Strong Feelings for Doug Paisley

For those of you sexy cats that have been kind enough to have joined me on my journey these past few years, you’ll know that I have a passion for the indie arts scene, especially here at home in Canada.  And that I tend, when a musician touches my soul or makes me smile, to go on streaks of sharing their music.  But most of all I beam with pride and shout it to the world, when I happen to know one of those musicians that touches my soul or makes me smile.  Especially if I love and adore them as people. For a few of you that have been reading here or on Roamancing for awhile, you’ll be familiar with this quirk of mine with musicians such as Ross Neilsen, Chris Blake, and Jesse Roper. Some of you might even remember me writing about a fellow by the name of Doug Paisley.


Doug Paisley, Strong Feelings


It is Doug Paisley who I want to stand on the rooftops and shout about today! Have known and adored Doug since birth, but as often happens with childhood friends, you lose touch with what has become of each other.  When I finally rediscovered Doug, it was through his music, and I could hardly believe that this talent who sings with the likes of Lesley Feist, was my childhood friend who I always use to get into trouble with.

Then a couple of weeks ago, there was Doug on one of my favourite CBC Radio Shows, the Q with Jian Ghomeshi!  I was giddy with excitement, shouting out my pride to the dog, the cats, and anyone that would listen on my social media feeds!  Here is a clip from the Show:



Proud to share that Doug’s third album, Strong Feelings, was released this past week!



Can hardly wait to get my paws on it!  Or for the road trips that I am sure it will join me on, singing along with Doug as I drive!  Purring at the thought!


Emme    xoxo

Play Along With Our #musiclove2ear Campaign!

Everyone has music they love to listen to, a song that gets stuck in your head, or a personal theme song fueling their actions.  Let’s share them and get the world singing along!

For me, it’s the singing along part that poses a problem.  I am an absolute sucker for songs with brilliant harmony. I could listen to them over and over and they often move me to tears, but mostly I’m blown away by people’s ability to do it.  I can’t even join in a harmonized version of Happy Birthday! To the people who are able to rearrange songs and make them sound completely new and incredible … you are truly blessed! This couple’s audition for the X-Factor hands down nails it all.  Not only are they the hands down cutest couple who are madly in love, but they bust out a super sultry slowed down uber harmonized song.  They are my current heroes and my #musiclove2ear.



In an effort to try and help myself improve, I found these two guys trying to give a lesson on how to sing harmony.  There were many other videos of very professional people trying to teach me with piano keys and fancy octave words, but these guys hit my ability level on the mark.  I think they sound more like I do too and that cracks me up, but actually gives me something to work with!



Join in with us on your feeds with the hashtag #musiclove2ear and share your music mojo.

Ross Neilsen RAWKs British Columbia This Week!

I’ve met some pretty cool people and the road, and one of those people is Ross Neilsen!  Two Autumns ago we passed each other, heading in opposite directions on the road – I eavesdropped on Ross and his band at lunch (or as I like to think of it, ‘conducted research’) and as my eavesdropping was abundantly obvious, Ross made fun of me – instantly worming his way into my heart.  A few months later, when he and the band played just over an hour from where I was, I went and listened to him and his band.  Love their sound!  Love listening to Ross even more singing solo, as I discovered a few months later at the International Blues Competition in Memphis, Tennessee!

Here’s a little taste of Ross …



and his band (with a couple of extra friends on stage) …



So I have many old favourites of Ross’ that I love to listen to, but those aside, Ross has come out with one new solo CD (The Shack Up Sessions) and one new CD from the band (Resurrection), so I’m looking forward to relishing in some new to my ears tunes, like this one …



And might I add, shortly after publishing this post, it was announced that Ross won Blues Recording of the Year at the Music NB Awards tonight for The Shack Up Sessions! Way to go Ross!

Now if you are lucky enough to be in BC this week, here is where you can catch the Ross Neilsen Band (featuring Ross Neilsen on Guitar and Vocals, Karl Gans on the Drums, and Jim the Temp on Bass) as Ross Neilsen and the boys RAWK British Columbia:

The rest of the country will be able to catch Ross and the Band after that as they make their way back across country. Click here for tour dates and locations of the Resurrection Tour.

Bluesy Kisses,

Emme  xoxo

Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival 2013

BurnabyBluesRootsThe Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival has become one of my favourite things about summer. This year in 2013 was no exception.

The festival represents more than just a world-class outdoor festival celebrating folk music, rock music, country, the blues, and every blend of music in that spectrum. It’s a chance for me to see my friends Emme and Erica, and a chance to meet new people too, since Emme is constantly making new connections.

That’s helpful to a shy, retiring fellow like me, although one who can still appreciate the energy of a crowd that loves to witness some great performances. I’m talking about the music, now, although Emme has her moments when it comes to performance, too.


Rob Jones, enjoying the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

A photo of me, taken by an impish young friend (8) of Emme’s, who refused to let me be shy.


Another aspect of the festival is that it seems to go from strength to strength each year, getting bigger and bigger, and yet still feeling like the community building and community inclusive event that it is. Children, teens, seniors, couples, hipsters, the curious, and middle-aged music geeks are all at home. And the line-up is always a delightful mix of the big names you know, and the names you didn’t know that you needed to hear.


Dancing to Shaun Verreault at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

The early afternoon crowd having a blast dancing it up to Shaun Verreault.


This year, the festival was expanded, adding another stage to make things more flexible, and to give more acts a chance to wow the crowds. This meant that this year, my friends and I had a choice on which acts to catch. It was hard to choose. But, I think we chose well. Here are some of the highlights for us, although since the extra stage presented some choices, I’m sure you’ll hear a different story depending on who you talk to. We love stories here! And here’s ours.


