Archive for CD Release

Dayna Manning CD Release

Friday, November 15, 2019 | 8:00pm

Dayna Manning CD Release
$30 Advance / $35 Door *

Juno nominated artist Dayna Manning exemplifies the very best that Canadian Folk music can be. Her cool clear voice along with her insightful songs represent a history of Canadian musical art that goes back to the early 60’s and sounds just as vital today.

Hugh’s Room Live headlines the launch of singer-songwriter Dayna Manning’s solo album Morning Light, a chamber-folk record which has a unique collaboration with arranger Ben Bolt-Martin; Ben arranged the chamber music orchestration to all the songs on Morning Light. We’re also featuring Dayna Manning’s debut memoir Many Moons!

Enjoy a moving performance and songwriting insights from an exceptional group of musicians.

What can you expect from this event?
-An intimate performance of folk music and chamber music
-Enlightening conversation between musicians and songwriters
-An exclusive look into the mind and methods of songwriters

Who is this event for?
-Dayna Manning fans
-Chamber-Folk lovers
-Songwriting enthusiasts

A 30 minute opening round will be performed by members of Dayna Manning’s Folk Army of young Stratford based female songwriters ages 8-18.

About Morning Light:

On Morning Light, Dayna Manning fulfills her destiny as Renaissance woman.

With the instrumentation of flute, violin, cello and French horn adorning the dozen songs that comprise the Stratford, Ontario native’s fourth solo album, Manning feels she has finally discovered the ideal setting for her artistry: chamber folk.

“I feel like I’ve found my home, right here in my hometown,” Manning declares. “I don’t know how to explain it. I found something really beautiful production-wise that I could put around what I do acoustically that didn’t take away from my voice and guitar.”

Lovingly arranged by cellist and Stratford Festival alumnus Ben Bolt-Martin and released in tandem with Many Moons – A Songwriters Memoir – Manning’s first foray into authorship, Morning Light is a compendium of original, traditional, the revived and the revisited.

It’s steeped in the maple syrup sentiment of authentic Canadiana storytelling that she’s perfected over 25 years of solo artistry and acclaimed work with Trent Severn, the flannel-clad folk super-trio she formed with Emm Gryner and Lindsay Schindler.

“There’s a very clear red-and-white troubadour line to me that I’ve wanted to honour which includes Ian & Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Great Big Sea, Spirit of the West and the Tragically Hip.” Manning explains. “And it’s definitely from the point of view of where I was born and got into popular music. I want to be part of contributing to that legacy.”

The connection is there in the opening strains of “Charlie Lake,” a song about a magical, transformative place that was the setting of a life transition for Manning – as she describes in Many Moons; in the exhilaratingly romantic declaration “You You You;” a sparkling, vibrant cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man In Paris” and in the trilogy of songs that date back to the formation of the country itself: “The Weaver,” “The Bonny Banks of the Virgie, O” and “Peter Amberley.”

And it’s there in the reimagined presentations of “King Of The Background” – Manning’s tribute to the late Richard Manuel of The Band – and the warm, wintry wave to the fluffy stuff in the fluegelhorn-enriched “O Snow” – and in the gorgeous album-ending instrumental “Reflections,” a family affair that finds Dayna tackling second trumpet to support the lead trumpet of her father David.

It’s there in “The Same Way,” a homecoming tale; the declarative intimacy of “When I Love You” – and the cozily observant “I Get Closer,” which features her mom Darlene on clarinet.

But the true impetus of Morning Light, produced by Manning and engineered and mixed by Juno Award winner John “Beetle” Bailey, comes down to one word: community.

“I looked around Stratford in 2019 and thought, how do I make a true, community-based folk record? Most of the people I hired for this record live or work on my street,” she states. “These are my neighbours. I wanted to be part of what was going on around me and I made this record to be a part of that.”

The inspiration for Morning Light came shortly after Manning had returned to Stratford after living away from the area for a spell. She was invited by violinist Andrew Chung’s Inner Chamber to participate in what would become a life-changing project.

