Check us out each Friday as we feature a new up and coming Canadian Country Indie artist!!
~ SHAYLYN SLAGHT ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature, is Shaylyn Slaght!
This past week not only did this singer/songwriter celebrate her birthday, she also celebrated her song “The Drink” - as it hit Number #1 on the Country Thunder Network Chart !! Definitely a great reason to celebrate for sure !
Shaylyn’s musical passion truly shines though from her heart. Often referred to as an ‘old soul’, for such a young lady. Shaylyn continues to share her heart and soul through her traditional country music. She was even nominated for a Josie Award !
Shaylyn, is from Southern Ontario. She released her first album in 2017 titled “Lovin’ The Legends”, covers of their favourites and included her very first penned original, ‘Nana’s Little Girl’, as a tribute to her Legendary Nana. Her Nana was the one who introduced Shaylyn to singing and music, around the age of about 4. She has wonderful memories with her Nana singing together. She told her to follow her dreams and to reach for the stars! We’re so glad she did !
Slaght also penned another chart topping original ~ ‘The Drink’. It has been playing on Canadian Country Music Radio Stations since its release, as well as, the United States, Netherlands, and Australia, and continues to be in many Top 10 charts! She also hit Number #1 on the Canadian Indie Country Countdown! Thats exciting news and a lot to be proud of !
Shaylyn has had the pleasure of having worked with talented musicians like Roger Williamson and CASH, The World’s Most Authentic Johnny Cash Tribute Show and performed on some of the largest Honkytonk stages in Nashville Tennessee, including the World Famous Tootsies. Of course you all know, Tootsies is one of the Two Christines’ favourite stages, to see live music in Nashville!! She’s even performed locally at Hamilton Place, in The Studio.
She continues to take the world by storm and clearly as this past week has indicated, she’s definitely on the right path! We look forward to what Shaylyn has in store for us, going forward ! Fingers are crossed, that her announcement tomorrow, will be about some new music for Christmas, or the New Year! Make sure you keep your eyes on her socials for the news and in the meantime, please enjoy her current chart topper, as we do ~ “The Drink”!
~ PHIL LAUZON ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature, is Phil Lauzon!
We feel once you hear his voice, if you haven’t already, you are going to love him and his very own brand of gritty, country sound, as much as we do ! His ability to connect and convey emotion through song, it’s extraordinary! Regardless of whether he’s performing his music in English or his native French, his powerful vocals, combined with a high-energy stage reputation, have earned Phil and his band, The Cajuns, on the club and festival circuit in Quebec, have built quite the fan base for sure. You’ll be following him wherever he goes !
Phil is the eldest of three children, and his family resides in Quebec, Canada. Lauzon is the son of a maple syrup manufacturer (can’t get more Canadian than that) and a housewife, who’s keen eye, recognized that her son’s natural ability for music, and went and bought him his first guitar! Good call mom, Thank You!
To complicate his life, in 2012 Lauzon learned that he has a rare form of muscular dystrophy—which will cause a slow degeneration of his arm muscles and legs. However, receiving that type of news, hasn’t stopped him at all. If anything, he has resolved to not let the disease stand in the way of his career and his dream. ”it just makes me more determined … and I always welcome a good challenge,” Lauzon says spiritedly. With that winning attitude, and fighting determination, we have no doubts, that he will go as far as he wants to go!!
We also want to add, that if he seemed familiar, that because you might recognize Lauzon, as he was a quarterfinalist on La Voix, the French-Canadian TV version of NBC’s hit series, The Voice. What a wonderful training ground and experience, as well as , great exposure for him, to be a part of The Voice.
Although Phil likely wishes he wrote his debut song, it was actually written by Nashville-based writers, Jeffrey East and Benjamin West. “Because of Yours” is an achingly honest love song about loss and despair and we’re sure, he will have you connecting to the song as well! Lauzon says, when he first heard the song, he instantly felt a connection. As though somehow it was written for him. “I could totally relate to it,” he explains. “In the low moments, the love of family is what pulls me through.” Lauzon said. He always puts his family first, a true family man, chasing his dream and that’s wonderful to see. From what we have learned, sometimes artists find it challenging at times to connect with a song they haven’t written. That isn’t the case here, and you can see that, when you hear his song and video!
