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 […]
August 5, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: JK Gulley

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: John Ken Gulley – October 11, 1955 – Toronto, Ontario) (#52 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   A guitar whiz since early childhood, JK Gulley first performed professionally in support of Canadian artist Alfie Fromager, then became a founding member of the country group Dusty Road (with Les Childs and Brian Callan). The trio released a self-titled LP (Thunderbird Records) which featured five songs written by Gulley. JK Gulley next joined the Ontario-based group Whiskey River, and by the late 1970s, was playing lead guitar in Billie Jo Spear’s Nashville touring band, with his first show date with the band taking place at the 1979 Wembley Festival in England. Following a near three-year stint with Spears, JK moved on […]
August 5, 2021

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Carson Janik

Tecumseh, Ontario’s Carson Janik comes from a long line of diverse musical family members including accredited guitar, piano, drum, brass, and string players, as well as seasoned recording artists, vocal, stage, choir, and opera performers that span just about every genre. Carson is the first in his family to pursue Country music. Carson started showing musical talent at the age of 3, when he proved that he couldn’t keep quiet and needed to constantly sing along with the radio. Initially drawn to pop music and playing the piano/singing along to the likes of Shawn Mendes and Bruno Mars, Carson had little interest in the guitar or a different genre – that is until he heard his first Luke Combs song. Tune in to hear my […]
August 5, 2021

Patrice’s Pick: Lemon Cash

This month, our feature video from Patrice Whiffen at Country Music Junkies profiles Canadian country music duo, Lemon Cash! Ottawa born brothers, Jeff and Cory Papineau talk about growing up playing music together, and the story behind their single, “Wine Tonight,” and MORE! For more information about Country Music Junkies, visit  
August 5, 2021

In The News (August 2021)

This section of the newsletter is comprised of news stories, press releases and links to Internet articles that are sent in by our members who believe they will be of general interest to the membership.  We include them as a courtesy to our members but do not verify or edit their content.  Their inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the CMAOntario nor do their contents reflect the views or opinions of the CMAOntario. If you would like to have something included in the newsletter, please send us a short synopsis, a photo or graphic and the hotlink that can be included in the news listing. Submissions can be sent to Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]
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 […]
July 6, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: The Good Brothers

// by Larry Delaney // (Brian Good – Born January 27, 1946 – Toronto, Ontario Bruce Good – Born January 27, 1946 – Toronto, Ontario Larry Good – Born January 25, 1952 – Newmarket, Ontario) (#51 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Twin brothers Bruce and Brian Good began their music career during the late 1960s folk music scene in Yorkville (Toronto) with the folk music group The Kinfolk, which also featured Bruce’s wife Margaret. Brian and Bruce later teamed up with James Ackroyd to form the trio, James & The Good Brothers. The act was part of the fabled “Festival Express” train tour across Canada, which also featured Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Ian & Sylvia, etc. The Good Brothers once listed their […]
July 6, 2021

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Elyse Saunders

Elyse Saunders joins me on this episode of In The Country (Video Edition) to chat about her successful music career and her latest single “Sunshine State Of Mind”! It’s a great follow up to her two past singles “Free” & “Wine Down”. These songs will all be featured on her next album due out this Fall. There is a lot of momentum with her career right now. Elyse is nominated for Female Artist & Rising Star at this year’s CMAOntario Awards Drive In Show. She’s currently in the Top 8 in the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. And she recently placed in the Top 5 of CBC Music’s Toyota Searchlight Contest. Check out our conversation on the show & be treated to an acoustic […]
July 6, 2021

Patrice’s Pick: Brian John Harwood

This month, our feature video from Patrice Whiffen at Country Music Junkies profiles Canadian country music artist, Brian John Harwood! Brian (who also serves as half of Kansas Stone) fills us in on his solo music, and his tune, “Getaway” – which is the perfect escape when we can’t really ‘get away’ right now! Brian also talks about his journey as an artist, his songwriting and his tune, “Good Boy.” For more information about Country Music Junkies, visit  


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