Patrick Ballantyne
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Patrick Ballantyne

Oakville, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Oakville, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Folk Blues Rock




"Ted Shaw’s Artbeat: Impressive CDs from Coughlin, Ballantyne"

Ted Shaw
May 30, 2014 - 4:15 PM EDT
Last Updated: May 30, 2014 - 4:14 PM EDT
A couple of Windsor natives, Joe Coughlin and Patrick Ballantyne, are showing their roots in impressive CDs just out.

Coughlin, 60, has issued his eighth album, Saloon Standard, that displays his mellow baritone in a series of slow standards with Toronto jazz pianist Mark Eisenman.

Coughlin grew up in Windsor and even fronted a popular heavy metal act, Whiteheet, in his 20s. Then he hooked up with Gil Grossutti at Assumption High School, and was introduced to the saxophonist’s collection of Count Basie and Frank Sinatra records.

Coughlin would go on to win the national DuMaurier Search for the Stars contest in 1979 which turned his career around completely.

A resident of Victoria, B.C., for nearly 20 years, Coughlin is considered one of Canada’s foremost exponents of the art of jazz crooning, and has appeared with the Windsor Symphony on several occasions, most recently in 2011.

Saloon Standard, released on Saturday, finds him in a groove pocket with Eisenman in a collection of standards from the 1940s and 1950s, including You Must Believe in Spring, When In Rome, and Waltz for Debby.

You can order it at, or by calling 1-250-475-2475.

The 53-year-old Ballantyne was part of a burgeoning Windsor rock and roots scene in the 1980s that produced Big Sugar’s Gordie Johnson and Kelly Hoppe, with whom he retains close ties. In 1986, Ballantyne left to open a law practice in Oakville, but the urge to write and record never left him.

His second solo album, Days of Rain, to be released on Monday, follows on the heels of his eponymous 2008 debut. Like that one, Days of Rain was recorded in Windsor at Mark Plancke’s Sharktank Studios, and features old friends in support roles — Hoppe, Tom Hogarth, Nancy Drew, and Christian Bonk.

His plain-spoken songs are cut from the same middle American, Seger-soaked cloth as fellow Essex County rocker Jody Raffoul. Among the standouts on Days of Rain are Lift Me Up, Wrestling with the Devil, I’ve Got a Feeling and Roll With It.

You can order the album from his website, . - Windsor Star

"Concert Review: Bare Bones & Up Front Featuring Patrick Ballantyne and Meredith Shaw"

On Wednesday night the Indie Music Series Bare Bones and Up Front presented by The Toronto Centre For The Arts showcased the wonderful talent of Meredith Shaw and Patrick Ballantyne.

The concept for the showcases is a fantastic idea, and really lets the artists reach out to the audience more than they would normally be able to. Tonight Meredith and Patrick shared a quite a bit about their history together as song writing partners and even let us in on a few stories about their songs, Patrick definitely took sole advantage of the storytelling aspect. They shared quite a few details about their songs that I would have never guessed or probably would have heard anywhere else.

The night was broken up into two sets with each set lasting around 45 minutes each. The original theory was going to be Meredith was going to play a set then Patrick was going to close out the night, but they decided to rotate songs instead which worked out great as we really got in depth stories about the songs which they wrote together and songs that they collaborated on together for other musicians.

Playing lead guitar and backing vocals for Meredith Shaw was Kori Kameda. Kori also assisted Patrick during a couple of songs providing backing acoustics and vocals.

Meredith quickly filled the room tonight with laughter and stunning vocals as she played us selected songs from her set of “Tringles” and A Place Called Happy. The placement and arrangement of the studio room in which the Bare Bones and Up Front show took place really decorated Meredith’s thriving vocals whether she was singing her own Pop songs or joining Patrick on a country song. It was great to hear some of the small tidbits of information about the history in a couple of her songs especially with one of my favourite songs “Little Fishy”. After watching and listening to Meredith and Kori perform their songs acoustically tonight, this really begs the question of putting pressure on Meredith to release an acoustic album. “Trouble” was another song that really stood out and sounded fantastic acoustically performed tonight, and we also got to hear a bit a bit of insight of what went into the lyric video as well. Another little gem that we got to hear was “Call It A Night” where the ending of the song with the compacted lyrics really makes and completes the song.

