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.…
So are people still writing protest songs? How do the protest songs of the ’60-’70s compare to the songs by Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar?
When you start songwriting and your goal is a protest song, how do you start? Vanessa stops by to lend her views.…
In this throwback, we chatted with musical book writer Stephen Witkin about songs with a pride theme, with song examples.
Check out the original show notes.…
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.…
This week we welcomed Kitchener, Ontario-based singer-songwriter and storyteller Jesse Parent to the show to talk about his COVID-19 pandemic inspired song, Learning to Live Apart.
We talked about:
- Our new podcast format for 30 minute episodes
- How valuable it is to play and study cover songs
- Why you should record your ideas right away, even if it’s the middle of the night
- Our episode on Songs that don’t change their chord progression
- Emotional lyrics vs.
Ooh and ahh and doo and doe your way back to 2017, where we talked about songs with non-verbal hooks.
Check out the original show post.…
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.…
We talked about protest songs way back in 2016, and things still didn’t get any better. Here’s a throwback to dissension through music.
Here’s the original show page if you want the lyrics.…
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 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.…
Super-fan of the show Mike MacInnes joined us for our final live show of 2019, and indeed of the decade, for our personal takes on the best songs of the last 10 years. We also created a Spotify playlist of all the songs!…
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.…
Amanie Illfated is a South Sudanese born, Toronto based singer/songwriter working in a dynamic fusion of R&B, Reggae, Afrobeat and Trap. She was born in what is now known as South Sudan and immigrated to Saskatchewan with her family as refugees in 1992.…
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.…
Stark Naked and Eugene Ripper of Stark Naked and the Fleshtones joined us to talk about their heyday in the early 80s as an awesome live band in Toronto.
We talked about:
- how songs are shaped by band dynamics
- working with the “right” producer
- the punk music attitude
- live vs.
This week we talked about songs which have no chorus. First, we had to be clear about what does make a chorus. Then we deep dove on three songs we think don’t have one. What do you think? Leave a comment with your pick for a song without a chorus.…
Listen to the show:
Sarah Hiltz is a contemporary folk artist based in Toronto. Her current project has her researching the ways Canadians experience, express and suppress anger in modern society, especially women, and creating a song cycle in response.
Sarah’s last album, Beauty In The Blue, compiled songs and stories culled from her multiple journeys across Canada as a travelling musician on VIARail’s passenger train, “The Canadian”.…
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.…
The Song Talk Radio Team discussed the latest biopic about Elton John in the movie Rocketman. Composer and Second City writer Matthew Reid joined us.
We talked about:
- The framing of the story around Elton John’s addiction and therapy
- The depiction of Elton John as a musical child prodigy
- Similarities and differences between Rocketman and the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, which we reviewed in January
- Taron Egerton, who played the role of Elton John
- The friendship and collaboration between Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin (spoiler alert: this is the best thing about the movie)
Listen to the show:
This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Ball to our studio.
A native Torontonian, Robert Ball is a multi-faceted singer who has traveled to and performed in over 60 countries around the world.
His sound has been described as soulful, jazzy, Neo-soul and he is a much in-demand session singer.…
We talked tips and tricks for beginner songwriters. Our producer Vanessa and techie Micah also joined in the conversation. Some of the stuff we covered included:
Visiting from the United Kingdom, Pena Hughes-John joined us with two of her original songs. We talked about:
- Steampunk as a culture, fashion statement, and musical style
- Writing songs on the ukulele
- How many chords is too many?
- Collaborating with others
- Writing a song from a writing prompt
- Using time signature changes to introduce tension
- Our show all about rhymes with Blair Packham
- Using reverse vocals in your recordings
Listen to the show
Download the lyrics for:
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!)…