Blog en-us (C) [email protected] ( Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:38:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:38:00 GMT Blog 91 120 JADE EAGLESON - COUNTRY SINGER - CCMA RISING STAR ARTICLE/PHOTOS BY BARBARA BRANDER

Jade Eagleson recently won the 'Canadian Country Music Award for Rising Star' in Calgary, Alberta.  With a powerful stage presence and deep resonating voice, the future is shining bright.  I had a wonderful conversation in learning a little bit more from this genuine, highly-talented and hard working singer. 

Jade EaglesonJade Eagleson

Where are you from Jade?

Jade: I'm from a town called Millbrook, Ontario.

Farm town, family?

Jade: Yes, I have one brother and two sisters, so it was hectic growing up around the house, but it was more-so with extended cousins and all the other folks 

coming into the family house, and it keeps it a full house, but it's always nice. 

Lots of music?

Jade: Yes, my mom, to this day, is still a musician. I took a lot of influence from her and my grandfather on my dad's side who used to play guitar and sing.  I took a lot of influence from him as well.  It was on both sides, and some of my uncles play and stuff as well. 

When did you first feel you could make a career in music?

Jade: It wasn't for awhile you know, because I was raised with 'You got to work with your hands and get your hands dirty to make clean money'.  I was kind of raised that way and eventually I was like you know what? I want to follow my passions and at least give it a shot. I was about nineteen or twenty when I moved back home from working in plumbing, and took a crack at country music and realized it's my true passion.

You write as well?

Jade: Yes.

What propels you to write a song? 

Jade:  It's very interesting, because you can come up with your own idea, but if that's a subject that personally relates to you, it's not necessarily always going to work in the 'writing room'.  So that's one of those songs where you are going to sit down and write yourself, and then if you need help, you call in the 'big guns' to help finish it. When you go into a large writing room, there's tons of brilliant minds and tons of incredibly intelligent people that come with hooks or you might have a hook, and you build ideas off that.

Does the process come easy?

Jade:  If you write something in like three hours and it's good, you might be shocked. It could be eight hours or longer, once you've gone through every variable, and you've spent that much time with it, you know it's going to be decent.

Music first or lyrics?

Jade:  It's always different, you might have a hook, or sometimes lay in a guitar riff, and you write over that riff.

Jade EaglesonJade Eagleson

Musicians you admire?

Jade:  I've always been a huge fan of Canadian artists. Paul Brandt for one,  Jason McCoy, but my favourite of all time is Shania Twain  for sure. 


Jade: (big smile)

I'm a huge Shania Twain fan!

Jade: Oh man! I could talk about her all day!

I grew up listening to Shania Twain and she is one of my favourites. 

Jade: She is incredible!

She is incredible. I think she... I could go on,  now the interview is about me!

Jade: (laughs)

I find she opened up a whole new avenue for country music.

Jade:  She totally did! A lot of people frowned on her for going pop, but realistically every single one of her songs has a fiddle in it or steel guitar, or something super traditional and true to country music and you don't get a lot of that these days. 

You really don't.

Jade:  Shania took country music and put a shot of steroids in it. She is the Queen.

Would you ever like to do a song with her?

Jade:  I would be super honoured to be able to do that.

I think you should and you both would sound awesome together!

Jade EaglesonJade EaglesonCanadian Country Music Awards Week

When you get some days off, what do you like to do?

Jade:  When I do get days off, music is a passion and it's work, so you can kind of conflict the two.  I like to sit and pull out my telecaster and go over some riffs, go over some solos or I might write, but my favourite thing to do is hang out with my fiancé,

Congratulations by the way!

Jade: Thank you!

Jade EaglesonJade Eagleson

Five quick questions:

Movie you enjoy?

Jade:  I'm a huge fan of Lord of the Rings!  Hands down my favourite series.  Close second would probably be Braveheart.

TV show?

Jade: The Andy Griffith Show.

Song you love?

Jade:  Got to go back to Shania Twain.  'Any Man of Mine'  has got to be my favourite song of all time, so I'll just continue with that for the rest of my days.

Favourite food? 

Jade:  My favourite food is chicken or steak.


Jade:  Definitely summer.​​​​​​ 

Future projects?

Jade: We finished three new songs, so we are just waiting for those to be mixed and mastered and flipping them on the radio. 

Jade EaglesonJade Eagleson


 For more information and artist updates: 


CCMA 2019

*The CCMA AWARDS 2019, September 8th were held in CALGARY ALBERTA at the Scotiabank Saddledome 






[email protected] ( Barbara Brander Calgary Canadian Country Music Association CCMA Country Music Interview Jade Eagleson Music Music Photography Shania Twain Sun, 29 Sep 2019 17:50:00 GMT
Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson - Photo Highlights - Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame ARTICLE/PHOTOS by BARBARA BRANDER

September 5, 2019 was a very special day for Country Music Legends, Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson. Coinciding with the CCMA Awards weekend in Calgary, it was a ceremony celebrating their induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at Studio Bell.  Honouring their strong songwriting skills and distinguished musical careers.  Studio Bell is the home of the National Music Centre.  

Photo Highlights below. Ian & Sylvia TysonIan & Sylvia TysonCanadian Music Hall of Fame 2019 Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson - Studio Bell, Calgary Alberta
                                                                                                                                                                                                Sylvia TysonSylvia TysonCanadian Music of Hall of Fame 2019 CSHF Executive Director Vanesa Thomas, Sylvia Tyson and National Music Centre President & CEO Andrew Mosker

Sylvia TysonSylvia TysonCanadian Music Hall of Fame 2019 Guitarist Danny Greenspoon, Sylvia Tyson and Vanessa Thomas

Sylvia TysonSylvia TysonCanadian Music Hall of Fame 2019 Sylvia TysonSylvia Tyson Sylvia TysonSylvia Tyson Sylvia TysonSylvia Tyson

Sylvia Tyson performance

Ian Tyson InductionIan Tyson Induction Producer and friend  Fred Voss presentation to Ian Tyson

Ian TysonIan Tyson Ian Tyson

Ian TysonIan Tyson Vanessa Thomas, Ian Tyson and Andrew Mosker

Ian TysonIan Tyson Ian TysonIan Tyson Ian TysonIan Tyson Ian Tyson Performance

Ian TysonIan Tyson

Corb Lund & Ian TysonCorb Lund & Ian TysonIan & Sylvia Tyson - Canadian Hall of Fame 2019 Corb Lund and Ian Tyson

Ian TysonIan Tyson

The release of Ian and Sylvia 'The Lost Tapes' from Stony Plain Records debuted September 6, 2019. A composition of newly discovered music as well as versions of their classic songs never before heard. 


*For more information:  Studio Bell
National Music Centre - Calgary Alberta, Canada







[email protected] ( barbara brander Calgary Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Ian and Sylvia Tyson Ian Tyson Induction Music National Music Centre Photography Studio Bell Sylvia Tyson YYC Tue, 17 Sep 2019 03:02:12 GMT

Venturing out on a very cold night to see The Arkells at the Scotiabank Saddledome, my first thoughts were random and ridiculous. Why does one even leave the house in a polar vortex? You just do, when you know it's going to be a positive, highly energetic performance from this highly talented band. Originating from Hamilton Ontario, the band's name is in honour of where they honed their craft, Arkell Street.  

The evening quickly warmed up with opener Lord Huron, an indie/folk band based in Los Angeles and founded by lead vocalist Ben Schneider. The band's name was influenced from Ben's time spent at Lake Huron playing music around the campfire. Their sound is a warm, blending of vocals/instruments that are intoxicating, moody and mesmerizing, for example 'When The Night Is Over' from their 2018 release Vide Noir. Highly recommend seeing this band and/or checking out their songs. 

Lord HuronLord Huron Lord Huron lead singer - Ben Schneider

Lord HuronLord HuronBen Schneider Lord Huron lead singer - Ben Schneider

The Arkells Rally Cry Tour is just what the frozen city of Calgary needed. Frontman/lead singer Max Kerman energized the Scotiabank Saddledome, utilizing a catwalk, as well as appearing on the opposite side of the arena, greeting fans and venturing through the crowd. Not feeling like going to work the next day? Max was handing out fictitious doctor notes to cover your possible next-day work absence. Gotta love that! The pace was non-stop and energizing throughout. This band is very personable and charismatic and knows hard work. From much smaller venues to the big city arenas of today, their well-deserved success is credited to their musical talents, drive and fanbase who are supportive and appreciate their dedication. 



