point of view

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. 2021 has also seen …

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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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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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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. Since his death, many of todays music’s stars have …

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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. Blair talks about his new songs and …

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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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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 …

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Don, Neel, Donna, Matt, and Phil

Donna Linklater: Songwriting and Composition, What’s The Difference?

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. Her …

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Neel, Mike, Blair, Don, and Phil

Keeping It Real with Blair Packham

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 …

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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. So pour yourself some Rum and Eggnog or …

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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. He found that experience to be so rewarding it changed the way he …

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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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Vanessa, Michael, Ritha, Taylor, Phil, Micah, and Neel

Making the most of your voice with Taylor Abrahamse

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, …

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Michael, Ritah, Robert, Phil, Micah, and Neel

Robert Ball: Giving Voice To The Personal

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. Most recently he toured his EP “Need” & single “Breathe” throughout Toronto, New York and many PRIDE circuits including Brooklyn Pride, DC pride and Jamaica Pride. Also making appearances on CTV, CP24, Bold TV, Rogers Nighttime & Daytime on Rogers, Casa Loma …

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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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Phil, Michael, Patrick, Vanessa, Linda, and Neel

Patrick Ballantyne: An album of longing

This week Song Talk welcomed Patrick Ballantyne back to our studio. Patrick is a veteran songwriter and musician who has worked with many top-selling artists such as The Trews, Meredith Shaw and Big Sugar. On this episode, Patrick brought in a few songs from his upcoming new release so our Song Talk audience got to …

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Bruce, Neel, Blair, Vanessa, Linda, and Phil

Blair Packham: From song inception to development

One of our favourite guests and friend of the show Blair Packham returned to the show to share his song ideas, from titles to bits of songs, and how he develops them into full-fledged songs. We talked about: Song Studio Hugh’s Room in Toronto Songwriting Apps: OnSong, Rhyme Genie, Tunesmith, and Music Memos Writing the …

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Linda Lavender on song development

Singer/songwriter Linda Lavender shares the story of her song They Won’t Catch Me Again. Follow her journey from it’s birth on a five-hour road trip to its studio recording. We talked about: Linda’s album The Rosseau Sessions with Often Running Bluegrass music Influencers like Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss People on the run, rebels, a …

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