The award-winning singer delivers a dynamic set

 of twangy rock ’n’ soul music out June 1st on Outside Music

Tami web header

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Tami Neilson won’t be staying New Zealand’s secret for much longer. For the past decade, the Canadian-born, New Zealand-based singer/songwriter has been the queen of her adopted homeland’s country and roots music scenes. She picked up handful of Best Country Album awards at the New Zealand Music Awards and won the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll for excellence in songwriting.

With her new album, SASSAFRASS! due June 1st on Outside Music, Neilson takes a giant step that should only bring her more widespread acclaim. On this 11-track knock-out, she places a heavier emphasis on soul music without abandoning her country and rockabilly roots. Neilson conjures up a wonderfully retro style that sounds like it could be a lost gem from the late ’50s or early ’60s; however, beneath the classic veneer are frank, highly relevant lyrics.

Sassafrass, a slang word for a sassy person who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, serves as a perfect title for this album. The songs, Neilson divulges, reflect her developing a “low tolerance for bullsh*t” after years of encountering sexism in her life. They were also influenced by her being a mother of two young boys as well as by the death of her father, who led the family’s band, the Neilsons, which was popular in Canada during the ’90s.

Neilson characterizes her new album as a “mouthy lovechild of the current social climate and my own experiences as a woman, mother and daughter.” The songs address the obstacles she has faced simply because she is a female. “It’s also my attempt,” she shares, “at challenging a society that doesn’t yet treat women equally in order to shape a better future for my children.”

On SASSAFRASS! Neilson infuses just enough honey into her tunes to make her messages sound sweet in the listeners’ ears. She certainly comes out smoking — in several senses of the word — on the disc’s lead-off track, “Stay Outta My Business.” The sassy, brassy soul number finds her fighting back at trash-talkers in splendidly defiant, hip-shaking fashion. The tune “Bananas” might initially sound like an amusing slice of tropical exotica, but its message pokes fun at gender inequality. Similarly, “Kitty Cat” comes off as a rollicking rockabilly rave-up on first listen, but its moral is a reminder that men can’t own a woman’s “kitty cat.” Neilson also tackles bad girl/good girl stereotypes and Hollywood sexual harassment, respectively, on the slinky, smoky tracks “Devil in a Dress” and “Smoking Gun.”

Listen to first single, “Stay Outta My Business” HERE

Neilson offers several poignant tributes as well on SASSAFRASS! The Rosanne Cash-esque country ballad “Manitoba Sunrise at Motel 6” was written in homage to Glen Campbell on the day he died. She salutes the late, great Sharon Jones on the high-spirited soul number “Miss Jones.” “A Woman’s Pain,” a twangy tale told in a style that recalls Bobbie Gentry, tells the story of Neilson’s First-Nation grandmother. She delivers a lovely reading of the ’50s-style romantic ballad “One Thought of You,” which was written by her father.

Tying all these songs together is Neilson’s sensational singing. New Zealand critics have it right when they have declared that her voice “is magic,” “explodes from the speakers,” and “will stop you in your tracks, so powerful and full of color is it.” Even rock great Randy Bachman (Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive) declared she has “the voice to get any song across to any audience.”

Neilson’s confident vocals are undoubtedly abetted by her being surrounded by familiar collaborators. She co-produced SASSAFRASS! with Ben Edwards, the co-producer of her last two critically acclaimed albums, Dynamite! and Don’t Be Afraid. Backing her up in the studio was her talented band, the Hot Rockin’ Band of Rhythm: Joe McCallum (drums), Mike Hall (bass), Brett Adams (guitar) and Neil Watson (guitar and pedal steel), who have toured with her around the globe over the past three years. A brass section and strings enhance the album’s classic qualities.

With its timeless sound and timely lyrics, SASSAFRASS! provides a fantastic introduction to Tami Neilson, whose vibrant musical style blurs the lines of genre and eras, like a soundtrack curated for a Quentin Tarantino film. Discover this for yourself when the album arrives June 1, and make it your musical tonic this summer.

SASSAFRASS! will be available on all formats, CD, Digital and on Vinyl: 12” Slip Sleeve, Limited Edition Emerald Vinyl with Download Card.

