Check us out each Friday as we feature a new up and coming Canadian Country Indie artist!!
Our pick this week for FRESH FACE FRIDAY Feature, is Karli June !
This artist’s voice and sound, you will find is a great mixture of traditional country, with several dashes of modern country influences ! She’s well on her way and can hold her own for sure and we feel she’s leading the pack, as one of the up and coming, Female Canadian Country artists, to watch !
Karli’s start in music was at a very young age in the church choir. She sang at local fairs, festivals, singing contests, including school functions - utilizing every opportunity, to play on stage. She was born in Listowel, Ontario and grew up on a farm. She remembers that country music was always on at home and that was where her love for the country music genre began. Some of her female musical influences growing up were, power house artists, like Shania, Reba, Faith, Martina, to name a few. It was after her first solo performance, at elementary school, and how that made her feel, that she was hooked !
Karli pursued her dream, smartly, by building a solid base for her music career, at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she received training in Classical Voice and completed her degree there. Learning while cultivating her own sound, all at the same time. Congrats!
Karli is the real deal! She taught herself how to play guitar at a young age and started writing her own songs and music. Talk about talent! Her songs are authentically hers, written based on life lessons, observations, heartbreak, and real life connections. All the good stuff that we relate to ! She has co-written and surrounded herself, with other amazingly talented artists like Emma-Lee Ashley - and high caliber producers in her career, like Jason Barry, Karen Kosowski, Scott Chesak , to name just a few. Her previous releases, were “Black & White”, “Setting Me on Fire” was distributed to radio, and “Say Too Much”! Make sure to check them all out, as well as, her latest, “Heart Drunk”, written by Deric Ruttan & Karen Kosowski !
Some of June’s success & accolades, include - a Top 10 Finalist at the 2016 Ole Music Publishing “On The Spot” contest, and a Country Music Association of Ontario Artist of the Month winner in 2017. She was also a Finalist in 2018 Boots & Hearts Music Festival -Emerging Artist Showcase. Karli has shared the stage with some big name artists like Terri Clarke, Chuck Wicks, Dierks Bentley & Brett Kissel, to name a few! With multiple festivals under her belt, including one of the biggest Canadian Country music stage, Boots and Hearts, she’s more than comfortable being Center stage. We are so proud of her !
Karli has said that helping others & inspiring others to chase their dreams, is a huge part of what she loves about the music industry – and we know, her music and her presence alone, certainly does inspire others ! Karli’s latest release and video, dropped last week and it’s fantastic! It’s called “Heart Drunk”! It’s available on streaming media platforms, where you buy music. She’s working on more new music, which is exciting, but in the meantime, we’re sure, you’ll wanna crank it up and have “Heart Drunk” on repeat !!
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature, is a duo called Flaysher!
The name is based on the last name of two small-town Albertan brothers, Brad & Ryan. Flaysher is a Canadian country duo with a lotta grit, in their blood harmonies. Growing up in a blue-collar family, they spent weekends and summers on their dad’s job sites, learning to work hard for what they wanted. Which are qualities that will take them far in the music industry!
On the way to work, they’d be singing along to classics such as Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles, and Tim McGraw in the back of an old grey GMC work truck. The music spoke to them and soon they felt a calling to tell their own stories through their own music.
Brad & Ryan started out their music journey, in their teens, in a rock band. They performed over 300 shows, everything from weddings to bars and all sorts of parties, and eventually the brothers found that country music, was where they felt most at home. We are so glad they did !
They jumped right in and spent the majority of 2019, writing new songs with fellow artists and friends from all over Alberta and all the way down south in Nashville,TN. Surrounding themselves and making all the right connections, in the Country music scene. They had the opportunity to work with Juno Award-winning producer, Matty McKay (Brett Kissel), and Flaysher released their high-energy new single “Flat Broke Famous” independently, in March of 2020. “Flat Broke Famous is a song about living without fear of judgment." Brad explains, "Live free, turn some heads, and let them talk.” Which is something that everyone can relate to!
