piano

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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Mike, Neel, Phil, and AV

Songs with a social stance with Ann Vriend

The two-time Maple Blues Award songwriting recipient and two-time Edmonton Music Award recipient is an internationally recognized musician known for her soaring vocals, socially conscious lyrics, and outstanding musicianship. With a vintage sound reminiscent of the Roots/Blues style of Stax Records and Muscle Shoals recordings, singles from the album have already found their way onto …

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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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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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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. Blair is the host and …

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Mike, Loryn, Neel and Phil

Turning emotions into songs with poetry with Loryn Taggart

This week we welcomed Loryn Taggart back to the show, after her first appearance almost five years ago! The fast-rising jazz artist just released her album Irene, but showcased two of her other songs, The Guest and The Wedding Song. We talked about: the recent passing of Little Richard, Dave Greenfield (keyboardist for the Stranglers), …

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Neel, Michael, Steve, and Phil

Steve Koven – Play Piano, See The World

This week, SongTalk welcomed jazz pianist and teacher Steve Koven. Steve is a composer, performer, producer and educator. He has one of the longest standing trios in Canada, performing, touring and recording together for over 26 year. Aside from performing and recording with his trio – Steve Koven Trio – Steve also has other recording …

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Neel, Alex, Micah, Michael, and Phil

Bridging classical and pop music with Alex Whorms

This week singer-songwriter and Hamilton Arts Award for Emerging Artist winner (2019) Alex Whorms joined us to talk about her sophomore EP, Burgundy, and two of the songs. We talked about: FACTOR grants and Canada’s Music Incubator (check out our episodes on grants and music royalties) how long to take to get to the chorus …

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Neel, Michael, Ritah, Matthew, Phil, and Micah

Favourite Movie Soundtracks!

This week SongTalk welcomed our pal Matthew Reid to our studio to talk about movie soundtracks. We chose our favourites and talked about why they made the cut and what were the runners up.   We talked about: what are the criteria of soundtracks – are they a collection of songs from other sources, are …

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Phil, Micah, Jeff, Ritah, Michael, and Neel

Creating Soundtracks with Jeff Alan Greenway

This week SongTalk welcomed Jeff Alan Greenway to our studio. Greenway is a film composer, singer/songwriter and pianist from Pickering, Ontario. He has written music for film, worked as a session player, orchestrator and arranger, released his own original album “Great Expectations” and wrote the score to the international documentary The Secret Life Of Frogs, …

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Matthew Reid: Music Composition – Live, recorded and improvisational

This week SongTalk welcomed Matthew Reid to our studio. Matthew is a critically acclaimed, award winning composer for film, television, games and theatre. His funny songs have delighted almost a million people during his tenure as composer for Toronto’s world famous Second City comedy theatre. His comedic musical, The Second City Guide to the Symphony …

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Back row: Michael, Blair, Linda, Neel, and Phil. Front row: Ritah and Micah

This Is Spinal Tap: 35 Years Later

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 …

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Steven Taetz sharing jazz songwriting tips

Writing Jazz Standards: Songwriting Tips with Steven Taetz

Jazz songwriter Steven Taetz returns to talk about creating new “Jazz Standards”. Listen to the show: Stuff we talked about: Steven’s first appearance StevenTaetz.com @steventaetz  on Instagram , Facebook, Twitter Steven on YouTube The Great American Songbook (Wikipedia) More shows about Jazz Jazz Safaris Get your suggestions in for The First Song Talk Radio Gift …

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Julian Taylor – dual roots and great songs

Julian Taylor is a Canadian singer-songwriter formerly with the band Staggered Crossing. His songs have appeared in television series including Degrassi: The Next Generation.  He now fronts the Julian Taylor Band. Julian dropped by the studio with his daughter Ella. We talked about: Skookum Music Festival, Vancouver Basic core band members together for 24 years! Music …

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Phil, Neel, Jeff, Bruce, Michael, and Vanessa

All about Modes with Jeff Alan Greenway

Composer, singer-songwriter, and piano virtuoso Jeff Alan Greenway joined us to talk about musical modes — what they are and how they are used in songs. Jeff went through each mode and sang a well-known song live with his piano. Listen to the whole show: Additional resources about modes: https://ledgernote.com/columns/music-theory/musical-modes-explained/ http://openmusictheory.com/scales2.html http://openmusictheory.com/popRockHarmony-EverettSystem2.html Here’s an easy to …

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Linda, Neel, Bruce, Michael P, Michael Thorner, Vanessa, and Phil

Michael Thorner turns a webcast into an album

Toronto singer/songwriter Michael Thorner dropped by the studio for a chat about his music. He brought two catchy tunes from his recent webcast/album release The ehMTee Show; Don’t Let it Go and Point Edward Fair. We talked about: chamber/orchestral pop Point Edward, Ontario church organist at 10! Mouth Congress (Scott Thompson & Paul Bellini) Marker …

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Phil, Bruce, iLLvibe, Linda, Vanessa, and Neel

All about hip hop with iLLvibe

Toronto-based hip hop recording artist iLLvibe dropped by to share his music and his thoughts. Runner up to Drake for Toronto Rapper of the Year in 2016 and winner on “Canada’s Smartest Person” it was indeed an entertaining and informative hour! We talked about: vocal delivery style Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Q-Tip, Grand Master Flash flows, patterns, and rhythms …

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