THE CANADIAN SONGWRITER CHALLENGE 2017
April 13, 2017
The Third Annual Songwriting Camp returns for professional songwriters in Alberta June 15-18, 2017! Alberta Music will be returning to OCL Studios, just outside of Calgary, to conduct a three-day songwriting camp. Nine acts will be selected and organized into groups of three to collaborate on two to three demo-ready songs. The camp will also provide an opportunity to network and establish permanent collaborative partnerships.
OCL Studios Western Canada’s only commercial-grade residential recording studio, and our Studio A features a Neve 88R Console. Artists come to OCL to immerse themselves in a picturesque setting while working with some of the most advanced technologies available. Built from the ground-up and managed by industry leaders, OCL is a living amalgamation of intensive sound technology, commercial design, and creature comforts. We cater to musicians hailing from all walks of life, from independent artists to prominent musicians and engineering teams.
Delaurier’s first cut, “Pickup Truck”, co-written with husband Troy Kokol, was featured on country artist Shane Yellowbird’s freshman release, “Life Is Calling My Name”. At the 2007 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards, the song was nominated for Single of the Year, Video of the Year and Kokol and Delaurier were nominated for SOCAN Songwriter of the Year. The song ended up being one of the top 10 Canadian country singles in 2007 and won the duo a SOCAN award for Country Music in 2008, securing their presence in the industry as songwriters.
In 2009, Delaurier had another cut with Canadian country trio The Higgins. “Second Hand Car” was a top 40 success on Canadian country radio, and in the top 10 videos on CMT Canada. Delaurier continues to write and have cuts with other Canadian artists, including CCMA Female Vocalist of the Year nominee ‘Tenille’ and Katie Love Hess. Website: http://www.jonidelaurier.com/
I was born at a very young age in Moncton, New Brunswick in the year of the White Album (1968). I moved to Alberta in 1985. I hit the road in 1987 in my first of many cover bands, all of which suffered dreadfully due in large part to the fact that they’d hired a lead singer (me) who, by all accounts, couldn’t sing. In November 1993, I released my first album “Songs From A Northern Town”. From then until now I’ve released 11 albums. I even sang a song at Stompin’ Tom’s funeral. Along the way, I learned what makes a song tick. There is nothing I enjoy more than writing songs. I love the craft of writing songs. I love that they come out of the air. One minute, there’s nothing there. The next, you’re on to a new song. Amazing. I’m fascinated by the process.
NORTH OF HERE
Born of the tight-knit vocals and songwriting of Luke Jansen (vocals, banjo, bass) and Ian St. Arnaud (vocals, mandolin), and the energetic percussion of Will Holowaychuk, Edmonton-based Americana/folk trio North of Here came together through a high school music class friendship that grew into a full-time project. There is both history and new life in North of Here’s folk sound. Shaped by their grandparents’ worn-out Gordon Lightfoot and Leonard Cohen records, they also cite contemporaries such as The Barr Brothers and The Milk Carton Kids as influences on their songwriting. Following the release of their 2015 EP ‘Make Hay While The Sun Shines,’ the group supported Canadian acts such as Aidan Knight and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and appeared at the beloved Canmore Folk Music Festival in summer 2016. The band is currently working on their debut full-length album, due to be released in 2018.
Born out of a drink at a dive bar in Edmonton, Alberta, The Denim Daddies are a shot of the ol’ outlaws attitude mixed with the modernism of alt-country and a splash of the Nashville sound, all glassed in the classic sound of a traditional 3 piece band. Their songwriting blends politically and socially charged themes with simple, down to earth lyrics, which are layered atop intense and intricate parts with tight vocal harmonies and a rippin’ rhythm section. Blurring the lines between country and rock these dance floor troubadours are embracing the resurgence and new sound of modern country music. From dirty cowboy bars, to hipster juke joints, to sweaty basements, The Denim Daddies appeal to every country music stereotype.
“Windigo is the relentlessly lovable brain-child of Anthony Kameka (guitar & vocals), Del Coburn (bass), Tory Rosso (guitar) and Mitch Cooper (drums). Kameka’s mellow yet powerful vocals and Cooper’s exquisite rhythms balance expertly with Coburn and Rosso’s infectious artistry. The diversity of their styles, tones and intentions, match beautifully, with distorted guitars that contrast the melodic soft voices. A deep bass that makes you float into the beat of a drum that jumps from jazz to funk, from rock to grunge and beyond.” Beatroute
“Oh I’ll forgive her on the day the Devil gets on his knees to pray..
With one dark, chilling line you are introduced to the simple, elegant music of PEI born singer/songwriter, Scott MacKay. MacKay’s country-ish songs are standouts, riddled with one-liners that catch the sun like a freshly polished cleaver.
