All posts by John

I enjoy travel, sports, music (a dedicated site at http://therealcanadianmusicblog.com/) and anything else that jumps up at me for the moment, which is why I blog. There will be lots of travel posts, pictures and our videos as well as a smattering of sports and humour. I enjoy promoting Canada and am unabashedly a proud Albertan

What’s Up Next – Some Notes

The Real Canadian Music Blog

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Hi all

We have a full schedule next week. First off, we will see the first article from our new writers, Dean Johnston and Laynni Locke. They will be contributing articles on travel on a regular basis. They have been traveling extensively for the last 15 years or so and I believe are up to 80 countries at this time. They are currently in Crete as part of a 3 month journey in Europe. Look for the first article to drop on Monday November 8, 2021. A big welcome to them.

A new series that will appear regularly is “Saturday Supper”. In this, we will take you through a dish from scratch with a recipe and hints. We will also comment on the wine we enjoyed with the meal and give you comments on the meal itself, thumbs up, or thumbs down. I f…

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Happy Birthday Keith Urban

The Real Canadian Music Blog

Today marks New Zealand’s own Keith Urban’s 54th birthday.  Born in New Zealand in 1967, he moved to Australia with his parents.  He signed his first recording contract with EMI in Australia in 1990.  He moved to Nashville in 1992.  Between 1992 and his first American album in 1999, he played with many notables and recorded with his ban “The Ranch” in 1997.  The rest is history.  A great guitar player, he notes his influences as being Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.             

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A Chat with Dan Washburn

I sat down (kind of, we were both sitting, just in different provinces) with the very talented singer, songwriter and player Dan Washburn. Dan is releasing a new single on October 25th titled “I’d Rather”. You will love it. My compatriot Don Pearse will have Dan on his show on Kat Country Radio on October 21st at 2:00 Mountain, 4:00 Eastern time. To listen in, you find the station at www.thedonpearsestudios.com Just press the Listen Here button.

Put simply, Dan is a pro. He’s been doing this for a while. Dan started playing guitar at 7 years old, wrote his first song at 10 and became a regular on bass for his first band at 13. Since then he has credits on over 200 albums and has shared the stage with artists such as George Fox, Colleen Peterson, Emmy-Lou Harris (love her) Waylon Jennings, Toby Keith and many others. An outstanding career to date. The interview with Don will be a must listen.

Back to our conversation. We spoke at length on a multitude of subjects. One theme that threaded its way through most subjects was his love for independent artists and the struggles in getting heard. One comment stood out, I’ll paraphrase. As in everything, the independents artist pool contains poor, mediocre, good and top level talents. Program directors will playlist a mediocre tune from an established artist (read on a label) and won’t give the same consideration to a great song from a top level independent.

I have to agree, as I’ve seen this in covering many independent artists. A song is amazing from someone on Twitter or Instagram etc., I’ll download it from a streaming site, and the only time I’ll ever hear it is if comes up randomly or I purposely queue it up. I 100% agree with him on this one. This is completely unfair and stifles talent, not to mention it cheats you and me from hearing some outstanding records.

On that topic, we went into who he listens to and who would he recommend I listen to (I’m a recent Country Music listener). His list was, as expected, varied and full of talented performers. I have just begun to go through their catalogues and he is bang on. The first name that I checked in on is an outstanding talent. Her name is Suzi Kory, and you can find her on YouTube. You will hear more from me on her and all the others as well. Thanks Dan for that.

I asked if there were any tours upcoming. Unfortunately nothing close, unless you live close to Ireland. He is heading out on tour there shortly.

As a recent country listener, I asked what his favorite songs of his that I should listen to. Based on “I’d Rather” and “Simple Things”, I wanted to dig deeper into his repertoire, and who better to ask than the artist himself. I’ll pass them on, all are available to listen to on Dan’s YouTube channel. First “I’ll Have To Drink About That” is a tongue in cheek tune on relationships. Well written and added to my collection.

Next up is “We Were Almost Love”. A very different song than I’ll Have To Drink. It showcases a softer tone. Very strong in the lyrical sense and well sung. Another great tune.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend you grab his tunes off your streaming site and tune in to Dan with Don on October 21 at 2PM MDT, 4PM EDT for the On Air The Podcast on Kat Country Radio.

A Note To My Followers

The Real Canadian Music Blog

Good morning friends. I recently took on an editor position with an internet radio station and will be administering their various columns on their social media sites and their online magazine. We have an opportunity available for people to contribute columns and posts to these sites, which includes the online magazine. This would be on a volunteer basis, fully attributed and linked to your site. This should increase your readership and assist you if you have monetized your site.

