Newsletters

November 9, 2022

Artist of the Month: Matthew Runaway

Raised on a cattle-and-crops farm in Perth, ON, Matthew Runaway is rapidly gaining recognition in the music industry! Matthew has been immersed in the music industry for years. In his early 20s, he toured across North America with his EDM rock band, Aspire. Given the success of that band, he was encouraged to continue pursuing singing and songwriting in the country genre. Luckily for him, this added to his unique style and attracted a diverse fanbase. His latest release, “Missing Sweater”, was released to radio on Sept 26, 2022 and has reached Top 10 for CanCon downloads. If you haven’t seen the visualizer for the song, it showcases the beautiful Nashville skyline at dawn, as well as snapshots of landmarks the city is known for. […]
November 9, 2022

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: MIKE “Pepe” FRANCIS

// by Larry Delaney // (#68 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) MIKE FRANCIS is a multi-talented music man who has literally “done it all” in the music world. A guitarist extraordinaire, a record producer, composer, arranger, and commercial jingles writer… are but a few of his massive career credits. Music has always been a part of Mike Francis’ life. He is the son of legendary Canadian country music recording artist, the late Ray Francis (1931-2010), who headed-up the Chatham, Ontario-based group The Whippoorwills. As a teenager in his hometown of Chatham, Mike followed in his father’s musical footsteps, briefly playing with his father’s band before moving on to working with various local country and pop/rock bands – which led to full-time work in Toronto studios. […]
November 9, 2022

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Tia McGraff

Port Rowan, Ontario’s Tia McGraff is a multi-talented, award-winning singer, songwriter, performer, author and podcast host. Along with her husband and co-writer Tommy Parham, the skilled songstress has been making impactful and thought-provoking art for well over a decade. Tia is a trailblazer in her genre, one’s whose efforts have made her a beloved figure on the international music scene. Her latest release is her EP called With Love which was released back on Sept 3rd and commemorates the passing of her beloved dog Jake.
November 9, 2022

In The News (November 2022)

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 verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]
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 12, 2022

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Blake Emmons

// by Larry Delaney // (born: August 2, 1944 – Toronto) (#67 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) BLAKE EMMONS is likely best known for hosting the TV series “Funny Farm”, a short-lived (one season-1974) Canadian-produced answer to the long-running Nashville TV show “Hee Haw”. For diehard country music fans, Blake Emmons will also be remembered for a pair of albums – I Wish You Love, released in 1976, and First Flight, a 1983 album on Columbia Records. The debut album, released on Canadian label Condor Records, contained five songs written by Blake Emmons, including his two biggest chart hits: “Let Me Do Something Lord”, which peaked at #9 on the RPM Charts, and the follow-up single “Sunchild”, a Top 30 hit. The album also contained […]
October 12, 2022

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Angelica Appelman

Kitchener’s Angelica Appelman recently released her third single “U-Turn”. The song was written by Angelica along with David Madras. “I love the story we’re telling with ‘U-Turn’ because it feels like such a relatable topic that we hear so often with the current dating landscape. I think this song reminds us to keep hope because it just takes that one person to change your perspective,” says Angelica. “We wrote U-Turn last fall and it was after a summer I spent with someone who treated me so well and had really transformed my mindset on romantic relationships,” explains Angelica. “I wanted to write a song with a more positive outlook about being in the dating scene because I think it is a time where you can […]
October 12, 2022

In The News (October 2022)

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 verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]
September 6, 2022

Artist of the Month: Nick Hedden

Nick Hedden is a Windsor, Ontario native who first picked up the guitar at just five years old. Participating in talent shows and school musicals immersed him in a world of music from a young age. Taking time away from music to focus on school, he returned to music after seven years to pursue his education. He holds a Masters Degree in Criminology. The “aha” moment for Nick happened during his first writing session, surrounded by seasoned writers from Nashville. During this session, he and his co-writers wrote one of Nick’s favourite songs; in that moment, he realized that he could do this for a living as well. Leaning in as a performer and songwriter, Nick started to invest in his career as an artist […]
September 6, 2022

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ward Allen

// by Larry Delaney // (1922-1965) (Born: Kirkton, Ontario) (#66 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) There have been many Canadian-made songs that have become standards and earned mega-play worldwide… One, however, that often flies under the radar, is the fiddle instrumental, “Maple Sugar”, composed by the late Ward Allen. Most fiddle players in North America and beyond have either recorded or performed a live version of “Maple Sugar” – the tune is immediately identifiable by fans and enthusiasts of fiddle music. Ward Allen’s “Maple Sugar”, originally recorded and released on the Sparton Records of Canada label, was so popular and far-ranging that it also earned a release on the famed Texas-based D-Records label, operated by Pappy Daily. Warden Amber (Ward) Allen was born May 11, […]
September 6, 2022

