Headlines and Footdots for 16 November 2016

Dallas Smith’s Autograph Inked at the Top


Dallas Smith’s hit single “Autograph” has hit #1 on the Country Airplay chart. It is the British Columbian’s second chart-topping song since “Wastin’ Gas” crowned country in January 2015. “Autograph” is the first #1 for a Canadian country artist since Brett Kissel’s “Airwaves” in September 2015. Dallas is the first Canadian Country artist to score multiple number one songs since Dean Brody picked up his second summit smasher in 2013.

C’est La Vingt


It is remarkable that Canadian soul singer Bobby Bazini has scored two platinum albums and four JUNO nominations without landing a hit single. Then again, that may be due his style not fitting into a radio climate ruled by EDM bangers, acoustic guitar ditties, warbled R&B, and ranting rap. As we have seen throughout the years, however, when an irresistibly delicious song comes out, the gate keepers succumb to its charms. Bobby Bazini’s “C’est La Vie”, not yet significantly airing on CHR radio, has made the Top 20 on AC and is threatening to on Hot AC. What is more eyebrow-raising is that it has vaulted itself up to #20 on iTunes. We will keep our eyes on its progress.

Red and Blue Angels


Artistic pop specialist Jane Siberry of Guelph, ON will be releasing new album Angels Bend Closer on Friday (November 18, 2016). Jane is best known for “One More Colour” a Top 40 hit in 1985. She was one of the artists who participated in the “Tears Are Not Enough”, Northern Lights project that same year.

Canadian EDM duo Adventure Club is set to release one of the slickest albums of 2016: Red // Blue. Due out on December 2, it will be the two-time JUNO nominee’s first full-length album. Adventure Club, from Montreal, scored Top 40 hit “Wonder” in 2014.

The Biebs’ Swiss Army Night


Justin Bieber will be performing at the American Music Awards, but not from Trumpland, rather from Schneider-Ammann territory. Yes, The Biebs will perform from his Purpose tour in Zurich, Switzerland, marking his sixth time performing at the AMAs. Two other Canadians will be performing at the gala on Sunday (November 20, 2016), namely Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd. Maple leaf artists are nominated for 23+ awards at the fan-voted show.

In a recent interview, Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun was asked what he anticipates for Justin with respect to the Grammy Awards. Scooter made the following reply:

My point of view on Justin’s album is very simple: It deserves all the accolades, and the reason is as follows: He was hated. There’s not a voter out there who was voting for Justin Bieber. Adele is phenomenal, but we all love Adele. Her latest album had 900k pre-orders before we even heard a song. It’s sacrilegious to say anything bad about Beyoncé; we love her. People didn’t love Justin Bieber. They trashed-talked him, despised him. Big executives who are supposed to be on his team told me his career was over. And his album changed all that, to the point where he’s had more number ones on his album than any of the other people we’re talking about, and sold more copies than anyone ever dreamed this album would do.

I think that when we’re judging on the Grammys, we’re supposed to judge based on the music. If we do, this album is undeniable because it made us love Justin Bieber again—a feat that everyone thought was impossible. People told me it’s impossible to make a teenage act that’s hated become an adult. Justin Bieber is at the height of his career; he’s bigger than he was before, based on Purpose, and I hope that people recognize that, put their feelings about him aside and judge him based on the music. I think everyone can agree this was a great album and it deserves the appreciation.

Erin Bryanvich


Bryan Adams bumped into Hollywood actress Julia Roberts on Monday (November 14, 2016) at the memorial for director Garry Marshall held in Los Angeles, USA. He shared this photo.

Ruth B Is In My Dreams


Alessia Cara may be the only female Canadian soloist receiving significant radio support these days, but Ruth B is attempting to squash the tokenism. Ruth who hails from the northern metropolis of Edmonton launched her career via the Shawn Mendes route of now defunct video platform Vine. Her 2015 single “Lost Boy” became a hit both domestically and internationally, now certified in Canada at triple platinum. She is following up with “In My Dreams” which heralds her debut full-length album. The track was produced by Joel Little who has worked with Ellie Goulding, Lorde, and Sam Smith. The song was featured in an episode of hit ABC series Once Upon a Time. We embed the lyric video below which in five days is well over 100k views.