“They asked me to be part of a folk chamber show that presented Canadian songs done circa 1867, tying back to the Centennial,” Manning recalls. “I got to research them and pick which ones I wanted to do. Then they were adapted for flute, Violin, French horn and cello – and the minute we had our first rehearsal, I knew that this is what I wanted to do.”

Violinist Chung, cellist Ben Bolt-Martin, flautist Laura Chambers and French horn player Derek Conrod formed the backdrop for Manning’s blend of voice, acoustic guitar and banjo – and it was important for the singer-songwriter to keep the lineup tight and fluid.

“I kept it to the four of us because I want to be able to recreate this in any live setting,” Manning explains. “I’m hoping that this album will present an opportunity to play in Vancouver or Winnipeg or Halifax. I want to engage in community outreach and I’m hoping to take the scores with me and hire local musicians to accompany me, wherever I go.”

Community-at-large was also responsible for completing Morning Light: although it was partially sponsored by FACTOR – the Foundation To Assist Canadian Talent On Record – Manning had also engaged some crowdfunding to help with expenses.

Unfortunately, the eleventh-hour collapse of her chosen crowdfunding platform – PledgeMusic – left Manning in the lurch for $5300 USD. Jumping to Kickstarter, Manning appealed to her loyal fan base and was gifted with a further $8500 – in only eight hours!

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for my supporters,” she says. “They are so amazing!”

Morning Light isn’t the only new offering from Dayna Manning – coincidentally, the first woman to receive a public phone call from the orbiting International Space Station and Canadian commander Chris Hadfield during a Trent Severn concert in Goderich a few years back.

Many Moons – a memoir told through the creation of Dayna’s songs and the brainchild of Heidi Sander issued by Sander’s Stratford-based Blue Moon Publishers – chronicles the stories of such Manning classics as “A Walk On The Moon,” “Truscott” – and from the new album, “The Same Way,” “Charlie Lake” and “O Snow.” It also offering entertaining encounters with such celebrities as Sean Lennon, Burton Cummings and David Foster.

“I can’t believe how easy it was to write, “ she laughs. “I just thought of the really fun and memorable adventures my songs had led me on and it poured out of me.”

Today, Dayna Manning is deeply immersed in her community, teaching promising female singer-songwriters through her Folk Army; performing trumpet in New Horizons, a band that performs weekly in seniors’ homes and churches – and a few other endeavours.

This is a Stratford record. This is a community record – and one that Dayna Manning has had in her for a long, long time.

“I’ve had followers since Volume One and they always say my records are too produced, they can’t hear my voice and they want a record just like my live show,” she admits. “But I can’t deal with putting out a record that is just me and acoustic guitar.
“So, this was the hallowed ground that I found.”

Hallowed ground indeed: with Morning Light, Chamber folk has never sounded so inviting.




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Diane Roblin CD Launch

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | 8:00pm

Diane Roblin “Life Force” CD Launch
$20 Advance / $25 Door

All ticket holders receive a FREE copy of the new CD, Life Force, upon entry.

Performer, pianist, composer and band leader Diane Roblin takes the stage to celebrate her latest CD “LIFE FORCE.” She will be surrounded by some of Toronto’s most celebrated players: bassist and producer George Koller, EVI artist Bruce Cassidy, trumpeter/flugelhorn player Kevin Turcotte, Jeff LaRochelle on tenor/bass clarinet, and Ben Riley on drums. This is the electrifying band that also joined her in the studio for the album. Throughout the years Diane has lead and played with many diverse groups from Rough Trade, to renowned avant-garde improviser Charles Gayle. Influenced by McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, and her time at Ornette Coleman-Karl Berger workshops, Dutch Improv Academy and her exploration of world music, Diane’s original compositions are groove oriented and encourage enthusiastic improvising across the ensemble, creating as much fun as possible for both the musicians and the audience. Toronto DJ, Jaymze Bee’s honoured Diane’s debut CD “Reconnect” on his top 3 list . It was top of the charts domestically and internationally in Asia and Europe. She has performed throughout Europe, Mexico and USA …from Ronnie Scott’s, London to Antibes-Juan les Pins, France. This CD release party is guaranteed to be a night of original exciting music, great improvisers, reflective duos and a room full of joy.  Diane Roblin plays high energy music from the heart.

