Many years have passed since Melanie Doane left Halifax for Toronto and it has been almost a full three since her last local performance at The Marquee Club.
Doane, in order to raise children, took a hiatus from touring but is now back on the road with the Bluebird North songwriters’ circle. With musicians Barney Bentall, Jeremy Fisher and Selina Martin, plus host Jian Ghomeshi, Doane visits the Schooner Room at Casino Nova Scotia on February 2. The only Halifax content in Bluebird ’07 hopes to continue her stints on the road, and move back into the industry as the kids get older.
“I am a full-time mum, I have been taking time the past few years to be with my little ones and that’s been fantastic,” says Doane on the phone from Edmonton. “I am just coming back to work, so that’s what this tour represents. It’s a chance as a songwriter to be out with my fellow songwriters. The line-ups each night are fantastic.”
A new song posted on her MySpace page, called “Back to LA,” contrasts her days of flying to California to work on material with the reality of raising a family. Doane is working on a pair of projects at present, and suggests an optimistic release date of this spring, with shows throughout the summer months, including appearances in Nova Scotia.
“It’s just a thrill to be here and trying new material, going ‘oh yeah, this is what I do… yeah I remember this,’” she says. “It’s really great too because I’m out on the weekends, but I’m home with my kids tomorrow. It’s not too hard on them, and that’s of course my number one concern.”
Soundtrack to his life
After a year-and-a-half in production, Rich Aucoin is ready to release Personal Publishing, a concept EP concerning themes influenced by his favourite childhood film. The material is a meld of songs that matches up with How the Grinch Stole Christmas, both in terms of duration (26 minutes) and conceptual themes on the catharsis of finding love.
“I synced it to this particular film because of its length and partly because of its visual appeal,” says Aucoin, who has toured across the country with The Hylozoists, Cuff the Duke and femBots. “As I started playing the broken pieces of songs, I realized that my concept album was trying to tell the same story as The Grinch. So I took some chord progressions and broken melodies, and started watching the film non-stop, playing the parts over the film to get a feel for the film and the message that we were both trying to push.”
The album release—featuring Aucoin playing during a screening of the film—takes place February 3 at St. Matthew’s Church with an impressive line-up of support including Brent Randall, Jason Ball and Laura Peek. Part of the door proceeds will go towards the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia.
Denny Doherty, RIP
One of the most successful and influential musicians our city has ever produced passed away at his Mississauga home January 19. Denny Doherty, who was raised in Halifax’s north end and became one-quarter of the ’60s pop group The Mamas and The Papas, died at the age of 66 following an abdominal aneurysm. Doherty was pre-deceased by band members John Phillips and Cass Elliott. After leaving the band, he moved on to an accomplished acting, producing and writing career. Doherty was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
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