What is Roots On The Wire? Why a Live Stream Concert?

August 8th 2013

Image 3Stephen Fearing: The idea for Roots On The Wire was hatched (as are many good ideas) over a cup of coffee as a way to help promote my (still) new album Between Hurricanes.

As most people making records know, any new album-release  (hopefully) results in a burst of publicity announcing the new music and the accompanying tour. Much of this publicity is now generated on the internet, (we are all familiar with the barrage of FB and Twitter that goes with a tour and helps to promote a new album at the same time). My experience has taught me that traditional print and radio need the “story” of a live show in their region, to create an angle for talking about the new record (preview, review etc.). Canada, where I live and tour most, is a relatively small population and typically an artist can expect to tour hard, for three or four months to cover most of the country and in doing so, tap into the press and radio across the country. More

Roots On the Wire #2 – YellowJacket – Following The Big Beat – July 31st

July 15th 2013

I’m starting to prepare for the next Roots On The Wire concert. Live-stream Show#2 will feature the entire Yellowjacket album played for the first time, entirely acoustically from start to finish. For more information on the series, click here. The First show was a bit of a trial by fire, but went off swimmingly with about 250 people in attendance (from all over the continent) and a lively chat room pinging back and forth during the performance. We are working on a couple of issues that emerged up during the show the feed dropped out a few times (at regular intervals, which we think we can solve) and lighting. But overall the sound quality was excellent and people seemed pretty happy. I hope you can make the next one July 31st. Please tell your friends and re-tweet, re-post whenever you get a chance, this is grass roots at it’s finest.

 

Roots-on-the-Wire-2-Facebook

Summer Newsletter 2013

June 25th 2013

Summer is a-coming in
and winter’s gone away…

 

Dear listies,
as I write this, Calgary and much of Southern Alberta is bailing itself out from the worst flooding in 100 years, my sincere best wishes to my many friends out west who are enduring some of the craziest weather we’ve seen in those parts…
Batten down the hatches Manitoba and Saskatchewan, global warming is here, we are definitely living in interesting times…I’m happy to tell you that Between Hurricanes, my new solo recording which came out earlier this year, has made a lot of headway and I’m into my second pressing of CDs (remember those weird discs… what was the tagline? “Perfect sound forever…” hah!) which still continues to be the coin of the live-touring realm. Well the record has been well received (lots of positive reviews on my website) and more importantly, the new songs translate beautifully to the stage, which was primarily what they were written for. Here is what Ken Kelley had to say about the new recording:
“Much like John Hiatt before him, Nova Scotia’s Stephen Fearing can get away with wearing many musical hats and come out sounding like a winner. Fearing’s newest record leans heavily upon the folk music realm, every song anchored by his earthy, baritone vocals.
There are many highlights to be found on Between Hurricanes including Wheel Of Love and Don’t You Wish Your Bread Was Dough, a song that could have easily been penned by Texan songwriter Guy Clark. Fearing proudly wears his influences while still maintaining a truly original voice.”
As per usual, I am juggling many different balls and wearing a variety of hats and needless to say, there is much to tell you about, so I’ll get right to it.

Roots On The Wire – Live Streaming Concerts!

 

Roots on The Wire, a Live-Stream Concert Series

The idea behind this  series was hatched by my friend Matt Charlton and I over coffee one afternoon. We thought it would be exciting to put together a series of three concerts that are only accessible via the internet, so if you’re up at a cottage or still stuck in the city on the last Wednesday of June, July or August, you can tune in for a live mini-festival concert set from the comfort of your own WiFi. As well as the music, we will have a chat-room area where you can talk amongst yourselves without getting any dirty looks from fellow concert-goers, or ask me questions between songs… like “Why did you write that one Stephen?”, “What gauge strings do you use Stephen?”, “Is that water glass full of water Stephen?”… you get the picture. The idea is that we can interact, although mostly I will be playing and hopefully you will be listening. This is a big world and that proves to be a challenge when it comes to picking a time when everybody can watch (and I can get to bed at a reasonable hour!) so…  shows will all kick off at 11:00pm NST / 10:30pm AST / 9:30pm EST / 8:30pm CST / 7:30 MST and 6:30pm PST  Confused? –check here). West Coasters can watch right after dinner and Newfoundlanders can watch on their laptop in bed… or when they get home from the pub. The rest of you? Well I hope it fits in with your  plans… what else were you going to do on a Wednesday evening? As for my friends in other parts of the world, I realise that the timing will make it difficult for you to tune in, however, I am hoping that there is enough interest in these shows, that I can start to plan for time-zones much further afield (Hello UK, Europe, Eire… Asia!). So mark these dates on your calendar and plan to sit out on the back-deck or drag a deckchair out to the dock and put something decent in the ice bucket. Please tell your friends, I’ll do everything I can to publicise these shows (I’ll be tweeting using #rootsonthewire), but the more people you can tell, re-post to, tweet, talk to at the water cooler etc. etc. – the better. I will post each event on Facebook and hopefully you can make one or more of the shows. Further details and a link for the concerts are at stephenfearing.com