ArkellsArkellsRally Cry Tour Arkells lead singer Max Kerman

Arkells - Max KermanArkells - Max KermanRally Cry Tour

Arkells - Max Kerman Arkells Rally Cry Tour ArkellsArkellsRally Cry Tour Arkells Rally Cry Tour ArkellsArkellsRally Cry Tour Arkells Rally Cry Tour
ArkellsArkellsRally Cry Tour
Arkells Rally Cry Tour

ArkellsArkellsRally Cry Tour Arkells Rally Cry Tour

Arkells - Max KermanArkells - Max KermanRally Cry Tour Arkells Rally Cry Tour

The concert covered the hits and songs from their latest release 'Rally Cry' which debuted October 2018. 

Leather Jacket
Michigan Left
Never Thought That This Would Happen
Show Me Don’t Tell Me
No Champagne Socialist / Oh, the Boss Is Coming!
Eyes on the Prize
American Screams
People’s Champ
Kiss Cam
Only for a Moment
Come to Light
And Then Some
I’m Not the Sun
Saturday Night
Knocking at the Door
Private School
Hand Me Downs

Dancing Queen (ABBA cover)
My Heart’s Always Yours



*For information and tickets go to  ARKELLS MUSIC 

*For information and tickets go to  LORD HURON














[email protected] ( Alternative Arkells barbara brander Canada Concert Concert Photography Events Indie Lord Huron Music Photography Rock YYC Tue, 12 Feb 2019 00:53:42 GMT

The Calgary Folk Music Festival is kicking off in full gear for another summer of music greatness at Prince's Island Park. The Festival continues to be a favourite event for locals and tourists alike. This year brings out a diverse list of 70 artists from 13 countries, with 8 stages all within close walking proximity.  Opening night opened with a brief rainstorm, but that didn't stop the hardy festival goers who were well-prepared. The sun came out and turned into a beautiful evening. Some first night photo highlights.

PassengerPassengerCalgary Folk Music Festival 2018

Passenger on Main Stage

Chad VangaalenChad VangaalenCalgary Folk Music Festival 2018

Calgary's Local - Chad VanGaalen

Chad VangaalenChad VangaalenCalgary Folk Music Festival 2018

Chad VanGaalen

AlvvaysAlvvaysCalgary Folk Music Festival 2018 Alvvays - Molly Rankin on Main Stage

AlvvaysAlvvaysCalgary Folk Music Festival 2018 Alvvays

AlvvaysAlvvaysCalgary Folk Music Festival 2018 Alvvays



CALGARY FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL 2018 - July 26-29, 2018

Prince's Island Park - Calgary, Alberta Canada

*For performances, schedules and information, go to  CALGARY FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL



[email protected] ( Alberta barbara brander Calgary Calgary Folk Music Festival Canada CFMF 2018 Concerts Country Music Festival Folk Folk Music Lee Ann Womack Mariel Buckley Music Music Festival Passenger Photography YYC Fri, 27 Jul 2018 06:05:46 GMT
Calgary Stampede 2018 - Coca-Cola Stage - Billy Talent & The Static Shift - Photo Highlights ARTICLE/PHOTOS BY BARBARA BRANDER

The Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede 2018 brought some pretty amazing music performances.  The crowds were mega and the weather throughout the 10 days was 'pitch perfect' except for a windstorm that delayed singer Lights only momentarily.  There is something for everyone, no matter what style of music one likes. The last day closed with headliner Billy Talent and opener The Static Shift.

Billy TalentBilly TalentCalgary Stampede 2018 Super-charged headliner Billy Talent, ending the 10-day event. 

Billy Talent - Guitarist Ian D'SaBilly Talent - Guitarist Ian D'SaCalgary Stampede 2018 Billy Talent - Guitarist Ian D'Sa

Billy TalentBilly TalentCalgary Stampede 2018 Billy Talent - Lead singer Benjamin Kowalewicz

Billy Talent - Jon GallantBilly Talent - Jon GallantCalgary Stampede 2018 Billy Talent - Bass player Jon Gallant

Billy Talen - Benjamin KowalewiczBilly Talen - Benjamin KowalewiczCalgary Stampede 2018 Billy Talent 

Pretty excited to see opener The Static Shift. This talented band is from Calgary and some may have seen them recently on CTV'S 'The Launch'

The Static ShiftThe Static ShiftCalgary Stampede 2018 The Static Shift

The Static ShiftThe Static ShiftCalgary Stampede 2018 The Static Shift - Mitchell Brady

The Static ShiftThe Static ShiftCalgary Stampede 2018

The Static ShiftThe Static ShiftCalgary Stampede 2018 Drummer Isaiah Stonehouse and basist Keone Friesen

The Static ShiftThe Static ShiftCalgary Stampede 2018 The Static Shift

The Static ShiftThe Static ShiftCalgary Stampede 2018 The Static Shift

Check out the music section in  SUNSETPALMS.COM for more photo highlights.

All photos taken at the Coca-Cola Stage in Calgary Alberta, Canada. 

July 6-15, 2018

For further information follow the  Calgary Stampede

[email protected] ( barbara brander Billy Talent Calgary Calgary Stampede Coca-Cola Stage Concerts Music Photography Stampede 2018 The Static Shift YYC Tue, 17 Jul 2018 04:49:16 GMT
Calgary Stampede - Coca-Cola Stage - July 7, 2018 - Photo Highlights PHOTOS BY BARBARA BRANDER

Broken Social Scene and opener Yukon Blonde at the Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede.

Yukon BlondeYukon BlondeCalgary Stampede 2018

 Yukon Blonde - Jeff Innes

Yukon BlondeYukon BlondeCalgary Stampede 2018 Yukon Blonde

Yukon BlondeYukon BlondeCalgary Stampede 2018

Yukon Blonde

Yukon Blonde - Jeff InnesYukon Blonde - Jeff InnesCalgary Stampede 2018 Yukon Blonde

Broken Social SceneBroken Social SceneCalgary Stampede 2018 Broken Social Scene

Broken Social SceneBroken Social SceneCalgary Stampede 2018 Broken Social Scene

Broken Social SceneBroken Social SceneCalgary Stampede 2018 Broken Social Scene - Kevin Drew


Broken Social SceneBroken Social SceneCalgary Stampede 2018

Broken Social Scene

Broken Social SceneBroken Social SceneCalgary Stampede 2018 Broken Social Scene


*For performances, schedules and information, go to CALGARY STAMPEDE 2018 - July 6-15, 2018.






[email protected] ( barbara brander Broken Social Scene Calgary Calgary Stampede Concerts Jeff Innes Music Photography Stampede 2018 Yukon Blonde YYC Tue, 10 Jul 2018 00:07:02 GMT
Calgary Stampede - Coca-Cola Stage - July 6, 2018 - Photo Highlights PHOTOS BY BARBARA BRANDER

Elle King headlining the Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede last night Friday July 6th, 2018.  Also performances by Banners and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine.

Elijah Woods x Jamie FineElijah Woods x Jamie FineCalgary Stampede 2018

Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine

Elijah Woods x Jamie FineElijah Woods x Jamie FineCalgary Stampede 2018 Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine

Elijah Woods x Jamie FineElijah Woods x Jamie FineCalgary Stampede 2018 Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine

BannersBannersCalgary Stampede 2018 Banners

Banners - Mike NelsonBanners - Mike NelsonCalgary Stampede 2018 Banners - Mike Nelson

BannersBannersCalgary Stampede 2018


Elle KingElle KingCalgary Stampede 2018 Elle King

Elle KingElle KingCalgary Stampede 2018 Elle King

Elle KingElle KingCalgary Stampede 2018 Elle King

Elle KingElle KingCalgary Stampede 2018 Elle King



*For performances, schedules and Information, go to Calgary Stampede 2018 - July 6 - 15, 2018.





[email protected] ( Banners Barbara Brander Calgary Calgary Events Calgary Stampede Calgary Stampede 2018 Coca-Cola Stage Concert Photography Elijah Woods Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine Elle King Jamie Fine Mike Nelson Music Photography The Launch YYC Sat, 07 Jul 2018 19:39:48 GMT
STAGECOACH MUSIC FESTIVAL ADVANCE SALE INFO Love Country Music and California? Stagecoach Music Festival 2019 Advance Sale - FRIDAY, JUNE 15 at 11:00AM PDT


Stagecoach BarStagecoach BarStagecoach 2018

[email protected] ( barbara brander california coachella valley concerts country country music indio music music festival palm springs stagecoach music festival Fri, 15 Jun 2018 05:03:05 GMT
Brown & Gray - New Sounds of Country - Upcoming Release 'Salt in the Coffee' June 8th - 2018 Article/photos by Barbara Brander

With the upcoming EP release of 'Salt in the Coffee' debuting June 8th, things are looking sweet for duo Kaci Brown and Sam Gray. I wanted to get a little insight in this unique pairing who's recent hit song Top Down released 2017, is the perfect song introduction for whats to come. 

