What a busy Time! I’ve had interviews galore over the 2 weeks before my vacation, which of course means tons of great articles for you guys!
I’ll be honest. I tried to get this banged out before I started my vacation but there was really a lot going on. And trying to get this done while on holidays, impossible. Now, you’d think that with visiting family and being in the country, there would be time for writing. But with walks, drives to the beach, cross-stitch over chatting and cups of tea, a family wedding and well, just plain ol’ North Mountain living, writing was really hard. I won’t apologize. It was wonderful.
I would like to send out a couple of shout outs today.
First of all, long time friend of the blog (and “Bluenoser”) Andrew Frelick will be playing at the HUGE Cavendish Beach Music Festival in P.E.I this summer! I couldn’t go to Nova Scotia without mentioning SOME kind of east coast country news. He is confirmed to play the Emerging Artist’s Stage at the festival which is held from July 7-9 in Cavendish, P.E.I. The festival always has an amazing line-up of Canadian and American talent and this year Andrew is on the roster! I couldn’t be happier for him.
Someone else I’ve interviewed before has also had A LOT going on. Codie Prevost just released a brand new single. “You Won’t Sleep Tonight” is a fantastic song (so make sure you go get it) and it’s available on all digital media outlets. But as if releasing a new single wasn’t enough, he, wife Ashley and daughter Lyriq welcomed baby Everly Rae Prevost in to the world on May 27.
I KNOW! Sorry boys. I still have that “girl gene” and babies make me go silly. I try to keep it to a minimum so humour me. I’m going to try to find some time to catch up with Codie over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully this busy dad can fit me in!
And last, but certainly not least…I would like to thank the Habitation New Horizons Club of Port Wade, NS. My mom and I took in their Monday night Jam Session and had a great time! I promise I will brush up on my singing skills and belt out a few the next time I’m there (God help you all).
If you have never visited rural Nova Scotia, I recommend it. The people are friendly and hospitable. And if you are there in September, Centreville Community Hall does an AMAZING big breakfast every 3rd Saturday of the month until June. I should know…I had one the morning I left. Although I wasn’t born and raised in Nova Scotia, I always feel like I have been. My mom was and I always felt like she made sure we knew this part of who we are. I’m sure Halifax is lovely but I’ll take the valley or the bay shore over that any day.
A lot of new music has been coming out lately! It’s almost impossible to keep up! I try to put as much new music on the playlists as I can so you guys can take in the latest and greatest. So, let’s get started.
Canadian country music artists have been churning out some fantastic work as of late and this band is no different. When I was offered the opportunity to listen to the debut album of one of the hottest bands to watch, how could I say no.
It is no secret that I am a huge supporter of River Town Saints. This freshman project, which released on June 9th, is really the epitome of what you can expect from this band; it’s light-hearted and fun.
The band, which hails from Ottawa, is made up of Chris Labelle, Chris McComb, Jeremy Barton, Jordan Potvin and Daniel DiGiacomo and they are SUPER social media heavy. If you like a good chuckle, you should follow them, they are hilarious. This aside, their new album is great! I really enjoyed it.
You can expect to find a couple of familiar songs on the album (“Cherry Bomb”, “A Little Bit Goes A Long Way” and “Bonfire”) but there is some really good new material on there for you to sink your teeth in to. Songs like “How I Got To You” and “Hangover It” – which is this upbeat song that is basically about the age-old saying ‘I’ll never drink again‘, really reminds you of the good time that you can expect when you see this band live. “Friday Night” has this great rock sound to it. How would I describe it? Take the movie “Dazed and Confused”, write a song about it and voila. And I like it! But wait….what is this? A ballad? “Woke Up Like This” is a slow song about falling in love unexpectedly after one night. I LOVED hearing a slow song from them. I only wish I could have gotten at least one more.
If you are looking for an album to sit around on the deck and have a few beers with your friends with – this is it. Make sure you pick it up!
You will absolutely recognize her if you are a follower of contemporary Canadian country music. Tareya Green used to be a part of the well-known and critically acclaimed duo, Autumn Hill. At the end of last year, she and partner Mike Robins amicably went their separate ways and this Calgary native is now launching her solo career. Tareya took some time out of her busy schedule to tell me about herself, her new solo project and her single “Summer Wheels”, that was released to digital media on June 2.
This was the very first time I’ve had the opportunity to chat with her. She was so friendly! Although she is originally from Calgary, she hasn’t lived there for a number of years. “I’m like a gypsy. I’m back and forth so much that we are looking into motor homes.” She is contemplating returning to Calgary to spend some time with her family. I asked her what it was like moving from Calgary to Toronto because the two cities are so different. “It was pretty irrational,” Tareya started, “I actually just kind of packed a backpack and got on a plane and I moved here with no plan at all. I didn’t have a place to stay, I barely had any money in the bank. I just stayed in a hotel until I found a short-term lease and I started writing.” She commented that it was a quick but easy decision to make.
