The Barbershop Sessions (photo: Brenda Henry)

PEI nominees for 2019 East Coast Music Awards

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Paper Lions
Nominated for Album of the Year for At Long Creek II; (producer Colin Buchanan); Group Recording of the Year for At Long Creek II; Pop Recording of the Year for At Long Creek II; Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year.

With four nominations, Paper Lions bring in more than any other PEI artist. Guitarist Colin Buchanan said his favorite thing about the ECMAs this year is the fact that the event is in Charlottetown. “We’ve been to a ton of ECMAs over the years and we always love when they come to Charlottetown. The city really embraces the festival and with all the venues being so walkable, it is just the perfect size for ECMA. Most artists I know from other provinces think Charlottetown is the best host city as well, so it’s not just the Islander in me speaking.”

Logan Richard
Nominated for Blues Recording of the Year for The Split 2.0.

For Richard, the ECMAs are all about the people. “The ECMAs fill the city with like-minded, music-loving individuals. Wherever you step, there is someone to connect with, someone to make friends with, and someone who can help your career in one form or another. There is truly nothing like it.”

Lennie Gallant
Nominated for Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year for Time Travel; Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year.

Easily one of the most well-known and respected musicians on PEI, Gallant has seen many awards shows come and go. Being on the road for long stretches comes with the job, so Gallant enjoys winding down with new and old pals. “My favourite thing about the ECMAs is hanging out with a lot of musician friends that I don’t usually have the chance to as we are seemingly always ships passing in the night (sometimes literally). It’s great to have a chance to grab a beer and catch up and occasionally even plan a writing session or a recording. In the early days of the ECMAs the late nite jam sessions were the most fun and while they have lessened up a bit in that respect there are still a few that are great if you can find em.

Meaghan Blanchard
Nominated for Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year for The Great Escape.

Blanchard sees the ECMAs as a great opportunity to catch up with touring musicians she has met on the road. “It’s like a big homecoming for all of us artists. We typically run into each other out on the road, so it’s nice to meet up at ‘home’. It’s also nice to share stages with friends, and to meet up with family who are around and excited for the big weekend!”

Lonely Kid
Nominated for Dance Recording of the Year (with Dylan Menzie) for You Could Be My Queen.

Like other Island nominees, Lonely Kid (Mark Skinner) is most excited to share the weekend with friends from around the Maritimes. “It’s really fun to be around like-minded people who share the same interests you do. It’s really one big party that celebrates music. Charlottetown really is the best place for the ECMAs given we have amazing food and venues all in one small package.”

Richard Wood
Nominated for Instrumental Recording of the Year for Unbroken.

Wood has been involved with the ECMAs for nearly two and a half decades, and he’s happy to be, “taking part in the conferences, meeting up with friends and colleagues, and promoting my new album, Unbroken, which I’m very proud of. I’m very grateful that since 1995, they’ve provided me with the opportunity to further my career.”

Grahame Rhodes
Nominated for Jazz Recording of the Year for Giant Steps.

This is Rhodes’ first ECMA nomination. For him, the ECMAs is wonderful because it reinforces belonging to the artistic community. “The Maritimes is a unique oasis where artistic endeavours are looked upon as being part of the Maritime way of life. To meet old friends and make new ones at such events as the ECMA’s reinforces our collective desire to improve what we do. The ECMA’s, and other such events, make us work harder to improve the field of entertainment.”

Rachel Beck
Nominated for Pop Recording of the Year for Rachel Beck.

2018 was a huge year for Beck, and that momentum has only continued into 2019. Beck said her favourite thing about ECMAs is the tight-knit community. “The weekend is a whirlwind of hugs, chats, and incredible live music. I always leave feeling inspired and grateful.”

Amanda Jackson Band
Nominated for R&B / Soul Recording of the Year for Fire in the Blue.

Jackson echoes the sentiments of many Island musicians regarding what this weekend means to them. “I love that the ECMAs feel like a big happy reunion of Maritime artists. We all work so hard and are often unable to connect and catch up with each other. The ECMAs put us all in one city for a few days where we can regroup and catch each other’s acts.” 

The Barbershop Sessions
Nominated for Media Outlet of the Year.

As a filmmaker, Brendan Henry loves being immersed in live music, so the ECMAs are the perfect time of year for him. “That feeling of being surrounded and saturated in sound, no matter how quiet or loud. So when the ECMAs take over a city on the east coast, it’s a fantastic opportunity to just be completely surrounded by music and meet new musicians.”

Doug Gallant
Nominated for Media Person of the Year.

For Gallant, the ECMAs is all about discovering new artists with something special to offer, which there is no shortage of. “Every year I find at least three or four acts that stand out. The ECMAs also provide the opportunity to reconnect with some of the many artists and industry people I’ve met and become friends with during my many years as a music journalist. It’s like homecoming week. You don’t see many of these people at any other time of year.”