*Kaci Brown's career took off at the age of 10 when she won "Little Miss Texas Overall Grand Talent".  Her family moved from Texas to Nashville to further embark in the country scene.  She also ventured into pop and toured with The Backstreet Boys. She has written and collaborated for several artists and albums. 

*Sam Gray is a singer, songwriter and producer from England and has composed multiple songs for various artists.  Among several musical accomplishments, Sam has also toured with artists The Overtones, East 17, Westlife, David Ford, Charlie Simpson and Peter Andre.

Brown & GrayBrown & Gray

Texas and England, how did you both get together to collaborate?

Sam: I wrote a song called Top Down in England. I didn't expect to write a country song really, it just kind of came out and it ended up making its way over to Los Angeles. I sent the song over and they really loved it. They (Notting Hill Management) said "Hey, you know what, this is a 'cool song' but we feel like it could be a duet." 

So you two had never met prior to that?

Sam: Never, that was the first time we met, for the song.

Kaci: I was managed by Notting Hill at the time and it's published by Notting Hill. It's a small, kind of in-house boutique, independent label, managers, and publishing house. They really believed in Sam and everything he is capable of and they believed in me.  They had this idea and lets just see what they sound like together. They didn't know what would come out of this at all, and it turned into being a pretty cool thing. 

So the first time you sang, you sensed the chemistry?

Sam: Oh yes! 

Kaci: When we heard it back, we definitely heard that it was great and that we sound really good together!

Sam: I think we sound great together but also we get on so well.  We just have fun and that brought out the best with Kaci's voice, the session and best out of the song. I believe in the magic of the situation and the song. That day we met and every day since, has been like that.

Kaci: If you watch the music video for Top Down, we are just hanging out in a convertable driving all around.

Where was that filmed?

Kaci: All in California. The last scene was in Zuma, but we started northeast and drove to the ocean. Started early and we just drove.

Sam: We just drove and drove, it was great!

So when you wrote Top Down, what did you have in mind writing this? Did the video concept come to mind?

Sam: The video just comes with the whole thing. Just imagine staying in London and it's raining. 

This is what I find interesting is it's the complete opposite. Fun summer song!

Kaci: This whole thing is interesting for all of us!

Breaking new ground just from your different backgrounds coming together. Country with a pop vibe. 

Sam: Yes.

Kaci: I'm Country and Sam is Pop and now we are just in it. 

Sam: Everything we've done and now it's about good songs! 

Kaci: We've written a whole album. We've been working on these songs for a whole year now and we are very, very happy. We didn't release anything yet because we are really picky.  We don't want to just release content for the sake of releasing content. If we are putting our names on it, together, we want it to be good sonically and production wise.  We want it to represent how great we believe and feel the songs are. 

Sam: Now that we are playing more and more live now with the band, the songs came into their own. We were able to go back into production and get to where we know it sounds great. 

Kaci: Also, playing live responding to the live band and reaction, slower, faster,  tempo, order, organically what comes together. What the people respond to, the fans, and telling us. Us and the music, and the album now. Really excited! 

What about your solo careers?

Kaci: You know what's cool about this? I'm so creatively and professionally fulfilled doing this.

Sam: Yes, exactly. 

Kaci: I love the work, I love Sam, I love the whole process, that if the day comes, it comes, but at this point, it really is on the back burner. If it is even on a back burner, because we love this so much!

Sam: This is what we are basically about now. 

*Brown & Gray performed at Stagecoach Music Festival 2018 in Indio, California.

Brown & GrayBrown & GrayStagecoach 2018 Brown & GrayBrown & GrayStagecoach 2018

Was this the first time for either one of you at Stage Coach?

Kaci: This is my first time even here, and we're playing. 

Kaci/Sam: It's amazing! 

Sam: We've been hanging out, and seeing people like Kacey Musgraves, it's awesome. 

Kaci: I'm from Sulpher Springs, Texas and Kacey Musgraves is from Mineola, Texas. I went to school with a girl named Elena Tatum. Elena Tatum and Kacey Musgraves were in a yodelling duo called the 'Texas Two Bits'. So we all played the Texas Opry circuit, so I grew up singing at the same places. I have a picture of Kacey and I with cowboy hats, chaps, boots and all that and we were like eleven.  I got a big gap between my front teeth and I WILL NEVER SHOW THAT PICTURE TO ANYONE! 





Kaci: NOPE! 


Kaci: NOPE!

Kaci: So it was awesome you know, just seeing her and I thought how crazy is life? We were on the same stages 20 years ago essentially, and now we're both here at the same place.

Life is so bizarre.

Kaci: Life is really bizarre. 

Sam: And I love this place. The California lifestyle. Also you get the wafts of BBQ going around. It feels so in the country. 

I love it too being from Canada.

Sam: Oh cool! 

Have you been to Canada?

Kaci:  I have! I actually toured with The Backstreet Boys in 2006. I was the opening act. I did the entire Canadian run. It was beautiful. I didn't get to spend a lot of time in each city, because you are on a bus and you know you go from place to place and you are always by the venue.  But I remember going to the Eaton's Center, and I remember trying 'poutane'


Sam: 'Poutine'. 

Kaci: 'POUTINE'.


Sam: I've never tried that, man. 

How popular is country music becoming in the UK?

Sam: It's a lot more mainstream these days. It's a lot more internationally accepted now. I've always been into it. Johnny CashKenny Rogers and Shania Twain. The music/songs are so good. Good songwriting. 

What are some of your early influences?

Sam: Shania for one. Classic songwriters like The Beatles, Paul Simon and Coldplay

Kaci: I grew up listening to what my mom listened to. I was in a very small town in Texas where they only had one FM station and a western swing AM station and my family left it on the western swing Am station with a DJ by the name of Enola Gay

Interesting name. 

Sam: Yeah.

Kaci: So a lot of western swing and then random, and I mean random as in the genre wasn't consistent with my mom. So we would go from Celine Dion to Gloria Estefan to Kenny G. Like she would play that all of the time.

Very eclectic. 

Kaci: For country music, it was like the early nineties, so like Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, and The Dixie Chicks. I was really influenced by all the early nineties. Also I sang covers of Brenda LeePatsy Cline and all of those records and so when they are playing today, I know all these songs!  I didn't listen to any pop music. I really didn't know even Michael Jackson's music until I went and watched the documentary, and then I really fell in love with the making of him and all the things I didn't know. It just wasn't part of the culture from where I was from. So going into pop music, I loved studying voice and figuring out how to make different sounds and hitting notes in a different area. I'm still hanging with Sam, still trying to learn how to do runs. 

Sam: Oh, you got it down. 

You learn from each other.

Sam: Yes! I love Kaci's professionalism as well as her energy. I just get so much from her energy.  Also, her song concepts. She's got it. 

Kaci: It all pulls from life though. 

Sam: Yes it does.

Brown & GrayBrown & GrayStagecoach 2018 Brown & Gray performing at Stagecoach 2018


"Salt in the Coffee" EP


Good Night

This Is the Stuff

Outta My System

Top Down


*Brown & Gray

*Notting Hill Music


[email protected] ( barbara brander brown & gray brown & gray music canada concerts country duo ep kaci brown music nashville notting hill music salt in the coffee sam gray singer songwriter stagecoach music festival top down Thu, 07 Jun 2018 06:08:32 GMT
Shania Twain Hits Her Stride in Now Tour ARTICLE/PHOTOS BY BARBARA BRANDER

Not going to sidetrack the fact that I have been an admirer of Shania Twain for decades. Whether she was at the 'top of her game' or not, I have always kept a conscious thought on 'what's going on' with Shania.  The ups, downs and the in-betweens have come together in this momentous time. Reason for momentous is Shania is doing what Shania should be doing. It's what she knows best. The 'Now Tour' is another chapter of her life. Not just music, not just a concert and tour, but a recognition of her strength in living life her way. It's a journey. Her new songs from 'Now' released September of 2017, are part of what works in this current tour, which kicked off in Tacoma, Washington  May 3, 2018. 

Shania TwainShania TwainShania Now Tour

Opening with a walk-through the audience, with Elijah Wood's pulsating drumbeat to new song 'Life's About to Get Good' , life did just that.  Ideal entrance for getting the whole arena, fans ranging in all ages, plenty excited.  With 21 songs on the current tour setlist, it's a whole new production of her classic hits and cleverly placed new songs.  

Shania TwainShania TwainShania Now Tour

Seamless transition of several set and costume changes that reflect not just the country version of Shania, but her influence from several music genres. It's highly entertaining, personal and a great time. Her new material is less country sounding but that's the paradox that makes the tour, extremely enjoyable. It's refreshing. 

