MADVIOLET

Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

Neil Young's, Harvest is my desert Island CD and Old Man is my favorite
track from that record.

Mark Hollis is also a favorite record ( self titled )


Providence, destiny, karma, kismit: Call it what you will, there's an undiluted element of it in the Madviolet story. Brenley MacEachern and Lisa Marie MacIsaac use those terms when recounting how two small-town girls with shared Cape Breton roots hooked up in Toronto four years ago. That same certain something explains the series of happy breaks that led to working relationships with premier U.K. producer John Reynolds, Sinead O'Connor's backing band and Indigo Girls manager Russell Carter. And it's clearly alive in the camaraderie and connection the duo feel when writing together, performing live and racking up the miles in their beloved, anthropomorphosized tour vans (first Charlie, now the sleek, late-model Blanche).

Whatever it is, it's ingrained deep in the musical DNA of Worry The Jury, Madviolet's debut full-length CD. Led by the rousing opening track and first single, "Light It Up," the album documents a six-week recording blitz in London, England that Brenley calls "absolutely magic, a dream creative experience."

John Reynolds, best known for his central role on O'Connor's classic albums and whose dazzling C/V includes work with U2, Peter Gabriel and Simply Red, helmed the warm, intimate sessions at his Notting Hill home studio 18d (formerly Ghost Rooms). His close-knit circle of musicians - among them guitarist Jon Klein (Siouxsie & the Banshees) and bass players Claire Kenny (Indigo Girls) and Matthew Seligman (Tori Amos, The Soft Boys) - served as Madviolet's backing band. Vocal tracks were recorded in the same tiled bathroom where O'Connor sang "Fire On Babylon." Among the guests who dropped in for a taste of Reynold's post-session cooking was his neighbor Brian Eno.  

"We got over being starstruck pretty quickly - it was such an everyday, down-to-earth atmosphere," explains Brenley, an equally earthy type raised in Kincardine, Ont. Not that there was any shortage of pinch-me moments. "One day I looked up from recording a part and there's Sinead sitting in a chair and listening," says Lisa, the youngest of Cape Breton's celebrated MacIsaac family of fiddle players and the quieter, charmingly sardonic one in Madviolet. "That was a bit freaky."

Fate showed its hand long before Brenley first met Lisa in 2000 and invited her to join her trip-hop band zoebliss. It turned out that their fathers had known one another as teenagers back in Creignish, Nova Scotia. Lisa went to school and played hockey with Brenley's cousins. Although the young Brenley spent her summers in Cape Breton, she never crossed paths with Lisa, who by the age of 12 was winning local Miss Congeniality crowns and playing fiddle at country fairs.

Brenley formed zoebliss in 1997 and recorded two well-received independent albums that earned her comparisions with Beth Orton and Portishead's Beth Gibbons. A second-stage Lilith Fair gig in 1999 was a definite highlight, in part because she met Reynolds, then touring with the Indigo Girls. 

Lisa, meanwhile, had moved on from teaching step-dancing to become a first-call touring musician gracing stages with her brother Ashley, Bruce Guthro, Mary Jane Lamond, Gordie Sampson and Adam Gregory, among others.

After meeting by chance in Toronto bar The Green Room, Brenley and Lisa became fast friends and were soon forging a creative partnership after band rehearsals. "I was comfortable enough to bring out songs that I'd never play for the band," explains Brenley. "The tunes were a little more folky, even a bit country-oriented, and that was a total change from what zoebliss was about."

Destiny rode in again when Lisa was invited to London to audition for The Alice Band, the girl group English music executive Rob Dickens was assembling for his Instant Karma label. Brenley tagged along and contacted Reynolds, who invited her to cut a track with his band Ghostland. Neither venture panned out, yet a new chapter in their lives was underway when Reynolds promised that if the two formed a band, he'd produce them.