Daniel Ledwell
Nominated for Producer of the Year.

Ledwell is excited for the ECMAs for the same reasons as most, but he’s also looking forward to Gala night and being humoured by Jonathan Torrens. “It is always nice to gather in one place with so many friends. These weekends feel like a reunion. I am very excited about the gala this year. I have already weaselled my way on to the stage with both Fortunate Ones and Rachel Beck. Also, Jonathan Torrens is such an amazing host, it is sure to be a fun night.”

Cavendish Beach Music Festival
Nominated for Event of the Year.

Jeff Squires, producer of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, knows just how much of a draw this Island is for music, and he believes Charlottetown is the perfect place for the ECMAs. “I love the showcase of the great Atlantic Canadian talent we have here in our region. Charlottetown is a magical city to have this event. The walkability of the venues and the great vibe it creates make for so much fun.”

Death Valley Driver
Nominated for Loud Recording of the Year for Wolf Crown.

For the guys in Death Valley Driver, this weekend is about playing their music to old fans and hopefully new ones, as well as being the perfect opportunity for networking. “What we’re most excited about for this year’s ECMAs is for the opportunity to present our music and live show that could hopefully help expand our market. We would be more than happy to meet other industry professionals that could hopefully assist us in taking our music and live show to new audiences,” said bass player, Elliott Carter.

The Trailside Music Café and Inn
Nominated for Venue of the Year.

Pat and Meghann Deighan own and operate the Trailside. Pat said he loves the buzz and energy the ECMAs create in Charlottetown. He noted there’s always a good party happening, and he had some solid advice for ECMA newbies. “I would just recommend that everyone takes work off that week and doesn’t miss out on this special event. It really does transform the city for the better and it’s something not to be missed out on. Also, definitely take the following Monday off.”

Vishtèn
Nominated for Group Recording of the Year for Horizons.

Vishtèn member Pastelle LeBlanc said her favourite thing about the ECMAs is, “the fact that there is so much great music, and that we celebrate the music from the East Coast!” She’s also looking forward to meeting up with distant friends, as well as listening to and discovering new music.

Island Jazz
Nominated for Event of the Year.

Dan Rowswell is the producer of Island Jazz, and he’s also one of the many talented musicians who grace the stage at Baba’s during those Thursday nights. “Every Thursday showcases a different style: classic and modern jazz as you’d expect, but also R&B, rock, singer/songwriter, roots, gypsy, Latin jazz and more. What ties all the shows together is three things: spontaneity, with little to no rehearsal; musicians listening hard to each other; and opening up the forms for some improv. That’s Island Jazz.”

Jon Matthews
Nominated for Producer of the Year, and The Sound Mill is nominated for Studio of the Year.

Matthews is looking forward to a lot of things, including seeing how impressed people are with the PEI music scene. “My favourite thing about the ECMAs is discovering new artists I may not have seen before—new music that excites and energizes me! I am looking forward to seeing musical friends I don’t get to see through the year, watching the artists I’ve produced get onstage and kick some ass, and watching delegates from all over the world be impressed by everything PEI has to offer.”

The East Pointers
Nominated for Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year.

The guys in The East Pointers said their favourite thing about the ECMAS are the, “sheer good vibes and energy of all the kind, talented East Coast musicians in one city at the same time! There’s a camaraderie amongst us all you don’t really find anywhere else. And it’s in Charlottetown—the best city for ECMAs.”

Dylan Menzie
Nominated for Album of the Year for As The Clock Rewinds (producer Adam Gallant); Dance Recording of the Year (with Lonely Kid) for You Could Be My Queen.

If there’s one place to see as many talented East Coast musicians in the same place, it’s at the ECMAs, and that’s why Menzie gets out to as many shows as he can. “My favourite part of the ECMAs is going to showcases, catching up with friends and seeing what the community has been working on lately. I don’t get out to a lot of shows so the ECMAs is kind of like a one-stop shop. I also really look forward to the surprise and excitement of discovering a new artist, or at least a new combination of the same people.”

KINLEY
Nominated for Video of the Year “Golden Days” (director Jenna MacMillan); Fans’ Choice Video of the Year  “Golden Days” (director Jenna MacMillan).

For Kinley Dowling, the best night of the whole week is the awards gala. “It’s always a fun night and there’s such an eclectic mix of music. The air around the huge live show is electric.

I am also a fan of red carpets and mixing and mingling with other artists. It’s fun to meet musicians in other genres of music you might not otherwise have had the opportunity to hang out with.”

Jenni & the Hummingbird
Nominated for Rising Star Recording of the Year for Your Masterpiece.

Unfortunately, we were unable to touch base with Jenni to get her thoughts on the ECMAs.

ECMA