Maria Dunn Wins Edmonton Music Prize for Her Album Gathering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2017

MARIA DUNN WINS EDMONTON MUSIC PRIZE FOR HER ALBUM GATHERING
 Maria Dunn Gathering

Maria Dunn won the top Edmonton Music Prize on Thursday evening at the Garneau Theatre for her 2016 album Gathering. The annual award is sponsored by the City of Edmonton through the Edmonton Arts Council, and administered by Alberta Music. 

“I’m very grateful and proud to be part of the supportive, inspiring, vibrant arts community that we have here in Edmonton, in no small part due to the work of the Edmonton Arts Council, Alberta Music and my fellow artists. I’m humbled and honoured to be recognized for something that I love to do and and that I feel compelled to do. Thank you to my producer Shannon Johnson, engineer Jerry Woolsey, all the musicians who contributed their considerable talents to recording Gathering and all the people who inspired the songs.”

Maria’s music has received critical acclaim over the years, both at home and abroad. Her song “Malala” (inspired by the courageous young activist for education rights, Malala Yousafzai) recently won a 2016 Independent Music Award in the Social Action Song category. On February 18 (7 pm), the Maria Dunn Trio will perform an Official Showcase at the 2017 Folk Alliance International Conference, Benton’s (20th Floor) in Kansas City, MO. 

Long known for her storytelling through song, Maria’s sixth recording, Gathering, highlights stories of love—not songs of romantic love, but songs of family, community, humanity and the love that connects us and fires our actions to make the world a better place. Recorded at DanLyn Studios in Sherwood Park, Gathering was produced by Shannon Johnson (Juno award winner with The McDades for 2007’s Bloom) and continues to expand Maria’s musical palate with contributions from Sufi singer Karim Gillani and jazz saxophonist Jeremiah McDade.

The 11 songs on Gathering range from “Malala”, a buoyant call to action inspired by Malala Yousafzai, to “When I Was Young”, a flowing old-time ballad inspired by Alberta indigenous leader Dorothy McDonald-Hyde. “How I Live” shares the quiet courage of families supporting their children with disabilities, while “When The Grandmothers Meet” celebrates women across the globe, with its exuberant vocals and joyful horn lines. The recording finishes with “Music In The Meadow”, a bluesy bow-driven wordplay on the wonder of the Rocky Mountains.

A wonderful collection of new songs from one of our most important and vital songwriters…If it doesn’t bring a lump to your throat, you’re already beyond help. Essential listening, then, this Gathering. – Penguin Eggs Magazine (March 2016)

Thank you to the following for supporting this recording project: The Province of Alberta through Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton.

Maria Dunn

Upcoming Performances

Sat March 4 – Fundraising Concert for “Huron Out of the Cold” Project
Goderich, ON
http://www.lakeshoreuc.org

Thursday, March 9 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Golden Link Folk Singing Society (Penfield NY)
http://www.goldenlink.org/

Fri Mar 10 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Old Songs Concert Series (Voorheesville, NY)
http://oldsongs.org

Sat Mar 11 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Walkabout Clearwater Concerts (White Plains, NY)
http://www.walkaboutclearwater.org/music/coffeehouse.php

Sun Mar 12 – Maria Dunn, Si Kahn, Joe Jencks Triple Bill
Valley Folk Club (Corning, NY)
www.valleyfolk.org

Fri Mar 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Celebration: Maria Dunn Concert followed by Irish Ceili
Castleton Town Hall (Castleton, ON)
http://themillatpipercreek.ca/arts-and-heritage-centre/

Sat Apr 22 – Maria Dunn Trio (with Shannon Johnson, Jeremiah McDade)
Northern Lights Folk Club (Edmonton, AB)
http://www.northernlightsfc.ca

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To set-up interviews and/or for more information, contact:
Marlene D’Aoust | Ph:  (403) 455-3175 | email:  mdaoust@shaw.ca

Artist:  Distant Whisper Music · PO Box 4463, Edmonton, AB CANADA T6E 4T5 · (780) 430-8560 · www.mariadunn.com