She got her beginnings when her parents bought her a karaoke machine in grade four. She would flip the tape over and write her own songs to the backing instrumentals. She would write harmonies and learned some basic piano chords so she could accompany herself. When YouTube came out, this gave Tareya a way to share her music, “I’ve always been a really shy person. So YouTube was this amazing way I could reach people in Macedonia and the United States and it was worldwide. I was getting people who wanted to hear me sing and it encouraged me to post more and more videos.” Not only was this a comfortable way for her to share her music, it was also how she was discovered by a record label.
After all of the success that Autumn Hill had experienced, I wondered why she would want to leave. “When I initially moved to Toronto, it was to pursue a solo path and I’ve always imagined myself as just a solo artist. But I learned so much about music and writing and the industry and even being in a partnership with Mike for five years. I Just learned so much and I am grateful for that entire experience.” There was, of course, also a question of timing. For Tareya, this naturally felt like the next step. Despite this, you have to wonder what feelings someone goes through when moving into a solo career after being part of a group or a duo. What is exciting? What is nerve-wracking? Tareya said, “It’s so thrilling. I’m really embarking on my life-long childhood dream right now and…I don’t even have words for it.” I can hear that Tareya is beaming as she says this. “I’m so excited and I’m a little intimidated by the whole process and I just really am discovering who I am as an artist.”
When I think about starting this blog, the possibilities were and are endless. Because I’m on my own, I get to do what I want. In some ways, I understand what it’s like to have the world completely opened to you. Tareya said, “This record is really interesting because I’m starting to really explore my own artistry and what’s inside and what I want to say to the world and share my experiences and get really creative with lyrics and production and mixing genres. I’m overwhelmed by the freedom and possibility of this record.” For her, understandably, this feels like the very beginning. I asked her what her feelings were going into this project, knowing that her fans associate her with being part of Autumn Hill. She said, “I really hope that fans aren’t sad or upset or they don’t feel let down. I hope they can identify with the journey. I hope that they love the music that I create on my own and not in a duo.” This album does put a bit of extra pressure on Tareya, as a lot of the decision-making she is doing on her own. There is a lot of trial and error involved. She admits, “While that’s really liberating, in a way it’s a lot more stressful because I want to make the best, most beautiful music possible.” What Tareya writes, comes from the heart,”I want everything on there to be honest. I don’t want to put a line in there that isn’t true for the sake of telling a story.”
Before the project got started, she decides to take a bit of “me” time. “The gratitude I have in my heart for Autumn Hill is overwhelming. But after the summer festivals finished off last Summer, we did so many, a crazy amount of fly dates (30-40 in 2 months), which was awesome, I’ve never experienced a summer like that. But once that was done, Mike and I had a good chat about what the future, the near future anyway, was going to hold for the both of us. Then I decided I was going to take 2 months, maybe up until December and just kind of not really focus on anything. Just totally disconnect from everything really.” This meant Facebook, Twitter, the works. She needed to re-centre. When it came down to it, “It felt like the right thing to do. The timing was just so.”
Then along comes “Summer Wheels”. If you haven’t picked up this single yet (released to digital on June 2), you should! With Florida beaches and the ocean being the inspiration behind this song, it’s bound to be a summer favourite (and it’s making the Craven playlist). Tareya’s husband happens to have a penchant for classic car auctions. So, every January, they head down south. Over the last couple of years she has fallen in love with the ocean. “We always get to drive these awesome classic cars down the coast of Florida. It was such a different experience for me.” It was very far removed from mountains, prairies and cowboys. “I really wanted to capture that moment in my life.”Summer Wheels” is just the beginning, as Tareya is working on a full album which is expected to release in September.
While being a member of Autumn Hill, Tareya played a huge number of shows. I asked her if there was anything that still made her nervous about going on stage. “For me, if I’m not nervous, I should be nervous because if I don’t have nerves I feel like I would put on a terrible show and be so boring!” She laughed. “Walking up the side stage stairs and then walking on to the stage is probably the most nerve-wracking part. But once you get out there and I start singing, that’s where my comfortable place is. I don’t think anyone is REALLY comfortable in front of 5, 10 or 30 thousand people but where I feel at home is in the music and in the songs.”
Her career hasn’t left for much spare time over the last few years, “I’m not very good at spare time.” But when she does get some, you can usually find her with her fur babies. “I love my dogs. They’re my life. If I’m not writing or in the studio or driving across the country, I am at the dog park or just playing with my dogs.” Her pups are from Nashville’s Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue (www.proverbs1210rescue.org) “I’m a crazy dog lady!” She laughed.
Well, if you are wondering what Tareya is up to this summer. She will be in the studio working on her album and will be doing a lot of “Summer Wheels” promotion work. Keep up with this amazing lady on her socials:
Without further delay…here is “Summer Wheels” by Tareya!