Elyssa Mahoney
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Elyssa Mahoney

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Blues Jazz


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"Cotton, Mahoney Sizzled on Stage Last Sunday (by Lyle Dillabough, Canadian Affiliate)"

"Elyssa Mahoney literally knocked the socks off of everyone as she can only be described as nothing less than amazing". "Along with blind guitar playing prodigy Lucas Haneman, Mahoney's band, which includes Carleton Place's own Peter Brown... left the audience spellbound with their breathless closing version of "Superstition". "Haneman's incredible guitar licks combined with Mahoney's powerful voice left the crowd buzzing at the end of their exceptionally powerful set." Of Cotton's Band who had Elyssa up with them to perform, "a rockin' version of the timeless Flip Flop Fly that took crowd up to Blues Heaven." The Mississippi Weekender, Agust 3, 2007.

For copy of entire review see http://www.elyssamahoney.ca/missweekender-july2007-wk-07080-smlr.pdf - The Mississippi Weekender, August 3, 2007

"Mature, emotional music pours out of young singer"

Elyssa Mahoney
Byron Pascoe and Paul Telner

Last summer an eleven-year old girl was featured in these pages for her
fifth year of consecutive appearances at The Ex. Elyssa Mahoney has come a
long way since. She’s releasing her latest album, and has a community of
fans to thank for their continued support.

In 2003, Elyssa sang with an Ottawa-based musical group, Simply WOW! Since
her solo career began, she has performed with live accompaniment; either
solo instrument such as piano or a band composed of seasoned adult

Her selection of songs includes originals as well as a repertoire of
blues, jazz, R&B, soul, Motown, early classic rock, pop, musical theatre
and classical songs in both French and English.
For a singer of any age, Elyssa has a strong and emotion-filled voice that
is extremely well-trained and mature.

Local venues of performance include Bluesfest, The Ex, Tulip Festival,
Winterlude, The Italian Festival, Centrepointe Theatre, Rainbow Bistro,
Château Cartier, University of Ottawa and Tuscon’s Restaurant (2440 Bank
Street) where her CD release party is taking place on Thursday, October 6
at 8pm.

“Try To See Me Like That” is the name of her album. “I chose the pieces
because they were my favourite songs and styles from some of my favourite
artists. It was hard to pick only ten to thirteen to make up the album!”
Another important factor for Elyssa when choosing songs is the story that
they tell. She tries to select songs that both she and others will be able
to relate to, thus giving her performance further credibility.

A member of the Songwriters Association of Canada, Elyssa wrote the lyrics
and co-wrote the music for two of the albums songs, Hot Desert Sun and Try
To See Me Like That. “I am most proud of the outcome of the originals.
They were written two years ago and I wanted to give them a more modern
flare, a little more of a ‘pop’ sound. We experimented with a few ideas in
the recording studio and came up with a very stylish modern groove that
I’m really happy with.”

The remainder of the album are cover pieces such as Eric Clapton and BB
King’s rendition of Hold On I'm Comin’. “I've really enjoyed performing
the Aretha Franklin style of Chain Of Fools and JB Lenoir’s Mojo Boogie.
There’s also the well-known Beatles tune, Eleanor Rigby. We do it in our
own jazzy way, but it was originally inspired by Aretha’s way. One of the
duets, Mockingbird, was a brand new song for me but I chose it because I
wanted to do some harmonies and have fun with a tune that was
traditionally known as a lullaby. We did it with the James Taylor / Carly
Simon rendition in mind.”

Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927 is the disc’s fourth number. The song is
about the great flood on the Mississippi and throughout the state of
Louisiana 78 years ago. The album was completed just days before Katrina
attacked the Golf Coast. Elyssa performed in Port Credit’s Southside
Shuffle in early September alongside famous New Orleans musicians,
including Johnny Pennino. The sax player had days earlier spent time on
the rooftop of his elderly mother's house waiting to be rescued.

One of the greatest challenges of this disc was assembling all the pieces
of the puzzle, from the mixing and mastering, to the legalities and
artwork. “I was here in Ottawa, the photographer was in Montreal, the
photo shoot was in Mont Tremblant, and the producers and the studios were
in Toronto. We had the help of my producers Pat Carey, Chuck Jackson and
Michael Fonfara. The photographer, Robert Lalancette, was wonderful to
work with, even over the distance. He gave my CD cover such a classy look.
I'm very happy with the outcome and this has been an amazing experience
for us all.”

