COVID-19 Hiatus

To all our valued listeners and guests,

Song Talk Radio will be on a (hopefully short) hiatus. The station where we record the podcast is pretty small, and our guests are literally within spitting distance of the hosts and others.

In the meantime, we’ll be re-publishing some of our favourite theme episodes in our Throwback Thursday Themeshows series!

You can also take a listen to our vast archive of shows, read our blog, and take advantage of isolation and get some songwriting or recording done!


Michael, Neel, Phil, Don, and Vanessa

Fresh Content

Show date:  Jul. 12, 2020

Michael talks about what it’s like being an established musician but being a beginner at home recording.

Actor, playwright, filmmaker, and musician, Michael Louis Johnson has lived in Toronto since 1990. He spent seven years as right-hand man to Big Rude Jake; he blowed-up on the silver screen in cult hit Bride of Chucky and was himself a principal subject of 2010 documentary, A Different Path. His punk band The New Kings opened for Rancid, the Fleshtones and New Model Army. When not touring the globe playing trumpet w/ Lemon Bucket Orkestra, MLJ is a notorious busker and bartender, (NOW Mag Best Bartender, 2013). He leads the ArtSpin, playing trumpet while riding his bicycle; is the creator of popular democratic vinyl night, D-cide on the B-side; fronts a giant improvised brassband called Rambunctious, and his quintet Red Rhythm holds a weekly jazz residency at the Communist’s Daughter since 2003. He released a solo ep in 2017, Half Moon, Half Crazy, and continues to be creative during this pandemic.

Show date:  Jun. 28, 2020

Kitchener, Ontario-based singer-songwriter and storyteller Jesse Parent talks about the danger of his song “For a Moment” becoming a conventional love song, and how to avoid that!

We talked about:

  • How to do banter well when you’re performing
  • How Jesse went from one-draft songs to editing all the songs
  • “Write with your heart, edit with your brain”
  • How easy it is to let your songs devolve into love songs, if you’re not careful
  • How to play harmonica and guitar at the same time well (hint: if you can sing and play guitar, you can do this)
  • Writing to an unconventional song structure
  • Taylor guitars

Download the lyrics to For a Moment to follow along.

Show date:  Jun. 26, 2020

So are people still writing protest songs? How do the protest songs of the ’60-’70s compare to the songs by Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar?

When you start songwriting and your goal is a protest song, how do you start? Vanessa stops by to lend her views.

We talked about:


Show date:  Jun. 18, 2020

Neel, Mike, Blair, and Phil

One of our favourite guests drops by to give practical advice on performing. Blair Packham – songwriter, teacher, performer and 80’s hitmaker – talks about the best practices to entertain and present your songs to an audience, live or on-line.

Blair also shows off his dulcimer, which is very impressive.

Blair is the host and co-creator of SongStudio, a week-long songwriting workshop which pairs emerging songwriters with industry-connected mentors. So he talks about the first virtual, on-line version of that too.


So… give it a listen.