Shania TwainShania TwainNow Tour

Musicians Cory Churko, Joshua Ray Gooch, Elijah Wood are back, as well as violinist/keyboardist alumni Allison Cornell.  Highly accomplished dancers/backup singers along with stunning visuals that are moving parts throughout, as well as a secondary stage.  It's not overtaken by production because Twain knows when to bring it down. She relates and genuinely enjoys her audience.  The interaction is part of what makes it extra special.

Shania Twain with Bastian BakerShania Twain with Bastian BakerNow Tour Opening performance by charismatic Bastian Baker, whom later came back to join Shania sing "Party For Two"

Shania TwainShania TwainShania Now Tour

Man, I feel like this is Shania at her best! New music, another tour, there are a few things that always feel like home. One is Shania Twain.



Life's About To Get Good

Come On Over


Poor Me

Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

That Don't Impress Me Much

Let's Kiss and Make Up

Any Man of Mine

Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?

Honey, I'm Home

I'm Alright


You're Still The One

More Fun

From This Moment On

I'm Gonna Gotcha Good!

Party For Two

Swingin' With My Eyes Closed

(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here!

Man! I Feel Like a Woman!

Rock This Country!


Shania's Now Tour continues throughout the summer in Canada and the U.S. with final show in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 4th.  Then it's off to Brazil, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

*Shania Twain is also hosting the 2018 Canadian Country Music Awards in Hamilton, Ontario,  September 9th.

*Shania Twain Now Tour



[email protected] ( allison cornell barbara brander canada canadian concerts cory churko country music elijah wood joshua ray gooch music shania shania now shania now tour shania twain shania twain concert shania twain review singer songwriter Fri, 18 May 2018 01:55:47 GMT
Stagecoach 2018 Country in the Desert Stagecoach is one of the top country music festivals in the world.  Now in their 12th year, the 3-day festival brought a blend of established top country artists as well as up and coming talent to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.  Country music performances by Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Lillie Mae, Midland, Brown & Gray, and Lindsay Ell just to name a few. 

Courtesy of StagecoachCourtesy of StagecoachStagecoach Festival 2018 Photo courtesy of Stagecoach

There is more then enough things to see and do. With the Mane Stage, Palomino StageSirius XM Spotlight Stage, Honkytonk Dance Hall, Half-pint Hootenanny as well as the Toyota Music Den Stage,  scheduling your day or weekend is everything. Keeping hydrated is key. 

Mane StageMane StageStagecoach 2018 Mane Stage  Palomino StagePalomino StageStagecoach 2018 Palomino Stage

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri showcased the Stagecoach Smokehouse serving up not only delicious barbecue but a 40,000 square-foot tent with plenty of room to kick back and enjoy some ribs and a beverage. There was also plenty of food venues throughout, with lots of variety and pre-ordering a beer didn't hurt either. 

Guy FieriGuy FieriStagecoach 2018 Chef Guy Fieri and friend talking about life.

Stagecoach BarStagecoach BarStagecoach 2018

Besides music, you could learn how to drive a Harley motorcycle, take a Toyota thrill ride with a professional driver, or take a lesson on two-stepping.  Plus shop or browse the various markets for western clothes,  jewelry,  art, and festival merchandise.  Nikki Lane's Stage Stop Market was a hit for her vintage, eclectic style, made extra cool with Nikki Lane herself and company singing in an intimate, casual setting. Shopping and live music always resonates nicely.

Nikki LaneNikki LaneStagecoach 2018 Nikki Lane 

Mason Ramsey - "Lil' Hank Williams",  Walmart yodel sensation, made a surprise appearance with Florida Georgia Line to perform Hank William's song "Lovesick Blues".

Courtesy of StagecoachCourtesy of StagecoachStagecoach Festival, 2018 Photo courtesy of Stagecoach

Closing the night on Mane Stage, headliner Garth Brooks brought the fire to the record-breaking attendance. 

Courtesy of StagecoachCourtesy of StagecoachStagecoach Festival, 2018 Photo courtesy of Stagecoach

If you have attended once, it's hard not to become a repeat visitor. With RV parking and off-site camping, there are many options for accommodations. Talking to many locals about Stagecoach and Coachella, they mostly love it. They kind of miss it after it's over. Yes it's busy and loud, but the restaurants, bars, shopping and accommodations, all thrive. It's an established, organized hub for drawing some of the best.

*Article by Barbara Brander 

*Photos courtesy of Stagecoach and Barbara Brander

*Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2018 - April 27-29 *Empire Polo Club Field in Indio, California. 

*Full schedule/info







[email protected] ( barbara brander brown & gray california country country music desert empire polo club garth brooks indio music music festival palm springs stagecoach 2018 stagecoach country music festival Thu, 10 May 2018 23:36:13 GMT

H2O + Beauty Oasis and Disney Music Group sponsored an event at the breathtaking Zenyara property which was truly unique. Guests were treated to food, specialty drinks, free spa treatments, skin care products and pampering while surrounded by an exhilarating landscape.

H2O Beauty + OasisH2O Beauty + OasisZenyara


Zenyara Villa, located just across from The Stagecoach Festival, is a 40 acre luxury oasis which includes a man made white-sand beach, fire pits, sun-decks,  pool among several amenities. 



The added touch to an already fabulous experience was being treated to performances by artists such as Kelsea Ballerini, Lillie Mae, Temecula Road, CB30, Ashley Campbell, Walker Hayes, Seth Ennis, Delta Rae and Kassi Ashton.


                                                                                                                CB30 Temecula RoadTemecula Road

                                                                                                         Temecula Road

Ashley CampbellAshley Campbell

                                                                                                      Ashley Campbell                                          

Guests were also treated to a very special songwriters series that included Kelsea Ballerini and Lillie Mae. 

Kelsea BalleriniKelsea Ballerini

                                                                                                     Kelsea Ballerini

Lillie MaeLillie MaeZenyara

                                                                                                                 Lillie Mae 

H2O Beauty + OasisH2O Beauty + OasisZenyara





[email protected] ( california coachella country music disney music group event h2o + beauty oasis indio california kelsea ballerini music palm springs resort spa stagecoach music festival zenyara zenyara villa Wed, 09 May 2018 22:45:55 GMT
No Greater Love Festival 2017 Shines Bright! ARTICLE/PHOTOS BY BARBARA BRANDER

No Greater Love Music Festival is like no other. To begin with, the festival location takes place on The Stoney Nakoda Reserve, Morley just west of Calgary, Alberta. The backdrop alone is worth the visit.  Movies such as The Revenant, Legends of The Fall and Shanghai Noon have been filmed here. Heading out from Calgary, it's about a 40-minute drive.  

The incredible scenery enhances the already positive energy of people coming together for a beautiful weekend. I've attended many different types of festivals and concerts, and was delighted and refreshed by the kindness and polite manner of everyone I came across. Family-friendly and encouraged, it is a 'coming together' of souls through the celebration of music.

No Greater Love FestivalNo Greater Love Festival

Besides the great lineup up music, there were plenty of activities for the kids, food trucks, merchandise booths and camping for the full weekenders. There were no traffic issues or congestion due to a well-organized and ample parking area for easy access in or out of the event area.

Some Photo Highlights:

Danny CosbyDanny Cosby Rock and Gospel musicians Danny Cosby with guitarist Garry Goin 

OKAMAOKAMANo Greater Love Festival 2017 Indigenous worship band OKAMA Dr. Gerard Roberts, traditional name (Abouyou), of the Karina nation, and his wife Peta-Gay (Tayaliti) Roberts of the Taino/Arawak First Nations, engaging with festival goers.  Jamie GraceJamie Grace Singer/songwriter Jamie Grace

Jamie Grace - AutographsJamie Grace - AutographsNo Greater Love Music Festival 2017 Jamie Grace signing autographs and greeting excited fans.

Jason GrayJason Gray

Singer/songwriter Jason Gray

Hawk NelsonHawk Nelson

Lead singer Jonathan Steingard from Hawk Nelson

No Greater LoveNo Greater LoveStoney Nakoda Nation Family fun with a bit of smokey haze from distant forest fires.

We Are The Messengers - Darren MulliganWe Are The Messengers - Darren Mulligan We Are Messengers - Originally from Ireland, the inspiring lead vocalist Darren Mulligan.

Tenth Avenue North - Mike DoneheyTenth Avenue North - Mike DoneheyNo Greater Love Music Festival

West Palm Beach, Florida's Tenth Avenue North - lead singer Mike Donehey.

No Greater Love Festival 2017No Greater Love Festival 2017

Festival Attendees enjoying a beautiful evening on The Stoney Nakoda Reserve.

Reba McEntireReba McEntire First Night Headliner - Reba McEntire! 

Reba McEntireReba McEntireNo Greater Love Music Festival 2017  Reba McEntire Shines! 