Patrick was the definite story teller of the night with some of the stories almost lasting longer than the actual song, but he did give a really good insight into his songs and song writing. I also had absolutely no idea that he has worked alongside and has co-written some of my favourite Canadian songs of all time even including “All Hell For A Basement”. While writing songs for Meredith and Gordie Johnson as well as others tonight Patrick displayed his personal prolific song writing playing us songs off his self titled release and his soon to be released album, with the common timeline being “Four Months”. His song selection started off a little slower compared to the songs that he played nearing the end of the night more of focusing on the folk side of his songs. “I Want You Now” was one of my favourite songs from earlier on in his set.

One of the biggest surprise songs for the night especially for me was when Patrick started to talk about the song “Beat This Heart” which was written over using Skype and Meredith jokingly talked about how it should have been her song, and how Tim Chaisson brings up the song live in concert before Meredith sings backing vocals on the song. Instantly the audience was right into the song when Patrick started to play the highly recognizable opening riff to the song.

Now there are a couple more weeks left to this amazing concert series that you are able to attend, here is the link for you to check out the remaining shows. - Kingston Music Reviews

"Review - Patrick Ballantyne"

By: Amanda Hather

Album – Days of Rain
iTunes Link –
Release Date – June 3rd, 2014
Genre – Folk, Rock, Country

Ontario artist Patrick Ballantyne released his album ‘Days of Rain’ on June 3rd, 2014. He also released a self-titled album in 2008. Although he mainly writes with other artists such as Meredith Shaw, Big Sugar, and Tim Chaisson, he also puts out very impressive solo material.

Although the album has a somber meaning, it is nonetheless very well put together. “Lift Me Up”, “I’ve Got A Feeling”, “I Follow You”, and “As Soon As I Find Her” are definitely my favourites off of the album. You can hear the influences of Motown and soul music. The album has a very good flow throughout it with a mix of both slower and faster paced songs.

Overall, I thought that the album was very good. If you like the folk/rock sound, you will definitely enjoy this release.

Rating: 3.5/5

Patrick Ballantyne on social media:

Website: - Canadian Beats


Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: June 29th, 2014
Label: Independent
Patrick Ballantyne isn’t exactly a household name, but there is a good chance you’ve heard his songs before. Up until recently, Ballantyne’s musical talents have been funneled into writing songs for others, such as Big Sugar and The Trews. However, he makes it abundantly clear on his latest release ‘Days of Rain’ that we have been missing out in not hearing him perform his songs himself.
Not surprisingly, this is a set of strong, well-constructed songs. They reflect upon the impact of personal loss and adversity, but, with a couple of notable exceptions, this is not a mournful record. Quite the contrary, it is more a reaffirmation of the great wonder that is life, even in the face of grief and sorrow. “I roll with it,” sings Ballantyne, even though, “I know a little rain’s gonna fall”.
As you can guess, rain is a central theme on this album, representing life’s more challenging moments. This analogy is most fully realized on “Hundred Year Flood”, an epic work of folk Americana. Ballantyne warns folks to, “pack your things, get running”, because you can’t cling to the riverbank as you have in the past – no, this is the big one, and it’s going to hit you hard. Although he’s from Windsor, Ballantyne evokes the feel of the mid-western prairie on this track as effectively as Springsteen (from New Jersey) did on ‘Nebraska’.
Other highlights include the raga-influenced “Who I Am”, in which Ballantyne sounds like a dead ringer for David Gilmour in making the Zen-like assertion, “It’s who you are/It’s who I am”, and “Wrestling With the Devil”, a Beatlesque tune featuring some beautiful steel guitar.
Aside from drums, Ballantyne plays all the instruments here, which is hard to believe. Although things are understandably tight, there is an organic feel to the composite whole, as if there were other personalities at play. Maybe different facets of Ballantyne’s psyche come to the fore depending on which instrument he is playing? Dunno.
The songs run the gamut from country to blues, and from pop to folk rock. Maybe Ballantyne stretches himself a little thin, genre-wise (“Lift Me Up” and “Christmas Day”, for example, are a tad too MOR), but it doesn’t really matter because it’s all entertaining. There is certainly nothing here to detract from the conclusion that Ballantyne fully deserves to be a performer in his own right. - Ride the Tempo

