harmonica

Writing for others with Ashley Braga

Toronto and Mississauga-based singer-songwriter Ashley Braga joined us for two live performances and insights into her unique approach to songwriting. While most songwriters turn largely inwards to write, Ashley provides a service writing songs for other people, based on their relationships and emotions. Often the songs are for engagements, weddings, or funerals.

Other stuff we talked about:

  • writing from melodies and a central idea
  • the Ontario Conservatory of Music
  • Ashley’s childhood family experience in realizing how songs can move people
  • shifting from piano to guitar
  • how long is too long to write a song
  • how to use a cliche and get away with it
  • the tension between happy songs and gloomy songs
  • non-verbal communication as inspiration for songs about others
Phil's birthday with cake
It was also Phil’s birthday!

Listen to the whole show:

Download the lyrics for Believe and The Other Side.

Watch the live performances:

Writing the emotional gamut with Beige Shelter

Indie rock band Beige Shelter stopped by to talk about forming the band, producing their first album, and performed two songs. Our very own Neel Modi took the co-guest seat as producer, drummer, and co-writer. A good friend of Song Talk Radio, Patrick Ballantyne filled in for Neel’s host spot.

Beige Shelter is:

  • Adi Aman – songwriter, vocals, rhythm guitar, ukulele, harmonica
  • Neel Modi – producer, percussionist, co-writer on Colours
  • Tom Kuczynski – bass guitar
  • Karan Sabharwal – lead guitar (absent)

We talked about:

  • Adi’s first appearance on Song Talk Radio over two years ago
  • Where the band name came from
  • Adi’s approach to capturing a wide range of emotions with his yin-yang philosophy of songwriting
  • Neel’s approach to producing the album – check out his blog post on this
  • Playing with your key signature to find the sweet spot for your vocals
  • Where you can listen to Beige Shelter’s debut album, Rumours we make, paths we take

Listen to the whole show:

Watch the live performances:

Where’s Bob Dylan?

Okay, so we couldn’t get Bob to come to the studio for the show. Not surprising considering how the Nobel Prize people can’t find him either. On this show about Bob Dylan we discussed:

  • The new film from Ron Howard  – The Beatles, Eight Days a Week
  • How the Beatles wrote songs
  • Should the Nobel Prize for Literature have been given to Bob Dylan?
  • What was Bob Dylan’s contribution to the music world?
  • Bob’s lyrics and melodies
  • How much his early career was influenced by the times (early sixties)
  • His long career
  • Two of his songs: “Shelter from the Storm” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues”

Exploring the blues with Son Roberts

Maple Blues Award Best New Artist nominee and harmonica player, Son Roberts stopped by the Song Talk Radio studios with guitarist John Crosbie and had a fun and wide ranging conversation about writing blues influenced tunes.

Here’s what we talked about:

 

Mark Martyre writes melodic word pictures

Mark Martyre is a Canadian writer and musician. His prolific song writing has produced 3 full-length studio albums since 2012: Down, Record (2012), London (2013), and Red Letters (2014), as well as several live records, and bootlegs. His music and lyrics have garnered critical acclaim and attention both nationally and internationally. Mark is currently working on his fourth full-length studio album, as well as a book of poems and short stories, to be released in 2016. On December 8 he filled our studio with a laid back set of three tunes. With “I know What It’s Like” he plays with simile very effectively… – “like a story”, “like an old deck of cards”, like a movie”. His lyrics flow in an almost spoken style on top of solid rhythmic guitar work. On “Long Goodbye” listen for surprising images (“sleepy trees”), tasty harmonica fills, and  cool bridge. “I Never Knew” traces the musician’s process and resonates for anyone who ever set out to play gigs only to discover it was a lot harder than they thought. Mark is an accomplished songwriter worth checking out at any of the links listed!

SOCIAL MEDIA

www.markmartyre.com

www.markmartyre.bandcamp.com

www.facebook.com/markmartyre

www.youtube.com/markmartyre

www.twitter.com/markmartyre

 

Taylor & Bryn with the team

Two guitars, 20 harmonicas, harmonies and beat boxing with Taylor & Bryn

The uber-talented duo of Talyor & Bryn impress the team with their fusion of styles and great sense of humour with 3 live performances, including an improvised lyric and melody by Taylor for their final song.

We discussed: