Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Canada’s Finest Recording Artists: Amanda Martinez, Sultans of String and Fearing & White

Amanda Martinez Valentine Concert - Kingston Road Concert SeriesI have to be honest. As a chronically single, 50-something, die-hard romantic female who feels that the Ship of Love sailed without me, Valentine’s Day is not my favourite holiday and most of the time I do my best to ignore it as I never have plans to celebrate. I’d be at home watching Netflix like most other evenings. However, this year, I’m trying hard to think positively and working as a social media manager for musicians does have its perks. I’m a huge fan of all of the artists that I mention in this post, not just because I’ve worked with them, but because, quite simply put, they are among Canada’s finest recording artists.

If you live in the Toronto area and are looking for something special to do with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day Eve: Friday, February 13th (you’re not superstitious, are you?), I highly recommend going to see the extraordinary Amanda Martinez at Kingston Road United Church in the Beaches.

Amanda’s voice is an elixir for the soul! She is a Toronto-based singer songwriter whose music blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul. Her solo CDs have garnered her multiple nominations for Latin Jazz Performer of the Year, and her songs have appeared on three Putumayo world music collections, including Latin Dreamland and Cafe Latino. Martinez has headlined concerts at the 2011 PanAmerican Games in Guadalajara and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Her newest CD Mañana was helmed by Grammy-winning producer Javier Limón (Buika, Mariza) who hails Martinez as “one of the greatest voices in the world.”

She captures the raw emotion and passion of Latin Music making us sit up and listen” ~ CBC Radio

Amanda performs for the Kingston Road Village Concert Series at Kingston Road United Church on Friday, February 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm. Get your tickets now here.

What do we really know about the origins of Valentine’s Day? We know that Saint Valentine was a third century Roman martyr, but he had nothing to do with the romantic traditions that became associated with his holiday. In this century, we celebrate February 14th by sending cards or “Valentines”, flowers and chocolates to our loved ones; by going out for dinner to our favourite restaurants; or even by creating the perfect CD mix to let our beloved know just how much we care.

Award-winning world music super group Sultans of String recently released their official video for the Chris McKhool penned “Will You Marry Me”, theChris McKhool of Sultans of String proposal song he wrote for his lovely wife who appears in the video with their beautiful young daughter. The video has now surpassed 80,000 views! Valentine’s Day is not only one of the most romantic days of the year for many, but also one of the most popular for popping the question. “Will You Marry Me” from the 2015 Juno Award-nominated album, Symphony! (Instrumental Album of the Year) is the perfect proposal song. Unabashedly adoring, this is certainly one of Sultans of String’s finest moments and the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day Mix CD!

 

So, what am I, the Hallmark Holiday Cynic, doing THIS YEAR to celebrate Valentine’s Day? I confess that I did not make a mix CD. However, I am going with my sister to see that brilliant, Irish-born, singer-songwriting duo knownFearing & White Tea and Confidences as Fearing & White perform songs from their sophomore album Tea and Confidences at Abbott Hall in Tamworth. The Napanee Guide featured multiple Juno Award winning Blackie and the Rodeo Kings member Stephen Fearing and fully paid up 21st Century Troubadour (and author) Andy White in this recent article. There are only a few tickets left for this show so if you’re interested, call 613-379-2808. You won’t be able to miss me there…I’ll be the chubby red-headed woman with the ear-to-ear grin on her face sitting with a chubby blonde who’ll undoubtedly be tired but happy to be there.

Thank you Stephen & Andy for giving this woman a reason to cast off her usual cynicism and believe in the power of love and gratitude.

Stephen Fearing Presents Roots on the Wire – 3 Live Streaming Concerts

Stephen Fearing Roots on the Wire Live Streaming Concerts

I’m a big fan of multiple Juno winning, Canadian singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing, (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Fearing & White) so it is a real thrill for me to be able to work with him and to help him promote this fantastic gift to his fans and to music lovers in North America.

Roots on the Wire allows you to enjoy Stephen Fearing in a live-streaming format from the comfort of your own home, cottage, or wherever your computer takes you. The online series will be broadcast (in real-time) in three parts. Concert #1 (June 26th) – Features Fearing’s current touring show. Concert #2 (July 31st) – A complete solo performance of the Juno Award winning album Yellowjacket. Concert #3 (August 28th) – will be a set of songs chosen and voted on by you, the fans.