“She is a facile and deeply emotional keyboardist who establishes her musical territory with muscular performance and technical skill.” Leslie Mitchell-Clarke, The Whole Note

“Roblin’s piano work dazzles.” – 

Diane Roblin : Composer, Piano
George Koller: Producer, Bass
Bruce Cassidy: EVI
Jeff LaRochelle: Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet
Kevin Turcotte: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Ben Riley: drums



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Coco Love Alcorn CD Release

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | 8:30pm

Coco Love Alcorn CD Release
$25 Advance / $30 Door

“Coco is the ultimate musical spark plug… an electrical connector through which the creative energy flows. In my 30 years of touring around the world, I have never seen another performer able to bring people together like Coco does.” – James Keelaghan, Artist Director, Summerfolk

Coco Love Alcorn has always followed her spirit, but never so literally as with her latest album, Rebirth. The songs spring from her personal journey, but true to her nature, Coco offers a universal interpretation that invites all listeners to jump in and sing along.

Come join Coco Love Alcorn “legendary soul-folk singer-songwriter” (The Coast, Halifax)  as she celebrates the release of her latest album Rebirth. This new album features a collection of songs that will captivate audiences and showcase her dynamic vocals. With soulful melodies, heartbeat grooves, and lyrics that come from a personal place yet speak to the listener on a universal level, Rebirth is her bravest and most vulnerable album to date.

Coco’s career has spanned over 25 years, 10 albums, cross-Canada tours, collaborations, festival appearances and award nominations including Contemporary Singer of the Year at the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards.

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Old Man Luedecke CD Release

Friday, October 18, 2019 | 8:30pm

Old Man Luedecke CD Release 
$30 Advance / $35 Door *

Easy Money picks up where Old Man Luedecke’s award-winning and most successful release to date, Domestic Eccentric (2015), leaves off: four years farther down the road, dreaming about his ship coming in, still a parent but now grappling with the newness of middle age, dad jokes, love for an abiding partner, the death of a parent, along with some calypso-feeling local Nova Scotia history thrown in for good measure.

Composition and recording were both begun at the Banff Centre’s songwriter-in-residence program. It was there that Luedecke met the album’s producer Howard Bilerman of Montreal’s famed Hotel2Tango studio where the album was eventually recorded. The two hit it off when Luedecke composed “Easy Money” on the tracking floor on the first day of the program. Desperate for something worthy to use in his recording time, Luedecke channeled a traditional Christmas number he knew from a Harry Belafonte record and sang largely improvised verses into a winning tune that is sure to be a modern classic: Oh yes I need it, Oh yes I want it, I dream about easy, I dream about Easy money.” Don’t we all.

The further nine new original compositions and two covers run a modern storytelling line from the fifties folk and calypso boom into the everyday of tangible middle life. Guest appearances by long-time collaborator and Grammy award-winning Tim O’Brien, Afie Jurvanen of Bahamas, and Fats Kaplin (Jack White, John Prine) add piquant accents to the impeccable playing of Luedecke and a crack Montreal studio band of Mike O’Brien, Joshua Toal and Jamie Thompson.

The album begins with three upbeat incantations of what is surely the beginnings of a mid-life crisis (Dad Jokes? Wakeup Call, come on!) then moves to 2 songs musing about death; both inspired in part and in different ways, by the passing of Luedecke’s father, the passing of Leonard Cohen and current politics and the death of truth. There are two island-themed numbers that imagine a laid-back life in the local un-tropical paradise of the Canadian Maritimes. Then comes a country song with killer fiddling and harmony singing by Tim O’Brien, a dance number of frightful worry and then a cover of Nana Mouskouri’s French language cover of Bob Dylan’s topical apocalyptic plaint, “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. This is followed by a traditional sea shanty about a mermaid and a shipwreck. The album closer, “‘I Skipped a Stone”, is the most beautiful song about hoping your wife will pick up the phone. The song is made all the sweeter by the special appearance of Bahamas’ playing and singing, to close out Luedecke’s sixth full length studio album.