One of Elyssa’s biggest fans is the legendary Jeff Healey. When Healey
spoke to Nepean This Week promoting his January 2005 tour stop at
Centrepointe Theatre, he reflected on their New Year’s Eve show together
in Barrie, Ontario. “Elyssa Mahoney is a soul beyond her years and did a
great job. She knows how to lead the band, and it’s not corny or cutesy.”

“Try To See me Like That” features Healey as a special guest playing
guitar on Hot Desert Sun, Hold On I'm Comin', Blues Power and the title
track. Other guest appearances on the album include guitarist Jimmy
Bowskill and Chuck Jackson and Virgil Scott who contributed their voices.

Other contributors to Elyssa's career are local sponsors. “I couldn't have
done any of this without the help of my fabulous sponsors. Jack McTavish
of Valley Moving and Storage (Perth) and the McTavish Building by The
Clyde (Lanark) have been so supportive over the past two years in a number
of projects and he made this recording possible.”

“Synersys (Nepean) designed and maintain my website and they also design
my promotional materials. I wear awesome custom-designed jewelry by Gold &
Silver Source (Billings Bridge Plaza) and Nepean's Melodium Musi - Nepean This Week

"It's easy trying to see Elyssa Mahoney like she is"


I usually find it hard, if not frustrating, to listen to an album made up of predominantly cover versions, since more often than not, the various genres simply do not mesh together and leave me guessing as to the artist’s true nature.

But that was before I heard Ottawa-born young prodigy Elyssa Mahoney’s debut album, Try To See Me Like That. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing the young singer/performer live, then you won’t be that surprised at how good this collection of 13 invigorating, yet seamless tracks is, and which, in essence, is simply an extension of her energetic stage presence.

Elyssa’s been wowing her audience for nearly eight years now, ever since she took the stage at the Perth Fair at the tender age of four and a half and then to pursue six years of her own shows at Ottawa’s Central Canada Exhibition. The six-time Kiwanis Music Festival winner and three-time Quebec/Ontario Youth Music Festival winner sounds like anything but a 12-year old on this recording, which contains two original compositions and an assortment of old classics, including the unique and totally disarming jazzy version of McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby, as well as six other R&B tunes from the 1960s.

Blues and jazz musician Jeff Healey even lends a helping hand on four numbers, leaving his trademark soft guitar picking on the title track, a song written by Elyssa with her former Simply Wow band mates when she was all of 10. And Chuck Jackson from the Downchild Blues Band plays harmonica and backing vocals while doing a duet with Elyssa on the great 1960s Sam and Dave hit Hold On, I’m Comin’.

Throughout, her sweet soulful voice sounds more like that of a seasoned performer than of a young lady who is still a year away from becoming a teenager.

On that basis alone, it is a remarkable album, one that offers glimpses of how well the future bodes for this exciting new artist. Especially if she continues churning out more originals that are cut in the same vein as that of the album’s Try To See Me Like That and Hot Desert Sun.

The gem though is her gut-wrenching rendition of Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927, a song about the great flood from 78 years ago. She sings it so plaintively that one could easily assume that she recorded it in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and not a few weeks before, as she did.

CD release parties are currently planned for September 25th in Toronto at Roc’n Doc’s and October 6th in Ottawa at Tucson’s. It is available on-line at www.iridescentmusic.ca, and at Elyssa’s sponsors’ retail locations (see www.elyssamahoney.ca). Watch for it also at Toronto’s Sam The Record Man and Ottawa’s three CD Warehouse locations.

I suspect that we’ll be hearing more and more about Elyssa Mahoney as she continues evolving into her own.

For the girl’s got a sure ticket to ride.

Jean-Pierre Allard
Ottawa. Ontario
September 5, 2005 - Barrhaven Weekender & Nepean Weekender No. 37

"Various Quotes"

"...by far one of the most natural, wonderful talents that I've come across in a long, long time..."
Jeff Healey, June 30 2005"

(James) Cotton, Mahoney Sizzled on Stage... "Elyssa Mahoney literally knocked the socks off of everyone as she can only be described as nothing less than amazing" The Mississippi Weekender August 3, 2007

Elyssa Mahoney is a "seasoned, established entertainer with bewildering charisma on stage" Joel Haslam, Producer/Host CTV-Ottawa, Regional Contact, Dec. 10, 2005.

"Elyssa Mahoney ...brought the house down (at Ground Zero, Clarksdale, Mississippi) ..." Don Wilcock, Feb. 2007, The Record, Troy , N.Y.

