Heather Gemmell

Heather Gemmell


It's the kind of music that you can put on and have playing while you enjoy every moment of life. And it is performed by someone who does just that... enjoys every moment of life.


It’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact that it was only four years ago that Heather first picked up the guitar and began playing. The dedication of online tab learning and the constant interest in trying new things, made learning the guitar a quick process. But for a girl as busy as Heather was, it’s hard to imagine how she even had the time to learn the guitar, let alone write music. Attending school in the states, playing college softball, being a residence assistant in the on-campus dorms, and yet always finding time to play her guitar made Heather grow quickly as an artist.

After two years of playing, Heather found herself softly singing along to the guitar melody that she strummed. Singing though had never been one of her favorite things to do. She was always the kid at school assemblies that lip-synced the national anthem because she didn’t enjoy the sound of her own voice. But with the guitar it was different; there was something about strumming her guitar while faintly singing along that was incredibly enjoyable to her. The usual reoccurring complaint she received, when playing for her friends, was to just “sing louder”. It took a lot of time and guts, but gradually she started to sing with the same intensity that she had when she played guitar.

“I can learn to get faster and more advanced as the years go by with my guitar, but vocally there are certain barriers that time just can’t fix. I have taken vocal lessons and I know quite a bit more about the different ways of singing, but I will never be able to sing as loud and as powerful as the singers out there in the music industry today, and I'm ok with that”.

She knows her limits but that doesn’t stop her from singing. “As long as I am on key, have some meaning behind what I am saying, and continue to get better with the guitar, I still have a chance of being heard. I feel like I have grown enough to the point that I am ready to play for real audiences and have what I am saying in my songs heard by strangers. I want to continue to write and connect with people as I play.”

Advancing on the guitar and strengthening her vocals weren’t the stopping point for Heather’s learning streak in the music industry. Soon after, she found herself playing the harmonica and picking up the djembe drum. Heather is constantly continuing to learn and grow with her music and this ambition and willingness to do so makes her a strong musician and a pure asset to the industry. It’s wholesome passion that keeps music afloat, and it’s pure love for music that creates such passion.

This past year has been an experience in itself for Heather and is continuing in a great direction. “Four years ago I would have never thought all of this would be happening.” In June, she found herself in Vancouver recording her demo album with seven tracks that are now available to the public. Shortly after she returned to Cranbrook from recording, Heather began playing shows more frequently and at a greater level. Though creating music and playing for the public are two of the many things Heather enjoys, she will be putting them on a slight hold to backpack through Thailand for four months starting in mid-November. This trip will not only show Heather the world, but give her inspiration and creativity for recordings in the future. Until her travels, you can continue to find Heather on stage with a guitar in her arms and a harmonica hanging from around her neck.


Broken House

Written By: Heather Gemmell

I'm sittin' and I'm waitin' on a new kind of livin'
People shootin' up schools are we ever gonna get it?
We've got pistols in our pockets screaming "eye for an eye"
We're never gonna see cuz were already blind
I don't think I'm alone
And there's good out there I know
But we just need some changes
And I don't mean rearrangin'

We need it to stop
Are you listening now?
Pickin' up the pieces to a broken house can take a toll
And we should know
We've done it before and we'll do it once more.
It's much harder to hate
Like pull a trigger to escape from what we've done or what we do
It's on the five o'clock news and it could have been you

Shootin' missiles and torpedoes through the water and the sky
Oh we keep a safe distance so we can't hear them cry
The super power of the earth is just a school yard bully in a white collar shirt
It hurts but we know it's true
And then we claim that there's nothin' we can do
But then we vote for an idiot and say it's ok cuz we don't wanna think about tomorrow anyway
So who's to blame?
I think we're all to blame in our own way

We need it to stop
Are you listening now?
Pickin' up the pieces to a broken house can take a toll
Oh and we should know
We've done it before and we'll do it once more
It's much harder to hate
Than love and communicate
I think we can change

So why don't we take a break from hatin'?
The clock is tickin' and the world is waitin'
We just don't have time to waste
Cuz we keep fightin', the world is dyin', people cryin', we better start tryin'
Can we learn from our mistakes?

So it's much harder to hate
Then why do we choose to discriminate?
And you break it down and we're all the same
Two eyes ten toes and a functional brain
I think we can change

Slow Down

Written By: Heather Gemmell

Slow down
I know we've got places to go, presentations to show, bills taxes and loans
But life goes on let's not focus on the wrongs
Let's take a step back and survey where we're at
Sometimes it's hard to see the possibilities
When we're stuck in high gear and we're runnin' from our fears
We need to find a way out, we need to find a way out
Even if it takes a scream or a shout we need to find a way, find a way
We need to find a way, find a way

Fast cars, moving stairs that go nowhere
Jet planes and inner city subway trains they move us so fast we can hardly relax
We need to siphon what we lost
We need to think about the cost
While just thirty years ago we thought that we should grow
And we grew up way to fast
And we grew up way to fast, way to fast now

Things used to be so simple, now we're stuck in routine
Livin' this life around a schedule, it just isn't for me
So why are we so addicted to worrying about the little things?
When they make us feel so constricted
Why can't we stop and think?

So stop and smell the rose
Feel the sand sink between your toes
Oh just sit and watch the water rise, or run and catch a firefly
Make time, we gotta make the time
Don't just sit and wonder why, make time
Make time

Things used to be so simple, now we're stuck in routines
Livin' this life around a schedule, it just isn't for me, isn't for me

Slow down
Slow down
We need to find a way out
We need to find a way out
And we grew up
And we grew up
And we grew up way to fast


Demos 2007

Set List

Set lengths range anywhere from 20 to 120 minutes (depending on what length is requested). A mixture of covers and originals are performed.

Covers include:

Neil Young
Jason Mraz
Bob Dylan
John Mayer
KT Tunstall