With a string of Top-40 CanCon hits SHELLY RASTIN is back with her new single MEXICO STATE OF MIND
RASTIN grabbed the international spotlight as support for Keith Urban at a festival that swelled 20,000 fans. And again with Tim McGraw, Jason Blaine, Doc Walker and more.
With Jason Barry, multi CCMA award winner, at the producing reigns of Rastin’s sound, she has found herself to be a multi winner for Country Artist & Songwriter @ the London & Jack Richardson Music Awards along with multiple nominations at Toronto’s Independent Music Awards.
Rastin boasts co-writing and recording credits that include Randy Bachman, Jason Barry, Byron Hill, Randy Bordeaux, Steve Fox, Darcy Corbett and more. With such strong industry collaborations, she made her mark in the country radio industry when her single “Born in a Barn” earned her a spot in the top 100 billboard music charts.
With each radio release Shelly is consistently rated in the Top 20 Canadian Country female artist radio charts with “Born in a Barn”, Be True To You” and “Country Mile”, "Confused", "Taken", “High Class Trailer Trash” and now with her new release MEXICO STATE OF MIND.
Rastin's accolades have earned her a spot in the top 10 Canadian artist to look out for!
Terry Smith - Guitar / Vocals
Darcy Corbett - Bass / guitar / mandolin / vocals
Greg Weir - Drums / hand percussion
Shelly Rastin - Lead Vocals
1) Am I Dreaming - 2000
2) Shelly in the Making - 2004
3) Hard to Say No - 2009
ONLINE AT: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hard-to-say-no/id348435691
- Rhapsody, Amazon, Indiepool and more...
IN ANY OF THESE STORES:
HIGH CLASS TRAILER TRASH
BORN IN A BARN
HARD TO SAY NO
BE TRUE TO YOU
EASY TO LOVE
YOU'LL BE ALRIGHT
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Tin Pan North Songwriters Festival - review 1
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Ads by CityMedia Tin Pan North Songwriters Festival Written by Charmaine Costello L...Ads by CityMedia
Tin Pan North Songwriters Festival
Written by Charmaine Costello
London Music Club
May 26-29, 2010
Arriving at the London Music Club is always a treat. Perched on the back step out back was Shelly Rastin rehearsing a good old country song with her guitar player, Darcy Corbett. Her sweet voice filled the air on this very warm evening.
Tin Pan North Songwriters Festival kicked off this evening in London and will weave its way through Oakville and Toronto, ending at Hugh's Room in Toronto on Saturday, May 29. Forty singer-songwriters perform their own songs in small club settings over these four nights. It is truly a celebration of the songwriter.
Tin Pan North's roots are in Nashville. The NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) started the festival 18 years ago in Nashville and 11 years ago, the Tin Pan Festival was expanded to the Greater Toronto area. This is year two for a London venue. Bruce Madole, one of the songwriters who graced us with his fine tunes tonight, was a key player in bringing this festival to this area. He describes the festival as "a celebration of the creation of the song." He and Shelly Rastin played hosts at the beginning of this very fine evening of music.
The evening's opening act was local singer-songwriter, Mac Edwards, who pens his own songs and told the crowd that he often plays the London Music Club but that he "usually hides in the basement and that it was good to see the light of day and real people." He was joined by Andrew Mack who sang a wonderful little song he wrote about Alberta which was warmly received by the audience.
The audience numbers were a little on the lean side for this event. Being that it was only the second year for London to host the festival, I would hope that the word will get out eventually. Also, Wednesday night is not always a good choice for live music in London. The folks who did venture out were energetic, warm and appreciative of the talent on stage. I could have done without the guy who stamped his feet instead of clapping after every song though! The event was billed as "country" music in the online London Music Club posting, but I heard a diverse range of roots, blues and folk styles as well as country. If I had to categorize the music as ‘something,’ I would say it was soulful music. The kind that undeniably finds your heart and holds onto it long after the last note fades away.
The first four of the evening's eight performers were finally ready to go! The performances were set up on stage in the round. Four performers share the stage and play two or three songs each.
Rich Baker opened the round. Rich has returned to music after a 5 year hiatus. He played a beautiful love song which he co-wrote with John Landry. The crowd warmed immediately to Rich and I think it's a given that returning to his love of music was a good decision.
Headliner Cody Prevost hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This young man is on a winning streak reaping awards across the country and beyond. He sang a song from his new CD, Real, which will be released in June. The song was called I'm OK and he dedicated it to his Grandpa who had just passed away yesterday.
I miss you but not that much,
Cause I'm still with you,
I'm just not close enough.
This is me, telling you,
That I'm ok.
I don't think I was the only one who was a little choked up after his performance. Cody's stage presence and compelling lyrics are a winning combination.
Bruce Madole was up next performing a song that he created when he was, "fooling around with chord patterns," called November Again. Turns out he mastered the chord patterns on this one. Bruce struck me as someone who writes poetically. He sings from the heart, as well as being an excellent guitarist.
Stacey Zegers decided to "change it up a bit and do a happy song." She delighted the crowd with a song from her debut CD Famous called Livin' the Dream. Stacey says that she is now "living the songs" that she wrote for her CD. This young woman has an energetic appeal and stage presence and she had the audience's full attention.
Rich sang a song he and John Landry wrote about kayaking on the Grand River, a bluesy number called Bit by Bit. He had the audience clapping along. Cody introduced his next song as he reminisced about when his Mom owned a bar and they had "really good Saturday nights but really bad Sunday mornings." The party song Next Weekend had the audience singing along on the chorus. After hearing Cody a second time, and getting to dig his style, I found myself thinking that this guy could sing anything and make it sound good. Bruce's next song You Made Me Drink From the Bottle was lyrically rich and it took the crowd full circle back into a thoughtful mood.