Opening Act: Marla & David Celia

What happens when a Canadian troubadour and a German singer/songwriter decide to become musical partners? This album, which is bathed in absolute beauty, proves that the result is a great partnership. Wonderful melodies, handsome vocal harmonies and sublime instrumental interpretations make this album an absolute hit. David Celia is a wizard on guitar alongside Marla’s lush, sometimes husky vocals.

David has four self-produced solo albums and tours frequently across Canada & throughout Europe (including memorable appearances at Glastonbury Festival). He has been touted as “one of Toronto’s best guitarists” by CBC Radio and has been featured frequently on the BBC in the UK. He’s also been a sideman to artists such as Emilíana Torrini, Andy Kim (The Archies) and Ian & Sylvia Tyson. He produced Marla’s debut album Madawaska Valley in 2015 (Melting Pot Music/Rough Trade) and the single “In The Wind” acquired over 1.2 million plays on Spotify. “A little discovery” ~ Rolling Stone.

“DAYDREAMERS is a beautifully crafted, intimate and warm album which is a joy to listen to. It is clear that a great deal of love and care went into its making” –

“There is so much to like here” -Rocking Magpie, UK

“Close your eyes and you could be sitting on a rocking chair on a 70’s Laurel Canyon porch” – Tim Merrick, (Live Review)




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Gathering Sparks CD Release 

Thursday, October 3 ,2019 | 8:30pm

Gathering Sparks CD Release 
$25 Advance / $30 Door

You will come to listen, and walk away singing. GATHERING SPARKS is the graceful collision of Eve Goldberg and Jane Lewis – musical friends who blend tight harmonies, finely crafted songs, and a love of participatory singing to create an intimate and uplifting experience.

Our performance on October 3, is a release and celebration of their new album “All That’s Real” – a fresh collection of songs that mix transcendent vocals, stellar musicianship on guitar, keyboard, and ukulele, and compelling stories into a potent balm for troubled times.

Writing together for the first time, Eve & Jane combined their love of word play, strong melodies, and harmony singing to create 11 new songs (plus one cover of a Pete Townshend classic) that will take you on a journey from hopeful, to thoughtful, to joyful and back again.

The CD release show will feature producer Jeff Bird (Cowboy Junkies), drummer/percussionist Cheryl Prashker (RUNA), and other guest musicians TBA.


With an infectious mix of styles and compelling vocal blend, Gathering Sparks has made waves from their inception. Their debut 6-song CD was nominated for a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, and they quickly became an audience favourite. Whether they are belting it out a capella style, tugging on your heartstrings with a folky original, crooning a jazzy swing tune, or getting into the spirit with a gospel-inflected singalong, Gathering Sparks performances make fans out of listeners with their stellar harmonies and fine musicianship.

EVE GOLDBERG has lifted audiences across North America with her heartfelt and insightful songs and solid instrumental work. Her fluid vocals embrace all the styles she loves—folk, blues, country, bluegrass, old time, and jazz—with equal affection and mastery.

JANE LEWIS has followed her love of words from the printing press to the spotlight with soul-bending lyrics, transcendent compositions, and crystal clear vocals. Her thoughtful piano and accordion playing, mastery of harmony, and upbeat presence add a sparkle to any stage.


“Phenomenal songs binding the individual skills of its members together as one with rich, honeyed harmonies.”
— Eric G. Thom, Penguin Eggs Magazine

“What a delight! Great songs, great singing and lovely harmonies. I’m singing along as if I’ve known these songs forever.”
— Sharon Hampson of Sharon, Lois & Bram

“Plumbing the depths of gospel, folk, and singer-songwriter traditions with talent and grace makes Gathering Sparks one of the most entertaining [acts] our audience has seen. They couldn’t stop raving about them.”
— Bob LeDrew, BobCat House Concerts, Ottawa

For more information, we invite you to visit:


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Matchedash Parish CD Release

Monday, September 23, 2019 | 8:00pm

Matchedash Parish CD Release
$25 Advance / $30 Door
Every ticket purchase includes a FREE copy of the debut self-titled album

Matt Weidinger and Lance Anderson have formed the Matchedash Parish with 12 of the country’s top blues and roots music artists. It is a powerhouse soul and gospel/roots show guaranteed to bring the house down.

