January 2019 Member News


The CCMA invites any members in good standing to submit industry relevant information for consideration and inclusion in The Source. As such, any news or statements presented in this part of the newsletter are not necessarily representative of and/or endorsed by the CCMA. Please send your news items for inclusion to thesource@ccma.org and note COAST TO COAST in the subject line. Please keep submissions to 150-200 words, include one high resolution photo (square images preferred) and a link to extended content.

Remember - you can click on each headline name for further info! 


MDM Recordings Inc. is thrilled to announce the newest addition to their award-winning roster: chart-topping, three-time JUNO Award nominee, Don Amero. An award-winning storyteller, singer, songwriter and performer, Amero has been playing live and engaging audiences across Canada for more than a decade – connecting effortlessly with fans wherever he goes and sharing messages of encouragement, positivity and beauty.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Don and his manager Laurie Brown to the MDM Recordings Family,” shares Mike Denney, President of MDM. “I’ve known Don for years and have seen him perform a few times, but his performance at the 2018 CCMA Industry Lunch & Awards in Hamilton was the ‘moment’ that sealed the deal for me in terms of wanting to partner and work with him. A true gentleman, an exceptionally talented artist and a great performer, I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for Don."


2018 was a jam-packed year for Canadian country/rocker darling Augusta Ray. The year was full of memorable moments. Two of Augusta’s 2018 highlights included joining Brett Kissel’s We Were That Song tour as the opening act in Thunder Bay, ON, as well as being invited to join Tim Hicks on stage in Thunder Bay, ON, to perform a duet of his latest smash “The Worst Kind.”

Augusta's latest release (January 2019) entitled “VAGABOND” is a true testament to who she is as an artist, and a person: “I don’t write enough songs about myself,” says Augusta. “Sometimes, I can be so focused on what everyone around me is doing, that I focus on being inspired by their lives, and forget that my life too can be inspiring/interesting enough to write a song about.

“VAGABOND” was that song for me – the song that broke the curse of writing about other people’s lives. For anyone that doesn’t know me and my music, this is the perfect song to give you an introduction into who the heck I am. To the travellers and rolling stones that’ve been known to gather no moss, this song is for you! And to those who have been too afraid to find love in a world that seems like it moves too fast sometimes…I wrote this for you! Here’s to all the “Stevie Nicks enthusiasts that aren’t afraid to put a little rock 'n roll in their country. Here’s to the Vagabonds just like me."

“VAGABOND” is available for streaming and downloading everywhere, now!


Canadian recording artist Eli Barsi, long-time CCMA member and full-time working musician releases her first published book. In March 2019, Barsi will release “Poems & Paintings from a Prairie Girl“. This beautiful hard cover coffee table book features 34 original heartfelt poems and 44 unique landscape paintings. Devoting the majority of her career to music, Eli has also been a poet her entire life and has recently added the art of landscape painting to her credentials. She looks forward to travelling Canada, making stops in a variety of venues featuring a book reading, art display and a live music performance. To find out more contact The Art of Eli Barsi: 1-888-941-4149.


Breaking through at radio is hard. Trust us, we know. Shilo Bellis is the Music Director of the New Country Network for Stingray. Brock Gallant is an award-winning musician and radio producer who’s left the road to work at Stingray. Together they have launched a new YouTube channel that hopes to bridge the gap between “starting out” and “making” it in today’s world of country music. For many years Shilo has been taking time to work with new artists by taking their phone calls, listening to their music and meeting with them in person when they are on a radio station tour or just in the region. The problem was some of that stuff never made it to air. Now with the launch of this new YouTube channel, those performances, conversations and insights into the ever-changing industry can be shared with a wider audience.

If you have news, or just want to talk. Reach out:sbellis@newcap.ca. The best part is, you don’t need to have a single in rotation to do it.


Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion (BMWR) has two new pieces of merch available online, also, new physical copies of their debut album, which will be vinyl only, coming soon. Check out current BMWR merch HERE. Recently released, the band’s second self-titled single, “Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion” can be streamed on Apple Music's Outlaw Country playlist and on Spotify's Down Home Country and Country Rocks playlists. 


You heard from Al Brake back in June as he was set to release his single “Dirty Little Secrets” in Canada. With the success of a #1 on the Cashbox and Record World Magazines traditional country charts, Al was poised to push the song in Canada. Al's song “Dirty Little Secrets” went on to hit #1 on the TNC (True North Country) Indie Row Top 20.

With this song spinning on terrestrial radio and satellite radio including SiriusXM, Al is starting to break that seemingly impossible barrier as an independent artist. Later in December 2018, the song would make it to the Top 50 on the TNC Indie Row Top 50 for 2018. When asked how Al feels about the success in music he says, "I am happy for the success, but of course it would not be possible without the great fan support and my supportive family. Thank you to each and every person who contributed to the success and thank God for the many blessings." 

Al is still writing and performing his own songs while recording and mixing as well. 


BreakOut West is excited to announce Whitehorse, YT as this year’s conference/festival/awards host city. Mark your calendar and join hundreds of industry professionals in discovering the north, and the best emerging western Canadian music, this Oct 2-6!

Submissions are now open for both the Western Canadian Music Awards (artistic and industry) and BreakOut West Showcase Festival. If you’re a western Canadian musician or industry member, learn more about the Awards and Festival guidelines to see if you qualify, and get your application in! 

Click HERE to apply.


Dean Brody's hit single, “Dose of Country" continues to climb the charts at Canadian country radio and is currently in the Top 10.


Ben Chase released his debut single "All Over It" to radio and streaming platforms this month. Just 12 hours into its release the song reached the #1 spot on the iTunes country chart (CAN), and within its first week at country radio it was the #6 most active Indie, it also hit #90 on the BDS charts. “All Over It” was featured on the Casey Clarke Country Countdown as "The Next Big Thing". The single was written on a sunny afternoon in Calgary with Ben, his producer Matty McKay, Adam Dowling, and Aaron Pollock. Click HERE to listen.


Colleen Rae and her band, Cornerstone performed two shows last weekend at Casino Edmonton.

Colleen Rae and Cornerstone will also be performing at Josephburg Presents on February 10. The dinner concert series, now in its 41st year, is already sold out!

For more upcoming shows and news, click HERE.


Denim on the Diamond has announced they are coming back after the event’s inaugural year had over 3,000 guests join in Kelowna for Chad Brownlee, JoJo Mason, Ben Klick and other local artists. This year the backyard bash has James Barker Band headlining with support from Madeline Merlo, Leaving Thomas and more to be announced in coming months. The event takes place on a ball diamond in downtown Kelowna with local beer, wine, food trucks and yard games brought in for a little competition.


James Downham released his latest single to country radio, “Baby, Are You Ready?” in November and the track continues to pick up steam. The song was a follow-up to 2018's "Fly Away" and 2016's debut "Don't Talk to Girls". Downham is currently working on writing and recording his next album, which will be out later in 2019. James was the winner of The Shot Season 2, which he credits as the catalyst to launching his professional music career.

Besides his solo efforts, Downham has also had a busy 2018 as a member of the up-and-coming country quartet, Durham County Band, whose latest single "Don't Turn Away" is also currently spinning at country radio. Downham's next solo single should be released to country radio this spring - keep your eyes open for it! Downham is performing on April 6 in his new hometown of Stratford, Ontario, at the iconic Revival House.


Making regular trips to Nashville since 2014, Doug Folkins co-writes with many Nashville hit makers and with recognized Canadian artists. He was nominated for the 2018 BCCMA Award for SOCAN Songwriter of the Year for his co-write on “Midnight and Bourbon" (recorded by Ajaye Jardine). He is also nominated at the upcoming Alberta Country Music Awards for 2018 Song of the Year for his co-write on “Safe Harbour” (recorded by Renegade Station).

In August of 2018, Doug released an EP entitled Riding The Brakes; he has decided 2019 is the year he brings his music to Canadian country radio.


Andrew Frelick has released the title track to his third Nashville -recorded EP, “Lost in the Right Direction”. In the first two weeks since its release, radio reception has been very positive, paving the way to multiple adds including light rotation on SiriusXM CBC Country. Radio directors look for it via DMDS, and listeners request it now at your country radio station! 