Now living in Calgary, he has become an artist to watch, being nominated for Roots/Folk Recording of the Year and Male Artist of the Year at the upcoming Calgary Music Awards. MacKay’s newest offering “Twin” (produced by Leeroy Stagger) features fiddle, banjo and the haunting harmonies of his twin brother, Ben.
MacKay has a vibrato, thanks to his affinity for crooner vocalists, which gives him even more of an antique feel, like he just stepped out of a bus straight from the 1940’s. – Bob Mersereau – CBC – East Coast Music
MacKay is equal parts deep voiced crooner and delicately annunciated soul. There is a certain smokiness and sensual feel to his voice, almost a whisper at points. It warms you up deep in the chest as he sings out his songs. A little bit Roy Orbison and a little bit Keegan Dewitt, Nashville songwriter. – Red Line Roots (redlineroots.ca)
If you are looking for a performer to provide an unforgettable evening of song, stories, laughter and impeccable musicianship, Scott MacKay is the artist for you. – Rhea March – Artist Development Specialist – March Music & The School of Song
THE FIG & THE FLAME
The Fig & The Flame are a Calgary based duo known for their humour and heart. Their music reflects various musical influences, but their weaving and cascading are signature to their own sound. One moment tender, the next fierce, these women take audiences on a journey, reflecting on stories of the human experience, laughing all the way.
“Self-proclaimed “Urban Flower Child”, I am inspired by the contrasts of hippies & gangsters, urban & natural environments, light & dark energy, . The music I create is a blend of Soul & Folk. While taking notes from artists such as Sarah McLachlan and Erykah Badu, my sound remains uniquely its own.
I was raised in the woods of Calahoo, Alberta & at the age of 22 the Pacific Ocean called me to Vancouver, BC. On the West Coast I experienced “big city” life and immersed myself in urban culture. Currently living in Calgary, AB I have found the best of both the natural & urban worlds. My music and lifestyle are parallels of one another. Inspired by personal experience and imagination, my creations reflect the essence of Who I Am.”
“Buckley’s clear vocals shine with honesty and a touch of darkness, establishing her as an original and confident voice on the alt-country scene.” – Anna Alger, Exclaim!
Few performers combine the lyrical heartfelt authenticity of classic country music with a steely eyed intensity that compels an audience’s attention like Calgary, Alberta’s Mariel Buckley. Amidst a sea of neon-Nashville superstars, Buckley offers a crunchy, roots alternative.
An emerging live performer, with an appearance at Calgary Folk Music Festival to her credit, Buckley deftly matches her stark and haunting narratives of real-life struggle with a brassy wit that sets her apart from her contemporaries in its fearlessness. Her strengths as a songwriter are exemplified by her self-titled EP, and full-length debut Motorhome, hailed by No Depression as, “a new Loretta Lynn, speaking her mind, joking, flirting, ruminating, like Loretta did on some of her classic songs.”
Currently post production for her sophomore full length album, Driving In The Dark, with producer Leeroy Stagger, Mariel Buckley’s skills as a songwriter and performer continue to impress new listeners while her long-time supporters look on with an assured understanding that they knew the depth of her talents from the beginning.
AMY VAN KEEKEN
Amy van Keeken is songwriter and singer based in Edmonton. She is nominated for two Edmonton Music Awards this year (Female Artist of the Year and Roots/Folk Recording of the Year for “All the Time”) and won Best Jazz Recording in 2014 for her song “Fire For You” from her debut solo EP “So Long”. She is a founding member of roots/folk group the AwesomeHots and rock band The Secretaries.
“Haunting melodies and poetic lyrics make Jake Vance’s songwriting unique among his peers. Growing up in a musical family in Southern Alberta, Jake is a burgeoning artist in the Canadian music scene. Multitalented, Jake writes all his own music and lyrics as well as playing guitar and piano. In 2016, Jake completed the Artist Entrepreneur Program at CMI in Toronto, and played the TD Green Room at the 2016 Juno Awards. He was also a top 10 regional finalist in the 2016 CBC Searchlight competition. In September he performed at the Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival after being chosen as one of the winners of the Emerging Artist Mentorship Program. He is currently a featured artist on TDmusic.com Jake has spent two summers in London, UK, taking programs in Songwriting, Vocals and Recording. He has been lucky to have instructors that have also worked with the likes of Adele and Amy Winehouse. Jake’s first EP “”White Elephant”” (2015) charted on several Canadian college stations reaching as high as #4 in both Alberta and Ontario Jake completed his second EP, titled “Eden” with Russell Broom producing. It was released on May 27th 2016. The first single “The Poet” has been receiving airplay in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, In September it was nominated for a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award. Recently, Jake has showcased at Folk Alliance International through Alberta Music and Breakout West and was the opening act for Tom Cochrane in Calgary through the TD Music Series. He is currently writing and recording material for a full length CD “