Dave Cheetham- Deganwy, Wales

Dave Cheetham

Often pondered is the question ‘what is success’… is it defined by being the latest ‘thing’ on the cover of a magazine, a top 20 hit, the balance of your bank account?  Or is it feeling truly happy and fulfilled at the end of a long day, knowing that what you do makes a difference to those around you. As life carries us forward we realize that success and happiness go hand in hand – doing what you love and loving what you do. That is exactly what Welsh born singer, songwriter Dave Cheetham does, writing from his own life experiences and proving that we can all do small things with great love. Never underestimate the power of good energy for it carries with it the ability to light up the world.

Where are you writing this:

In my kitchen. My favourite room in the house. My favourite room in any house (and at any party).

Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours…

I live in a sleepy corner of North Wales by the sea and under the shadow of the mountains, with my partner, girlfriend, lover and guardian angel Tracey. We jostle for space with our three teenage children, who are revelling in the irresponsible privilege of youth.

The kids are great really, they put up with me strumming and warbling away all day long. They just turn up the TV and carry on. Seems like they don’t even notice the noise any more.

My family have been amazingly supportive about my songwriting. Without their encouragement I wouldn’t have posted any of my songs on YouTube or eventually started recording them and releasing them on iTunes.

When I nervously announced I’d written a few songs, I expected them to laugh or roll their eyes in embarrassment. But they had quite the opposite reaction. Todays generation of young people are so much more accepting and positive than they were when I was a kid. It’s the age of user generated content so they are used to it, in fact they expect it.

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a david newberry

The roots of music run deeply and Canada has David Newberry sowing a trail of his own. Songs breathing life, weaved from his own journey in uncharted territory. Always a pleasure to be invited into the heart and soul of someone’s deepest thoughts beating in living colour. Replacement Things available now.

– Fresh Independence


Home is where your story begins – please tell us a little about yours.

I just relocated from Vancouver to Toronto. Currently I live in a house with seven other musicians in the Little Italy neighbourhood of Toronto. I have heard it said that there are no musicians remaining in Canada who have not stayed or lived here at some point. I am lucky enough to cohabitate with a few of my favourite musicians, including Rachael Cardiello, James Burrows, and Jaron Freeman Fox. It’s funny because it feels completely normal to me, but whenever I’m explaining day-to-day life in the house to non musicians, they always get a mildly concerned look on their face and try to end the conversation as fast as possible. One day last week there was three amplified, full-band rehearsals happening at once. I cannot recall a single moment since moving in in March in which there was not

How did music find you?

Violently. In 2001 I was living out my life plan of becoming a carpenter when I injured my hand very, very badly on a table saw. It required a few surgeries, and a lot of physical therapy. It was my physiotherapist who suggested that if I dusted off my old guitar and played it more, I could get better faster. And I haven’t looked back. I played mostly in punk bands at the start, but a few years later I snuck into a folk festival in my home town and saw David Francey play. It blew me apart, and really changed my relationship with music. I don’t know if people would call what I do “folk music” anymore, but it was that moment that taught me that whatever style of music you play, it has to start with great songs.

a david newberry replacement things

Tell us about Replacement Things and how it came to life…

People tell me its different from my previous records, which I suppose is true, and I think that’s because of the process. It’s the first record I’ve made in a real studio (instead of a barn or a farmhouse or a basement). It’s the first where the band on the record was the band I was using at the time. It’s the first to not be built around acoustic instruments. It’s basically the first time I’ve ever had a plan. The sound of my previous records was always defined by whatever was happening around me at the time – which I loved – but as my luck has improved and I’ve been able to throw a bit more time and money at these things, I had the chance to be a lot more calculated about this one.

It’s also more personal. I’ve always made very outward-looking records, and maintained a pretty serious embargo on putting too much of myself in the songs. I never thought that was my role. I have always considered my job to be holding up a mirror to the world outside, and that’s still there, but I made myself turn the mirror around a bit on this one.

Your favorite lyrics on the album and the story behind them…

Oh man. I don’t know.

“The brick was barely through the glass / The water takes what’s made of sand” from “We Were Honest Once” is a contender.