During the past year, the duo have kept busy, working hard together, by songwriting and performing live on Instagram and Facebook, keeping and growing, their connections with their fans. They have been busier than ever! Flaysher was on the ballot for Fans Choice and are up for Horizon Group or Duo of the Year, next month at the Country Music Alberta Awards ! Congratulations! We wish you the best of luck!
Their latest release - “Flat Broke Famous”, is available, everywhere you buy, and stream your music. Check them out, you’ll be glad you did !!
~ JASON KIRKNESS ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY“ Feature, is Jason Kirkness.
Jason is from rural Manitoba. This veteran of the Canadian music scene, has taken his music to every small town across the country, and back again. Undoubtedly, he is one of the most well known names in the prairies, and has shared the stage with some very big names in the Country Music Industry ~ Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, The Road Hammers and many more.
Kirkness has a lot to be proud of already. He was a Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist FINALIST in 2017. He has 1,000,000 plus, online streams & views and has had over 600 North America Tour dates so far in his music journey! His last record, "A Beautiful Disaster" - he did everything! From writing the songs, co-producing, promotion, booking, directed videos and all the management stuff. It was a rather monumental task to take on alone and he learned from that experience, that he wanted to approach his career and new album differently, this time around. That’s exactly what he did!
Jason recently signed with a management company Red River Music Group, and new Manitoba label-venture A1 RECORDS, and completely revamped his team, and his approach to the new digital age of music. “I realized that the best part of making music is doing it with other people.. a little party! So I spent a little time chatting with some old friends and they introduced me to a few new friends and now there's these really cool people, who are all coming together to make something really fresh and new, while still being true to who I am and who I've always been, as an artist.” Jason said. He has worked tirelessly, the past few years, writing songs and has collected some songs from other exceptional songwriters, as well in the industry. So he has a lot of material to choose from for his new album, so that’s pretty exciting !
His latest release, January 8th, is called “A Little Party”. It’s really catchy and was co-written by hitmakers, Aaron Goodvin, Alex Kline & Jason Petric. This song is about letting go of your daily grind, kickin' back and hangin' out with a few good friends. Which we feel is exactly what everyone needs ! It’s what life is all about ! Its relatable, it’s fun, catchy, regardless of whether your a small group of people or not, it’s about having a big ole' good time! Its sure to be the good-times, drinking anthem of summer 2021!!
We can’t wait to see what Jason and his team have in store for us going forward! In the meantime, “ A Little Party” is being released today, on all social media platforms! Go download today and enjoy!
~ DAN PETTI ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” FEATURE, is Ottawa’s own, Dan Petti.
There’s nothing he can’t do when it comes to music ! Dan is a multi instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, and a music teacher, all in one ! He said, that he always knew, that not only did he love music but that he was meant to play music. He’s been writing songs his whole life. His first instrument was the piano, and then he tackled the guitar. He enjoys performing acoustically and with a band.
During this past school year, teaching has had several challenges, and the music industry, has been no different! He has been working hard during the pandemic, writing songs using technology, to bridge the distance, with other songwriters, from all over North America. He has a good mix of upbeat happy songs, deep meaningful ballads, and anything in between. In the past, he has gone to Nashville to write songs, while making worthwhile connections in the industry, all at the same time.
He’s quite fortunate to have a very supportive group of students and a large fan base, that have helped him get some amazing numbers, by voting in contests and streaming his music. Dan is equally, as supportive of his students and their musical endeavours. In November, his first release was on the Top 20 Country Thunder Charts. At the start of this month, Dan rose to First Place, in the Canadian Indie Country Countdown, with his first release - “My Kind of Road” ! How exciting is that ! Congrats!
