, if there’s no good Family Guy episodes on the TV, then a good book is also a necessity!
Who is the grouchiest in the morning? Dennis
Who has the strangest sense of humour? I think we’re tied… Definitely tied.
Who has the most speeding tickets? Daron, but I am trying daily to beat that record.
Who is a better cook? On the road our trusty redhead friend Wendy is actually our personal daily chef.
Who takes the longest to get ready? If there’s a deadline….Dennis. If we have all the time in the world…..Daron
What is the last photo you took with your phone?
Daron: My cat, coolest cat on the planet.
Dennis: A strawberry cheesecake. God I love cheesecake.
Take the time to check TwoShine County on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TwoShineCounty), on Twitter (@TwoShineCounty) and their website (www.twoshinecounty.com). Here is a gift from me to you on this fantastic Friday – “Make It With You” by TwoShine County: