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.
Taylor is on the verge of a breakout moment in a promising career. After creating a spontaneous performance opportunity on the conference floor of Canadian Music Week, Taylor was contacted by Grammy-winning producer and engineer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Carly Simon, David Bowie, Michelle Branch & many more), who wanted to produce & develop Taylor. Now close to the release of his debut record of original songs, Eddie describes Taylor as ‘A true artist, and songwriting genius’.
We were very excited to have Taylor drop by so we could catch up and hear his talent for ourselves.
There are many benefits to your musicianship when you learn and master playing an instrument. You increase coordination, cognitive skills that include better memory, and create a higher level of social awareness.
The piano works as a wonderful starting point for most musicians, as it provides a good base in music theory, and it helps make identifying chords and key signatures a much easier task. But the guitar also provides an equally solid foundation for learning chords and is utilized just as frequently with songwriting. There are numerous advantages to learning and knowing how to play one of these instruments if you write songs. No matter which avenue you select, picking one of these classic instruments will undoubtedly assist and grow your songwriting abilities.
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. Cross has branched out into other musical genres as well, having written songs for other southern California acts such as the pop-punk band Aim for the Heart and Country-rock artist David Bucci.
We talked with Robert about:
starting a song with the title
writing in your car
making the most of your “orphans” – leftover song fragments
how to communicate your musical ideas to your backing band
how the sound of words can lead to creating melodies
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!)
On this episode, Neel, Phil, Michael and Blair talk about:
how the film was made
what has made the movie so popular many decades later
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.
Pete just received, “Honourable Mention in American Songwriter Lyric Contest March / April issue.” American Songwriter Magazine 2019
As a recording artist, Pete has worked with some of Canada’s finest including John Switzer, Oliver Schroer, and cellist Rachel Mercer. The response to Pete’s last two albums, Songs for MeZZ (2012), and EASTMURE EP (2014) has been strong, co-produced by four-time Juno nominee Rob Teehan (Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Boxcar Boys, Heavyweights Brass Band), and generated positive plays on C.B.C. and campus radio stations. Pete has been described as “a genuine vintage Americana voice”.
Pete is back in the studio wearing his influences proudly on his sleeve, evoking Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and The Drifting Cowboys spring to mind. Collaborating with producers James Paul of Rogue Music Lab, Burke Carroll pedal steel guitar virtuoso, the album, “Keep Your Love Steady” (2019), is a authentic, vintage journey to the heart of what matters.
Did you love the new movie Bohemian Rhapsody? Hate it? Something in between? Listen as Bruce, Neel, Phil, Michael, and Vanessa let loose! Hear their takes on the Bryan Singer helmed Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic released in late 2018. While they found much to criticize, they had a few raves too.