David Gogo

He’s a blues-rock guitarist who’s been on the scene for many years here on the West Coast, and then subsequently all points east too. He won points with me by opening the festival with a storming version of The Faces‘ ‘Bad N’ Ruin’, one of my favourites. Also, his take on Muddy Water‘s ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ was a sight, and sound to remember.


David Gogo at the 2013 Burnaby Blues  and Roots Festival.

David Gogo in the moment at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.


Shaun Verreault

You know him from his work with Wide Mouth Mason (a canning term, not a blues term as I learned …). But, a big highlight was his ability to take the musical letters from the names of members of an audience (in this case, ACE), and make a live improvisational song out of it using those respective chords. This was a phenomenal showcase for his band, and their almost psychic ability between them to deliver music from the ground up and in the moment.


Shaun Verreault at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

Yep, that’s Shaun Verreault of Wide Mouth Mason!


Shakura S’Aida

A singer with divine pipes who’s worked with the legendary blues singer Ruth Brown and soul-jazz architect Jimmy Smith, S’Aida was aided and abetted on this occasion  by a crack band of pros including a lead guitarist who shredded her axe to pieces – in a good way, of course. S’Aida’s song ‘That Ain’t Right’ is a must-hear tune. In fact, listen here.


ZZ Ward

One of the things that the Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival helps to do is to remind people that these strains of music are living, breathing artistic avenues being explored by up-and-coming writers and performers. This was embodied this year at the festival by ZZ Ward, who takes the blues traditions of the past and repositions them for modern audiences, referencing Etta James, Son House, and many other influences. When ZZ Ward sings, none of the power of what we love about the blues is lost. It’s alive, and ready to mess with you. Her song ‘Charlie Ain’t Home’ was a true stand-out.


The Sojourners


The Sojourners at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

Man! Do The Sojourners ever move the soul!


“Yes, people it’s true; we are black folks”. It was the tongue-in-cheek quip that this trio of singers included in an introduction to one song called ‘Keep Your Eyes on the Prize’, an anthem to the civil rights movement, a time when gospel music of the southern churches met with what was being called ‘message’ music. This is where the Sojourners live, as an active connection to this tradition. Their voices melded perfectly, matching the sacred with the secular with ease. And as they sang this tune, we were all connected.



John Lee Sanders

Transplanted from Lou’siana to Vancouver of all places, John Lee Sanders laid down the fonk of the New Orleans variety. And connected with what the Sojourners had said about how the history of black America informed the development of the music, Sanders talked about how Louisiana was a bastion of musical culture from its very early history, with cultures mixing and exchanging ideas in a way that was unique. As we rocked to the R&B of the deep south, with Sanders playing piano and saxophone with equal aplomb, we were reminded how far the music has come since that melding of ideas began.



Charles Bradley


Charles Bradley on the Big Screen at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival

Rather love this shot of Charles Bradley and Band that our young 8-year-old friend took on the Big Screen.


In the traditions of James Brown and Wilson Pickett, Bradley carries the torch. And quite simply, it was all about the sanctified version of Neil Young‘s ‘Heart of Gold’ for me. Class!


Charles Bradley at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

Charles Bradley showing off his moves at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.


Blue Rodeo

What can be said of this band who forged a path into what would become known as alt-country many years later. Although it must be said, this band is beyond a single scene, and certainly of a single musical label. Since their formation on Toronto’s Queen Street scene in the early to mid-80s, they’ve built up an incredible catalogue of songs to match any pop songwriting standard you’d care to name. Live, they are a force of nature. Every song was an event, I suppose. But hearing ‘Diamond Mine’ being performed by the guys who wrote it was a thrill to beat them all.


Blue Rodeo at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

Closing out the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival … Blue Rodeo!



There were other cool acts that we didn’t catch. And of course, there were food wagons, craft booths, kids’ activities, giveaways, and other cool stuff that happened, too. That’s the beauty of the Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival. There are all kinds of avenues of possibility to explore. No festival is the same twice, good people – even if it’s the same one!


Blue Rodeo at the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival.

A great end to a great day of fantastic music!


Thanks to Emme for letting me tag along once again!


Bring on the 2013 Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival!

For many, the summer is about travel … for me it’s about enjoying lazy summer days close to home!  British Columbia is a bit of bliss every summer, and there are so many adventures to be had. There is never any debate though as to what the summer highlight is for me.  It is always one Hell of a great day of music spent with Rob Jones and other friends at the Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival.


Kelly Joe Phelps at the 2012 Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival.

Lazy summer days listening to Kelly Joe Phelps at the 2012 Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival.


Here’s a look back on the years:


Amadou & Mireille at the 2012 Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival.

Dancing our hearts out to Amadou & Mireille, my personal highlight of the 2012 Burnaby Blues + Roots Festival.


It’s actually become my birthday party, the past few years, and those of us that have been going for a few years together now, plan our summer weekends away around it, to ensure we are in town, as it is not a day to be missed.

This year is extra exciting, as the Festival has grown to three stage and 12 acts. Exciting, but conundrum filled, as now I have to decide between 2 acts at any given moment in time, as oppose to soaking it all in. Feel free to help steer me. Luckily no decision has to be made for acts on the Main Stage, just between acts on the Westwood Stage and Garden Stage. Here is each act, and a sample of their music:





  • ZZ Ward ~ 5:30 – 6:20 pm on the Main Stage




  • Jon & Roy ~ 4:45 – 5:30 pm on the Westwood Stage













  • Brickhouse ~ 1:45 – 2:30 pm on the Westwood Stage







Which acts would you suggest I take in?  I am sure Rob will have an opinion on the matter too.

Oh, and if you want to join us, you can still get tickets.

Sultry Blues Kisses,

Emme  xoxo