Abbe May | Design Desire

Abbe May is a Perth AU-based veteran of the rockin’ roll roadtrip. Her tune ‘Design Desire’ from the album of the same name is a nod to classic riff rock, psychedelia and the blues. This is a scorchingly powerful guitar-dominated tune with a pounding backbeat. It’s music designed to test the upper limits of those silly little speakers you’ve got attached to your laptop. Crank it up, really.

The album was released in July 2011.

Abbe May has celebrated the end of her Australian album launch tour in style with two AIR award nominations and the news that Entourage has used her track “Mammalian Locomotion” in the closing credits of an episode in their latest season.

After recent stints in New York and Europe, Abbe has announced a big final quarter schedule of touring including an extensive list of regional dates with Art vs Science, the national triple j Nick Cave ‘Straight to You’ theatre tour through November, special appearance club dates and iconic festivals such as Meredith, Pyramid Rock, Wave Rock Weekender and Mullum to name a few.

Too damned bad we don’t call Australia home.


Oct 28 Wave Rock, Hyden Western Australia
Nov 9 Performing Arts Centre, Geelong Victoria as part of Triple J’s Nick Cave’s ‘Straight to You’ Tour
Nov 10 Her Majesty’s, Ballarat Victoria as part of Triple J’s Nick Cave’s ‘Straight to You’ Tour
Nov 11 Forum Theatre, Melbourne Victoria as part of Triple J’s Nick Cave’s ‘Straight to You’ Tour
Nov 12 Forum Theatre, Melbourne Victoria as part of Triple J’s Nick Cave’s ‘Straight to You’ Tour

Givers | Saw You First

Imby turned me on to the Givers ‘Saw You First’ back in August. ‘Keep an ear out for these guys,’ Imby wrote. Imby’s been turning me on to great roots music for the better parts of a couple of decades now. He is never off-base with his recommendations.

Givers ‘Saw You First’ is classic Imby. It’s a great tune by an up-and-coming roots band that calls Lafayette, Louisiana home. Givers is lead singer/guitarist Taylor Guarisco, lead singer/percussionist Tiffany Lamson, drummer Kirby Campbell, trumpet player Josh LeBlanc, keyboardist Will Henderson, and saxophonist/keyboard player Nick Stephan.

Currently touring intensively in support of their album ‘In Light’ [Glassnote Entertainment Group], Givers plays music that works hard to draw you up off your ass and onto your feet. There are touches of Zydeco, Cajun, folk, and soul in the mix.


Oct 15, 2011 (Sat) @ The Lyric Oxford (Oxford, MS)

Oct 17, 2011 (Mon) @ Kings Barcade (Raleigh, NC)

Oct 18, 2011 (Tues) @ Black Cat (D.C.)

Oct 20, 2011 (Thurs) @ Terminal 5 (New York, NY)

Oct 22, 2011 (Sat) @ Brooklyn Bowl (Brooklyn, NY)

Oct 23, 2011 (Sun) @ Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)

Oct 24, 2011 (Mon) @ The Met Cafe (Pawtucket, RI)

Oct 26, 2011 (Wed) @ Wrong Bar (Toronto, ON)

Oct 28, 2011 (Fri) @ Exit In (Nashville, TN)

Oct 29, 2011 (Sat) @ Bottletree (Birmingham, AL)

Oct 30, 2011 (Sun) @ Voodoo Experience Music Festival (New Orleans, LA)

Nov 05, 2011 (Sat) @ Inrocks Festival/La Cigale (Paris, France)

Nov 06, 2011 (Sun) @ Concorde 2 (Brighton, UK)

Nov 08, 2011 (Tues) @ XOYO (London, UK)

Nov 09, 2011 (Wed) @ Academy 3 (Manchester, UK)

Nov 10, 2011 (Thurs) @ King Tuts (Glasgow, UK)

Nov 11, 2011 (Fri) @ Sage (Gateshead, UK)

Nov 12, 2011 (Sat) @ Constellations Festival (Leeds, UK)

Nov 15, 2011 (Tues) @ Revolver (Oslo, Norway)

Nov 16, 2011 (Wed) @ Debaser (Stockholm, Sweden)

Nov 18, 2011 (Fri) @ Magnet (Berlin, Germany)

Nov 19, 2011 (Sat) @ Motorbooty/Rock ‘N Roll Circus (Hamburg, Germany)

Nov 21, 2011 (Mon) @ Blue Shell (Cologne, Germany)

Nov 23, 2011 (Wed) @ Rotonde (Brussels, Belgium)

Nov 24, 2011 (Thurs) @ Primavera Club Festival (Madrid, Spain)

Nov 25, 2011 (Fri) @ Primavera Club Festival (Barcelona, Spain)

Nov 27, 2011 (Sun) @ Guess Who (Utrecht, Netherlands)

Domestic Crisis Group | The Breaks

The Domestic Crisis Group’s song ‘The Breaks’ could well be the anthem for millions of us as we struggle to deal with a failing economy while trying to swim upstream in a world that seems to have gotten much more rugged.

‘The Breaks’ is a short stunning folk-rock-pop song with memorable lyrics and a tune that gets stuck in your head. The video is wonderful – and not just because it was shot almost entirely in and around neighbouring Coaticook QC – but because it’s gentle, touching and features some of the locals in great cameo appearances.

I can’t get enough of this song or the video [produced by Michèle Gauthier]. Both speak to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so.

The Domestic Crisis Group is Genevieve Blouin and Dane Ratliff. When they met in Montreal in 2008, Blouin was working at a corporate PR firm, and Ratliff [from Texas] was an environmental lawyer who’d just relocated to Canada from Europe. Both had well-honed songwriting and musical skills – Ratliff, a classically trained guitarist who’d penned a local hit in Texas and Blouin was a singer who’d worked with the likes of Gordon Raphael (The Strokes) and James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins).

Their ‘Two Tired Hearts’ EP was released on August 24 2010 and their latest album ‘Song for a Winter’s Night’ was released on July 1 2011.

Oct 15 Alpha Soul Cafe, Ottawa ON
Oct 28 Cagibi, Montreal QC

Here’s the vid in HD

The Domestic Crisis Group – The Breaks from Michèle Gauthier on Vimeo.

Monogrenade | Ce Soir

Montreal-based Monogrenade’s tune ‘Ce Soir’ is a beautiful pop-meets-roots tune en francais – but, you don’t need to understand french to appreciate the beauty of the music. The stop-motion video for ‘Ce Soir’ produced by Christophe Collette is fairly mindblowing, too.

Monogrenade is Marianne Houle, François Lessard, Mathieu Collette and Jean-Michel Pigeon. They released their first EP ‘Le saveur des fruits’ in 2009 to critical acclaim in Quebec. In 2010, the band signed with Bonsound Records and took third place in Les Francouvertes. They are currently touring in support of their first full-length album ‘Tantale’ which was released on March 1, 2011.

Oct 13 Le Cercle, Quebec QC
Oct 14 La Maison de la Culture de Waterloo, Waterloo QC
Oct 22 le divan du monde, Paris France
Oct 27 la coopérative de Mai, Clermont Ferrand France
Nov 5 Mouton Noir, Val David QC
Nov 23 Cabaret La Tulipe, Montreal QC
Dec 1 Le Museum Café, Rennes France
Dec 3 La Rodia, Besançon France
Dec 6 Foyer Georges Brassens/ Place Roger Salengro, Beaucourt France
Dec 7 Hotel Vogue, Dijon France

Madison Violet…The Ransom

It’s a stunning Tuesday morning in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The leaves are painting spectacular colours on the trees and on the ground. And despite the fact that our espresso machine has quietly died, all is right with my world as Madison Violet’s ‘The Ransom’ provides the perfect soundtrack for an autumn country morning.

Madison Violet – The Ransom by True_North_Records

2010 JUNO Award Nominees for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year by a Group, Madison Violet is Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac. Their latest CD ‘The Good in Goodbye’ was released in September 2011 and features an amazing cast of musicians: Joel Stouffer (Dragonette) on drums; Adrian Lawryshyn (Andy Stochansky) on bass; and vocals from Ruth Moody (The Wailin’ Jennys) and singer/songwriter Blair Packham.

The music is Americana meets Canadian roots and there are serious shades of country and folk thrown in for excellent measure. The harmonies are beautiful, the lyrics aren’t forced, and ‘The Ransom’ is a great piece of music to add to your own mixedtape right there.. between Lucinda Williams and Alela Diane.

Currently on the last stage of a European tour in support of ‘The Good in Goodbye’, the duo has sold-out venues across North America and Europe, had the prestigious distinction of touring with Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe, and has shared stages with contemporaries such as Chantal Kreviazuk, Ron Sexsmith and The Indigo Girls.


