Fly with your Shadow
Melanie Brulée (episode 26)

Melanie Brulée (episode 26)

October 22, 2021

Melanie Brulée is a bilingual singer/songwriter originally from Cornwall, Ontario. She spent much of her 20s living in Australia, where she first picked up a guitar and developed an interest in singing and songwriting.

She came back to Canada and quickly established herself on stages and at festivals across Canada and in the United States. She’s got two full-length albums out, a French-language album called Débridée, which came out in 2015, and an English language album, Fires, Floods, and Things We Leave Behind, which came out in 2018.

As you’ll hear in our interview, after some intense touring and hard work promoting that album, Melanie found herself burned out and questioning the direction she was headed in.

A step away from music allowed her to focus on other areas of interest, including mental illness and mental health, which took on new importance for her after she learned, long after the fact, that her estranged father had taken his own life. This led her to learn more about mental illness and deal with mental health issues of her own.

In conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week 2020, Melanie organized a series of conversations about mental health on Instagram Live and released a powerful song and video called “The Mess,” which is a take on an all-too-familiar inner struggle: a showdown between Anxiety and Depression, each fighting for power over its host, leaving THE MESS in the wake.

This year, she released another powerful song and video relating to the topic, this time in French, called “Crier.”

More information, videos, and music credits:

Brenley MacEachern (Madison Violet) (episode 25)

Brenley MacEachern (Madison Violet) (episode 25)

October 15, 2021

Today’s show features a story of trauma that is really difficult to hear. This might be the most intensely emotional episode of this show so far, and it’s one that many listeners might find difficult and disturbing. It is a story about a young boy who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest and the devastating effects that it had on the boy and his family. If these topics might be difficult for you, or you have a strong attachment to the Catholic church, this might not be the episode for you.

This story came to light in a powerful new song and video by Madison Violet ( Brenley MacEachern's brother Stevie. On September 22, 2021, Brenley posted on social media:

Fifteen years ago today, my brother Stevie was strangled to death in a stairwell, between the 12th and 14th floor of an apartment building on Alexander Street in Toronto. Of course, that was just a small part of the string of bad luck following Stevie around; unlucky 13 on the last day of his life just summed it all up, I suppose. …

It’s been so hard and anxiety-inducing to decide to share Stevie’s story. This video has only been out in the world for a day so far. Already the support and the stories messaged to us have strengthened my conviction that telling the truth and ending the stigmas around abuse, can help set us free.

The effect that the abuse had on Stevie led to his life unravelling and spiralling out of control, and leading to his murder. Although Stevie is the one who suffered through the abuse, his loving family members suffered a different kind of trauma, watching a beloved family member struggle so visibly. Rightly, Brenly is emotional telling this story. She also carries and conveys a lot of anger towards the perpetrator and an organization that seems rife with such stories.

Again, this episode, especially the second half, may not be for everyone. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, there are many mental health professionals that may be able to help. There are links to many great organizations on the Mental Health Resources page of

music credits and more info:

Mike Plume (episode 24)

Mike Plume (episode 24)

October 8, 2021

Mike Plume is one of the most glaring examples of the unfair nature of the music industry. You’d like to think that if you have immense talent and appeal and work really, really hard, you’d become a major star. But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, an artist just grinds away, developing a rabid following outside of the mainstream.

Don’t get me wrong, Mike has been successful and is known and loved by many. But for my money, he has written some of the best songs and put out some of the best albums this country has ever produced. For years, he led one of the best live bands on the planet, and they were willing to play anywhere and everywhere, and they did.

Mike, along with his oldest friend and drummer Ernie Basiliadas, along with guitar slinger phenom Dave Klym, and a couple of bass players, most notably Derek Mazurek, were and still are known as Mike Plume Band. In their most active years, from 1997-2002, they were fixtures in bars, theatres, and at festivals across Canada, into the U.S., and across Europe, performing, up to 250 shows in a year. Their shows and albums at the time, I believe, stand right alongside some of the biggest bands in Canada, like Blue Rodeo and The Tragically Hip.

But Mike never got the big-scale audiences or the acclaim that Jim Cuddy, Greg Keelor, and Gord Downie did. He ran into just about every roadblock you can imagine. He had bad management, he got ripped off, had deals that never really panned out, and opportunities that, through no fault of his own, did not work out. The band released an album called Fools for the Radio, which should have catapulted them into the upper echelon of Canadian bands, but it had the unfortunate circumstance of being released on September 11, 2001. And there are countless, incredible stories, many of which you can read at Mike’s website,

Eventually, he cut back on the touring, married the love of his life, another super-talented singer/songwriter named Jenny Orenstein, and kind of settled down into a quieter life. They have a daughter named Ruby who is blossoming into a major musical talent. Watch out for her.