Dallas Smith Explores Side Effects

Dallas Smith - side effects

On his third solo album as a country artist, Langley, BC’s Dallas Smith is gunning for breakout success in the United States. At home, he has done well: a platinum single (“Tippin’ Point”), a #1 song at country radio (“Wastin’ Gas”), and a JUNO award (country album of the year, Lifted). Dallas first charmed us as lead singer of rock band Default which saw international success, particularly with song “Wasting My Time”. His new solo album Side Effects was preceded by delightful singles “Kids with Cars” and “One Little Kiss”. The disc immediately vaulted to the top of the iTunes Canada albums chart upon release. Side Effects was overseen by gifted Yukon record producer Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line, Nickelback, My Darkest Days, Jake Owen), the tracks being penned by no less than 17 of Nashville’s finest talents. The album made the Top 40 on the U.S. iTunes country chart.

Besides the first two singles, highlights include the following. As progressive country is rising in popularity, Side Effects opens with “Only One You” that comes with exciting instrumentation. Title-track “Side Effects” is a barn-thumping standout. “Autograph”, the current single, is a beautiful atmospheric track nicely sung. We get a nice slow burner with “50/50” and vigorous mover with “Sleepin’ Around”. Catch Dallas on his cross-Canada tour starting September 10, playing some dates with Keith Urban and Maren Morris.  iTunes

New Canadian Releases 2 September 2016

collage copy

Saskatchewan artists are a big part of the party this week, as Ontarians take a rest. We begin with the expectedly marvellous Effets spéciaux from Montreal’s Avec pas d’casque. Beyond its debut in the iTunes Top 10 and what is destined to become a classic album cover, this sixth entry in the quartet’s repertoire is a beautiful work of art, essentially country but mixing in some folk and alternative with a strong attention to detail.

Saskatoon’s Ross Neilsen crafts some excellent blues-rock on delicious album Elemental, as he tells tales of chesterfield surfing and black coffee. Alaclair Ensemble from Montreal gives us some good quality hip hop with psychedelic elements; the new album Les frères cueilleurs is a bilingual effort that has charmed staff at iTunes and is deservedly selling well. Critically respected Patrick Watson is back. This time around, he has created a soundtrack for the film The 9th Life of Louis Drax which concerns a neurologist exploring a boy’s unconscious mind.

It is hard to believe that Dallas Smith‘s Side Effects is only his third studio album as a country soloist. The former frontman of successful rock band Default is now one of the leading gents of Canadian country. With both a CCMA award and a JUNO bolstering his rep, the new album from the British Columbian debuted at the top of iTunes and is also making some splashes south of the border. Montreal duo Les Deuxluxes join the aforementioned Ross Neilsen with bluesy rock on album Springtime Devil. This one has more of a smoky, barstool 60s vibe to it and is just superb. Wrapping up the LPs is Regina’s Snake River who presents some dazzling atmospheric rock on disc Sun Will Rise.

EPs worth mentioning are the aptly titled Ep from Ada Lea, a richly creative brew of alternative music. Also fab is Sorry Eyes by Aliocha, half of the tracks being alt-rock and half more on the singer-songwriter side. Both artists are from Quebec.

The Four Kings of Country Airplay

There are the sizzling female soloists and the delicious groups and duos, but from 2013 through to 2015, it is four Canadian male soloists who have scored #1 hits on Billboard country airplay. Other artists have succeeded in different ways (awards, gold platinum certifications, etc.), but in this post, we take a look at the four Canadian kings of country airplay and review the songs that climbed to the very top. They are Gord Bamford, Dean Brody, Dallas Smith, and Brett Kissel via “When Your Lips Are So Close”, “Bounty” (with Lindi Ortega), “Wastin’ Gas”, and “Airwaves” respectively.