In February, Andrew will be once again be returning to Nashville to record his next single, “Heads Up” with producer Scott Harter. Together, Frelick and co-writer Doug Folkins (Campbell River, B.C native) have written some of Frelick’s most popular tracks including “Unlove You”, “Time Stands Still” and “When I Was Little”. “Heads Up” will be released this spring, alongside a music video for the single, which will be produced by rising star video producer, Paul MacRae.


2018 CCMA Songwriter of the Year, Aaron Goodvin, returns on February 15 with his sophomore Warner Music Canada release, V. The album's release was preceded with the current Top 10 hit single "You Are”. Aaron wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks on the album which he also co-produced in Nashville with GRAMMY-nominated producer Matt McClure (Lee Brice, Kellie Pickler). V, named after his wife Victoria, who is the inspiration for many of his songs, also includes a brand-new version of his platinum hit "Lonely Drum". Watch the “You Are” official video HERE.


Jackie Guy releases her third album, I Did It Anyway, produced by Rich McFarlane (Mosaic Music, Prince Albert, SK) and Larry Beaird (Beaird Music Group, Nashville) on February 5. Four years in the making, this collection of 8 country pop songs is dedicated to Guy’s late father who inspired and encouraged her career in music. The latest single off this album, “Got Away”, went to radio on January 8. An album release party is scheduled for February 22 at Painted Hand Casino in Yorkton with special guest Harreson James.


Coming off his successful Get Loud tour across Canada in November 2018, Tim Hicks will be releasing his new single “What A Song Should Do” to radio today, January 30. The single follows up his duet hit with Lindsay Ell, “The Worst Kind”, which was featured on CBC Music’s Top 100 Songs of 2018. The new single celebrates the feeling that music can evoke, that feeling of relatability, emotion, or sometimes just making you say, “Hell Yeah!” Click HERE to see all of Tim’s tour dates coming this summer.

Congrats to Tim on his JUNO Award nomination for Country Album of the Year!


In December after more than 20,000 votes were tallied, Hunter Brothers’ song, "Born and Raised" was chosen as the anthem for the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation's World Junior Hockey Championship. The brothers will take the stage at Scotiabank's Hockey Day in Canada Concert on February 6 in Swift Current, SK. 

The four-time CCMA Award nominees and three-time SCMA Award winners released their sophomore album, STATE OF MIND, across all platforms on Friday of last week (January 25), the first night of multi-city, high-profile The Journey tour. “Lost”, the first single and corresponding video from STATE OF MIND had an impressive debut as the #1 selling Canadian single the week of November 12 (Nielsen Soundscan), it was the #1 Most Added at Canadian country radio in the last week of November (Mediabase), and is now in the Top 20. Bringing together the best of Canadian country music, #TheJourneyTour will kick off in Abbotsford, British Columbia on January 25, and wrap-up 22 stops later in Sudbury, Ontario on February 24. 


David James joins Aaron Pritchett on his Out On The Town tour, which hits up 30 cities across Canada. Get your tickets HERE and hurry, some shows have already sold out!

On November 9, David James released his new single “Cars, Girls, and the Radio” from his forthcoming 2019 EP. Since the release, James took home the 2018 Manitoba Country Music Award (MCMA) for Album of the Year (Downtown Kids).


They say that music is the language of the soul, and nothing could be more true for this songwriter. Josh David has earned an admirable reputation as a talented musician, skillful songwriter, performer and inspirational artist. His profound songwriting ability captures audiences and takes them for a journey down memory lane. From his live shows, to studio sessions and more, Josh David continues to touch the hearts of his fans. His stories, rich voice and beautiful acoustic performances speak for themselves. Josh is Royalty Music Publishing's newest songwriter.


Donny Lee has kicked off 2019 with brand new music, releasing his second album single debut, “Two Lane High” to Canadian country radio on January 7. This song is a fun mid-tempo, pitched to Donny Lee by ole Publishing and written by Blake Bollinger, Jay Brunswick and fellow Canadian, Jason Blaine. 

Donny Lee is also booking more of his own shows in Canada in 2019, introducing his brand of music to country music fans while still maintaining his status as a popular Nashville live music performer. Stay tuned for show dates HERE. 2019 is going to be an exciting year in Canadian country for Donny Lee!   