Publicity & Promotion:  Free Expression · #92, 1845 Lysander Cr. SE, Calgary, AB  Canada · T2C 1X9 · email: mdaoust@shaw.ca · (403) 455-3175

CD Distribution:  Outside Music · (416) 461-0655 · http://www.outside-music.com http://www.outside-music.com

Canadian Country-Pop Duo Northern Heights Release Debut Single, “Small Town Getaway”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 1, 2015

Northern Heights Small Town Getaway
[Airdrie, Alberta]  Canadian country/pop duo Northern Heights makes warm and lively tunes that tell tales of memory, hope, heartbreak, human connections and the joys of life’s twisting path. Steered by experienced, gifted artists and songwriters Chad McMonagle (guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals) and Eli Budwell (lead vocals), the group’s vivid lyrics, bright, lush instrumentation and vocal harmonies, infectious hooks and engaging live performances invite audiences to join them in celebrating each moment through well-crafted music.

Inspired by their love of contemporary country international superstars including Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban as well as favorite Canadian country acts like Dallas Smith and Brett Kissel, Northern Heights’ dynamic synergy and love for experimenting with fresh sounds shimmers in their premiere single, “Small Town Getaway.” Co-produced by Juno Award and Canadian Country Music Award (CCMA) nominee musician Chris Byrne (The Road Hammers) and lauded touring musician and producer Johnny Gasparic (Charlie Major, Jake Matthews, Ray Griff), the catchy, summery song was recorded at MCC Recording Studio in Calgary, winner of multiple CCMAs. This stunning recorded debut also features backing band of all stars: one of Canada’s most sought after live and session drummers, CCMA Drummer of the year Chad Melchert (Gord Bamford, Deric Ruttan); multi-award winning guitarist Russell Broom (Alee, Lady Antebellum, Jann Arden); CCMA Keyboard Player of the Year Bart McKay and CCMA Bass Player of the Year nominee Chris Byne.

Long-time collaborators, McMonagle and Budwell first bonded through their passion for music and their ability to draw melodies, harmonies and poetry from their everyday lives. The two met as young teenagers and though living far apart, formed a pop punk band, writing songs together via live chats on the Internet. As part of the five-piece ensemble Run Romeo Run, they played shows throughout Canada, opened for rock groups such as Loverboy and showcased at Canadian Music Week. Though the project broke up, McMonagle and Budwell recorded an EP as a pop duo and continued to keep in touch as they explored the music industry and fine-tuned their respective musical talents. A string aficionado, McMonagle began a career booking cross-Canada tours for bands and promoting shows while learning the intricacies of acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano, bass, plus drums. Budwell attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City where he studied voice and musical theatre, traveling the U.S. as Conrad Birdie in a touring production of Bye Bye Birdie.

Bursting with song ideas from their many escapades, the two reunited to write together and came up with the concept for Northern Heights in January of 2015 after realizing the new tracks they were recording were tailor-made for the emotional and imaginative stories that can be expressed through country music. The pair decided to move into a house together and build a home studio in their basement, and the tunes have been flowing ever since.

McMonagle and Budwell have won multiple contests over the years for their work and have had their songs featured on the radio and played hundreds of shows together across Canada. Through Northern Heights, they are able to combine the rich sounds of the country and pop music genres with their background in punk, rock and musical theatre in order to create music that is both relatable to audiences and full of surprises.

“Small Town Getaway” is available NOW on iTunes. Northern Heights is currently on a Canadian radio tour that will end in Halifax at the 2015 Canadian Country Music Awards show in Halifax.

Radio Tour (More dates to be added)

Tues, Aug 11, 2pm: CJKC Country 103 – Kamloops, BC
Wed, Aug 12, 11am: CJCI/THE WOLF – Prince George, BC
Mon, Aug 17: 10am: CKGY/KG Country – Red Deer, AB
Tues, Aug 18: 8am: CFWE – Edmonton, AB
Tues, Aug 18 or Wed, Aug 19: CKWB/THE RANGE – Westlock, AB

Connect with Northern Heights

Website: www.northernheightsmusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NorthernHeightsAB
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NorthernHTS
Instagram: https://instagram.com/northernheightsmusic