All posts by Carla Olive

Canadian Music Week – Day 4

An early morning at the conference greeted me with talks on publishing and sync to film and tv.  So many opportunities to take advantage of in this music business – very inspiring and encouraging!  Its been a full week of learning, and today marks the last day of the conference I’ll be attending – I feel so refreshed and ready for what is to come for my career.

My friend Martin from Calgary, just moved to Toronto in the last couple of days, so we took in the evenings events together.  One of which I didn’t want to miss was Calgary’s own Mariel Buckley showcase at The Dakota – performing alongside her bandmates, Keane and Jessica.  Great show indeed, and Mariel brought her A game to CMW definitely.  Martin and I hit up all venues spilling out with live music (which was quite a few!), and enjoyed everything from Jazz to Country – awesome!

Now, off to see my brother for a couple of days in Ottawa, then back to the island… back to teaching my very well-rehearsed students (fingers crossed!), the Thursday night jam at the Loft, then a show with the Trio Friday night… too much fun!

Canadian Music Week – Day 3

Last night was yet another night of fabulous music – just humbled by the music I’m listening to around the city!  Most memorable was Chersea from Vancouver – a four piece band with drums, bass, two keyboards, and yes, two trumpets… the harmony trumpet parts were so well done, and band was killer. 

Little Known Carla Fact:  I played trumpet in school for 8 years – wow! – I just surprised myself by  counting out the years just now – ha!  I don’t play the trumpet anymore, but Chersea may have inspired me!

The conference was full with talks on publishing, agents and managers today… bottom line: write good songs, curate great live shows, take care of your fans.  I find myself constantly writing down new ideas for my business – tis the spirit of this conference – enlightening!  The day ended with Tom Jackson giving a session on live performance.  The first time I experienced Tom’s magic was in L.A. at a Christian music conference, when I was newly in the scene at 20 years old.  He certainly has a method, and it was demonstrated before my eyes with a new country band – working on the moments of the show.  The most valuable words of encouragement I heard from Tom was:  be confident , know it – within confidence comes charisma.  Lately, I’ve been meditating on identity and purpose – do I feel called to this life as a Singer/Songwriter, and to what purpose? Big questions.

After the conference, I decided to go for supper at The Rex Jazz Club – it keeps calling me back for more and more.  Four-piece band with sax, drums, guitar and organ/bass player today… just blew my brain apart with their music!  Sat at the bar, struck up a conversation with a regular customer sitting kitty-corner from me.  He was very interested in my industry, and reminded me of what a blessing it is to be able to play music for a living!  Its strange to most, but inspiring at the same time.  Then off to The Cameron House with Patrick Brealey and The Boys kickin’ it up with some original alt-country tunes.  In the back of the club, I caught Natalie Lynn with her alt/pop band… so cool! 

I decided to take in a short night… maybe play some guitar – keep up the neighbors! 

Canadian Music Week – Day 1 and 2

Canadian Music Week is always a great time to reflect on your music business skills, refresh your ambition, and be inspired by new thoughts and ideas.  This year does not disappoint!  Another cool thing about this week is the festival portion, where numerous bands showcase their talents.  So, all around downtown in 43 venues is live music in all genres – pretty cool, right? The streets are filled with people and music all night…

Among a few venues along the way, most memorably I went to The Painted Lady to catch Fox Glove from Victoria.  I managed to sneak in, just starting their set.  I was absolutely blown away by the beautiful harmonies, lovingly and carefully selected for each song… I caught myself closing my eyes to draw it all in.  Their last song drew the crowd in with complete silence and respect.  On my way back to the hotel, I stopped in at Dakota Tavern where the CMW showcases had already wrapped up… and the local residency band was about to take stage.  Peter Elkas and Band slayed the crowd with their original, catchy, crafted songs… I was brought to tears as they reminded me of Tom Petty incarnate.  I have to remember that this is Music City for Canada… lots of great musicians here – trying to make it in the big scene, to be heard and noticed.  I certainly noticed.

Again, off to hear some more inspiring music tonight…

Rail Adventures – Day 5

Even though the train trip was an extra 22 hours long, I’m so thankful for the extra special moments as a result…

As it was an extra day on the train, I was asked to share some music in the ‘Prestige’ car located in the back of the train, where I hadn’t performed yet.  The folks there were wonderful, and packed the car to listen and sing along. There is something that brings people together when we’re totally out of control of the situation, and we just have to make the most of it.  It just started to become comical for how late the train was, and it brought out the laughter and lightness of the situation.  The staff were great – they tried their very best to make us feel comfortable… complete with a repeat of hors d’oeuvres and champagne in the afternoon… train life is tough!  After supper, word got around about my last music session of the trip, and the usual suspects and new friends showed up for the occasion.  About twelve of us gathered, taking turns singing lead as I played guitar, everyone piping in for the harmonies… it was magic! 

We pulled into TO at 7AM, said our goodbyes, exchanged emails, went our separate ways.  It’s a funny feeling after such an intense experience – we all began as strangers, now connected by friendship in such a short period of time… I will treasure my time with them! 

Canadian Music Week, here I come!

Rail Adventures – Day 3 & 4

I’m beginning to understand first hand the facts of train life… once the train is behind and off schedule, its inevitable that this trend continues for the rest of the journey. We are now 20 hours behind schedule – lol! On the bright side, we wouldn’t have seen certain sections of the trip if the schedule were not upside down – places we would’ve traveled in overnight, we are seeing in the daylight. People are taking it ok… the disclaimer on our ticket was true – that the train doesn’t always arrive on time!

We traveled through Manitoba’s farmland, then into lake land on our way into Ontario… just beautiful scenes of water and spring colors… at times, completely surrounded by water. Not much wifi through todays stretch – somehow relaxing.

My schedule on the train consists of a 1:30PM session in the economy lounge car, 4PM in the middle lounge car, and an 8PM session in the next to last lounge car. My 8PM sessions have turned into a jam/sing-a-long time with a few new friends… our set list consists of U2, Neil Young, John Denver and the like. It starts out with someone humming the tune, and I find the chords to go along with. Tonight, the comment was made of how wonderful it is to sing with others – the magic of harmony… what a gift music is for the soul! What a cool connection!