Posts in Music
Angel Acoustic - Now Free for on Patreon

This is not the version you've heard, but the song as it was originally written. A different key. Different instruments. Different vibe.

As a way to say thank you to my current supporters on Patreon – and perhaps entice new people into our Patreon community – I'm releasing this track ONLY to my patrons. And unlike my major releases, even the $1 supporters get this track totally free!

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Song Story - "I Want To Be Known" Is A Song Born In The Cold And Dark

When you hear the horns on I Want To Be Known, you'd never know the darkness it came from. Horns often herald something glorious, but I wasn't writing from a place of triumph or fanfare. I wrote this song from defeat. 

The melody found me in the mountains just outside of Canmore, Alberta. 

My wife and I escaped the city for our anniversary weekend. The air was crisp but warm enough for a winter walk. Snow fell like stars and–best of all–our Air BnB had a hot tub. 

I needed this break. 

I'd just learned that yet another job I'd been hoping for fell through. I was overqualified, which, to me, reads "you're a great fit somewhere, just not here." 

I felt like a misfit. Out of place. Adrift.

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Listen Local: Travis Matthews

I saw this week's Listen Local pick play at a Soft March show. Travis Matthews was our opener. He's funny and captivating. He's got great stage banter. At one point he invited a girl up on stage who'd been dancing her way through every song. She became his improv backup dancer for the rest of the night – even through a slower, sadder song – and Travis was unshaken.

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Listen Local: Soft March

Soft March – today's Listen Local pick – have just put out a ton of music. They've been working hard this past month, and I should know because Soft March is my other musical adventure.

I joined Soft March in the spring of 2018. At that point they'd released their debut album, Farewell Party, which I had nothing to do with but had already been getting into. The songwriting is strong and Paul Jensen's vocals add a texture that keeps things interesting.

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Listen Local: 100 Mile House

Today's Listen Local pic holds a special place in my heart. 100 Mile House is the first local band I really dug into.

Long before I knew the depths of our local music scene, I was running sound at The Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse during the Kaleido Festival. I'd never heard 100 Mile House before, and I was a sound-tech amatuer. They were gracious, easy to work with and sounded fantastic despite me. I could have listened to them all day, and bought a CD so that I could.

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Von Bieker Shows Up (November Gigs)

I have a whole pile of live shows coming up in November here in Edmonton and I would love to see you in person at one of them!

Here are the places you can come see me this month and some insight into which one might be the best pick for you.

The best news? All of these are FREE (tips, of course, are encouraged).

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Listen Local - F&M

Ryan Anderson was dressed in a black suit I recognized from his stage performances. It's likely not the exact suit, but close enough to be on-brand.

He'd also seen me play, and remembered the bow tie. This weird stuff works, people.

Ryan was kind and full of the wisdom gained from experiences like playing 150 shows in a single year with his wife and musical partner Rebecca.

F&M play "folk noir" - a genre made up like "bowtie rock" to try and capture some unique edge of the music they make. And it captures their sound so well.

Their self-proclaimed "joyful melancholy' is all over their just-released record, "Lessons from Losers."

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Full Heart, Full House (My Afternoon at Empress)

I played Empress Ale House for the first time on October 13 and it went so well that I hope it won't be my last.

This little neighbourhood pub is oozing with charm and short on pretense. It really feels like a "come one, come all - just as you are" kind of place. There were young people and old people. There was an 83 year old country crooner (side note - eccentric old men are turning into my favourite audience members). He would be talking to me between sets and then break off into song mid sentence, watching for my recognition of his country classics. I need to brush up on my country classics.

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How I Learned Courage from 91 Year Old Dancing Ted

Once I've lugged my guitar across 12 blocks of early-winter downtown Calgary, I'm going to play.

Probably.

I've never been to Mikey's on 12th (used to be Mikey's Juke Joint) so I don't know what to expect. I don't know that the open jam I've brought my wife to on our weekend getaway is actually a blues jam. I don't play the blues.

I don't know that most of the people in Mikey's are a decade or two older than me. Or five.

We grab a table at the very back and I slide my acoustic guitar under it before I out myself as a naive folk performer.

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Listen Local - Major Love

This week's Listen Local brings you an indie super-group fronted by Edmonton's hometown hero, Colleen Brown.

Brown's voice has been compared to Joni Mitchell for good reason – her ability to shift gears with a mid-note lilt brings life to her delivery. Her songwriting ain't half bad either.

Major Love is Colleen Brown's newest musical identity. I love the name and the positivity it puts forth. Major Love's debut self-titled album shines.

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