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Atlantic Voices

A Collection of Women Singer-Songwriters

Atlantic Voices—A Collection of Women Singer-songwriters

Warner Music has recently released Atlantic Voices—A Collection Of Women Singer-Songwriters on the Warner Music Canada/Rhino label. A new generation of East Coast women have musically stepped forward. Each artist on this collection brings her own twist to the singer-songwriter genre. Included on the recording is a Juno winner, and several of the artists have won ECMA, Music NS, Music PEI and Music NL awards.

Featured on the CD are Sherry Ryan, “Leave The Light On”; Rose Cousins “Lost In The Valley”; Colleen Power, “Leavin’ Song”; Amelia Curran, “You Won’t Find Me”; Catherine MacLellan, “Church Bell Blues”; Kelly Sloan, “Hurricane”; Meaghan Smith, “Drifted Apart”; Ruth Minnikin, “Depend On This”; Christina Martin, “Two Hearts”; Norma MacDonald, “A Little Longer”; Meaghan Blanchard, “Mazie”; Jenn Grant, “Sailing By Silverships”; Rebekah Higgs, “Happy”; Julie Doiron, “Consolation Prize.

Far Away

Jeff Morris

Far Away - Jeff Morris

Produced on PEI by John Boswell and mixed and mastered by David Rashed. Musicians performing on the recording are Carl Cormier (drums), Moe Hashi (drums), John Boswell (bass, keys, BGs), Darren Ings (keys), David Rashed (keys), Jeff Morris (all guitars, lead vocals, keys). Jeff wrote all songs except track 6 which was co-written with John Boswell. The lyrics were written by Jeff, as well as some co-writes with Jamie MacSwain and Lawrence Patzer.

Jeff Morris writes and sings his original pop-rock compositions which he describes as “radio friendly groove-based acoustic pop, and crunchy power pop.” His first two recordings, Sitting on the Moon (EP 2000) and afterglow (2002), were well received. Far Away, his second recording project, has already attracted attention. The latest single, “Photograph,” is currently in the top ten of and in regular rotation on radio in Atlantic Canada including Magic 93FM in Charlottetown. Jeff has made an appearance on BTV to promote the new album. You can catch him on CBC Radio 1’s Atlantic Airwaves on May 2 at 5 pm.

Jeff now resides in Charlottetown and teaches at National Music. He is a graduate of Grant MacEwen College Edmonton in Jazz Studies (guitar performance). Far Away is available on PEI at CD Plus, Back Alley Music, Best of PEI Market, and National Music in Charlottetown. It’s also at and soon on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby etc.,

To Serve the Song

Rhythm Rules

To Serve the Song - Rhythym RulesWith the release of their debut recording, To Serve The Song, Rhythm Rules has cooked up a menu with a variety of flavours, from reggae to rock, and a mix of other hors d’ouevres in between.

This 12-course meal is a collection of songs written by Jon Rehder and Reg Ballagh, “lovingly and sometimes angrily,” served up with just the right amount of herb and spice. “It’s food for thought,” says Jon, “from the service in the Temple of Song.”

The band features Chris Gauthier (guitar, lap steel), Remi Arsenault (bass), Reg Ballagh (drums, percussion), Jon Rehder (guitar, piano, vocals), Patricia Richard (vocals). Additional creative colours are by Johnny “Porko” Theodore (organ), Herb Poole (baritone horn), Barrie Sorensen (sax section), Rick Tersteeg (cello). Special assistance and “musicality” was given by Nick Gauthier. This project was recorded at Reggie’s Recording Palace and engineered and mixed by James Carrier, “the Cowboy Scientist.” It was produced by James Carrier and Rhythm Rules. Graphic design is by Sarah Tamula with front cover dinner drum photo and assistance by Allieanna Ballagh.

The CD is available at Back Alley Music and many Island Stores and online at

That Female Look

The Barnkats

The Female Look - The Barnkats

The Barnkats are best friends since Grade 3, bandmates since the summer of Grade 9, and bros before barnyard hoes. They have recently released their first EP titled That Female Look.

