Cynthia Hamar Band
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Cynthia Hamar Band

Edmonton, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Edmonton, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter




"Cynthia Hamar teams up with son on new album"

Cynthia Hamar teams up with son on new album
March 2, 2016by Stephan Boissonneault

It can be beneficial to slow down and make time for moments of tranquility in our hectic lives. Canadian singer-songwriter Cynthia Hamar‘s newest album, The Son & I, is an authentic, melodic and revitalizing group of songs that might be the ideal accompaniment for such moments.

The Son & I was recorded in Edmonton and engineered by Hamar’s good friend Tim LaRiviere, but the tracks were actually mastered by Alex Wharton at the renowned Abbey Road Studios in London, England. Once LaRiviere began working with Wharton—who has worked with acts like the Beatles, Radiohead and Coldplay—LaRiviere landed the opportunity to witness the mastering of the full album firsthand at Abbey Road.

“I feel like having it mastered there just gives it some kind of legitimacy, because that can be very hard for an artist,” Hamar says. “It is really cool too, having it be done in the same place as the Beatles.”

Like the album title suggests, The Son & I was a collaborative effort between Hamar and her 18-year-old son, Zadok.

“I heard my son playing something new on the guitar one day and I asked him, ‘What is that?'” Hamar recalls. “He told me it was one of his [songs]. He showed me his song ‘Sing from Your Heart,’ and I honestly started crying because I felt like he was talking to me with music.”

A few more of her son’s original compositions are featured on the album, along with “Sing from Your Heart.”

“It’s so cool. I’ve seen him grow not only as my son, but also as a musician,” Hamar says. “I know that he is going to go way farther than I ever will, and that makes me so excited.”

One of the most appealing qualities of The Son & I is its use of melody. Each track is recorded and mastered to offer a stimulating and composed sound. They usually begin with a lead chord progression accompanied by a helpful drumbeat before being greeted by another subtle instrument such as the banjo, ukulele or mandolin.

The song “Simple & Sacred” is a perfect example of this melodic kinship. It begins with an acoustic guitar and light hi-hat, followed by a heart-warming pedal steel guitar. During the chorus, Hamar’s powerful storytelling voice pairs beautifully with her son’s wistful and gentle tone.

While Hamar feels like she met the mark with her latest album, she is constantly trying to better diversify her sound.

“I feel like I get in these phases with my music,” she says. “I’ve already been writing for my next album. I also feel like I haven’t totally captured what I want to sound like, and I may never will, but that’s life.”

Sat, Mar 5 (7 pm)
CKUA Performance Space, $22

Abbey Road CKUA Cynthia Hamar The Son & I - Vue Weekly

"Mother and son duo in perfect harmony"

Mother and son duo in perfect harmony
By Yasmin Mayne, Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter
Friday, March 18, 2016 3:26:29 MDT PM

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Local artist teams up with her son to sing about life’s ups and downs.

Cynthia Hamar from Entwistle recently released a new album, The Son and I, and it features nine original songs, three of which were written and performed by her son Zadok.

Hamar was born in Drayton Valley into a musical family, and has been writing songs since her early teens.

“Music has always been a constant source of joy,” Hamar said.

“It’s so powerful, it opens up doorways and softens hearts.”

Hamar had always dreamed of recording her own album, and she did just that in 2007.

Her first album was more suited to the Christian music industry, but she said it didn’t do terribly well.

“It didn’t capture who I truly was at that time, and it flopped,” Hamar said.

“But for my second album, I did it completely acoustic … and I still love that one.”

Hamar still writes Gospel music, but doesn’t try to make her music fit into that specific genre.

“You have to realize what you’re good at, and I enjoy writing more about my reflections on life,” Hamar said.

Her music now has a more blues and alternative feel to it that is perfect for coffeehouses and easy listening.

The Son and I has several songs about life experience on it, including Come Alive, which was based on a difficult time during Hamar’s marriage.

“It’s about speaking life into areas that were feeling dead or overwhelmed,” she said.

Hamar married very young and had three children before the age of 21.

Although still happily married, Hamar sings about the challenges of balancing the demands of life and family.

Zadok’s contributions have more to do with personal journeys and singing from the heart.

“My favourite song that (Zadok) wrote is ‘Sing from your heart,’ I love it,” Hamar said.

Not only has Hamar’s new album been popular in the Edmonton area — having recently performed at the CKUA Radio Network — but it’s also doing well at several campus radio stations in the United States.

“This has been my most successful album ever,” she said.

According to Tinderbox Music — a music promotion and distribution company — music from the Son and I is within the top 15 songs at American university radio stations in San Antonio, Phoenix, Ohio and Hartford.

However, Hamar attributes that success to her increased effort in promotions and marketing.