David did a showcase at Free Times Cafe in mid-January, a songwriter–in-the-round performance, with Sean Peever and Steve Raiken. In late January, another benefit for Nellies Shelter was held at The Linsmore Tavern, where monies were raised for Nellies, a shelter to benefit women in need. David’s latest single, “We Got Love”, continues to get airplay in Europe. For copies, click HERE.


CCMA Award and two-time BCCMA Award winning artist, Madeline Merlo released a brand new, soulful ballad, titled “Unraveling” on January 11 and it has already gone Top 50. Merlo co-wrote the song with Cameron Bedell, and Steven Dale Jones. The track came together at a rapid pace when the three songwriters gathered in a room and follows the success of the pop-meets-country success single, “Neon Love”, which was Merlo’s fifth Top 15 single. Merlo currently has amassed more than 13 million streams of her hits across all streaming platforms. Listen to “Unraveling” HERE.


Prior to the New Year, Jess Moskaluke performed two Christmas shows (Yorkton, SK and Toronto, ON) to celebrate the release of A Small Town Christmas. Special guest, Tim Hicks, joined Jess on stage in Toronto to perform “With Bells On”, which was originally recorded with Paul Brandt. Kira Isabella also made an appearance at the Toronto show.

Jess released her new single, “Save Some Of That Whiskey”, to Canadian country radio, on Christmas Day. She is currently on the road with Paul Brandt, High Valley, and Hunter Brothers on The Journey tour, which began on Friday (January 25) in Abbotsford, BC. See when The Journey tour rolls into your town HERE

Congratulations to Jess on her JUNO Award nomination for Country Album of the Year! 

 Meghan_Patrick_Jan1.jpg MEGHAN PATRICK
Meghan Patrick, the reigning two-time CCMA Female Artist of the Year, scored her first #1 single at Country radio week of December 17, 2018 with “Walls Come Down”.  With this chart-topping news, Meghan joins Lindsay Ell as the only two female artists to reach to top of the Nielsen/BDS and Mediabase country airplay charts in 2018. This marks the first time two women have scored #1’s in the same year since 1999 – a feat last accomplished by Shania Twain (“Honey I’m Home”) and Terri Clark (“Easy On The Eyes”).  

Taken from her sophomore release, Country Music Made Me Do It, “Walls Come Down” was written by Meghan Patrick, Justin Weaver and Kelly Archer. Meghan debuted the single with her dynamic live performance on the 2018 CCMA Awards show broadcast in September. CLICK HERE to watch the official video for the single.

Congratulations to Meghan on her JUNO Award nominations for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Country Album of the Year!

Sirroma Entertainment is thrilled to have Jordyn Pollard join Drew Gregory and Renegade Station as part of their roster. Hailing from Hillmond, SK, Jordyn is often compared to the likes of Taylor Swift, Tori Kelly and Sarah McLachlan.

Jordyn has already achieved many successes, including earning a SCMA Youth Development Bursary, winning a Saskatchewan Country Music Association Youth Talent Search and having ample performance opportunities, including sharing the stage with the likes of Brad Johner, Gord Bamford, JoJo Mason, Jade Eagleson and Brett Kissel. Pollard’s YouTube channel boasts of over 1,500 subscribers enjoying a mix of original and cover songs

Pollard is working towards the release of her first EP and radio single, both to be shared later this year. Recording will begin in the spring with Bart McKay taking on the producer role.


This past November Big Loud's Mackenzie Porter returned to her music-making roots after a five-year hiatus and three successful seasons on the Netflix hit show Travelers. Mackenzie teamed up with award-winning producer and fellow Canadian Joey Moi(FGL, Jake Owen, Dallas Smith) to release two new tracks: "About You" and "Drive Thru". With nearly 1 million streams to date, “About You" was selected as the lead single and was released to Canadian radio earlier this month. With 22 radio adds in 2 weeks and listed as one of Mediabase Canada’s “most added” songs, Mackenzie is thrilled with the early response to “About You”. Kicking off the year named as one of the “Artists to Watch in 2019” by Amazon Canada, Mackenzie will continue the momentum with the release of more music next month, leading up to her full EP later this year. 2019 is sure to be a landmark year for MacKenzie!


The Prairie States are kicking off 2019 with the release of their second single, “Just Maybe”. The song will be released to radio on January 21 and the guys will hit the road for a Western Canadian tour after that. The Prairie States will also be headlining a show at the National Music Centre in Calgary on March 23; tickets for the show are available HERE.