I have attended similar live music events where the artists sang in the round but almost always, the others joined in when the mood struck them. I suppose I was expecting this event to follow suit, but so far, no one joined in with each other. It struck me at times that they wanted to, but they held back, although they listened attentively to every song.
Stacey decided to get into the meloncholy mood and performed a song about a break up. Rich sang about young love and "what makes us who we are" with That's Gonna Leave a Mark. Cody followed with a song called Quicksand which was recorded by Nashville based Grammy Award winner Randy Kohrs. It's a fine song about "how we sometimes lose focus" on the road to success. So far, this song was clearly an audience favourite. Bruce followed with a pretty song called Paris in the Springabout people who pursue their dreams. Stacey finished off the set with another high energy piece simple introduced as "a song about cheatin'" She can even make cheating sound like a positive experience!
As the first set came to a close, I noticed the foot stomping guy leave. Bonus round of applause on the reviewer's part!
David Joseph introduced headliner Steve Leslie at the beginning of the second set. David picked up Steve at the Toronto airport who flew in for the show from Nashville. David spoke about the recent flood in Nashville and Steve followed up with a first-hand account of what was happening in the Nashville area. The trip from the airport was harrowing and it took them 4 hours to get to London. They were saved however, by Tim Horton's. Steve, not being familiar with this place called "Tim Horn's," decided that it had, "the best coffee in the world! ... even better than Starbucks." After messing up the name more than once, David told him it was just fine to simply call it "Timmy's."
As the next four performers readied themselves for the second set, a slide presentation made by Victoria Banks, a Canadian singer songwriter living in Nashville, was shown between sets telling the visual story of the flood in Nashville. It is called City of Dreams and can be found on You Tube.
Shelly Rastin opened Round 1 with Country Mile. Now Shelly, this girl is pure country and she has the credits to prove it, sharing the stage in the past with Keith Urban and Tim McGraw. Her exuberant performance was outstanding and her radio friendly style will surely take her down the road to success. Her songs are played on over 35 stations across Canada. Her first number set an upbeat mood for the second set. Shelly worked tirelessly organizing this festival and she did a great job.
David Joseph followed with a thoughtful and melodious song called No Where I'd Rather Be. He explained that being part of a songwriter's festival is like getting married: "You plan, wait, and then finally, it's really happening." David frequently travels to Nashville. His easy going style creates a comfortable camaraderie with the audience. He feels like an old friend.
Tom McInerney is a local London singer-songwriter who surely deserves more attention. His songs support important ideas and causes such as The Stephen Lewis Foundation, Leprosy Mission Canada and the Alzheimer Society of London and Middlesex. Tom performed a song he wrote for the Stephen Lewis Foundation called Grandma. Written from a grandmother's point of view, the song takes us into the heart of what it must feel like to see your children die of AIDS. He explains, "these women have seen entire generations wiped out by the AIDS epidemic in Africa."
Headliner Steve Leslie was unknown to me before the show but after hearing him perform, I can't figure out why he isn't famous. He moved to Nashville and 1992 and he said he is "lucky enough to be making a living writing and performing songs." His songs have been recorded by Kenny Rogers, George Strait, Rhonda Vincent, Mark Chestnut and Darryl Worley. Many a songwriter shouldn't be a singer and vice versa, but Steve Leslie delivers excellent song writing and vocal talent, as well as possessing a winning stage persona and amazing guitar playing. His sense of humour won the crowd's affection. Case in point: he follows Tom McInerney's Grandma song by asking, "Nice song, EH?" as the crowd roared with laughter. I suppose his lack of notoriety might have something to do with living in Nashville, the land of songwriters, and competing in that huge fish bowl. His voice strongly resembles James Taylors. Steve performed a song that, "George Strait cut but didn't put on his CD," called South Texas Time, which was a real gem. Lyrically and musically perfect. I wasn't the only one in awe.
Shelly followed with a song called Hard to Say No, which she co-wrote with Byron Hill, with Darcey Corbett accompanying on the mandolin, one of my favourite instruments to hear. David was up next with I Can't Be You, a song about choices. Tom did an amazing job with a song about Alzheimer's disease called Bits and Pieces. Once again, Steve added some humour to the mix, lightening the mood. Tom took it in stride and seemed like he was having a great time with it all. Steve sang a song that he hadn't finished yet, a bluesy number, and got the audience's approval to finish it! Shelly and Stacey teamed up for a heartbreaking performance of He's Gone, a song about growing up with an alcoholic father. A member of the audience was so touched by the song, that she went to the stage and gave Shelly a hug. David broke the serious mood this time saying, "Let's pick it up with a death ballad!" Tom lightened it up again with a song he wrote about the harbour in Sydney, Australia, the audience picking up a sing-along on the chorus. Steve followed with a song recorded by Darryl Worley called Tennesse River Run. Shelly also performed an unfinished song that she just co-wrote just the night before with Cody. And finally my wish came true. The musicians were joining in and playing together when the mood hit them.
Steve finished up the night with a song he wrote for his unborn son called Simple Act of Kindness, a very pretty song made even prettier with excellent finger picking.
At the end of the night, David presented Steve with a $200 he had collected from the audience to contribute towards the Nashville Flood Red Cross Relief Fund.
I felt privileged to attend this event. Talent extraordinaire! If you so desire to be a part of this unique event, you still have a chance. All the particulars are listed here:
Steve Leslie and Codie Prevost will both be performing again this weekend in Toronto.
Meantime, see you all at the London Music Club.
Charmaine Costello is a local freelance writer, playwright and music enthusiast.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 May 2010 07:32
The New Women of Canadiana
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Issue 2: Top 10 Movers and Shakers in Canadian Music to watch for! Written by Jaimie Vernon...Issue 2: Top 10 Movers and Shakers in Canadian Music to watch for!