The second day brought a mixed bag of weather which caused some delays. Props to the volunteers, stage crews, musicians, security and vendors who ensured a safe, peaceful environment throughout. The rain and the wind cleared out and the festival continued on in near perfect weather. The hazy smoke from the distant fires nicely cleared out too. 

Stars Go Dim - Chris ClevelandStars Go Dim - Chris ClevelandNo Greater Love After the storm rolled through, Pop Rock group Stars Go Dim - Chris Cleveland took to the stage.

Warren Dean FlandezWarren Dean Flandez

Award-winning, JUNO nominated, R&B/Soul/Gospel recording artist Warren Dean Flandez 

Sidewalk Prophets - David FreySidewalk Prophets - David FreyNo Greater Love Music Festival

From Nashville, Tennessee Sidewalk Prophets lead singer David Frey

No Greater Love Music Festival 2017No Greater Love Music Festival 2017

Sidewalk Prophets moving performance on Main Stage

Sidewalk ProphetsSidewalk ProphetsNo Greater Love Music Festival Sidewalk Prophets - Autograph Session - David Frey, Daniel Macal, Blake Bratton, Cal Joslin The ColorThe ColorNo Greater Love Canada's own - The Color - Tyson Unrau, Jordan Jansen, James Shiels and Larry Abrams

Building 429 - Jason RoyBuilding 429 - Jason RoyNo Greater Love 2017

Grammy nominated Building 429 - lead vocalist Jason Roy

For King & Country - Joel SmallboneFor King & Country - Joel SmallboneNo Greater Love Music Festival Final performance for the night by For King and Country - singer Joel Smallbone

For King & Country - Luke SmallboneFor King & Country - Luke SmallboneNo Greater Love Music Festival 2017

For King & Country - Joel's brother, Luke Smallbone

For King & CountryFor King & CountryNo Greater Love Music Festival 2017 Dynamic performance from final night headliner - Grammy award winning For King & Country

No Greater Love Festival 2017No Greater Love Festival 2017

To be out in the natural surroundings, watching the sun go down, listening to fabulous music with wonderful people, was truly magical.  Looking forward to next year!


*Scheduled performances from the 2-day event included: NewSong, Okama, Danny Cosby, Jamie Grace, Jason Gray, Hawk Nelson, We Are Messengers, Tenth Avenue North, Reba McEntire, Ghost Boys, Caves, Warren Dean Flandez, Stars Go Dim, The Color, Rapture Ruckus, Sidewalk Prophets, Building 429 and For King & Country. 

*No Greater Love Music Festival 2017



[email protected] ( alberta barbara brander calgary canada canadian rockies christian christian festival concert photography concerts events festival for king and country landscape mountains music no greater love festival no greater love music festival photography positive reba mcentire rocky mountains singer songwriter spiritual yyc Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:10:32 GMT
Ruston Kelly Interview From Stagecoach ARTICLE/PHOTOS BY BARBARA BRANDER

I sat down with up and coming artist Ruston Kelly at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2017. He shared some interesting thoughts and news on upcoming projects and how he met his fiance Kacey Musgraves. His debut album "Halloween" embodies a blend of folk and rock, with a soulful, haunting melodic tone and lyrics that stay with you.  Ruston Kelly is also an established songwriter writing tracks for Josh Abbott Band, Kenny Chesney, and Tim McGraw’s song “Nashville Without You.”  

Ruston KellyRuston KellyStagecoach 2017 - Indio, California

Where are you from originally?

RK: I was born in South Carolina. My dad worked for a paper mill on the coast- Georgetown. He was a pretty transient man himself, so we moved quite a bit. So never really had a hometown growing up.  I just took to being the new kid at school every couple of years.  I learned a lot because of that.  Have a pretty big family, my immediate family is my older sister and oldest brother and we are pretty tight, a very close family. 

Are they in music as well?

RK: My sister is, she's actually an actress. She's been doing some independent films lately. She was actually in a film at The National Film Festival.  She's been singing a long time, writing songs and she was a big influence on me. She was really into a lot of poetry like Sylvia Plath and Charles Bukowski.  Hence this (points to himself). She was actually pretty hip to that when she was like 13 and turned me onto it. She's a great writer to me, one of those unsung bedroom heroes. She's about to do a record which I'm going to help her with that. I don't know if you caught the set, but she was here with me as well as my dad who plays steel guitar and is a songwriter as well.  He was in the East Texas folk music scene in the sixties. So it runs in the family. That's how I got started doing it and they were on stage with me today. Pretty cool! Just me, my pops and my sister jamming. 

Do you remember the first song you wrote?

RK: YES, I do. 

How old were you?

RK: (Laughs) I was in second grade, I know that because I was in Mrs. Hudson's class. Shoutout to Mrs. H! I wrote a song called "Golden Snowand I had no idea that that would allude to some snickering from the class because basically I wrote a song that was called "Piss In the Snow" you know what I mean? 

Laughs! Yes!

RK: To me it was like this amazing celestial fall from the heavens, you know? Like golden snow! 

Do you remember it at all?

RK: (Singing) Golden Snow - hums -Golden Snow... It's pretty terrible! (Laughter). But the first song I wrote on the guitar was called "Blue." I was fourteen. I called it "Blue" because I thought the song sounded like a color and then I did like a whole record when I was fourteen on my tape player of different colors. 

Guitar - self-taught?

RK: Self-taught.

When did you pick up the guitar?

RK: I picked up a guitar when I was thirteen. They were always laying around the house. They were kind of intimidating to me for awhile. They were so magical because my dad would pick one up and that's how I like got inspired to eventually create my own music. My dad, he would play guitar or steel guitar every single night. I would fall asleep sometimes listening to him play and it was just so magical. It was almost like reverent. I didn't approach one until I was like thirteen. It was almost like I stayed away from it. I needed to grow through a little bit more innocence. You know what I mean.

You play other instruments?

RK: I do. I play the banjo. I play the piano. I play the lap dulcimer; also called the mountain dulcimer. I'm pretty shitty at mandolin but I can play some bluegrass. 


RK: I do play drums. I play bass. Maybe I should start my own band! (laughs). 

Writing music an easy process? 

RK: It depends what my intent is.  With anything that you assume yourself at the bottom and there's this great thing that you are looking up at as far as honing your craft or developing a repertoire of artistic meaning to yourself, pieces of creative work that allude to that, there is work ethic involved with it for sure, there is discipline. You've got to really want do it, especially if you want to do it in the public eye, but when it just comes to the purity, the creative genesis of things, I try to let it come to me. I am a stream of consciousness writer. I come from that school, you know like Dylan was my first introduction to that.  I'm not ashamed to say that it is a little bit of a cliche as far as songwriters go, but then it kind of led me to like I said Bukowski and Kerouac like when my sister introduced me to them. Was really moved by it, it seems so quick, it seemed like I was reading someone's thoughts. Robert Frost is great. I love that, but it's definitely a little bit more of a poetic calculation to it and I love that! Some of that is actually really moving but the stream of consciousness stuff Jack Kerouac, Richard Wright, that kind of stuff. 

When you are going through something in life, do you tend to write more freely from a negative or positive experience?

RK: Typically negative has been easier to write. 

That seems to be....

RK: Yeah uniform right?

Do you notice that with anybody in the arts there is something in the negative spin that one tends to create?

RK: Don Henley from The Eagles once said that "the creative side of the brain is also synonymous with the dark side of the brain."  To me honestly, like I really feel the creative side of the brain is the most free side of the brain and we are all primal beasts at our core. We've learned through culture to be something that we're actually primally not, you know, and for a lot of good reason, for kinship ties, to also like be true to the people that you decide to be true to. To be falling in line is not necessarily a negative thing and it builds things. But sometimes art is actually meant to destroy, to rebuild and I think that's an amazing thing, like art, the creative side of our brain is so free from, should be so free, from self-judgement. It can say whatever it wants. 

I love your song  "A Thousand Graves."

RK: Oh COOL! Oh man, yeah!

One of the lines I totally relate to is 'Wanna straighten out all my crooked lines and then I'm gonna marry that girl'. Have you straightened those lines out or is it an ongoing process?

RK: It is. To me, I don't know if humans should ever completely straighten out their lines, but you should always try.  You know otherwise the more you try, the more bent you get, the more in a circle you go. I'm a type of person like I want to move forward in my life and whatever the means. Yeah, I have done that, I have slightly straightened out some very crooked situations in my life that came to me through personal deceit maybe. I hit some ruts in the road lets just say, and I have learned how to maybe navigate a little bit more and I always thought once I learned how to navigate for myself, that I would actually be a really great partner for somebody else and both of those things have occurred. 