Fuelling up Charlie and making space on the dashboard for their monkey mascot Schweetheart, the pair set off on an epic songwriting roadtrip that eventually led to a remote campground in the New Mexico desert not far from Roswell.  "The name of the woman who checked us in was Violet," reveals Brenley, "and she was absolutely mad." They understood why the next morning after an eerie Twilight Zone of a night under the stars. (The band's name is also an apt choice for two plant enthusiasts who have daily pep talks with their potted pals Layla, Lilo, Ernie and Scratchy. "Some people will say we're the mad ones," says Lisa, "but I think you can cultivate a relationship with anything if you formally introduce yourself first.")

Half of Worry The Jury's songs were completed between marathon backgammon tournaments on the American roadtrip. Others were penned during a rainy few weeks in Geneva, Switzerland, among them "Take Your Things," inspired by a heated argument heard through paper-thin hotel walls. "Haight Ashbury," co-written in Toronto with Damhnait Doyle, gets its mellifluous uplift from a sunny riff crafted by Lisa just prior to a stint with Denny Doherty's Mamas and Papas touring production Dream A Little Dream.

After a false start that saw a half-dozen completed songs (including a ska version of Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion") lost to a computer glitch, the disc was cut in six weeks at 18d in London. Consciously heeding Sum 41's "all killer no filler" credo, Worry The Jury features 10 songs that range from big beat, radio-friendly anthems ("Light It Up") to shimmering ambient pop built around Lisa's multi-tracked strings ("Scarlett." "I'm Alright") and rootsier numbers that reflect the live show ("Save A Song," "Left Foot").

Lisa and Brenley have occasionally been tagged a Celtic act because of the MacIsaac name and their Cape Breton roots. Worry The Jury, however, proves that Madviolet is restricted by neither genre nor geography. "I'm a Celtic fiddle player, but this is definitely not a Celtic band," says Lisa. That said, the 18d sessions did at times evolve into the next best thing to a Maritimes kitchen party.  "Mississhippie," the brief, album-closing instrumental, captures the fun.  "That's Jamiroquai's lighting man you hear at the beginning asking Lisa about her fiddle playing," explains Brenley. "We'd all started jamming one night and drinking I don't know how many bottles of red wine. That snippet just had to be on the record."

While Reynolds and crew are a dream band, Madviolet is perfectly comfortable as a duo, either performing their own headlining dates or touring with the likes of Ron Sexsmith, Chantal Kreviazuk and Jimmy Rankin.  They call on a group of Toronto musicians for support at major shows, such as a March, 2004 opening slot for the Indigo Girls at Massey Hall. As with most of their concerts, there was plenty of between-song dialogue that night. "Yes," laughs Brenley, "we're talkative. People seem to enjoy the banter as much as the music." Adds Lisa about the occasional bum note: "Whenever we hit a real wanker, we stop the song and admit it. It's a great way to get people rooting for you."

Worry The Jury derives its title from the judgemental nature of both the music industry and society at large. "People are constantly 'worrying the jury' and wondering what others think," explains Lisa. The only opinion that ultimately counts is one's own, they argue. And on that score they're happy. "This is the first time I've wanted to work like a dog on behalf of a record," says Brenley. "I'm still as proud of these songs as the day I first heard the mixes. People need to hear this record, and we'll make sure of it."  Blanche, the new Japanese-engineered recruit to the band, is revving her motor in agreement.
 
 www.madviolet.com

MELISSA MCCLELLAND

* How has music inspired you?

It's inspired me create my own art. To interpret emotions and tell stories in a
unique and personal way and to carry on the human tradition of making music.

* Your musical inspirations?

I love all of the local indie's I've met and formed relationships with. They're
all out there working there asses off to create good music and share it with
anyone who's willing to appreciate sheer brilliance. And believe me the
brilliance is out there in abundance!

* Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

Neil Young's Harvest makes me feel like I'm seven years old and sitting in the
backseat of my parents car. Patty Griffin's song Rain is like a punch in the
gut for me. It's really too hard to narrow it down. The list of songs and
albums is looooooong!