Hamar is always networking and making connections in the industry, and it paid off when the album was mixed and mastered by Abbey Roads Studios in London, England.

This studio is quite famous in the music industry and has worked with popular bands like the Beatles, Coldplay and Radiohead.

“The trick to good music is to try to stay true to what comes out of you, and sometimes that can get lost in production,” Hamar said.

“But this project is very true to what I was hoping for.”

Twitter: @YasminMayne - Spruce Grove Examiner/Stony Plain Reporter

"Cynthia Hamar's music is a reflection on love and sense of belonging"

Cynthia Hamar is a Métis singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist from Edmonton, Alberta. She was born Dec 9, 1978 in Drayton Valley, Alberta and grew up in Entwistle. As a small child Cynthia began writing songs and singing in church. At the age of 15 she started playing the guitar and performing her own songs. In high school, her now husband Phil, whom she grew up with, began writing music together and continues this practice to this day.

Cynthia’s music has been described as melodic with spiritual overtones. Her music initiates a state of calm and peace. This therapeutic signature sound draws audiences like a magnet where she enjoys an active grassroots following as one of the top folk artists on Reverbnation for the Edmonton area.

Cynthia’s first album “Fairytale” was nominated for a GMA in 2007 (for design). Rather than sign a contract tying her to a grueling tour schedule, her church family and friends all pitched in and helped her buy her record outright. The remainder of the year was spent touring western Canada and playing local venues re-working her songs for her live performances.

Cynthia’s second album titled “” was released on July 15, 2010. It is a compilation of songs she often plays solo in coffee shops and pubs. In it she captures more of herself as an individual artist revealing the true essence of her being. Cynthia’s lead single from “” is titled “Sweetheart” and is about love and life as are many of her songs. This song is about her life and her ‘sweetheart’. She reflects on love and sense of belonging and above all, happiness that surrounds her. Cynthia states that this song was fun to make due to the true enduring nature of the song. It is upbeat and tells such a delightful story. It is a prime example when ‘less is more’; vocals and acoustic guitar – what an absolute delight to hear. The crispness and the clarity of both vocals and acoustic guitar are enhanced and deliver such an impact and your heart just fills with joy.

Cynthia has also opened for Toby from Australia and Oh my Darling out of Winnipeg. Their bassist, MJ played with Ben Harper. For additional information please log onto

Cynthia Hamar would like to get involved with touring near her home such as festivals. She would like to get involved in the aboriginal music community. MJ is also metis and has been encouraging her to get out there more.

You can listen to and/or purchase songs from either CD by logging onto the following websites: (Search: Cynthia Hamar)

Cynthia Hamar is currently working with A & R Select based in West Hollywood, Ca. for licensing, publishing, a record deal and/or placement opportunities. For additional information, please contact them at:
323-924-5897 - Recording artists guild

"Bridge Songs Concert Series: Cynthia Hamar"

Hear the hauntingly beautiful sounds of Cynthia Hamar in the intimate setting of The Carrot. - Dave VonBeiker

"Manitoba Artists Strong Contenders for 37th Annual Covenant Awards"

Manitoba artists are strong contenders for this year’s Covenant Awards. Nominees for the 37th annual awards were announced this month, including multiple nods for Steve Bell, The Color, and Fresh IE.

Bell continues to gather accolades for his multi-disc, 25th anniversary release, Pilgrimage. The Bell and his work picked up seven nominations, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Producer of the Year (with Murray Pulver and Dave Zeglinski, who also share a recent Canadian Folk Music Award nomination with Bell), Song of the Year, Folk Album of the Year, and Seasonal Song of the Year. Bell is also up for Spiritual Album of the Year at the upcoming Western Canadian Music Awards.

Fresh IE -- aka Grammy-nominated rapper, songwriter, and producer Robert Wilson -- is also up for seven Covenant nods, including Artist of the Year, Recorded Song of the Year, Rap Album of the Year, Collaboration of the Year (with Paul Brandt, The Color, Cynthia Hamar, The City Harmonic, Fraser Campbell, Tasman Jude, Scribe, Cote, One8Tea, Tuzil, Jon Loeppky, and Matt Gilman), Urban Song of the Year, and two Rap Song of the Year noms.

Pop rock outfit The Color is a double nominee this year, for Group of the Year and Pop Song of the Year. Currently on tour in BC, the Winkler-based band released its latest album, Eyes Wide Open, in March. The five-song EP was produced by Rusty Varenkamp (Tenth Avenue North, Sanctus Real, Building 429).

Former Manitoban artists Tim Neufeld and Drew Brown also stand to bring home some Covenant Awards this year.