Gord Bamford m

Origin:  Lacombe, Alberta
Formal Debut:  2001
Certification Level:  Platinum
Studio Albums to Date:  7
Hot 100 Songs:  14
JUNO Awards:  3 nominations
CCMA Awards:  15
Interesting Fact:  Gord was born in Australia but emigrated to Canada when he was 5.
#1 Single:  “When Your Lips Are So Close”


dean brody m

Origin:  Jaffray, British Columbia
Formal Debut:  2008
Certification Level:  Platinum
Studio Albums to Date:  5
Hot 100 Songs:  19
JUNO Awards:  1
CCMA Awards:  9
Interesting Fact:  Originally from BC, Dean now lives in Chester, Nova Scotia.
#1 Single:  “Bounty” (featuring Lindi Ortega)


dallas smith m

Origin:  Langley, British Columbia
Formal Debut:  2011
Certification Level:  Platinum
Studio Albums to Date:  2
Hot 100 Songs:  11
JUNO Awards:  1
CCMA Awards:  1
Interesting Fact:  Dallas used to be lead singer of rock band Default.
#1 Single:  “Wastin’ Gas”


brett kissel m

Origin:  Flat Lake, Alberta
Formal Debut:  2013
Certification Level:  Gold
Studio Albums to Date (major label):  2
Hot 100 Songs:  6
JUNO Awards:  1
CCMA Awards:  3
Interesting Fact:  Brett keeps a king of diamonds beneath his cowboy hat.
#1 Single:  “Airwaves”

Headlines for Late May 2015


Carly Rae Jepsen and Mia Martina Performing at the MMVAs

Much Music has confirmed that Carly Rae Jepsen, Mia Martina, and newcomer Scott Helman will be performing at this year’s MMVAs. They will be joining fellow Canadian performers The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes as well as international stars Tori Kelly, Fall Out Boy, Ed Sheeran, Jason Derulo, and Nick Jonas! It’s going to be one heck of a party! Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” is enjoying its fourth week in the UK’s Top 10, peaking at #3. Mia Martina recently hinted that she may be releasing a Franco album. We’ll certainly take it!


Marianas Trench Emerging From the Depths

The multiplatinum and JUNO winning Trench lads are working on their new album Astoria due out later this year. To thank fans for their patience, the Vancouver band has released a new 4-track digital EP called Something Old / Something New. It contains the latest two singles “Pop 101” and “Here’s To the Zeros” plus two previously unreleased punky tracks recorded prior to the group’s debut album. These four tracks will not be included on Astoria.


Let Your Compositions Slide

Canada’s founding father of rap, Maestro Fresh Wes has released a new mini album entitled Compositions, Vol. 1. A number of guest rappers and singers appear on the album including JD Era, JRDN, King Reign, Rezza Bros., Rich Kidd, and Scott Jackson.


Dallas Smith Launches Steelhead

This news is a bit old but country-rock superstar Dallas Smith is flexing his business skills by launching new record label Steelhead. Dallas’ management team includes Alex Seif (Union Entertainment Group) and Scott Cooke (Producer). Steelhead did a noble thing by signing a Manitoba artist first, sibling duo Petric.

stef lang

Stef Lang and Anjunabeats

Vancouver Island bred indie star Stef Lang is featured in track “All These Wounds” on Ilan Bluestone’s Anjunabeats Worldwide 05, a British trance outfit. Stef is currently working on her own new music expected out later this year.

simon proulx

Simon Says Go Anglo

Simon Proulx of platinum, JUNO-nominated Franco band Les Trois Accords will be releasing a solo Anglo album under the moniker Simon I (as in Simon the first). The album is expected out June 2 and is heralded by single “Automatic”.

serena ryder

Serena Pan

Serena Ryder has released a new single via the CBC to serve as the theme for the Toronto Pan Am Games this year. It is called “Together We Are One” and is available on iTunes.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Country Album of the Year Nominees

Country Album Nominees copy

Eyes galore will be fixed on this category in March. Dallas Smith is enjoying strong momentum. He is the first domestic male soloist during the BDS era to see a song of his (“Wastin’ Gas”) spend multiple weeks at number one on the country charts. “Tippin’ Point”, also from album Lifted, made the Hot 100 top 40 and achieved platinum sales. The BC boy hasn’t scored a JUNO as a soloist yet but did as lead singer for now defunct band Default. Dallas may well take the award.