The Barnkats are really just Katie Rankin (vocals and keyboard) and Gillian Arsenault (vocals and guitar); they are supported on the album by Mira Dahn, violin and Andrew Woods, drums. The CD was produced by Perry Williams at Virtual Studios in Bonshaw throughout the summer and fall of 2008. Williams also lends bass and guitar tracks to the album. Combining folk, pop, country, and electro, the EP contains six original songs that tackle everything from haters to local-celebrity crushes to dancing with your bff. That Female Look can be purchased at Back Alley Music or at a Barnkat show.

Bluegrass Bouquet - Volume III

The Daughters of Bluegrass

Bluegrass Bouquet: Volume III - The Daughters of BluegrassCongratulations to Janet McGarry on achieving another major accolade in her musical career. Janet is now part of an elite group of leading women in bluegrass music, in fact she is the first International artist to become a “Daughter of Bluegrass.”

The “Daughters of Bluegrass” project is a series of award winning CD recordings which showcases leading female vocalists and industry musicians. Lorraine Jordan, herself a leading bluegrass recording artist from North Carolina, was instrumental in putting the project together. Janet first met Lorraine in 2006 while sharing the stage at a festival in Nova Scotia, which is where Lorraine invited Janet to participate as a leading artist in the next project. Janet is the first Canadian artist to join this elite group consisting of some 52 women in bluegrass, and she now appears on Volume III, released this past September.

For this CD, Janet re-recorded “Scenes from an Old Country Graveyard,” a song she has previously released on her My Dixie Darlin album back in 2006. The song was penned by Tom T. and Dixie Hall shortly after the funeral of Jeanette Carter and in a fitting tribute, Janet’s re-recording has an old time feel accompanied with only guitar and autoharp, reminiscent of the original Carter family music. The project was recorded at Blue Circle Records Studio in Nashville, TN, also owned by the Halls, which is where Janet traveled to record the song this past March.

Janet’s friendship with Tom T and Dixie began while she was working on her gospel recording when she first contacted them for original material to include on her project. A friendship developed from this initial contact and they have been very supportive of Janet’s music ever since.

Janet showcased with the Daughters at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass last October, and this February she will be returning to Nashville to participate in a special stage performance of the “Daughters of Bluegrass” during the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) music weekend. And this summer, Janet will team up once again with Lorraine Jordan at that same festival where they first met—at Fox Mountain in Aylesford, NS—bringing it all full circle.

a kick in the blood

Battery Point

a kick in the blood - Battery Point

Battery Point has come a long way since forming just over a year ago. Their new album, A Kick in the Blood has been nominated for an East Coast Music Award in Best Rock Recording category, and recently won Rock Recording of the Year at the 2009 Music PEI awards. The band is comprised of Dennis Ellsworth and Bruce White, who share the guitar and vocal duties, and Brady and Craig MacDonald, as the rhythm section. The writing is a collective effort.

It’s straight up rock and roll, but with a twist—Battery Point has two capable vocalists. The album is upbeat. The band says, “It’s fast and fun and rocks start to finish.” “Whole Lotta Nothin,” the album opener, sets the precedent for what follows. “Losing Sleep Oversleep” is a crowd favorite live. “A Chapter of Accidents” has a chorus that highlights Battery Point’s vocal harmonies. “Damage City” is a rhythmic stomp with dynamic drums and a melodic chorus.

A Kick in the Blood was recorded at Shell Lane Studios in Malpeque, by Paul Milner during the summer of 2008. Before the recording session began, the band had written over thirty songs. From those songs they narrowed it down to ten songs that they feel fit well together. They worked on the songs for months tearing them apart and putting them back together in many different shapes and forms before final decisions were made. The album was completed in August and released by Sandbar Music on September 30, 2008.


Aaron Collier

 - Aaron Collier

Islander Aaron Collier, who now calls Toronto home, released his first CD of electronic music, Love, in August 2008.