As we said, Dan is working on new music, and is hoping to release a few more songs in the coming months and possibly an EP by the end of 2021. His music is country with some pop and folk mixed together, with a pinch of spice. We feel you’ll connect with Dan’s music and you’ll be just as excited as we are, that he is well on his way, to a very bright future !
Petti’s release is available on all social platforms!
~ SHAWN RICHARD ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature, is Shawn Richard !
Shawn has had music in his blood since day one! Being a part of and surrounded by, a large musical family, he was inspired to play and sing, with his favourite peers and his family. Richard broke out on the New Brunswick music scene in 2017, when he won the Saint John Idol competition. What a great way to kick off his career, and he has hit the ground running, ever since! As one of the only few openly gay country artists in the industry, Shawn has been breaking barriers in the Canadian country music scene too. Shawn is leading the way for change in representation!
This Emerging East Coast country singer-songwriter, is back with a brand new single “I Don’t Wanna Go There”, available everywhere today! This release speaks to a time when Shawn was unsure about a past relationship and was dealing with depression. Music has always been Shawn’s safe haven, an outlet to share his emotions , through songwriting, and has helped him, through every stage of his life.
2020 has been an interesting year for the music industry, and it’s been no exception for Shawn. With live shows all cancelled and Atlantic Canada’s bubble, to combat the global pandemic, it’s been challenging to record new music and to get in front of fans. But that hasn’t stopped Shawn from creating new music. “This year has had its downfalls, but it also gave me a chance to sit back and realize how much we actually take for granted,” he explains. “I realized more than ever that music is my passion and I want to run with it.” So that’s what he’s been doing … running with it and chasing his dreams! We love the positivity!
“I Don’t Wanna Go There” is the third single that Richard has released. Since his debut release “All My Tomorrow’s” in 2019, Shawn has been working hard to make a name for himself within the Atlantic provinces. He recorded in Nashville, “All My Tomorrow’s” and it landed in the top of the iTunes charts and made him one to watch! We can see why ! His sophomore single “Right Side Of Wrong” was one of the most downloaded songs at Canadian Country radio. Congrats!
2020 is almost behind us, but with the release of “I Don’t Wanna Go There”, Shawn is looking to extend his reach across the country. Make sure you check him out on all his social platforms ! We see great things ahead for this talented young man ! Enjoy !
~ DEBORAH LYNN ~
Our pick this week for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature is Deborah Lynn!
This country girl, was born and raised in Stirling, Ontario. She has been singing and playing guitar since she was quite young. After college she bought a candy store in Toronto and entrepreneurship, didn’t leave her much time for music. Life’s events left Deborah struggling for confidence and unable to find her voice. Only a few short years ago, she wasn’t comfortable singing in front of anyone, even small groups were nerve racking! With support from her husband Paul, she began to attend the odd local open mic and started to find the love of music she had, as a child.
Her first trip to Nashville in 2018, was all it took, to spark her love for country music again! Deborah was lucky enough to play the songwriters open mic at the iconic Bluebird Café and joined the house band, on stage for a couple songs at the famed Tootsies, on Broadway. These once in a lifetime events, showed her that she had a passion to perform!
A late entry into the Next Country Music Star Competition in 2019, that gave Lynn the confidence and the push, to jump into the local music scene with both feet. Her first appearance on The Breezeway Live, led to four Breezeway Award Nominations, including Entertainer Of The Year. That’s an amazing start for sure ! Deborah’s voice has a classic country tone and a style to it, that has been influenced by folk. Lynn released her debut single April 17th, 2020 called “Revive a Ghost”, written and produced by Dustin Bird, who is an amazingly talented artist, as well.
Releasing a debut single during a pandemic, with no way to promote to live audiences, she turned to the Facebook Livestream platform, every Thursday night for 13 weeks straight. The viewers virtually joined her in her basement bar, and the streams quickly took off. The number of views each week grew, as did her fan base, helping to propel “Revive a Ghost” to the top of the Canadian Indie Country Countdown where it reached #1. So exciting! Congrats!
