Artist of the Month

October 12, 2022

Artiste du mois / Artist of the Month: Reney Ray

(English version follows) Récipiendaire du prix de l’artiste francophone de l’année au CMAOntario Awards 2022, Reney Ray est une multi-instrumentiste et auteure-compositrice-interprète à la plume aussi décomplexée que sensible. L’année 2023 s’annonce déjà très occupée pour l’auteur-compositrice de Val-Rita, qui a déjà annoncé 2 nouveaux albums : Un 3e album francophone qui sera intitulé « Dodge Ram van » et un 2e album anglophone nommé « You can call me Ray ». Comme tout ses projets, ces albums seront entièrement réalisés par l’artiste ou co-réalisé avec des réalisateurs de renom, comme Ricky Paquette et John-Anthony Gagnon-Robinette. Son dernier album « À l’ouest du réel » lui a d’ailleurs valu le prix d’Auteur-compositeur de l’année aux Canadian Folk Music Awards. Un talent reconnu à travers l’industrie, puisque […]
October 13, 2021

Artist of the Month: New Moon Junction

What happens when three experienced country music voices come together to try a new vibe and sound? New Moon Junction happens. Barb Doran, Tamara Maddalen and Matt Rogers came together to create the new country music trio, offering something new to fans and listeners who may have already known them on their own. And that was intentional.  “That was the idea right from the start. Typically, my music is quite serious – even depressing at times – but the great thing about the three of us together is that we very much focus on being positive and upbeat.” said Doran about the group’s sound and mission statement. In 2021 (so far) the trio has released their first 2 singles. Real Good Kinda Thing came first […]
September 14, 2021

Artist of the Month: Jessica Sole

From small-town Shelburne, ON and ready to make waves in country music, Jessica Sole has arrived. Her new single, Think Of Us, was released to digital platforms and country radio in mid-August, and is already picking up steam through playlists, streams, and spins. The track has landed on curated playlists at Amazon Music, and made it to Sirius XM CBC Country, cracking the Top 40 on the CBC chart just two weeks after its digital release. With inspirations like Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift, Jessica Sole has dug into her songwriting and sound, carving out her space and building her audience as she goes. Those inspirations shine through in Think Of Us, with early Swift-esque storytelling and charm from beginning to end. On […]
August 5, 2021

Artist of the Month: Smoke & Ashes

Sometimes things come together really fast and you can’t stop them once they start rolling, and that’s the story of Smoke & Ashes in a nutshell. The new Canadian country music duo describes their coming together as a match thrown on gasoline, ever since their first songwriting session in April 2021. Now, just a few months later, the pair have released their first single, High On Sunday, and are preparing to release their debut EP later this year. Smoke & Ashes is the partnership of industry veteran (musician, singer, writer, producer, and more) Pete Lesperance and the 2020 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards’ Rising Star winner, singer-songwriter Aaron Allen. If High On Sunday is a taste of what we’re going to get on the […]
July 6, 2021

Artist of the Month: Charissa

If you don’t know Charissa, now is a wonderful time to get yourself introduced. The Burlington, ON singer-songwriter draws from the sounds and vibe of Americana and classic Soul to craft her style, and it’s working. For Ontario country fans who don’t know her yet, that introduction can happen live at the 2021 Country Music Association of Ontario New Faces Showcase and Concert (September 3, 2021) at the Ancaster Fairgrounds in Hamilton. Charissa will perform alongside emerging favourites, including Robyn Ottolini, Aaron Allen, Genevieve Fisher, and more! Still in her mid-20s, Charissa is no stranger to the stage, with more than a decade under her boots already. In fact, you can go back to the summer of 2009, when a 12-year-old Charissa wowed the judges […]
June 8, 2021

Artist of the Month: Elyse Saunders

Elyse Saunders is a Peterborough, ON native and a 2-time 2021 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards nominee. This talented singer-songwriter has spent the last few years working hard to share her music with country music fans in Canada and beyond. The 2021 Rising Star and Female Artist of the Year nominee’s most recent release, Sunshine State Of Mind (May 14, 2021), is timed perfectly, as we head into the summer months – still searching for our way back to comfort and togetherness and a sense of normalcy. It’s a smooth track, designed for Saunders to show off her vocal skills, groove through the lyrics and take you to another place while you listen. In a social media post a week after the single release, […]
May 12, 2021