Written by Jaimie Vernon
Sunday, 16 August 2009 22:42
The New Women Of Canadiana
Canada has had a long history of genre and gender defying female singers and singer-songwriters who've elevated their craft to global success. From the First Ladies of Canadian song Anne Murray and Ginette Reno to the folk legendry of Joni Mitchell, Sylvia Tyson and Edith Butler to the power rocking Lee Aaron, Darby Mills, Alannah Myles and Sass Jordan to the angst-in-your-pants Grrrrl Power of Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne and Bif Naked to the soulful R & B stylings of Shawne Jackson, Jackie Richardson, Jully Black and Deborah Cox. Every pop permutation has been explored and celebrated to international success.
So, who are the current women on the horizon to push the boundaries and borders of music in Canada and beyond its shores? Take a look...
If Nashville North were to ever truly exist, Shelly Rastin would lead the charge. Veteran Canadian pop music icon Bob Segarini recently said this of Rastin, "Every time I have seen Shelly play live I am impressed with her presence. She is fearless on stage...has a killer smile, a great voice, (is) a fine songwriter, and owns any stage I’ve ever seen her on."
Shelly Rastin Band claimed the titled of 2009 COUNTRY ARTIST OF THE YEAR at the Jack Richardson Music Awards in London, Ontario. Her new CD, which contains the radio hit "Born In A Barn", is called "Hard To Say No".
Don’t Believe A Word I Say with Bob Segarini
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Queens of the Industries - The Women of Media, Talk, Rock, and Records SHELLY RASTIN - HIGH CLASS...Queens of the Industries - The Women of Media, Talk, Rock, and Records
SHELLY RASTIN - HIGH CLASS TRAILER TRASH
Every time I have seen Shelly play live I am impressed with her presence. She is fearless on stage, embodies the easy manner of a confident professional, and oozes a natural sexiness regardless of if she’s in a dress or a pair of jeans and a cowboy hat. A killer smile, a great voice, a fine songwriter, and owns any stage I’ve ever seen her on. On top of that, I’m pretty sure she could match you drink for drink and plays a mean game of Texas Hold ‘Em. Whoa…
SHELLY RASTIN - BORN IN A BARN
Shelly pumps out another crowd favourite and paints the picture of a woman we all wish we knew. Have I mentioned how good this band is? No? Well…her band is really good. Another point in the argument that Canada is truly Nashville North.
Tin Pan North – review 2
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The London Music Club recently hosted Tin Pan North, a music festival in its eleventh year. This is...The London Music Club recently hosted Tin Pan North, a music festival in its eleventh year. This is the second year that the LMC has provided a venue for the festival that originated in the greater Toronto area. The festival has strong ties to a similar event organized by the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), which has taken place in Nashville, Tennessee for the last 18 years. Most importantly, Tin Pan North celebrates the song writing traditions of Nashville and Tin Pan Alley; musical cultures in which songwriters and production houses compose the music that is performed and sometimes brought to commercial success by more well-known acts. This festival is meant to showcase the oft-overlooked creative talent behind those triple-platinum Garth Brooks or Keith Urban songs you hear on the radio every day.
I arrived about twenty minutes prior to the scheduled 7:30pm start and sat at a table near the back of the club’s “Big Hall.” The London Music Club actually features three venues and often hosts concurrent shows. One might think this has the potential to be disruptive, but it certainly didn’t affect my experience (Morgan Davis was actually performing in their “Front Room” that night). While the “Big Hall” has a 140-person capacity, it still maintains a comfortable, intimate environment. To my right was a table of musicians who were laughing, talking shop, sharing stories, and showing off their guitars. I was immediately struck by the collegial atmosphere. Although some musicians were billed as “headliners,” the camaraderie I overheard at the musicians’ table suggested that nobody was taking that label too seriously. The sense of collegiality extended to the audience as well. Codie Prevost, one of the aforementioned headliners, came over and chatted with me for a few minutes before the first performers began. Shelly Rastlin, serving both as a performer and emcee for the evening, even offered me a drink. The relaxed and friendly air put forth by the musicians along with the cozy and personal space provided by the London Music Club each contributed to the overall sense that the barriers between musicians, songwriters, and the audience were being broken down tonight in order to focus full attention on the craft of songwriting.
The show began with two unbilled performers: Andrew Mack and Mac Edwards (no relation). The emcees introduced Andrew Mack as having some success in a few songwriting competitions; a success that shone through in both songs he performed that evening, revealing his firm grasp of pop-tinged musical formulae and clever lyrics. Mac Edwards, a London songwriter who moonlights as a member of the local alt-country rock band The Woody Allens, also performed two songs. Mac is a seasoned performer who is quite comfortable on stage and has a clear idea of how he wants his musical and lyrical voices to sound.
The billed performers were scheduled to go on stage in two groups of four, with each group including a headliner. The musicians sat in a row and took turns singing songs, again contributing to the egalitarian workshop atmosphere of the festival. The stripped-down nature of the performances – almost all solely accompanied themselves with guitar – further supported the notion that this event was about the song itself; no dressed-up instrumentation necessary. Between songs the musicians bantered back and forth, trading stories and jokes, as if the comfort of their pre-show conversations at the table simply continued on stage. Most humorous of the bunch was Rich Baker, who is perhaps best known as the songwriting collaborator of John Landry. Rich’s humour extended into his lyrics; his well-crafted songs firmly established in the clever wit of the country music tradition. Bruce Madole, also a festival co-ordinator, and Stacey Zegers both made strong contributions to the opening set; Bruce with his sensitive guitar playing and idiosyncratic chord progressions, and Stacey with her charming stage presence. Codie Prevost was included as the headliner for this group. Hailing from small-town Saskatchewan (but now based in Saskatoon), Codie has seen a great deal of recent commercial and critical success, having been awarded several Saskatchewan Country Music Association Awards. Among others, he performed his song, Quicksand, which he noted was recorded and recently performed at the Grand Old Opry by Grammy-award winner Randy Kohrs. Even when armed only with a guitar, Codie’s sound is big, clean, and polished. He has a commanding presence on stage. He communicates clearly with his audience, and is an excellent guitar player. It is obvious that Codie has worked hard to put himself in a position to truly “make it” in the commercial country scene. It was a pleasure to see him perform in such an intimate venue; an event that will likely become rarer as he achieves even greater success.
After a short break that included the late arrival of David Joseph and headliner Steve Leslie (apparently Joseph was picking up Leslie from the airport in Toronto), Joseph and Leslie, along with two other musicians, took the stage for the final set. Among them was the effervescent Shelly Rastlin, joined by the multi-talented Darcey Corbett, who accompanied her on guitar and mandolin (and incidentally, operated the sound board during the rest of the show). Shelly’s songs are slick, tuneful, and radio-friendly. On stage, she is the consummate professional. Of particular note were the vocal arrangements sung in harmony with Corbett; perfectly in tune and never excessive – a testament to both Rastlin’s and Corbett’s musicianship. Also featured in this set was David Joseph, who, in addition to writing songs, serves as a festival co-ordinator and as chapter president of NSAI-Waterloo/London. While perhaps not as decorated as the other musicians, Joseph’s songs conveyed strong emotion, and he delivered them in an intense and focused performance.
Tom McInerney, a local London musician, contributed several songs that dealt with weighty topics; appropriate considering that his songs have been used to support important causes such as The Stephen Lewis Foundation, Leprosy Mission Canada and the Alzheimer Society of London and Middlesex. Tom’s songs leaned closest to the folk side of the musical spectrum, a feature perhaps most indicative in his deep and warm voice. Headlining this group was Nashville-based songwriter Steve Leslie. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of Steve until I looked him up in anticipation of attending this show. Of course, part of the aim of this festival is to highlight songwriters who write songs for more well-known artists – something that Leslie has done with a great deal of success. Among those for whom Leslie has penned include Darius Rucker, Darryl Worley, George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent, and Kenny Rogers. Since Leslie has made his career writing songs for other people, I thought that his approach to performing might be decidedly nonchalant. Much to my surprise, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. His guitar playing was musically engaging and nearly technically flawless, so much that his stagemates were gushing about it between songs. Of all the performers I heard that evening, Leslie was the most captivating; his presence and voice closest to unique. On stage, he was the musician who most convincingly conveyed himself. Given the deeply personal aspect of songwriting, this is something most songwriters likely yearn to achieve. Through all of his overwhelming musical charisma, Leslie’s songs shone through. While one could spend a long time analyzing his lyrics, use of musical form, and melodies to find out exactly why his songs work, one listen will tell you that they simply do. Musical preferences aside, I’m confident that anyone can appreciate the craft of Steve Leslie’s music.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience at Tin Pan North. The London Music Club was the perfect venue for this event. My only complaint is that I didn’t hear enough of Steve Leslie. The “round table” format maintained throughout the evening ensured that all artists were given equal time to perform their songs. This was obviously done to create the collegial atmosphere that otherwise greatly contributed to my positive experience. Hopefully, the London Music Club can bring back Leslie for a solo concert sometime in the near future.
Bryn Hughes teaches music theory at the University of Western Ontario.
Nicole Kidmans Canadian Adventure
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Nicole Kidman is traveling with new hubby Keith Urban on his new North American concert tour, but sh...Nicole Kidman is traveling with new hubby Keith Urban on his new North American concert tour, but she is going to great lengths to stay out of the public eye and out of the camera lenses.
One could speculate that Kidman doesn't want to steal Urban's limelight, but indications at his July 13 show in Sarnia, Ontario - his first concert since the June 25 wedding -were that she wants her privacy and will go to great lengths to keep it.
Kidman was so demanding of her personal space that Shelley Rastin, the singer who opened the show for Urban at the 20,000 strong Bayfest outdoor concert in this city that borders the U.S. at Port Huron, Mich.,said she couldn't even get to her trailer to change her clothes before she went on stage. It was too close to the newlyweds black Prevost tour bus. "She won't let us go anywhere near there," complained Shelly. "I had to change in my van."
Hoping for her big break, Rastin desperately wanted to meet Urban and give him a copy of her CD. "I didn't want her to be here because I knew I wouldn't get to talk to Keith." Urban and Kidman arrived in a private jet at 1:20 p.m., eight hours before he was scheduled to play. Their entourage crossed the border in Urbans tourbus earlier that day. Traveling with them was Kidman's personal trainer. Local caterer Tim Robertson sent boiled eggs without the yolk to her and he said "she enjoyed them." Robertson caught a glimpse of Kidman as he wandered backstage. "She's beautiful," he said.
Concert organizer Michele Stokley also saw Kidman very briefly sitting outside the bus where picnic table umbrellas had been set up in a public no-access area to block any view of Kidman. "She looks like a porcelain doll. She's stunning," Stokley said. But Stokley, who didn't even say hello to Kidman when she saw the actress, described the big headache she went through trying to keep Kidman and Urban off limits to everyone.
Shelly Rastin living her musical dream
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It's not often you can say you knew someone before she hit the big time. I can, and I shared a cubic...It's not often you can say you knew someone before she hit the big time. I can, and I shared a cubicle wall with her.
Shelly Rastin didn't teach me to sing during my tenure at London Life. But she did teach me a thing or two about looking beyond the limits of drab brown fabric walls and following your dreams.
