Fine Productions is in the holiday spirit! We had a special together for friends old and new at the studio on December 9th. Folks dropped in, sang a song or two, brought food and liquid merriment and cheer.
Along with all the original music happening in the city, December nights in Toronto are full of holiday themed choirs, parties and annual concerts. In the spirit of the season, independent artists everywhere are releasing special holiday albums, singles and covers. Fine Production has compiled a list of some of our favourite listenable tunes.
Madison Violet (madisonviolet.com)
Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac have collaborated musically since the late 1990’s. First in Zoebliss, then MadViolet for 8 years – and now as the Juno nominated Madison Violet. The harmonizing, singer-songwriters, multi-instrumentalists have released a new Christmas album “Sleigh Bells In The Snow”! The album is available on iTunes and on their website.
Melanie Peterson (www.melaniepeterson.ca)
Originally from Saskatoon, musician-singer-songwriter, Melanie Peterson has made Toronto her home. She’s showcased at Canadian Music Week, NXNE, and toured through southern Ontario. The latest part of her music success is her new Holiday single, “Santa’s Sleigh’ and official video. The single video release is December 10 at Sauce on the Danforth.
Myke Mazzei (mykemazzei.bandcamp.com/)
Impossible to describe in 155 characters. Mazzei can be found performing slowcore acoustic and the occasional Neil rock cover (insert your favourite Neil here). He is a multi-year contributor and collaborator on several independent artist Songs For the Holiday albums.
Heard on Bandcamp, he is releasing a collection of seasons songs each year.
Stacey Dowswell (staceydowswell.com)
Dowswell admits she’s hesitant to put a description to her own music. Playing a combination of folk, jazz, and country, she displays lyrical moments of Dorothy Richardson and Soviet Montage Theory. After a 14 year absence from music, Dowswell now plays shows regularly throughout Toronto. (Note: Guest blogger takes no credit for referencing Eisenstein theory.)
She has two songs perfect for December and Winter.
Candice Sand (candicesand.com)
From the small town of Melville, Saskatchewan (pop. 4,517), Candice Sand is a Toronto-based Pop/R&B musician, songwriter, and Flower Child. Canadian Beats says she has, “…a strong vocal presence, and each song has a beat that hooks you from the beginning.” In addition to her own original songs, Candace performs acoustic covers with Neil Whitford (on guitar).
Her Christmas selection cover is of Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again”
Twice voted “Toronto’s best female vocalist” in the NOW magazine reader’s poll, Emma-Lee has impressed listeners in TO and beyond. She’s showcased at SXSW and MIDEM. Along with great reviews from the Toronto Star, and Globe and Mail, Emma-Lee has received heavy on Much Music. Emma-Lee is also an established photographer (see her musician portraits).
Her new holiday single is “It Won’t Be Christmas” – available on iTunes.
The Skydiggers (skydiggers.com)
Canadian Roots-Rockers, The Skydiggers, have started off playing Andrew Cash’s Acoustic Meltdown in the Spadina Hotel, almost 30 years ago. They’ve played their annual Christmas Concert at the Horseshoe for close to 25 of those 30 years. They have two annual holiday concerts at the Horseshoe Tavern on December 22nd, 23rd . Both supporting Unison Fund (unisonfund.ca), helping music industry individuals in time of need.
Thursday December 22 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern – ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1345045
Friday December 23 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern – ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1345049
Video created by Nance Marie of The Skydiggers version of “Good King Wenceslas” youtube.com/watch?v=v9WCEEeTPMw
And, if you’re in the spirit for an “alternative to the standard Christmas concert fare”, Fine Productions suggests the Art of Time Ensemble “To All A Good Night 2.” It’s the AoTE second annual concert. The event features singers Jackie Richardson, Tom Wilson, David Wall, Liam Titcomb, and Jessica Mitchell with the all-star ensemble. Expect holiday classics, rarities and special renditions of a Tom Waits cover to the Nutcracker Suite.
Arts worker rates available by phone. December 15-17 at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre.
Happy holidays to everyone from Fine Productions and friends.