Hi and Welcome!
December 5, 2011
I've just spent the last month getting things prepped for the release of 'Bulembu' by Spirit of the West, to iTunes and radio. This is a great cause that I feel strongly about so I am delighted that it has been welcomed so warmly by Spirit fans new and old. Please visit www.sotw.ca to find out more about the song, the town, and the project.
As Christmas comes hurtling towards us I wish everyone a happy seasons greetings and a prosperous new year.
Like everyone I have plenty of plans and announcements for 2012 but I shall leave that for January!
Thanks for visiting.
May 5, 2011
It's a very busy Spring for me – A new recording from Maren Ord will be due out as soon as we can complete production – the EP will be released by the fine folks at Fontana North, and I'll post more exact details when plans have been written in INK!
Spirit of the West is playing all sorts of dates all over Canada during 2011 (please visit www.sotw.ca for schedule details). I will remain busy organizing all of this, right through the fall.
Sandy Taronno (Quinzy) will be tackling a solo album that I will be producing. Unbelievably great pop songs that should see the light of day by summer's end.
House of Doc are still in hiatus, but not for much longer – Rebecca & Matthew Harder recently welcomed to the world Hugo Harder and are learning in detail all the beauties of late night feedings and poopy diapers. But I'll have them back on the road, working like rented mules, by late July. www.houseofdoc.com
I am smack in the middle of production for new tracks from an up and coming artist from Vancouver named Mike Kenyon. His songs are sounding great and I can't wait until we finish the post production and mixes.
I am also at the mid-point in the production of a new song, written especially as a theme song for Bulembu, Swaziland – an entire town that is a charitable venture for orphaned children that Spirit's John Mann is very involved with. (www.bulembu.org) The rest of the Spirits have taken his lead and I am proud to be involved as producer of the song. I expect it to be released in the early fall and there'll be an announcement in the press and on various websites at that time.
As well, in the middle of all this I have been asked to act as drummer for Natalie McMaster (with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) on 11 May at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.
To top this off I was taken on quite a journey by 'Cougar Night in Canada' – (http://www.cougarnightincanada.com) Tami & Lori, the roving video-journalists and crowned Queen Cougars of Western Canada ran me though my paces, pinned me down, and jammed a microphone in my face for about an hour last week. When they left I was deeply shaken, afraid for my life, and thinking I might go into deep hiding for a while. Beware these clever temptresses! They will hunt you down and squash you like a bug.
Lastly, I left my sunroof open and my car is now awash in rainwater. Ugh.
July 30, 2008
Those of you who visit my website occasionally will notice that things are looking a little different. At the beginning of 2008 I joined forces with Frontside Group (Vancouver & New York) and brought my management clients with me.
The team at Frontside is highly motivated and highly capable, and have welcomed me with open arms. With their help I am moving forward with a great number of plans for Spirit of the West's 25th Anniversary, for multiple EP releases by Quinzy, and for the touring plans, in support of their CD "East of West," for House of Doc.
In addition to having a staff of fellow managers and skilled music administrators surrounding me, I now also have a crack publicist and one of the great status symbols that anyone in the music business can bandy about: An office in Manhattan.
While Geoff Goddard steers Frontside from Vancouver, his cohort Gary McDonald takes care of New York and braces the inhabitants of that city for my occasional visits – Mark Kesten oversees the greater world of management strategies and Jen Fritz does a massive whack-load of press & publicity. I am able to concentrate on my clients and if need be, call out silly questions at any time. The response is often a grunt or a quizzical silence (freighted with the unspoken question "how in the hell can he have been doing this for so long and not know the answer to that?") but it seems to have a soothing effect on me all the same.
At any rate the system appears to be working, because the quantity of stuff flying across my desk is getting to be pretty remarkable.
I have also stayed quietly on course in my quest to produce music – My most recent project worth talking about were two new songs for inclusion in Quinzy's 2008 multiple EP releases; titled "Even You" and "Fell in Love with the Enemy", the songs were recorded in Vancouver in April 2008, engineered & mixed by my old friend and colleague Richard Sera, and they turned out very well indeed.
"Even You" is track #1 on the new Quinzy EP "One Boy's Guide to the Moon" and the careful listeners amongst you will hear a cameo appearance by master cowbellist Kim Mackay, famous for her countless cowbell tracks on albums by Sinatra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Coldplay, Gwen Stefani, Buck Owens. OK, I am completely lying about this... Kim is my Personal Assistant and had never before held a cowbell in her hands until I dragged her in front of the microphone. But I have to say she nailed it, first take, and looked mighty damn stylish while doing so. Those of you wishing to send glowing fan-mail to 'Cowbella, the Percussion Goddess' may click here: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 15, 2008
What started as a conversation over dinner a year and a half ago has today resulted in 'Spirituality: The Consummate Compendium – 1983-2008'. There have been a huge amount of phone calls, emails, miles travelled and music recorded, mastered or tweaked. I held the disc in my hand for the first time yesterday afternoon and said, 'well, this represents 18 months of my life'. Until I realized that it also represents 20 years of my life at the same time. The fine folks at Warner/Rhino have come up big and made this happen, even when schedules, budgets and coordination made it look as if, some days, it might crater. So I am happy, and I am satisfied that we have created something that is simply a nice, enjoyable, appealing and tangible album of songs that have meant so much to us, and to our fans.