* Has music ever helped you thru a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

For me, music triggers an emotion that is just shaking beneath the surface and
dying to get out. Whether it's a fit of laughter or a burst of tears, a
certain melody or a specific lyric can send me over the edge. Music has helped
me deal with a lot of heavy emotions on countless occasions.

The first thing that strikes you about Melissa McClelland is her disarming beauty. It catches you quite off guard. But there’s more, an aura of limitless possibility, something we have all come to recognize as ‘star quality’, that gene that separates the musically gifted, the poetic, from the rest of us. The second thing you notice is her quirkiness (charming but not eccentric), followed by her wit, her comfort in her own skin and her ability to find levity in most situations. These traits have combined to create an extraordinary woman; beautiful from the inside out, a gifted songwriter and a world-class vocalist.

Born in Chicago but raised in Burlington, Ontario (just a stone’s skip from Canada’s “steel city” Hamilton), McClelland unwittingly found herself with a seemingly endless list of topics for Stranded in Suburbia. Not cognizant of the album’s theme during the creative process, it would reveal itself to her upon reflection.

"When I'm writing, it's not a conscious process. I didn't write this album with a suburban theme in mind; it just came out that way. It wasn't until I had the whole album together that I thought, 'Wow, it is a story.' And it's the story of my life, really.”

This, McClelland’s second full-length release, paints a vivid and detailed picture of the perils of growing up in suburbia. Nothing escapes McClelland's keen brush strokes; the record includes sardonic nods to alcohol and drugs, basements and rooftops, factories and cars, curfews and runaways, violence and vandalism, sex, love, and futile dreams.

McClelland began to create her own songs at the ripe old age of four; armed with a tape recorder her parents gave her as a distraction. By the time she turned eleven she was creating songs on the piano. Although McClelland took violin lessons for ten years, she has no other formal musical training. The violin lessons employed the "Suzuki method" of learning music, which focuses on training the ear.
She subsequently moved on to piano and guitar (guitar being her instrument of choice).

McClelland engaged the talents of a young upstart named Ryan Corrigan (now Hawksley Workman), to produce her demo. But it would be prolific singer-songwriter and talented producer Rob Lamothe who recorded McClelland’s sparse, yet beautiful debut full-length album (2001). This self-titled release coincided with Melissa’s first major North American tour, which took her to California and
throughout western Canada.

The hard work of slugging it out in the independent music world did not dissuade McClelland from doggedly pursuing music. And the work paid off. When Luke Doucet (Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Oh Susanna, Danny Michel) climbed on board to produce McClelland’s follow-up full-length release, Stranded in Suburbia, it was because he heard something special in McClelland. Aside
from her dazzling talent, he saw a person whose personality and drive predispose her to success.

Not long after recording Stranded in Suburbia, McClelland signed a record deal with a label in its infancy, The Orange Record Label. Melissa is one of Orange's debut artists, along with Jim Bryson and Lindy. “I'm so proud to be a part of Orange,” says McClelland. “It was scary signing a deal because I've been independent for so long, to give up that control and to believe in and trust a label was hard.
But I'm thankful that all the people I've hooked up with have turned out to be very honest, talented, and down to earth. I haven't encountered all that bullshit you hear about in the music industry.”

Stranded in Suburbia is McClelland’s debut album with Orange. Headed by Doucet, the players on this record are a who's-who of the Canadian musical landscape. Paul Brennan (Elton John, Sarah McLachlan, Veda Hille) holds it down behind the drum kit, while the bottom-end comes courtesy of bassist Jay Gordon. Strings (McClelland, Sahra Featherstone, Anne Alma, and Eric Mackinnon) and keys
(Todor Kobakov) round out the lush musical backdrop for McClelland's robust songs. And it’s all tied together and mixed by Michael Phillip Wojewoda (Barenaked Ladies, Ashley MacIsaac, Rheostatics). The leadoff radio single, “White Lies (Stranded in Suburbia)” was mixed by superstar engineer David Ogilvie (Nine Inch Nails, Sloan, Marilyn Manson).

