Local Halifax, Canada Music Scene
The regional music scene of Halifax, Canada can be enjoyed from many miles away since many regional artists end up touring all the major cities of Canada from coast to coast. Halifax is in Novia Scotia near the Atlantic coast. Regional artists also like to tour the New England region of the United States. Some of the well known regional talent have included Sarah McLachlan, April Wine, Jay Ferguson, Denny Doherty Steve Poltz, country legend Hank Snow, Susan Crowe, rapper Classified and Stephanie Beaumont. Anne Murray came from Spring Hill, which is 180 kilometers north of Halifax. Many local artists are celebrated each year by the East Coast Music Awards, based in Atlantic Canada.
Halifax artists who create social commentary songs are rare, yet it's one of the strongest things a musician can do to get an edge. Writing a song about an issue opens the door to potential media coverage, not just on a local level, but on a national level as well. Music critics and bloggers are always looking for something meaningful to bring about because it makes them look smart to their audiences. So instead of forcing them to dig back to the sixties to find message songs, give them something new and fresh. A key website that exposes Halifax artists who tap into social messages is The Coast.
The power of social commentary music is amazing. It's what inspired Steve Jobs to do the monumental things he did at Apple. He said that his business model was the Beatles, a team that worked together to create great music. Even though no one has become bigger than them in music, a local artist can still be inspired them and artists like Bob Dylan to write storyteller music that resonates with culture. Sarah McLachlan is the area's most successful artist in history who has embedded subtle metaphors in her music that offer a very artistic model for aspiring new artists to follow.
Local music can get its start on radio through public or college radio, which helps the artist build a story when it comes time to take the music to the next level. But as open as non-commercial stations are to local music, it's still not a major part of programming. The most important public stations in Halifax for local artists to try to get airplay is CKDU FM at Dalhousie University. CBAF, which is owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, offers music in French. Unfortunately, local music does not get played enough on public radio to spark significant sales. Compare that to the exposure that a national act gets on a commercial station, which can be as high as 100 spins per week.
Even any airplay is good for Halifax artists because they can cite it on their websites, the main focus for making a living at playing music continues to be live shows. Some of the key venues for local artists to play in Halifax include Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Grawood Lounge, The Seahorse Tavern, Bearly's House of Blues and Ribs, Evolution Cabaret, Ginger's Pub, Club Static and Toothy Moose Cabaret. The city has many
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