The Maple List – Number 164 – Sylvia Tyson


Born in 1940, Sylvia Tyson (Fricker) is an important part of Canadian music history. Best known as part of the folk due Ian and Sylvia, she continues to perform with the folk group Quartette and has since 1993.

During the Canadian Content days of radio, she and her ex-husband Ian Tyson, were staples on Canadian radio. They likely would have been even without the content rules. The were a very good folk duo from 1959 to 1974, when they split up.

In addition to the duo, they also fronted another Canadian institution, the band Great Speckled Bird. Sylvia is a true Canadian icon. She was inducted into the Order Of Canada in 1994, has 7 Juno nominations (Canada’s Grammys) as a solo artist and was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003. Additionally, she was included in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame as part of the Ian and Sylvia duo in 1992.

I have included 2 videos, Four Strong Winds, (you may think of this as a Neil Young song, it’s not) recorded during a reunion concert in 1986. This has been noted as one of the most influential Canadian songs of all time. The second is a solo by Sylvia, “You Were On My Mind”.

Canada’s All Time Top Songs – #97


We have now got to 97 on the list, “Crying Over You” by Platinum Blonde. The band formed in the early 80’s and had a string of hits on Canadian airwaves. They had minimal success in the USA, so my readers from anywhere but Canada will find them to be a new band. The song featured here was their one and only number 1 in Canada. It was taken from their 1985 album “Alien Shores”. The album spawned (see what I did there) 4 singles and is likely the pinnacle of their success. It included their only charted single in the USA, “Somebody, Somewhere” which reached 82 on the Billboard Top 100 and 23 in Canada.

The band is still touring and had released an album of new material in 2012.

Without further adieu, the number 97 Canadian hit of all time, “Crying Over You”.

A Chat with Dan Washburn


I sat down (kind of, we were both sitting, just in different provinces) with the very talented singer, songwriter and player Dan Washburn. Dan released a new single on October 25th titled “I’d Rather”. You will love it.

Put simply, Dan is a pro. He’s been doing this for a while. Dan started playing guitar at 7 years old, wrote his first song at 10 and became a regular on bass for his first band at 13. Since then he has credits on over 200 albums and has shared the stage with artists such as George Fox, Colleen Peterson, Emmy-Lou Harris (love her) Waylon Jennings, Toby Keith and many others. An outstanding career to date.

We spoke at length on a multitude of subjects. One theme that threaded its way through most subjects was his love for independent artists and the struggles in getting heard. One comment stood out, I’ll paraphrase. As in everything, the independents artist pool contains poor, mediocre, good and top level talents. Program directors will playlist a mediocre tune from an established artist (read on a label) and won’t give the same consideration to a great song from a top level independent.

I have to agree, as I’ve seen this in covering many independent artists. A song is amazing from someone on Twitter or Instagram etc., I’ll download it from a streaming site, and the only time I’ll ever hear it is if comes up randomly or I purposely queue it up. I 100% agree with him on this one. This is completely unfair and stifles talent, not to mention it cheats you and me from hearing some outstanding records.

On that topic, we went into who he listens to and who would he recommend I listen to (I’m a recent Country Music listener). His list was, as expected, varied and full of talented performers. I have just begun to go through their catalogues and he is bang on. The first name that I checked in on is an outstanding talent. Her name is Suzi Kory, and you can find her on YouTube. You will hear more from me on her and all the others as well. Thanks Dan for that.

I asked if there were any tours upcoming. Unfortunately nothing close, unless you live close to Ireland. He is heading out on tour there shortly.

As a recent country listener, I asked what his favorite songs of his that I should listen to. Based on “I’d Rather” and “Simple Things”, I wanted to dig deeper into his repertoire, and who better to ask than the artist himself. I’ll pass them on, all are available to listen to on Dan’s YouTube channel. First “I’ll Have To Drink About That” is a tongue in cheek tune on relationships. Well written and added to my collection.

Next up is “We Were Almost Love”. A very different song than I’ll Have To Drink. It showcases a softer tone. Very strong in the lyrical sense and well sung. Another great tune.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend you grab his tunes off your streaming site.

Canada’s All Time Top Songs – #98


At 98 is a signature song from former Sweeney Todd singer, Nick Gilder. The track is Hot Child In The City.

