February 8th, 2016 | Comments (0)
Whenever Hey Romeo get together to write and record, the result is a reflection of their commitment to their craft, to their fans, and, above all, to each other. Their latest EP, Ride With Me (Royalty Records/Sony Music Canada), is no exception.
While Ride With Me finds Hey Romeo offering up their signature blend of harmonies and the fluent musical interplay they’ve cultivated over 13 years of touring and recording, it also finds them stretching out individually and collectively.
Produced by keyboardist, Rob Shapiro, guitarist, Darren Gusnowsky and Johnny Gasparic (MCC Studios), there are echoes of the pop/country vibe they’re known for, but enhanced by a decidedly rock feel Gusnowsky says “is as close to what Hey Romeo sounds like live as possible.”
Ride With Me dwells equally on the hope new relationships inspire and the places where love went wrong. And nowhere is that more evident than on lead single, ‘Pushin’ Up Daisies’ – a rock-fuelled stomp with a bit of aggression in the vein of the Dixie Chicks ‘Goodbye Earl – delivered with a smile and a smirk by lead singer, Stacie Roper.
Far from bringing people down, however, even songs that examine love gone wrong are uplifting. “We’re happy, hopeful people,” Roper says, “but we remember past relationships that weren’t perfect.”
Ride With Me also features Gusnowsky on lead vocals on the title track and ‘Half Your Love,’ a song he says reflects his relationship with wife and “is a tune just for her.”
The band also experimented with instrumentation and feel, copping an eighties rock vibe on ‘Don’t Cry To Me,’ a track that shows their versatility, without straying too far from their country roots.
Frankly, Ride With Me represents some of Hey Romeo’s strongest songwriting to date; a set of songs so true to life fans can slip into them and see their own lives, loves and heartaches reflected there on the very first listen.
About Hey Romeo: Over 13 years, Hey Romeo have played countless shows on their own and with artists including Sugarland, Darius Rucker, Gord Bamford, Johnny Reid, Alan Jackson, Terri Clark and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
In 2008, the band was honoured with a Canadian Country Music Award for Top New Talent of the Year. Their 2010 album solidified their reputation with the Top 20 hits ‘Searchin’ For You’ and title track ‘That’s What I Am.’ Both That’s What I Am and 2012’s Twist Of Fate landed the band CCMA Awards for Group or Duo of the Year in 2011 and 2012, and ‘Hello Patio,’ the lead single from their 2014 EP, I Got This, won the 2014 Alberta Country Music Award (ACMA) for Song of the Year.
February 4th, 2016 | Comments off
See Cory Marquardt’s 6 foot 1 inch 220 pound frame and it’s easy to believe he played three years of major junior hockey in Ontario and Quebec. Hear Cory’s passion for flying and you’ll understand his pursuit of becoming a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. See Cory perform and hear him sing, and you’ll agree he was destined to be a country music star!
As one of the most dynamic and interesting new country music talents, Marquardt possesses a singing voice that is second to none, a songwriting talent as big as his size, and a swagger on stage of a seasoned rock star. These formidable qualities are also the reason why he has quickly amassed a support team of leading industry players, including Invictus Entertainment Group and Big Star recordings.
Like many North Bay, Ontario boys, Marquardt started playing hockey when he was just three years old. At age 10, he took a shine to the drums, and began playing along to Rush, Deep Purple, and Shania Twain records on a drum set he built out of paint cans in the basement. When he hit sixth grade, and was showing incredible promise on his paint cans, the investment was made to get Cory on a real drum kit. As time went by, his skills continued to develop on the drums and the rink. When it came time for Cory to choose a vocation, he decided to put his knowledge and in-flight experience to use at Royal Military College where he enrolled as a fighter pilot and played for the university hockey team. But fate would intervene.
One winter night in Kingston, Marquardt’s hockey teammates and college buddies went out for a couple of pints at a local bar, where a local musician was playing an acoustic show. One of Cory’s teammates knew that musician, and suggested he call Cory up at the end of one of his sets. He did, and a reluctant Cory Marquardt succumbed to the cheers of hockey players and airmen. He played songs by some of his musical heroes, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard and Zac Brown. The packed bar fell in love with him, and he with the stage. Cory had caught the bug.
With fresh enthusiasm, Marquardt decided to pursue the musical path with the same commitment and passion as all his other exploits. He began to write songs, put a band together, and perform wherever possible, developing a reputation for a crowd pleasing show. He has since made several trips to Nashville to complete his debut album “This Man” which was released in Canada May 26th, 2015 under the Big Star Recordings umbrella. His current single “Nowhere With You” is climbing the charts at Canadian country radio, which is the third single from his debut album “This Man”.
Steven Lee Olsen
Not long after having made the trek to Music City, Steven Lee Olsen signed a publishing deal with Roots Three Music/ole and began writing with hit makers such as Hillary Lindsey, Angelo, Luke Laird, Richie Supa, Gordie Sampson, Troy Verges, Chris Lindsey, Matthew Girrard, Carl Falk and Brian White. A world-class writer, Steven’s writing credits include Craig Morgan’s “Ordinary Angels,” The Judds “I Will Stand By You,” Emerson Drive’s “Let Your Love Speak” and Garth Brooks’ “Cold Like That.” Internationally, Steven Lee has made a name for himself as well, by writing extensively in Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany and Los Angeles garnering cuts by British sensation Westlife, Swedish Idol Kevin Borg and world renowned DJ Armin van Buuren and many more.
Signed to Sony Music Nashville in 2014, Steven Lee Olsen makes his intro into the USA country music scene with the release of his co-penned autobiographical anthem, “Raised by a Good Time,” available now. A natural performer, he was hand-picked early this year by Chris Young to open for his sold-out show at New York’s Best Buy Theater. As an artist, Steven Lee has already stirred up the Canadian Country Music scene with two top twenty hits on Canadian radio, as well as a nomination for a Canadian Radio Music Award for his single, “Now” and his single, “Make Hay While The Sun Shines,” which charted on Billboard as the #22 most played song on Canadian Country radio for the entire year.
January 29th, 2016 | Comments off
CCMA Rising Star nominee, MacKenzie Porter, captivates her audiences with powerful vocals, mesmerizing fiddle playing and a stage presence beyond her years! MacKenzie’s music career exploded when she won the Nashville North Star competition resulting in opening slots for Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts. But it was long before that on a cattle ranch in Southern Alberta where at the age of four she began studying violin, voice, piano and dance that her infectious energy and boundless talents became evident. The culmination of years of hard work, perseverance and dedication have resulted in MacKenzie recently receiving a CCMA nomination for her debut single, “I Wish I’d Known” and having her second single, “Never Gonna Let You”, which she co-wrote and co-produced, become her first top 10 radio hit.
This stunningly beautiful “rising star” not only sings, writes and plays four instruments but has a long list of credits as an accomplished actress including numerous feature films and television productions. MacKenzie has had 3 nominations in 2 provinces for “Best Actress”, winning the “Best Actress” award at the Alberta Film and Television Awards. She was also named “One of the Top 11 Talents to Watch” in British Columbia by BC Living and most recently co-starred with Aidan Quinn in the highly acclaimed CTV movie, “The Horses of McBride”.