Local businesses even began to sponsor the weekly livestreams, by providing prizes for viewers. Such great community support! With Covid restrictions being lifted in her area, Deborah has been entertaining socially distanced crowds at local bistros, wineries, and bars. When not on stage or at her full-time day job, Deborah, has been working on her songwriting, as she is planning to release an EP in the near future. We can’t wait !
She may have gotten a late start with her music career, but she is determined to be a role model for her daughter and prove that it doesn’t matter if you’re scared, put your cowboy boots on, grab your guitar and go for it!! We couldn’t agree more ! You can buy and stream her debut release, wherever you get your music. Make sure to check out her YouTube, to see her covers of her favourite artists too !
~ JUSTIN LABRASH ~
Our pick this week for our “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” Feature, is Justin LaBrash Singer/Songwriter! All the way from Saskatchewan! This farm boy is country through and through ! From working hard on the farm, to singing his country songs, to whomever would listen!! We’re pretty sure they’re all listening now !
LaBrash entertains audiences with his original songs, that are relatable, as well as, country and rock hits from the past, right up to today’s hottest songs. In his career, he has played throughout Canada, from Vancouver to St. John’s to the Northwest Territories and many points in between!
Justin released his debut EP in 2016, his first full length album in 2018, and an acoustic EP in 2020. LaBrash has achieved a lot in his musical journey already. He is nominated for Saskatchewan Music Awards for 2020 ~ Country Artist of the Year, and was nominated for the 2018 SCMA Emerging Artist of the Year and multiple 2020 SCMA nominations too, as well as, he was a two-time finalist and runner-up for the CKRM Proudly Saskatchewan Showcase!
Justin released his third album and his last five singles have progressively charted on the Canadian Top 100, including, “See You in the Stars”, which reached #72 on the Traxx Chart and all the way to #1 on the Canadian True North Country Indie chart!! He has worked hard and has a lot to be proud of !
This young Saskatchewan country music artist has a good head on his shoulders ! He set out on his own personal mission, to entertain as many people as he could, lift their spirits and fundraise for communities across Saskatchewan during the crazy times of 2020!! From the early days of COVID, when he did live online performances from home, to the outdoor drive-in shows with True North (his band). At each show in this concert series, Justin and his band shone the spotlight on a local organization and net proceeds going to help that organization in this challenging time. How amazing and dedicated is that ! Even when it was 80kmh winds, tornado warnings, down pouring rain, and 35C temperatures, this didn’t stop the shows on North America’s first drive-in tour. We hope the weather is good for their Christmas Drive-in called “Jingle Bell Rock” on December 19th !! Make sure to keep an eye out for that on all the socials!
Justin has had the good fortune to share the stage with many other Canadian artists, including The Washboard Union,Jess Moskaluke, Tenille Arts, The Wilkinsons, JJ Shiplett, Julian Austin, and Jamie Warren, among others.
Justin was ahead of the curve, by setting provincial records for the first and largest drive-in concerts, in total more than 3000 people enjoyed this historic tour of 13 shows (on the summer leg), from the comfort of their vehicles tuning in on their radios. Who would have thought that would have happened ! We attended a few drive -in concerts this past summer, and it was definitely enjoyable and quite the eye opening experience! LaBrash brought the community together by still staying apart. The crowd was all ages from newborn to Justin’s 100 year-old Great-Grandfather, Justin and the band played songs from old to new, including his Canadian Top 100 single, “See You in the Stars”. Playing to a sold out crowd in Regina Beach, Justin was excited to also record and film the show, for his first live album. And to thank his hometown for their support, Justin and his band, True North, put on a 90 minute high energy concert with an amazing lights show and ended the show with fireworks set to his song, “We Ran Out”. A great way to close off the summer #driveinsask tour! How sweet is that !