He also felt strongly that in order for the song, to be an authentic interpretation, that it meant singing it in English. “I wanted to capture the proper phrasing and pronunciation,” Lauzon acknowledges, “it was important to me, that I sing it as the writers had initially conceived it.” Great decision was made there, and you’ll feel, the song is authentically his!
For his upcoming album, Lauzon, a self-professed fan of Zach Brown, Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton, he feels that he’s captured a bit of their influences, in his work and with the skillful guidance of Canadian record producer Dan Stobbs / MNOW Records and associate producer and multiple Canadian Country Music Association award winner Gil Grand / Grand Artist Services, he couldn’t go wrong with the support he has behind him. "Because of Yours" was recorded and engineered by Kevin Jardine from Uplift Productions in Montreal.
Now Lauzon is taking aim at the worldwide market with his debut single “Because of Yours”—from his forthcoming album. We believe he’s got everything he needs to be successful in this industry ! His debut single is available on all digital platforms, with a subsequent release to Canadian country radio early next year. Enjoy his debut single, as we sure do !
~ PAIGE RUTLEDGE ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Paige Rutledge ! The amazingly talented 21 year old, singer & songwriter, grew up listening to all of the classics ! She found her love for country music, at a very young age and even started to play in local restaurants and events, by the age of 10! To know that young, that music was what she wanted to do, is an indication that she found her true calling !
All you need to do is listen to her powerful voice, and you will hear the passion she has for this genre of music shining through. When you add her captivating stage presence, she is one you definitely won’t forget. She’ll have you coming back for more! Paige’s music is catchy, the lyrics are relatable and has a country-pop feel, that will have you singing her music, over and over again !
She began working with Michael Sarracini and in early 2014, Paige released her debut single, “Someday” and then went on to release two self-written EP’s, “Hey Girl” and “From the Heart”, respectively in 2016 and 2018. She released a single, called “Without Me, in January 2020.
Paige grew up in Oakville, Ontario and has travelled all across Ontario, performing at festivals, and other local events and venues. Paige’s talent was recognized by the Country Music Association of Ontario, as one to watch. We agree ! She won the Emerging Artist Showcase at Canada’s Largest Ribfest in Burlington, Ontario in September 2019. How exciting!!!! We couldn’t be more proud of her!
Her latest release has been a labour of love and we feel your going to love it to ! it’s called “Take Me Back to Tiki”! Check it out on all social platforms. .
~ JASON MERCER ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature, is from London, Ontario ~ Jason Mercer! Perseverance, talent, hard work and a whole lotta heart, are qualities this young man has, as well as, many other attributes, that are going to get him where he wants to go in this industry ! He’s not new to music, it’s his passion, he’s been around awhile! When others have given up because of current state & circumstances, he’s taken the opposite approach and has pushed on through. All the music he’s been working on, he’s sharing it with the rest of the world! His new single ~ “Nobody But You” ~ that was just released, is a clear indication of great things to come for this young man !
His hero’s and influencers, include Blue Rodeo, The Band, The Eagles,Tom Petty for the storytelling, to name a few! You can see hints here and there, of their inspiration in his music, by creating music with meaning. He’s worked with Grammy Award Winning Producer - Mitch Dane and songwriters - Jay Allan & Shawn Meriano in his journey and others. Such great opportunities!
2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone. Jason equally has had several challenges this year ~ personally, physically & professionally, with the downslide of the entertainment industry, however, that hasn’t stopped him one bit! Mercer has put the time to good use, and we feel, that he will come out the other side of this pandemic, better for it. We can’t wait to see all his new music!! We’re sure, we’re not alone, you’re going to love it to! “It’s time”, Mercer said, “As an artist, I’ve dreamed of this moment all of my life. I am so proud of this song, the recording in the upcoming video. It has been an interesting journey, followed by the most incredible and satisfying feeling.”
His single ‘Nobody But You’, was co-written by Jason and it showcases Mercer’s sweet, yet edgy sounding vocals, and the big sound of his incredible band backing him up. The lyrics are honest, relatable to everyone, and will have you humming the melody on the first spin, wherever you stream and buy music! This is the beginning of something really big ! We’re just happy we get to go along for the journey ! Make sure you take the time to check out today, as it’s available on all digital platforms! We wish him all the best !
