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Review: ‘Golden Hour’ by Kacey Musgraves

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Kacey-Musgraves-Golden-Hour-1522096646-640x640Golden Hour cover photo courtesy of MCA NASHVILLE

Kacey Musgraves released her latest, and fourth, album Golden Houron March 30.

This album is a bit more serious than her previous albums and features more love songs than witty narratives. It is a significant shift from her previous albums in terms of sound as well – blending country-pop with disco and electronic influences.

No matter which way you slice it, there’s nothing not country about Kacey and her music, and what separates her from other country artists, both past and present, is her writing and storytelling.

maxresdefault Still from the official audio video for the title track Golden Hour

For example, Kacy made a big impact with her major label debut album Same Trailer Different Park, which is comprised of songs with lyrics questioning religion and small town life; extolling the pleasures of marijuana; of how you can take the girl out…

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Review: ‘Castles’ by Lissie

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lissie_coverCastles cover photo courtesy of Lissie’s website

Singer-songwriter Lissie released her fourth studio album Castles on March 23 and it is EPIC. The album was written largely from her farm in Iowa and follows 2016’s My Wild West (which was written during and after her move to Iowa from California).

Lissie is so brilliant and I loved her music for a long time, since first discovering an alternative version of her song ‘When I’m Alone‘ (Catching ATiger, 2010) on YouTube many moons ago.

lissie2 Photo by Gretchen Robinette

With each new album, we see Lissie experiment not only lyrically but musically as well. Castles is almost symphonic – more dream-pop than the folk-rock sound that she is known for, but while there is change, much remains the same: Lissie’s lyrical genius and her powerful voice.

Lissie is a versatile artist, and Castles isn’t the first time she’s experimented…

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Fabergé and the Russian Craft Tradition at the Walters Art Museum

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After seeing Anastasia the Musical in New York City, the following Saturday we took in The Fabergé and Russian Crafts Tradition: An Empire’s Legacy exhibition at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

This was quite the coincidence considering we booked our tickets for Anastasia before learning of the exhibit. I guess you could say was destiny on our “Journey to the Past”.The Fabergé exhibition “invites visitors to consider the broader historical context from which the House of Fabergé emerged” and features 70 works that illustrate the artistry of Russian tradition crafts by Fabergé and other artists of the Romanov time. The exhibition includes two Fabergé Easter eggs that are a part of the Walters’ collection:  the Gatchina Palace Egg and the Rose Trellis Egg.

Here are some of my favourite items from the exhibit:

The Daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra, ca. 1915.
Left to right:…

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Anastasia on Broadway

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Have you heard there’s a rumour in St. Petersburg?

My boyfriend and I recently travelled to New York City from Baltimore for the weekend to check out Times Square and to see Anastasia The Musical on Broadway!Before this trip, my boyfriend and I had never been to NYC and therefore had never before seen a show on Broadway. We were really looking forward to seeing Anastasia The Musical because the animated film had been a favourite for both of us growing up.

Some people I have talked to, and comments I have read from others on the Internet, say they have mixed feelings about the show. But personally, I thought it was fabulous!The acting was well-done and the actors made the characters really come alive. The chemistry between Anya (Christy Altomare) and Dmitry (Derek Klena) left me hopeful! The chemistry between Countess Lily (Caroline O’Connor) and and Vlad…

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Kicking Down the Door with Whitehorse

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I recently took in a concert at the London Music Hall with a good friend of mine. The band playing that night was Whitehorse – a Canadian folk-rock, husband-and-wife duo from Hamilton, Ont.

22770743_1511041452267025_2116389963786764734_o (Photo courtesy of London Music Hall)

My boyfriend introduced me to Luke and Melissa’s music when we first started dating and I became an instant fan.

I first saw Whitehorse (and my friend was there too!) in July 2013 at Hillside Festival in Guelph where they closed out the main stage. It was my first time attending Hillside Festival and seeing Whitehorse live made it even more exciting and special.9425402706_1647bf19a1_z

9425364550_25d90271ea_z (1) Whitehorse at Hillside Festival 2013. (Photos by Steph Smith/@vagabond__photography)

I saw them again a couple months later in Waterloo at Starlight Social Club’s 10th Anniversary event.10526528374_bd5eaa77ff_z

10527014083_06b5cc1eaa_z Whitehorse at Starlight Social Club 10th Anniversary. (Photos by Steph Smith/@vagabond__photography)

The night at London Music Club…

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An Evening with Buffy Sainte-Marie

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On the evening of August 7, my boyfriend and I travelled to Stratford for a very special concert, one that I had been looking forward to since the tickets first went on sale last December.

The tickets were a birthday gift from my boyfriend and they were to see a rare, solo performance by Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Avondale United Church. Buffy was performing as part of Stratford Summer Music, and to a sold-out crowd.

PORTFOLIO-033 (Photo by Matt Barnes Photography)

This show was the second time that I would see Buffy. I saw her for the first time at Hillside Festival 2016 in Guelph, Ont. where she closed out Sunday night on the main stage.

I’ve been a fan of Buffy for a very long time.

IMG_8744 Buffy Sainte-Marie at Hillside Festival 2016. (Photo by Steph Smith/@vagabond__photography)

The Stratford show was also a part of Buffy’s tour for…

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