"...What could possibly come out of this tiny little package? Well I'll tell ya'; I was amazed. She had the grace and voice of a superstar. Totally took me by surprise......This young lady from Ottawa, Canada is going places... turned out to be a stick of dynamite. She has a new CD (Jeff Healey is on it) the title: "Try To See Me Like That". Hm...Imagine that." Gary Eckhart, Blue Monday Vol. 1 Issue 34 Mar. 2007, Owatonna, Minnesota, USA.

"Try To See Me Like That ... is a remarkable album, one that offers glimpses of how promissing the future bodes for this exciting new artist". Jean-Pierre Allard, freelance journalist, Nepean Weekender, Sept. 15, 2005. Barrhaven Weekender Sept. 2005.

"...She (Elyssa Mahoney) is an incredible, marvelous unique and jarring individual in a very positive way. Elyssa is a soul beyond her years... She knows how to lead the band, and it's not corny or cutesy." Jeff Healey, Nepean This Week, Jan. 28, 2005

" ...a phenomenal talent, incredible... absolutely unbelievable" Jeff Healey, Healey's Club, Toronto, Dec. 30, 2004

"One of the most professional individuals I've ever worked with in over 30 years as a musician and producer". Pat Carey, Producer, Iridescent Music / Downchild Blues Band. June 30, 2005

"Now the petite 12 year old with the wonderfully big voice and growing reputation in the blues arena has added an album to her credits... this recording debut promisses future greatness" Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 13, 2005.

"Mahoney is easily a better singer than half the seasoned vets who release this kind of music..." James Hayashi-Tennant, 701.com (Mississauga)

"My favorite song on this CD is definitely the title track, ‘Try To See Me Like That’ – vocal styling simply beyond her young years shows that Elyssa has arrived!" Mike Graham, for OB Scene, Fall 2005 (Ottawa Blues Society)

"I expected to have to make concessions on the "tightness" of the album based on your age, and for that I apologize.  Your CD can stand up against anyone's, regardless of age!!!" Diana Thibodeau, Oct. 10, 2005 - Various

""Try To See Me Like That" – Elyssa Mahoney"

Reviewed by Mike Graham

A wonderful debut CD from a very talented young lady who has rapidly matured onto the Ottawa Blues Scene! This CD will, no doubt, accelerate Elyssa's progression down the ‘blues highway' and expose her talents across Canada and beyond. Elyssa is backed up by the extremely fine instrumental talents of Pat Carey (saxophone); Garth Vogan (bass); Terry Martel (drums); Michael Fonfara (keyboards, backup vocals); and Steve Grisbrook (acoustic and rhythm guitar) along with a number of special guests, including Jeff Healey, Jimmy Bowskill, Chuck Jackson and Virgil Scott.

The opening track, ‘Hot Desert Sun', is an original and demonstrates a mix of Elyssa's melodic voice and her ‘raunchy' side, augmented by the guitar stylings of Jeff Healey. Then she takes on a Marcia Ball classic with ‘Louella', an up-tempo, boogie-woogie number, with Jimmy Bowskill on guitar ... a real highlight! She shows her wide vocal range on the next two tracks – ‘Hold on I'm Comin', a duet with Chuck Jackson, and a beautiful rendition of Randy Newman's ‘Lousiana 1927'.

My favorite song on this CD is definitely the title track, ‘Try To See Me Like That' – vocal styling simply beyond her young years shows that Elyssa has arrived! Elyssa and the band also perform a fine interpretation of ‘Blues Power', penned by none other than Messrs Russell & Clapton! But it doesn't end there. Further proof of Elyssa's vocal talents are provided on her rockin' rendition of ‘Mojo Boogie' (again with Jimmy Bowskill) and the very unique blues take on ‘Eleanor Rigby', where Elyssa and the band take the listener on a "bluesy, jazzy, progressive musical ride"! Elyssa also belts out strong covers of ‘People Get Ready', ‘Chain of Fools', ‘Rescue Me', ‘Mockingbird', and the late Dusty Springfield's ‘Son of a Preacher Man'.

Ottawa is blessed with fine talented blues musicians and singers, and Elyssa's debut CD is another fine example of how lucky we are to have the talent we have in Ottawa!!! - Ottawa Blues Society Fall 2005 Newsletter OB Scene


Pull Me In (CANCON)- Sophomore cd for release June 6th Ottawa, On. Comprises 12 tracks, 9 of which are originals composed, arraged and co-produced by Elyssa Mahoney and Lucas Haneman. CANCON

Try To See Me Like That (CANCON)
13 tracks (60's R&B, blues, pop/country-rock), including two originals and featuring guest performances by Jeff Healey, Jimmy Bowskill, Chuck Jackson (Downchild Blues Band), Virgil Scott.



