Tag Archives: Billy Joel

Emma Wright Steps Into the Spotlight With Her First Single

Meaford’s Emma Wright has released her first single at the age of thirteen.  It is an original song called “Heroes On The Wall” produced for independent release in the Lora Bay Studios of Damage Entertainment.  It is available for download at emmawright.net.  The download costs $1.99 with twenty-five cents of the cost going to CCISF (Canadian Critical Incidence Stress Foundation) to support Post Tramatic Stress Disorder initiatives.

With this in mind, the song seems to be about soldiers gone off to war, an apt theme for a local girl who has grown up in the vicinity of a military training base.  The narrator gazes out the window at the water dreaming of the heroes captured in pictures on the wall, standing “proud and tall” to give her “hope and inspiration”.  Emma’s impressive vocals sound like someone much older.

The song was created by Emma with help from Doug Adams, owner of Damage Entertainment and David Rosenthal, a veteran keyboard player who has worked with a variety of performers that include Billy Joel, Cindi Lauper and Robert Palmer.

While this is her first foray into professional recording, Emma has been a favourite young performer in Meaford for many years, always tapped to play Canada Day festivities and other events.  She brought the house down recently at Meaford Hall with her rendition of Allanah Myles“Black Velvet” as part of the Rockin’ The Hall concert.  She will be re-uniting with many members of the band from that performance on Canada Day this year, this time at Blue Mountain Village where Chris Scerri has put together his all-star cast to perform under the name of True North and has asked Emma to make a guest appearance on Saturday evening.  Emma will have her own time slot at the Coca-Cola stage there, opening the ceremonies with another local favourite, Jayden Grahlman, at 12:30, playing until 2 pm on Saturday.

While she is still young enough to have a whole lifetime to develop a career, Meaford is rooting for this first foray into the world of professional music for this young talent.

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Brit-Pop, Georgian Bay style, with John Brownlow

John Brownlow will be playing in Meaford tonight at The Red Door Pub and Grille as part of a Songwriters’ Showcase that includes Bill Monahan and Dave Hawkins.  Although he is well known in the area, particularly by musicians who have benefitted from his talents as a producer and video producer, and from the attendees at the Bi-Monthly Songwriters’ Circle who benefit from his perceptive feedback, he doesn’t get out much to play since disbanding his group The Sportswriters a few years ago.

The Sportswriters ran for four or five years, and it kind of felt like it had run its course,” he said.  Part of the problem was that he is a restless creative spirit, always wanting to try a new direction, and part of it was because with every song he writes he has “a very specific sound in my head”.  The best bet for him, then, seemed to be to do it all himself.  “I had a few things to get out of my system,” he says.  Since breaking up the band, he has spent hours in his home studio working on his original songs, playing all of the parts himself except for the drums.  It’s been a process of sorting out the scraps of ideas he’d been collecting.

“I record every idea I have.  So I started with about 300 song ideas, half had lyrics and half didn’t, pared them down to 70 and then whittled those down to 30.”  He recorded those thirty songs with a variety of instrumental arrangements, carefully “putting the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle”.  Now he’s finished, with songs fully mixed and mastered, and just has to figure out the best way to get them to the public.  But while he’s sorting that out, he’s written fifteen more since then, so he wants to record them.

“It’s all storytelling,” he says, “constructing a narrative”

It’s a prodigious output from a guy with a fertile imagination.  Although the songs range through different emotions, moods and sonic colourings, the one thing they all have in common is that they are unashamedly pop music.  He’s not into angst.  He wants to write and record songs that sound good coming out of the dashboard of a car.  The result is a collection of songs with more hooks than a salmon derby.