Even with all of this musical artistry and engineering prowess, the songs retain their backbone - McClelland's song writing and crystalline vocals. Listeners are treated to a cathartic journey, an emotionally and aurally stimulating CD that can be spun again and again without growing tiresome.

McClelland is not hard-pressed to ream off a list of artists who inspire her, and many of these are independent and local artists she has met along the way (“There are so many. So many”). Her side project, the Ladybird Sideshow, is a collective she formed with Toronto and area songbirds Erin Smith, Janine Stoll, and Lisa Winn. “All of them have totally blown me away,” McClelland says emphatically.

Knowing full well what other people’s music has done for her in life, McClelland seems at a loss, initially, to explain what she wants her music to do for other people. After some thought, she muses, “This album is very personal to me, but it touches on a lot of universal themes, so I hope that people can relate to it in some way. I hope that my album does the same things for people that music does  for me: I hope it inspires them and makes them think and feel."
www.melissamcclelland.com
www.orangerecordlabel.com/

POE

Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

So so many songs have floated through my brain and altered it forever. How about I just pick the first 3 that pop into my mind right at this particular instant! Here goes....

1- "Troy" (Sinead O'conner)

Heard at age: 16

This song was a revelation to me. It was the first time I had ever heard a female singer who could express such a fragile vulnerability while simultaneously letting loose such unfathomably powerful strength. There was something so brutally honest about Sinead O'Conner's delivery of that song...her voice was able to go from sexy-to-gutteral-to- beautiful-to-ugly-to-gentle-to-invincible (and the list goes on!) all in the blink of an eye! Hers was a voice without shame and that made it a priceless voice to hear. Frankly that entire album is a masterpiece. Totally unique, and timeless to this day.

The song itself was also magnificent. The fact that it is based on a poem by W. Butler Yeats ("No Second Troy") gives it a historical context that allows it to transcend the personal. Sinead is not simply singing about a reslationship she may have had, but about her relationship to the entire history of the female romantic identity. She re-invents Helen of Troy...and frankly that's Bad Ass!!!!!!!!!

2- "Life on Mars" (David Bowie)

Heard at age: Age 14

That song had me riveted with its opening verse.."It's a god awful small affair/ to the girl with the mousy hair/ though her mummy is yelling "no"/ and her daddy has told her to go/but her friend is no-where to be seen/ now she walks through her sunken dream/ to the seats with the clearest view/ now she's hooked on the silver screen....."

When I heard that song...I thought it was written about me. I related so deeply to that desire to transcend the mundane. In life, so often, there seems to be so much drama surrounding things that are ultimately just not that important.

The other thing that really influenced me about that song, was the production. I loved how the song faded and then just when you thought it was over the orchestration creeps back in...almost like your own memory of the song returning. That small detail is what really got me interested in production. I realized how many possibilities there were, and how many intricate choices could be made in the production process to more fully realize an idea and express an emotion and its story.

3- "Anti-Christ" (Sex Pistols)

Heard at age: Age 12

The Sex Pistols just didn't sound like anything I'd ever heard before. It was liberating to hear unadulterated noise and recognize it as music. It just made you want to start banging on something while screaming at the top of your lungs and that's an awsome inspiration. As a performer, I don't believe it's possible to deliver anything meaningful if you're even remotely concerned about hitting the right notes. You do your homework, you hone your skills, but the moment you hit the stage, you have to just let go and with every cell in your body...communicate everything you want to express...in whatever way it comes out. Punk rock definitely helped me find the courage to let go like that.

Well those are the 3 that come to mind right off the bat. There are so many more...I went through a whole Motown phase, a Jazz phase, a hip-hop phase, even bits and pieces of pop (Madonna in particular) but those stories will just have to be saved for another time.

www.realpoe.com
Poe Store

TRACY SILVERMAN

Musical inspirations?

my musical inspirations are all over the map. here are some of the
things which move me: luciano pavoratti singing "nessun dorma", aretha franklin, miles davis--blue in green, jimi hendrix, little richard,
"poeme" by chausson, nirvana, U2, john adams, terry riley, bach solo
violin sonatas, mozart late symphonies, egberto gismonti, hermeto
paschoal.

