My Prairie Dog/Planet S Music…

It was awesome to be featured in the March 2018 Mar. 29 – Apr. 11, 2018 Editions of Regina’s Prairie Dog and of Planet S Magazine from Saskatoon for the My Music column

http://planetsmag.com/2018-03-29/my-music/
http://www.prairiedogmag.com/2018-03-29/my-music/

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“Soul of Jazz” devotes an entire episode to my CD!

Debora Windover, Host of “Soul of Jazz” on CKOL 93.7 in Campellford and 100.7 in Madock devoted an entire episode to my new CD, “I don’t Do Lazy Like That”  How kind! Thank you. Here is a little of what Debora had to say…

    • His music lies between #SmoothJazz and #AdultAlternative. His songs offer a generous chord palette, smooth, laid-back rhythms, melodic shifts and improvisation”
    • “He writes, sings and plays with an emphasis on narrative story, lyrics and reflective themes.”
    • “Scott Anthony Andrews believes in collaboration where he and his fellow [songwriting] members can hone their craft, grow and only get better and better.”
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My co-write on music learnin’

I luv being Berklee Online student (and graduate)! I co-wrote an article for SaskMusic’s “The Session” magazine with with Dale Mac Music about those wonderful experiences. Check it out here…… Berklee-SessionFeb2018

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Thank You YQR Songwriters for Our/My Community in 2017…

Being a Singer-Songwriter, at least as far as I have experienced it, has a surprising amount of solitary work. That is why my community of YQR Songwriters is so important. As far as my musical life is concerned, it is the connections among these songwriters for which I am most grateful. First, I appreciate the range of musical styles in our monthly meetings from pop to country to folk to jazz to… Second, our community is a serious one—one in which we thoughtfully engage with different aspects of the craft of songwriting; one in which we have reflective discussions about rhyme schemes, lyrical intents and meaning, melodic contour, etc… Third, and I believe this to be true of all groups, the community is truly larger than any one of us. A kind word from a fellow songwriter can make all the difference; so too, can a most helpful bit of feedback to change a lyric or a melody.

Through YQR Songwriters, a regional group of the Songwriters Association of Canada, as well as through Sask Music, I have met and worked with some awesome people in 2017. I was fortunate to be selected for a co-writing retreat led by Justin Gray. Sally Meadows and Lyn Besse McGinnis and I were a team, through which I learned much about lyric writing and song themes.  Justin Gray was an awesome mentor through the process.  After that weekend, Tyler Gilbert (another workshop participant) and I co-wrote a song, “A Gravel Road Has a Song All Its Own.”  Last year, Canada Sound 150 encouraged artists to write songs around iconic Canadian sounds; Tyler and I choose a gravel road sound byte, ubiquitous in rural Canada, particularly for those of us who have toured in such areas.  Tyler is a great songwriter with an especially strong and engaging voice. Check out his version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” not an easy song to sing, and he really nails it. I really enjoyed working with Tyler. Dale MAC, another YQR Songwriter, and I have both studied at Berklee College of Music Online. I completed a Songwriting Specialist Certificate, and Dale MAC courses in Vocal Techniques, and in Studio Production. He gave a useful, hands-on presentation on syncopation as applied to the art of songwriting to us YQR Songwriters.  Dale and I co-wrote an article for Sask Music’s, The Session magazine, about our respective experiences at Berklee Online. Dale is an easy-going singer-songwriter with an inquisitive nature that really opens possibilities for his songwriting. I especially like his song “Good Morning” from his new EP “American Horse”—quite unique the way he sings this song.

Of course, there are YQR regulars, starting with my talented co-coordinator, Wanda Gronhovd, who is so great at going for it and getting things done! She recently completed a tour of her new CD “Shifting Sands.”  I learn much from William John Stewart and his clever lyrics; Brian Smyth who never misses a session, and who is well-connected to various songwriting worlds.  Glen Sutter certainly supports the connection between songwriting and nature.  …And there are many more songwriters in our ranks. On a personal level I sincerely thank each of you for your participation and hope to see you at some meetings in 2018.

May your songwriting muse and your songwriting athlete meet for many training sessions in 2018! And may some of those sessions be with us at YQR Songwriters.
With you in melody, in harmony, in lyric, in song,

Scott Anthony

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Prairie Holiday Songwriter Exchange…

Last night at YQR Songwriters, we exchanged music with one another. Some songwriters had some CDs to exchange; some had recorded a song live sand shared a YouTube clip, and some had a single out on Spotify or iTunes. We agreed to review one another’s work.  It was my pleasure to exchange songs with Jaecy Bells, Kendra Kahl and Glenn Sutter.

