In the Country

September 11, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Thunder Bay’s Tim Albertson

          My guest for this month’s column is Thunder Bay country artist Tim Albertson. Over the last few years, he’s won over new country fans with his energetic live shows and singles like “A Bar Like This”, “Spin That Bottle” and now, his latest release, “Did It For A Girl”. I first met Tim at the CMAOntario Awards weekend earlier this year. He made the long drive from Thunder Bay to Hamilton to experience the event and make new contacts. Enjoy my chat with Tim and be sure to follow him on his socials to keep up to date on his career. Dave: Tim, who are the artists that have influenced you the most in your music career? Tim: There have […]
August 11, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Remembering John Marlatt

The news spread quickly on Monday, July 24, 2023, that John Marlatt, owner of Oakville’s iconic Moonshine Cafe, had passed away after a brief illness. Right away, there was an enormous outpouring of love & remembrance on social media for the man known for his quick wit, friendliness and love of live music. The Moonshine stage became a fixture and a hot spot on Kerr Street over the last 17 years. John would always be there, working hard, barbecuing, encouraging artists and sometimes asking the audience to stop talking and really listen to the acts & their songs. The Moonshine Cafe is legendary because of the legend that John is. Anyone who has been to this venue as an audience member or a performer knows […]
July 14, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Lemon Cash

Ottawa brothers Cory and Jeff Papineau – together known as Lemon Cash – recently released their brand new single, “Breakup Song”, written by the duo along with fellow country artist Wes Mack and veteran lyricist/producer/musician Dan Swinimer. It’s the first release under their new recording contract with Sakamoto Music, distributed by Warner Music Canada.      “Cory and Jeff have it all when it comes to songwriting, performing, and bringing that certain energy that ignites audiences. We can’t wait to share their music with country fans everywhere,” says Joelle May, Director of Promotions & Artist Services at Sakamoto Music. Last year, the brothers had their busiest year to date, performing shows and at festivals across the country, including the Calgary Stampede. With their debut album on the […]
June 12, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel – Cadence Grace, Ann Chaplin and Stacey Zegers – is BACK and just in time to provide us with a great feel good summertime song, “Beach Please”. The new single release marks the trio’s tenth anniversary. Since Runaway Angel’s formation in 2013, the ladies have been 2016 CCMA Discovery Artist nominees and celebrated 7 Country Music Association of Ontario nominations, two iTunes Canadian Country Top 5 charting albums, and a previous Top 50 Canadian radio hit (“Witness”). They have also toured Canada and Europe. “Beach Please” is a poignant milestone as the group’s first new music since Grace’s leukemia diagnosis in 2018. Following Cadence’s courageous journey – which included a personal blog, a life-saving bone marrow transplant, receiving the Extraordinary CML Story Award […]
May 10, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Jeff Brown

My guest for this month’s column is musician Jeff Brown. He’s made quite a name for himself over the years on the country music scene, accompanying a long list of artists – solo and as part of a band, touring with The Washboard Union, etc. He’s a leader and inspiration in the community. Chances are you’ve seen him perform over the years at a country show. It was great to have Jeff answer my questions on his music career and his instrument: the guitar.    Tell us about your first guitar. Was it a case of picking it up and never putting it down?  My first guitar was a Jay Turser and it was a knock-off of a Fender Stratocaster with a tobacco burst finish. […]
April 13, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Patrick James Clark

Patrick James Clark has written over 750 songs in the last few years. Some of those songs have been recorded by other artists like Aaron Allen, Emily Clair and Sarina Haggarty. But, of course, he had to save some tunes for himself to be included on his debut album, Yacht Money, which is out now. The storyteller in Patrick shines on “Front Door” and “Pay You Back”. It’s his storytelling in his writing and his ease with humour that make him a great performer to see at a show. Those are 2 of the reasons he was named the 2021 winner of the talent competition The Shot. When pitching Patrick’s sound, I tell people “If you like your country mixed with some John Mayer, then […]
March 8, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Angelica Appelman

Kitchener’s Angelica Appelman made her first appearance on the country music scene with the release of her song “Happy Place” just over a year ago and it was a great introduction to her! With a background in acting and having performed full band shows and songwriters’ events, she’s comfortable sharing her stories & songs in front of audiences and is a pro at being in front of the camera for her music videos. Angelica’s first released song reminds us all that we don’t have to travel far to find our own happy place. It’s usually where the people we love are. “My single, ‘Happy Place’, is a song that means so much to me, because it was my debut single, all about cherishing the simple […]
February 8, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Nicole Rayy

Over 40K social media followers can’t be wrong! They know that Nicole Rayy has been delivering solid singles & captivating music videos since her introduction on the Canadian Country Music scene in 2012. Her biggest singles include “All Woman”, “Broken Boys”, “Feels Like Yesterday”, “House Of Cards” & “Graveyard”. The numbers don’t lie – over 3 million catalogue streams to date, with her single “Feels Like Yesterday” garnering over 600K streams alone. A four-time CMAOntario nominee, Nicole has received praise from country music outlets like The Boot, Complete Country and Top Country while finding her music added to popular playlists like Spotify’s New Music Nashville, Women in Country, Live Country and Best Country Songs of 2021 as well as Amazon Music’s Breakthrough Country and Fresh […]
January 17, 2023

In The Spotlight with Dave Woods: Aj Astle of Roadhouse Productions

Several years ago, I began noticing that some of the best music videos for independent country artists in Ontario were being made by Roadhouse Productions. It’s certainly not a well kept secret. Their work is quite simply amazing and is extensive – and I wanted to know more about the company and about one of its owners Aj Astle. So it’s time to put Aj & Roadhouse Productions in the spotlight! Along with his music video career, Aj works with several artists playing bass. You can find him playing with artists Mackenzie Leigh Meyer, Elyse Saunders, Greg Williams, Brian John Harwood and a host of others. In 2022, Aj received his first nomination for CMAOntario Music Industry Person of the Year. I asked Aj how […]


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