The JUNOs, however, might decide to provide some balance in a country radio climate that has been heavily slanted towards the men as of late. Jess Moskaluke has a bright shot at winning the award. She is the reigning CCMA female artist of the year, and her album Light Up the Night is remarkably good. Opener “Good Lovin'” was the song that rocketed her from obscurity, one of the best songs of the year in any genre. “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes” became the first gold single from a Canadian female since Shania Twain’s “Party For Two” in 2004. “Used” and “Night We Won’t Forget” follow as hit single releases. Jess leads the pack in terms of social network followers. She has 84,000 Facebook likes. We also want to see Saskatchewan in the game, and Jess is the one of the province’s brightest stars.

Ottawa’s Kira Isabella is perhaps the media favourite thanks to her stunning single “Quarterback”. She has more of a foothold in the limelight. She comes highly decorated with both CCMA and CRMA trophies on her shelf and has enjoyed four Hot 100 charting singles. Caffeine and Big Dreams is the followup to her acclaimed debut. The JUNOs may feel it is time to reward her for her tremendous efforts, ability to generate buzz, and burnishing star power.

In terms of a multi-talent, we needn’t look any further than MacKenzie Porter. The wild rose country sweetheart is an actress, singer, songwriter, and musician. She is a Billboard Hot 100 charting artist and her aura bursts at the seams with charm. MacKenzie’s self-titled album is spellbinding and includes hit singles “Never Gonna Let You” and the gorgeous “If You Ask Me To”.

Trucker country outfit The Road Hammers made a significant comeback last year. The group won a JUNO for its debut, platinum album back in 2006, announced a hiatus in 2010, but reformed and released album Wheels last year spawning the gold single, “Mud”. With the only previous JUNO win and platinum achievement for a previous album among the bunch, the band has credibility on its side, and this may be enough to attract the most votes.

For this JUNO category, there are no sales qualifications. Submissions are adjudicated in two rounds of voting. Judge votes determine the five nominees who will then appear on the online voting site sent out to all CARAS Academy Delegates whose votes will determine the winner.

The 2015 JUNO Country Album of the Year Award recipient will be announced in mid-March.

Wastin’ Gas MV by Dallas Smith

dallas smith - wastin gasCountry rock superstar Dallas Smith recently landed his 9th song on the Billboard Hot 100, “Wastin’ Gas” to lead us into his second solo album, Lifted. Dallas’ most successful single to date was the platinum certified “Tippin’ Point” which made the Top 40, peaking at #36, a rare feat for a country song. “Wastin’ Gas” almost did the same vaulting up to #41. Dallas has released a music video for the latter showcasing his fondness for vintage jalopies especially those covered with fallen leaves occupied by young couples who’ve fallen in love.  iTunes

Get Lifted By Dallas Smith

Dallas Smith - LiftedLangley, BC’s Dallas Smith has released his second LP Lifted which contains all tracks on earlier EP Tippin’ Point (save the live acoustic version of “Jumped Right In”) plus six more. As a single, “Tippin’ Point” was certified platinum by Music Canada. Previously fronting rock band Default, Dallas made the switch to country as a soloist in 2011 and has since then charted nine songs on the Hot 100. His debut album received a JUNO nomination. Lifted’s release was preceded by current hit single “Wastin’ Gas” which debuted just outside the Top 40. The album’s stylish brand of country rock packs a wallop of riveting energy with fiery guitar solos fit for euphoric party crowds. Saddle up with Lifted and enjoy the rocky ride.  iTunes

Today, Dallas Smith, along with Montreal jazz pop sensation Nikki Yanofsky, kick off the 102nd Grey Cup at Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium.

Selected New Releases 25 November 2014

25 Nov 2014 Albums Collage copy

Platinum country-rocker Dallas Smith releases his second studio album, Lifted. Gold-certified Dumas launches his latest, a self-titled LP. Barenaked Ladies’ keyboardist Kevin Hearn contributes Days In Frames. Album X celebrates 10 years in music from rock band Jonas & The Massive Attraction. In The Hardest Part Is You May Never Know, Paul Cargnello continues his adeptness at mashing up punk rock, reggae, blues and folk. Noem is a five-piece alternative / electronic rock band from Sherbrooke and turns out fine new album Le grand Mensonge. Snowday, a new chillout electronica outfit based in Toronto with members from Ottawa, gives us the exquisite debut, As We Travel. Rap lovers can enjoy new album Sale sud by Saye.

