Ember Swift is a Canadian singer/songwriter who has been residing in Beijing, China for 13 years. I met Ember a few years ago when she was back in Canada performing at Hugh’s Room. Ember wrote her first song at the age of nine and has never stopped. She has toured Europe, North America, Australia and of course Asia. She has just released her 13th album, Mid-March Meltdown, which, by the way, has nothing to do with the pandemic but refers to another March years past. Welcome back!
Taking a step back to July 14, 2020, I had the opportunity to chat with Toronto artist David Celia and his partner Marla.
A highly respected independent guitarist, singer and songwriter. Crisscrossing Canada and Europe since 2005, Celia has built a large fan base across both continents. He was a member of a number of bands before deciding to forge ahead with a solo career.....that is until he met Marla.
Celia has performed with many top name acts and has release a total of eight albums. His most recent album, Indistinct Chatter, is a collaboration with Marla and was released just under three weeks ago.
Part two with Lighthouse lead vocalist Dan Clancy as we delve deeper into the challenges and issues within the music business.....tip jars, the union and paying musicians a fair wage. Producer/engineer John Jamieson joins us for this discussion. Some great new tunes, advice for young musicians and a few fun questions to wrap things up.
A synopsis from the Lighthouse website -- Dan Clancy has been the dynamic lead vocalist for the Canadian rock band Lighthouse since 1992. He began singing with the Holy Cross church choir at six years of age and by eleven was fronting his first band. Dan's voice, with its enormous range, is the ideal vehicle to perform the classic Lighthouse hits as well as the new material that has been written specifically with his voice in mind.
Lighthouse is a Canadian rock band formed in 1968 by drummer Skip Prokop and keyboardist Paul Hoffert in Toronto, Canada. The band's repertoire included elements of rock, jazz, classical and swing, featuring horns, string instruments and vibraphone. They won Juno Awards for Best Canadian Group of the year in 1972, 1973 and 1974.
A familiar and well-known name in Canadian music, Alfie Zappacosta has been singing, songwriting and playing his guitar across Canada for close to 50 years. His first band Surrender was formed in 1978 and went on to sign with Capital records . Zappacosta is a two-time Juno Award winner....his first in 1985 as Most Promising Male Vocalist. He won his second Juno and American Music Award for Overload, used in the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing. The song was co-written with keyboardist Marco Luciani with Zappacosta also providing the vocals. Dirty Dancing happened to end up as one of the biggest selling soundtracks of the 80s. Zappacosta has recorded twelve studio albums, including one with Surrender, two live compilations and a slew of singles. His lates album, Saved, was released ion March of 2021.
Mitchell Field began his music career as the drummer for John Lee Hooker. He formed Canadian rock band Hellfield in 1978 after recruiting Dave Hovey on guitar, Jamie Larsen on bass, Steve Coombs on drums and Rick Lamb on keyboards. Locking themselves in a studio, they emerged two month later with new material and a new demo. Hellfield went through a number of changes but stayed together long enough to make an impact on the North American rock scene. The band broke up in 1982. Field released his first solo project in 2000 and is currently working on a new Hellfield album with original bassist James Larsen and guitarist Paul Royes.
Mitchell Field began his music career as the drummer for John Lee Hooker. After approaching CBS as a solo artist, Field was advised to put together a band and try again. That’s exactly what he did. With Dave Hovey on guitar, Jamie Larsen on bass, Steve Coombs on drums and Rick Lamb on keyboards…..Hellfield was born. Locking themselves in a studio, they emerged two month later with new material and a new demo. Residing in Montreal, Field is now working on a new Hellfield album along with the band's original bassist Jamie Larsen and guitarist Paul Royes.
Let me see if I can sum up Paul’s extensive career in music in one paragraph.
Paul is a Juno award winning performer and has spent almost 55 years as a working musician, touring and recording with artists Domenic Troiano, Kim Mitchell, Lawrence Gowan, David Clayton Thomas, Rik Emmett, Rodger Hodgson and a host of others. He is an author of two books on drumming and was an educator at Humber College for 33 years. Paul is a member of two tribute bands Brass Transit (the music of Chicago) and Pretzel Logic (the music of Steely Dan). He is also part of two collaborative tribute shows; Jeans ‘n Classics performing the music of Queen, Supertramp, The Who, Rocky Horror, and many more and the theatrical production of the ONES Show, a tribute to The Beatles. Paul is also the leader of his own fusion band Paul DeLong’s One Word.
Author and podcaster of the Pandemic Interviews, this is my 30th podcast and I'm celebrating! May not seem like many to those who have published hundreds or more, but to this neophyte, it's an amazing feat. From going into this blindly and recording conversations with my cell phone, to now interviewing in a professional recording studio, this journey has been, if nothing else, mind blowing and a bit surreal. The past six years have been a whirlwind with massive changes in my life. This podcast is the culmination of all that's gone on.....but yet, it's only the beginning. Thank you to all who have patiently helped and supported me through all this. Cheers!
She has been called a Yorkville Legend and a Canadian music icon and is a key part of the story of Toronto’s music history. Multi-talented and multi-faceted, Cathy is a vocalist, songwriter, producer, guitarist, harmonica and kazoo player. She won the Juno in 1974 for Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year and was nominated 1975 for Best Female Artist for her second album.
She is a founding member of the Spirit of Yorkville Alumni in Toronto. A 70 foot mural on 22-foot building in downtown Toronto, features many of the iconic artists who have performed in the heyday of the famous (and infamous) Yonge St. strip. The mural includes a depiction of Cathy’s first album, honouring her music, the artist and her role in Toronto’s music scene.