~ KENDRA GABRIELLE ~
Our pick for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY ” Feature, this week, is Kendra Gabrielle! Her music journey began with singing and performing in high school. That led to her pursuing a Bachelor of Music, with emphasis in Vocal performance and songwriting at Carleton University. During her degree she was fortunate to travel to and perform at, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and competed in the Kiwanis Music Festival in Ottawa where she won First Place and performed at Kiwanis’s Trophy Night. How exciting is that!!!
Most of her life has been focused around music in some way or fashion and still is. Kendra is currently a Voice, Guitar, Piano and Ukulele teacher as her “day job” in Milton, Ontario and if that’s not busy enough, she’s pursuing a post grad in Business at Sheridan College and has been working on her debut single release. We’re just tired thinking about doing all of that!
She classifies herself as Pop-Country. Her voice is both captivating and powerful and when accompanied by her Taylor guitar, it’s truly a winning combination. It’s evident that Kendra uses inspiration from Taylor Swift (biggest fan), Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain, to name a few of her influencers. She artfully blends the melodies of pop, with meaningful lyrics of country. When songwriting, Kendra draws from her own and others’ experiences, to capture those special moments in time. She has even sung music in Italian, French, German and Chinese – but cannot speak any of those languages! So talented! Family and friends are very important to her, as she feels, they have shaped her into who she is today. She enjoys spending quality time with her friends at home, and is self taught photographer/editor of her photos - showcasing her creative side.
Kendra’s debut single “Bad Boy” was just released Yesterday - October 22 2020 and is just that, a Pop-Country single, that speaks to her experience with a past-boyfriend, who comes back into her life. We’re sure there might be a few people that can relate to this story themselves!!! We feel this is the beginning of a very bright future for this young lady ! Make sure you check out her debut single “Bad Boy” ! It’s available on all the platforms now, where you buy and stream your music !
~ JESSEE GARDINER ~
Our pick for “Fresh Face Friday” Feature, is Jessee Gardiner-RedneckRoughneck ! (aka “Redneck Roughneck”). Jessee was raised in Manitoba, Canada, did spend some time in Saskatchewan but currently resides in Duchess, Alberta.
Although his family moved around a lot, he still had a wonderful childhood that was rich with different experiences, laying the foundation for many of his songs. His family means everything to him. He spent a lot of his time in his youth, with his grandparents and with his siblings, roaming the valley, building forts, waking the river & fishing. Jessee is quite the adventure seeker ! That’s called laying the groundwork for making a country artist ! His Grandmother, Eva played a major influence in Jessee’s musical life. His Grandmother would play her organ and they would sing together. We’re sure those must be memories that he will cherish always. Jessee’s first album that he bought was Shania Twain’s “The Woman In Me” and he grew up singing along to Garth Brooks. His Grandparents introduced Jessee to the music of Jim Reeves, The Beach Boys, Abba & Johnny Cash.
Jessee’s took a roundabout route, before pursuing music as a career. He played football at the University of Saskatchwan, while pursuing a Teaching Degree. Playing ball was definitely a dream come true for him ! In time, Jessee found a career that suited his love of the outdoors and his drive for success, in the oilfields, where he gained his nickname “Redneck Roughneck”. Things all changed when his son was born in 2013, and his primary focus in life, was to raise his son. So working away from his son, and home, wasn’t what he wanted anymore. He made a few decisions and we are glad he did, as he wouldn’t be where he is today, making music!
Music was always a deep passion of Jessee’s. It was always in the background. His taste in music is quite the broad spectrum mix , which is reflected in Jessee’s songwriting. Currently he listens to Luke Combs, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Tim McGraw, The Highway Women and Faith Hill. In 2017, he stepped out of his comfort zone and auditioned for The Voice in Austin, Texas. This was a life changing experience for Jessee. It was his first trip to the United States. Jessee said, “It was amazing to be surrounded by thousands of aspiring musicians. I found myself in a place I have always wanted to be but did not know how to get there. I was inspired by their talent and I was supported and encouraged for my music.” The country music family is just that, family! Always supportive ! Although he didn’t make the cut, the experience motivated him to continue forward and to chase his dream of making music for others. Talk about inspiring !
