ideas

Mike, Neel, and Darden

The multi-media mind of Darden Smith

Open and empty. That’s how singer-songwriter Darden Smith describes the Texas landscape that inspired his creative new multi-media project, ‘Western Skies,’ available now. Comprising a new studio record, a book of photography, lyrics, and essays, and an accompanying album of readings set to music, Smith’s ‘Western Skies’ is an immersive journey. It explores a world …

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Lessons from The Rutles – Songwriting Satire

This week we took a dive into the 1978 mockumentary – The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash – a satire of Beatlemania and the Fab Four. Aside from being one of the first mock-docs, it is also a very funny film featuring some Monty Python alumnae, a few famous faces from early SNL and …

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Phil, Neel, and Mike

Mike Fuller and the Joy and Hard Work of SongWriting

Mike Fuller’s rock and roll roots run deep. The son of a church organist and a cover band singer/rock and roll enthusiast, it seemed only natural Fuller would follow the musical path laid by his parents and find himself writing a collection of uptempo, foot-stomping tunes. Mike spent much of the pandemic like many of …

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Mike, Neel, Chad, and Jeffery

Storytelling In Song with Jeffery Straker

This week SongTalk welcomed Jeffery Straker a Canadian folk/roots singer-songwriter, who is based in Toronto, Ontario and Regina, Saskatchewan. His piano-based pop musical style has drawn comparisons to Elton John, Neil Young, Rufus Wainwright, and Kris Kristofferson. Straker grew up listening to country music on his parents Saskatchewan grain farm at the same time he …

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Writing Harmonies with Quote The Raven

This week SongTalk welcomed Newfoundland Americana/Folk duo Quote the Raven. Jordan Coaker and Kirsten Rodden-Clarke have been bewitching audiences with haunting harmonies and East-Coast meets Americana songwriting for a decade. Their album Golden Hour (2018) earned multiple nominations including the 2019 ECMA Rising Artist and the award for 2019 MusicNL’s Group of the year. After …

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Mike, Neel, Phil, and Greg

How to Write A Hit (or not) with Greg Wyard

This week SongTalk welcomed Pop-rock artist Greg Wyard – a singer-songwriter, guitarist and bass player who has been diligently working at his craft since he was ten years old. Greg moved to Canada from his native England at age 13 and settled in Toronto, earning a reputation as one of its most hardworking solo performers. …

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Neel, Phil, Lexie, and Jordana

Voices Only with Jordana Talsky

We have a fascinating show this episode with our special guest, Jordana Talsky. Jordana is a singer, songwriter and vocal looper who fuses multi-genre influences into her own sound. She accompanies herself by voice with a Roland Boss RC505 loop station. Her ethos is to incorporate digital means into live performance in an organic way, …

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Mike, Neel, and Phil

Music – the International Language

This week SongTalk tried something a little different. We brought in some our favourite songs sung in a different language than English. They say music is the international language so we thought we would put that to the test. Phil, Neel and Mike each presented three songs in a language other than English and we …

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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 …

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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 …

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Neel, Mike, Phil, and Christopher

How To Write A #1 Hit with Christopher Ward

Very excited to have the Juno-award winning songwriter, author of an international #1 hit song and the very first MuchMusic VJ join us on SongTalk. Christopher Ward has done all that and more. In our recent interview, Chris talked about his new release Same River Twice, its unique recording process and why he wanted to …

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Neel, Mike, Phil, and Matt

Challenging the Tyranny of 440 hz

This week SongTalk resolved the controversy over standardized tuning to 440 hz! Okay maybe we didn’t resolve anything. But we did invite our good friend and frequent guest Matthew Reid to discuss the origins of the standard tuning setting plus the pros and cons of having a standardized tuning set at 440 hz rather than …

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Mike, Don, Phil, and Neel

Home Recording and Digital Audio Workstations – Part 1

This week SongTalk dives into how to best use DAWs or Digital Audio workstations. Home recording is booming and it’s not just because of Covid. Musicians have long been using different software at home to do what used to cost thousands of dollars in a professional recording studio. How do make the most of your …

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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 …

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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). Over the past twelve years, they’ve earned a reputation for unforgettable live …

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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. Writing songs at the piano or with a …

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Neel, Phil, and Mark

Writing Songs For A Living with Mark Cawley

This week SongTalk welcomed Mark Cawley to our (virtual) studio. Mark Cawley is a hit songwriter, best selling author, in demand speaker, songwriting coach, and popular blogger. As a songwriter his songs have been on more than 16 million records to date – with a long list of cuts with legendary artists ranging from Tina …

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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. And now Melanie has …

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Mike, Neel, Phil, and Dokter Nomi

How To Write Songs (if you don’t play an instrument)

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. Most recently, he and SongTalk’s own Neel Modi have been working together …

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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. Earthbound, his song has a traditional …

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