This classically-trained pianist’s distinctive sound and style have secured his place among Canada’s frontier-pushing musicians. He has won numerous awards including a silver medal for the highest Royal Conservatory Exam grade in Atlantic Canada. In 2001 Collier became the keyboardist for The Jimmy Swift Band. To date they have three studio albums, one live album and have just released their first live DVD. When he is not performing with JSB or recording in the studio with Bruce Guthro, Nick Eede and other artists, Aaron can be seen playing as a member of “looping madness duo” Scientists of Sound or sharing the stage with Halifax DJ Nick Nonsense. Collier’s is also the resident composer and sound designer for Halifax theatre troupe Angels & Heroes. In 2005 he produced and individually handmade his first EP Islands.

Love is available at Back Alley Music and The Green Man in Charlottetown, and Taz Records and CD Plus in Halifax, and on, iTunes,, and Rhapsody.

Between You and Me

Drea Macdonald

Between You and Me - Drea Macdonald Born in Cardigan, Drea has travelled to and lived in places across Canada. Previous releases include Visions (2003), Where have all the Spacemen Gone? (2004), The Finer Things (2006) and This Time (2007). In January, Drea formed a new band with Thomas Mears, Mike MacDougall and Simon Joseph (all friends from the local PEI music scene).

Unlike her previous recordings, this project, Between You and Me, has a cast of backing musicians, and was engineered by local recording artist Adam Gallant. The talented group performing with Drea on this CD includes Thomas Mears, Andy Hodgins, Dean Dunsford, Jon Mullins and Tim Gormley, who sang a duet on the song “To Love You.”

With elements of blues, folk and country rock, Between You and Me features the songwriting and clear alto voice of Drea, who hopes that the recording is something just a bit different for music listeners.

Food for the Moon

Al Tuck

Food for the Moon - Al Tuck

Summerside-born singer-songwriter Al Tuck has released a new studio recording, his fifth, entitled Food for the Moon. The new disc features twelve Al Tuck originals, plus a cover version of Gene MacLellan’s “Snowbird.”

Sessions at Charles Austin’s Echo Chamber Studios (Buck 65, Matt Mays) in Halifax yielded nine of the album’s tracks. Additional work in Halifax engineered by Tyler Myalls at the Music Room provided one song. Two were produced in Toronto by Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith, Rheostatics) and a final selection was cut in Charlottetown this past Christmas day by Adam Gallant (Nudie and the Turks). The recording was mastered at Archive Mastering by J. LaPointe and Al worked with Peter Holt to create the CD jacket.

Al sang, played guitar, keyboard and harmonica and many musicians contributed. At the Halifax sessions: pianist Erin Costelo; drummer Chris Cookson on the cajone; bassist Andrew Glencross. In Toronto: drummer Don Kerr; organist Dafydd Hughes; bassist Chris Banks and guitarist Paul Mathew. Drummer Alex Porter, guitarist Phil Sedore, organist Adam Baldwin, violinist Allison Corbett, pedal steel man Dale Murray and guitarist Andy Hodgins were also instrumental. Backup vocals were provided by Erin Costelo, Amelia Curran, Becky Siamon and on one track by Catherine MacLellan.

Water in the Ground

Catherine MacLellan

Water in the Ground - Catherine MacLellan

Island singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan will release her third CD in March on the True North Records label. Water in the Ground is a collection of new songs which features Catherine along with some of the most prominent roots musicians in Canada, including Treasa Levasseur, Justin Rutledge and David Baxter.

From the first track, “Take A Break,” a light and cheerful mood is prominent throughout the CD to the finale “Flowers on Your Grave.” In Water in the Ground Catherine invites you to listen in on her conversations and share her musical and emotional journey.

Voted Critics Favourite New Discovery by Penguin Eggs Magazine in 2008, Catherine has quickly built up a loyal fan base and has been a hit with critics worldwide. Her last album Church Bell Blues hit #1 on the iTunes Canada Roots charts and received critical acclaim from international magazines such as Q, Maverick, fRoots, the Austin Chronicle, and Boston Globe. She has toured with Bruce Cockburn in the USA and with Steve Forbert in the UK, and showcased in Paris, Cannes, Berlin, New York, London, and Memphis.

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