This week we welcomed five more songwriters who sent us their answers to our latest songwriting challenge, to write a song with a single chord progression throughout. We got two protest songs, a song about social media, a rather tense relationship, and of course, COVID-19.…
This week SongTalk welcomed John from Tomato Tomato to our virtual studio.
They just might be Atlantic Canada’s most entertaining musical duo. The New Brunswick based pair – John and Lisa McLaggan – have built a reputation on a live show that is as much about their on-stage charisma as their musical multi-tasking and vocal excellence.…
BBC Radio has called Melanie, “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” and that is just part of her appeal. Besides her beautiful voice, Melanie is a terrific songwriter with lots of great songs to prove it. Her tune “Christmas Breaks My Heart” was a finalist in the Great American Songwriting Contest.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Doktor Nomi to our studio.
Admittedly Nomi is not a real doctor but he does have a unique and interesting way of creating music. As a topliner and lyricist, Nomi frequently works with other collaborators to create his music.…
This week SongTalk featured a few songs from our listeners. And it was loads of fun.
We chose three of our listeners’ songs to take a closer listen to.
Stuart Cook – near Manchester, England penned a delightful song inspired by the view from a hill near his home.…
On this episode we are talking about the great John Prine. This American treasure, perhaps a modern day Mark Twain, a peerless songwriter and chronicler of the lives of regular folk sadly passed away recently – one of the many victims of the Covid 19 pandemic.…
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.…
This week SongTalk Radio has a special episode celebrating the 35th anniversary of the classic film, “This Is Spinal Tap”. And joining us in our trip down memory lane is one of our favourite guests on the show Blair Packham. We talk about where and when we first encountered this classic cult comedy and how true it was to our own experiences in the music business (hint: very!)…
Singer-songwriter Pete Eastmure grew up on a horse farm, on the side of Blue Mountain. Needing to find something else, Pete at a young age hitchhiked out to California and entered into a personal musical journey that forever changed him. Pete honed his craft of songwriting from many years of exploring musical genres like folk, pop and jazz, only to go back to the well spring of his country roots.…
Angela Saini returned to Song Talk Radio with a new album and a fresh bunch of earnest and optimistic songs.
We talked about:
- Structured vs. casual collaborations
- When should an artist make a trip to Nashville?
- Making a personal connections to songs you’re performing, even if you didn’t write them totally by yourself
- Live performance vs studio recording
- Using a “weirdo” chord change for the bridge of your song
- Should melody trump the natural shape of the language in your lyrics?
Singer/songwriter Linda Lavender shares the story of her song They Won’t Catch Me Again. Follow her journey from it’s birth on a five-hour road trip to its studio recording. We talked about:
- Linda’s album The Rosseau Sessions with Often Running
- Bluegrass music
- Influencers like Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss
- People on the run, rebels, a female protagonist
Listen to the whole show
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?
Virtuoso harmonica player and singer-songwriter Harpin’ Norm Lucien joined us to talk about two of his songs and why you need many, many harmonicas, ideally on a Batman-style utility belt. Sherry Jacoby filled in for Neel – thanks Sherry! We talked about:
- how to write simple songs that are also nuanced and have substance
- starting your songs with the chorus or the title
- how to incorporate sing-alongs in your performances
- our How to Approach the Media episode
Listen to the whole show:
The next time Halloween will occur on a Tuesday will be in 2023, so we were supernaturally possessed to take advantage of the freaky intersection and dig up some Halloween themed songs for this show.
But first, the important stuff. Since this is radio, we figured Halloween costumes were in order.…
Singer / songwriter Davis St. Bernard stopped by and we explored the issue on complexity in one’s songwriting.
What we talked about:
- How to Write Songs on Guitar: 2nd Edition, Expanded and Updated
- SongStudio Songwriting workshop
- Non-traditional song structures
- Finding your vocal range
- Jimmy Web gets snubbed by the Grammy’s
Listen to the full show:
Watch the live performances:
Connect with David:
- Artist website: http://dstbe.com
Singer songwriter Sherry Jacoby stopped by with our old friend Alon and played some wintery tunes.
- working with co-writers
- Forget lyrics
- Download Winter Hibernation by Sherry Jacoby
- Artist website: http://www.sherryjacoby.com
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sherryjacoby
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sherryjacobymusic
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNVZl1tcGdqoUr8usbbKjaw
- SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com/sherryjacoby
Listen to the full Episode:
Saskatoon-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Melanie Peterson joined us again, this time with her original holiday-themed love songs. Melanie has been deemed “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” by the BBC and a “superb songwriter” by Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun. She was last on our show in 2015.…
Okay, so we couldn’t get Bob to come to the studio for the show. Not surprising considering how the Nobel Prize people can’t find him either. On this show about Bob Dylan we discussed:
- The new film from Ron Howard – The Beatles, Eight Days a Week
- How the Beatles wrote songs
- Should the Nobel Prize for Literature have been given to Bob Dylan?
With 10 albums over a 20-year career, Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist Jacob Moon dropped into the studio to share a wealth of helpful tips and clear insights. “Live a Little” is a truly exceptional tune, a perfect marriage of lyrics, melody, theme and variation. …
From the moment Blair Packham started to speak, we knew we were in for some great lessons from a master songwriter and experienced teacher. If You Were Mine featured a great bridge and instrumental break. In Her Dreams started out as a story of a woman in a call centre and moved to a daughter caring for an ailing mother. …