But the songs keep coming, the stories keep getting written, and the stage keeps calling, and Mike keeps churning out powerful recordings.

His latest album, Lonesome Stretch of Highway, again, had the unfortunate circumstance of being released right at the beginning of a global pandemic. He took a day job to help pay the bills while he couldn’t tour, and the interview and training process helped him to realize and face that he’d been living with an undiagnosed learning disability since grade 5.

Never one to just sit around, Mike became one of the bright lights of online streaming shows over the past year and a half, as he went live once or twice a week for nearly a year.

Catch Mike in Winnipeg at the newly renovated Park Theatre on October 19. Tickets are available through Eventbrite HERE

I’ve got a whole lot more of my chat with Mike and a bunch of music to share on my other show, Tell the Band to Go Home on the October 10 and 17 episodes. You can find and follow that show at

music credits and more info:

John Wort Hannam (episode 23)

John Wort Hannam (episode 23)

October 1, 2021

John Wort Hannam hails from Alberta, where he started out writing narrative story songs and character sketches and carved out a name for himself singing those songs and telling those stories all across Canada and beyond.

He made a couple of albums independently, then a couple with the help and backing of influential and successful producer Steve Dawson, which were released on Steve’s Black Hen Music.

In 2011, John and his wife Jenny welcomed a son, Charlie, and he started writing more personal songs, exposing more of his own feelings and experiences. That’s where he really found his stride as a songwriter and began to create his most meaningful work.

Wanting to record closer to home, he made a couple of albums with Leeroy Stagger, who was my guest on the first episode of Fly with your Shadow.

His latest release, 2019’s Acres of Elbow Room, came about after a particularly difficult period of dark depression for John which culminated in a physical manifestation of years of undiagnosed and untreated difficulty, when he lost his voice and couldn’t sing.

In just a couple of weeks, on October 15, John will release a new album, again produced by Steve Dawson, called Long Haul.

music credits and more information:

Meaghan Smith (episode 22)

Meaghan Smith (episode 22)

September 17, 2021

Meaghan Smith ( is a successful, award-winning, former major label recording artist, a talented painter and greeting card designer (, a loving mother, adoring wife, and more. She and her husBand, Jason Mingo, run a custom-song business called "Our Song" ( She's also been very honest and open about her struggle with anxiety. 

More information and music credits:

JP Hoe (episode 21)

JP Hoe (episode 21)

September 4, 2021

It only took one listen at his producer’s house in 2003 to convince me that JP Hoe had something special. He’s got a big, powerful, one-of-a-kind voice, and knows how to craft a memorable melody. I knew he was headed for great things and couldn’t wait to share his music with people.

And I’ve been doing it steadily for 18 years now. In that time, he’s put out an early EP, 4 full-length albums, kick-started the creation of one of my favourite live music venues, and created a perennially successful and popular Christmas-time concert, The Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show, and a related collection of original and classic Christmas songs. He is one of the most popular live acts in Winnipeg, always performing to sold-out crowds and is a regular at local festivals and major events. He was part of a local supergroup called Middle of Nowhere, which was made up of JP, Rusty Matyas (now known as Rusty Robot), Alexa Dirks (now doing big things as Begonia), Grant Davidson (aka Slow Leaves) and Keri Latimer (leader of Leaf Rapids and Nathan.) He’s extensively toured Canada, The USA, Australia, Iceland, and Europe. Needless to say, the guy’s been busy!

JP has been one of the most played artists on my radio shows and has stopped by the studio to chat and sing at least a dozen times, but somehow, it’s always fresh and fun and interesting.

JP Hoe lives in Winnipeg with his wife and two kids. You can find him online at and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. He’s hard at work on a long-awaited new album.

I’ve got more from our conversation that I’ll share on the September 5 episode of my show Tell the Band to Go Home, which you can find at

Music credits and more info:

Jim White (episode 20)

Jim White (episode 20)

July 30, 2021

Jim White ( is a fascinating character who has lived an almost unbelievable life up to this point. It’s his music that got my attention and has brought him the most renown and acclaim, but he didn’t come seriously to music until later in life. Before a rather serendipitous start to that career, he was a professional model, professional surfer, New York University film student, and a New York City taxi driver.