* “she’s got the soul.... she’s got rhythm...she’s got spirit... she’s going to be the next big thing”. Curtis Fuller and Fathead Newman, Nov. 17, 2007

* “By far one of the most natural, wonderful talents that I’ve come across in a long, long time”
Jeff Healey, June 30 2005

Performing recorded artist/singer/songwriter Elyssa Mahoney has been singing publicly for over 10 years. It began in JK and by the time she was in Kindergarten she was doing her own 30 minutes sets at Ottawa’s Agricultural Fair called Super Ex. She would continue this event annually for the following six years. By the time Elyssa was ten, she had her own band. At 12, Elyssa released her debut full length CD, called Try To See Me Like That which garnered Elyssa a New Artist Of the Year Award nomination at Canada’s Maple Blues Awards and sold in countries around the world. It featured guest performances by artists such as Jeff Healey and Chuck Jackson (Downchild Blues Band)

Elyssa has given hundreds of shows including: performances at festivals such as the Ottawa’s Bluesfest, Mont-Tremblant Festival du Blues, Festival of The Islands, four consecutive years at the Southside Shuffle Jazz and Blues Festival, so many other festivals and events across Ontario to NB with stops in Upstate NY; competing in Memphis TN in the International Blues Challenge as the Eastern Ontario representative; opening and guest performances with bands like Jeff Healey Blues Band and The Jeff Healey Jazz Wizards, members of the Downchild Blues Band, the James Cotton Blues Band (who played with blues legend Muddy Waters amongst others), David “Fathead” Newman (who toured with Ray Charles for 12 years), Curtis Fuller (member of bands such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane); earning numerous awards and scholarships in pop (blues/jazz), musical theatre and classical competition , and so much more. Elyssa’s activities have received much appreciated media attention in numerous radio, television and newspaper interviews and features.

Ironically, Elyssa’s vocal training is classical, which she has studied since the age of 5. It is credited for helping to develop Elyssa’s entire vocal range (just under 3 octaves now). She’s accomplished in various styles of blues and jazz, 60’s R&B, soul, and classical (soprano voice) with repertoire in five languages.

Elyssa’s collaborative spirit has led to her working with national award winning guitarist Lucas Haneman. A founding member of the Ottawa band Epiphane, Lucas brings a broad stylistic approach and genuine knowledge of music to the table.
Elyssa and Lucas have performed numerous duos, trios or full band formats together. Their mission is to bring the music out of music.

Elyssa and Lucas have also been co-writing songs and released their first CD together in 2008. The majority of the album comprised their own originals with valuable input from their Co-Producer Ken Friesen who has worked with bands such as Great Big Sea, The Tragically Hip and Blue Rodeo.

Elyssa’s honest, soulful vocals, with her appreciation of the lyric, and Lucas’ endless energy, intricacy and impressive range of style and tone on the guitar combine to bring music lovers something truly unique.

It’s been an exciting journey for a young girl in tough industry, but she’s in it for keeps. Honing her skills, always pushing the envelope and working with musicians who just bring out the best in her, makes for a win win situation for everybody.


Elyssa Mahoney est née pour divertir!

Depuis l'âge de 4 ans et demi, cette petite fille née en 1993 a su, malgré son jeune âge, faire trembler les foules avec son surcroît d'énergie et sa puissante voix.

Elyssa a diverti plusieurs milliers d'enfants et d'adultes avec ses propres spectacles au Super Ex (de 1999 à 2004), à Bleusfest 2004, au festival international du blues à Mont-Tremblant, au festival du blues et jazz Southside Shuffle à Port Credit, Ontario, au festival canadien des tulipes, dans plusieurs festivales et fêtes locales, événements communautaires et levées de fonds partout à travers la région de la capitale nationale, du Niagara au baie de fundy et même aus États Unis.

Elyssa est nominée en 2005 Nouvelle artiste de l'année aux Maple Blues Awards suite au lancement de son premier album intitulé Try To See Me Like That

Cela fait huit ans qu'elle est participante (et gagnante!) au Festival de musique Kiwanis dans la région d'Ottawa. En 2007 elle receva le trophé Stephanie Hamilton-Donegan Memorial Trophyen chant classique gagnante parmi les competiteurs de 16 ans et moins. Lors d'une de ses meilleures performances, en 2004, elle a gagné le trophé Dr. Otto Bettmann (chant classique) et en 2001, le trophé Jeanette Dagger (et encore en 2007) en chantant en duo dans la catégorie théâtre vocal-musical. Mais plus récemment, c'était le trophé Peter Evans Memorial Trophy qu'elle accept