"New Patrick Ballantyne Cd"

Oakville singer/songwriter Patrick Ballantyne has a history of writing incredible tunes for himself and many others (including Big Sugar and the Trews ). Within his latest superb CD, Days of Rain lies 13 tracks of the musician's best work.

His wonderful, one-of-a-kind voice is joined by blues, country, folk, world music, rock, classical and other rhythms. Every song is a magnificent, unique creation.

Patrick plays almost every single instrument and does it extremely well. He's joined by Kelly "Mr. Chill" Hoppe (formerly of Big Sugar ) on the song I'm Yours.

You can purchase this top notch CD at his electric live shows, through his website or download the album using iTunes or Google play. - Hamilton Blues Lovers

"Patrick Ballantyne Days of Rain album Review"

Don’t be put off by the initial bouncy indie opening track from King of the Road as this album slowly becomes a more poignant, well-travelled release combining the sounds of Coldplay, Keane and Stereophonics. For me the voice suited to the likes of Rod Stewart is well fashioned with delicate poignant sounds from gentle guitar picking in I’ve Got A Feeling to Hundred Year Flood.

From the sounds of India with beautiful sitar music featured in Who I Am to soft piano tinkering in Lift Me Up which almost nods to a vintage Coldplay era of singer songwriter ballads. One of my favourite tracks that follow this idea is Christmas Day whilst I Follow You and finale The Devil’s Note is a country sing-song complete with blues, rhythm and a perfect sing-along vibes, perfect for sitting outside the hay barn under fairy lights on a cool summers evening.

Favourite Track: As Soon As I Find Her harks back to the beautiful ballad love songs that men weren’t afraid to write. Acoustic waltz sounds with a rough haunting male vocal depicting beautiful scenery sets my heart on fire just like Eric Clapton has done all these years. Also gentle interlude title track Days of Rain features beautiful synth sound alongside a meditative soundscape of falling rain, a perfect break in the album.

Review by Kat Bagshawe - Music Muso

"Bring Sunshine to your Day with Days of Rain"

Patrick Ballantyne is no stranger to the Canadian music scene — but usually he is the one creating the tunes instead of singing them. Canrock giant Gordie Johnson (of Big Sugar, Wide Mouth Mason fame), up-and-coming Meredith Shaw (the new Jann Arden) and the Trews are a few who have tapped into his writing talent. Hits like If I Had My Way, Girlwatcher, I Want You Now and All Hell For a Basement are all Ballantyne co-creations. Beat this Heart, his recent collaboration with East Coast sensation Tim Chaisson, won him a nomination for 2013 Song of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards.

However, the Windsor musician/songwriter emerged from behind the curtain to produce his own album (actually it is his second), Days of Rain, which was released this week.

It’s eclectic. There are songs that are reminiscent of The Traveling Wilburys and solo Tom Petty and there is clearly a George Harrison influence. With some guitar twanging thrown in, there are nods to country music and there is a bit of Johnny Cash in there too. That said, Ballantyne blends it together to create his own distinct sound. Wrestling with the Devil is a good example.


There are some great catchy, toe-stomping, rousing tunes like I’m Yours and Roll with It while I’ve got a Feeling is a beautiful guitar/piano piece that is one of the heavier, lyrically-intense songs.

As the album title suggests, it was borne from some difficult times and pain, death and loss are reflected in the lyrics. That said, ultimately, survival, love and redemption conquer the darkness evident in songs like I Follow You.

Ballantyne has proven yet again that he is one gifted songwriter. Days of Rain is a fantastic album. Every time you listen to it, you discover another layer of complexity and appreciate his musical ingenuity.

