Heather Blush and The Uppercuts are a trio of troubadours who knock the socks off every new audience they meet. Based in Calgary, Alberta, their sound is jazzy pop, with a dash of swing and a dollop of soul. With energetic, audience-engaging shows, Heather is quickly becoming known for songwriting that covers all bases between witty sarcasm and gutwrenching honesty. With “Captain” Steve Hazlett on drums and “Duellin" Dale Ulan on the upright bass, this trio packs a punch and leaves a lasting impression.
The ensemble’s first album (a follow-up to Heather’s debut solo album, first blush, 2005) was released in June 2008. Vice is a collection of twelve songs focusing in on various “vices”, including the usual suspects (alcohol, bad relationship choices) and some surprises (music and travel as vices). It has been well-received across Canada on CBC radio, as well as university and independent stations, landing on many charts. A follow-up CD, Versa, was released one year later, in 2009. Versa explores the lighter side of life, featuring fan favourite, "Papaya, Papaya", a medley of two jazz vocal standards: When You're Smiling and Smile, as well as a duet co-written and sung by Heather and Steve Pineo. "I Don't Believe Me Anymore" landed a spot as one of three finalists in the R&B category of the John Lennon Songwriting contest in 2009.
This trio has toured from coast to coast across Canada, painting smiles on faces everywhere they go. Some highlights include a spot on the Alberta House stage at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver (with olympic athletes and former Prime Minister Chretien in attendance), Live from the Rock! Folk Festival in Red Rock, ON, and many festivals and theatres across Alberta.
The trio is hard at work on the next recording project - all is under wraps until confirmed, but you will likely be hearing something new coming your way by early 2013!
Heather Blush - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
"Captain" Steve Hazlett - Vocals, Drums
"Duellin" Dale Ulan - Vocals, Upright Bass
Versa, June 2009.
Just released and followed up with a cross-Canada tour. Receiving airplay on independent, public, and college radio stations. Debuted at #12 on the CKUA (Alberta public radio) charts! Received regular rotation play on CBC2 radio across Canada. Charted in the top 100 played albums in the year of 2009 for CKUA radio (at #37).
Vice, June 2008.
Receiving lots of airplay on CBC, college and independent radio stations across Canada, appearing on many charts. Also receiving some airplay in the U.S. and Europe.
First Blush, March 2005 (Heather Blush solo)
Damsel in Distress
Knocked My Socks Off
I Don't Believe Me Anymore
Pour Another Ounce of Rum in the Eggnog
Review for Versa - Aug, 9/09
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For those looking for a new sound Heather Blush & the Uppercuts are a breath of fresh air. The groov...For those looking for a new sound Heather Blush & the Uppercuts are a breath of fresh air. The grooves of blues/jazz combined with roots folk and a bit of humorous insanity makes for a joyful listen. Starting of the hilarity is the first track Papaya Papaya. A bit of a corny track talking about fruits but yes there is more. Settling into some of the other tracks you will notice and enjoy the musical genius that Heather Blush is. Her sultry and raspy voice adds a zest and mature value to the music. With a variety of success on CBC radio and the show Homestretch the band has been across the pond to the UK and appeared and played at many shows that have gained notoriety for them. If you are looking for something different but still having a bit of eclectic sound be sure to check some of the festivals coming across North America this year for Heather Blush & the Uppercuts.
By Marc 'Oxide' LaCasse
Aug 9, 2009
Live performance review
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Blush's shows turn many musical shades By Peter Rusland - Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial P...Blush's shows turn many musical shades
By Peter Rusland - Cowichan News Leader and Pictorial
Published: October 01, 2008 4:00 PM
Updated: October 01, 2008 4:54 PM
Guitar-slinging jazz torch Heather Blush used restrained sensuality and impressive lyrics to win valley fans during Monday’s Duncan Garage Showroom gig.
Assuming that concert was as good as her Showroom appearance Sunday and her Dancing Bean date Saturday, Blush is bound for far larger stages.
She deserves it but can’t take all the credit.
Drummer Steve Hazlett, from Blush’s Uppercuts band, helped the friendly singer mount a sound so tight, it warranted WD-40 by halftime.
And that effort happened without bassist Shane Sutherland who was away with his newborn kid.
Blush and Hazlett casually hammered out some 20 sizzling numbers of various styles boasting crisp lyrics local picker Ed Peekeekoot might call ear paintings.
Blush’s tunes, pulled from her CDs First Blush and Vice (soon to be matched with Versa), probed subjects spanning wanderlust (Born to Travel), freedom (Wild Things), fake frailty (Damsel In Distress), just desserts (I Don’t Blame You), a lucky guy’s one chance (Slugger), and confessed love (Intoxicating).
She also performed some personalized covers including a hot version of Aretha Franklin’s Baby I Love You, and Nina Simone’s naughty Forbidden Fruits.
Blessed with pipes reminiscent of Billie Holiday meets Serena Ryder, Blush has only begun to reveal the many shades in her songbook.
Jazz-roots concert rating: 9 vices out of 10.