We are looking at a true online magazine which will be separate from the station, Kat Country Radio, and has complete freedom to post about any topic that meets our editorial standards. Travel, short stories, poetry, humor, current events, you name it, we’ll look at it.

If this interests you, please contact me at:

Here is a link to the station on live365

https://live365.com/station/KAT-COUNTRY-RADIO-a63406

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The Charts This Week – October 9, 2021

Number 1 on the CKUA album chart is Andy Shauf and the album is “Wilds”. This is his latest release and is a follow up to his successful record of 2020, “The Neon Skyline”.

The song I have chosen is titled “Jaywalker” and is available at all the regular streaming sites.

An interesting song, pay attention to the lyrics, no animals were injured. Andy is from Saskatchewan, which makes me happy as an ex-Saskatchewanian, also because he is Canadian and at number 1.

Please support community radio, CKUA is donation driven and is one of the best radio stations on the planet. They are well known for their support of Canadian music and trend towards the independent artists. Their fall fundraiser is on now until November 7. If you are so inclined, pledge some support their way. Their website is below.

http://ckua.com/

Canadian Artists Online – Lisette Xavier

Lisette Xavier is an artist I have written of in the past. She has been a fixture on the Calgary music scene for many years now, and I figured it was time to catch up. My last article was in 2014 and is available here, if you are interested.

Her latest work is the featured tune “Rise Up”, with was released in February 2021. Catchy tune, well written and a pretty cool video. I’ve always been impressed with her vocals and she keeps one interested throughout. Nice job!

If you choose to do so, the song, and her past catalogue are available at all the usual places, Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp, Tidal and Google Play.

You can go directly to her sites on her webpage.

Lisettexavier.com

Beer Review – People Skills

Next one to hit my palate was a very smooth and refreshing light ale. Once again, there was no note attached (retirement gift from work),so I have to thank the anonymous donor for a solid choice. People Skills is brewed in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They brew several beers, all are good based on my experience with this one.

They call it a Patio Ale, and I agree it would be a good one to drink on a patio. I definitely enjoyed it on my deck.

Here is the link to their website page referring to this beer, and make sure to click on the video below as well. You may want to spend some time perusing their website, pretty well done.

Tool Shed Brewing Company

People Skills Video

Scenes From A Hike – September 4, 2021

Went for a nice hike on a forestry road that led us to the shore of Monroe Lake in the East Kootenays of British Columbia. The trek was 3.21 miles, or 5.2 KM. A screenshot of the route is below and it is an in and out via the same route.

The scene below is indicative of the scenery along the road.

Once we reached the lake, there is a foot bridge and an old dam, now in various stages of deterioration.

It is also the mouth of a creek, pretty much dried up as we are at the end of the season. Most creeks and rivers out here are snow and rain fed, meaning they tend to dry up, or they are spring fed, which this one is not. We have seen this creek higher up in the mountain in the past, but it was late October and there was runoff.

We did continue on to the right on the map and discovered some well worn elk trails that we will explore at a later date. We turned back and took the left spur which took us to some amazing scenery. We have done this path prior to this and knew what we were in for. We have also kayaked through the meadow, a post I will put up once I finish playing with video.

We also know about how to relax. A conveniently placed bench to look at the landscape.

And of course, it is not all about the scenery, lets not forget the foliage and critters. In this case an interesting mushroom and some pretty butterflies.

Canadian Artists Online – Amy Allred

A new feature as I will be showcasing Canadian artists that I run across on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter etc. My first article is focused on Lethbridge, Alberta country artist Amy Allred.

Amy was a vocal major at Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia. Upon returning to Canada, she continued her quest in music, but appears to have hit a roadblock with Covid. She writes and performs her own music and is a fixture on the Southern Alberta music scene.

I found the song below on YouTube, where she has her own channel. She has a clear concise vocal and wrote the song, “You Had To Go”.

Please visit the links below and check out her music

YouTube

Website

Instagram

Canada’s All Time Top Songs – #97

We have now got to 97 on the list, “Crying Over You” by Platinum Blonde. The band formed in the early 80’s and had a string of hits on Canadian airwaves. They had minimal success in the USA, so my readers from anywhere but Canada will find them to be a new band. The song featured here was their one and only number 1 in Canada. It was taken from their 1985 album “Alien Shores”. The album spawned (see what I did there) 4 singles and is likely the pinnacle of their success. It included their only charted single in the USA, “Somebody, Somewhere” which reached 82 on the Billboard Top 100 and 23 in Canada.

The band is still touring and had released an album of new material in 2012.

Without further adieu, the number 97 Canadian hit of all time, “Crying Over You”.