All shows will take place at 9:30 pm EST.

Each show is available to anyone, anywhere. For more details, visit www.stephenfearing.com

You can join the Facebook events for these concerts at the following links.  Be sure to invite your friends!

Concert #1 – June 26, 2013 – Fearing’s current touring show including songs from his new album, Between Hurricanes.

Concert #2 – July 31, 2013 – A complete solo performance of the Juno Award winning album Yellowjacket.

Concert #3 – August 28, 2013 – A set of songs chosen and voted on by the fans.

In a very stressful, busy world we don’t often take time to enjoy the little things and yet it’s so important to focus on beauty and those things that bring us joy. Stephen’s music brings me joy and I hope that if you listen in, that you will feel the same way.

Ireland’s Andy White at The Rankin Gallery on Friday, September 14th!

 

I’d like to share this note from Al Rankin as I’m always really excited about seeing another Andy White show because he’s one of my all-time favourite singer-songwriters and a great guy too!

Hi friends, neighbours and music lovers:

Holy smoke!  Another great one at the Rankin Gallery.  He has won most of Ireland’s songwriting awards, worked with Van Morrison and Peter Gabriel and has Sinead O’Connor singing on his records.  He’s Belfast born Andy White, and he’s in the midst of a world tour that will bring him to Inverary!

You may have seen Andy when he opened for Judy Collins last year in Kingston and gained hundreds of new fans.  This one will sell out very quickly so if you would like to reserve a spot or 2 you will have to click back to me asap.  Here are the details, and more on Andy’s illustrious career below.

Andy White

Rankin Gallery, 3248 Round Lake Rd. Inverary ON
Friday, Sept. 14th, 8 pm
Suggested donation: $20
Seats by reservation only alrankin@xplornet.ca 613-353-6650

And mark down Sept. 21 on your calendar, the first Live Wire show of the new season, featuring Austin’s amazing Eliza Gilkyson with special guest, the phenomenal young Ariana Gillis.  More on that show soon!

See you at the music,
Al

Andy White, one of the great Irish singer-songwriters, tours the world with his 12 string guitar in one hand and a book of poetry in the other.  Since his breakthrough single Religious Persuasion, Belfast-born Andy has produced ten internationally released studio albums plus a host of compilations and live recordings and has won several of Ireland’s top songwriting awards.

He has merged pop sensibility with lyrical excellence, social commentary and acoustic guitars ever since his first album Rave On Andy White (1986) burst onto the scene.  Melody Maker reviewed his first album with the headline ‘Yer Man’s Brilliant!’ and Folk Roots made him a cover star.

Since then, Andy has worked with Peter Gabriel as well as some of the great names of Irish music including Van Morrison and Mary Black.  Sinead O’Connor and The Frames have guested on his recordings and Andy was included in the Irish HQ Rock Hall of Fame in 1998.

Socially aware in a way which comes naturally to someone who grew up in Belfast during the 70s and 80s, Andy’s work has always reflected his time and place.  Making this particular experience universal, his writing incorporates and transcends the boundaries of his native land.

Last year a long term friendship and writing collaboration with top flight Canadian singer songwriter Stephen Fearing produced the album ‘Fearing & White (2011).

The world of Andy White is peripatetic, intuitive, and never uneventful.  In November 2009 Lagan Press published 21st Century Troubadour, Andy’s on-the-road journal, and in 2012 an ‘album of the book’ is set for release, a two CD set featuring a compilation of songs playing throughout the pages of the book, and a series of readings from the book set to music.

Catch up with Andy’s world online via his website:

http://www.andywhite.com

and Facebook fan site:

http://www.facebook.com/andywhiteireland

Information and communication:

rose@andywhite.com

ANDY WHITE DISCOGRAPHY

1985 – Religious Persuasion EP (Stiff)
1986 – Rave On Andy White (London)
1988 – Kiss The Big Stone (London)
1990 – Himself (Cooking Vinyl)
1992 – Out There (Warners Ireland)
1994 – Destination Beautiful (Warners Ireland/Cooking Vinyl)
1996 – Teenage (Cooking Vinyl)
1998 – Compilation (Cooking Vinyl)
1999 – Speechless (Real World)
2000 – Andy White (Floating World)
2001 – Rare (ALT Recordings)
2003 – Boy 40 (Floating World)
2006 – Garageband (Floating World/Wildflower)
2009 – Songwriter (Floating World)
2011 – Fearing and White
2012 – 21st Century Troubadour (Floating World)

Fearing & White Hold The Acoustic Grill Audience Spellbound!