During those early years, Jim was deeply depressed and suicidal and struggling with some dark demons in his soul. Eventually, as you’ll hear in our interview, Jim retreated to his sister’s house in Florida where he withdrew from society almost entirely, but started writing his way through his depression by creating the dark, strange, almost mythological songs that he’s become known for.

An early tape of those songs found its way into the hands of David Byrne, the legendary former leader of Talking Heads. Byrne is one of the most influential artists of his generation, and he guided Jim to a record deal, which he signed before ever performing on stage.

Those magical coincidences kind of follow Jim around. His career has received major boosts when his music was included in several the hugely successful show Breaking Bad, and the subsequent film El Camino, which were headed up by Jim’s former classmate Vince Gilligan, who got his big break working on another big TV series, The X Files.

Jim White has now released 8 full-length albums of his own, as well as a couple of EPs and numerous collaborations with other artists. His 2004 album Drill a Hole in that Substrate and Tell Me what you See includes contributions from Suzie Ungerleider, who appeared on episode 16 of this show. He’s currently producing an album for Ben de la Cour, who was my guest on episode 5.

I’ve got a lot of great stuff left over from this interview that I’ll share on the August 1 episode of my other show, Tell the Band to Go Home, which you can find at

For music credits and more info, visit

Shawna Caspi (episode 19)

Shawna Caspi (episode 19)

July 16, 2021

Music credits and more information can be found here:

Shawna Caspi's biography describes her as, “a singer, a poet, a painter, a fingerstyle guitar player,” and explains:

After touring her last album relentlessly, Shawna took a break to rest, reflect, and focus on songwriting. It was in those moments of stillness and solitude that she confronted her own experience of burnout, anxiety, and struggle with self-worth. In working through the shadowy parts of herself, Shawna discovered more ways to practice gratitude and appreciate little victories. This process of slowing down and looking inward resulted in her most raw, honest, and personal writing.

She strives to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, to empower listeners to come to terms with the parts of themselves and the world that they might find scary, and to look for hope in the dark.

Shawna’s album comes out on August 27, but you can preorder the CD or the postcards with her beautiful artwork at or through Bandcamp.

Again, I’ve got a little left over from my chat with Shawna that I’ll share on the July 18 episode of my other show, Tell the Band to Go Home. Check that out at

Anxiety, like other mental illnesses, can be scary and isolating. These illnesses can be severely detrimental to a person’s wellbeing and quality of life, and can even be deadly. Luckily, there are a lot of treatments available, so these illnesses are manageable and you can make life a lot better by getting help. I always recommend starting with a visit to a doctor, but if your doctor isn’t being as helpful as you’d like or just gives you that list of strangers that you could call, find another doctor or reach out to an organization like The Canadian Mental Health Association ( or here in Manitoba we have a great organization called Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba ( but there are similar organizations in most areas.

David Francey (episode 18)

David Francey (episode 18)

July 2, 2021

On this episode, a conversation I had with one of the most respected and acclaimed contemporary Canadian songwriters. He’s able to write songs that convey simple thoughts and ideas in beautiful, poetic ways. He’s written about love and sorrow and joy powerfully and perfectly.

David Francey ( was born in Scotland, but his family moved to Canada when he was 12. The value and importance of hard work was instilled in him early. Until the release of his debut album, Torn Screen Door, which was released in 1999 when Francey was already in his 40s, he was a carpenter and construction worker, working on job sites, rail yards, and far flung places across Canada. All the while, he would make up melodies and words in his head, content to sing them to himself and maybe a few close friends.

At the urging of his wife, artist Beth Girdler ( or, he started performing and made an album of some of the best songs he’d come up with. Since Francey wasn’t much of a guitar player at the time, he hooked up with Quebec acoustic guitar master Dave Clarke (, who provided tasteful, melodic, and interesting instrumentation. The reaction was immediate. Within a year, he was in demand at the biggest folk festivals in Canada.

After three strong albums, Dave Clarke stepped back to dedicate himself to his solo albums and his band Steel Rail. Francey went on to make an album with Nashville heavyweights Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, and Fats Kaplin.

That was all within the first 5 years of his recording career, when Francey was on the road far more than he was home, as he was touring the world and taking his songs and stories all over the world.

Prior to the release of his 2013 album, So Say We All, Francey fell into a deep depression, brought on by the death of one of his closest friends. It was writing, and the love of his family that pulled him out, and he’s been honest about his struggles with depression since then in songs, poems, paintings, and conversation.