Juno award-winning producer Lance Anderson (leader of Mariposa’s An Evening of Blues and Gospel and The Last Waltz – the hit closer of Mariposa Folk Festival 2017) has brought together another wonderful roster of BLUES ALL STARS, but this time to perform original songs and masterful arrangements some of the greatest soul and gospel tunes. Along with Kitchener phenom Matt Weidinger and and three background singers led by the amazing vocalist Quisha Wint, and featuring Michelle White and Jill Zahdeh. Matchedash Parish will create a tent revival atmosphere with this ‘congregation’ of talent.

Backed by a nine-piece band including two drummers: Memphis born Shamakah Ali (Al Green, The Barkays) and Ben Rollo (Lucky Peterson, Danny Michel), percussionist Art Avalos (Manteca), horns Gene Hardy, sax (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir), William Sperandei, trumpet (Harry Connick Jr., Colin James), Hammond organ, piano, mandolin (Weidinger), piano, accordion (Anderson), guitarist Mackenzie Jordan, (Jackets) and on bass Mark Mcintyre. The rhythm this group creates is a freight train that will pick you up and drop you down in the swamplands of the south.

Matt Weidnger:
Quisha Wint:
Lance Anderson:

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Ariana Gillis

Saturday, June 29, 2019 | 8:30PM

Ariana Gillis CD Release
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00 *

Ariana’s soulful talent has taken up elite residency in what constitutes the very best that songwriting has to offer. On the cusp of 20 years old she was composing material that was outrageously original, melodic and passionate. Now under the wing of multi-talented Americana everyman Buddy Miller the stars are aligned and Ariana Gillis will prove through these recordings that she is no flash in the pan flavor of the month but a force to be reckoned with now and for a very long time.”  -Bernie Taupin (Lyricist of Elton John)

Hailing from just outside Toronto, Ariana Gillis began taking singing lessons at the age of six, but she was hardly thrilled. So, her father encouraged her to write her own material and learn to play the guitar. An award-winning songwriter himself, he gave her invaluable insight into the process.

Gillis made an immediate impact on the Niagara music scene, and the Canadian Folk music scene, winning Songwriter of the Year at the 2009 Niagara Music Awards, followed by Female Vocalist and Album of the Year in 2010, as well as 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award, Young Performer of the Year. She networked at music conferences, which led to a quick, two-song performance for Dave Marsh in a stairwell in Memphis, following the release of her second album, Forget Me Not. Marsh then played Gillis on his Sirius XM radio show, which caught the attention of Elton John’s songwriting partner which in turn, led to Buddy Miller.

The Maze

Fast forward a year later — Buddy witnessed Ariana perform at the City Winery in Nashville experiencing first hand the conviction and power of her song writing, singing and stage presence.  This led to further conversations and ultimately brought them together to create the album, “The Maze”. Recorded live-off-the-floor in Nashville at Buddy’s studio – this album features lyrics and performances that feel both natural and strangely unique all at once.

I’ve never seen an unknown performer with more power as when I saw Ariana. I couldn’t stop talking about her. She may be the best new emerging artist anywhere.” – Writer – Rock Critic – Historian, Dave Marsh

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Andrea Koziol and Bill Brennan CD Release

Sunday, June 23, 2019 | 8:30PM

Andrea Koziol and Bill Brennan CD Release
Advance $20.00 / Door $25.00 *

Vocalist Andrea Koziol and pianist Bill Brennan met a very long time ago at a most illustrious birthday party for a one year old Newfoundlander. Early into their very first conversation they realized that they were a jazz match made in heaven. It wasn’t long before they were booking gigs together in Toronto’s finest jazz concert venues, roots and jazz festivals across the country, and making regular live appearances on the CBC. They gathered a loyal fan base, made a critically acclaimed independent CD, collaborated with some of the city’s finest players, toured in borrowed cars, slept in bathtubs, wrote and arranged music together till all hours of the morning, and generally lived like kings. Eventually, their own musical careers carried them in different bright and beautiful directions, but despite their physical distance they continued to collaborate on projects whenever possible.