CONCERT REVIEW
Artist: Fearing & White
Venue: The Acoustic Grill
Location: Picton, Ontario
Date: October 11, 2011
Review and Photos by Christine Bode

5 STARS
I have deemed 2011 to be the year of Andy White.

Last night I saw the Belfast-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter perform with his long-time friend, Dublin-born, Halifax-based, two-time Juno winner Stephen Fearing (Blackie and The Rodeo Kings) at The Acoustic Grill in Picton, Ontario.  The Acoustic Grill has great ambiance, acoustics, food and above all, spectacular music being offered there on a regular basis.  It may well be the best pub between Ottawa and Toronto and Kingston’s own Tom Savage Trio (alt-country/folk/roots rock) recorded an album entitled Live At The Acoustic Grill on Acoustic Jam Records’ label in 2008.

This was the fourth Andy White show I’ve seen this year.  I met him when he opened for the legendary Judy Collins in Kingston on April 22nd and immediately recognized the truth in the rave review my friend Paige had given me about his music.  I’ve also read Andy’s book, 21st Century Troubadour (5 star review coming – an On The Road for musicians), and his recent edition of poetry, Stolen Moments, and I really want to be asked to roadie for him so I can travel all over the world and listen to him sing every night.  I definitely have a thing for literary musician/poets and confess that I’ve fallen a wee bit in love with him.  The trouble is that troubadours don’t have roadies.  They’re all-in-one travelling music shows.

Although my friend Nicole and I missed the opening of Fearing & White’s show because we drove from Kingston, when we arrived we scored premium seats at the side of the bar and settled in shortly after 8:00 pm to listen to the single most impressive show of acoustic/electric, Beatles influenced, folk rock music I have ever heard (and I’ve seen Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett & Damien Rice to name a few).  The intimate setting was accentuated by some great storytelling from Stephen as he tuned his guitar and witty banter and strange jokes from Andy (What does cheese say when it’s having its photograph taken?) that held the audience spellbound.  Their easy-going good nature and genuine camaraderie made for a delightful stage presence.

Earlier this year, Stephen Fearing and Andy White, who have been writing songs together every summer at Fearing’s Guelph studio for the past eight years, released their eponymous, critically acclaimed, debut album Fearing & White, which I purchased this summer at one of Andy’s shows.  It has become my favourite album of 2011 and is chock full of 13 magnificent songs about love, loss and longing.  I think they played every song on the album: my favourites being ‘Say You Will’, ‘Heaven For A Lonely Man’, ‘If I Catch You Crying’, and ‘Rockwood’ as well as a few of their own songs.

“Fearing & White explores diverse lyrical terrain, though Andy reflects, “the album’s tone I find is one of yearning. It is emotionally bare, and coy and mysterious too. The songs will definitely keep you guessing.” Plus, as Stephen observes, “there is plenty of humour in there too.” For instance, the stream of conscious-psychedelia of the infectious ‘Silver Sky’, the breezy upbeat vibe of opening track ‘Say You Will’, the cod-Irish humour of ‘Heart O’ The Morning’, and the musically quirky yet haunting groove of ‘Mothership’.”

It was a night of music that made you feel as if there was nowhere in the world you’d rather be at that moment.  There was magic in the room and I believe the audience could feel it, or maybe that was me swooning over the sound of two stunning voices that complement each other so perfectly that you’d think they had been singing together forever.  Fearing & White are roots rock angels who should be declared a national treasure even though they belong to the whole world.

At the end of the night they received a thunderous round of applause that carried on long after they’d left the stage.  I helped carry a couple of guitar cases and wrap some cables before I realized that being a roadie isn’t very glamourous after all.  I’ll stick to buying their CDs, attending their shows, and chasing the dragon of music rapture I find myself entranced by while I’m there.