The wear and tear of nearly 20 years of constant touring finally caught up with Francey around the time of his 2018 album, The Broken Heart of Everything. He’d been struggling with his voice, but being the dedicated worker that he is, he just pushed through. It really started to fail him during a Canadian east coast tour and he knew that he’d pushed it too far. He drove straight home and resigned himself to the fact that he wouldn’t be able to sing for quite some time. He dedicated himself to his other hobby, painting.

The terrible irony is that he was just preparing to resume some of his tour dates in early 2020, before COVID-19 put a stop to those plans. For the meantime, David Francey remains at home with his family, where he paints and writes songs and poetry until he can get back up on stage and do what he does best once again.

Tune in to the July 4th edition of Tell the Band to Go Home, where David will talk about the new material that he's been working on, as well as introduce us to some of his favourite songwriters at the moment, including Terra Spencer and Chris Coole.

Music Credits:

David's albums are available at his website and on iTunes.

"Lonely Road" is from the album The Broken Heart of Everything.

"Harm" is from the album So Say We All.

"Paper Boy" is from the album Far End of Summer.

"Broken Glass" is from the album Skating Rink.

Tribute to Paul MacLeod w/Andy Maize (Skydiggers), Jason Schneider, Mark Logan, and Lynn Jackson (Episode 17)

Tribute to Paul MacLeod w/Andy Maize (Skydiggers), Jason Schneider, Mark Logan, and Lynn Jackson (Episode 17)

June 18, 2021

Paul MacLeod was a super talented singer/songwriter from Kitchener, Ontario. He built his reputation locally and regionally as a captivating solo performer who mixed great original songs alongside a vast and diverse repertoire of covers.

He was first introduced to many of us nationally and internationally when he joined legendary, long-standing roots-rock band Skydiggers in the mid-90s. He had the difficult task of replacing founding and high-profile and much-loved member Peter Cash in the band, but he did so admirably, more than holding his own alongside the accomplished band. He brought a new edge, his acclaimed skill on the guitar, and powerful vocals. He would often open for the band, then join them for the headlining set.

In addition to two Skydiggers studio albums and one live release, Paul released a great rock album with a band called Hibakusha, and four albums of his own.

I took the name of his first CD for my campus and community radio show, Tell the Band to Go Home, which debuted in September, 2002. Paul was a guest on the show, and I got to know him a bit at shows and occasional correspondence. His music, wit, and energy inspired and amazed me. His albums are among my very favourites.

Five years ago today, June 18, 2016, Paul took his own life. I was devastated. His music has been a mainstay on my radio show for almost 19 years.

Along with John Bottomley, who I talked a lot about in episode 2 and episode 3 of this show, Paul's struggles and death contributed to my desire to further conversations about mental illness, and motivated me to create this show.

I wanted to talk to some of his closest friends and get them to tell stories and remember Paul for the brilliant, creative, hilarious individual that he was. I wanted it to be honest and paint the full picture of what it was like to know Paul. It was a treat to speak to others who loved him and who miss him like I do.

You'll hear more memories from my guests, and their favourite Paul MacLeod songs, and some of the songs that he covered, on the June 20 episode of Tell the Band to Go Home.


Lynn Jackson - Kitchener singer/songwriter and close friend of Paul's. Find out more about her and find her music at

Mark Logan - owner of Encore Records in Kitchener and of Busted Flat Records, the label that released Paul's last two albums, Bright Eyes Fade and Gauge. Mark was instrumental in Paul's career, as well as the careers of Shannon Lyon, Brock Zeman, Matt Andersen, and many more. He's an unsung hero of the Canadian music industry.

Jason Schneider - these days, an in-demand publicist through his busy public relations agency, Jason Schneider Media, but a longtime music journalist and an accomplished author and musician. He was one of three musicians responsible for one of my favourite books of all time, and one that I refer to often, Have Not Been The Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985-1995

Andy Maize - founding member and lead singer of Skydiggers, one of the most popular, accomplished, and longest-lasting bands in Canada. Their friends, colleagues, and contemporaries include Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, and episode 16 guest Suzie Ungerleider


music credits and more info:

Episode #16: Suzie Ungerleider (formerly Oh Susanna)

Episode #16: Suzie Ungerleider (formerly Oh Susanna)

June 4, 2021

Suzie Ungerleider ( is best known as Oh Susanna, a moniker that she chose to take on when she started performing her own songs in the mid-1990s. In the beginning, she was writing and performing songs that were often dark and sad, with murder ballads and difficult tales being a common theme.