Artist of the Month: Les Rats d’Swompe

Winners of the Country Music Association of Ontario’s 2020 Francophone Artist or Group of the Year award and nominees again in 2021, Les Rats d’Swompe continue to grow, both as a band and within the music community. From folk and traditionally inspired tracks to uptempo bangers that will make you want to dance in your kitchen (and have fantastic Great Big Sea type vibes) Les Rats are versatile in their sounds, and ready to capture your attention, even if you don’t consider yourself fluent in French. The sound is full, fun, and all the pieces fit together like they were meant to be there. There is no language barrier in that – the music is its own language. The Ottawa-based band has released albums (La […]
April 16, 2021

Artist of the Month: David Boyd Janes

2021 Country Music Association of Ontario Male Artist of the Year nominee, David Boyd Janes, has been on a helluva ride over the last couple of years. And if you asked him about it, he’d probably start by telling you that Thoughts Become Things. The Toronto country artist caught our attention in the summer of 2019 by putting himself in the spotlight – winning the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase that August. Since then, we’ve seen him release a string of singles (that we hope are leading to an album) and watched him work through social media, building his base as an emerging artist. In 2021, while he hasn’t been able to get on stage the way he or any other artist wishes they […]
March 12, 2021

Artist of the Month: Jaclyn Kenyon

Jaclyn Kenyon doesn’t fit in any traditional musical box. She’s a lot of country and a little rock and roll, and it all comes together in a personal fit for her. From an early age, Jaclyn has been performing and earning attention and praise. At just 12 years old, she became the youngest artist to perform in the all-female Canadian showcase, Honey Jam. And she hasn’t stopped since! The Burlington, Ontario native has released a string of singles over the last two years, most recently, Me & Tennessee. It’s a heartbreaker with a strong vocal performance that feels vulnerable, honest and real. And, with a music video that accompanies it perfectly and adds to the storytelling of it all, Jaclyn hits us hard. In 2019, […]
February 9, 2021

Artist of the Month: Sacha

2020 was a big year for Sacha’s country music career, and 2021 looks like it’s going to be even bigger! The Ontario singer-songwriter released her “The Best Thing” EP in July last year, with her single Standards approaching 400,000 streams on Spotify and picking up adds on country radio stations. It has landed on great playlists, picked up great reviews and recommendations, and cracked the Top 50 on the charts, with momentum for more. But, the biggest news right now might be her inclusion in CMT’s Next Women of Country, Class of 2021! With Canadian stars MacKenzie Porter and Tenille Arts, as well as talented artists like Ashland Craft and Reyna Roberts, Sacha finds herself in great company on the list – and the exposure […]
January 11, 2021

Artist of the Month: Meghan Patrick

Y’all know Meghan Patrick. She’s the 15-time Country Music Association of Ontario award winner, the CCMA Rising Star, two-time Female Artist of the Year, and Ontario-born-and-raised hit machine. From the very start of her solo career with Bow Chicka Wow Wow, to her most recent single (and entry to the US country radio market), My First Car, Meghan Patrick has been capturing the attention of country music fans and building a reputation as a world class singer, songwriter and performer. Note: If you still haven’t seen Meghan Patrick perform live, we highly recommend that you make a plan to do that when our stages are reopened and it’s safe to get out there and dance and sing along! The Bowmanville, ON native was once in […]
December 11, 2020

Artist of the Month: Jess and Tay

Toronto-based country duo Jess and Tay have been steadily working to build their country music career, step by step. And as a strange and challenging 2020 fades into 2021, there are more steps waiting for them to climb. We first saw Jess and Tay back in 2016, when they competed in the Emerging Artist Showcase at Boots & Hearts. In 2020, the duo was scheduled to hit the stage at Burl’s Creek again, but when the festival was postponed for the year because of the pandemic, they had to put that plan on pause. However, with the announcement of the 2021 B&H lineup, Jess and Tay are poised to return on Friday, August 6. While they may not have been able to tour as much […]
November 3, 2020

Artist of the Month: Owen Barney

Toronto born and raised, but still able to dive deep into a country feeling, Owen Barney is being recognized as an up-and-comer on the Canadian country music scene. The 19-year-old singer-songwriter recently released his second EP, No Road Too Long, with four tracks that show off his talent, potential, and personality. Owen Barney’s musical journey began at just seven years old when he started strumming a guitar and found influence and inspiration in superstars like Eric Church, Jason Aldean, and Steve Earle. In his early teens, he started playing shows and growing his skills on stage, and from there he has covered a lot of ground. Owen hit our radar hard in 2019 with his EP Home, and we had the chance to see him […]


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