Grab it on iTunes or Google Play.

Written by: Jennifer Hartley on June 6, 2014.
- See more at: - Ottawa Life

"An Interview with Patrick Ballantyne"

By Jim Barber

Chances are you’ve heard Patrick Ballantyne’s work.

If you’re a fan of the legendary Gordie Johnson and his many musical incarnations, including Big Sugar, or if you are a devotee of the sultry and sweet Meredith Shaw, the hard rockin’ sounds of The Trews or the rootsy stylings of East Coast sensation Tim Chaisson or western Canada’s country boy Shane Chisolm – you have been party to the songwriting talents of the Windsor, Ontario native.

A songwriter of breathtaking range, Ballantyne is one of those rare musical talents who is perfectly happy working behind the scenes to create songs that capture the hearts and imagination of music lovers, and hearing them interpreted or re-interpreted through the voices of others.

But once in a while, the Oakville, Ontario based lawyer (yes, he decided to embark on a career before the bar, instead of playing in them for a living) gets the itch to write, will record and release music under his own name.

The latest of those itches has been scratched, and the result is the evocative album Days of Rain, set to be released in June.

It follows nearly six years after his first, self-titled album back in 2008.

“I have always been recording music, ever since I was 14 years old. It’s just that my focus for so many years has been working with different artists, chiefly Gordie for the most part over the years. More recently I have been working with other people and it always seemed to be the better use of my time was working with other artists rather than putting it out on my own,” said Ballantyne, who helped pen Big Sugar songs If I Had My Way, Girl Watcher, I Want You Now and All Hell for a Basement, as well as The Trews’ Poor Old Broken Hearted Me and more recently the East Coast Music Award-nominated Tim Chaisson hit Beat This Heart.

“It’s not like I have ever really been able to tour a tremendous amount. And it’s not like I have an aspiration for stardom. But every now and again I just feel like I have a pile of songs and I don’t know what to do with them so I need to release them together. That’s what I did in 2008 and am doing again with the new album.”

But ultimately the bigger thrill for Ballantyne comes from seeing people embrace the songs he helps write as interpreted by other artists.

“I enjoy hearing the way my songs grow and develop and how someone like Meredith will take it and add to it and improve it. As soon as she sings it, I’ve lost it – it’s now her song. I am a lucky guy to be able to hear her sing my stuff and to go to a show and hear Gordie rockin’ out with Grady or Big Sugar doing something I had a hand in. It’s very satisfying,” he said.

“But it is also satisfying to scratch the itch again and put something out that is entirely me.”

Ballantyne produced the album alongside Windsor-based producer Mark Plancke, and played all the instruments on Days of Rain excluding drums, which were played by Windsor percussionist Christian Bonk. Kelly ‘Mr. Chill’ Hoppe of Big Sugar also performed on one song. Colin MacDonald of The Trews co-wrote the song Hundred Year Flood for the new album.

Listening to even a couple of tracks from Days of Rain, you can hear the unmistakable influence of the Beatles and Motown hit makers, as well as more esoteric and progressive elements gleaned from early Pink Floyd, including vocal double-tracking reminiscent of Floyd’s David Gilmour.

“I was a fan of the Meddle era of Pink Floyd and their early days and I can see how some of that might have seeped in. And the Indian tambura drone I have used in a couple of places was clearly a homage to Within You Without You by George Harrison from Sgt. Peppers. The Beatles are an obvious influence and people are going to hear it anyways so why not play it up,” he said.

The song Wrestling with the Devil has a Harrison-esque upbeat vibe, with a catchy melody and vocal hooks, but is about a serious subject.

“It’s about dealing with addictions and the lyrics sort of came together when, of all people, Cory Monteith {of Glee] passes away. It was just one more thing, one more senseless death. That sort of thing shouldn’t be as common as it is, but addiction is out there and you’ve got to wonder how many people behind the scenes are struggling with things we never see and never know about until it’s too late. Then not long ago, as I was wrapping up the recording of the album, Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away from similar circumstances, Ballantyne explained.

The moody Who I Am, which features the tabla and tambura and Sgt. Peppers sensibility with the Floyd-like harmonies, is a more existential piece that came from Ballantyne observing how people deal with the death of people close to them.

“It sort of stems from my mother-in-law passing and how one of her kids moved away within a week of her death and removed themselves completely from the situation. They just felt a need to make a fresh start. There’s a line in the song that says, ‘every mile becomes our friend,’ which I thought was beautiful in a way, but also sad that you would feel that the further away you get, the happier you are.

“The whole album kind of came about because there have been a lot of deaths in my circle of family and friends. There was just all this heaviness going on and I think it influenced the record and that’s where the Days of Rain title came from. It was about just trying to get through the dark times to find the light at the end of it all. Even though there is loss, you have to try and find what you have that is worth living for. And that is essentially the theme of the record and dealing with those struggles. Channelling all that into music is how I deal with it.”

Being in the orbit of Gordie Johnson who, besides being in Big Sugar is also the founder of cowboy metal group Grady, the gospel-inspired Sit Down! Servant, is also the bass player and producer for Wide Mouth Mason and a noted engineer and producer based out of Austin, Texas. It was through Johnson that Ballantyne met the likes of Shaw, Chaisson, Chisholm and The Trews.

The pair go back to their teenaged years in the 1980s in Windsor.

“At the time we met he was the hotshot bass player in town. I think we met at the Long and McQuade store in Windsor and even back then I was recording music. I think at the time I had more aspirations of being a full time musician. I asked him to play bass on some tracks, so we went into the studio together and we just clicked and started writing together,” Ballantyne said.

When he decided to study and later practice law in Toronto, Johnson had moved to the city as well and soon gained a reputation for being an up-and-coming musician and songwriter. By the time the 1990s rolled around, Big Sugar was a local sensation, soon to be so on a national scale within a couple of years. All the while, Ballantyne was still working with his friend and collaborator.

“Fortunately, for my own musical aspirations, he kept at it and became the artist and big deal that he is now,” he said.

Like Johnson, Ballantyne heard the epic music that was coming across the Detroit River from Michigan-based radio stations, so the Motown sound, Gospel and the blues were part of their mutual education. But whereas that formed the foundation for much of Johnson’s style and sound, Ballantyne gravitated more towards the pop songs he was hearing on a Windsor station.

“CKLW was the big station for me. When I was a kid, they would play Andy Williams singing Can’t Get Used to Losing You, and then the next song would be Reach Out (I’ll Be There) by the Four Tops and the one after that might be Sinatra and then Paperback Writer by the Beatles. You were constantly bombarded with this wonderful selection of popular music. It wasn’t like today where radio is so segmented. Between CKLW and Detroit, I had the benefit of being exposed to such a huge variety of music,” he said.

Ballantyne is playing a show on April 17, at the Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., in Oakville, starting at 8 p.m. Once the new album is out, he plans on playing a number of dates across Ontario, as well as on the East Coast and in western Canada.

For more information, visit his Facebook page or

- See more at: - Lithium Magazine

"Oakville Musician Patrick Ballantyne Performs at the Moonshine Cafe"

Oakkville musician Patrick Ballantyne performs at moonshine café tomorrow
Julia Le
Oakville Beaver Apr 16, 2014
Oakville musician Patrick Ballantyne is stepping into the limelight with the upcoming release of his second album Days of Rain.

For years, the 53-year-old River Oaks resident spent his time behind the scenes, crafting his talent as a songwriter.

Besides a self-titled album he released about seven years ago, he’s mainly collaborated with other artists, co-writing with The Trews, Big Sugar, Wide Mouth Mason, Meredith Shaw, Tim Chaisson and Shane Chisholm to name a few notables.

His upcoming 13-track album set to be released in June is a compilation of songs that he simply wanted to share with the public, he said.

Recorded in a studio in Windsor, Ont., and in his home studio in Oakville, the songs are based on life experiences and events that have occurred over the years.

Ballantyne, whose style can be described as British rock and roll meets country soul, said Days of Rain is named after one of his tracks based on the Nashville, Tennessee flood that took place four years ago.