Sweeney Todd had a big hit in 1976 with Roxy Roller. After that success, Nick left the band, going solo and signing a record deal in the USA. That deal spawned the featured song which hit number 1 in both Canada and the USA. Unfortunately, he never realized much further success, never again hitting the top 40. He did have success as a songwriter as well, penning hits for diverse artist as Pat Benatar and Bette Midler.

Canada’s All Time Top Songs – #99


At 99 we present “We Run” by Strange Advance. A Vancouver new wave band, they formed in 1982, and were almost immediately nominated for a Juno (Canada’s Grammy) as most promising band. “We Run” was taken from their album, “2WO” and released as a single in 1985. It reached number 28 on the RPM pop chart. The band never made any inroads outside of Canada and essentially went dormant after releasing their 3rd album in 1988. . Fun fact, they were mostly a session band and apparently had never played live as a group prior to 1985.

Canadian Artists Online – Lisette Xavier


Lisette Xavier is an artist I have written of in the past. She has been a fixture on the Calgary music scene for many years now, and I figured it was time to catch up. My last article was in 2014 and is available here, if you are interested.

Her latest work is the featured tune “Rise Up”, with was released in February 2021. Catchy tune, well written and a pretty cool video. I’ve always been impressed with her vocals and she keeps one interested throughout. Nice job!

If you choose to do so, the song, and her past catalogue are available at all the usual places, Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp, Tidal and Google Play.

You can go directly to her sites on her webpage.

Lisettexavier.com

Canada’s All Time Top Songs – #100


The first entry into our top 100 is Honeymoon Suite and their song Love Changes Everything.

Back in the hair band days of the 1980’s, Honeymoon Suite was formed in 1981 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The name and the place share a connection, very witty. They had a string of hits in Canada throughout the 80’s and even had some traction in the USA, highlighted by performing the title track for the movie Lethal Weapon.

Love Changes Everything was released in 1988 and is on their album Racing After Midnight. The song reached number 9 in Canada, 13 on the US Rock and 91 on the US chart, all by Billboard. The band is still recording, it’s latest release was in 2019.

Get ready to rock to a live version of the tune, live is always best.

A Chat With Betty Moon


Betty Moon

Today I chat with Betty Moon.  She is an accomplished artist, originally from Toronto, now living in Los Angeles, who has been recording since the 1980’s.  The interview celebrates the arrive of her 11th studio album, “Cosmicoma”.  Her first recording, in 1986, was while with her band Bambi.  This led to a recording contract with A&M Records, where she released a debut, self titled album in 1991.

We were unable to link up via phone, so I forwarded some questions via email.  Without further adieu, here are the questions and the responses.

We were unable to link up via phone, so I forwarded some questions via email.  Without further adieu, here are the questions and the responses.

What brought you into a music career.  

I was raised in a family that had music in their blood, and we happened to have a recording studio on the property so the odds were definitely in my favor. I say kids either go one way or another when following what their parents were involved with, and the music bug bit me pretty early. As a teen I had a pretty successful band in Toronto and that led to a solo career with major and independent labels. Over recent years I have been releasing music on my own label, Evolver Music Inc.

Where was your first live performance?  How did it go?

My first show was in a photo/film studio on Valentines Day  in Toronto called United Studios  that is no longer around. As anyone would expect, it was terrifying yet exciting, full of glitches, good times and it set my world ablaze with passion for live music. Once you are holding the mic and you get that feedback from a crowd, you never look back.

You’ve had a very productive career, is there anything you would change?

Well, hindsight is always 20/20 but I would have got further on the streaming and vinyl trains earlier on if I knew it was going to be the driving force of today’s era. I don’t really have any regrets though, I’ve done some amazing things throughout my career and have much on the schedule for 2022. 

You have had several songs on TV and movie soundtracks.  How does that feel?

It’s a bit surreal to hear your music in a TV show or on a feature film for sure. I think just having it blended within a movie gives you an appreciation for how important music is to film, and having the marketing opportunity to have my music in these spots is amazing. Plus, sometimes these placements pay pretty well and it’s nice to make a return in different ways for the music you create. 

How would you describe your music?