As I listen to your album 'Halloween', there's a darkness but with a silver lining. 

RK: I love that! Yes! For me, songwriting can't help but to be redemptive. I grew up watching on repeat "The Odyssey."  It was this made for tv movie about the book that Homer wrote obviously, the epic and I just identify with Odysseus leaving his wife. Not to compare myself to an epic like that, but everybody's life is an epic to an extent.  Small or however large you see it. Just getting up facing the day, some people have a lot harder time then others.  His whole trek, I just identify with that, being a hero of your own story and recognizing that there is failure involved with that. It's actually necessary.  That's the only reason I was able to do anything with my life is fail enough, to want to be better then my failures.

When you were younger and writing your first songs, did you see yourself doing what you are today? 

RK: I always kind of like moved with whatever I felt like was moving me at the time. I wouldn't say I was a hellion growing up but I'm sure I was difficult from time to time because I was a very loving kid, but also I could sneak out of the house at any moment and it would be like 'When is he coming back' you know; but I love my family, I love my parent's house. Just drawn to do something and music was my outlet to that and I do remember in high school, this girl Holly said to me, we were seniors in high school, and she's like "What are you going to do?" I was like, "I want to be a f*cking songwriter."  She's like "That's silly, all boys say that,"  you know, when they are seventeen or about eighteen.  I said "No, I'm going to do it."  Well, here I am. 

There you go!

RK: Here we are!

When you are touring or on stage, is it something that you NEED to do now? 

RK: Yeah.

Does songwriting have more of a pull? 

RK: To me there is no difference between the two. Whether I'm sitting at a desk or on stage, the only difference is the mechanics of how you go about it because you have people in front of you, so you sing to them. When you are at your desk, you sing to yourself but you are saying the same thing. That's about it. 

Whom do you admire?

RK: I admire Jackson Browne. He's lived it all. From what I understand, he's done the ups, he's done the downs, but he has maintained a sense of integrity through his artistry, through his lyricism that has sustained a career over a very long period of time and he can still go and sell thousands of tickets singing the same songs, singing the new songs and people come to hear what he's got to say. He survives through the I'm sure the crazy, f*cking times of the late sixties, early seventies.

That whole era!

RK: WHEW! I am just going to tell you right now, I would not have survived that era! I would have crashed and burned very quickly. 

What do you think of social media?

RK: For the most part I don't like it. I think it's weird and invasive, but the nature of the beast kind of calls for it. My dream scenario is to get to a place where I don't have to use it anymore, but it has honestly helped to build a fanbase. I get that and I understand that and I'm willing to be personable and be transparent to an extent that does help to create a fanbase larger then what I had when I started with it and all that. I learn how to have fun with it. It seems like all of it in this grand scheme of things is superfulous. Yes like it does help. I have seen a correlation of people interested in my music and the followers that you have. It's kind of a little dangerous I feel like. You can really get sucked into like how many people like my picture I just posted. My self-worth is valued by how many likes I get when I open up a f*cking app. 

It's impersonal. 

RK: It is! It's meant to be like so personal but it also feels very impersonal and I play along with that too. 

Yes. We all do.

RK: We all do.

Ruston KellyRuston KellyStagecoach 2017

Future projects. Can you talk about a special project at 'Cash Cabin?'

RK: Yeah that's cool! I can talk about that. There is a record coming out,  John Carter Cash, (Johnny Cash's son) is putting out, that's a collection of poems his dad wrote. Some of them are unfinished, that music was never put to. So people like Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, myself, my fiancé Kacey Musgraves and I recorded a song, which this is the crazy part, is that John Carter and I had written a song together several years ago out at Cash Cabin and we struck up a creative friendship and he texted me, I'd say about a month ago, and was like "Hey can you meet me at this coffee shop at 10am on Friday?" I'm like okay-sure. I met him there and he had his book in his hand and it was called "Forever Words" and that's the name of the project. These lost poems of Johnny Cash and he's like hey man I would love to hear what you do with this. So I said okay. Pick one of these poems, record it and tell me what you think, you know, do whatever you want with it. So it flashed back to when I was a senior in high school and I was sitting on my bed reading a Johnny Cash book and there was this picture of a poem that he wrote for June and it was called "To June This Morning." I was seventeen years old and I put music to it and I tried and I thought I found John Carter's email and emailed him and told him I had this song of this poem his dad wrote and obviously he never responded to me. So eleven years later, I text him after he hands me that book when I get home and I'm thinking about him and hey there's this poem that I actually put music to already, would you mind if I did that? He's like 'sure', and so since it was a love poem I asked my fiancé, I was like, why don't we just do it together. Like you be June and I'll be Johnny.

That is sooo cool and ironic!

RK: Yeah! So we did it together and she added a little bit to it and I added a little bit to it, so it became this duet. So he asked us to come out to the Cabin and record it. We recorded the duet together and it's probably the first thing we've ever done together officially, acting as this great love icon is a pretty big honour. So it comes out, not sure when but it's not really so secret anymore. 

How did you and Kacey meet?

RK: We met at the Bluebird. I was playing a show, that she just happened to be attending.

Where was this in?

RK: Nashville. It's such a Nashville story. The famous tiny Bluebird. I don't know if you've ever been there before?

No, but I want to go one day.

RK: It's cool! It's really cool. It's literally like a tiny, little cafe. They serve bar food and about a hundred people can fit in there. I played a set there and she came up to me afterwards and said she was really impressed with my songs. I personally thought she was hitting on me. I was OKAY (big smile) and she asked for my number and I was like you need to calm down. Need to slow your roll! So I got her number. What's funny is she will argue different about it. I texted her a lot, she never really responded and I was like 'fine'. So our day came up to write and just from that day on, we fell in love pretty much instantly. It was pretty crazy. So yeah, we've been together for a year now or so. It was pretty quick. 

Any future plans of any kind?

RK: Yeah we have some stuff in the works. It will come naturally. Just can't help but to. 

What's some good advice or motto that you live by?

RK: Be true to yourself. Learn what that means and act accordingly.


*Ruston Kelly performed at Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California on April 29, 2017

*For current tour dates and info visit

[email protected] ( Barbara Brander California Concert Concerts Country Country Music Festival Halloween Indio Interview Interviews Kacey Musgraves Music Musician Nashville Palm Springs Photography Ruston Kelly Singer Songwriter Stagecoach Country Music Festival Thu, 11 May 2017 17:09:54 GMT
Legend Jerry Lee Lewis Rocks Stagecoach Article by Barbara Brander

The moment Jerry Lee Lewis appeared on the Palomino stage at Stagecoach, time stood still. It is safe to say, this was a rare and relished performance . Nicknamed "The Killer," at 81, he is still that. Piano skills, charisma and songs from an era long ago, bring back a time quite different to now. Memories of youth and rebellion and innocence combined. Pure music, raw and on fire.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Stagecoach 2017Jerry Lee Lewis - Stagecoach 2017Photo by Everett Fitzpatrick ©Stagecoach 2017

Photo by Everett Fitzpatrick ©Stagecoach 2017

Jerry Lee Lewis could be described as one of the original temperamental rock 'n' rollers, whose life was full of hardship and tough times.  Playing classics "Great Balls of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" was simply breathtaking. The piano playing, the voice and his characteristic "growl" of younger years never wavered. 

Earning several Grammy awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award, Jerry Lee Lewis was inducted in 1986 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There was also a 1989 biopic film called "Great Balls of Fire!" directed by Jim McBride and starring Dennis Quaid.

A rare treat 'old school style' at the first day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival.


*Full list of Artists/Schedules/Info go to

*Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2017 runs April 28-30 at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California.


[email protected] ( Concert Country Music Desert Festival Jerry Lee Lewis Legend Music Palm Springs Piano Rock Rock n Roll Stagecoach Stagecoach Country Music Festival Stagecoach Festival The Killer Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:31:04 GMT
Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2017 - Headliner Shania Twain Article and photo by Barbara Brander

Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2017 kicks off this weekend with headliners Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney and 1st time Stagecoach newcomer Shania Twain, taking to the Mane Stage.  Shania Twain may be a newcomer to Stagecoach but obviously not to the country music scene.  Shania's countlessly played hit songs and persona defined a new groundbreaking path for women in Country music.  Introducing some new music from her new album release later this year, will be a majorly anticipated highlight.  Shania TwainShania TwainRock This Country Tour - 2015

On the Palomino Stage you can also catch such legendary artists, Willie Nelson and Family, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tommy James and the Shondells, and The Zombies. 

*Full list of Artists/Schedules/Info go to

*Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2017 runs April 28-30 at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California.


