Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

Thrice awarded the Juno for Female Artist of the Year back in the 1980s, Montreal’s Luba remains one of Canadian music’s most recognizable women in song, even if out of the spotlight. (Her most recent release is 2000’s indie album From the Bitter to the Sweet.) She spoke to Words + Music about one of her most enduring hits, “Let It Go.”

Tell me where you were in your career when you wrote « Let it Go. »
Pretty well at the beginning. I had started playing clubs a couple of years before that, paying my dues. I had written some songs, like “Everytime I See Your Picture,” which had done really well. The night I wrote « Let it Go » I was actually on my way to Hamilton to record my first album with Dan Lanois, and I called my best friend to say goodbye. I don’t know why but this melody popped into my head as we were talking. Once I got off the phone I picked up my guitar and started strumming. I didn’t have the lyrics yet but I just knew there was something there. So I wrote down the chords really fast because I was packing. Once I got into the studio, I told Dan I had this idea that won’t go away. He really liked it, and he helped take it to another level.

How did Daniel Lanois impact the song’s development?
I’d never really worked with a “real” producer before. I am shy, and all of a sudden being in a room with someone with that great reputation, I was a little intimidated. He had a very experimental vibe, which I liked. When you’re new to something, it’s nice to have options to try different things rather than someone telling you to do it this way or that way.

How consciously were you trying to write an uplifting song? The lyrics are quite anthemic.
I don’t know. I came up with the phrase “let it go,” and it was sort of a female anthem. I had taken some women’s studies courses in university and was reading Simone de Beauvoir. I wasn’t trying to be heavy, but I guess I was feeling a bit like a fish out of water, being a woman in the music industry. Things were not what they are now. So I suppose maybe I felt the need to say these things to myself, but as I worked on the lyrics I realized this was turning into something bigger than just about me.

What was the reaction from the industry when they heard it?
I think the record label had a little problem with it! Here’s a Canadian girl and she comes up with this crazy calypso song! Dan, he was really frustrated; they gave him a hard time, and it went through many changes. But I had a gut feeling and my gut feelings almost always turn out to be right.

Looking back, what does this song mean to you now?
It was the launching point of my career. I hadn’t been writing for that long, and I’m lucky that I had Dan as a producer. Anytime I perform it people go wild. It’s not your typical dance song, and yet it makes you want to move and I think it has a positive message. I love si


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Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

100 Dollars aren’t your average Canadian country band. Led by the striking vocals of singer Simone Schmidt, they’ve been captivating audiences since 2008 with their raw, honest songs and a beautiful medley of old and new country. “We grew up in the eighties and nineties listening to all kinds of music, from grunge to psychedelic rock, to hip-hop, to bluegrass, and even minimalism,” says Schmidt. “So it follows that the music we make combines a lot of influences that musicians like George Jones or even Dwight Yoakam never had.”

Their 2008 album Forest of Tears received glowing reviews in practically every major Canadian publication and earned them a nomination on the 2009 Polaris Prize long list. Their powerful, moving live shows seem to fit any bill, routinely seeing the band playing festivals and tours across Canada with artists as diverse as punks like Fucked Up or fellow country-rockers like The Sadies.

They released their second full-length album, Songs of Man, last May. Recorded with producer and pedal steel player Steve Crookes (Jill Barber, Hawksley Workman) it was a hit with critics and fans, getting the band longlisted again for the Polaris Prize in 2011. This winter the band finished a cross-Canada tour with Toronto roots-rockers, Elliot Brood. Expect a new album next year.


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Les traductions pour les articles avant l’automne 2013 ne sont pas disponibles pour le moment.

There are those who are happy to be along for the ride. Then there are those who want to be behind the wheel. These days, Aaron Pritchett is in the driver’s seat.

The B.C.-bred country singer-songwriter’s four albums and numerous hit singles have garnered legions of loyal fans throughout Canada. Among his accolades are a 2004 Canadian Country Music Association award for Independent Male Artist of the Year and a 2007 SOCAN Country Music Award for the hit “Big Wheel.” Now, for his fifth album, the aptly-titled In The Driver’s Seat, he’s taken the bull by the horns, overseeing most aspects of the album’s creation, including writing or co-writing seven of the album’s 12 songs.

“I didn’t want so much to be the control freak,” Pritchett says with a laugh. “I just wanted to be a bigger part of the process… I wanted to have more say in the making of the album, with song selection, and with writing as much of it as I possibly could… I just wanted to be more responsible for it.”

Known for his intense and energetic live shows, Pritchett seems to have stacked the album with songs that were written for the express purpose of getting country fans up off their denimed derrières and pumping their fists. This is high-octane, arena-ready new country.

“I just like to have fun any time,” he laughs. “Doesn’t matter when it is. But onstage, that’s amped up times ten, and I really needed people to almost feel like they were at a show while listening to the CD.

“That’s what I wanted the record to represent: me and my show that I do live,” says Pritchett. “And anybody that’s seen my show knows that it’s high-energy, it’s in-your-face rock. Country-rock is what it is.”

But for Pritchett, it’s not all about writing songs that drive the concert experience. They also have to meet the age-old criteria for any good country song. “In country, it’s all about the story that you tell within a three-and-a-half minute period, » he says, « and I think if you can tell a great story within that short period of time, then you’re on the right track.”

 » I did want to have more say in the making of the album, and with song selection, and with writing as much of it as I possibly could »

As he typically does, Pritchett traveled to Nashville a few times for some songwriting sessions with friends there, but he also had a few of his Nashville buddies come up north to write with him. One of these was Willie Mack, a prominent Nashville writer who’s had success with a number of other Canadian artists, including George Canyon, Adam Gregory, and Jason McCoy.

Pritchett also co-wrote with members of Emerson Drive, and with Shaun Verreault of the Canadian blues/funk/rock band Wide Mouth Mason. Pritchett met Verreault through one of his songwriting friends, and the two decided to try working together to see what might come of it.

“We ended up writing a song called ‘You and Me’ that made the record,” says Pritchett. “I think because of the fact that Shaun comes from a different genre – even though he was brought up on some country, being from Saskatchewan – I really believe that it added that cool rock/pop inflection that was needed for the song.”

When the writing was over and it came time to pick which songs would make the album, one would imagine that a natural bias for his own contributions would hold sway. Not so, according to Pritchett.
“That wasn’t the case. I treated it as though I needed the best songs,” he says. “And I really felt that the songs that represented me the best – seven of the twelve – were songs that I co-wrote.”
And now that he’s got his hands on the wheel, what’s next?

“I got a lot of big plans. I’ve got the two-year plan, the five-year plan and the retirement plan,” he says with a laugh. “The next two years, I’m still gonna promote this new record and keep that going, and in the meantime start writing a little more seriously for the next record, whenever that may be. And then the five-year plan is basically to keep on touring all those years… and get my music out to the incredible fans of country, of pop music, of country-rock, and all across the world with any luck.”

He says he hopes to make it to Australia, where he’s had a video in hot rotation and a Top 10 single.
As for the retirement plan, the way things have been going, that may be a long way off. With Aaron Pritchett in the driver’s seat, there’s no telling how far he’ll go.


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