April 9, 2016

Artist of the Month: Rebekah Stevens

Whether she’s strumming her guitar or sitting at a piano, it’s clear that Rebekah Stevens is one to watch, as she makes her country music push in Ontario and beyond. A country/pop singer-songwriter from small town Ontario, Rebekah has been putting in the work to make her music heard. With a start on YouTube, Rebekah has caught the attention of industry (her debut EP was the result of a producer seeing her online) and fans, with the combination of her well-written tracks and her sweet voice. Another video pushed her into the Top 8 in the 2013 Boots & Hearts Emerging Artists Showcase – a stepping stone for multiple Ontario artists (Tebey, Tim Hicks, Runaway Angel) since its inception – allowing Rebekah to perform in […]
March 16, 2016

Artist of the Month: Kyle Dunn

Country music has split into several new and exciting directions over the last few years. For anyone patiently awaiting a break from the “Bro-country” and a return to the more traditional approach, your prayers have been answered by Kyle Dunn. Dunn, who grew up on a hobby farm, experienced his fair share of the country life before finally taking the plunge, when years of songwriting led him to Nashville in early 2015. Dunn teamed up with some of the best names in Music City to craft his unique and refreshing sound. His debut single, “Bootlegger’s Prayer”, recorded at Beaird Studios in Nashville, boasted slick production and A-list players, landing him as a 2015 semi-finalist in CBC’s Searchlight contest. With the buzz surrounding his first single […]
February 4, 2016

Artist of the Month: South of 7

There’s a new country band on the scene called South of 7 and they’re bringing a fresh interpretation of Nashville sound up to the North. Comprised of Josh Thompson, Alex Bowes, Jordon White, Will Dudgeon and Ben Bryan, these five unique musicians have managed to find their way to each other under less than typical circumstances. Thompson, the songwriter and lead vocalist of the band, had no musical experience until his last year at Carleton University, when a hand-me-down flea market guitar began a new chapter in his life. Inspired by artists like George Canyon, Dallas Smith and Brett Kissel, Thompson began by learning and singing cover songs, and quickly moved on to composing his own original material. Cutting his solo chops while playing the […]
January 8, 2016

Artist of the Month: River Town Saints

A little bit of perseverance and a lot of talent went a long way for hot new country music group River Town Saints. Lifelong friends Chris Labelle, Chris McComb, Jeremy Bortot, Jordan Potvin and Daniel DiGiacomo have perfected the balance between uplifting melodies, hot hooks and sweet harmonies, and have been garnering widespread and well-deserved attention in short order. How did 5 friends with diverse backgrounds and unique personalities head from humble beginnings to the verge of breakthrough? It all started with a little hometown heart. In early 2015, when the band began playing shows around their hometown, they were excited by positive responses they received from the crowd. As they continued to build their fan base while growing their high-calibre song catalogue, they would […]
August 19, 2015

Artist of the Month: Riki Knox

With as much heart as she has talent, Riki Knox is the embodiment of determination. Knox’s roots run as deeply as her connection to music and she credits that to her father’s decision to raise her and her siblings in a small Ontario farming community. Much like her father’s own childhood, Knox’s was filled with all things outdoors: family and fun on a farm just outside of Port Hope in Elizabethville, Ontario. A singer-songwriter himself, he instilled in Riki a love for the musical greats like Waylon, Johnny, Merle, Patsy and Dolly, along with a little bit of Springsteen and Redding. This combination of grit and guidance helped create a newly rising star that was years of hard work in the making. Nominated for the […]
July 27, 2015

Artist of the Month: Tori Hathaway

When you first hear Tori Hathaway’s voice, you’ll have trouble believing that something so sweet can come out of someone so young. Like the most seasoned performer ten years her senior, Hathaway can grab your attention and keep you mesmerized as though she were born to be on stage. At only 16 years old, Hathaway has been performing for most of her life and just released her debut full length album ‘Dear Diary.’ Hathaway’s release party on June 30th was to an impressively packed house at the Barrie Loft Art Space. Filled with dedicated fans screaming her name, she proved her talent extends beyond the stage and into the business of music. She is a social media whiz, who is exuberant and outgoing with her […]
June 2, 2015

Artist of the Month: Snakebite

Proving that all bands have the potential to go from playing covers of the stars to becoming them, Snakebite is a band with the goods to deliver. Almost ten years in the making, Snakebite has gone from playing hundreds of shows a year and entertaining crowds with the hits of their favourite acts to releasing original songs that they hope will become new favourites of an ever-growing audience for good old southern rock and country.  SnakeBite was formed in 2005 by guitarist Marty Marsh and lead singer Paul Lowry in the small town of Bothwell, Ontario, where the two met and became friends. Marty, influenced by The Rolling Stones, AC/DC and the hair bands of the 80’s; and Paul, deeply influenced at a young age […]
April 4, 2015

Artist of the Month: The Rizdales

Tom and Tara Dunphy share a relationship based on love – for each other, as well as music. Together, this unique and vibrant couple make up The Rizdales, April’s Artist of the Month. More than a decade in the making, this musical marriage began in 2003 and was an effortless collaboration for Tom and Tara who shared a love for traditional country music mixed with some good ol’ honky tonk. Over the years, they’ve not only grown their family but also their fan base, becoming a critically-acclaimed and well-respected act while doing it. Their debut release, “Another Payday Night,” released in 2003, was the first for these lovebirds but nonetheless earned them much praise. Quickly, they were picking up fans, including Wanda Jackson, who would […]
March 5, 2015

Artist of the Month: Heather Ballentine

With the looks of a vintage pin-up girl and the voice of true classic country, Heather Ballentine is truly a treat. Country to the core, Ballentine was raised in Alma, Arkansas. Having served in the armed forces, her father was also the mayor of the town and his influence on her still sticks. “Dad was a military man and really disciplined. He taught me to go after my dreams and pursue everything with a passion.” More than supportive, her father was an inspiration, especially in music. Heather lovingly recounts her father playing in local bands, and falling in love with the scene. The first time she picked up a guitar she knew it felt right in her hands. Influenced by classic country with a dash […]