[email protected] ( California Concerts Concerts' Country Dierks Bentley Empire Polo Field Events Festivals Indio Jerry Lee Lewis Kenny Chesney Music Shania Twain Stagecoach Stagecoach Festival Stagecoach Music Festival Sunsetpalms" The Zombies Tommy James and the Shondells Willie Nelson Wed, 26 Apr 2017 21:42:29 GMT
Country Thunder Music Festival in Calgary Makes Perfect Sense Country Thunder did it. They got through the first year of putting on the major festival in Calgary at the Prairie Winds Park. Talking to many 3-day attendees, they all said they would be back despite some inconveniences.  Main issues were mostly on the first day and with some quick improvements on beer and food lines, information, shuttles and other minor issues, most were resolved by the 2nd day.  One lady flew in from England specifically for Country Thunder and plans to return next year. She said it's 'growing pains' and didn't expect it to not have some road bumps.

Chris JansonChris JansonCountry Thunder Chris Janson on Main Stage

Tim McGrawTim McGrawCountry Thunder Tim McGraw

The music is the draw of course and the line-up was impressive.  This is all about country music in a city and province that lives it. Headliners such as Big & Rich, Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan did not disappoint, covering new and crowd favourites. They utilized the long catwalk from the Main Stage providing plenty of moments of interaction and high fives. I personally love a catwalk at festival settings for that more personal feel, plus helps space and separate the crowd, instead of a jammed wall-to-wall mass in front of the Main Stage. 

Chris Young and Young FanChris Young and Young FanCountry Thunder Alberta 2016 Chris Young Reaching Out to Young Fan

Lindsay EllLindsay EllCountry Thunder - Alberta 2016 Back in Calgary - Lindsay Ell

Dustin LynchDustin LynchCountry Thunder - Alberta 2016

Nashville's Dustin Lynch Heats up the Crowds

The lineup of talent local and afar included Dustin Lynch, Chris Young, Chris Janson, Bobby Wills, Chad Brownlee, Phil Vassar, Neal McCoy, Jess Moskaluke, Autumn Hill, Courtney Cole, Lindsay Ell, Petric and Foxx Worthee. 

Sydney MaeSydney MaeCountry Thunder Alberta 2016 Sydney Mae from Cochrane, Alberta

On the Country 105 Stage, there was an abundance of talent with performances by Sydney Mae, Mark Times, Lyndsay Butler, Brad Saunders, Trinity Bradshaw, Domino, Drew Gregory, Robyn & Ryleigh, Amy Metcalfe, Two Shine Country, Shane Harluk, Lauren Mayell, The Dungarees and Tanya Ryan. 

Country Thunder Alberta 2016Country Thunder Alberta 2016

Fans Enjoying Big & Rich on Main Stage

Luke Bryan - Country ThunderLuke Bryan - Country ThunderCountry Thunder - Alberta 2016 Luke Bryan - Closed Sunday Night

The blend of up and coming artists with some of the biggest names in country music makes this an important festival to have in the heart of Calgary.  Despite some tough times in Alberta of late, Country Thunder Alberta sold-out.  Let's face it, when times are tough or not, there is always something about a country song to help ease the pain or to let loose and have a kickass time. Bring on next year!

Article and Photos by Barbara Brander -




[email protected] ( Alberta Big & Rich Country Country Music Country Thunder Country Thunder Alberta Festivals Luke Bryon Music Music Festivals Tim McGraw YYC Tue, 23 Aug 2016 02:34:44 GMT
Country Thunder Music Festival Rocks Calgary Country fans unite! Calgary is in the midst of a big ticket Country Festival in a city that really is a lot about country. Makes sense. The first of the 3-day festival headlined Friday night by Big & Rich, Chris Young is in full swing. 

Big Kenny - Big & RichBig Kenny - Big & RichCountry Thunder - Alberta Big Kenny from Big & Rich

Friday's lineup also included Foxx Worthee, Petric, Jess Moskaluke, Chris Young and on The Country 105 Stage -  Sidney Mae, Mark Times, Lyndsay Butler and Brad Saunders.

Tonight's main headliner is Tim McGraw.

Country Thunder Music Festival continues Saturday and Sunday at the Prairie Winds Park, Calgary.
Tickets, Info and Concert Schedules are available at
[email protected] ( Alberta Big and Rich Calgary Canada Concerts Country Country Festival Country Music Country Thunder Country Thunder Music Festival Events Festivals Luke Bryan Music Tim McGraw YYC Sat, 20 Aug 2016 18:40:58 GMT
Sunny Reflections on The Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016 The Calgary Folk Music Festival was a window of 'music sunshine'. This year's festival again brought a peaceful, cohesive, family-friendly fanbase immersed in music, artisan markets, skateboards, food trucks, beer garden, and even a little pokemon.  Something for everyone. A wide range of musical tastes as 69 artists from 14 countries, filled the 4-day event. The Calgary Folk Fest's vision of 'enhancing community quality of life through diverse cultural traditions and music' did just that. 

Corb LundCorb LundThe Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016 Alberta's CORB LUND & THE HURTIN' ALBERTANS Closing the Festival


Diverse musical styles including Sweden's The Tallest Man on Earth, Ethiopia's Krar Collective, Whitehorse, Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives, The Dudes, Les Hay Babies, and so much more, provided the ultimate eclectic draw for music lovers. Especially hearing different styles mesh together in the many workshop jams.  One example, Kris Demeanor, Geoff Berner, Vox Sambou and Carter Felker. With seven stages to choose from, it's music overload which is a good thing. 

Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016The Sadies, Whitehorse, Foy Vance, The New Pornographers Jam  Workshop Session with THE SADIES, WHITEHORSE, THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, FOY VANCE

  Music LoversMusic LoversCalgary Folk Music Festival 2016 MainStage Sunday Night Crowd

Krar Collective - Temesegen ZelekeKrar Collective - Temesegen Zeleke

The Traditional Krar played by TEMESEGEN ZELEKE from KRAR COLLECTIVE

Ian TysonIan TysonCalgary Folk Music Festival 2016 Country Legend - IAN TYSON 

Cat PowerCat PowerThe Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016

Headliner CAT POWER on Main Stage


The Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016The Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016Prince's Island Park Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016 - Prince's Island Park


If you didn't leave with a smile, warmth and a new beat in your heart, then you were at the wrong place. Looking forward to next year!

Article and Photos by Barbara Brander -


*Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016  



[email protected] ( CFMF2016 Calgary Calgary Folk Music Festival Calgary events Canada Concerts Events Folk Music Music Festival YYC Wed, 27 Jul 2016 02:45:08 GMT
Vox Sambou Energizes at The Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016 Vox Sambou and Nomadic MassiveVox Sambou and Nomadic MassiveCalgary Folk Music Festival 2016 After a rainy couple of weeks, the sun came out in time for the Calgary Folk Music Festival 4-day event elevating a much needed time for sun, fun, food trucks, art and excellent music.  Montreal based Vox Sambou and company took to the stage for an upbeat, refreshing workshop jam with Kris Demeanor, Carter Felker and Geoff Berner. 

Letting Off SteamLetting Off SteamCalgary Folk Music Festival 2016 Pointing out the world difficulties of late, the crowd enjoys a refreshing and energizing performance, along with letting out a little steam.


Tonight wraps up with MainStage performances by Krar Collective, Cat Power, The Cat Empire and Corb Lund & The Hurtin' Albertans. ​


The Calgary Folk Music Festival 2016 -July 21-24, 2016               Prince's Island Park

[email protected] ( Calgary Calgary Folk Festival 2016 Concert Photography Concerts Festival Folk Music Photography Vox Sambou YYC Sun, 24 Jul 2016 20:22:12 GMT
Cécile Doo-Kingué - Calgary Folk Music Festival The incredibly talented Cécile Doo-Kingué at the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

Cécile Doo-KinguéCécile Doo-KinguéCalgary Folk Music Festival

The Calgary Folk Music Festival runs from July 21-24, 2016 at Prince's Island Park.










[email protected] ( Afro-beat Concert Blues Calgary Calgary Folk Music Festival Concert Cécile Doo-Kingué Guitar Jazz Music Photography" Rock Singer Songwriter Soul Sat, 23 Jul 2016 05:59:00 GMT
Alessia Cara "Know-It-All" Tour in Calgary   Alessia CaraAlessia Cara Alessia Cara is a singer/songwriter with a big future. 

Performing from her debut album "Know-It-All" at MacEwan Hall last night in Calgary, this is a rare performer that isn't manufactured or groomed to look a certain way. It's raw and refreshing. The soulful, vocal talent and swagger comes naturally for this 19-year old from Brampton, Ontario, infusing a blend of pop and R&B. 

The popular, autobiographical song "Here" penned by Alessia and co-writer Sebastian Kole, about not fitting in the popular party scene, is something most people can relate to and not just a younger audience. The heartfelt honesty is part of the appeal. 