Justin is proud of his roots and where he comes from. He believes strongly in building communities and “paying it forward”. Justin is also an official ambassador for the TEDDY BEARS ANONYMOUS and each concert during the #driveinsask Tour 2020, spotlighted a local charitable organization, raising awareness and thousands of dollars, for more than a dozen Saskatchewan charities. Supporting locally is very important to Justin and his team. Justin utilizes the resources from local Saskatchewan businesses and musicians, whenever possible and when asked, why they embarked on such a novel event as a drive in concert tour, Justin responded, “Music heals. The people of Saskatchewan were ready to begin to heal. This was one way we are able to give back and support the people and communities in Saskatchewan who support me. We never knew what we are going to see when we stepped onto the stage! And as such, we are excited to see what memories we make, while performing Saskatchewan’s first Christmas Drive In Concerts in a few weeks!”How rare is that ??? Very rare !
With his country roots running deep, his big heart, and endless enthusiasm, there is no limit to where this hardworking artist will go! We truly believe this ! It warms our heart to see how invested he is in his community, helping others, giving back and dedicated he is to his fan and his music. He seems to have it all balanced!. We only want the best for him and we feel he is well on his way to a very bright future ! If you haven’t already, please make sure to check out, buy, and stream, his latest release and video called “Miles Away”.
~ THE RECORD BREAKERS ~
Our pick for “FRESH FACE FRIDAY” FEATURE is a band this week, THE RECORD BREAKERS !
They are a Canadian pop-country band who sings about cars, instead of trucks! Nice spin when you think about it! They haven’t celebrated that many birthdays yet but they are old souls at heart and they have been playing music since their early years (independently)! The band is from Montreal, Canada and was originally formed, to do a Beatles-related celebration. Not knowing initially, that anything more would come out of it. Thank goodness it did !
Soon after the event, the band started exploring and developing, and creating their own identity. Their journey has included various genre influencers. Then add a chance encounter with Canada’s own Blue Rodeo, they were so inspired, that was when they decided to bring some country into their sound, which has become uniquely that, of The Record Breakers. Like some of history's greatest bands, The Record Breakers, feature two main vocalists and song-writers, Hayden and Bella. Sharing the stage with them, and the rest of The Record Breakers, are Julian (Drums), Michael (Guitar) & Devan (Bass). Coupled with solid musical arrangements, memorable hooks and big harmonies, the end result is diverse and engaging for all audiences whether large or small! We believe they are here to stay !
Following their 2016 self-titled debut EP, the band released their second album, Bigger Plans, in June of 2018. Make sure you check that out as well. There are some very catchy tunes on there! Most notably, The Record Breakers opened for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band ~ Bon Jovi, at the @Montreal Bell Centre in May of 2018. The band marks that as “an opportunity of a lifetime.” Rightly so, in our books! Who doesn’t love Bon Jovi ! In 2019, they were crowned "Discovery of The Year" at Festival New Country Brome and in 2020, they were selected by CBC Searchlight to be in their Top 50 Producer Picks. How cool is that ! Quite an honour for sure !
During the 2020 pandemic, the group kept busy! They wrote and released “Quarantine With You,” a song and collaborative video, deemed a “viral success” by Global News Montreal. Following their success, the band released their first bilingual release, “In My Car / Dans mon char,” which debuted at the #1 spot on Amazon Music’s “Country du moment” playlist and "Winter," which debuted on Spotify's official playlist, "Christmas in Canada".
Their latest release was inspired after a few months into a new relationship at the time. It was December, and Bella remembered thinking, “it is so nice to have someone to spend the cold months with”. Well we have to agree with her, she really did capture the emotion and feeling of love, during the winter season, writing “Winter”!
Their sound is very unique, plus, their harmonies, well they speak for themselves, they will send you searching for more of their music, wherever you stream and buy your music. They are on all social media platforms ! Enjoy their new release and lyric video below !
~ 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”!
C To C Canadian Country Music Insider
Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada