Madison Sheane
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Madison Sheane


Band Folk Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"What The Hell Is A Songwriter's Circle?"

I first became aware of the Songwriter's Circle format when I attended my first East Coast Music Awards conference. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada - or simply "SOCAN", hosts an annual songwriters circle where some of Canada's top singer-songwriters chat about and perform their original songs. The format was great - It was just songwriters with their acoustic guitars jamming and chatting about the creative process. They took turns each presenting a song and then performing it. The songs were stripped down, just like they had been when they were first written. It wasn't a workshop - it was definately a concert - but it was more than that also. I really enjoyed when one songwriter would play some licks over another's song or spontaneously add a harmony. The banter was natural and the good times infectious. The songwriters circle format allowed the songwriters to chat with each other as well as with the audience and it was a real treat for music lovers.

I haven't seen the format that many times since I moved to Ottawa with the notable exception of one at the Live Lounge and one at the Blacksheep Inn. The audience is always enthralled at an event like this. I recently performed at one in Halifax with Andrea Curry and Dwight D'eon. And, the vibe was very cool.

When I was a kid growing up in Cape Breton the CBC would periodically broadcast shows from the National Arts Centre. It seeemed like such an impressive venue with their prestigious orchestra etc. After I moved to Ottawa I had the chance to see a show at the 4th stage. It was the perfect intimate venue for a songwriter - I thought - "I have got to perform there!".

That was easier said than done - but when I pitched the idea of Songs from the Soul - Songwriter's Circle to Michel Dozios from the NAC - he was all for it.

So I had the date - I had the venue - Now I just needed to complete the circle!

Cape Bretoner and ECMA nominee Andrea Curry sprung to mind instantly - The songwriter's circle we did in Halifax was a success, as were the other shows we played together since - I knew she'd be perfect and am thrilled that she can make it from Halifax.

Neil McDaniel has been playing keyboards with me for a few years now. He is a great player who also plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, fiddle, and whatever else you can make music with. I knew Neil had chops, but I have to say I was floored when I first heard his songs. He really had something to say - and he said it well. Anyone who came to my last show at the Rainbow got a taste of what Neil can do. I'm pleased to have him joining the show and look forward to his debut CD which he's working on.

It seems that Steven L. Sheehan had the same idea as I did at aroun the same time because soon after I booked the NAC - I read that he was hosting a songwriters circle at the Live Lounge. I went to check it out and was so impressed by his writing, I invited him to join the bill for this show. He's witty and insightful and is no slouch on the guitar. Anyone who was a fan of his last band Stairwell K will love his solo stuff.

Finally - Madison. Just down the street from me, there's a little pub called Woody's. Somehow I ended up on their mailing list for their open mic night which happens every Monday. After I got the emails a few times, I decided to go check it out. There were some great performances - but one stood out from the rest. A petit bohemian girl with a head of untamable blond curls got up to play and started singing. The pub went silent. All eyes and ears quickly switched focus to her and listened to her every note. After the short set she told me she had never played a gig - I asked her how she'd like her first one to be at the NAC.

So not only have I told you what the hell a songwriter's circle IS - I've told you about how special the "Songs from the Soul - Songwriter's Circle" is to me and hopefully will be to you too once you experience it. - Nathan Bishop Macdonald


Just recorded a recent Demo/EP out of Infinity Studios in Victoria, BC. EP available at, along with other live original songs recorded at The Cameron House and The Supermarket, two great music venues in Toronto, ON.



My name is Madison Sheane. I'm 24 years old and I sing, write music, and play the guitar. I've had opportunity to work with many fine musicians and play at fantastic venues across Canada. Through life experience, friends and family, I have developed my own music. When it comes to performing, I'm fearless and passionate.