*Alessia Cara has 4 Juno nominations and will be performing at the Juno Awards in Calgary at The Scotiabank Saddledome on April 3, 2016.

Nominated: 'Here' (Island Def Jam*Universal Label) is nominated for 'Single of the Year' at 'The 2016 Juno Awards"

Nominated: 'Breakthrough Artist of the Year'  

Nominated: 'Juno Fan Choice Award'

Nominated: 'R&B/Soul Recording of the Year - Four Pink Walls'






[email protected] ( 2016 Alessia Cara Awards" Calgary Canada Concerts Four Pink Walls Here Island Def Jam Juno Juno Awards Know-It-All Tour MacEwan Hall Music Singer The Fri, 01 Apr 2016 20:22:03 GMT
Celine Dion's Return To The Stage Celine Dion returned to the stage February 23, 2016 sharing a raw, emotional and extremely brave performance at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  Celine Dion and Kaven GirouardCeline Dion and Kaven Girouard

 Celine Dion and Kaven Girouard     

The heart and soul of this singer is what music is about. The fans know this about Celine. She has been on the stage almost her entire life. This is her life. What you see is what you get. Her heart is out there. For all to see and hear. 

Losing her beloved husband René Angélil and her brother Daniel so recently, is a pain we all can relate to in different ways. It's hard. Yet she is giving and showing immeasurable strength by walking back on the stage. It's okay to feel pain and raw emotion.  People relate emotionally and are connected by this much needed passion in a world that seems to feel less connected each day.

Music is a gift and a universal bridge to our hearts. 

Thank you Celine xoxo

[email protected] ( Caesars Palace Celine Dion Concerts Las Vegas Music René Angélil The Colosseum The Power of Love Vegas Vegas Shows Wed, 24 Feb 2016 19:17:07 GMT
Celebration of Life - René Angélil - 1942-2016 The Celebration of Life - February 3, 2016 was held at The Colosseum in honour of René Angélil. 

René AngélilRené AngélilCelebration of Life

If you were fortunate to attend a past Celine Dion concert at The Colosseum, there was a good chance you saw René Angélil. Prior to being too ill to attend, he was at almost every show supporting his masterpiece Celine. 

René AngélilRené Angélil

He was a people's person. Taking time to talk to as many people as he could. All walks of life. 

The Colosseum is the 'home away from home' that was envisioned by René.  The wonderful memories made are in the millions and the music will continue as René wanted.


Celine Dion is set to return to the stage on February 23, 2016. 

[email protected] ( Caesars Palace Celebration of Life Celine Dion Las Vegas René Angélil The Colosseum Thu, 18 Feb 2016 03:08:40 GMT
In Celebration of Bruce Lee's 75th Birthday - November 27th - 2015.  

Bruce Lee QuoteBruce Lee QuoteBruce Lee Foundation 75  

'Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do' Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was born November 27th, 1940 in San Francisco, California. I remember seeing 'Fists of Fury' for the first time when I was very young and was instantly mesmerized. I am not alone. I have heard this from many other people and witnessed it with my nephew as well. I begged my parents to let me learn martial arts. Living and growing up on a farm and with no martial arts place even remotely close, that wasn't an option. I did manage though to watch and read everything Bruce Lee.  I was 10 years old when Bruce passed away. It wasn't fair.  He was bigger then life and had so much more to do, but that is something I realized as I was growing up. His influence, spirit and teachings were very much alive and are as strong today as ever. When I got older and moved to the big city, I did enroll and study martial arts. It has been and will always be a part of my life.  

On the weekend of October 23 and 24-2015 in Las Vegas, a very special event took place. The Bruce Lee Foundation celebrated 'Self-Expression' in honour of the 75th birthday of Bruce Lee with guest speakers Tommy Gong, Peter Chin, Diana Lee Inosanto, Stephen Chin and Shannon Lee - Introduction by Linda Lee Cadwell. Daniele Bolelli and Sharon Ann Lee joined Shannon Lee and Diana Lee Inosanto for a panel discussion: Bruce Lee - A Cultural Icon. A full weekend of events including Yoga, Lion Dancers, Shaolin Kungfu and other workshops and classes, movie screenings, music, among many other things to enjoy.

Linda Lee Cadwell and Shannon Lee and pose for a photo with guest. Linda Lee Cadwell and Shannon Lee pose for a photo with attendee


Cultural Icon - Panel DiscussionCultural Icon - Panel DiscussionShannon Lee, Diana Lee Inosanto, Daniele Bolelli, Sharon Ann Lee   Shannon Lee, Diana Lee Inosanto, Daniele Bolelli and Sharon Ann Lee in panel discussion 

Bruce Lee ReflectionBruce Lee Reflection

'The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.'
― Bruce Lee

I was in my 'heavenly glory' participating and celebrating a very special human being. Bruce's philosophy and the way he lived, was ahead of it's time. The boundaries he broke and the doors he opened are ongoing. He was then and still is an important influence and guide to me and future generations to come. 

Walk on!

All photographs by Barbara Brander

Information on The Bruce Lee Foundation:

Events held at Container Park and Inspire Theatre-Las Vegas, Nevada




[email protected] ( Bruce Lee Bruce Lee Foundation Enter The Dragon Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Martial Arts The Bruce Lee Foundation Fri, 27 Nov 2015 07:49:17 GMT
Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour Sets The Bar High Madonna - Rebel Heart TourMadonna - Rebel Heart Tour

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Photo by SunsetPalms.Com  

Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour continues to set the bar high.

Filled with new songs from her latest composition as well as classics, top notch dancers, sets and costumes, it is brilliant in concept and design. The Rebel Heart stage is well utilized by Madonna and Company providing a visually theatrical production that is mesmerizing. 

Madonna is at home on the stage and seems to be embracing this tour more then ever. Trademark bitchiness intact but more appreciative and in touch with her fans. 

As a musical artist, she is at her best ever. 



[email protected] ( Concerts Holiday Madonna Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour Music Rebel Heart Rebel Heart Tour Vogue Mon, 26 Oct 2015 19:39:32 GMT
Shania Rocks Calgary! Shania Twain - Rock This Country CalgaryShania Twain - Rock This Country Calgary

Shania Twain is back in Calgary after performing two shows at The Calgary Stampede last summer. Again with back to back shows, she knows how to bring this city "Up Up Up" performing her timeless songs. Couples dancing in the aisles, young and old, enjoying every word. Last night's show proves there is an undeniable comfort with Shania, a familiarity that resonates which is part of the attraction. She is in her element. With new music coming out soon - hopefully this final tour won't be the final.


Dates:  Sept. 17th and 18th,  2015. 

Venue:  Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, Alberta.


[email protected] ( Alberta Calgary Canada Country Music Music Rock This Country Rock This Country Tour Scotiabank Saddledome Shania Twain Fri, 18 Sep 2015 18:32:31 GMT
Shania Twain returns to Calgary for two shows with her sizzling Rock This Country tour. Shania Twain and Jason MoweryShania Twain and Jason Mowery  Photo by SunsetPalms.Com ( Jason Mowery and Shania Twain)

Dates:  Sept. 17th and 18th,  2015. 

Venue:  Scotiabank Saddledome - Calgary, Alberta.
*Tickets available at Ticketmaster.




[email protected] ( Alberta Calgary Music Rock This Country Rock This Country Tour Shania Twain Tue, 15 Sep 2015 06:33:40 GMT
In Memory of 9/11 - One World Trade Center One World Trade Center - New York CityOne World Trade Center - New York City September 11, 2015

The world we knew, changed forever that morning of September 11th, 2001. 

The imagery from that day is still as powerful today....


[email protected] ( 911 Big Apple Freedom Tower Manhattan NYC New York New York City One World Trade Center September 911 World Trades Center Fri, 11 Sep 2015 20:11:55 GMT
Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour to Begin Madonna - MDNA TourMadonna - MDNA Tour Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour begins in Montreal -  September 9th, 2015. 

It will be interesting to see the headlines, reviews and controversies unfold in the coming weeks. Madonna has always been an artist to push the boundaries and has been doing so for decades.   In the world of social media it is hard to keep surprises anymore and within seconds of the start of the first  show - all will be revealed. Costumes, setlist, etc will travel instantly around the globe.

What interests me is the progression of the show. What comes with it. It's exciting as it unfolds. The critics will have their say. Each city will have their reviews and I can guarantee both good and bad of course. Yet however it goes, there is no denying Madonna has a history of putting on some of the best shows. Keep an open mind and enjoy the ride.  

[email protected] ( Canada Concerts Madonna Montreal Rebel Heart Rebel Heart Tour Rebel Heart Tour Montreal Tue, 08 Sep 2015 23:57:44 GMT