For a complete list of this year's Covenant Award nominees, please visit


Steve Bell - Pilgrimage

Steve Bell
Fresh IE

Steve Bell

The Color

Murray Pulver, Dave Zeglinski, Steve Bell

Steve Bell - Turn It Around (Songwriter: Steve Bell)

Fresh IE - "Broken Veil"

Fresh IE with Paul Brandt, The Color, Cynthia Hamar, The City Harmonic, Fraser Campbell, Tasman Jude, Scribe, Cote, One8Tea, Tuzil, Jon Loeppky and Matt Gilman - Collide: City of Worship 2 - Manitoba Music

"rockin the peace: cynthia hamar"

One of the more interesting performances of the night, in my opinion. Cynthia was one of the top three finalists.


_MG_2141_MG_2127_MG_2110 - Eye for detail Photography



  • Released: 2007
  • Format: CD
  • Label:Independent
  • Producer: Slyngshot Productions
  • GMA nominated
  • Released: 2010
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Independent
  • Producer: Red Glow Records
  • Singles: "Fortify"
The Son & I
  • Release: 2016
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Independent
  • Producer: DSD Recordings, Tim LaRiveriere, Mastered by Alex Wharton (the Beatles, Coldplay, Radiohead) Abbey Roads Studios
  • Singles: “Put a Little Faith”, "Simple & Sacred"
Compilations: Bridgesongs 2013 " the Sailor" w Spencer Ford , Bridgesongs 2014 "If We Spoke to Cities" , Bridgesongs 2015 " Broken", Collide (City of Worship 2) " Beautiful" by Fresh IE 2015.



Folksy, rocky, bluesy, Hamar at times writes and plays to her own rhythm. Music drawn without using a ruler, accessible and easy to enjoy. Soothing and calm, passionate and introspective with a band or without, Hamar will take you on a journey you will cherish.

Some Highlights:
*Won Battle Royale in Jasper winning a spot in Jasper Folk Fest
*Played in West Edmonton Mall opening for Hollerado and The Royal Foundry on July 1rst .
*Played live on City TV Edmonton on behalf of Artists for Life.
*Participated in Art Showcases in Vancouver and Toronto utilizing the Via Rail artists on board program for travel 

*Radio charts #9 on CFBX Kamloops, #18 KSYM, San Antonio, #5 to #3 on Radio Phoenix, #1 on Indigenous Music Countdown 
*participated in Socan Song House 2017
*Played Pembina River Nights Festival 2018
*Sang with Sam Baker at house concert!! (Personal highlight for Cynthia :)

Cynthia Hamar was born in the town of Drayton Valley and grew up on a farm close to the small mining town of Entwistle about an hour west of Edmonton, Alberta.
With four older siblings heavily into music and arts and no
television at home, she grew up mimicking the songs they would play and drawing
anything she could imagine. Hamar grew attached to finger picking styling and
songs with rich stories and emotion such as Bruce Cockburns “ All the Diamonds”
making her stage debut at the age of seven in the local church her mother and
her would attend, singing Amy Grant tunes to accompaniment tracks. At 15, Hamar
picked up the guitar, having developed a taste for grunge rock through artists
such as Ani DiFranco and Radiohead, Hamar began writing and performing her own
eclectic style in coffee shops, street corners, churches and pubs. Hamar
married and moved to British Columbia and had 3 children over 3 years in
Kamloops, BC.
In 2007, having moved again to Fort St John, BC, Hamar recorded
and self released her first studio album and briefly toured western Canada, the
album was nominated for a GMA but did not really get too much attention. Hamar
decided to steer away from over production and gear more towards raw and
acoustic recordings. Her second independently released album “” recorded
at Red Glow records in Fort St John, BC was released in 2010 and accomplished
just that. Shortly after Hamar’s family moved back to her hometown of Entwistle
and she began to engage in the Edmonton music scene.
While recording with her nephew Spencer Ford for a compilation album, Hamar met Tim LaRiviere at his studio DSD Recordings. Hamar
admired LaRiviere’s calm nature and approached him about helping with her next
project. LaRiviere not only accepted but dove into the project with passion.
2014&15 brought a new era for Hamar, she began writing and performing with her oldest son. A few months into recording with LaRiviere she decided to remove some of her own songs and add some of her sons and title the album “ The Son & I” LaRiviere personally travelled to England to have the album mastered by Alex Wharton (the Beatles, Radiohead, Coldplay) at Abbey Roads Studios. The album was released to radio spring 2016 by Tinderbox Music,
charted on numerous college radio stations across Canada and the US as well as
acquired TV licenses with TLC, Discovery Network. LaRiviere is often a member of Hamar's band and introduced Hamar to his former bandmate Mark Scholz who often joins on drums.

Band Members