Cristóbal Cortes, operating under the name Das Mörtal, fires off his third 2014 EP, Never Forgotten. He does instrumental electronica on the darker side fit for horror movie soundtracks (which he has done). Molitor is a progressive pop/rock male soloist from Niagara Falls and #lonelypeople_Music is his second EP.

As we get into the busiest retail season of the year, greatest hit packages, holiday albums, and reissues hit the shops. We have previously featured Bryan Adams’ Reckless deluxe reissue and Garou‘s Xmas Blues. Kingston’s Headstones release a fan-selected greatest hits performed on acoustic instruments. EDM wizard deadmau5 celebrates five years with a greatest hits double album which contains remixes and extended versions of his most popular tracks. Finally comes a greatest hits from Jacksoul, a successful Toronto R&B band whose lead singer passed away from cancer in 2009.

Shawn Mendes to Join Taylor Swift on Tour and Other News

Taylor Swift TourOur new, bright, young star from Toronto, Shawn Mendes, will be joining Taylor Swift on her North American stadium tour. Hold your horses, though. The tour kicks off in May 2015. Something more immediate is that Shawn will be following up his gold, Top 10 hit “Life of the Party” and debut EP with new single “Something Big” November 10. He already has over 2 million Twitter followers. In other news, Vancouver country superstar Dallas Smith hit #6 on iTunes recently with new single “Wastin’ Gas”. He will be releasing a new LP November 24 entitled Lifted. It will include five songs from his Tippin’ Point EP plus six new ones. Bobby Bazini’s Where I Belong has been certified platinum by Music Canada. It is the second 2014 Canadian album to achieve this, after Serge Fiori’s self-titled ripper. Platinum artist Lisa LeBlanc will be releasing English crossover album this week, Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted.

Gold/Platinum Certifications June – July 2014

Certifications from 2014 -  06 - 11

For both albums and digital singles released from May 1, 2008 onwards, definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold, Platinum = 80,000 units sold, Double Platinum = 160,000 units, Triple Platinum = 240,000 units, etc.

Dallas Smith Turns Up the Horse Power on New EP

Dallas Smith - Tippin Point EPBritish Columbia’s Dallas Smith has worked his way into Canada’s country music elite. He has scored six charting singles, and two of them have been certified gold by Music Canada. Smith’s 2012 album Jumped Right In received a JUNO nomination. His latest hit single “Tippin’ Point” has made the Top 40 of the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 which is an extremely difficult feat for a country track. To celebrate its success, Dallas, via 604 Records, has just released a brand new EP named after the song. Giving “Tippin’ Point” some company are four brand new selections plus a live acoustic version of “Jumped Right In”. This week, the EP made the iTunes Top 10 Albums chart and is also selling well in the United States. Two things stand out. First is its energy. It packs such a rousing wallop we wouldn’t be surprised if it brought Egyptian mummies to life. Second is the dazzling guitar work with lots of cool solos. We are very impressed with this little gem. Highly recommended.  iTunes

Gold/Platinum Certifications 2013-2014

Here are the latest certifications from Music Canada. Congratulations to the artists and a big thank you to Canadians for continuing to support them by buying their music. To date, five 2013 Christmas albums have received gold/platinum certifications, the latest being Gord Bamford’s Christmas in Canada (platinum), Maxime Landry’s Noël Blanc (gold), and Paul Daraïche’s Ces Noëls d’autrefois (gold). The other two recently certified are Johnny Reid’s A Christmas Gift to You (platinum) and Noël à deux by Janvier & Breau (gold). Two Canadian country singles have struck gold: Dallas Smith’s “Tippin’ Point” and Gord Bamford’s “When Your Lips Are So Close”.  “3 Foot Tall” by rapper Classified has made platinum.

2013 - 12 - 13


For both albums and digital singles, current definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold. Platinum = 80,000, 2x Platinum = 160,000, 3x Platinum = 240,000, 4x Platinum = 320,000, etc.