Here’s our first Throwback Thursday Themeshow episode from 2014, one of our first theme show all about bridges, with many song examples and how they were used in the songs.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Donna Linklater to our studio.
Soprano and composer/songwriter Donna Linklater studied opera with Sylvia Richardson at Brandon University. Toward the end of her studies, she began to focus on new music and was especially taken with the aleatoric music of John Cage which gave her greater freedom of creative expression.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our old friend Blair Packham to our studio.
The Toronto-based artist, first gained attention for his work with ’80’s power pop band The Jitters. He is now an acclaimed solo artist and musician. Blair released two strongly-reviewed solo albums before shifting his focus to composing music for TV and films, teaching songwriting at the post-secondary level and in numerous special event workshops, and co-hosting a long-running major market weekly radio show about music (“In the Studio” on the BellMedia talk radio network).…
This week SongTalk welcomed FEATURETTE to our studio.
The Toronto-based duo FEATURETTE, formed by singer Lexie Jay and drummer, Jon Fedorsen, makes emotionally-charged, heavy-hitting electro-pop music that has been met with international critical acclaim.
After receiving their first full recording grant from FACTOR Canada, the duo released their debut LP CRAVE in October, 2016.…
This week SongTalk welcomes… Christmas into our studio.
For our Xmas Eve show, we all brought in our favourite Christmas songs and had a good chat about what makes them so great. Featuring some classics and some new songs that you may not have heard before.…
Beige Shelter is an ambitious and eclectic five piece band from Toronto that brings fire, passion and a political conscience to their music. Through electrifying live performances, the band showcases both original songs and interesting twists on cover songs. Beige Shelter is currently working on their 2nd EP release.…
This week, SongTalk welcomed jazz pianist and teacher Steve Koven. Steve is a composer, performer, producer and educator. He has one of the longest standing trios in Canada, performing, touring and recording together for over 26 year. Aside from performing and recording with his trio – Steve Koven Trio – Steve also has other recording projects such as the Koven Collective and Koven & Law as well as Lazersuzan
We talked with Steve about:
- his process for writing
- how he communicates his song ideas to his bands
- the touring opportunities available through consulates and embassies
- where he finds inspiration for his music
- what improvising can bring to songwriting
This week, professional singer/songwriter, voice actor & co-founder of Silverthorn Studios recording, Taylor Abrahamse joined us in the studio at SongTalk World Headquarters. Taylor was a Top 40 finalist on Canadian Idol, has performed on stages across Ontario, has also written & produced musicals, and music for animated series and viral internet music through Corus, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Cross to our studio.
Robert Cross was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He started playing guitar at 14, just so he could learn how to write songs. Cross is the singer and guitarist of the original rock band Satin, who released their first album Drop Dead Gorgeous in 2019.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Matthew Reid to our studio. Matthew is a critically acclaimed, award winning composer for film, television, games and theatre. His funny songs have delighted almost a million people during his tenure as composer for Toronto’s world famous Second City comedy theatre.…
This week Song Talk welcomed Patrick Ballantyne back to our studio. Patrick is a veteran songwriter and musician who has worked with many top-selling artists such as The Trews, Meredith Shaw and Big Sugar.
On this episode, Patrick brought in a few songs from his upcoming new release so our Song Talk audience got to hear the premieres of two tracks – Vicious in Your Vanity and Beneath Your Skin.…
Singer-songwriter and Music Educator Ashley Braga came to visit us again on the tails of her first album for children, Ladder to the Moon. The album features traditional children’s songs with Ashley’s own twists, and totally original songs as well. Ladder to the Moon was produced by Song Talk Radio’s own Neel Modi.…
On this program Bruce, Neel, and Phil, (and Linda) each brought a three-chord song to share. We looked at what each song needed to do (if anything) to compensate for the lack of chord diversity. We talked about:
- Now You’re Leaving by Bruce Harrott
- The Joker by The Steve Miller Band
- BBC by Ming Tea
- Street Spirit by Radiohead
Listen to the whole show
Download the chord/lyric sheets to follow along:
Eric Walker is a singer/songwriter from Toronto and a member of the blakeley walker band. He was a founding member of the Toronto Songwriters Association which has met the second Saturday of the month for the past 17 years. We talked about:
- playing Harry Belafonte songs on the ukulele
- writing a song with 47 chords
- master songwriting teacher Andy Krehm
- composition teacher Gordon Dalimont
- SONG – “Umbrella” – looking back at the beginnings of a relationship
- SONG – “Renovations” – building and renovating love
- short chorus – good or bad?
Maybe you didn’t ask for it but we did it anyway – the 90’s song draft – this time with Canadian songwriters. Blair Packham sat in for a sick Bruce, Vanessa joined the gang for her song picks, and much fun was had.…
Teen-aged jazz/soul superstar Avery Raquel joined us to talk about moving from covers of jazz standards to her own blend of jazz and soul to better connect with her audience. We talked about:
- Jazz standards by Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra
- Listening to songs analytically
- Tension and release in a song (and how Avery is amazing at it)
- “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus” – or not?
For a special Father’s Day episode, we invited father and son Allister Bradley and Sean Bertram to share their experiences working on music together and independently. Friend of the show Dave Miner filled in for Neel – thanks Dave!
We talked about:
- Sean starting out with piano lessons, Guitar Hero and Rockband
- Allister finding the balance between helping his son and keeping out of Sean’s journey as a songwriter and artist
- The role of music teachers and how to find the right one
- Starting a song with the bassline
- Sean’s song Holes
- Key modulating in your bridge
Listen to the show
Songwriter DAHLIA stopped by after her tour in India to talk songwriting.
Listen to the episode:
What we talked about:
- How do you start a song?
- Are “hooks” teachable?
- Pulling apart your fav songs
- Getting Funding from the government
- Falling in love with your demo’s
- Jule’s first single
- Rick Beato “Why makes this song great?”
We had the pleasure of having the prolific Toronto poet, novelist, and singer/songwriter Robert Priest (with David Hynes on guitar) back in the studio to share a couple of his children’s songs. We talked about…
- testing a song on a 6-year old
- moving from writing for adults to writing for children on the same day
- chord choices for children
- writing for younger and older children (the differences)
- kids deserve quality songwriting
- “Inchworm” (an old favourite)
- repetition in kids’ songs
- using words that kids will have to look up (why not?)
Sean Bertram returned to the show following the release of his debut album, The Right Place. We talked about:
- Sean’s studies at Humber College in Music Guitar
- poetics in your lyrics
- changing chords and melodic centre between sections of your song
- contrast in pop songwriting
- self-doubt in songwriting
- Taming Your Gremlin by Rick Carson
- how to change up your guitar playing from section to section
- how to use an AABA structure in your verse
- Sean’s new album The Right Place
- Sean’s dad, Allister Bradley and his appearance on the show
Listen to the show
Watch the live performance
True to form for Song Talk Radio, the day before Valentine’s Day seemed a good day to talk about break-up songs. So Phil brought “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce, Neel chose “One More Minute” by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Bruce performed a new original tune “I Don’t Love You Anymore”, and Vanessa selected “White Blank Page” by the band Mumford & Sons.…
Blues-rock-soul singer-songwriter Gravely James shares his journey from a trumpet-playing kid to a kickin’ singer-songwriter. He also treated us to two incredibly energetic performances of his songs. We talked about:
- Song Studio
- Niagara region favourite blues band More Bad News and the Horns from Hell, and Blood Sweat and Tears
- 12-bar blues
- How timbrel variety has changed in recordings over the years
- starting your song with the bassline
- where to get grant money in Ontario
Listen to the whole show
Watch the live performances