This weekend is the Vancouver Folk Fest for Spirit. I look forward to the workshop with Lau, and with bumping into old friends on this 25th anniversary year. I will have my camera in hand, in autofocus mode, to capture anything accurately which is becoming too blurry for me otherwise unaided.
Quinzy have released 'One Boy's Guide to the Moon' – It came out June 24th and since then they have played a handful of shows, one of them a behemoth of a Canada Day event in the heart of Winnipeg, to tens of thousands of people. Tomorrow night they play a small, intimate 'CD release celebration' at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg and I expect a chock a block full house of well-wishers and grass roots superfans.
I recommend picking up their new CD, or downloading it at iTunes (it will be available there this week). You will be delighted!
House of Doc have laid low for the last few weeks but August is slammin'. One weekend they're on Vancouver Island, the very next weekend they're in Lunenberg, NS. The weekend after that they hit Ontario. This is tour routing that can only be borne by the young or the insane. I am unsure as how to categorize the group at this time but I will keep you posted.
December 31, 2007
Welcome to 2008! I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. A quick glance at this website will attest to how much will be happening in 2008. Firstly, Spirit of the West celebrates our 25th anniversary and we will be offering a 2 disc retrospective anthology, complete with two new tracks, in the spring (on Rhino/Warner). Recording for this begins in early January. We also have a very big celebration planned for 14-15 March, 2008 with our Vancouver show at the Commodore Ballroom. Our special guest this year will be Ashley MacIsaac. This is truly a once in a lifetime event so we hope to see you there.
Quinzy's new album has been a long time coming – but a good album takes time to perfect. Without a doubt this is one of the most sophisticated collections of pop songs in a long time, all on an album called "One Boy's Guide to the Moon." Even in its pre-release infancy this album is getting a tremendous amount of attention. As the machine ratchets up for the New Year there will be plenty of news and updates. www.quinzy.ca
House of Doc's CD "East of West" was released to radio in September, and made fantastic inroads, getting to #2 on the Earshot! Folk/Roots chart at one point. One of the group's biggest supporters, Jurgen Gothe of CBC Radio's "Disc Drive," picked East of West as one of the best of 2007. I know this bodes well for their adventures in the future, and they are completely primed and ready to hit the road throughout the year in support of this outstanding disc. I predict that there will be many award shows to attend in the Fall! www.houseofdoc.com
August 24, 2007
It has been one helluva busy year so far and it's only getting busier. I couldn't be happier about all the activity! The new Quinzy album is sounding absolutely outstanding and I am just as impatient to have the finished product in my hands as the band is. I want to get these lads on the road and spread the word.
The wise people at Pacific Music are distributing "East of West" by House of Doc. This album is a serious step forward for the band in performance, composition, conception and completion. I am very proud of everyone involved and I had a tremendously good time producing "East of West" (which, incidentally, took 1 month to record but 5 months to name). Richard Sera's engineering skills and judgment have only gotten sharper and Bath House engineer Aaron Holmberg was a total pleasure to be around for the entire intense month we were in his company.
The people at the Western Canadian Music Association have asked me to put on a Drum Clinic at their annual event, this year held in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on 20-21 October. I will indeed whack the drums and attempt to impart knowledge to the few who don't get deafened by the din.
As well, I am beginning to stoke the machine for 2008 and Spirit of the West. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary and we will be announcing a number of plans, offerings and appearances very shortly. Please return here for details, or visit www.sotw.ca
November 7, 2006
The month of October was 'campaigning month'; a series of conferences, awards shows and showcases. I was pleased to speak as a guest panelist at the WCMAs along with fellow managers Jill Brooksbank, Brian Hetherman, Michael McMartin & Chris Burke-Gaffney on 'management in the new music industry.' I look forward to a European tour with House of Doc in Nov/Dec and I am excited about the big 'Quinzmas' bash with both groups. This annual Xmas event grows every year and is a wonderful time to stop and celebrate the past year's progress and growth. Many happy returns!
Please check back here for reports from Europe from 28 November – 10 December.
Click here to see House of Doc European concert dates.
June 1, 2006
Welcome to the newly redesigned website by Toronto's 'Duke of URL' Web Design.
House of Doc is currently on tour and swinging into high gear for their summer of Festivals and shows. Click here to see their touring schedule.
Quinzy is preparing for a NXNE showcase in Toronto (June 10 / 'Crowbar'/ 11pm). Listen to their live in-studio performance and interview for XM Radio / 'On the Verge' with Jeff Leake to be broadcast on Friday June 9 @ 9 pm, Sunday June 11 @ 9 am, and Tuesday June 13 @ noon. Visit Quinzy's site: www.quinzy.ca