Show #1: June 26th -my current touring show
This show will be drawing from what is currently on my playlist in concert with the odd surprise thrown in… dealers choice. The show will be approximately 1.5 hours long comprising of roughly 14 songs.

Show #2 – July 31st – Yellowjacket
The Yellowjacket album in it’s entirety from beginning to end, solo and acoustic. I’ve never done this before, so it should be interesting to play these songs back to back. 11 songs. Probably about an hour+ with the stories behind the songs (tunings – guitar geek alert!) and other fascinating trivia.

Show #3 – August 28th – Fan’s Choice
You choose the setlist –  Send in a list  of your favourite 12 tunes. Songs that get the most votes will be played. Songs can be drawn from SF Solo, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Fearing & White… if I can play it (and enough of you vote for it) I will. Sign up for my mailing list and send your songlist to 2stephen@stephenfearing.com


Summer Touring

 

This summer is a mixed bag of solo work, shows with Blackie and The Rodeo Kings and the Roots On The Wire Live Stream Broadcasts. Further details are available at stephenfearing.com, but here are the highlights:

July 31, 2013
Live Webcast, Nova Scotia
August 30, 2013
Live Webcast, Nova Scotia
October 5-6, 2013

UK Tour Confirmed for October / November

 

I’m very close to announcing my UK tour dates… but still have a few tweaks to make in the schedule before setting out the schedule. Many of you guys over that side of the pond have been writing to ask about UK dates this fall and I’m happy to tell you that I’m definitely coming over, but still not sure exactly where/when. When I do get there (probably mid October) I will be performing all the songs off the new album and whatever else you want to hear OK? Promise! In the meantime- keep your eye out for Maverick Magazine and R2 as both of those excellent publications will have one of my new songs from Between Hurricanes on their sampler CDs. In the meantime stay tuned for those UK dates.

Fearing & White – Tea and Confidences

 

Andy and I plan to meet up in Los Angeles July 1st to listen to mixes of Tea and Confidences, the new Fearing & White album, due for release in Canada – March 2014. Tea and Confidences is vintage Fearing & White – mostly written over a 4 day marathon writing-jag on Saltspring Island last summer, with a couple of songs already in the bag from an earlier  session. Last July, we had a few days off between the Vancouver Folk Festival and The Islands Festival in Duncan and were lucky enough to score a small cottage (Frida’s Villa) near Fulford Harbour on Saltspring and started writing… honestly, I don’t think either of us had a clue that we would cover so much ground, but when we left, the album was pretty much written. I’ll tell you more ab out it when we get closer to the release date. We are making plans to tour western Canada – March/April 2014 and Central Canada in the fall of 2014 with further plans to return to the UK winter 2014. Stay tuned for more details or visit fearingandwhite.com

Blackie and The Rodeo Kings – South

 

South – the new album by Blackie and The Rodeo Kings is almost completed. I was just down in Nashville for a couple of days to listen to mixes at Colin Linden’s beautiful new studio and I’m really happy to tell you that it is unlike anything we have done before. Over many months of touring Kings and Queens, we found ourselves in a lot of tiny radio stations,  singing and playing into one or two microphones with just our acoustic guitars… at some point we decided that we wanted to make a record like this, unplugged, recorded quickly and with the intention of putting across the acoustic side of the band, something we have toyed with on other records, but never fully realised. So stay tuned for South, a whole slew of new songs, a sound you haven’t heard from us before in an album package that features my photographs (rah, rah!). For more info and for tour dates specific to B&RK go to www.blackieandtherodeokings.com

