You may have seen this on TV and thought ‘who is that badass singer’? Well, it’s our very own Jon Epworth! Thanks to our friends Steve and the team at SOHO Music Group in London and for making this happen! Not only did Jon lend his vocal, but he composed and mixed this track before work one morning. That’s a very Jon Epworth thing to do.
This has been airing in Europe since April or so. Since November it’s come to North America. So, now… it’s evvvvvvverywhere! Go team, go!
As I mentioned below (in the Ben Caplan post), I was most impressed by the violin player in his band, and it only took 30 seconds into the first track on this record by Donald MacLennan before I was completely sold. I hunted him down, set up a meeting while at ECMAs in Sydney, and I can now announce that he is now part of the RHR family!
I was thinking about how to describe this album and I decided that the write up on his site was too perfect to mess with, so I’m going to post that instead. “Riding the line between genius and madness.” – Can’t say it any better than that!
Chaotic, crisp, and riding the line between genius and madness. Antigonish-based musician Donald MacLennan’s anticipated debut solo album, Belleville, is a brilliant weave of sonic textures and arrangements rooted in the style of the formidable French guitarist Django Reinhardt. A modern twist to the traditional gypsy jazz approach, MacLennan blends both manouche and jazz standards with original compositions, showcasing his arrangements and improvisation with a laissez-faire not often anticipated in a debut record.
So – yeah – all that, PLUS a cover of “I Will Always Love You”. #WinHere it all here! https://donaldviolin.bandcamp.com/releases
I met Dylan Menzie in person about a week ago in Charlottetown, PEI. It was the day that he released his new album, Adolescent Nature. I, along with some other delegates, were at a songwriter challenge listening session. Dylan came up to present one of his songs, and admitted that he had written (along with singer songwriter KASHKA), and recorded it in only 2 hours. He played it in that listening room and then performed it in a theatre later that night, and each time, it hit me in the face. Like, it ‘got to me’. This dude’s voice is something else. Team members Steve and Emma also agreed. Then I set out on a mission to nab him before anyone else did. Success! We got Dylan Menzie, and we couldn’t he happier.
While he often draws comparisons to Atlantic Canada’s own Joel Plaskett (which I understand), and Ron Sexsmith, this guy also has written some tracks here that Paul Simon would be proud to call his own. His music is both very honest and very catchy (which is another way he reminds me of Simon). He’s already won over a large Canadian audience by landing in the top 4 of Canada’s CBC Searchlight Song Competition. Rich Terfry (aka Buck 65) calls his song ‘Kenya’, “completely irresistible” and tells of how one of the Song Competition judges “said that it seems as though this song was pulled from the future pages of the Canadian song book, which I think is a great compliment.”
Anyway – I could go on forever, but I’ll let you see for yourself. Instead of posting a track and a video, I’m just posting this video so you can see his live vocal chops for yourself. This kid’s got something real special. Agreed?
Ben Caplan has a big voice, a big presence, a big vision, a big kick ass band**, and a big beard. We are so pleased to have him and all of the above as our newest signing to the RHR roster.
Another east coaster, Ben has been in the biz for quite some time. Honestly, we’ve also been watching him for quite some time. His music is a little outside of the box for sync (usually garnering big comparisons to Tom Waits), but sometimes that is exactly what is needed. Nobody puts Bennie in a corner!
Here are a few tunes from his new album, Birds With Broken Wings (MORE HERE), and below that – an excellent vid of he and Old Man Leudecke covering “Uptown Funk”. Welcome, Ben Caplan!
**this ‘big kick ass band is so great live that we’re also working on signing his fiddle player!
Folky singer-songwriter Graham Ereaux can make you dance and cry. He can do it all within 11 songs. He is the one man band that is called Devarrow, and he is Rocking Horse Road Sync’s newest signing!
While he is an east coaster, this album was written on the west coast, in British Columbia. As a result, The Great Escape seems to be able to marry the vibes of each coast in to one beautiful alt-folk album.
Influences are not hard to miss here. Patrick Watson and Bon Iver come to mind, but it’s clear that Devarrow has his own point of view.