Sons of Daughters' single, "Ain't Gonna Be Lonely Long" continues to climb the charts, now in the Top 40 at Canadian country radio. Earlier this month, the country duo blew an intimate audience away as they played the Sunday Spotlight at the iconic Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville. 


In December, True North Country (TNC) finished up its inaugural year with the INDIE ROW TOP 50 of 2018 Year End Countdown.

Determined from chart success from TNC’s weekly INDIE ROW TOP 20 Countdown throughout 2018, the top 50 independent Canadian country artists were chosen to be a part of this exciting year-end countdown. Fans voted for their favorites over a two-week period, and with over 40,000 votes cast, the INDIE ROW TOP 50 of 2018 was formed.

Congratulations to the entire Top 50, and to the artist who was ultimately crowned #1 – Matt James!(His single “Already Gone” was featured as part of the Online Countdown).

TNC supported and showcased over 80 independent Canadian country artists throughout 2018. Nearly 250,000 fan votes were cast between April and December as part of TNC’s weekly INDIE ROW Countdowns. TNC has already kicked off its 2019 season, with lots more support specifically planned for independent Canadian country artists!


The CCMA is proud to acknowledge the altruistic acts of charity and kindness demonstrated by our members. If you or someone you know has done something that you feel deserves recognition, please send your recommendations for consideration to thesource@ccma.org and note COUNTRY CARES in the subject line. Please keep submissions to 150-200 words, include one high resolution photo, (square images preferred) and a link to extended content. 

Remember - you can click on each headline name for further info! 


It was one year ago that Cadence Grace, from the group Runaway Angel, was preparing for a life-changing month-long yoga retreat in Nicaragua, before planning to have her first child with new husband, Bill. During a routine physical before the trip, doctors discovered she was suffering Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia.

Unable to tolerate targeted oral chemotherapy due to a haematological intolerance, Cadence requires a bone marrow transplant to survive. She has been lucky enough to locate a donor match for this needed procedure; but it will be a long and life-changing process to see Cadence through this next chapter.

We encourage you to visit her GoFundMe page HERE, to read her story and to make a donation.

We hope you’ll join us in sending positive thoughts and good vibes to Cadence.


Steve Graham, owner of Canada Country Aircheck, lost his eyesight over the last few months due to cataracts and it requires an operation. Being a Canadian living in the Nashville area, and because he is unable to travel, Steve will need to have the operation in the states, and any/all donations for his procedure will help with the significant cost he will be incurring. Click HERE to donate to Steve’s GoFundMe page.

As a long-time supporter of Canadian country music and the industry, the CCMA wishes Steve all the best, and a speedy recovery!


Fourteen weeks, 10 provinces, 100 schools and 125,000 students directly impacted. Wow, what a tour! This past fall, the inspiring Elsie Morden hit the road with No Time for That Anti-Bullying Society's No Time for That tour, the registered Canadian charity that Elsie founded and is the CEO of. She shared her story and songs that she's written, empowering youth and educating them about bullying prevention and mental health awareness. Thank you to all of the CCMA radio stations across Canada that had Elsie in studio - you are making a difference and your support is greatly appreciated!


Sing Out for CHEO is recognized as an official CHEO Foundation fundraiser. Over the past three years, the event has grown to include a fantastic silent auction, with prizes given by local merchants and this year will include a local artist/band music competition.

Danny Sylvestre is the founder and organizer for the Sing Out for CHEO event. He had his life dramatically altered when his daughter was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy by the doctors at CHEO. Without the care and support provided by CHEO to both his daughter, and to himself as a young parent, both of their lives could have been negatively affected. Through the surgeries, the therapies and the countless late-night visits, the specialists at CHEO patiently carried them through every kind of healing process. Today, Danny’s daughter is a vibrant testimony to just some of the vital services that CHEO provides.

Sing Out for CHEO! is set for Friday, February 22 at the Lone Star Loft (St. Laurent), 1211 Lemieux Street, in Ottawa. Tickets are just $10. Click HERE for more information or to make a donation.

This year, Sing Out for CHEO! is giving three lucky artists the chance to also perform at this great event. Deadline to submit is January 31. Click HERE for info.