In 2018 they joined forces once again on a jazz recording project celebrating everything that brought them together in the first place. It’s a collection of music that spans almost 100 years of fantastic songwriting, performed by musicians who are not afraid to explore and improvise and jump from any cliff they can find. It’s a spirited conversation full of flat 13s between the best of friends…and they hope you enjoy eavesdropping.

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Miss Emily

Saturday, June 15, 2019 | 8:30PM

Miss Emily
Advance: $25.00 / Doors: $30.00

In the 1990’s a 12 year-old Emily Fennell was making her way around Southern Ontario, singing at county fairs and winning competition after competition. She was literally finding her voice. While the other young vocalists were dazzling crowds with standards like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” or “I Will Always Love You,” Emily was stunning judges and audiences into silent amazement with K.D. Lang’s version of the Patsy Cline song “3 Cigarettes and an Ashtray”. That song choice and her spellbinding performance of it, says almost all you need to know about the woman who would become Miss Emily. She is never predictable and always willing to take a risk.

Her music spans genres, crosses barriers and creates bridges. Her voice soars to emotional heights and reaches down into the grittiness of the soul. Her performances are foot-stomping, heart-wrenching adventures in rhythm, blues, jazz and rock and roll. For 15 years Miss Emily has captivated listeners across Canada, the US and the United Kingdom with her unique combination of passion and talent.

That passion and talent was cultivated by an unparalleled work ethic. It began with playing night after night after night in bars and nightclubs where she learned her trade and gained a loyal following. Later, she graduated to regional theatres and starred in several Broadway-style shows. This willingness to step outside her comfort zone and learn new techniques paid off by giving her opportunities to become a regular at large outdoor venues like Ottawa Bluesfest. Then, in 2011 in front of 25,000 people outside the tiny town of Bobcaygeon she opened for The Tragically Hip and began a relationship that would change the direction of her career.

Miss Emily’s new record takes the listener on a tour of her experiences and musical influences under the guidance of The Hip’s Gord Sinclair as producer/co-writer/bass player and bandmate Rob Baker as lead guitarist/co-writer.

In Between featuring Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker is the fifth album from Miss Emily. It’s a record that beckons the listener to walk with her as she soulfully strolls the humid streets of Memphis, wanders across the jazz-cool avenues of New York City or dances through raucous and funky block parties in Motown.

One listen and you’ll be compelled to join Miss Emily, Gord Sinclair and Rob Baker on a journey that reveals the vast emotions of love, loss, joyful redemption and everything In Between.

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James Hill & Anne Janelle CD Release

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 8:30pm

When She Met He CD Release
Advance $25.00 / Door: $30.00 *

Four strings and a favourite chocolate bar: that’s all James Hill  “possibly the best ukulele player in the world” (Waikato Times)  and Anne Janelle  “a cellist of true beauty” (Ottawa Citizen)  had in common when they first met. It was more than enough. Today, they’re an award-winning, “utterly world-class” singer-songwriter-ukulele-cello duo (Paul Symes, The Blacksheep Inn).

It’s true: opposites attract. James grew up playing folk, jazz and blues on his ukulele while Anne was exclusively a classical cellist. But the pair’s differences quickly became their biggest asset. The uke is high, the cello is low; the uke plays short notes, the cello long bow strokes; the uke is all about strumming while the cello radiates melody. Like shadows and light in an old photograph, these contrasts are complementary. “We’re like a pair of dancers who can’t step on each other’s feet,” jokes James.

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