The live show is really something to see as well. As a one man band, Ereaux delivers his tracks with an intensity that some full bands can’t even deliver. With eyes on him this year at East Coast Music Week and Canadian Music Week, it won’t be long until you are hearing a WHOLE lot more about this guy!
Check this out! Live at The Company House. Make sure to watch to the end!
OH MAN, we’ve been wanting to talk about this for a little while now…
With the help of our UK representative, Steve Calder, Rocking Horse Road has landed its first true GLOBAL ad campaign with Philips! #RHRartist Jon Epworth covers The Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” in a way that only Epworth can. We asked if he’d be willing to send a demo ahead, and Jon went in to the studio for a few hours where he played and recorded every instrument, sang and recorded all backup and main vocal parts, mixed the track and delivered it with a “what do you think of this?”.
We, like the good people at Philips, thought ‘*&%& yeah. That’s the one.”! The campaign is rolling out now worldwide, outside of North America. It will come to our North American stations later this year.
Schrotten, the German film that premiers in that country next Friday (and has already won some awards and accolades on the film fest circuit) has released its official trailer. The trailer features two Nova Scotian artists, including our very own Kim Harris, with her track “In The Woods”. The song also appears in the film, along with our Roxy and the Underground Soul Sound’s “Mistakes”. The soundtrack will be released in May as well. So, heads up Germany! Nova Scotia is coming to your ears with the release of Schrotten!
Before his passing, Wes Craven executive produced one last film called The Girl In The Photographs (directed by Nick Simon), which features FIVE of our artists! The film hits theatres and VOD in America today.
Forbes calls the film “A brutal, well crafted thriller”, and the movie poster boasts that the film would make Wes Craven proud.
We’re really happy to have been even a small part of this project. Check out the trailer and list of Rocking Horse Road artists’ songs that are placed in this film, below! – JB
RHR Artist Tracks featured in The Girl In The Photographs:
Contrived | Angels Rioting Against Nothing Heather Green | The Day I Was Born No Bodies | I’ve Waited Such A Long Time Michael Feuerstack | The Devil John Jerome & The Congregation | Oh Lord!
AA Wallace’s new release, In Alpha Zones, is getting some nice praise from Canadian press! See below for the new video, “Shake It Out” and some of Exclaim! and NOW Toronto’s nice words. Supes – this is coming to your inbox later today! Release date is tomorrow, March 11th (Culvert).
Listening to In Alpha Zones, the latest release from Nova Scotia ex-pat AA Wallace, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the sort of teen coming-of-age dramedies that John Hughes excelled at. Wallace brings that same sort of mixed emotion to his music that is at the same time fun and upbeat, but tempered by an air of cynicism, like dancing to get over an ex, except that the ex just so happens to be life in general. Take the track “SUCCESS,” a song filled with groovy bass riffs, playful synth tones and even a soul-clap breakdown, despite Wallace nearly hissing overtop. It’s these contrasts that really push In Alpha Zones to the next level. – Exclaim! (8/10)
…there are plenty of hooks and catchy choruses to hang on to here. There are elements of bands like The Rentals and Eels, but with more nostalgia, presented with funk beats or ’80s synth sounds. – NOW
I just wanted to take a minute to introduce you to our little RHR team. Until recently, I’ve run the company completely on my own with help from my lifeline Alanna Swinemar when I felt myself becoming overwhelmed, or if I was away. Now we’ve grown to include TWO new people. This is big news! Please say hi to Steve and Emma!
Emma Cassidy – Music Supervisor in Training. Emma is a Music Business student who is with us for her work term. We have started her early, so she’s now learning the ropes and helping with sync projects, research and some writing for our upcoming production music library. During her time with us, Emma will learn about supervision from the sync side – we’ll introduce her to briefs, metadata, master and publishing clearance, etc. Happy to have her!
Steve Calder – Music Library Manager. Steve is a talker, but I don’t always know what he’s saying through his thick accent. He is from Newcastle in the UK, where he also works in sync with UK publisher Wipeout Music. Steve is now responsible for setting up the production music library, securing new business, hiring composers / artists, curating playlists and much more. You will likely see Steve out on the road as RHR’s rep at conferences and festivals. Ask him to buy you a beer. Contact Steve with any of your library questions: library[at]rockinghorseroad.ca