Jessee continues to work on his songwriting and he is doing some co-writes, with some amazingly talented Canadian songwriters & artists you’ll likely recognize like - Aaron Allen & Jeff Dick, to name a few. He continues to work on music for his EP. He released a new song called “ What You Mean To Me” and it’s climbing the International Country Thunder 20, debuted at #7 - the first time on the chart ! Kudos to Jessee ! With his strong work ethic, and his talent, we believe this is just the beginning for him! We wish you all the best !
~ TRAVIS CORMIER ~
Our pick for “Fresh Face Friday” Feature this week, is Travis Cormier ! He’s new to us but definitely not new to the country music scene ! He is a singer/songwriter from New Brunswick originally. Cormier has been playing the guitar since the age of 9! He launched his first band in high school and was influenced by both Pop Rock and Country Music. Not only did his mother love Travis Tritt but she named Travis after him. We are pretty sure he was destined to be in country music. Even as a child, he knew that he wanted to be in music, and had started writing his own songs! After high school, Travis left Moncton at the age of 17, and flew to Los Angeles to study at the Musicians Institute on Hollywood Boulevard. Such a brave young man with a vision of what he wanted his future to include ! While he was studying Travis continued to work on his passion of both songwriting and performing. He regularly played in some of the most famous bars in L.A like The Whisky A Go Go and The Roxy. Those must have been quite the experiences! Four years ago Travis moved to Montreal to compete in the fourth season of La Voix (The Voice) and he blew everyone away with his version of Aerosmith's “Dream On”. The video has close to 1M views on Youtube. Of course all four coaches turned around! During his time on the show Travis was able to showcase his talents, so much so, that’s when the phenomenon ~“Travismania” began.
After the TV show finished, Travis toured extensively throughout the province of Quebec, until he received the call of a lifetime. He was asked if he could open for Bon Jovi. “It was a dream come true. How many people can say they lived one of their biggest dreams as a kid” - said Cormier. Then another milestone in his career happened shortly thereafter when he when he was invited on stage at an Aerosmith show by none other than Steven Tyler to sing “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. Tyler had taken the time to watch Travis audition for La Voix and was blown away. Now you have to admit, that’s pretty cool!
Well over a year ago Travis met Canadian Icon ~ Bryan Adams. “Bryan said he was a fan and enjoyed my music… I had no words. He gave me some guidance and told me the most important thing in this business is to focus on my shows and always giving the audience my very best.” Such great words of wisdom ! After months of work in a studio in Vancouver (owned by Bryan Adams), Travis released his 1st album titled “Dollars and Hearts” with Universal Music, in November of that year. It was produced by Canadian Icon Bob Rock, who made his “vision come true of what he wanted for his first album”. That’s not always the case. Cormier also got to collaborate with Richie Sambora. Travis’ debut Single “Dollars and Hearts” was written by Mark Frederikson, Songwriter of mega hits by Aerosmith, Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill - to name a few. Dollars and Hearts - quickly debuted at Number 1 on the Canadian iTunes charts the first week-end of its release. That album went on to stream over 400,000 plus, on Spotify. Not to bad at all !
Travis was also invited by Canada’s Walk of Fame, to perform a tribute of Bryan Adams songs, at the year’s 20th Anniversary Gala. It was his first actual appearance in Toronto! We are sure it won’t his last show in Toronto! You can find all of his music, from La Voix too, and self titled music, wherever you stream or buy your music! Check out his YouTube - there’s lots to see on there as well! Travis just released his new single, “She’s Gonna Be A Song “ - please be sure to check it out. We believe he’s talented and is going straight to the top !
~ CAMBREE LOVESY ~
Our pick for this week is Fresh Face Friday is Cambree Lovesy! Cambree Lovesy is a 21 year old country singer/songwriter from Abbotsford, B.C who has quickly earned a spot at the Canadian country music table for sure ! Having grown up listening to traditional country music, she has implemented her classic country roots into new country music. Her songwriting and artistry have been influenced by powerful women in country music such as Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, and Kacey Musgraves.
Her debut album, "Kiss My Boots", combines old-school country with a modern appeal ! Her genuine, yet authentic songwriting, connects with her audience. With an impressive stage presence solo or with her band, Cambree puts on a show every single time she performs!