Oct 12, 2011 Bostelmann’s Saal Frelsdorf, Germany more info
Oct 13, 2011 Colos-Saal Aschaffenburg, Germany more info
Oct 14, 2011 Altes Feuerwehrhaus Netphen, Germany more info
Oct 15, 2011 Altes Kino Olsberg, Germany more info
Oct 16, 2011 Kulturzentrum Schlachthof Kassel, Germany more info
Oct 18, 2011 Stage Club Hamburg, Germany more info
Oct 19, 2011 Objekt5 Halle, Germany more info
Oct 20, 2011 Privatclub Berlin, Germany more info
Oct 21, 2011 Immanuel Kirche Groß Schönebeck, Germany more info
Oct 22, 2011 Kesselhaus Lager Singwitz, Germany more info
Oct 24, 2011 Kesselhaus Kobelmoor Rosenheim, Germany more info
Oct 25, 2011 Haus der Kultur Waldkraiburg, Germany more info
Oct 26, 2011 Galery F Pratteln, Switzerland more info
Oct 27, 2011 Altes Spital Solothurn, Switzerland more info
Oct 28, 2011 Eisenwerk Frauenfeld, Switzerland more info
Oct 29, 2011 Hotel Murten Murten, Switzerland more info
Oct 30, 2011 Synagogue Wawern, Germany more info
Oct 31, 2011 Jubez Karlsrhue, Germany more info
Nov 2, 2011 Kammerspiele Ansbach, Germany more info
Nov 3, 2011 Musiktheatre Rex Lorsch, Germany more info
Nov 4, 2011 Kulturkirche Köln, Germany more info
Nov 5, 2011 Rätschenmühle Geislingen, Germany more info
Nov 8, 2011 Cinema Paradiso St. Pölten, Austria more info
Nov 9, 2011 Blumenpark Seidemann Völs, Austria more info
Nov 10, 2011 KIK Ried / Innkreis, Austria more info
Nov 11, 2011 Buehnenwirtshaus Juster Gutenbrunn, Austria more info
Nov 12, 2011 Kitzmantelfabrik Vorchdorf, Austria more info
Nov 13, 2011 Altes Brauhaus Bleiburg, Austria more info
Nov 14, 2011 Amthof Feldkirchen, Austria more info
Nov 15, 2011 Europasaal Weiz, Austria


Nov 19, 2011 Flare n’ Derrick Turner Valley, AB more info
Nov 22, 2011 Arts Station Fernie, BC more info
Nov 24, 2011 Art Gallery of Swift Current Swift Current, SK more info
Nov 26, 2011 Bragg Creek Community Centre Bragg Creek, AB more info
Dec 7, 2011 The Aeolian London, ON more info
Dec 10, 2011 Bay School of Art Collingwood, ON more info

Slow down, Molasses…Feathers

Wow. That’s really all that I’ve got here. I’ve replayed ‘Feathers’ three times now and I’m stuck on ‘Wow!’ The tune is a gorgeously layered piece that features a duet between special guest Julie Doiron and Molasses’ lead singer Tyson McShane. There’s horns, guitars, fuzz, feedback and other very cool elements in this absolute keeper of a song.

Slow down, Molasses is an indie rock collective from Saskatoon out on the sprawling Canadian prairies. The expanse of vistas seems to have found its way into the folk-rock music of this 7ish and occasionally 8ish-member band. I will always remember Saskatchewan as the place where I watched a very long freight train cross the horizon end to end under the clearest blue sky I’ve ever seen. The music of Slow down, Molasses would have provided the perfect soundtrack for those moments.

Known to occasionally play a manual typewriter during a live performance, Slow down has been touring in support of their latest CD ‘Walk in the Sea’ which was released in March 2011.

Feathers by Slow down, Molasses

Tyson McShane – Vocals, piano, Guitar, Banjo
Ryan Drabble – space echo, Percussion, Drums
Patrick Schmidt – Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Jeanette Stewart – Vocals, toy piano, keyboards
Quentin Reschny – Bass
Kristine Eggertson – Vocals, Trombone
Paul Ross – Lap Steel, Guitar
Chris Morin – mandolin, Guitar, & Bass

Nov 25 SAIT’s the Gateway, Calgary AB
Nov 26 The Haven Social Club, Edmonton AB
Dec 23 Amigo’s Cantina, Saskatoon SK

Punt Sessions – Slow Down, Molasses from Nick Seagrave on Vimeo.

Chad Kichula…Killer

Chad Kichula’s latest CD ‘Killer’ was released in January 2011. The Regina SK-based musician teamed up with Matthew Kaip [Guitar], Philip Legrand [bass], Nat Bowen [drums], and Suzanne Parovsky [violin] to deliver an outstanding collection of songs.

The title track is a dark hypnotic piece that features a very cool fuzzed-out guitar solo, a great violin piece and a killer [sorry] bass line.

Lowell Thompson…Last Girl

Lowell Thompson & Crown Pilot rock. The Burlington VT-based band plays Americana roots rock with straight-ahead guitar hooks and vocal punches that draw you in and get your internal rhythms moving to an entirely different beat. This is essential listening for anyone who has ever called The North Country home.

Lowell Thompson: guitar/vocals
Bill Mullins: guitar/vocals
Kirk Flanagan: bass
Steve Hadeka: drums

Recent accolades:
• Best Male Vocalist, Seven Days “Daisies” Readers Choice Award, 2010
• Top Albums of 2009, Burlington Free Press, 2010
• Top Ten Albums of 2009, Seven Days, 2010
• Best Shows of 2009, Burlington Free Press, 2010

I love this tune.. it smacks of Tom Petty, Gram Parsons and maybe even well-aged Stones.

Trevor Davies…Vanity Press

Trevor Davies was born on the Canadian Prairies, raised on Vancouver Island and now calls Montreal home. His music mixes elements of pop, rock, folk & jazz – punctuated by well-crafted lyrics. He is currently promoting his first release ‘Vanity Press.’

Trevor Davies – Vocal/ Guitar
Phill Albert – Bass
David Klasen – Drums
Natalie Germann – Vocals, piano