The London singer has just released the single, One Way Ticket, and is following it up this week with a trip to Toronto, where she'll work on the rest of her new album with musical legend Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive.)
So how does a technology training consultant for an insurance company's information services division end up working side-by-side with Canadian rock royalty? Simple: her then-manager answered a 2002 newspaper ad in which Bachman offered his songs for other artists. Bachman was so impressed with Rastin's press kit that he stopped in London on his way to his induction to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in Toronto.
He stayed a week. They hammered out 10 songs, and have been working together ever since. Bachman's daughter, Lorelei, wrote the current single, and his company is promoting Rastin's music cross-country.
"At first I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm writing with Randy Bachman,' " Rastin recalls with a laugh. "But after I picked him up at the airport and we drove to London, it immediately became evident that he is just like you and I, so down to Earth and personable."
Even before she crossed Bachman's path, Rastin made waves when she headed to Nashville in 1999 to record a demo CD. Her fresh approach to country music led some to call her Canada's next Shania Twain. It led to sessions with the producer responsible for Nickelback, Holly McNarland and the Matthew Good Band. Just last month, Rastin was named pop singer/songwriter of the year at the 2005 Jack Richardson Music Awards.
That's a pretty good track record for any artist, let alone one who juggles a 9-to-5 career, and has a husband and two children at home.
"The kids at my 12-year-old's school think I'm a celebrity," she chuckles during a chat. "We'll do acoustic concerts for school picnics, and it's just like a Beatles concert with all the screaming."
Family has always been central to Rastin's drive to hit the big time. She credits her husband and sons for keeping everything together when songwriting sessions, band practices, guitar lessons and gigs keep her away from home. "If they weren't there to help with it all, there's no way I could continue to cover the angles and do them well," she says.
As blessed as she's been with talent and opportunity, Rastin would rather focus on the foundation of giving in London's music community.
"Some people don't want to share because they see you as competition," she said. "London's music scene is not about that. We help and take care of each other. It's not a dog eat dog world as much as people make it out to be."
Rastin puts her money where her mouth is: she has been mentoring teenaged country artist Jenn Marino for the past three years, ever since she and her mother approached her after a concert and asked for some direction. Since then, she's had Marino up on stage, and has helped her make appearances.
"You're in this to make a difference in other people's lives, as well as your own," Rastin says. "It needs to help them in some way to . . . get through what they're going through."
As Rastin continues to pursue her dream outside the bounds of her cubicle walls, it's easy to see that the difference she speaks of is already starting to happen.
Rastin well on her way!
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The entertainment field is one with few guarantees, and they say you have to keep your heart set on...The entertainment field is one with few guarantees, and they say you
have to keep your heart set on solid goals with little distraction in order to make your mark. Shelly Rastin, singer, songwriter, and mother of two is one fine balancing act. There is a quality about this woman that makes people want to root for her, and her uniqueness draws new fans to her side everywhere she goes. Her country tunes come from the heart, and it clearly shows.
The seed started germinating when she kept winning karaoke contests years ago, and was encouraged by strangers to take her singing talents more seriously. Shelly initiated a songwriting and recording relationship with the legendary Randy Bachman (founding member of The Guess Who & Bachman Turner Overdrive) in 2001, and the two have been working closely ever since. Ironically, it was a song written by Bachman’s daughter Lorelei, entitled “One Way Ticket,” that put Shelly’s career into full swing.
This stunning entertainer has more chutzpah than some of the top
legends. Polite, funny and unbelievably talented, she is stirring up the industry on both sides of the border, and has no intention of slowing down. Having
recorded with superstars Mel Shaw in Nashville and rock production icon Dale Penner (who fit Rastin in between working with legends Nickelback and Matthew Good), Rastin has established a firm hold as a studio musician and entertainer.
She’s recently opened for Keith Urban, Emerson Drive, Blake Sheldon as well as Adam Gregory,
Uncle Cracker, Julian Austin, David Wilcox and the Northern Pikes in a myriad f summer concerts across at country. The Hollywood tabloid Star magazine quoted Rastin in regard to a ruffling of feathers caused by Urban’s wife, actress Nicole Kidman. As the story goes, Shelly could not change in her own trailer due to Kidman’s “lock down” around the perimeter of Urban’s trailer.
Rumor has it Nicole was worried someone would take her picture. That inconvenience didn’t phase Shelly, who jumped into the back of a van to change for the next act - true professionalism, Canadian style.
Shelly is currently writing some songs in Nashville to complete her
new album, Born in a Barn. This new CD showcases Rastin’s strong vocals and has a number of cross over pop/rock pieces, as well as a return to her country foundation. Jason Barry, a multi CCMA award-winning producer, songwriter and guitar player, is producing the new CD. He has worked with Jason Blaine, Aaron Lines, Diane Chase, and Charlie Major to name a few.
Gaining momentum by collaborating with her bass player, Darcy Corbett, and her songwriting relationship with Bachman, this songstress is well on her way.
Shelly Rastin at Canadian Music Week
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All the way from the badlands of London, Ontario, Shelly Rastin brought her form suburban soccer-mom...All the way from the badlands of London, Ontario, Shelly Rastin brought her form suburban soccer-mom alt-country to the Cameron House on Saturday, putting on a solid set despite some persistent technical difficulties. Strong vocals and a confident stage presence worked in Rastin’s favour, as did her recent collaboration with BTO’s Randy Bachman, giving her music a professional, polished edge. Rastin and her band delivered some solid new-country tunes à la Patti Loveless complete with some great blues guitar.
A summer of memories to savour
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With all the flurry of July-into-August outdoor music fests fading into the endless summer 2005 haze...With all the flurry of July-into-August outdoor music fests fading into the endless summer 2005 haze, there are many memories that refuse to vanish.
In that flurry of fests, Texas superstars ZZ Top and Tracy Byrd made their London debuts -- at Rock the Park and the London Balloon Festival respectively.
Mali's Tinariwen, at Victoria Park's Sunfest, and the Big Easy's Dr. John, at a downtown parking lot's Bluesfest London, provided plenty of high-voltage genius and the deepest rhythms.
There were local heroes, too. Because of other coverage, only a little Home County Folk Festival came my way.
Bless them, London's Ace-Tones and guests twanged their way through a work by that noted folk fest figure, guitarist Duane Eddy.
The rock and roll instrumental star's hits date mostly from 1958 to 1963. Only the Ace-Tones know how to bring them to Victoria Park.
That makes them just as committed to their classic repertoire, from Eddy and other vintage rockers, as Home County icon Jackie Washington is to his ageless Tin Pan Alley tunes.
Harris Park's Rock the Park had now and forever London guitar god Bill Durst -- even if he lives in the St. Marys area -- bringing Thundermug's run to an end "for a long time."
Its London rock roots go back to 1969 and Durst was the only original member carrying on in recent years. So it can't be a bad time for him to stop and concentrate on the Bill Durst Band.
The word on Durst's treatment of the Jimi Hendrix song Little Wing is that he's right in saying his best rock is about to arrive.
Applause, too, for London rockers Bobnoxious, who just won't sully the opening slot by mentioning the headliners for cheap cheers. Also delightful was Bobnoxious frontman Bob Reid, negotiating with an amused Balloonfest president Barry McGonigle about obtaining a guitar to smash onstage at Harris Park.
Victoria Park's 2005 London Rib-Fest served up its moment in London music history, from singer Shelly Rastin, who could be heard thanking ex-Guess Who star Randy Bachman. By coincidence, Bachman had played all those Guess Who and BTO hits at the 2005 edition of Rock the Park on an earlier weekend.
Rastin and Bachman have been working together for more than four years. Now that collaboration has morphed into Rastin's recording of One Way Ticket, a song written by Bachman's daughter, Lorelei. One Way Ticket was co-produced by Randy Bachman and Kitchener-area guitarist Jason Barry. The song is being played on London country station BX93, something else Rastin sounded thrilled about at Rib-Fest.
A lot has changed since those days in 2001 when Bachman and Rastin could be found with rhyming dictionaries and laptops, writing songs in a London backyard.
Bachman is leaner. The Guess Who has had a reunion tour and parted company again. Rastin has won a bunch of awards and played a lot of gigs. Now Bachman's daughter is writing songs, too.
One thing Bachman said back in 2001 is still oh-so-true in the hot summer of 2005. Said the man who had a hand in American Woman, These Eyes, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet and so many other hits: "The song's never done until it's on the radio."
Bachman in London to write with Rastin
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Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman is plugging into the career of Strathroy-area singer Shelly Rasti...Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman is plugging into the career of Strathroy-area singer Shelly Rastin.
The Guess Who guitarist and founding member will arrive in London tomorrow and spend several days next week writing with Rastin.
The singer and her manager contacted Bachman after a newspaper reported he was looking for new artists to perform his backlog of about 250 songs and record on his B.C.-based Ranbach Music label.
"It looks like we're going to be joining the Bachman team and kick some booty," said Rastin.
If a deal with Bachman's label is signed, it will confirm Rastin's move to adult contemporary music in a more rock vein. Where Shania Twain has been her career model, it's more likely to be Sheryl Crow these days.
"We're going to spend four days solidly songwriting," says Rastin, a longtime Guess Who fan, who hopes there will be an opportunity to co-write with Bachman.
The guitarist then expects to return to British Columbia and record backing tracks. If all goes well, Rastin will fly out to B.C. to add the vocals.
Any such deal is still in the early stages. "Randy is going to be in London next week for a few days to do some co-writing with a local artist," a Ranbach Music publicist responded via e-mail yesterday. "We haven't publicized this yet, as Randy likes to meet the artists he works with before endorsing them."
Early last year, Rastin estimated she needed four "kick-ass hits" and a professional act to sway investors — but now she hopes Bachman's working visit will help bring the investment to her.
Bachman was in London in September when the Guess Who reunion tour rocked the Western Fair. Work on a new Guess Who album has been delayed, but Bachman has re-released the first three Guess Who albums from their pre-These Eyes days on his Ranbach Music label. He's putting out a collection from Brave Belt (his band, pre-Bachman Turner Overdrive) and has been steadily re-releasing the oeuvre of the late jazz guitarist Lenny Breau.
The Guess Who is being saluted with doctorates from the University of Brandon and induction at Toronto into Canada's Walk of Fame. Then comes a new Guess Who summer tour, a shared bill with Joe Cocker, that will hit 41 U.S. cities.
Rastin and her band will appear tonight at Hiawatha
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Shelly Rastin, the new songwriting partner of Canadian music legend Randy Bachman, will be back in S...Shelly Rastin, the new songwriting partner of Canadian music legend Randy Bachman, will be back in Sarnia tonight and Saturday performing at the Hiawatha Racetrack Slots, Reflections Lounge.
Rastin, a London –area performer, appears often at the Sarnia Racetrack.
After Bachman, one of the founders of the Guess Who, put out word that his catalogue was open to new artists looking for songs to record, Rastin’s manager John Geddes contacted the artist and his managers.
Geddes encouraged Bachman to give Rastin’s five-song compact disc a listen and he liked what he heard. In May, Bachman travelled to London and spent four days writing with Rastin. They managed to finish eight songs. “ It’s probably the most invigorating experience in my career to date,” Rastin said on the telephone from London where the Fanshawe College graduate holds down a day job in technology at London Life.
"They’re going on the album,” Rastin said about the new songs. In fact, she added Bachman wants to produce the eight songs and has arranged to bring Rastin out to his studio in British Columbia for a couple of weeks later this month. She already has five songs that were recorded with producer Dale Penner who has worked with Matthew Good Band, Holly McNarland and Nickelback.
Shelly Rastin has collaborated with Randy Bachman in songwriting and expects to release an album of their music in 2002.
Rastin is going out to his studio in British Columbia for a couple of weeks later this month. She already has five songs that were recorded with producer Dale Penner who has worked with Matthew Good Band, Holly McNarland and Nickelback.
Rastin said the album should be out by the end of the summer.
“They’re very cool,” Rastin said of the songs she and Bachman wrote, describing them as a cross between Sade and Nelly Furtado.
She’s also planning to record the song “One Way Ticket” that Bachman’s daughter wrote and hopes to put it on the new album.
Later this summer, Bachman and the Guess Who will be back on tour but Rastin has arranged to meet up with her new musical partner on the tours off days to continue songwriting and stockpiling material for future recording projects.
When she was dropping Bachman off after their first writing session, Rastin said he paid her the compliment, “He hasn’t been this inspired in years.”
At this point, the songs she wrote with Bachman are so new they haven’t been added to Rastin’s show yet. She expects to introduce the material to her band later this summer.
After this weekend’s Hiawatha date, Rastin and her band will be busy with shows around the region that include an opening slot for Trooper and a Canada Day performance in London’s Harris Park.
Last month, they opened a Chatham show for Sarnia native, Kim Mitchell.
Singer Shelly Rastin performs Friday, 9 p.m. and Saturday, 10:30 p.m., at Reflections Lounge, Hiawatha Racetrack
The kind of lips music industry executives hope will launch thousands of sales
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Shelly Rastin has the kind of lips music industry executives hope will launch thousands of sales. ...Shelly Rastin has the kind of lips music industry executives hope will launch thousands of sales.
If Shania Twain's bare midriff can power a multi-million-dollar country music empire, why not Rastin's trademark lipstick-print kiss?
The red smooch is the logo on her first CD, Am I Dreaming -- a question the 30-year-old Delaware native has been asking herself a lot lately amid signs that her short but eventful singing career may be poised to take off.
Rastin, a vivacious and down-to-earth mother of one, works at London Life by day and morphs into a high-voltage, country rock 'n' roll woman by night.
The signature smooch is part of the Rastin persona that led her from Delaware to Tennessee in search of stardom.
The lipstick logo was created in earlier, more carefree days in her musical career, which is now shifting from the hands of friends to professionals -- a move that has not been without some growing pains.
In January, Rastin signed a one-year deal with Toronto's August Moon Artists, an international music development label. They're helping her with career and business management, pre-production, image consulting, booking and a shot at the ultimate -- a record deal.
"She's passionate about what she does," says Leigh Sand, August Moon's executive director. "I'm tremendously impressed with her singing and she's also a lovable person. Her attitude goes with her talent."
Though she has assured Rastin she won't be pressured to change her style, Sand handles questions about artistic freedom delicately.
"She will need some grooming and direction," says Sand, who insists she will help Rastin grow as an artist, while staying true to her own personality and style.
Rastin's once-orderly lifestyle has been shaken up by the music dream. Typically, she wakes up the morning after a show, puts on her blue suit and hustles to work as a technology training consultant at London Life.
Later, it's home to their rural retreat near Strathroy for a few precious hours of "quality time" with her husband Bill and son Gavin, 7.
She rehearses with her five-member band two nights a week, often playing a local dance or roadhouse as well.
Most summers, the family spends as much time as possible at the family cottage on Lake Huron and favourite pastimes between shows are volleyball and softball.
But last summer was different. In Nashville, Tenn., the hub of the country music world, a nervous Rastin was in the studio recording her first song when producer Mel Shaw gave her a big thumbs-up.
Shaw, a Juno winner and former producer of '70s Canadian hitmakers, the Stampeders, had found Rastin's signature sound, a mix of raw emotion and tender self-revelation, shot through with her Delaware roots.
The musical seed was planted early. When Rastin was four or five and living on her parents' farm, she started singing along to Helen Reddy's Delta Dawn on the radio, her sister Cheryl Maronets recalls. Rastin still knows the song by heart.
"Next it was Olivia Newton-John and Grease, then she sang in the church choir, then the high school choir," Maronets says. Rastin also performed at weddings at the old Delaware Anglican Church and, with a few dance steps added, at family gatherings.
Then, about two years ago, a close-knit team of local friends encouraged her to make a career out of her passion for singing. They sat through the early sets at smoky bars and corporate picnics and helped her ride out early career fumbles.
At work, Rastin's talent was well known -- she even sang on a London Life corporate video -- and a supportive co-worker's chance chat with a local bartender led to her first big break.
That conversation brought her to the notice of local music promoter Nick Panaseiko, who knew Mel Shaw in Nashville. Before long, with cash raised by local supporters, Rastin was jetting to Nashville to record Am I Dreaming, memorizing the words to the disc's five songs en route.
How far has Rastin come in two years? Ask anyone who caught the Dec. 31 show in which she and her band, also called Shelly, rang in the new millennium.
Rastin, her blond hair flying one way as her leather-clad body moved another, strutted, bounded and leapt across the smoke-shrouded Delaware Community Centre stage under brilliant lights and flying rockets.
"Friends tell me everyone is still talking about that concert," Rastin marvels. "They're treating me like a star in Delaware, Komoka, Melbourne, all over.
"A lot are calling me their own Shania Twain. . . . I idolize Shania Twain."