She has showcased her talent at the CN Grey Cup in Edmonton, The Local Nashville, Cook County Saloon, Rogers Arena, The Roxy, BC Place, Gabby's Country Cabaret, and many more venues across North America. She has opened for acts such as Dallas Smith and Chiliwack! This past summer, she was all set to open for Keith Urban but with all of the group restrictions, that went out the window! We hope she will get the opportunity to take him up on that another time!
Her efforts towards empowerment and healing through her music and openness about her mental health journey, has gained the attention of the Woman of Worth Foundation who awarded Cambree with the "Young Sparkle 2019 Award". She seeks to continue using her passion for storytelling, as a way to change the world with her music. She has written a song for all the Frontliners. It’s a great song - make sure you give it a listen.
At the University of the Fraser Valley, she gives so much of her time to help, lead and mentor, as a Peer support for new students. Not an easy task but definitely a rewarding one!After spending some time recording and touring in Nashville, TN, Cambree's new single, "Runaway Queen" is available everywhere now. This song has already climbed to #8 on the Canadian Country Indie Countdown this week ! Congrats !
Cambree has been nominated for a 2020 Performing Arts Award. Keep your fingers crossed! Cambree continues to perform regularly around British Columbia, alongside delivering weekly performances on Instagram and Facebook Live. She is currently working on new music, coming to Canadian country radio soon. With her music career starting to take off, and her songwriting continuing to evolve, she really is a force to be reckoned with. We expect great things from this young lady!
~ CHRIS RYAN ~
Our pick for “Fresh Face Friday” Feature is Chris Ryan! He is all the way from Newfoundland and his music is Country/Americana!
Since the release of his self titled debut album, Chris Ryan has caught the attention of the Canadian music industry, playing showcases during East Coast Music Week and Music Newfoundland and Labrador Week, along with receiving nominations for "Country Recording of the Year" and "Songwriter of the Year". Chris' songwriting skills earned him the opportunity to be part of the 2016 ECMA SOCAN Song House, working with Nashville’s songwriting guru Ralph Murphy. Chris had the honour of touring with Canadian country artist Kelly Prescott from Canada to Tennessee and co-writing in Nashville. He was selected to participate in the 2019 edition of the Canadian Song Conference's "Canadian Songwriter Challenge", co-writing with artists from across Canada in Charlottetown, PEI. How cool is that! We’re sure that must have been a great learning experience as well !
He just released his new single "I Ain't Mad" on Sept. 18th and it’s on all streaming platforms. The song was co-written & produced by Sound of Pop's Chris Kirby (same as the last two singles - Last Forever and Slow Down). Chris did the radio premier with KIXX Country (Stingray) / VOCM in Newfoundland, on Thursday September 3rd and it debuted at #85 on the BDS Canadian Country chart and he received the "HeadStarter"designation on the TRAX Canadian Country chart for "Most First Week Spins". How exciting ! This song was also added to the CBC Country SiriusXM channel but it will actually start spinning at the end of September.
Chris said “When we were writing ‘I Ain’t Mad’, I wanted to channel a mid ‘90s country feel. I love the taste of Vince Gill and Dwight Yoakam, when guys expressed the vocals, and really played guitar! Myself and producer/co-writer Chris Kirby have had a great relationship for a number of years. I love the way we were able to mould a ‘90s country feel, but still have the song be very modern.” We feel he did just that !
Chris' single "Last Forever" peaked in the 70's on the BDS Canadian Country Music chart and his follow-up release "Slow Down" did even better, landing in the 60's on the BDS Canadian Country Music charts. Chris was an East semi-finalist in the 2018 SiriusXM - Canadian Country Music Association "Top of the Country" Project.
He also went on the road accompanying Sierra Noble for the Johnny Reid "My Kind of Christmas" tour across Canada in November and December 2019.
An interesting twist, Chris got his gear stolen in late July and some people thought that was the reason behind the title of his latest single but that’s not the case, somewhat ironic considering the circumstances for sure, but it was written well before the incident! You can find “I Ain’t Mad” on all media platforms !
He is currently writing songs for his next release in 2021. Which is exciting news ! We are located across the other side of Canada from Chris, but we’re sure proud he’s Canadian. We see big things for this young man ! Hopefully we will get to meet him soon !
C To C Canadian Country Music Insider
Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada