For the second time in the last few months, Carly Pearce came north to Toronto and shared her music with country music fans. And this time, with her debut album, Every Little Thing, released to the world, she was wowed by the response.
We stopped in at Rock N Horse Saloon on Wednesday night to see Carly play an acoustic set for some lucky contest winners, and just like at the Budweiser Stage earlier this summer, she was strong, charming, and showed off a mountain of talent.
As she sang her set (Color, If My Name Was Whiskey, Doin’ It Right, Hide The Wine, Every Little Thing) she noticed people in the intimate crowd singing along with songs and immediately told everyone that this was going to be a night that she wouldn’t forget. When we sat down with Carly on Thursday morning we asked her about it and she shared those same feelings again. To be this far from home, playing songs that aren’t at radio and have only been available for the 5 days since the album’s release, and seeing people sing along was special for her.
We asked her about that same thing on bigger stages this year when fans sang along to her first hit single, Every Little Thing, and she said that the feeling is more than she can explain. She also admitted that there have been times that it has overwhelmed her and she’s started to cry on stage as the band plays on and she brings herself back to the microphone. It’s something Carly told us that she used to dream about, and now, it’s turned into a dream come true.
There will soon be more chances for Carly Pearce to see the crowd singing as she hits the road with Brett Young on his tour. She told us that it’s an exciting opportunity, and one that she’s never had before. She’s had the chance to play on tours and open shows, but this tour will be the first that she’s officially on and part of all the way through.
While we had Carly with us, we got her to play a quick round of 5 Quick Questions… have a look and find out what album she loves, her favourite Shania jam, and more.
Note: Carly Pearce is charming as all get out. Whether she’s got a microphone in her hand or she’s sitting on a couch in the morning drinking coffee, she’s got it. With a laugh/ smile/ joke combination she has the ability to light up a room, and she uses it.
We talked to Carly about her new album, and the process that brought it together. Knowing that she’s a songwriter, we were curious about the songs she wrote that made the final cut. Carly told us that she wrote eight of the 13 songs on the record, and that seven of them were done and ready when it was time to start working with Big Machine. The eighth track, If My Name Was Whiskey, was written just three days before it was cut, sliding in at the wire.
Carly also told us that she is appreciative of the chance to make a full album of 13 songs. She remembers listening to and loving the 90s albums from Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and other powerhouse women in country music, and she wanted to release the same thing. She added that Scott Borchetta’s “go get it” attitude was a big help and piece of encouragement when it was time to start working on the project.
We flipped the script on a question Carly’s heard before when we asked her what she thinks 16 year old her, the girl who moved from Kentucky to Tennessee to work and perform at Dollywood would tell her now. She laughed a little and told us that her 16 year old self was confident and absolutely sure that she was going to make it, so the success of her single, and the release of her record probably wouldn’t be a surprise. She did add that she thought it was going to happen sooner. That she was sure that when she moved to Nashville at 19 she was going to be Carrie Underwood, but that’s she’s glad now that it didn’t happen then, and that she had a chance to live and grow and write the songs she has now with the experience of the last 10 years or so.
Carly Pearce is an emerging star. Her voice, songwriting, charm, and overwhelming talent are going to grant her more opportunities in her career, and music fans will be lucky to be along for the ride.
For now, we’d recommend you press play on Every Little Thing and learn the words so you can sing along when you see her on stage. We know she’d love to see it.
David James had a busy summer playing stages and putting together his new EP, Downtown Kids, to share with the country music world.
We’ve listened to the album (a few times) and had the chance to catch up with David on the phone as he prepared for the album launch, a new single release, and the video to go along with it. To say he’s a busy guy would be an understatement.
I asked David about the summer, and making a record while working a busy road schedule, and he told us that it was both nuts and exciting.
The recording was done with producer Dan Swinimer (Madeline Merlo, Jojo Mason) in his studio at his home. David told us about the experience and being made to feel like part of the family. It sounds like a pretty great way to make a record – comfortable, relaxed, and with experience.
