Category Archives: Indie Rock

A Chat with Sarah Smith

Photo bu Cheryl Mazak

Today, we chat with singer, songwriter, player, Sarah Smith. Her online bio speaks to her openness at a very deeply personal level. This comes through in her songs, especially on her latest album, “Unveiling”.


We started talking about her beginnings. Sarah’s parents were involved in their church. Her mother sang solo in the choir and her father was also a country guitarist. In her childhood, she performed in the choir and sang solo. As a teen she received a guitar as a Christmas gift. This was life changing for Sarah as she now had a vessel to pour emotions into. It opened her up to song writing and a wider spectrum of music.


I asked if she had ever mentored or taught music in the past. Sarah has taught in the past, mainly during her mohawk days. She also attends a yearly music camp with kids in Ontario as a vocal coach. She loves this as the kids move from shyness at the beginning of the camp to belting out the songs as they get comfortable with themselves.


Her first band before going solo was The Joys. Originally named Popjoy, they released an EP (as Popjoy) and 4 albums and a single as The Joys. They are all available at the regular sites, I found them on Apple Music. The band itself was around for 10 years and started as a pop punk cover band, including mohawk hair. When the name changed, they started playing rock.


After The Joys, Sarah began her career as a solo artist. To date she has released 5 studio albums and many stand-alone singles and videos. She describes her musical genre as singer-songwriter rock. A very good description. Her influences and favourite bands include Melissa Etheridge, Bryan Adams, The Cars, Weezer, Sheryl Crow, Pink, Michael Jackson, The Killers and Brandi Carlile.


Sarah has also shared the stage with notably, Carole Pope, Sass Jordan, Biff Naked, Emm Gryner, Joel Plaskett and many others. She recently was one of the acts on the Melissa Etheridge Cruise in early September of 2021. She was on board with 20 fans and loved the interaction she had on a personal level with these people. It was quite an opportunity.


I asked if she had any tours planned for the near future. She will be spending the near future practicing her craft, writing, and finding happiness.


We then talked about any collaborations that are on the horizon. She has reached out to Adam Dobres about trying to work together on some songs. Sarah also reached out to Deni Gauthier about writing some music. She also works with fans to convert poems into songs and is currently working on 6 of those.


We then talked about regrets, or anything she would like to do over. Her number 1 is relationships, Sarah does not want to regret not creating or maintaining relationships.We then chatted about what kind of advice she would give to other artists starting out. Sarah was very profound in her response. If you have a block, look into your demons. She did that 5 years ago and the results have been astounding.


She is also working on a song for a friend as a legacy. She recently heard that her friend was passing and decided to write her a song.


Another friend of hers lost her mother. Her father wanted to join her mother and Sarah wrote a song for her friend about how she had dealt with it. Her friend and family were coming to stay with Sarah and listen to the song.


This is the emotional side of Sarah that shows up in every piece of music she creates. Her album “Unveiling” was written during a marriage break up and was recorded off the floor. The songs were written in pain. The result is a great album. The album is available to buy at her site, which I encourage you to do, or available at all the regular places.


Kat Power Hits Radio is featuring this album all week as Sarah Smith is the feature artist of the week.

The MapleList Number 121 – Faber Drive

The next installment of The Maplelist is Faber Drive at number 121. This group hails from Mission, British Columbia. The band formed in 2004, the current members being lead vocalist Dave Faber, lead guitarist Jordan Pritchett, bass guitarist Jeremy Liddle and drummer Seamus O’Neill. They were discovered by Chad Kroeger of Nickleback and were signed to a record deal with his 604 record label. They released 3 albums on that label. “Seven Second Surgery” in 2007, “Can’t Keep A Secret” in 2009 and “Lost In Paradise” in 2012 Their initial release was an independent EP, “Faber”, that was released in 2006.

The band had some early success, being nominated for a Juno in 2008 as “Best New Group Of The Year”, and won the same category in the Canadian Radio Music Awards.

They faded from sight in about 2014, but have recently been recording, releasing 2 demos in 2020. Good band, a comeback would be welcomed.

To give you a flavor for their sound, I give you the SOCAN number 1 song award winning tune “Tongue Tied”, followed by the very energetic “G-Get Up And Dance”.

The Maple List Number 1168 – The Danks

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

As I look for material, I was ecstatic to discover a comprehensive list of Canadian bands. Talk about material. Inspired by this, I am initiating a series that will be titled the Maple List (see what I did there, Whitelist, Blacklist, Maple List). This list and a random number generator will make this an interesting endeavour.

The initial post is this one, as last should be first. I present Number 1168 and last on the Maple List, The Danks.

The band is from Charlottetown in the province of Prince Edward Island. PEI is Canada’s smallest province and is an island off the north shore of New Brunswick. The band has 3 recordings, an EP called “Samples” in 2008, a full length debut, “Are You Afraid Of The Danks” in 2009 and their (maybe) final release “GANK” in 2013.

Some members of the band are also known for another Indie band “Two Hours Traffic”. We may randomly run into them at some point as well.

Very little online for them. I did find the following.

Bandcamp

Spotify

Apple Music

I am impressed with The Danks. Very catchy tunes, well written and played. I’ve included a couple of videos, which will give you a good feel for this band. Hoping for a reunion.

First is “In Alright” off the “Are You Afraid Of The Danks” debut.

Second is “Experimental Fiction” off their second album.

The 7:40 Songbook – March 8, 2014

This morning was a pleasant surprise.  Not only was it plus 8 (50 or so for my American friends), which is great for the Canadian prairies in early March, but that >*&*^%$$$ construction on Glenmore is finally gone.  The downside to the morning, Daylight Savings Time meant it was dark again when I got up, and will be for the next couple of weeks.  Now to today’s tune.

 

The song is “Big Decisions” by My Morning Jacket.  The band is out of Louisville, Kentucky and are shortly releasing a new album, “The Waterfall”, their 7th since forming in 1998.  Good rock ballad.