CD review for Vice
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From www.eventpub.com CD REVIEW Heather Blush and the Uppercuts By Andre Wetjen Wednesday, Septe...From www.eventpub.com
Heather Blush and the Uppercuts
By Andre Wetjen
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Heather Blush is a cross between Norah Jones and Sarah Harmer – a pop/jazz sound that blends seamlessly with a folk sensibility that would make the old troubadours of the ‘60s proud.
The best stuff here are the faster-paced songs, such as Trouble and Barflies. And the cynicism to Blush’’s lyrics, coupled with a wry sense of humour is no more evident than in the latter song: There‘s light in the centre of town/A hum resonates for two blocks around/And just like little moths drawn to a flame/The barflies come buzzing in all around the same time.
Vice is exactly what the title implies – 12 songs about vices ranging from too much drinking to poor relationship choices. However, just before you get too judgmental, Blush already has the theme of her next album planned, an album called Versa that will look at the other side of life.
This album would be tough to buy in stores. If you’’re interested, check out www.heatherblush.com.
Copyright © Saturday, October 11, 2008 All material contained herein is copyrighted by
The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers, a division of Continental Newspapers Canada Ltd.
All Rights Reserved.
CD review for Vice, July 2008
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Heather Blush & The Uppercuts - Vice Independent Published July 17, 2008 by Bruce Pollock in CD...Heather Blush & The Uppercuts - Vice
Published July 17, 2008 by Bruce Pollock in CD Reviews • Comments (0)
Album titles, like looks, can be deceiving. In person the musical therapist and performer Heather Blush doesn’t seem to have any vices whatsoever. Where, then, do these songs come from? What makes someone so seemingly innocent and genuine sing about cheating spouses, illicit affairs, the attraction posed by emotionally unavailable bad boys and the relative merits of music and alcohol as substitutes for human companionship? Is there something in her past that she isn’t telling us?
Suffice it to say that these are all works of fiction, even when they deal with real people, like the Billie Holiday tribute “Billie’s Song.” Lady Day’s sarcastic and wry style is mirrored both lyrically and instrumentally — or maybe that’s just Blush’s own persona coming through. The band has composed tunes with a distinct blues flavour, layered with burlesque overtones and gypsy-swing jazz ornamentation. The vocals by Blush, Shane Sutherland and Steve Hazlett are competent and pleasant enough, but it is instrumentally that these musicians shine. Sutherland, in particular, is a dynamo on the upright bass, and these musical contributions are the key to Vice’s success.
Heather Blush will celebrate the release of Vice with a concert at the Ironwood Stage on Friday, July 18.
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"... there I was , in a room with Serena Ryder, Roxanne Potvin and Kate Fenner and we were all liste..."... there I was , in a room with Serena Ryder, Roxanne Potvin and Kate Fenner and we were all listening to Nora Jones....I heard these ladies all wrapped up in one person....Heather Blush.....so sad for the rest of Canada who has not yet had the privilege to embrace the superb songwriting abilities and performance techniques this lady brings to the stage...my latest pick....straight up the middle....I sincerely encourage all presenters to take note and all audiences to catch a show......it will only get better..."
owner / operator / janitor
Duncan Garage Showroom, Duncan, BC
presenter comments - Grandview Stage
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"Heather Blush and the Uppercuts are one of the most refreshing sounds we've ever had at our festiva..."Heather Blush and the Uppercuts are one of the most refreshing sounds we've ever had at our festival. They were outside our usual genre of bluegrass and country / western music and still wowed the crowd. Definitely one of the real highlights of the festival, Heather's voice and feel for her music come through in a way that develops a wonderful connection with her audience and keeps it til the last song. Steve and Shane are tight and add a vibrant energy without distracting from Heather's talents. These folks also go out
of their way to be a part of all the festival special events, and are accessible and friendly to festival attendees, which is something we value greatly being a small country festival. We'll definitely be trying to get them back."
Grandview Stage MusicFest
presenter comments - Blue Chair, Edmonton
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"Heather blew us away last fall when she brought her trio up north from Cowtown where she knocks off..."Heather blew us away last fall when she brought her trio up north from Cowtown where she knocks off socks on a regular basis. Her style puts a powerful vocal presence in front of a very versatile acoustic band. Their music runs from folky ballad , through country to boss jazz. Her players are all pros, with the chops to prove it and man, can that girl sing."
Blue Chair Café, Edmonton
presenter comments - Epcor Centre
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"Heather Blush performs with poise and confidence and creates work ripe with both meaning and feel. ..."Heather Blush performs with poise and confidence and creates work ripe with both meaning and feel. Her “make-it-look-easy” guitar and vocal talents engage with thoughtful and skilled lyricism. Heather’s songs are crafted with keen observation and a sense of discovery. She delivers her work with charm and emotional clout."
Director, Music Programming
EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts
One to three sets ranging in length from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, depending what fits best with the venue. Majority original songs, with select covers of songs performed by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Marvin Gaye, KT Tunstall, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.
PDF RiderStage Plot
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