The resulting album is a lot of fun packed into 18 minutes. The six songs work together for a listening experience that will work for listeners, and should work very well for David James too. The new single, and lead track on the EP, Sun Set On It is quick hitting, and the kind of song that makes you want to dance in your sock feet at home. There are shades of the things we love about Dan Davidson here, and that ain’t a bad thing. David’s voice works in the song – it’s a banger – and we’re into it.
Fans and country radio listeners may already be familiar with two of the songs on the EP, with What If I Don’t and Later already hitting the airwaves with releases earlier in 2017. Both songs are a great fit for James, and we’re certain that we’ll be seeing people sing along to them the next time we see him on a stage performing.
Six songs is about five fewer than we wish we were listening to on Downtown Kids… but here’s hoping that this means we’re not going to have a long wait before the next project from the Manitoba boy comes to us!
While we were on the phone we also touched on working with his new producer, having the chance to play at home, and we played a round of 5 Quick Questions with the Manitoba country singer.
5 Quick Questions with David James
Q1) What album can you play on repeat without skipping songs?
David: The Very Best of the Eagles
2) What is your favourite Tragically Hip song?
David: Blow At High Dough
David also said that he loves Ahead By A Century, but the band has been playing Blow At High Dough forever and he’s pretty sure he loves it most.
Q3) What is your favourite late night fast food joint?
David: Johnny G’s in Winnipeg – open til 4am.
Q3b) Go to menu item?
David: Chicken Fingers
David asserts that he is a chicken finger connoisseur and Johnny G’s has the best in the world.
Q4) Did you have a childhood nickname?
Nothing fancy or complicated, but it gets the job done.
Q5) What artist do you think people should be listening to more, or paying more attention to?
David: Canadian country as a whole.
David told us how much he believes in the talent in Canada, and that we should all be pushing for more exposure and celebration of the music coming from our home country.
Big thanks once again to David James for taking the time to catch up, we’re hoping to see him again soon, and we’ll be here to tell you all about it.
David James, Downtown Kids Tracklist
1. Sun Set On It
2. Staring At Stars
3. Turn Me On
4. Downtown Kids
5. What If I Don’t
On November 2nd Colter Wall is playing a sold-out show at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away.
Colter is a young artist who sounds like he’s been around 100 years. Born in Saskatchewan his style is described as Americana, Folk, Country, Old Tyme, Blues, Bluegrass, and lastly traditional. He’s touring to support his debut self-titled album and to help you get ready for the show, you can hear it here. Wanna see what you’re in for, check out Colter’s CBC First Play Live below.
Joining Colter is Blake Berglund, from rural Kennedy, Saskatchewan. What can you expect? Old style country music in an amazing venue. Here’s a link to the Facebook event page – Colter Wall at The Horseshoe Tavern.
Here’s how the contest is going to work …
Use the form below to earn up to 9 entries, and add to your chances by tagging a friend on the contest post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We’ll be giving double points for all social entries – and we’ll email you if you’re the winner.
Note: This is a 19+ event and the winner and guest must be of Ontario legal drinking age to claim the prize and attend the show.
Coquitlam born solo artist, Matthew Good has released his eighth studio album, Something Like a Storm. Technically, if you count the albums released with The Matthew Good Band, it’s sixteen, but who’s counting. The singer/songwriter debuted much of the album live on YouTube on the night before the official release. Joined by Alan Cross, Matthew sang and talked about his history, the album, the songs, the writing process and more. Check out the video below, it’s pretty awesome.
It seems like the process of releasing albums has changed and we were given a video for Bad Guys Win in April of 2017, followed by a video for Decades in July, with two additional tracks on Spotify, Days Come Down and the title track Something Like a Storm. There’s a lot of tease and I was thrilled to be able to see Matthew performing some of the new tunes this summer at the Budweiser Stage.
Something Like a Storm is honest and pure Matthew Good. And I’m just going to say it, it’s not fun or lighthearted. I’m completely okay with that. The world is a scary place right now and that’s reflected in the songs.
These are not negatives, I really like this album. I like the songs, and I like the messages. I like the strings at the start of the title track, they’re dramatic and enticing, and the drums in Bad Guys Win are so good!
Matthew has been making records for over 20 years and while the process may have changed, the end result is still something Matthew Good fans can look forward to.