I recently finished reading a great book by Marc Myers entitled Anatomy of a Song: The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits that Changed Rock, R&B, and Pop. Myers interviewed the people involved in historically significant songs from the 1940s to the 1990s.…
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.…
Juno-award winning recording artist Steve Strongman joined us to talk about his take on the blues. Steve is a multiple Maple Blues Award winner, 2019 International Blues Challenge Best Guitarist (solo/duo). He’s opened for BB King, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, and toured all over the world.…
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.…
For this host’s show, Michael, Neel and Phil brought in a song each and discussed how we wrote and some cool approaches in the songs. AND, Vanessa was in the house!!! What a fun episode!
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What we talked about
- The 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide
- Blog post: Creating Lyric Sheets that Don’t Suck
- Neel’s process behind writing “The Wicked Queen”
- Suggestions for Song prompts
- Listener input requested: What do you think about the Taxi and SongTradr placement services
- Song hooks: How do you make sure your song has ’em
- Different approaches to choruses
- The Wicked Queen lyrics
- Pull Me Away From You Lyrics – Noise
- Not Edwin lyrics
- Writing Better Lyrics – Pat Pattison book on Amazon
- 101 Songwriting Wrongs & How To Right Them: How To Craft Songs That Sell on Amazon
- Cubase Elements – Phil’s DAW of choice (tho he uses the Pro level)
- Cakewalk by Bandlab – Neel’s DAW of choice
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 projects such as the Koven Collective and Koven & Law as well as Lazersuzan
We talked with Steve about:
- his process for writing
- how he communicates his song ideas to his bands
- the touring opportunities available through consulates and embassies
- where he finds inspiration for his music
- what improvising can bring to songwriting
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
- finding the right amount of instrumental activity when you’re singing
- how Alex always gets through the skeleton of a song right away when writing
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Download the lyrics to follow along:
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, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.…
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, which won a Nature award at the Cannes Media and TV festival.…
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.…
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.…
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.…
Audio Insurgency returned to the show to talk about a boat load of music stuff, as well as showcasing two of their pop songs. We talked about:
- Vox’s Earworm videos, in particular the one in support of fade-outs in recordings
- Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast episode about country music, The King of Tears
- writing and placing music for video games
- getting your songs into placement for TV or movies
- the role of the producer in the creation of songs for maximum impact
- writing a song completely in the digital realm (Abelton Live, in this case)
- why deadlines are a good thing
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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!)…
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 hear the premieres of two tracks – Vicious in Your Vanity and Beneath Your Skin.…
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 female protagonist
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Did you love the new movie Bohemian Rhapsody? Hate it? Something in between? Listen as Bruce, Neel, Phil, Michael, and Vanessa let loose! Hear their takes on the Bryan Singer helmed Queen/Freddie Mercury biopic released in late 2018. While they found much to criticize, they had a few raves too.…
The Song Talk Team reviews songwriting apps, with special guest Allister Bradley, who went above the call of duty and showed up on crutches!
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We talked about:
- MasterWriter – a lyric-writing app with built-in thesaurus and rhyming dictionary
- Music Memos – like having a back up band in your pocket!