Jaecy Bells is a young and up-and-coming singer with a bluesy, very earthy quality to her voice. Jaecy has lots of vocal control. Great tune. I loved her track “Firing Squad,” which has some resonance with the story songs of the 70’s and 80’s. Her lyrics tell the story of falling in love, against any seemingly logical sense. Some great lyrics:

“…A heart no man can break… Memories no drink can drown…Her presence is a firing squad”
Jaecy is a great loop singer as well! Check it out here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6tlqvt1ue3Q9FQ8xzQFreK

Kendra Kahl is also an up and coming singer-songwriter. I checked out her FaceBook page. Kendra has one of those voices that can really reach you. It is as though she is singing directly to you. Awesome! She has a clear and powerful voice. I really appreciate her sense of a melodic contour; she soars up on her Choruses. I appreciated the song “Sweet, Sweet Love” and the song “Great Love Story” which had some great lines, such as “Let me love you until this world can’t hurt you no more” and “Let me love you, ‘cuz I will want this til we’re both gray and old”. She has an intuitive sense of when to add in minor chords and colours to evoke just the right sense of emotion. Kendra truly has a gift.

Check it out here: Kendra Kahl Music on Facebook or her You Tube page https://www.youtube.com/user/kendrahope18

Glenn Sutter is hard-working singer-songwriter; Glenn spearheads the songwriting retreats with Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Listening to his CD, “Sweet Happiness” it is obvious that these themes of nature, earth, sunlight, rivers, etc. have spoken to him for a while. There is plenty of acoustic guitar on the CD, which I quite appreciated. The title tune “Sweet Happiness” has an infectious bass line and a great Chorus.  Quite liked the acoustic bass on the track “That River Rising,” and this song has one of the nicest builds on the CD. It really seems to “crest” as it develops. The song “Sunlight After the Rain” has a great harmonica solo with some old fashioned piano. Also with some great lyrics “I know the land around here calls out loud and clear.” I was really drawn to the track “Seems like Yesterday” with the words “That old clock on the wall is slowly losing time; We’re all set to go; Doing fine” …there is a ticking clock sound at the end, nice touch!  Glenn is a thoughtful and committed songwriter with a timely message.

Check it out here: https://www.glennsutter.com/ or Glenn Sutter Music – on Facebook

And that, my friends, was my Holiday Song Exchange with other YQR Songwriters. What a privilege to be part of such a talented group of songwriters! Have a restful Holiday Season everyone.

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What Does Weather have to do with Autism?

Recently, Kelley Jo and I shared excerpts from “Ducks on the Moon: A Parent Meet Autism…A Play with Music.” We performed about half of it on a lovely Thanksgiving evening. We participated in a salon with wonderful poetry readings by two poets from “Listen To Dis Community Arts Organization” (http://www.listentodis.com/), as well as a recitation of Hymns in Danish.  Kathryn Ricketts (http://kathrynricketts.blogspot.ca/) and her research partner Terry Sefton offered a dance and cello performance as part of their “Stories of Windsor: Mapping and Mining Narratives of Place through Interdisciplinary Performance” based upon a story provided by our Kelley Jo. There was also some art work; truly a multi-genre arts-based evening.

We sought feedback from this artistic audience. I am starting to understand the iterative process of creating musicals or a play with music; at its heart is how the audience takes up the story—how it takes up the artography. Generally speaking, people spoke to the power of the play, the power of that story—and to the power of the musical lyrics. We know we need to continue to refine our lyrics, but several commented the lyrics were quite clever and appropriate—good feedback to get for our first performance!

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The Real-Life Couple behind the song “Our Story Began in These Seats”

On my new CD, “Don’t’ Do Lazy Like That” I wrote a duet, “Our Story Began in These Seats,” which chronicles the real-life romance of Shawn and Twyla. I was fortunate to record this song with the incomparable Belle Plaine. I asked Twyla if she would mind writing a few words about the song. Here they are….

The CD, “I Don’t Do Lazy Like That” is a comforting celebration of love – love of familiar places, love of nature’s bounty and love for the people that give these experiences meaning. In our song, “The Story Began in These Seats” our friend Scott Anthony has captured the essence of our life-time of love in a beautiful ballad. It is probably still true today but certainly during the 80’s in rural Saskatchewan, the local theatre was the epicenter of budding teenage romances. Not all of them resulted in a 34 year relationship, but ours did. This song brings back wonderful memories of our hopes and dreams that came with our young love. Certainly, this song is about romantic love – that part is true.

