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The Latest From Joal

The Start of Something Exciting

Feb 3, 2016

Okay, wow. I am practically speechless – and for those of you who know me well, I bet you’re laughing because that doesn’t happen often. If ever. Now, it’s only been two days in the Artist Entrepreneur Program and they’ve got me hook, line, and sinker. This is such an amazing opportunity to be a part of, and Lauren and I are really excited to see how much we learn from this experience and grow through the process. The folks at Canada’s Music Incubator are an incredible team of knowledgable, encouraging, and supportive people, and there is a constant buzz of creativity emanating from every corner of the Coalition Music building. It’s like a taste of heaven.

We are currently set up at the Coalition Music apartment across the way on Lawrence Ave E, and the proximity of things here is astounding. To get to the AE Program? 2 minutes. Need groceries? 3 minutes. A $6 haircut? 1 minute. Shawarma? They’ve got us covered at just under 2.5 minutes. Craving some fried chicken? (Drumroll please) … 30 SECONDS – and that’s THREE different options! I slightly worry that upon our program completion, I may have put on a ‘winter layer’…

In other news: we will be touring the Netherlands again this spring! Lauren and I are really looking forward to seeing some familiar Dutchies and making new friends. Check out our tour schedule and let us know if you’ll be in or around any of our current dates. Lauren is adding dates daily, so keep checking back – and be sure to let us know if you want us to hit YOUR home. Doei! (Bye!)

Going to Toronto for 10-weeks!

Jan 5, 2016

Alright! The New Year is here and we’ve got some very exciting news to share: we’ve been selected to participate in the 2016 Artist Entrepreneur Program presented by Canada’s Music Incubator in partnership with Coalition Music. This opportunity will see us venture off to Toronto, ON for 10-weeks of business development through various workshops, mentoring, and networking.

Starting February 2nd we will be out east developing our craft and career, and we are super excited to get started. If this wasn’t cool enough news, we also learned that we were awarded a Bell Media Prize to help cover the costs of this amazing opportunity: program fee, accommodations, and one-way flights. Talk about a wonderful surprise Christmas present!

Over the coming months we hope to accomplish a lot of new songwriting, co-writing, and exploring while we’re in the capital. The added bonus is that we can finally catch up with our friends and family in the region! Lauren and I are very excited to see what this year has to hold for us and we’re so thankful for all of the amazing support that you folks have provided us with. Thank YOU for all the ways you encourage and support us. We are truly grateful.

December = Hammer Time

Dec 1, 2015

This past month really flew by! We kicked things off in high-gear with a performance at the Foothills Folk Club in High River, AB. Now, they say that prairie folks know how to have a good time – well, it’s true. The place was sold-out and people were being turned away at the door all night long. We also enjoyed seeing Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra perform for the first time. They were a lively bunch with an energetic blend of upbeat gypsy folk.

Earlier that same week we were able to meet up with Barclay Hunter of The Prophets of Music Society. This was an informative and exciting meeting, and we were thrilled to hear that there are new music initiatives taking place in Calgary that encourage the pursuit of the Arts. We are hoping to partner up with them in the new year for various opportunities to work with mentoring other younger musicians in the city. Keep your eyes peeled for more details to come.

We spent much of these past weeks working on various applications and music opportunities, and we dipped our feet into the world of Christmas craft markets as well. It seems like this Arts lifestyle is actually working out for us… one step at a time. At the moment our beloved Manager, Laurie Brown of LJB Management, is out in Toronto taking part in Coalition Music’s Artist Manager Program. It’s exiting to see that all of our teamwork is paying off and that new doors are opening up.

Lastly, on our most recent tour through the Gulf Islands we connected with a kindhearted woman named Gail. She invited us to submit an ‘inspirational reflection’ piece for publication on Inspire Me Today, and today marks it’s official debut. Please feel free to drop by the website and checkout our musings on thankfulness by clicking HERE.

And It Begins… [Enter Snow]

Nov 2, 2015

Well folks, it appears that the snow has finally arrived in Calgary. We’re actually pseudo excited because this tends to be the time of year where we get the most work done, since neither of us really enjoys freezing off our music-fingers…

Since getting back from our most recent Western Canadian Tour, we’ve enjoyed a whole lot of awesome opportunities in and around Alberta: We had a great series of performance dates throughout the Province, including a highlight performance at Alberta Showcase in Fort Saskatchewan.

We also learned that SHAW TV’s Edmonton Unplugged recently aired our feature segment on the show, where Douglas Mitchell interviewed us between live performances of From The Start, Amsterdamned, and Years From Now. Additionally, Derek Craddock at Airdrie’s AIR 106.1 FM had us join him in studio for a live interview and performance. It was also a blast!

Finally, this past weekend we enjoyed spending some jam-time with Soap Box Duo. They are a super talented up-and-coming folk duo from Spruce Grove, AB and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about them in the future.