Available for pre-order HERE

Tami Neilson tour dates

Matthew Barber – Phase Of The Moon

 photo credit: Scott Doubt 
PHASE OF THE MOON OUT MAY 4th, 2018 on Outside Music
Toronto, ON – Phase Of The Moon is the new stirring and soulful offering from Toronto singer-songwriter Matthew Barber on the Outside Music label.  Following his Gary Louris-produced Big Romance (2014) and Juno-nominated collaboration with sister Jill on The Family Album (2016), Phase Of The Moonmarks Barber’s confident return to producing himself, with veteran Ken Friesen (The Tragically Hip, Carly Rae Jepsen, Gordon Lightfoot)handling the engineering duties.
Today, Matthew shares the first single from Phase Of The Moon, the haunting track “Back To You” Listen Here
The video for “Back To You” was directed by multi-award winning creative force and 2018 Juno Award nominee, Christopher Mills (Metric, Modest Mouse, Interpol, Blue Rodeo); beautifully conveying the mood and capturing the true essence of the song.

Christopher Mills on “Back To You” video:

"Back To You" is a song about strong, commitment to LOVE during a time of isolation. The video isolates MATTHEW BARBER in a cold, crisp landscape surrounded by churning waters, and rivers that lead outwards from a bleak suburban landscape. We used drones to create a churning, perpetually moving portrait of MATTHEW, and find the song's emotional power in the beauty of moving water, which, at the song's extended conclusion, appears to be choreographed with the powerful and uplifting orchestration of this heavy duty tune. This was a fairly simple, and straightforward approach to try to capture MATTHEW'S feelings, and place them into familiar landscapes, as our images breathe, jitter, and swoop around him, as he makes his way BACK TO YOU.

The songs on Phase Of The Moon were conceived in a tiny studio apartment in the quaint Paris neighbourhood of Montmartre where Matthew and his wife spent a month in early 2017.  It came with a small upright piano and had thin walls, which could explain why piano songs sung in deeper, hushed tones feature prominently on the record.  The winter sojourn in Europe provided a welcome respite from the all-consuming media madness back home, and coupled with a steady diet of existentialist reading material, served to foster a mood of almost contented melancholy that seeped into the songs and runs throughout the record.  This mood is at times manifested in the form of a solitary searcher reflecting on what’s come before and wondering what lies ahead, and at other times through words of support addressed to a concerned partner that reveal a commensurate plea for reassurance that everything’s going to be ok. The quiet storm is punctuated by necessary and at times exuberant affirmations of love, hope and wonderment, and a spirit of embracing life in all its complexity endures.
“‘The Painter’ was written after a moving visit to a nearby art museum,” says Barber.  “‘Hanging On The Line‘ begins as a paean to modest values and morphs into a loose commentary on our wayward modern civilization.  The title track ‘Phase Of The Moon’ is probably the most personal song on the record about the struggle to overcome setbacks beyond our control.  ‘All In A Dream’is how I sometimes feel when I’m traveling, putting reality on hold for a little while.”
The performances that make up the record were captured over three days in the historic Almonte Town Hall in eastern Ontario, with its ghosts, high ceilings and Steinway grand piano setting the scene for the recording.  Starting with the solo vocal and piano or vocal and guitar as the centre, the tracks were built outwards and took on different shapes as other instruments were added at Friesen’s studio in Almonte, as well as back in Toronto where the exquisite string parts were arranged and performed by Drew Jurecka. The record was thoughtfully mixed by Darryl Neudorf (Blue Rodeo, Neko Case, Sarah McLachlan) at his barn in Mono, Ontario, and the album art was created by Toronto artist Heather Goodchild.
Barber is a two-time Juno nominee, has sold over 100 thousand albums worldwide, 10 million streams and earned countless praise for his work. A tireless road warrior, Matthew will treat audiences pre-album release selections when he hits the road this March in support of The White Buffalo. Dates listed below.

Phase Of The Moon will be available on LP, CD and all digital platforms May 4th, 2018.   Pre-order HEREON TOUR:

Victoria                  BC           Capital Ballroom                   March 2, 2018
Vancouver             BC           The Imperial                          March 3, 2018
Red Deer               AB           Bo’s Bar and Grill                  March 5, 2018
Lethbridge            AB           Geomatic Attic                      March 6, 2018
Calgary                   AB           Marquee                               March 8, 2018
Edmonton              AB           Starlite Room                        March 9, 2018
Saskatoon              SK            Capitol Music Club               March 10, 2018
Winnipeg               MB          Garrick Centre                      March 12, 2018
St. Catharines       ON          The Warehouse                    March 14, 2018
London                  ON          Rum Runners Music Hall     March 15, 2018
Toronto                  ON          Phoenix Concert Theatre   March 16, 2018
Montreal               QC           Cafe Campus                         March 17, 2018

 Phase Of The Moon cover art

Grateful For The Rain
Phase Of The Moon
Hanging On The Line
Maybe It’s Love
Back To You
The Pathway
All In A Dream
A Living
The Painter
Take Good Care

The Weather Station and Rose Cousins Juno Nominations

Congrats to Rose Cousins and The Weather Station on their 2018 Juno nominations!





Rose Cousins earns a JUNO nomination for Songwriter of  the Year for “Chosen”, “Grace” and “White Flag” off the Grammy nominated album Natural Conclusion

See Rose Cousins on tour this March in Ontario and Montreal, all tour and ticket info here


The Weather Station earns a JUNO nomination for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for her self-titled record

See The Weather Station on tour with Bahamas, all tour and ticket info here  


Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant and Measha Brueggergosman – 17 ECMA NOMINATIONS

The Outside Music label is excited to announce that 3 of the label’s 2017 releases earned a total of 17 nominations for the upcoming East Coast Music Awards. The Toronto based label has long been affiliated with the vibrant music scene in the Maritimes. “The Maritime region has cultivated some of the most brilliant performers over the years, the music scene is so interwoven within their identity” says Outside’s Managing Director Evan Newman, “we are beyond thrilled for the ECMA to acknowledge the brilliant works from Jenn, Rose, and Measha.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Heins
Rose Cousins leads the overall ECMA nominations with eight including; Folk Recording of the Year (Natural Conclusion), Solo Recording of the Year (Natural Conclusion), Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year (“Grace”), Album of the Year (Natural Conclusion), Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year, Fans’ Choice Video of the Year (“Chains” directed by Nathan Boone) and Video of the Year for “White Flag”directed by Shehab Ilyas.
Released last year, Natural Conclusion was produced by Grammy Award winner Joe Henry and garnered a 2018 Grammy Nomination for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Ryan Freeland, Engineer and Joao Carvalho, Mastering Engineer.
The Guardian says of Rose Cousins’ Natural Conclusion, “…her voice draws you in until you realize you are at the heart of the storm,” while The Washington Post notes that “When Rose Cousins sings she soars and swoops, never to show off but always in service to the song.” No Depression furthers, “Cousins and Henry have created an emotional landscape full of beauty and conquest. It is formidable.”
Rose will be on tour with select dates beginning March 2nd, please see full details below.
Photo Credit: Mat Dunlap
Jenn Grant, who will begin her west coast tour today is up for 6 ECMAs including;  Pop Recording of the Year (Paradise), Solo Recording of the Year (Paradise), Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year (“Galaxies“), Album of the Year (Paradise), Fans’ Choice Video of the Year (“Galaxies” directed by Adam Goldhammer).
Jenn Grant’s Paradise was recorded by producer and husband, ECMA nominee Daniel Ledwell. Recorded at the secluded studio by their home in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia, Paradise emerged as an album that sees a new dimension in Grant’s songwriting with new depths of sonic beauty and melodic landscapes, touching upon balladry, R&B and electronic music along the way.
Jenn’s west coast dates are listed below
Photo Credit: Lok NG

Award-winning soprano, Measha Brueggergosman  is nominated for three ECMAs for Gospel Recording of the Year (Songs of Freedom), Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year  and the prestigious, Bucky Adams Memorial Award that recognizes a full length or EP recording in any musical genre by an East Coast African Canadian artist or group.

Songs Of Freedom is the companion piece to the 2015 film of the same name that was nominated for 4 Canadian Screen Awards, which documented Brueggergosman’s own journey and connection to her faith, family history, and spirituals; a story of discovery from her Cameroonian ancestry, escape from American slavery and arrival in Canada.


 Watch ECMA nominated videos for “Chains” and “White Flag”  
The Carleton
January 20, 2018
March 2, 2018
St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage
March 3, 2018
Bayfield Old Town Hall
March 7, 2018
Aeolian Hall
March 8, 2018
Maxwell’s Concerts and Events
March 9, 2018
Harbourfront Centre Theatre
March 10, 2018
Mills Hardware
March 11, 2018
 Watch ECMA nominated video for “Galaxies”   
Theatre Junction Grand
January 31, 2018
Communitea Cafe
February 1, 2018
Spiritbar And The Hume Hotel
February 2, 2018
Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre
February 3, 2018
Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre
February 4, 2018
The Blue Grotto
February 6, 2018
The Queens
February 8, 2018
The Avalanche Bar
February 9, 2018
Sugar Nightclub
February 10, 2018
February 11, 2018
Avening Community Centre
March 24, 2018