Shawn and I really have had a real-live romance from the first moment we sat in those Falkon Theatre (see the pic) seats but it is also about love that transcends time. I was almost 15 and Shawn had just turned 16 when we started dating. In those days we were, as Scott writes, “just learning our scripts;” love was about anticipation – “hoping our lines would come true.” Thirty-four years later our story, our movie, might never be a block buster but Shawn is my hero and our rom-com, action-adventure, drama, stars two children and a bucket full of laughter, all of which “began in these seats.” Now that we have those theatre seats our in our house, Shawn, I still “like your arm as it hugs my back.”

Thank you to Scott and Belle who must also know real-life love to sing this song to make it feel so true.

Twyla and Shawn Salm
The real-life couple that met at the movies….

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Triple S: A Smooth Singer-Songwriter

New Cd I Don’t Do Lazy Like That coming very soon…..which is

Story ♪ Lyrics ♫ Jazz Chord Palette ♪ Intimate ♫ Rhythmic ♪ Thoughtful ♫ Swing ♪ Reflective

My new CD, I Don’t Do Lazy Like That, is about to drop…Great news! And as this is about to happen, I have thought about my branding and radio marketing campaign that is about to unfold. I have heard that one can “talk” or “reflect” one’s creativity away; however, in focusing my campaign it seems opportune to re-think how to describe my music. I have always thought my music rooted in Smooth Jazz and Adult Contemporary (AC)….

Art is not a static practice; neither is music. As musical genres migrate, adapt and shift, novel subgenres and performances may emerge. Alongside the inevitability of crossing/incorporating musical boundaries in the pursuit of the novel, there is the—often simultaneous—shoring up of boundaries/definitions that constitute a genre. Within jazz, for example, there are many, many subgenres, including Bebop, Bossa Nova, Chamber Jazz, Cool, Dixieland, Free form and Avant-Garde, Gospel jazz Hard Bop, Jazz rap, Jazz Hip Hop, Jazz rock, Jazz in Classical Composition, Modal, Ragtime, Vocal jazz, Swing—and my favourite, Smooth Jazz (…and many more, see Tanner and Megill, 2013 for example). In the Smooth Jazz Singer category, I might include Anita Baker, Bobby McFerrin, Corinne Bailey Rae and Norah Jones. Canadians seem well represented here with Coco Love Alcorn, Diana Krall, Matt Dusk and Michael Bublé to name but a few. The Singer-Songwriter music tradition, clearly began with songwriters who wrote and performed their own songs, typically accompanying themselves on guitar. This musical tradition then, is also a genre which may touch upon Celtic, Folk, Folk Pop, Folk-Rock, Roots and may claim artists like Bob Dylan, The Chieftains, Ed Sheeran, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Tracy Chapman.  Indeed, Canadians are well-represented here as well, including Amelia Curran, Bruce Cockburn, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Connie Kaldor, David Myles, Jay Semko, Jeffery Straker, Leonard Cohen, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Poor Nameless Boy, Stan Rogers, Tom Cochrane.

My music lies in between these two:
from Smooth Jazz, I love the generous chord palette, the grooves, the laid-back rhythms, the melodic shifts, improvisation
from the Singer-Songwriter tradition, I love the emphasis on narrative, the story, the intimacy, the importance of lyric, the reflective narrative themes, the audience connectedness

This reflection has been good for me; it feels like I have discerning my own Musical Mission Statement. A Statement that both describes and informs my songwriting. My CD, I Don’t Do Lazy Like That certainly includes various story songs… stay tuned. What is your musical mission statement?

Reference
Tanner, Paul & Megill, David (2013). Jazz: twelfth edition. Toronto: McGraw Hill (pp. 413).

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Canada Sound 150: A Parade of Street Sweepers

Canada Sound 150 is a very interesting project sponsored by CBC. The idea is that Canadians submit actual sound snippets to the Canada Sound site  to inspire/challenge songwriters to use these audio clips as the basis for a song.  The hope is that “Canadian musicians create the ultimate national soundtrack.” Indeed, interesting sounds have been submitted: the sound of KD as its leaves box and leaps into boiling water, the sizzle of bacon, the sound of a cottage door closing, loons…..