Turn that Frown Upside-down

Oct 5, 2015

Last night was a first for us… Someone at our Vancouver gig grabbed a bunch of money from our donation jar and left with it. 🙁

This disappointment was intensified by the fact that we had to earn $50 minimum in donations just to pay the venue and sound man before we even saw a profit (or in this case, money for food and gas). Still, we are thankful that nothing worse happened – and most likely, whoever took our money probably needed it more than us.

I suppose all of this gets us (Lauren and I) reflecting on the past several weeks – and how we’ve been blessed with provision throughout this tour and our previous tours. We had some lovely friends come into town yesterday to visit and catch our performance, and we’ve met so many other great folks on the road this year. We’ve also been able to enjoy some amazing sights and sounds in BC this year – and there is still so much to explore in western Canada!

THANK YOU to everyone who has been a part of our journeys thus far, wether hosting us, supporting us, or blessing us in some other way (gas cards, coupons, etc). We are truly blessed. All thanks be to Jehovah Jireh!

WCMAs & Western Canadian Tour

Sep 9, 2015

So as some of you may have heard, our newest record ‘Heads Is East, Tails Is West’ has been nominated for our second Western Canadian Music Award! We’re super thrilled about this news, and on the evening of Sunday, September 20th, we will find out what record is awarded the winning album live at the 2015 WCMAs.

Since we were going to attend the award show in Victoria, we opted to book up a little tour to go hand-in-hand with it. Right now you can catch us at a host of different venues and cities/towns across Western Canada. Keep your eyes peeled because we’re constantly adding new dates and locations. It’s gonna be a great way to finish off the Summer season.

Summer Updates

Jul 7, 2015

Well, we’ve been back in Canada for just over two months now and I think we’ve finally settled into life in the foothills. Stampede season is now upon us and we had a great time showcasing in the BMO Centre at the grounds last night. The audience and staff were incredible – so thank you sooo much for all the encouraging support we received there! We definitely hope to be back again next year.

Lauren and I have been working on lots of new opportunities while trying to stay focused on songwriting. This has proven to be quite challenging, as I often desire time away and space to write. Perhaps we’ll find a little piece of heaven tucked away in the Rocky Mountains this summer, where melodies can give birth to lyrics and many new stories.

For now we’re focused on booking our western Canadian tour for Sept/Oct, so if you’ve been itching for a House Concert, please get ahold of us ASAP! Dates are filling up quickly and we’ve love to be able to see all of our friends on the coast.

2015 Canadian Songwriter Challenge

Jun 2, 2015

Spring in Canada is incredible. Seriously, I think Alberta has one of the best places to be pre-summer. This past week we finally got our garden planted and we’re hoping for a better return than last year – but that’s another story. This week we’ll be playing 5 gigs up around Edmonton and the surrounding communities. It’ll be nice to make our way back north to connect with our prairie friends.

In other news: next week I’ll be participating in Bell Media’s 2015 Canadian Songwriter Challenge, which is hosted in part by the Songwriters Association of Canada, Alberta Music, and it’s being hosted at OCL Studios. It’ll be a really exciting time of growth for me, as some of you may know, I haven’t done much co-writing before and this will be a great chance to work with some other songwriters from all over Alberta. To be honest, I’m a little nervous… Wish me luck?

WCMA Nomination & CBC’s The Homestretch Interview w/ Performance

May 21, 2015

Great news friends: our newest album, ‘Heads Is East, Tails Is West’ has been nominated for a 2015 Western Canadian Music Award! This is a great feeling, knowing that our debut album won our first WCMA in 2012. I don’t know about you guys, but we’re hoping this is a sign of things to come… Either way, we’re feeling great and on a roll with 2 for 2 WCMA nods.

In other exciting news, we’ll be doing a live on location interview and performance with CBC’s The Homestretch in Calgary, AB on May 22nd. You can tune in from 3 to 6 PM, during which time we’ll be sharing 6 songs and doing interviews every hour. We look forward to chatting it up with Doug Dirks and hope that you’ll enjoy it too!

STORYHIVE + Unveil Studios = New Video

May 4, 2015

Howdy folks! So we’ve been back in Canada for less than a week and we’ve already been busy catching up on things – plus we both caught the flu. Hooray. Awesome. Anyways, we just started a campaign to promote our STORYHIVE Music Video Pitch with Unveil Studios, where we could be one of 20 bands who receive $10,000 to produce a proper music video for our song ‘Heads Or Tails’. The voting stage takes place from May 4th to 18th, and we need to make the top 20. The best part? You only need to cast 5 votes for us ONE TIME!

Similar to many other music contests out there, we need your votes to make the top 20 video pitches. Please check out our Music Video Pitch by clicking HERE and send us some love?

To vote for us, you’ll need to sign up, then create an account, and then you can select to cast 5 votes all at once for our project. You can also earn bonus votes to cast for our project by completing other tasks, i.e.: building a profile, sharing on Facebook or Twitter, etc. It will only take one minute to sign up – and after that it take 10-seconds to cast all 5 votes at once.

With YOUR help we can share, tweet, link, and like our way to victory!

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