Her songs and subject matter expanded over the course of 5 albums made with a few different record labels. When it came time for the sixth, she reconnected with old friend Jim Bryson (who’s known for being a producer and band member alongside Kathleen Edwards) and began a musical partnership that continues to this day. Together they planned for an album that would eventually be called Namedropper, where Suzie reached out to some talented and pretty famous friends to write original songs specifically for the album. It includes submissions from Ron Sexsmith, Joel Plaskett, Jim Cuddy, and our episode 11 guest, Amelia Curran. Also included was Winnipeg’s own Keri Latimer, who is known for her bands Nathan and Leaf Rapids.

In the middle of a crowdfunding campaign for the album, Suzie was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to delay the project. Luckily, she overcame her cancer and is healthy and strong today.

After re-releasing her first two Oh Susanna albums, as she made and prepared for the release of a new album, again made with Jim Bryson and featuring contributions from Keri Latimer, Bazil Donovan of Blue Rodeo, and others, Suzie made the difficult but right decision to drop the Oh Susanna name. It turns out that the folk song that we all have known all of our lives, was originally written with some very racist lyrics, sung in a fake African American accent, in the “minstrel show” style, which was based on racist characterizations of black people. (You can read those lyrics HERE, but they are offensive)

After years of being based in Ontario, Suzie, along with her husband and drummer Cam Giroux, and their son and dog Willow (who got pretty hungry during our interview and made her presence known), moved to Vancouver, where Suzie was raised.

Music credits and more information can be found at:…merly-oh-susanna/

Episode #15: Sean Burns

Episode #15: Sean Burns

May 28, 2021

Sean Burns ( came into music naturally, he’s the son of a professional, hard-working musician. Between 2009 and 2014, Sean released four albums, each one more distinct and impressive than the last, and made a name for himself on the road.

Sometime after the fourth one, he fell in love and found his way to Winnipeg, where he quickly inserted himself into one of Winnipeg’s main hubs and training grounds for roots-based live music, the Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club. There, he and Grant Siemens (Corb Lund's Hurtin' Albertans) became fast friends, and together they put together Sean’s talented band, Lost Country, and recorded a real turning point album for Burns, Music for Taverns, Bars, and Honky Tonks.

Last year, he had plans to travel down to Texas to make an album with one of his heroes, legendary pedal steel player and producer Tommy Detamore, who’s produced and worked with a who’s who of American country and roots music, but COVID derailed those plans. Instead, he made one album at home and a couple inside the closed Times Change(d).

When he’s not making or playing music of his own, Burns is a longtime host of Boots and Saddle, Earth’s greatest country music program, featuring beautiful music by beautiful country music singers. That show airs on local campus and community station CKUW.

Recently Burns also joined the team behind print-only country music magazine, The Honky Tonk Times, where he writes The Northern Report, exposing Canadian talent to a largely American audience. That column recently evolved into a podcast called The Northern Report Podcast, where Burns interviews up and comers and Canadian music icons.

More info and music credits:

Episode #14: Joe Nolan

Episode #14: Joe Nolan

May 21, 2021

I think that Edmonton-based singer/songwriter Joe Nolan is one of those true “old soul” songwriters. He’s been writing songs that are deeper and wiser than his years for over a decade. He first came to my attention when Six Shooter Records put out the album Tornado in 2014 and set him off on the road to promote it. His name was unknown to me, but the label was well known, and the list of people who helped make that record was impressive. It was produced by the great Colin Linden, who was the guest on episode 3 of this show. He brought in his usual stellar backing musicians, and special guests Lindi Ortega and Tom Wilson, so the album got a quick listen. I loved it from the start.

As good as that album is, Joe has demonstrated some of the most remarkable growth that I’ve ever seen in a young songwriter and performer. He’s truly dedicated to improving and learning as much as possible and will settle for nothing but the best that he can write and put out.

I think that one of the reasons that I’m also so drawn to Joe as a person is that we have similar personalities in a lot of ways. He struggles with darkness and doubt and despair but finds a lot of joy and strength in music and especially live performance.

Joe is truly one of the hardest working musicians that I know. Normally, he’d have toured all over the place and done hundreds of shows over the past year, but Covid had other plans.