…A Little about the Song
(Click here to hear it )
When I was thinking about which sound, I considered that I am a singer-songwriter in Regina, a prairie city. I really wanted to write/build a song around a sound that is—if not unique to my city—is at least very common here.  I settled upon the sound of a street sweeper. Prairie cities are naturally dusty; they are often oases within surrounding sandy prairie. Further, Regina does not use much salt for winter traction, as salt generally will not melt ice below -15C, which is nothing for a prairie winter. Regina uses a sand/salt combination….so more sand on the roads. Hence, spring cleaning in Regina involves not just one, but a parade of street sweepers—several in a row that go up and down, up and down, up and down your street. Other cities have them as well, though they seem not quite as springtime ubiquitous as on prairie city streets.

So, I wrote this song in a way that literally describes the “Parade of Street Sweepers” that spring clean my street. You may notice that the intro gradually builds in volume, as though you were watching a parade as its gets closer and closer.

…A Little about the Street Sweeping Sound

  • I got up really early on the assigned May morning when the street sweepers were coming and recorded their brushing sound on my own street. (Yes, that is the actual street sweeper in the pic)
  • The machine upon which the brushes rest has a loud hum, no matter how I recorded the sounds, so I added a little bit of a shaker (just a tad) to the sample in order to hear the brushing a little more clearly
  • I used the Abelton Live music production software to create my song, “A Parade of Street Sweepers.” As part of Ableton, I used the Simpler program to import and pitch the street sweeping sound; I also a little resonance through auto-filter. I used the sound as it as a kind of a bass sound in the song
  • Having said all that, this is my first try at music production. I have released two CDs and am about to release my third “I Don’t Do Lazy Like That.” Each CD was professionally produced by Ross Nykiforuk, and my latest was professionally mastered at Carvalho Mastering in TO. This was an interesting challenge posed by Canada Sound 150, and I am glad that I accepted it, even knowing it was my first attempt at music production.

….The Lyrics: A Parade of Street Sweepers
Music & Lyrics by Scott Anthony Andrews 2017

Swift swishing ground, brushing round and round
Winter sand whisks away
All in the row, these moving brooms go
Sweepin’ and vacuumin,’ then wash the concrete
A parade of street sweepers spring clean my street
A parade of street sweepers spring clean my street
Circling back again, looping round and then
Meandering past
A bristling barrage, a dusty entourage
Sweepin’ and vacuumin,’ then wash the concrete
A parade of street sweepers spring clean my street
A parade of street sweepers spring clean my street
…and there you have it; my contribution to Canada Sound 150.

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Regina Songwriters’ Circle: More than a Circle of 5ths

Creative City Centre
June 15 2017

I am filled with both pride and gratitude. Wanda Gronhovd and I, co-coordinators of the Regina Chapter of the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC), are preparing for our group’s first showcase on June 15 8pm at Creative City Centre (mostly Wanda…truth be told). Wanda is the perfect co-chair; she really is able to get things done—and is quite a talented songwriter, who is currently working on her second CD.  Indeed, there are some wonderful songwriters lined up to perform for you like Wanda and James Gates. Also featured is our resident lyricist, Brian Smyth. As a songwriting circle, we get to hear not only the songs, but their genesis and growth. I have been able to watch these songwriters as they hone their craft and work to get better and better.

Honestly, being a part of a community of songwriters has been good for my soul.  In fact, there are only two things that seem to lift me up from the mire of the everyday: my songwriters’ community and the act of songwriting itself—so far, nothing else has come close. Every third Thursday of the month (our meeting time), I have received comradery, solace and kinship. We have attracted songwriters from across southern Saskatchewan, such as Glenna Switzer, who recently won a Saskatchewan Country music award! Many of these folk found us through Lorena Kelley from Sask Music—thank you Lorena. On these Thursday nights I have the pleasure of listening to a wide musical spectrum—from Indie folk to country to jazz/blues to pop, even electronic/dance music (such as Jane Gjlestland, who also recently won UK Songwriting award). As a SAC Writers’ Group, we have been privileged to be visited by some wonderful colleagues this year…Belle Plaine and Megan Nash to name two.

I will perform the title track of my forthcoming CD “I Don’t Do Lazy Like That” (now mastered…and soon to be going into ‘actual’ production). I also plan to do a song I wrote while in the Songwriting: Melody course as part of the Berklee College of Music Songwriting Specialist Certificate….tentatively called “Bendigeidfran”
…try putting that in a song 😉

We would love to see you to share our songs…Thursday June 15 at Creative City Centre

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