If Twain can light up her home town of Timmins like a firecracker, why can't Rastin do the same in Delaware, where folks still recall the bubbly blond in high school with the gentle personality and a love for roller-skating?
Meanwhile, Am I Dreaming is gaining radio play across Canada in markets from Brandon, Man., to Charlottetown, P.E.I. Local airplay has been harder to come by. London's country station, BX-93, is considering adding it to its playlist, but it doesn't qualify as Canadian content because some of the tunes were written by Americans.
Still, the CD yielded an unexpected bonus when Cross Against the Moon, a soulful song about a young girl gazing at Marilyn Monroe's photo and dreaming of Hollywood, made the soundtrack of the movie Helen's Diner. Even if the film goes straight to video, it's valuable recognition.
Rastin is working on a second CD with Aidan Mason, a former lead guitarist and songwriter for Anne Murray. He sees potential in Rastin and asked August Moon to let him help her write and choose songs for her new disc.
August Moon plans to use the album to showcase Rastin to major record labels, hoping to win crucial financing for the album, touring and promotion.
Some of Rastin's original supporters admit to a certain wistfulness at losing part of their pet project.
"I just don't want anything bad to happen to her," says London music consultant and radio promoter Greg Simpson, who was music director at FM96 for 15 years.
But Larry LeBlanc, Billboard Magazine's Canadian editor, says Rastin's one-year deal with August Moon is fairly short by industry standards. "She can't lose anything in a one-year contract," he says.
A year from now, Rastin could be back where she started. Or, she could head for the U.S., like so many Canadian singers before her. Either way, it's a risk she's willing to take.
"Am I ready to give up (an established career) and jump out there and make this happen?" she says. "I thought about it and I'm ready and willing.
"I just don't want to be 50, looking back and saying 'What if?' "
Whatever happens, she has her work cut out for her in an industry that is tough, ruthlessly competitive and utterly unforgiving. Just to get in the game, she needs four "kick-ass hits" and a professional act to sway investors, she says.
However long the odds, the people around her think she has what it takes.
"I loved her right away," says Sand. "I have to be able to work with a person. The first thing I look for is attitude."
"She is candidly and genuinely open," adds Simpson. "It's her personality, combined with her talent, that gives her the edge."
Rastin's not fooling herself about her chances -- but she's determined to give it her best shot.
"If it doesn't go any further than it does today, I'm still glad to have done as much as I have so far," she says.
"But I think I've got the skill, the talent and the right people on board to make this dream come true."
SHELLY RASTIN - The award-winning country artist
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The award-winning country artist shares 10 things she can’t live without. I. My favourite hangout...The award-winning country artist shares 10 things she can’t live without.
I. My favourite hangout
Our family cottage on the beautiful
shores of Ipperwash. My family often
gets together there and we have a ton
of fun and, of course, eat and drink way
too much. When night falls, we love to sit
around a fire on the beach with guitars,
laugh and build more memories.
II. My favourite piece of clothing
My cowboy boots. Not only are they
comfortable, they go with almost
anything I’m wearing—a fun flirty
sundress, jeans or even a pair of
daisy dukes if I’m feeling daring.
III. What I’ll never give up
Making music. It is so rewarding when someone
tells me that a particular song has made
a difference in their life. The most memorable
was when a girl in her late teens hugged me at
a show and told me that I was the only reason
she was still here today. Apparently life was really
difficult for her, so much so that she tried to end her
life. By coincidence my song Be True to You came on
her computer and the lyrics made her stop—she sat in
the corner of her room and cried, but with hope and
inspiration that she could make things better for herself.
Stories like this make me want to continue to make music
that matters to not only me but others as well.
IV. My favourite workout
BodyPump class. I work at London Life head office and
we are very fortunate to have a great gym in the bottom
of our building. My favourite instructor, Myria, is crazy
fun and pushes me to my limit. Love her!
V. My favourite travel destination
Negril, Jamaica, hands down. I’ve been
to a few islands over the years, but
Jamaica was the best by far.
VI. What I use every day
My BlackBerry. Can’t do anything
without that thing. It keeps me informed,
organized and somewhat
on time—darn snooze button!
VII. My fast-food fix
The Quizno’s prime rib sub accompanied
by sautéed mushrooms,
onions and whatever that awesome
sauce is. Yummy.
VIII. My favourite restaurant
Pretty much anything on or around King
Street. La Casa, Trü, Waldo’s—all incredible.
Then of course there’s Moxie’s. A good place
for me to go and cry in my beer as I reflect on the
days when I was young and looked like that.
IX. My favourite bar
Norma Jean’s or Cowboys. Great places to go
for fun and kicking bands. Norma’s offers a great
selection of local original bands, which is always
a nice treat versus cover bands.
X. My favourite road trip
The road trip to my show in Delhi with the
Cowboys last summer. Great company, many
laughs and crazy memories created a day
that I wish I could tell about, but they’d have
to kill me if I did.
Randy Bachman co-wrote the song and now cameos on Shelly Rastin’s new video
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Randy Bachman co-wrote the song and now cameos on Shelly Rastin’s new video for High Class Trailer ...Randy Bachman co-wrote the song and now cameos on Shelly Rastin’s new video for High Class Trailer Trash, culled from the feisty blonde’s long-running debut album Hard To Say No. Strathroy, Ont.’s Country music Queen has racked up a successive string of Top-40 hits from her ’09 LP, including Born In A Barn, Be True To You, Country Mile, and Taken.
Sets are made up of Shelly Rastin's rawkin' country originals with a few good old favourites from the old and new days that everyone can kick it up a notch to.
Rastin typically performs with an opening band and will perform a 75 set following, however we can also accomodate all night shows e.g. 3 x 45 minutes sets.