He’s made the best of his time though, and just announced a new album called Scrapper, and I really hope that you’ll pre-order that and purchase some of his other albums by visiting him on Bandcamp at
You can learn more about him at

Joe had a lot more to say about the album, but I thought this episode was probably long enough already, so I’ve got more of my chat with Joe coming up on the May 23 edition of my other show, Tell the Band to Go Home, which you can find most places where you find this show, or at

Episode #13: Stephanie Lambring

Episode #13: Stephanie Lambring

April 23, 2021

Stephanie Lambring’s songs are largely about difficult topics, and the stories they contain are often dark and sad. Her official biography sums her debut album up really well: “Autonomy centers around what it is to have the ability to make your own decisions—to truly own the course your life takes. Lambring examines topics that sound familiar, like things you’ve thought about before, from childhood embarrassments that still pop up now and again to relationships that were bad choices from the beginning, from the constant desire to (still) please parents, to what in the world it feels like to try and understand evangelical Christianity in the current iteration of America.”

Last year, Stephanie came seemingly from nowhere and delivered an incredible first album, but it turns out that she’s not new to songwriting at all. She spent five years writing songs for a Nashville publishing house, hoping to write the next big country hit.

Eventually, she became disillusioned with writing to formula and writing for other people and turned her back on the publishing deal. She spent time on the road and on her own, finding herself and her voice again.

In 2020, amid the ongoing global pandemic, her album Autonomy was released to rave reviews from fans, publications, other songwriters, and nerdy song-lovers like me.

One song on the record in particular really caught my attention. The song, and the powerful video that accompanies it, detail Stephanie Lambring’s struggle with a dangerous eating disorder.

Stephanie bravely told me the intimate details of her struggle and the dark thoughts that motivated it.

If hearing this story might be too painful for you, either because it’s too much like your own story or that of someone you care about, I urge you to get help immediately. Please reach out to a physician or a therapist to start taking steps toward a healthier diet and a better self-image.

CAMH has some great information about eating disorders on their website. Click here to visit.

CMHA also is a great place to go for information and help. Click here to visit.

All of the music in the episode comes from Stephanie's album Autonomy, which you really should buy on Bandcamp:

For more information and more episodes, please visit:

Episode #12: Bryce Thomas

Episode #12: Bryce Thomas

April 16, 2021

Bryce Thomas just released his fourth full-length album under his own name, but music has been his passion almost his entire life. That album, Across the Neuro Seas, was written and recorded almost entirely alone during the pandemic. It’s an album that shows a lot of growth and insight and talent.

The album’s name and interesting cover art, showing two very different images of the artist, are in part a reference to the difficulties that he’s had to overcome before getting this far. Bryce has struggled with anxiety and depression and self-doubt for a long time and was only fairly recently diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.

His music and songs are far from a downer, however, as it is playful and lively and entertaining, much like our recent conversation.

More information:

Episode #11: Amelia Curran

Episode #11: Amelia Curran

April 9, 2021

Over the course of five albums made with the backing of influential Six Shooter Records label, Amelia Curran’s ( name became one that was known and respected across the country and beyond Canada's borders. She’s won just about every music award there is in Canada, including a Juno, SOCAN award, Canadian Folk Music awards, and multiple awards on Canada’s East Coast, where she makes her home.

In 2014, Amelia spearheaded a project called This Video, which is a star-studded song and video that presents some startling facts about depression and suicide, but ends with hope, optimism, and a call to action.

She’s made other powerful documentary films since then, and you can find a few of them along with her music and much more information at

This Video eventually led Amelia to form an organization called It’s Mental (, a grassroots community organization that focuses on the funding and sharing of knowledge on mental health realities and first aid mental health training to help safeguard our communities, families, and friends.

Please check out to find out more about the organization. To find training in Mental Health First Aid, visit

Music credits and more information:

Episode #10: Christina Martin

Episode #10: Christina Martin

April 2, 2021

I got to know Christina Martin ( through my radio show, Tell the Band to Go Home, because of her powerful and memorable songs. I was hooked immediately, and I just knew that I was going to have to do everything I could to bring her to Winnipeg to perform someday. Not long after, we made plans for her to come and her show was the second show ever at my house concert venue, The Sunset Saloon. She last performed here alongside her husband/guitar player/producer/best friend, Dale Murray (, in November of 2019. It was our last house concert before the pandemic shut everything down.

