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Cariboo Express – Making Music Count Across Western Canada

Who couldn’t find something to live for with Barney Bentall & the Legendary Hearts.

Music – such a powerful expression from above, and there is nothing more fulfilling than to watch it grow and infiltrate into the hearts and lives of those who need it most.

So nice to catch up with Barney this week to chat about Cariboo Express –  a talented ensemble that has been touring each November for more than a decade to make a difference with their gift of music.

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This is a one-of-a-kind variety show cast with renowned Canadian musicians, led by Canadian superstar Barney Bentall, along with Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, Kendel Carson, Matt Masters, Wendy Bird, various special guests and a backing band comprised of some of Canada’s finest musicians. Each of the core members have music careers of their own, but every November the group convenes to raise funds for various worthy charities in the spirit of song, community and giving back to society.

Cariboo Express has raised $850,000 to date, which is true testament to their vision of lending a hand where it may be needed most – and they are so very far from finished.

Fresh Independence is excited to take part in their Vancouver show Saturday November 26th at the Vogue Theatre on Granville Street.

Hope to see you there!

Cariboo Express Tour Dates

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Wilder Adkins – Birmingham Alabama

I caught up with Wilder Adkins in Birmingham Alabama, to talk about his song I heard on Sirius XM Coffee House – ‘When I’m Married’.
You know every once in a while something imprints on you in a way that feels so right. I think so much so this time, because Wilder delivers vows from the heart – that give your love a resting place – where without fear or doubt it knows it will always be safe and warm. No bells – no whistles – just a beautiful song of truth.
After all what is life really all about…

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WILDER ADKINS 

This is a very realistic, honest song, that says that love takes work, and yes we are going to hurt each other sometimes but we can grow through that and we can make it work for us.

When I’m Married

Oh When I am married
there will be no magic words
there will be no transformation
just a white-dressed girl

and we will tie ourselves together
with a spoken solemn vow
and we will fight for one another
till they lay us in the ground

cause I am yours and you are mine
I am yours and you are mine
and there’s a love that grows between us
like a gently creeping vine

I am bound to fail you lover
I am bound to let you down
oh but do not give up on me
how I long to make you proud

and in my heart there is an ocean
throwing waves upon the shore
and if you go from me my darling
they will not crash anymore

Oh and when I am older
and my eyes no longer shine
still I’ll long to see you lover
oh you are my columbine

I have seen the mighty river
and I’ve seen the moon and stars
and I know there is no other
that could penetrate my heart
how you penetrate my heart

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Mark Cawley – More Than A Songwriter

Mark Cawley is an accomplished musician and songwriter who is now mentoring and coaching others around the world, helping them to find their own success within their passion of music.
Bringing sincerity, inspiration and gratitude to his students whom he calls friends, Mark encourages them to remain positive, understand that rejection is not a reflection on themselves and to write from the heart.
I believe this is why he is an invaluable tool for aspiring lyricists and songwriters, because what he does comes from a place that this industry is slow to recognize at times – but is the core and foundation of life – do well by others – and it will take you to the place you are meant to be.

Have a listen to Mark and his thoughts and experiences shared when we spoke earlier this week.

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‘One of the biggest lessons I learned as a writer came later in life – later than I wished anyway. There was a long period of time when I was writing and getting some cuts, but they were not always the artists that I was hoping for. The songs were professional enough that publishers and producers were hearing them but they weren’t always buying into them. The lesson I learned is that I was trying really hard to get inside the head of these great artists and I would always come up short and there was one particular time and one song – a Tina Turner song and my co writers and I got together – all feeling a little beat up by the industry – and we said let’s just forget it and write for ourselves. Let’s write something that makes us laugh 0r cry and we feel like we can’t quit playing it – something that carries our feelings. And we did – and that was when Tina Turner took notice and recorded ‘Dancing In My Dreams’. I kept that philosophy with me and felt that if I love it then maybe another artist will too- I also found out that mature artists don’t want to repeat themselves. So when I was true to myself I found it was then that some of these artists became interested in what I was writing – and they began to stick.’

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Duke Lives On At Ellington

‘Duke Ellington didn’t consider himself a jazz musician.

He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Satin Doll” and “Sophisticated Lady.”

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Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born 116 years ago today in Washington, D.C. And it may just be that Ellington lives on most profoundly, every day, at a public arts high school that bears his name. The goal of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts is to give a free arts education to very talented students in the D.C. area — young people who might never have the benefit of private lessons. The school celebrated its own 40th birthday last weekend.

We have a saying: If you have to be an artist, this is the place to be,” says Davey Yarborough, director of jazz studies at Ellington for 30 years.

Most of the students at Ellington are African-American. They had to pass rigorous auditions and interviews to get in — to study not just jazz, but also classical music, dance, drama and visual arts, along with a full academic program. The graduation rate is 99 percent, and 98 percent go to college, some on full scholarships.

Senior Angela Whittaker is attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston this year.

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“I knew if I went to this school, I’ll come out and be something incredible … and help me shape myself into something I’ve always wanted to be,” Whittaker says. “And I didn’t think I could achieve that. Duke Ellington gave me hope that I actually could.”

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