My Music

Joni Mitchell’s Morning Morgantown

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Matti Palonen is a wonderful trad/folk musician whom I’ve met through the songwriter scene here in Toronto. Although we’d met many times before, the filming of this video marked not only our first time playing music together, but also our first conversation lasting more than five minutes! That’s something I love about this friend-cover-collab series (wow, I need a better name) – getting to know friends in my community better. And I really LOVE playing music with my friends! YAY. It’s awesome.

Anyway, Matti suggested we learn  this Joni Mitchell song off of her album ‘Ladies of the Canyon,’ and I happily obliged.

Matti said of the song “Ladies of the Canyon was in my parent’s record collection so I have always loved the songwriting of Morning Morgantown.  It was an interesting challenge to adapt the guitar chords to the bandura. My main instrument is the Finnish kantele, and I have been taking up the Ukrainian bandura this year because it has a wider range and a different but familiar technique. “

So with that, enjoy our cover of Morning Morgantown!

Love

Emma

Donuts and Good Times with Kirk

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Kirk is such a stunner. So relaxed. So stylin’

I’ve been doing these little covers lately and I knew Kirk would be such a perfect fit for the vibe I want to set  — when we play together Shrinehouse (our Amy Winehouse tribute band), we’re most often found in the corner causing trouble with the other members of the rhythm section.

Kirk showed up to my house for this video with some brownies, some great documentary recommendations and the STRAIGHT CHILLIN acoustic bass you’ll see in the video.

He told me why he picked the song ‘Old Friends’ by Donuts.

[Kirk] “Donuts was a local Toronto band from the mid 2000’s. I first heard this song while my high school ska band was opening for them at the Cathedral. It was my first time seeing live reggae and my first time seeing live music while stoned (sorry mom), I was 16. I picked this song because I play it all the time and it gives me that really good nostalgia.”

Enjoy the vibes and comment if you love Donuts!

Love Emma

I’ll Be Your Emmylou

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Hi friends!

I’ve been really loving these collab videos, and one of the first people I asked to join me was my friend Gillian Smith. She’s one of the lovely vocalists in Shrinehouse, the Amy Winehouse Tribute band I’ve been part of for some time now.

Gillian is not only a gifted singer, but she also plays trumpet, and as I learned today, guitar! It was really nice for me to relax and just be a singer on this track while Gillian took care of the chords :p Not to mention, we had a great time just chatting and talking about how we both teach young students. It’s great to connect with other teachers.

Gillian suggested this song by First Aid Kit, the Swedish folk sister duo, and I’m glad she did because the harmonies are BEAUTIFUL. Here’s what Gillian had to say about the song: “I love First Aid Kit because they are sisters, and I learned many of their songs with my own sisters. Their music taught me to harmonize and really listen to those you are making music with. Emma and I chose the song ‘Emmylou’ because of the references to the love stories between musicians that we admire [Emmylou Harris & Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash & June Carter]. Plus the harmonies are beautiful and feel so nice to sing.’

 

I’ll definitely have Gillian back so I hope you enjoy this pairing!

Love Emma Louise (a.k.a. Emmylou)

BTW, if you’re my friend and want to sing with me, shoot me a message 🙂

Ryan kept asking ‘Remind Me’ what song we’re covering?

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Ryan Maguire is a friggin blast guys!

We met at a party in late 2018, and within 5 seconds began improvising songs together – talk about a creative connection! We’ve been playing so much that we decided to learn this really fun, upbeat song that was written and released in October of 2018 by Emily King. Her stuff is really musically interesting and uplifting, so check her out for sure.

THIS SONG IS HARD THOUGH. Ryan and I actually got together to record this on another day, and really loved the result, but just thought the final edit had one too many mistakes in it! The words are fast and rhythmically challenging, and switching between harmonies and melodies while singing with someone else is a feat in itself.

Here’s a shot of us in our first attempt…Screen Shot 2019-02-25 at 12.41.59 PM.png

Haha, I try hard to make these good for you guys!

Here’s what Ryan has to say about the song: ‘The more we dove in, the more I loved learning the song. It’s very sneaky, super fun and very cleverly written, not to mention funky as hell. I’m so happy we did this collab because I got introduced to a great artist, and had a blast singing and hanging with Emma! It was really nice finding how our voices fit together, this song was great to explore that.’

Thank you Ryan and thanks everything for watching and reading!

 

Love,

Emma

Molly and I totally Gossip for 3 minutes straight about Kate’s Bush

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Oops, did I do a typo in the title? I meant to say Kate Bush, who is a hugely talented English artist who’s  put out nearly a dozen albums since the 1970’s. Wink wink.

When Molly Davis and I decided to collaborate, we almost instantly decided to cover Kate Bush’s iconic 1980’s song ‘Babooshka.’ For me, this song was nostalgic and powerful to record, because it was one of the first songs that I really resonated with as a kid. I didn’t understand why my dad was showing me a video of a woman jumping around with an upright bass in a tight golden suit, but I was into the music that’s for sure. And the song really holds up nearly 40 years later!!!!!

From Molly: “Kate Bush is mind boggling. The music she writes spans from melodic and catchy, to darkly bizarre, to arhythmic chaos, to sci-fi story songs, to deeply emotional love songs… to celtic jigs! She always seems so in control too, something about the way she holds herself that just says gently but firmly “I am here and you will listen.” I’m inspired by her confidence and how that confidence bleeds into her music.”

Back to Emma: This song was also really fun to record because Molly (who fronts the Molly Davis Band, and is a multi-instrumentalist in several other projects) always brings out the trouble-maker in me! She’s so fun. I really love doing skits and playing around with people who make me laugh, so this was an ideal project to record and collaborate on. THANK YOU MOLLY and thank you to my friends who follow this blog – means a lot 🙂

Love Emma

I’m actually a wicked producer???

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Yesterday as I was going through some computer files, I stumbled upon this song that I completed as part of a production course in my first or second year at york university in 2008/2009. It’s just so crazy to me because at the time I really felt like I was a bad producer – I left the course really comparing myself to others and feeling stuck, like I wasn’t ‘getting it.’ Contrast to yesterday, finding this and just dancing and laughing and really loving this track and being proud of it. I forgot that I’m actually a wicked producer and I want to own that! Hope you enjoy 🙂

LOL, don’t believe me? Check out the full song on my soundcloud!

I covered a Gospel song with Colin J. Gibson!

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I just get genuine joy out of singing with cool people, you know?

That’s why I knew I HAD to get Colin in my house to do a lil’ jammity jam. He and I play in several bands together, and when you play with him, it is immediately obvious that he is a rare gem in the Toronto musician community. Not only a technical, high-quality guitarist, but Colin is also the perfect supportive player. He’ll never solo too loud or force his ideas on you – just real honest love and support pouring out of this guy. And if you’re feeling doubtful or nervous (which, c’mon don’t we all feel that way sometimes?), Colin is the guy you go to in order to build you right back up to the best player you could be.

And he sings! What? Dream collaborator ❤

Here’s what Colin had to say about the song!

“Washington Phillips was a man who wrote his own gospel tunes, who played an instrument of his own making, and who promptly vanished into history shortly after recording this remarkable music. The enigma of his music is only deepened by the evident passion and fervor with which he delivered  these strange songs of simple faith.”

Image result for washington phillips

Here’s our version – enjoy!