Recording artist Tracy Silverman has performed and recorded with a virtual who's who of the rock, pop, new music, and jazz fields, and is considered one of the foremost electric violinists of our time, known both in the concert hall and in clubs, with a trademark sound which is instantly recognizable. His 1999 self-produced release, "Trip to the Sun"has become a cult favorite which Billboard Magazine pronounced "the most adventurous Windham Hill album ever." The NY Times raved, "fleet agility and tangy expressivity, with wailing hints of Jimi Hendrix", the LA Times reported, "He was in constant melodic flow. Silverman is in a class of his own," and the Dallas Morning News said, "Tracy Silverman played as if he believed in every note." "Piercing and poignant" according to the San Francisco Chronicle, and Silverman's Electric Violin Concerto has been heralded by the Wichita Eagle as "the ideal piece for today's symphony."

Tracy was first violinist with the Turtle Island String Quartet for four years and has been featured as a violinist and record producer on CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. He produced and appears on Jim Brickman's hit "Simple Things" and "Lovesongs and Lullabies" CD's and on 2 of Jim's popular TV Specials. An international touring artist, in 1999 he was awarded Artist in Residence status by the city of Hamburg, Germany and is a frequent concert attraction in Brazil. The Rhein Zeitung wrote "...technically brilliant to the fingertips, but overthrowing all the usual preconcieved ideas". "Silverman is a fine, expressive player," said the London Guardian.

Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Adams wrote a major new electric violin concerto, “The Dharma at Big Sur” expressly for Tracy, ("the closest thing to a genuine collaboration I've ever done with a performer",) and he has performed it for the gala opening of the LA Philharmonic’s new home, the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, with the LA Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen and will perform and record it in 2004 with the BBC Symphony in Royal Albert Hall, with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and in with the LA Phil at WDCH and at Lincoln Center in NYC.

2003 highlights: soloist under Esa-Pekka Salonen premiering "The Dharma at Big Sur" for the gala opening of the new Walt Disney Concert Hall. Solo performances at Bremen Musikfest, Germany; performances of his Electric Violin Concerto in Brazil; extensive touring with Jim Brickman; co-headlining the 2003 Windham Hill Winter Solstice Tour. Released this year: 2 tracks on Windham Hill’s “Prayer” CD, 1 track on Windham Hill’s “Christmas II” CD, 1 track on Windham Hill’s “Adagio” CD. The Electric Violin Concerto was cited for Special Distinction in the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Award.

2004 highlights: Performance of "The Dharma at Big Sur" with the LA Phil at the Orange County PAC, Cabrillo Festival with the Cabrillo Festival Orch, in London's Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony where it will also be recorded; touring Brazil to perform the Silverman Electric Violiin Concerto which will be choreographed by the state Ballet of Parana and recorded for an upcoming CD; extensive touring with Jim Brickman; Co-headlining the '04-'05 Windham Hill Winter Solstice Tour; Co-headlining the Windham Hill America Tour.

Education: Tracy has been playing violin since he was 5 years old, and made his professional debut at age thirteen as 1st place winner and soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has been honored with many awards, including the national Stillman-Kelly Award. He was accepted at the Chicago Musical College when he was 16 and at 17 began studies with legendary teacher Ivan Galamian. Tracy graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied chamber music with Sam Rhodes of the Juilliard Quartet and Lewis Kaplan of the Aeolian Chamber Players. He has served on the faculty of Macalester College in St. Paul and University of Minnesota's MacPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis and has led masterclasses and workshops at Stanford University, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Hochschule fur die Kunste in Bremen as well as others in Germany, Brazil and elsewhere.