The musician, who began writing and playing the guitar when he was 14 years old, noted how the devastation of the 1,000-year flood (a rare event that has one-in-1,000 chance of happening) ended up being overshadowed in the media by other arguably big news stories that included the Times Square car bombing attempt in New York.

“It was a tragic story and a massive flood that took over a week or two,” he said, adding that it surprised him how little the national news covered the story and deaths involved.

Keeping with somber feelings, he said the death and illness of some friends and family also impacted his writing.

“Some of the songs are about coping with loss, seeing the positives and trying to dwell on the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel rather than the pain of the loss,” he said.

Ballantyne adds there’s a certain satisfaction creating a record from scratch, “fitting them together thematically” and then performing them live.

He’ll share it with an Oakville audience at the Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., tomorrow (Thursday) at 8 p.m.

It’s in local intimate venues like Moonshine Ballantyne feels at home, he noted.

“When I do play, it’s in a venue that focuses on original music and draws crowds that are appreciative of that kind of music and they’re there to hear it,” said Ballantyne.

He hopes to have a few copies of his upcoming album to sell at the show.

For more information, visit - Oakville Beaver

"Province's reputation attracts singer-songwriter"

Province's reputation attracts singer-songwriter
Patrick Ballantyne says Newfoundland the place to be for entertainment
The Telegram

Driving around, absorbing the views from Terra Nova to Dildo, singer-songwriter Patrick Ballan-tyne is taking in all that he can on his first trip to Newfoundland.

Ballantyne has developed his name through multiple music projects including co-writing numerous Big Sugar singles, writing The Trews single, "Poor Old Broken Hearted Me" and co-writing five songs with Gordie Johnson for the latest album by "cowboy metal" band Grady.

Ballantyne also has a CD of original material of his own, released in 2008.

The musician said he decided to travel to Newfoundland from his home in Southern Ontario after being told about the provincial music scene and reading a recent Globe and Mail Travel feature that looked at live music in St. John's.

"I've always heard what a great music town this was," Ballantyne told The Telegram.

"I contacted The Levee just on a whim and they asked me to be a part of their singer-songwriter series," he said. "It worked out really well."

Ballantyne said that, although a lot of his work has been heard through the albums of full bands, he has no problems performing with just an acoustic guitar.

"You can produce it to the hilt or you can do it simply, but a good song always stands," said Ballantyne.

And examples of his recorded, low-key work can be heard on his solo album. "There's one or two on there which are quite stripped down. It's just me and acoustic."

While at The Levee, Thursday, Ballantyne will perform a wide selection of songs from his past work, hoping it will stand up under what he calls the "songwriting quality" present among musicians in the city.

He specifically mentioned Ron Hynes as one example of quality songwriting known across the country.

But there is also always the audience response, he said.

"One of my best friends ... he has always talked about the audiences here being the most enthusiastic of any audience in the country," Ballantyne said. "The bar (for live music) is quite high here."

Expectations will be disappointed, met, or surpassed at The Levee Thursday. - St John's Telegram

"Interview and Review _ Days of Rain"

Patrick Ballantyne’s “Days of Rain” takes the listener on a journey of masterfully well-written stories. A kaleidoscope of relationships. The production on the album is dynamically stellar. Intriguing arrangements. Vocally Patrick impresses. The fact that Ballantyne played most of the instruments is quite an accolade. “Days of Rain” is definitely Juno worthy. - Makeda Taylor

"Oakville’s Patrick Ballantyne signs with major record label"

Oakville Beaver
Oakville-based songwriter Patrick Ballantyne recently signed with Northwood Records.

“In an era where many independent artists opt to go alone rather than sign with a label, the new alliance of Patrick Ballantyne with Northwood Records reflects a shared synergy not often found between labels and artists, and the most salient ingredient is their mutual love of songwriting,” stated a press release from Patrick Ballantyne Music.

An established songwriter, Ballantyne has worked with Canadian staples such as Big Sugar and The Trews, as well as emerging artists, such as Tim Chaission and Meredith Shaw.