She’s one of the most driven and intelligent business people we’ve run across. I consider her a role model and among the performers that I know, because she seems to have been one of the most successful at finding a new way of keeping herself busy and keeping some money coming in to help pay the bills, and it’s largely been through an online platform called Patreon, where performers create exclusive content and exclusive opportunities for fans who are willing to make a financial contribution monthly or annually. She’s done an amazing job with her Patreon community, which you can check out at

Christina is also one of the most strikingly honest and open performers that I’ve encountered. At one of her shows, you get to know her and what she’s all about rather quickly. She talks a lot about how mental illness has affected her and her family. She’s also acted as a bit of a spokesperson, spreading awareness of an organization called CAMH (, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It is Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world's leading research centres in its field.

Music credits and more info:

Episode #9: Matt Masters

Episode #9: Matt Masters

March 26, 2021

Whether on his own or with his band The Ladies & Gentlemen of the Rodeo, or hosting and performing in Barney Bentall's Cariboo Express, Matt Masters is always busy, even though it’s been a decade since his last album, All Western Winners. He’s honed a really fun show built around a classic country-honky-tonk sound.

Offstage and behind the scenes, he’s had a heck of a difficult time over the years, dealing with loss, dramatic health scares, and difficulties that would cause even the strongest to feel some anxiety and depression. It all culminated with him being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

In spite of all the hard times and the subsequent, devastating blow of the COVID pandemic, Matt Masters reinvented himself in admirable fashion, founding Curbside Concerts and building a new model of bringing live music right to people’s homes and neighbourhoods, not only in Calgary, where he lives, but quickly expanding between Ontario and BC, with sights set on further national expansion, and even a move into Australia and beyond.

As busy as he’s been, Matt Masters finally found time to put out a new album, a collection of some of his favourite songs by other writers, called Everybody Loves a Winner, which was produced by Leeroy Stagger (my guest on episode #1).

Music credits:

"Walk a Mile in my Shoes," "Some Day Soon," and "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" are from the new Matt Masters album, Everybody Loves a Winner. You can find it on iTunes HERE.


More information and episodes:

Episode #8: Lynn Miles

Episode #8: Lynn Miles

March 19, 2021

It’s been 30 years since Lynn Miles ( released her debut full-length album, Chalk this one up to the Moon. Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, she released her 15th album, We’ll Look for Stars. In between, she had big record contracts, publishing deals, and toured all over the place. The stress and grind of it all almost killed her. Fortunately, she was able to channel a lot of her struggles into her magnificent songs. She’s come out of it with a highly-respected catalogue of work, a number of high-profile awards, and the respect and admiration of music fans and fellow musicians.

She’s also become an advocate for better mental health among musicians and greater awareness of mental illness.

more info and music credits:

Episode #7: Scott Nolan

Episode #7: Scott Nolan

March 12, 2021

Scott Nolan has forged a career as a rootsy, rockin’ singer/songwriter and bandleader. He released a string of increasingly interesting and acclaimed albums, culminating with an album called Silverhill, which was recorded with American roots supergroup Willie Sugarcapps in 2015.

Scott’s highest-profile successes though have come through other artists. He toured for a long time alongside his longtime drummer and friend Joanna Miller backing up Mary Gauthier. His work was championed by Hayes Carll, who recorded Scott’s song "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart," and has performed it around the world, singing Scott’s praises wherever he goes.

These days, Scott is busiest with the recording studio he built in his back yard, called The Song Shop. There, he recorded an album with Ben de la Cour, who you heard on the show in episode 5, and a number of other artists, including William Prince, who’s gone on to huge success in Canada and internationally. For Prince's second record, Reliever, made with the help of a huge international label, he had the opportunity to record with one of the biggest name producers in roots music, Dave Cobb, but split the recording and producing with Scott here in Winnipeg, which says a lot about the value and importance of Scott's touch.

He also has a book of poetry out, called The Moon Was a Feather. He’s recently developed a skill and a fondness for collage art, and has been very active creating collages daily.

more info and music credits:

Episode #6: Joey Serlin (Serlin Greaves/The Watchmen)

Episode #6: Joey Serlin (Serlin Greaves/The Watchmen)

March 5, 2021

Joey Serlin is probably best known as a founding member, songwriter, guitarist, and singer for hugely successful Canadian rock band The Watchmen. The band is known for huge hits like "All Uncovered," "Stereo," "Boneyard Tree," "Any Day Now," and a long list of others that can still be heard regularly on rock radio.