Art prints and transcriptions

 

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, I have finally gotten myself organised enough to put up a number of song transcriptions for purchase and download. I will continue to add to this catalog as time permits. A number of you have already purchased some of these and for that I am grateful… in fact I had the great pleasure of signing a transcription of Whoville for a young man in Alberta on the last tour. He said the transcription was bang-on accurate and that makes me happy, since I don’t read or write tab or notation! Here’s the link to the transcription page. Also – a number of my original photographs have been uploaded to my Photodeck online-gallery. These images can also be purchased from my website and come in a number of different sizes printed on archival paper, stretched canvas, matted or plain, it’s up to you. The Photodeck interface is very smooth and easy to manage, so check it out. I have a lot of images still to upload and this part of my site will be changing and improving greatly over the next few months. For those of you in the Ottawa Valley, I’m pretty chuffed to let you know that I will be mounting my first exhibit at Guild Galerie 240  (240 Guigues Ave. in Ottawa ) Oct. 4th –  6th 2013. The opening on the 4th is a private event but the 5th and 6th are open to the public. if you are in the area and can make I’d be happy to see you.

Thanks

 

So that’s it for now, tomorrow I will be going through a dress-rehearsal of all the technical and audio gear for the first Roots On The Wire Concert streaming live on Wednesday at 10:30pm AST. I hope you can make it and I look forward to crossing paths with you soon. In the meantime, as always – Thanks for listening!
=SF=

Between Hurricanes – On the air – In the ether – On the road.

March 31st 2013
Dear Listies,
As many of you probably know – Between Hurricanes, my first solo album in over six years (who knows where the time goes…) is up and at ’em. It was released in Canada on LowdenProud Records at the end of  January and is now available at Maple Music .com  or on iTunes OR (if you are lucky enough to still have one) through your local music store. Reviews have been steadily trickling in and people seem to like it….
“My God, Stephen. Between Hurricanes is nothing short of magnificent. What an amazing collection of songs!
…it further solidifies you as one of the music world’s finest in the craft and art of the song. Jeeesus it’s good.”
Bob Chelmick – Host of  “The Road Home” – CKUA Radio
Ahem…
I’ve been trying to keep up with posting all the reviews (so far only one bad one review the UK who said the record was… “wussy” ??? ) on facebook and onto my website, but I’ll be honest here and admit that I can’t drive the car, play the shows, sell the merch AND keep everything current. So I’ve opted for pecking away at this newsletter when I have time and working on a few of the bigger challenges which seem to be resolving themselves. Read on.


Tour Dates
Western Canada  – March/April
Central Canada – April/May

So with the new album making it’s way in the world, it’s time for me to hit the road too and start bringing these songs to you live and in person, which I have been doing for the past several weeks. Many of you have come out to see me as I drove/wove my way from Winnipeg and out to the west coast. As I continue to write this (I started this newsletter Halifax fer Pete’s sake) I’m sitting in a hotel lobby on the edge of the world – Ucluclet BC on Vancouver Island. The Pacific is crashing endlessly on the rocks below and I am the sad bastard sitting at a computer behind the big glass window up above. It’s been a very full and plentiful schedule of shows so far and to those of you who came out in the blizzard that was the show in Saskatoon, or who froze their feet, standing in line outside the Avenue Theatre in Edmonton… thanks for coming out and making this tour a great success so far. It’s not over by any stretch, and so for full details on the upcoming dates you can head over to my website and get all the information on venues, start times and ticket outlets. Meanwhile here is a list of confirmed shows.

– May 5, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario – map

May 7, 2013
Orillia, Ontario – mapI am adding dates pretty regularily, so please check with the tour page of my website for the latest up to date shows.

