Brenda MacIntyre - Medicine Song Woman
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Brenda MacIntyre - Medicine Song Woman

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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by Aaron Cain

Brenda MacIntyre’s new album Medicine Song won’t just get your toes tapping; it will also soothe your soul and calm your
spirit. If that sounds too good to be true, then you haven’t met Brenda!

With eight albums to her name,
Brenda has been creating music since she was a teen. But her healing journey began when she was a bit older. It was in ’94,
after picking up one of Lillian
McGregor’s flyers while a student at York University, that she began to learn about her Native culture and later realized her own power as a
healer. This knowledge changed her music from the Hip Hop of her early days to what we hear on Medicine Song: traditional hand drumming and vocals blended with some reggae, folk and a touch of gospel.

The lead track “Be Here Now”
begins with a traditional Native
American welcome that seamlessly
blends into an upbeat reggae influenced song. The sparse treatment - just vocals and guitar, allow Brenda’s message of motivation and “living in the moment and loving it”
to shine through.

“One of the Things” is a stand
out track with a chorus that will stay in your head for days. Accompanying Brenda on guitar is Rohan Staton who recently worked with Jully Black. Rohan’s jazzy guitar adds an extra richness to the reggae groove. Brenda’s smooth voice reassures us that we all have bad days but not to despair as things can only get better. Listening to such a joyful and comforting track, it’s hard not to believe she is absolutely correct.

Partnering with iconic dub poet
Lillian Allen, Brenda has created a new feminist theme with the track “Woman”. It was almost by chance that the two began working together. Lillian lives and often gathers with
her Dub Poet’s Collective in
Brenda’s neighbourhood. Mutual
friends put the two together and they fed off each other’s creativity immediately and effortlessly. On “Woman”, Lillian’s deep spoken word – a style with a long history in
African American as well as Native cultures – balances Brenda’s vocals. It is a blend of styles not often put together, but Woman combines them well.

As the title suggests, “Back in
the River” will have you picturing a Southern gospel ceremony, complete with hand clapping and hoots of encouragement.

The title track, Medicine Song, is a cry of strength in the face of adversity. Accompanied by Ernie Tollar’s wooden flutes and a full band, Brenda’s vocals go from softness to raw power.

When she was at a low point in her life it was through creating music that she was able to see her way out of it. She now helps others through her music and sound and energy healing.

Citing India Arie and the conscious reggae genre as strong influences, Brenda’s songs follow in their footsteps by having positive, uplifting
messages. When all the news on
the TV is bad, we sure need an antidote like Medicine Song.

Medicine Song is now available
online at brendamacintyre.com or in the Cedar Basket at the Native Centre of Toronto. - The Native Canadian - July/August 2009


"Brenda MacIntyre, Juno Award winning singer/songwriter had a great performance at the 38th annual Niagara Folk Arts events. The “Medicine Song Woman” brought her philosophy of empowerment to the stage
as she drummed to the audience’s delight... Outstanding performance at the Niagara festival."
-Edward Akinwunmi, Publisher & Editor, Mosaic Edition - Mosaic Edition


"I am a huge fan. I think you do awesome work. As a former musician I can truly appreciate your music."
-Marion Wilson-Brown, Producer, Venturing Forth a production of Brenco Media Inc., B.C.

*Several of Brenda's songs were included in 2 documentaries. one of which aired on national television. - Venturing Forth a production of Brenco Media Inc.


“'Back in the River' is full of soul, blues and folk, a song to fulfill any music lover's taste buds.”
-CFWE FM The Native Perspective (September 2009)

*This song was featured as "Our Pick" in September 2009.
- CFWE FM The Native Perspective


Brenda MacIntyre is wowing audiences with her Summer 2007 Healing Water and Empower Communities tour.
-The Morning Star (Vernon, BC 2007)
- The Morning Star


“Her latest album showcases Brenda's amazing voice and range. It's a fantastic addition to any CD collection!”
-Mariel Borelli, producer, Fresh Air, CBC Radio One (September 2009)
- CBC Radio One


"Brenda MacIntyre, traditional Native singer/healer, with drum and water in hand reached across time, space and history with her powerful, compassionate spirit."
URBAN SCRAWL, an URBAN ARTS publication, Winter 2006 - Urban Scrawl, an Urban Arts publication


Discography

Medicine Song (LP) 2009
2010 Nominee, Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year, CFMA's
#3 - TOP 10 FOLK/ROOTS/BLUES, 92.5 THE EX FM - Dec 7/09
#5 - TOP 10 FOLK/ROOTS/BLUES, 93.3 CFRU FM - Jan 26/10