The song is about taking a big leap that you’re really confident in, and but learning very quickly that it has consequences. If there’s a unifying theme on the record, it’s consequence. Sometimes you throw a brick at a window before you realize that it’s gonna go right through the glass, and sometimes you build the perfect sandcastle before you properly understand how the tide works.

When not making music what might we find you doing…

Mostly I watch baseball and live music. When I say “mostly” I mean “exclusively.” I usually forget to eat as a result.

Shout out to your favorite band or artist at the moment.

Brandon Flowers from the Killers’ new album “Desired Effect” was my album of the summer. It’s like he remade the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack from start to finish but changed all the words. I have learned to love cheese. The song “Between Me And You” is immaculate. I have always argued that pop music could be smart, and this record proved it to me.

a david newberry water

Something fans would be surprised to learn about David Newberry…

I have a masters degree in political theory. Or whatever.

The greatest book ever written is…

Green Grass, Running Water, by Thomas King.

True love is…


What can we look forward to with David Newberry over the coming year…

Work. And great outfits. Hopefully a really sharp haircut, but it’s hard to find the right barber on the road. I’ll be swinging through Western Canada in September, and travelling through Ontario and Quebec in October/November. I have a few EPs in the works that I may try and sneak out there. There are a lot of things in the works right now, but they’re all at that pesky “I can’t tell you about it right now” stage.


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Jess Lambert – Seattle Washington

a jess lambert

The best part of what we do is being invited into stories from the heart. With a voice that echoes through all the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Jess Lambert proves that she is no Creature of Fear but a survivor in every sense of the word. We are not defined by our challenges but how we rise up and imprint on others with the very best of who we are. Get her full digital album here. – Fresh Independence


Home is where your story begins … please tell us a little about yours.

Home is just north of Seattle. I live with a Labradoodle named Frodue, and a human named Chad. Guitars and music gear are strewn about the living room, and the walls are covered in framed posters of Cash, Davis, and Gillespie. It’s rarely quiet here. Music is usually flowing out of speakers or being strummed on guitar strings. This is where Creature of Fear was recorded.

How did music find you…

Music must have found me at a very young age because I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with it. I always loved to sing but was too scared to sing in front of anyone, my voice usually managed to lodge somewhere in my throat. While growing up I wanted to write songs, but I didn’t play an instrument so I wrote poetry instead. When I was twenty-three I was given a guitar for my birthday. I started writing songs as soon as I was able to play a few chords.

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Blue Sky Miners – Toronto


Photo Credit Melanie Baresic

Love it when good music finds its way to us. Blue Sky Miners proudly Canadian with the perfect blend of west meets east coast, Rocky Mountain desert rock. Organically grown and finding their own, their collaboration is true testament that all things come together as they were meant to.  – Fresh Independence


Name:  Eric Duquette 

Age: 26

Where are you writing this:  A coffee shop in Toronto.

How did Blue Sky Miners come to be…

Jay and Jena (the two lead singers in the band) had a couple of chance run ins with each other while each living in Victoria. I met Jena after she moved to Toronto and we began jamming some cover songs together. She was hosting a music night at a small bar on College Street and Jay happened to walk in to play some of his songs. He had just moved recently too. It was a very loose, laid back environment and we all sort played on each others songs and eventually decided we should start writing our own songs together. I think we immediately sensed there was an interesting dynamic there to explore.


Introduce us to your band members and tell us what they bring that makes Blue Sky Miners rock…

Jena Gogo (Lead Singer, percussion) – Her voice. It will seriously stop you dead in your tracks. Also perhaps the greatest tambourine player in the world today.
Jay Mitchell (Lead singer, rhythm guitar) – Theatricality. Jay’s performance on stage is like watching a dramatization of the lyrics.
Mark Lavoie (Bass) – If you watched only Mark on stage, you would think he’s playing in an 80’s hair metal band. His dance moves are second to none.
Stefan Hegerat (Drums) – Stef holds everything together and prefers to end every song with an epic “Detroit” ending.
Me Eric Duquette (Lead guitar) – I’m the spaceman, I’ve somehow convinced the band to let me go wild with spacey effects and weird sounds on stage.

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