I would say it’s my own unique twist on rock n’ roll. At the root of it, I am a rock artist and inject different genres and inspiration into an album and that can vary year to year. I’m not following trends, and if anything I like to carve my own path and make sure I do things my way. A lot of my music can have touches of soul, funk, electronic and even pop.

Inspirations?

Other types of music and artists are only part of my inspiration musically. It’s really about my environment, stories, nights on the town and thinking inward that gets the creative juices flowing. Sure, I have favorite artists from my youth that drive ideas indirectly, but I think it’s more about my surroundings and happenings in life that inspire each song I create.

Have you ever taught music or mentored up and coming acts?

Over the years I have worked with different emerging artists in the industry. I’ve done panels at industry events, worked in the studio with other artists, co-wrote with younger and older musicians and more. It would be fun to teach a class online or do a sort of masterclass at some point, as I have a lot of experience and insight that others may appreciate.

What’s next for Betty Moon?  Tours, collaborations?

I’m currently in the studio working on my next album, and you never know who may appear on the record. These new songs are sounding killer, and I think it’ll be my best work to date.

We at Kat Power Hit Radio strive to promote independent labels and artists, and I strongly promote the same.  Tell us about Evolver Music, it’s goals and some of the artists signed with the label?  

I started Evolver Music originally as a company to fully release and publish my own content and albums. From music videos to artwork, 99% of the magic happens in-house and it’s nice to take back the power when so many artists think of getting a ‘record deal’ as the magic bullet.

To stream her latest album, please click below.

If you would like to see more about Betty Moon, please click on the links below:

http://bettymoon.com/

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Canada’s Best Music – 5 Songs At A Time – Part 32


We move up to number 345 in this edition of Canada’s Best Music.  We have another entry from the Spoons, some classic rock, some new rock from Billy talent and a song from a Canadian staple known as The Tragically Hip, who are, well, hip.  Nice set if you like rock.

345. Spoons

“Those Old Emotions”

Romantic Traffic
Romantic Traffic (Photo credit: stevec77)

The Spoons were in my last post, Part 31.  An 80’s hairband, they had several hits back in the day, including this one in 1983.  Not a great video, but, hey, pretty lucky to find it at all, I’d say.

344. The Watchmen

“Boneyard Tree”

In the Trees
In the Trees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winnipeg band, The Watchmen had a string of hits in the mid 90’s, including this song off their 1994 album “In the Trees”.  Very good band in their time.

343. Billy Talent

“Turn Your Back”

Billy Talent
Billy Talent (Photo credit: NRK P3)

Billy Talent has been around since the early 90’s (known as the Pezz until 1999), but struck it big over the last couple of years, earning a deserved world-wide following.  Turn Your Back is from Billy Talent III, released in 2009.  They have been nominated for Junos every year since 2004, winning 7 times.  The video is a live version.  Great rocker voice.

342. 5440

“Baby Have Some Faith”

The Canadian band 54-40; from left to right: D...
The Canadian band 54-40; from left to right: Dave Genn, Neil Osborne & Brad Merritt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5440 has been rocking Canadians since the 1980’s, releasing albums as recently as 2011.  One of my favourite bands at one point.  Still enjoy hearing them.

341. The Tragically Hip

“Three Pistols”

English: The Tragically Hip performing in Aspe...
English: The Tragically Hip performing in Aspen, United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A legend to many Canadians, The Hip consistently release quality material, time after time.  This tune was released in 1991 on their Road Apples album.  Great song.

Canada’s Best Music – 5 Songs At A Time – Part 16


The Canadian Music Blog

Another interesting set, from movie music to classic rock, some surprisingly good stuff.

1. Pukka Orchestra

“Listen to the Radio”

An interesting new wavish rock song from 1984 by the band with the sick name.  They released 3 albums in the 80’s and the early 90’s and broke up in 1992.

2. David Foster

“St. Elmo’s Fire Theme”

One of Canada’s major exports, David Foster, composed this song as the theme song from St Elmo’s Fire in 1985.  The song was originally written for Rick Hansen‘s “Man in Motion” tour of the world for spinal research.

3. Three Days Grace

“I Hate Everything About You”

Three Days Grace make another appearance in the list with their classic song “I Hate Everything About You”.  They definitely let loose their angst in this one.

4. Corey Hart

“In Your Soul”

A classic from Corey Hart.  He doesn’t wear…

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