Toy Heart a Podcast About Bluegrass.

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May 052020




BGS Announces The Launch of
TOY HEART: A Podcast About Bluegrass
Hosted by Tom Power, Canadian radio mainstay and host of CBC’s daily show
First Episode features Del McCoury; series trailer out now
Los Angeles, CA – March 4, 2020 – “I’ve spent years sitting down with celebrities, and while I’ve been excited and honored to speak with the likes of George Clooney, Emma Stone, Keith Urban, and Chris Rock, my background and passion has always been bluegrass,” says Tom Power, host of BGS’s brand new podcast, TOY HEART: A Podcast About Bluegrass.

Premiering tomorrow, March 5, 2020, on and everywhere podcasts are available, TOY HEART is a journey into bluegrass lore with Power, host of Canada’s all-encompassing public radio talk show, q; similar to Fresh Air or The Howard Stern Show in the U.S. While Power is best known in the north as a radio personality, he is also a musician—an accomplished guitarist with remarkable prowess in Irish and traditional Newfoundland music—and music scholar, having studied ethnomusicology with an emphasis in bluegrass at university. “I’m using the skills I’ve acquired in this field to get the ‘real’ stories behind bluegrass music,” says Power. “Not the myth; but how these musicians went from their homes in a post-industrial America and created a brand new form of music, creating a culture and a movement.” An in-depth discussion between BGS and Power ahead of TOY HEART’s launch can be found here.

The premiere episode of TOY HEART features the last great patriarch of bluegrass and Bluegrass Music Hall of Famer, Del McCoury, along with his sons Ronnie and Rob, torchbearers and Grammy Award winners in their own right. The trailer for episode one can be streamed via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher—click here to listen.
The in-depth interview series delves into the intricacies of the lives of those who made bluegrass and helped it grow, with luminaries such as Ricky Skaggs, Alice Gerrard, Béla Fleck, Jesse McReynolds, Jerry Douglas, and more. Over the span of eight episodes—released every other week—roots music fans will hear interviews with Grammy Award-winners, IBMA Award-winners, Bluegrass Hall of Famers, and beyond; genre-defining artists discussing their lives, their stories, and their songs. TOY HEART’s theme song was composed by Chris Eldridge (of Punch Brothers).
As detailed in a preview of the show’s first episode, as a teenager Power picked up the five-string banjo and took lessons from once Blue Grass Boy and now Bluegrass Hall of Famer Neil Rosenberg, who just so happened to live nearby in Power’s native Newfoundland. Though his work as q’s host often reaches far beyond his home island and his favorite chosen folk music, Power’s ethnomusicological expertise still centers on bluegrass. His passion and urgency in documenting these stories are exhilarating and contagious, but certainly well-warranted. “As we begin to lose the likes of Earl Scruggs, Hazel Dickens, and Mac Wiseman—now is the time to do it before it’s too late.”

TOY HEART joins the BGS Podcast Network as the brand’s fifth original podcast, joining the ranks of THE BREAKDOWN, SHOW ON THE ROAD (both in their second season) and others. BGS is proud to partner with Power and his co-producer Stephanie Coleman to present this platform for bluegrass storytelling, an examination of the true narratives that gave rise to this singular genre.

