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Ladysmith singer’s comeback starts here

Rick Dennis

June 11, 2008

"...And while we’re at it let’s give a shout out to Bex who opened the show for McMahon.

A one-time fixture on the local live music scene this was her first Duncan gig since moving back to the valley from Vancouver, where she recently graduated with a degree in entertainment and business management from Capilano College. The former Rebecca Apostoli seemed genuinely happy to be back on home turf as she unpacked a suitcase of shiny new originals for our inspection.

My favourites? A vivacious folk/pop ditty Joan Baez (with the playful hook: “If you’ll be my Bob Dylan/I’ll be your Joan Baez”) and, on the more serious side, Jack Squat, based on her experiences serving with an anti-poverty committee directly dealing with protests and activism relating to marginalized people on the Downtown Eastside.

You can hear these tunes and other cool new originals like Kimberly, This Love and What’s Your Sign? by logging onto" - Cowichan News Leader

Lexi Bainas, Citizen Staff
Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This year, Islands Folk Festival organizers have decided to give the next generation a chance to strut their stuff at a major gig.

Saturday afternoon, on the Tzouhalem Stage at Providence Farm, you can hear some super young talent in this first-ever youth showcase.

Proudly sponsored by the Cowichan Folk Guild's "Youth Jammers" coffee house music program, the event runs from noon to 6 p.m.


Karly Summers (Victoria)

At 11, Karly asked her dad to teach her to play guitar. Just a few months later she asked her mom for something to record her songs on.

Three years later she is recording her original material in her professional studio within her home and drawing raves. She's still not 15 and whether she is playing for a room full of people or all alone in her room, Karly loves to play and hopes to do it for the rest of her life.

Bex (Duncan)

Bex Apostoli has been wowing audiences since the tender age of 13, opening up for such notables as Serena Ryder and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings.

Her classical education and an innate understanding of rhythm are both very present in her writing.

She loves jazz, especially Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith.

Janet and Monica Whitney-Brown (Cowichan Bay)

Janet's original songs offer affectionate observations of everyday life.

She has headlined her own gigs, played benefit concerts and fund-raisers in B.C. and Ontario, and is a popular busker in Cowichan Bay.

Monica's clear, expressive vocals add texture and depth to their performances.

Sarah Tradewell (Victoria)

Sarah is pleased to be making Victoria her new home.

She competed successfully in the Championship Class at Fiddle Contests in Saskatchewan and Albert and was ranked as one of the top four Saskatchewan fiddlers before her recent move to Victoria.

This 15 year old is also active in her school's music program as well.

Aidan Thorne and Nick Joy (Cowichan Valley)

Aidan and Nick have been writing and playing music together off-and-on going on four years now.

These young guys, currently Frances Kelsey Secondary students, have been exploring their musical development together since first encountering each other in middle school.

The boys first performed together at a George Bonner talent show where they performed their first-ever original, "Jesus Was A Really Good Person." Regular performers at "Jammers" Coffeehouses, they are really worth a listen.

Zoe Lauckner and Gillian Stone (Shawnigan Lake and Duncan)

Zoe grew up with music and as her passion for music grew, she began writing her own songs. At 16 years old, she is currently recording her first album.

Gillian is an obvious music lover, who has explored the realms of jazz, classical, folk and old time rock & roll.

Once you hear the dynamic duo of Zoe Lauckner and Gillian Stone, you'll be reassured that the future of Vancouver Island music is in good hands. These "kids" are good.

Stephanie Lang (Ladysmith)

Island Idol Champion 2005 - Teen Vocalist of the Year 2005 - Female Vocalist of the Year 2006 - Song of the Year 2006 - A tour of Los Angeles.

Whoever thinks we don't grow world class talent right here in our own backyard on Vancouver Island, has yet to experience Steph Lang.

Good things definitely come in small packages with this youthful powerhouse.

Sometime in the near future you'll be watching this young lady on TV or playing her own, packed concert appearance.

Natalie Germann (Nanaimo)

Natalie grew up playing classical piano from a wee age, and like most musically inclined children decided to learn the guitar. Rambling about for a while after graduating from high school she decided to study jazz.

Along the way, she encountered the mandolin, banjo and the world of bluegrass music. Since then, she's been uncovering a deep love for acoustic music which she expresses through her songs. Her songs transport you to the feel good side of life. Natalie recently released her debut CD to rave reviews.