STREAMING ONLINE AT:

* CBC Radio One & Two, various college stations across Canada, plus various Native American and Aboriginal programs and stations in Canada and the U.S.
* radio3.cbc.ca
* blip.fm/profile/healingsinger/playlist
* ReverbNation.com/brendamacintyre
* MySpace.com/brendamacintyre

Spirit Connection (LP) 2007
Nominated for Aboriginal People's Choice Award

Thunder Mountain Healing Songs (LP) 2005

Never Too Late (LP) 2002
R&B, reggae, pop

-----
with Spirit Wind (co-founder)
from 1999 to 2003
indigenous drumming/chant

Awakening (LP) 2003
#1 & #5 debut, World Music Charts, 2 college radio stations

*

Soul Talkin (LP) 2002

*
Breathing the Wind (LP) 2001
Nominated for Canadian Independent Music Award

Photos

Bio

***2011 Kay M Hunter Arts Awards Nominee***
***2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominee***

IMPORTANT: I'm shutting down this account on January 20, 2011.

TO REACH ME:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: brendamacintyre.com
LANDLINE: 416.519.SONG (7664)
EMAIL: healingsinger AT gmail.com
MYSPACE: myspace.com/brendamacintyre
YOUTUBE: youtube.com/brendamacintyre

WHAT EVENT ORGANIZERS ARE SAYING:

"Her compelling introduction and gracious presence opened the audience to truly appreciate another level of interaction." -Tanmayo Krupanszky, Canadian Organic Grower's Association

“It was a pleasure to work with Brenda. As the lead-off performer for our music festival, we couldn’t have asked for more. Her singing, drumming, and inspiring words really set the mood for a very enjoyable weekend.”-- Clayton Brander, Artistic Director, Sunshine Music Festival 2007 (British Columbia)

"Your performance at the conference was very powerful." -Aidan Lumley, The Lung Association

"Brenda's opening performance at the International Women's Day event at the Glenn Gould Studio set a warm and embracing tone for the rest of the evening.

I have had many people at the event tell me they were really moved by her drumming and singing."
-Sue Kenney, coordinator, Women to Women Toronto

"...a truly memorable performance" - Peter Nares, SEDI Awards

"What a beautiful voice" - Austin Acton, The Indigenous Law Journal

"Brenda established a good rapport immediately... the students found the experience to be inspiring, relaxing, healing and very interesting." - Rita Massingham, Teacher, Guidance Counselor, School of Experiential Education

Brenda MacIntyre is known as Medicine Song Woman and her latest music is filled with reasons why. From a cappella Native American chant to soulful blues to conscious reggae, her powerful voice will leave you with goosebumps, while her authenticity creates an instant connection with her audiences.

Stellar side musicians Brenda works with include Rohan Staton (Jully Black, Divine Brown), Tony Campbell (Sly & Robbie, the Sattalites), Dennis Mohammed (Jesse Cook, Sass Jordan), Ernie Tollar (Maryem Tollar, Maza Mezé), Morgan Doctor (Bob Wiseman, Toronto Tabla Ensemble) and Derek Thorne (Kobotown), among others.

*
When you get Brenda MacIntyre, you’re getting a complete package – she is an award-winning singer-songwriter, highly skilled inspirational speaker and facilitator, as well as a Native Canadian healer.

Brenda offers singing/chanting and healing circles, women’s empowerment workshops, frame drumming workshops, talks and on-site healing sessions.

She can sing a cappella or with side musicians, and her repertoire of all original songs is endless - literally - because apart from her over 300 songs, she can spontaneously channel (improvise) one new song after another, live on stage, with or without musicians.

*

Adopted at birth, Brenda MacIntyre was extremely shy and shunned by most of her peers. Her career began in 1985 when she moved from the British Columbia Interior to Toronto after both her parents had died.

Brenda’s first hit single (Moods International Records) was charted as a “hot new item” with 5 spins a day on North Miami’s Top 40 station WPOW 96FM. Her second single was featured on The Gathering (Attic Records), which won a Juno Award and helped her get a Canadian Reggae Music Award nomination.

Soon Brenda was getting television appearances and even interest from a major record label. But meanwhile, she was being abused and developing chronic health conditions. It wasn’t until the birth of her 2nd child – and a Native healing session - that she was able to break the cycle of abuse, find her voice again and begin to take her life back.

Today Brenda has a passion for her purpose... to inspire hope in an increasingly fragile world and to help silenced women find their voice.