Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Chantal Kreviazuk – Performer, Songwriter, Mother

One of my favourites is this beautiful singer-songwriter… now calling L.A. home and writing for others while writing for herself and taking care of her children… she certainly does it all and does it all well… Kudos and May the Muse stay with you Chantal… and listen to her new album Plain Jane at her website.

Here are some quotes from an interview yesterday published in the Metro newspaper:

Being plain and ordinary doesn’t come easy to someone who has been a staple on Canadian charts since her 1996 debut Under These Rocks and Stones. A long-standing marriage to Raine Maida, frontman of Toronto band Our Lady Peace, isn’t exactly a recipe for anonymity either, nor is a home in the Big Smoke a secluded retreat for a Canuck pop couple. But what allows Kreviazuk to step out of the spotlight is her life in Los Angeles, where she can remain in the background crafting hits for artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani.

“We’re focused on family … and our second jobs as songwriters in a totally different market place, different nation. It’s been a brilliant thing. I like me way better than I would have if I had been just the girl in Canada with the microscope on myself,” she says.

Her self-effacing approach works well when it comes to family. But that doesn’t necessarily mean she allows herself to get dwarfed by the million-selling singers she collaborates with in L.A.

“I realize that they came to me because there was something about me  the artist that they wanted. So I should be building that into the songwriting process with them,” she says.

And if there’s something of her that the self-proclaimed “live performance junkie” wants to get across in the music is authenticity and humility.
“I feel like being more of an artist that people can relate to. I never wanted to be BeyoncĂ©, I never wanted to be Madonna. I wanted to be a singer-songwriter on a life journey  … I wanted to be relatable on a very realistic level.”

Bruce Springsteen - Prolific

Billboard has uploaded their new cover story with Bruce Springsteen, who just wrapped up another epic tour behind his latest album, Working On A Dream. In it, Springsteen discusses the ritual of taking requests from the audience, his decision to play full albums from Born To Run to The E Street Shuffle, and the longevity of the E Street Band.

“I’ve been prolific with my songwriting,” says Springsteen, “so I’ve been able to just get more music out there, which is something I always wanted to do. I found my 50s to be very, very fruitful. The songs came — I don’t want to say easily, but they came in a continuous flow. I had a lot of things I wanted to write about, so it allowed us to record quite a bit, and then back it up with the touring.”

Read the whole thing here. And watch Bruce live in Philadelphia below… May the Muse continue to stay with you Bruce…

Finally, the Kennedy Center honoured Bruce as a singer and a songwriter last Sunday… read about that here.

Young Guelph musician wins Toronto carol songwriting competition

Kudos to Sarah Buisman, a high-school student who recently won a Christmas carol songwriting contest in her age group that will be performed by the Amadeus Choir in Toronto.  Here is a sample of a recent Guelph Mercury article on Ms. Buisman (click the link to read it all):

GUELPH — At 16 years old, Sarah Buisman is already an accomplished musician. The Grade 11 student sings high second soprano with the Guelph Youth Singers’ chamber choir, is a pianist with her school’s band, and plays the djembe drum and saxophone—when she can find the spare time.

Another skill in her musical repertoire is songwriting. Last week, a Christmas carol she composed called Jesus is Here won the Toronto-based Amadeus Children’s Choir competition for the best original Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs.

“I was really happy to hear I’d won,” Buisman said, tucking a strand of hair behind an ear. “But I was also a little surprised. I had sort of given it in and forgotten about it.”

Well, the Muse is with you Sarah, and may it continue to be going forward…

Best Wishes To Alexa Ray Joel

I won’t speculate as to what or who caused Ms. Joel’s recent hospitalization, but I do want to send prayers and best wishes to her and her family in this trying time…  May the Muse stay with you Joel Family…  Watch the making of Alexa Ray’s Invisible below and visit her website to download it for free

Ci vedimes and all the best…

McCartney wins Gershwin songwriter prize

Paul McCartney will be honoured with a fledgling but prestigious musical honour, after being named Monday as the latest recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The U.S. Library of Congress, which administers the honour, announced the 67-year-old British musician and former Beatle as its third winner of the songwriting prize on Monday.

"It is hard to think of another performer and composer who has had a more indelible and transformative effect on popular song and music of several different genres than Paul McCartney," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement.

Billington selected McCartney after discussion with entertainment industry leaders.

The Library of Congress houses the George and Ira Gershwin Collection, a vast resource of musical manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, other documents and memorabilia that originally belonged to the famed songwriting brothers.

"As a great admirer of the Gershwins' songs, I am highly honoured to be given the Gershwin Prize by such a great institution," McCartney said.

Organizers will celebrate McCartney with a star-studded tribute concert being planned for spring 2010, with a line-up of performers to be announced later.

First awarded in 2007, the Gershwin Prize was created by Bob Peter and Bob Kaminsky, Mark Krantz and Cappy McGarr — who also created the Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The first two Gershwin Prize recipients were musical icons Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

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