Joey Serlin and Watchmen singer Danny Greaves, will release their first album under the name of Serlin Greaves in May. The first single, “Teenage Heart,” is released today, March 5, 2021.

More info, links, and music credits:

Episode #5: Ben de la Cour

Episode #5: Ben de la Cour

February 26, 2021

Ben de la Cour ( has had an interesting life, to say the least.

His official bio says, “After playing New York City dives like CBGBs with his brother a decade before he could legally drink, he had already stuffed himself into a bottle of bourbon and pulled the cork in tight over his head by the time he was twenty one. There were arrests, homes in tough neighborhoods all over the world, countless false starts as well as stays in psychiatric hospitals and rehabs as Ben battled with mental health and substance abuse issues.”

These days, he’s a folk-rockin’ singer/songwriter living in Nashville, TN. Last year he released one of the finest records I heard all year (and I hear a lot of them!) Shadow Land was recorded here in Winnipeg with Scott Nolan during the polar vortex of 2019.

During the course of our chat, we talked all about releasing a fabulous album during a pandemic and Ben spoke very honestly and openly about his struggles with substance abuse and mental illness.

Music credits:

God's Only Son, The Last Chance Farm, and Shadow Land can be found on Ben's album Shadow Land, which I highly recommend purchasing from Bandcamp.

Episode #4: Nicky Mehta (The Wailin’ Jennys)

Episode #4: Nicky Mehta (The Wailin’ Jennys)

February 19, 2021

Nicky Mehta ( is best known as a founding member of The Wailin' Jennys (, a highly-acclaimed and hugely successful singer/songwriter trio formed in Winnipeg in 2002, but she's much more than that. From her official bio, "Singer-songwriter. Mentor to at-risk youth. Wailin’ Jenny. Mental health advocate. Canadian. JUNO winner. Mother of twins. International touring artist. Biracial. Children's book author. Mental illness survivor. Life-partner. Speaker. Composer for contemporary dance. Poet. Band manager. University graduate. Former dancer. Winnipegger. Influenced by Jane Siberry, Lloyd Cole, The Smiths, and Sharon Olds. Product of British and East Indian ancestry. Nature lover. Realist. Idealist. Dreamer."

I'm really grateful to Nicky for speaking openly about her experiences with mental illness, her interest in the effects of trauma, and of course her successful music career.

music credits and more info:

Episode #3: Colin Linden

Episode #3: Colin Linden

February 12, 2021

Fly with your Shadow is an interview-based podcast featuring conversations about music, mental health, and the devastating effect that the COVID pandemic has had on all of it.

You can find us on social media @flywithyourshadow and on our website,

Colin Linden ( has played guitar alongside Willie P Bennett, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant, Bruce Cockburn, and countless others. He’s also 1/3 of roots rockin’ supergroup Blackie and the Rodeo Kings ( Colin has also released 12 or so highly acclaimed albums of his own and is preparing for the release of a brand new album in 2021. He’s also a highly sought after album producer.

He co-produced John Bottomley’s album Blackberry, which you heard a lot about on last week’s show. John and especially that album greatly inspired me to create this show, so I wanted to know more about the making of the album from someone who had a big hand in making it as great as it is.

music credits and more info: :

Episode #2: Chris Bottomley

Episode #2: Chris Bottomley

February 5, 2021

Fly with your Shadow is an interview-based podcast featuring conversations about music, mental health, and the devastating effect that the COVID pandemic has had on all of it.

You can find us on social media @flywithyourshadow and on our website,

This week on the program: Chris Bottomley (

Chris Bottomley is a fabulous bass player, singer, and songwriter. He’s released albums on his own as well as with the collective known as Brainfudge. His diverse style incorporates elements of jazz, funk, reggae, and rock ‘n’ roll.

In the mid 1980s Chris and his brother John Bottomley came to prominence with their band Tulpa. They officially released one album called Mosaic Fish.

Chris was kind enough to tell me more about his brother John, who greatly inspired this show.

Episode #1: Leeroy Stagger

Episode #1: Leeroy Stagger

January 29, 2021

Fly with your Shadow is an interview-based podcast featuring conversations about music, mental health, and the devastating effect that the COVID pandemic has had on all of it.

You can find us on social media @flywithyourshadow and on our website,

This week on the program: Leeroy Stagger (

Leeroy is a singer/songwriter/producer from Victoria, B.C. He's released 11 or so albums and toured North America and Europe extensively. He's also very open about his struggles with his mental health and provides some great insight into the peace that he's found on his path.


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