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Shaylyn

Hamilton’s Shaylyn joins me on the podcast to chat about her music career, her love of traditional country music as well as her new single “Favourite Hello, Hardest Goodbye”. It’s the follow up release to her popular single “The Drink”. Shaylyn released her first album in 2017 titled Lovin’ The Legends which included the very first song she wrote, entitled “Nana’s Little Girl”, as a tribute to her supportive Nana. The great thing about Shaylyn’s shows is that she’s keeping country music’s past alive with the classic songs she covers. A modern girl with a traditional sound.
September 6, 2022

In The News (September 2022)

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 verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]
August 4, 2022

Artist of the Month: Kelly Prescott

What makes outstanding talent – nature or nurture? Kelly Prescott is an example for considering a balance of both as the optimum recipe. Kelly’s parents, Tracey Brown and Randall Prescott, are highly respected Canadian country royalty, so Kelly has had quality music in her life since before birth. Kelly and brother Kaylen inevitably teamed up to form the duo “Prescott”, and even though Kelly went on to forge her own career with the 2016 solo EP “Hillbilly Jewels”, Kaylen teamed up with Kelly again to produce her “Love Wins” release – a six song collection with co-writes from venerable songwriters Donovan Woods and Patricia Conroy. “Love Wins” also featured guest vocals from Shawn Austin and Jessica Mitchell, but one listen to Kelly’s rich voice will […]
August 4, 2022

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Gilles Godard

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: Cornwall, Ontario) (#65 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) Cornwall, Ontario-born singer/songwriter/producer GILLES GODARD is one of Canadian country music’s best all-around success stories. He began as a musician (steel guitar), was a prolific songwriter, an in-demand record producer, and completed the picture by forming his own record label, Book Shop Records, which became a home to many Canadian recording artists. By the mid-1980s, he was making Nashville his base of operations, where he not only became a hit songwriter but also a music publishing executive. To better grasp Gilles Godard’s massive career, one must review his accomplishments somewhat chronologically. After graduating from the Royal Conservatory of Music as a master steel guitar musician, still in his teens, Gilles formed […]
August 4, 2022

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright has just released not one, but two new singles recently: “Small Town” & “Heartbreak Song”. Both singles will be featured on her upcoming album Milestone which will feature an updated version of “Take It Like A Man” – her huge, signature hit released in the early 90s. Of the song “Small Town”, Michelle says: “It’s a song that I co-wrote with Rick Ferrell and up-and-coming Canadian singer/songwriter Danielle Bourjeaurd. It was our first time writing together, and as we were tossing around ideas, Danielle began to ask me questions about my career. It was fun to reminisce, and at one point, she said, “That’s what we need to write. We need to write your story.” At first, I wasn’t so sure if I […]
August 4, 2022

In The News (August 2022)

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 verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]
June 21, 2022

Artist of the Month: Graham Scott Fleming

2022 CMAOntario Rising Star nominee, Graham Scott Fleming, has been making waves with his current single, “Better Man”. Written by Fleming, “Better Man” has been featured as a Stingray Radio Trending Track, a Rogers Radio “One To Watch”, and as of writing this, is sitting at #36 on the Mediabase Canadian Country chart. Fleming is no stranger to the stage and performing. The Elmvale, Ontario, native has been honing his performance skills for the past nine years, working as a theatre and film actor in Toronto and on Broadway in New York City. It wasn’t until midway through high school that Graham learned he could actually sing. In 2011, he took first place in the North of Nashville Star Competition hosted by KICX 106 Pure […]
June 21, 2022

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Shirley Eikhard

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: Sackville, NB – Home: Oshawa, Ontario) (#64 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   Shirley Eikhard is blessed with musical blueblood. Her mother is famed fiddle player June Eikhard; her father, the late Cecil Eikhard, was also a gifted musician. Shirley has further blossomed as a singer/songwriter/musician, with career credits the envy of many. Born in Sackville, NB, the family relocated to Oshawa, Ontario, when Shirley was in her pre-teen years. She quickly followed in her parents’ musical footsteps as a singer, a guitarist, and above all, a songwriter. Shirley, as a 12-year-old, performed at various fiddle contests where her mother was a headline attraction, and at a songwriters’ venue at the famed Mariposa Folk Festival, which led to TV […]
June 21, 2022

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Mike Whiteside

Ontario’s Mike Whiteside calls a Kenny Chesney concert in 2018 a defining moment in his life & music career. It was then that he decided he wanted to pursue a country music career. Believe it or not, the first time he ever performed on stage was at the Emerging Artists Showcase at the Boots & Hearts Festival just a few years ago. His debut single “3 AM” was written by Robyn Ottolini. Mike’s latest single is called “My Kind Of Paradise”.
June 21, 2022

In The News (June 2022)

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 verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]

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