guitar

Mike, Neel, Phil, and Bradley

From Classical to Personal with Bradley McCaw.

Bradley McCaw is an award-winning singer/songwriter. His career started with him singing classical music and touring internationally with the group THE TEN TENORS. A native of Australia, Bradley spent fifteen long years making good in every job a musician and writer could possibly have, ending his day with a stack of old vinyls by his bed and a dream to create music like his heroes.…

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Neel, Mike, and Phil

Hit Songs with Unconventional Structures

 

People think that pop songs have a standard structure – verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus –  and many do. Mostly because that familiarity works. But some hit songs challenge convention, they chart their own path to great success. So this episode we thought we would find some recent songs that go against the grain and still manage to be popular.…

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Neel, Phil, Matt, and Anna

Writing a soft-hitting protest song with Anna Larson

“Beauty is what I’m chasing” Anna Larson is an emerging singer-songwriter, fusing diverse musical roots with piano-driven originality.

Larson has several single releases slated for 2021, kicking off with “Won’t Let you Down”, due out June 25. Wrapped in vocal harmonies and warm guitar tones, it is new music for dreamers.…

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Phil, Neel, Mike, and John

Tomato Tomato and How Writing Simple Songs Can Be Complicated

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.…

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Mike, Phil, Neel, Brendan, and Adrian

New Life to Old Songs with The Fugitives

This week SongTalk welcomed Brendan and Adrian from The Fugitives to our studio.

The Fugitives are a folk collective headed by songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod. They’re joined by banjo player Chris Suen (Viper Central) and violinist Carly Frey (The Coal Porters).…

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Neel, Mike, Phil, and Jay

Making Your Influences Your Own with Jay Gordon Wright

This week SongTalk welcomed Jay Gordon Wright to our show.

Jay a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and performer who has entertained audiences around the world. He is classically trained on violin, and has expanded his musical toolshed to include just about every instrument he can get his hands on.…

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Neel, Phil, Mike, and Melanie

Writing From The Heart with Melanie Peterson

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.…

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Neel, Phil, and Mike

Our Listeners’ Songs – what you are writing

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.…

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Neel, Phil, and Mike

How about that Eddie Van Halen, and more

This week we were saddened by the passing away of guitar icon Eddie Van Halen. We talked about his amazing talent and some more stuff.

We talked about:

  • Mandolin Orange cover version of Bob Dylan’s Boots of Spanish Leather, and songs with two different points of view (thanks to Jeff from Michigan for the email)
  • Did Eddie Van Halen invent the two-handed tapping technique for electric guitar?

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Gilbert, Phil, Neel, and Mike

Creating a Concept Album with Gilbert Neal

This week Song Talk Radio welcomed Gilbert Neal to our studio.

A master song craftsman, Gilbert Neal – on his latest release Mistakes of Memory shows the depth and diversity of his influences: Leonard Cohen, Pink Floyd, ELO, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Stephen Sondheim.…

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Alex Cuba, Phil, Neel, and Mike

Making complicated sound simple with Alex Cuba

Canadian Juno and Latin Grammy winning artist, Alex Cuba joined us to talk about his songwriting process and perform a new song, Solo Mia, live on the show.

We talked about:

  • Alex’s first visit to Canada as part of his father’s band
  • How a melody-first way of songwriting tells Alex what the song is about
  • The differences between solo writing and collaborating with others
  • How to develop unique and rich chord progressions (hint: jazz)
  • Writing in Spanish vs English
  • How Alex’s playing style is unique to him, and why this is important – this applies to everyone!

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Neel, Mike, Vanessa, and Phil

Remembering John Prine

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.…

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Blair, Neel, Phil, and Mike

Collecting Your Songs – How To Build An Album with Blair Packham

Song Talk Radio is happy to welcome our good friend Blair Packham to the studio. This episode, Blair is talking about his songwriting and the latest songs that he is working on. In fact, he will preview one of the songs he is considering for his new collection/album.…

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Jesse, Mike, Phil, and Neel

How to write a good love song with Jesse Parent

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.…

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Neel, Mike, Blair, and Phil

Be Better At Performing – Tips from Blair Packham

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.…

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Neel, Mike, and Phil

The Best Songs Have Only 3 chords

This week on SongTalk we look at a simple songwriting technique that may be more complicated than you think – songs with one chord progression.

That’s right, no guest this week just the SongTalk team – Phil, Neel and Mike – talking about the ways songs with just one series of chords repeated over and over have become huge hits.…

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Mike, Neel, Don, Vanessa, and Phil

It’s a Christmas Extravaganza!

 

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.…

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Mike, David, Ritah, Neel, Don, and Phil

David McLachlan: That Nashville sound.

This week SongTalk welcomed David McLachlan to our studio.

David McLachlan is a prolific songwriter with 7 albums released, one in the can, for release next Aug 2020. Several years ago David ventured to Nashville to record with some stellar A-list players.…

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