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.…
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).…
About three months ago, we asked our listeners to suggest a songwriting challenge or prompt for us to explore. Organizations like the Toronto Songwriting Association often prompt their members with challenges such as “Take a cliche and turn it on its head”, or “Write a song about a home appliance.”…
This week SongTalk welcomed FEATURETTE to our studio.
The Toronto-based duo FEATURETTE, formed by singer Lexie Jay and drummer, Jon Fedorsen, makes emotionally-charged, heavy-hitting electro-pop music that has been met with international critical acclaim.
After receiving their first full recording grant from FACTOR Canada, the duo released their debut LP CRAVE in October, 2016.…
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.…
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.…
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, 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.…
Sometimes, the hardest part of the songwriting process is getting started. Once I’ve got an idea, I can hash out lyrics and music fairly easily. Getting past songwriter’s block usually involves coming up with a title and a hook to the song (Thank you, Nashville).…
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.…
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.…
Our own Michael Proudfoot proudly stepped into the world of cover songs. He uncovered a treasure trove of examples and ideas. Have a listen as the Song Talk Radio team plus Blair Packham (The Jitters) tackles:
- when everything was a cover
- the difference between 45, 78, and 33 1/3 rpm records
- professional songwriters writing for professional singers
- How The Beatles shifted pop culture by both writing and performing their own songs
- Jimi Hendrix covers All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)
- authenticity (Sarah McLachlan) and self-expression
- Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Carole King, Leonard Cohen
- singing someone else’s song – making it universal
- Husker Du, Love Is All Around (Sonny Curtis)
Listen to the whole show
Ever wondered why hit songs are so memorable? You know, the ones that you can’t get out of your mind for weeks (or years). Well, it could be the hook. In this episode the Song Talk Radio team does a deep dive into the many and various ways that songwriters have created memorable passages in songs.…
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
Listen to the whole show
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.…
On this program Bruce, Neel, and Phil, (and Linda) each brought a three-chord song to share. We looked at what each song needed to do (if anything) to compensate for the lack of chord diversity. We talked about:
Listen to the whole show
Download the chord/lyric sheets to follow along:
The Song Talk Team reviews songwriting apps, with special guest Allister Bradley, who went above the call of duty and showed up on crutches!
Listen to the show
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!