I‘ve been taking pictures more or less for most of my life. Pre-digital, I usually had several film  containers (of unknown age and content) stuffed into the fridge door taking up space in the egg-box , waiting silently to be “hatched”, it was a hobby at best, and one that I found too tedious to fully engage in. The whole thing turned on a dime with the advent of the digital camera and the accompanying software  giving me the ability to process the images myself during those endless tour-nights where the TV is a depressing drug and insomnia lurks like an old ghost in the lobby of every 2 star hotel. Now I rarely turn the stupid-box on  as there is always a backlog of photographs waiting for my attention and what I lack skill-wise, behind the lens, I’m learning to deal with behind the screen. You see, imagery has always been a huge part of why I write songs and I like to think that my lyrics paint pictures. Certainly I like to “show” not “tell” if you get my drift, so it’s natural for me to take this a step further and try to capture them through the lens. One of the real perks of my job is that I get to see a lot, places, people and things that always seem “fresh” to my eye as I swing through on my way to the next gig. I’m finally (and with the encouragement of some fine photographers/friends) willing to take this seriously enough to start using my images on album artwork (Between Hurricanes is all mine and the next B&RK recording features my images on the front and back cover) and taking this a step further, offer them through my website for sale to anybody who’s interested. So I’m very happy to report that my Store is up and ready for business. It’s pretty self-explanatory, all you’ve got to do is visit the page, pick the images you like and decide what size print you want, what you want it printed on… click, click, click, stick it in the virtual shopping cart  and Paypal does the rest. Prints should arrive at your door in a few weeks. let me know what you think, this is a work in progress and I will continue to add images to the various galleries as time goes by. BTW –  I am very interested in your comments (as long as you don’t use the word “wussy”…).


This idea has been a long time coming and I want to sincerely thank those of you who have been waiting patiently and encouraging me to stick with it. Initially, I thought I would just put out a song book, but when it actually came down to the details,  the cost of creating and printing a stock of music books was prohibitive. As time went by and new album projects came and went, the idea of a music book just kept getting pushed further to the back of the stove and I almost gave up on the idea altogether until, once again, technology came to my rescue and my laptop/website offered a viable solution. So far I have managed to get 16 songs transcribed and I’m very happy to say they are available and, (now through the magic of Paypal), for sale, download etc.

Btw. These songs were transcribed by the meticulous and talented Jason Fowler and I chose them based on e-mails you sent me over the years, so… these are your choices. With this initial offering up and ready to go, I will see what kind of a reaction I get and if there is a demand, I’ll continue the process of getting new songs transcribed and present them for sale. The obvious next step it to transcribe the songs from Between Hurricanes ,but I would(again) like your feedback on this venture and if there is a song that you really want to learn, let me know by sending me an e-mail <2stephen@stephenfearing.com> I’ll tally up the votes and start this process again in the near future.
That’s it for now – thanks for reading and for listening.
=SF=
“Those who live by the song
Die by the road”
Roger Miller.

Fearing finds calm between the storms

February 16th 2013

February 12, 2013 – 4:44pm By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter

Image FEARING’S new album Between Hurricanes is the sound of someone starting from scratch. It’s his first album of all new material since 2006’s Yellowjacket and his first independent release following nearly two decades with True North Records and a resettlement from Guelph to Halifax with his wife, writer-performer Christine Taylor.

It’s also the result of realizing that he wasn’t giving himself enough room in a busy schedule that was largely devoted to either working with roots trio Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, or the duo Fearing & White, pairing the Vancouver-born, Ireland-raised songwriter with Irish-born, Australia-based musician Andy White.

Being too busy is a welcome problem for a musician to have, but at some point you have to make sure it’s the right kind of busy.

“I needed to find a way to weave more of ME into this career, and I realized that unless I did something soon …,” trails off Fearing, over coffee at the Armview, just a brisk walk away from his west-end home.

“I was more or less knocking on my agent’s door saying I needed some work as a solo artist, and he’s telling me I need to make a solo record to prime the pump.”

Read more

Stephen Fearing is Between Hurricanes

February 16th 2013

singer

By Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

Performing in Fernie March 11

Juno Award-winning artist Stephen Fearing is returning to Fernie March 11 for a show at The Arts Station.

Fearing is touring to promote his latest album, Between Hurricanes, appearing seven years after his Juno Award-winning tour de force Yellowjacket.

His newest release marks a pronounced change in his life since his 2006 Juno success, which was a time marker. Read more

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