Tad Ruszel (Duncan)

Tad has been immersed in music since before birth, attending his very first Islands Folk Festival, two weeks before he was born.

He has spent time playing for a variety of bands and has shared the stage with artists such as Serena Ryder and the late and wonderful Willie P. Bennett, realizing that music was indeed his true passion. He is currently working on his first CD. Having been an MC at past festivals, Tad is excited to share his original music.

Dan Edmunds (Cowichan Valley)

Dan, 18, started teaching himself to play the guitar four years ago and found inspiration from Bruce Cockburn, Andrew White, John Butler and Steve Slade.

This will be one of Dan's first performances for anyone except close friends and a few Cowichan Folk Guild sponsored "Youth Jammer" events but organizers expect his talent to raise a few impressed eyebrows.

Leslie Whittaker (Duncan)

Bac - Cowichan Citizen


The Honesty EP - October 2008 - Label This! / glassWing Records



Check out my site!

Bex started making music at the age of 6, when she picked up her first drum and joined in west coast drum circles. She learned how to craft the instrument from resin, cedar, hide and steam. Steam is the sister to her power element. She keeps it bottled up for the right occasion then releases it as necessary; pleasure in the release, sometimes pain, but ultimately - purification.

Bex was trained classically on piano at age 9, self-taught on guitar at 13, had a love affair with the drum set and lost it all when she penned her first tune. Classical education and an innate understanding of rhythm are both very present in her writing.

"To me rhythm is the most vital element of music, so I try to infuse all my songs with percussivity and unexpected time/tempo changes. I adore the "Heavy Wood" genre, ala Kaki King, Don Ross, Ani DiFranco, and many others." - Bex

Bex lived, studied, and played shows in Cowichan throughout her teens, before venturing to Nanaimo, BC to take part in the Malaspina University-College jazz program as a vocal major. She found a kindred in the soul of jazz music, in particular the vocal stylings of Billie Holiday and Bessie Smith; they influence her to this day.

Bex has done some solo recordings in professional studios and is more recently experimenting with home recording on her new Mac Book Pro. She has plans to release an EP in the fall, as well as shooting a music video. Her goal is to collaborate with many different varieties of performers, from other solo songwriters to slam poets to multimedia artists to interpretive dancers- anyone who is creative and open to trying new things!

"There is no limit to what we can achieve with open hearts and minds." - Bex

July 26th, 2008

Recording at glassWing Studios with the inimitable Richard Sales!
Current mood: artistic

So it's official... if you haven't heard yet I am recording my first professional EP-styles release with Richard Sales of glassWing studios!

Richard has engineered some amazing artists, from John Fahey to Danny Gatton to Bernice Reagon of Sweet Honey In The Rock and her wonderful daughter Toshi Reagon. He recorded Miles Davis (with Jim Smith), Wavy Gravy, Ken Kesey and tons of other folks.

He co-produced Hayley Sales' first two records, First Flite and Drifter with Hayley. Produced Wavy Gravy (NAIRD award winning), Bhagavan Das, Shree Maa and Stories From The Hearth, winner of the Parent's Choice Gold Award.

It should be noted that Richard Sales (and his GlassWing Studios) primarily wrote, produced and recorded music for film, interactive and video from 1989-2003. Most of his credits will be from that era: Nike, The Grateful Dead, PBS, Microsoft, ESPN, Apple, Intel, Warner Interactive, General Motors, Safeway, The Oregon Symphony and many more. From 2003 to present he has been developing his daughter, Hayley Sales. He ghost co produced, recorded and mixed Sunseed at GlassWing Studios.

The album, which has been un-offically dubbed "The Honesty EP", will feature my original songs Righteous Babe, This Love, Kimberly, What's Your Sign? and Joan Baez. I might also be including the spoken word piece Fire, but that's still a work in progess, but if you think I should include it then by all means let me know. I'm all about artist feedback!

Recording sessions are booked for August 20-28th, so count on seeing The Honesty EP appear in its final conception around mid-September!

I'll be sure to send out a mass email with a link where you can obtain my little baby. *tear*

It's akin to giving birth, that's all I can say! So much time, energy, work, money and love invested in this little bundle of joy, I truly hope it will bring as much love to all you guys as it has for me.