by Roman Mitz for Open Spaces
Perhaps the guys enjoyed too much eggnog and rum this holiday season (or maybe there just wasn’t enough eggnog), but the female contingent of Canadian country singers is much faster out of the gate when it comes to new releases for 2016. Perhaps hottest off the press is Beverley Mahood’s latest single “New Religion”, a song about finding faith in the form of a new flame. When asked to describe the new song Beverley shares, “New Religion is about being so committed to something, that it ignores all other distractions. My songs deal with life, my life, and the people whom I meet along the way.” Beverley is an established songwriter, having penned an array of tracks including “Come to Me”, a song recorded by Celine Dion for her platinum-selling “Miracle” album. She’s also fresh off an appearance in Mazatlán , Mexico where she joined fellow Canucks Michelle Wright and Patricia Conroy as part of the Three Amigas. (No doubt Doug Sahm would have loved that name) Let’s hope the trio keeps it going and announces some Canadian dates.
Debden, Saskatchewan native Stephanie Rose is obtaining good mileage from her debut EP, “Go Where The Wind Takes You”, which dropped late last year. Her new single “Steal Me Away” kicks off with a catchy snare drum riff that builds rhythmically until it tops out in the chorus with the singer’s steamy suggestion that it’s okay to kiss her ‘nice and slow’. After winning a Global Country competition in Edmonton in 2013, she followed up by winning a North American Country Music Association Award in Tennessee the following year. She impressed a couple of Nashville producers in the process who helped her put together her debut, and let’s hope she takes her show across the country this year.
The title of Teagan Littlechief’s new single “Hell Bent and Heaven Bound” sounds like it was taken from Hank Jr’s songbook and, musically, it’s pretty close to the work of Bocephus as well, as the song offers a fine country-rock blend. Teagan is from the White Bear First Nations north of Carlyle, Saskatchewan and her biggest influences are Celine Dion and the late Queen of Tejano music, Selena. Both of these performers have obviously inspired her to hit the high notes, but Teagan also incorporates a healthy dose of rock and roll into her performances via two other solid influences, The Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Another hot new single comes or way courtesy of Shae Dupuy, who’s back with a tuneful little number called ‘Tin Man’, which is fortunately not a cover of the song by the group America. Rather she warns of the perils of falling in love with someone who has the same deficiency as the character from the Wizard of Oz. Shae was CMT’s October 2015 “Fresh Face Artist” for her music video and single “Drink About It”. She’s no stranger to performing live on the big stage at events and festivals, as she’s opened for Dallas Smith and Jess Moskaluke, and her recent sell-out show in Kamloops is likely a sign of things to come for the talented B.C.-born native.
And so that we’re not accused of being totally sexist we should give mention to at least one male Canadian country performer to close off the month. After lauching his new record “Things That Can’t Be Undone” this fall, Juno award-winning artist Corb Lund begins the New Year taking Alberta culture on the road. Corb and his longtime band The Hurtin’ Albertans tour the Netherlands, Germany and England before returning to Canada at the end of January for his first two month tour of his home and native land since recording the album in Nashville with 2016 Grammy Award nominee producer Dave Cobb.
by Roman Mitz for Open Spaces