Performance highlights include: Carnegie Hall with Billy Taylor; mainstage of the Montreal Jazz festival; Vienna's Mozartsalle; Istanbul's Rey Concert Hall; The Hollywood Bowl; tours with Bob Geldof, new-age/pop pianist Jim Brickman, famed minimalist comp[oser/pianist Terry Riley as part of the Terry Riley All-Stars; The Umbria Jazz Festival; Festival Inverno in Brazil; Mozartfest in Wurzburg; Bremen Musikfest; as a soloist at the Nurnberg Jazz Festival; Royal Festival Hall as part of London's 2001 Meltdown Festival, among many others; classical guitarists Eliot Fisk, David Tanenbaum, Alvaro Pierri, Gyan Riley and the Newman-Oltman Guitar Duo: as soloist with symphonies including The Berkeley Philarmonic conducted by Kent Negano, Orquestra Jazz Sinfonica in Sao Paulo; The San Jose Symphony as well as orchestras conducted by Marin Alsop, Carl St. Claire and others.

Producer,and arranger/orchestrator credits include: producer of Jim Brickman's latest hit CD, "Simple Things", [which includes the #1 song "Simple Things"]; work with legendary producers Steve Lillywhite and Jerry Harrison; producer of "On A Starry Night", an award-winning CD of lullabies from around the world which featured Bobby McFerrin, Billy Taylor, George Winston, Richard Stoltzman, Airto and many others; award-winning jazz innovator Paul Hanson; flutist and long-time musical and otherwise partner and wife, Thea Suits. Tracy appears as a featured artist, arranger and producer on many recordings, including Universal's "A Different Mozart" and "Preludes", and Windham Hill's "Winter Solstice 5", "Summer Solstice", "Sundance", "The Romantics", "Renaissance-A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Thanksgiving" and many other Windham Hill Collections. Orchestrator and musical director of Jim Brickman's "My Romance" PBS Special; arranged and orchestrated a complete program of Jim's music for full symphony, performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony among others.

National TV, radio and press: CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood feature; CNN; NPR's Performance Today: MPR's St. Paul Sunday Morning; MPR's A Prairie Home Companion; Billy Taylor's "Jazz from the Kennedy Center", John Schaeffer's "New Sounds" on WNYC, Echoes Radio "Living Room Concerts," Acoustic Cafe, Comcast Studio C, Billboard Magazine, People Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Wichita Eagle.

Recording highlights include: soloist with the Detroit Symphony under Neemi Jarvi; arranger/performer on the hit GusterCD, "Lost and Gone Forever"; several CD's with Jim Brickman; duo CD with avante-rock percussionist Ferdinand Forsch; duo CD with Brazilian percussionist Caito Marcondes; jazz legend Billy Taylor; Jeff Coffin(Bela Fleck); legendary composer/pianist Terry Riley; several CD's with Turtle Island String Quartet; David Tanenbaum; many tracks on various Windham Hill collections.

Writing credits include: TV's "Once and Again", "Nova", "A Science Odyssey"; Jim Brickman's "Simple Things" CD; catalogue of original songs and compositions, including Electric Violin Concerto, premiered in 2002 and programmed in 2003 with major symphonies in the US and in Brazil; has conducted his own orchestral work commissioned by the Minnesota Sinfonia.

Rock band: Songwriter and lead singer of the alternative rock band, Dogs for Daisy, which released the CD, "Yangin' with the Yin Crowd" in 2001. Tracy's electric violin and lead vocals propelled the grunge-rock band Motherlode, which released 1992's "Melt" on Minneapolis-based Manatee Records and later the band, Gutbucket, which released the "Live Chub-Pak" in 1993.

Tracy is currently touring internationally with Jim Brickman, The Windham Hill Winter Solstice Tour, Beth Nielsen Chapman, The Terry Riley Allstars, Caito Marcondes, Dogs for Daisy and with his solo concerts and various collaborations. Tracy has 2 children and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
www.tracysilverman.com
 

ANDREA ENGLAND

* How has music inspired you?

It constantly reminds me that, as much each of us is a unique, individual human being, we all experience the same emotions at one time or another, for one reason or another. We all love. We all grieve. We all hope. We all despair. We all have something to offer. And we can all make a difference in our own way if we choose to. Music reaches out and reminds us that we are never really alone.