About Tom Power:
Tom Power is an award-winning musician and broadcaster who hosts the national arts & entertainment program q on CBC Radio One. Hailing from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Tom started his career programming folk music on college radio while pursuing a B.A. in Folklore from Memorial University. In 2008, after a stint as a news announcer for a local radio station, Tom joined CBC as the host of Deep Roots. At 21 years of age, he was the youngest national radio host on the station since Peter Jennings.
In 2011, Tom became the host of Radio 2 Morning, the CBC’s flagship daily morning national music program. His engaging personality allowed him to expand his listenership to a new audience of younger listeners. Tom is also an established ‘go-to’ person for arts coverage on CBC Television. He has brought critical insight and expertise to stories on David Bowie, Gord Downie, and George Martin. As host of q, Tom has been praised for his in depth conversations with artists such as Diana Krall, George Clooney Paul Simon, Guillermo del Toro, Emma Stone, and Chuck D.
When not on the air, Tom leads his own band, The Dardanelles, who have introduced a new audience to traditional Newfoundland music—playing festivals and theaters around the world. He is a member of the Polaris Music Prize jury and the CARAS Music advisory committees.
About The Bluegrass Situation:
The Bluegrass Situation is the world’s largest community for American roots music, culture, and lifestyle. What began as a blog for like-minded Los Angelenos pining for bluegrass in Southern California has morphed and grown over the greater part of a decade to become a national and international standard-bearer for all of the things we love about bluegrass within every branch and offshoot of the roots music family tree — from vibey pop-folk to ravishing alt-country; plus blues, singer/songwriter, Americana, old-time, and everything else above, below, and in between. The Bluegrass Situation proudly represents a unique gathering place that supports the rich and varied history of these musics, while looking ahead for ways to transform traditions into a carefully curated, 21st century lifestyle.

Curve Signs The Western Swing Authority.

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May 052020






Curve Music is excited to announce the signing of one of the best bands I was introduced to at the Ameripolitan Awards last year. The Western Swing Authority! As part of the deal, Curve Music will re-release the band’s catalog  worldwide and the band will shortly begin work on a new album.

Starting March 2nd, the bands catalogue, “BIGDEAL”, “ALL DOLLED UP”, “NOW PLAYING” and the bands self titled first release “THE WESTERN SWING AUTHORITY” will be available worldwide both digitally and physically through Curve Music.

The Western Swing Authority is Canada’s most recognized and awarded authentic Western Swing group. Made up of a collection of some of the country’s finest touring and studio musicians, they came together to play the timeless style of music they love. Seamlessly combining stellar musicianship and vocals with traditional country and jazz standards and their own “new vintage” originals, they have created a sound that is truly their own.

“As Curve Music enters its 18th year of operation, it’s extremely exciting to be able to work with WSA, who are all amazing folks and incredibly talented individuals in their own right” says Brian Hetherman, Curve Music President and owner.

WSA have been recognized with awards and nominations in both Canada and the United States and are reintroducing the Western Swing sound to an entire new generation of music lovers with every performance.

“We are thrilled about this partnership with Curve Music. It’s so exciting to team up with people who believe in the kind of music we want to play and create.” says Shane Guse, the band’s founding member.

“We look forward to the opportunity to bring our unique brand of Western Swing to new audiences all over the world, both digitally and onstage. And Curve Music? Now that’s a name I can get really get behind…” says Stacey Lee Guse, lead singer of the band.

So after this press release, I wanted to share a past article from the Ameripolitan Awards from 2019 where I encountered this large ensemble of a band. I thoroughly enjoyed their set this weekend, and quickly bought a bunch of albums of theirs.

The Western Swing Authority was an absolute THRILL to get to see, and I got some good shots of them. Dad’s Place was a GREAT venue, and in just a few minutes I shall be heading over there for the Kim Lenz album release party. They played some truly great cover songs of classic Western Swing, like “Roly Poly” that got people up swing dancing all over.

“Mississippi” was another great song, that glorified this city that we are in right now, Memphis. I did spend some time downtown on Beale street, I’ll talk about that soon here. “Dance With Who Brung Ya” made popular by Asleep At The Wheel. That band is one of my favorite one, and these Western Swing bands are some fun times. “In The Middle Of The Song” was another great selection off their Big Deal album. Very smooth and Bluesy melody that sets the mood for slow dancing.

Mr. Shane Guse, Miss Stacey Lee Guse, Mr. Paul “Chappy” Chapman, Mr. Ed Ringwald aka Pee Wee Charles, Mr. Matthew Lima, “The lovely and talented” Dan Howlett and Mr. Jim Boudreau comprise this large ensemble of swing greatness!

“Swinging From The Rafters” was the last song I got from them, I tell you what, I truly enjoy watching people swing dancing to this kind of stuff here. This song mentions illegal substances and other things, complete with horns and all the like.