* Your musical inspirations?

Lennon & McCartney - for writing songs that mattered, and still matter.
Bob Dylan - same as above...and for never conforming to anyone else's idea of what a song should be.
Janis Joplin - for holding nothing back
Alanis Morissette - for being courageous and pushing the envelope by saying OUTLOUD what many of us were thinking...
Sheryl Crow - for always remembering her musical forefathers and mothers

* Any songs which are meaningful to you?

Emmylou Harris: Red Dirt Girl
Sheryl Crow: Crash & Burn
Bob Dylan: A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall
Elton John/B. Taupin: Your Song
Willie Nelson: Always on my Mind

* Has music helped you thru a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

It has been my constant companion...both walking alongside me when I needed wisdom or solace, and leading me to my own heart when I occasionally forget the way. Whenever I remember times of tragedy - or joy - I equally remember the accompanying soundtrack. I used to just be a listener - and I still obviously am more than ever - but now, in creating my own music, I've found an artistic outlet and a way to - hopefully - contribute....

Andrea England is a poet at heart. Born and raised in a seaside town in Nova Scotia, Canada, this talented singer-songwriter grew up in the midst of music and saltwater air. Now Toronto-based, Andrea is poised to pour out her heart and invite you to join her in a little Lemonade.

Lemonade, England's full-length debut, boasts some exceptional musicians for an artist's first effort: Bryan Potvin (Northern Pikes) on lead and rhythm guitars (Potvin also co-produced); Creighton Doane (Melanie Doane, Dayna Manning) on drums & percussion; veteran keys great, Richard Bell (Janis Joplin, The Band) on Keys; Drew Birston (Chantal Kreviazuk) on bass; Kevin Fox (Damhnait Doyle, Melanie Doane) on cello; as well as Anthony Vanderburgh (Roch Voisine, Amy Sky) and Dave Milliken on additional guitars. England herself co-produced and also plays piano & guitars on the record. "I grew up listening to my parents country and classic rock records, where people played their own instruments and wrote their own songs...so I knew what I wanted this record to sound like...I wanted to make a very live sounding, organic record, and a big part of it for me was finding the right team to work with..."

The 2002 East Coast Music Awards Songwriter Circle would prove instrumental in helping Andrea complete that team, as BMG producer-writer and Northern Pikes front-man, Bryan Potvin, heard of Andrea's writing shortly after her ECMA appearance. It was there that Andrea first showcased her award-winning song, "Lemonade" (2002 John Lennon Songwriting Contest prize winner), and distributed promo CD singles, courtesy of Mike's Hard Lemonade, her official sponsor for the event.

Already a member of Justin Gray's exclusive Creative Collective songwriting summit - alumni include, among othrs, Dean McTaggert, Dan Hill, Jeremy Ruzumna, and Chad Richardson, the response to Andrea's record and writing has been so favorable in the US that she was chosen by the ASCAP as one of 12 up and coming songwriters in America to attend their prestigious Lester Sill West Coast Songwriters' Workshop in Los Angeles in February 2004! Andrea has also showcased on the Sneak Peek Rising Stars at the 2004 ECMAs in Newfoundland in February, and at Canadian Music Week 2004 in Toronto!

England is certainly no stranger to the stage. Picking out tunes on the organ at age three and singing in the local variety concerts by four, England over the last few years has performed with Jorane, Jacksoul, Ashley MacIsaac, J. Englishman, Martha Wainwright, Damhnait Doyle, Tara MacLean, and Sue Medley - just to name a few. Andrea's heartfelt delivery, compelling lyrics, and infectious pop-rock melodies have drawn comparisons to such respected artists as Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and the Cowboy Junkies.

The preliminary response to Lemonade has been very favorable. Radio programmers love it, and Andrea has just signed a national distribution deal with Maplenationwide! Look for Lemonade in Canadian stores on May 18th.
www.andreaengland.com
Lemonade CD

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