He was also recently named best songwriter of 2014 by NOW Magazine readers.

The record-label signing will reintroduce Ballantyne’s back catalogue, a reformatted album, a re-mastered version by Mark Plancke of Ballantyne’s second release Days of Rain, and bonus tracks on both of the local artist’s albums.

“Northwood offers a tremendous amount of freedom to fully express myself as a songwriter and recording artist,” said Ballantyne.

“I could ask for nothing more.”

Ballantyne released his first single under the Northwood Records banner, She Loves A Man, yesterday (Friday).

It will be available through the Northwood Records store at and digital retailers.

For more information, visit - Oakville Beaver

"Interview - Patrick Ballantyne and Northwood Records"

By: Amanda Hather

Patrick Ballantyne is a folk/rock/country artist from Windsor, Ontario. He recently joined the Northwood Records family and has released his newest single “She Loves A Man”. His last album ‘Days of Rain’ was released in June of 2014, and has been re-mastered for its new home with Northwood. We had the opportunity to talk to not only Patrick to check in on how he’s doing since we reviewed his album, but also to ask Northwood Records a few questions as well. Be sure to check out the review and the social media links for both Patrick and the label below.

First of all, congratulations on signing with Northwood. What made you decide to sign with them? Were you looking to be signed with a label, or did it just happen?

Patrick Ballantyne: There was a fair amount of happenstance, actually. I’m a big fan of Ambre McLean, who is also with Northwood. She and I worked on a new song recently and we got to chatting about Northwood. One thing led to another and here we are! I wasn’t really looking for a label, but Matt Connell at Northwood is prepared to help me get material out in a very supportive way. My main music gig is songwriting but I really enjoy recording. This will give me an opportunity to release music that might otherwise stay in my basement!

Patrick is certainly a great addition to your roster of artists. What made you decide to add him to your label? What do you look for in new artists?

Northwood Records: Here at Northwood, we’re always on the lookout for new artists that will enrich the fabric of the label. We’ve been familiar with Patrick catalogue for some time, and more recently had the chance to be a part of the co-writing process between Patrick and one of our other artists. It was shortly after that, that Patrick began telling us about his interest in releasing some new material, one song at a time. The renewed interest the industry has given to releasing “singles” has been an interest shared by Northwood Records since it’s inception; serving both the future’s demand for consistently fresh material, and music’s past golden age of hit songs delivered on 45’s. It was this discussion that ultimately led to the partner ship between Northwood and Mr. Ballantyne, and we are very excited for the chance to be working with him.

Do you have any advice for artists trying to break out onto the Canadian music scene?

PB: Be aware of trends, then go in the opposite direction. Chasing what is popular will leave you frustrated, so be your own person. What makes you unique as an artist is YOU, so refine YOUR art, not what you think others want from you.

NR: With the constant changing state of the music industry, one rule has and always will outshine any other – make good music. Focus on that first and the rest will come.

You’ve been named Best Songwriter of 2014 by Now readers, how did you feel when you heard this? Did you expect it at all?

PB: Extremely humbled and thrilled. When you see Ron Sexsmith, for example, among the other nominees, honestly, I was thrilled to just be mentioned with him. Winning was certainly not expected.

You’ve written with many names in Canadian music. Are you continuing with that or are you focussing more on your own projects?

PB: My main focus will always be working with other artists, and contributing what I can to their careers. Northwood Records has graciously given me an avenue to release songs that haven’t yet found a home elsewhere.

How was the fan reaction to ‘Days of Rain’?

PB: The feedback has been amazing. Those that commented all seem to select different favorites…a song that moved them in some particular way, or resonated with them at a particular point in their life. The album is best listened to, and was designed to be listen to, as a whole. Some songs flow into the next with a break. As a kid, I enjoyed putting the headphones and getting lost in an album. I tried very hard to create that same vibe with ‘Days of Rain’. Clearly, however, in an era of ITunes and downloading single songs, it can be tough to find time to listen to an entire album from beginning to end. I think it’s worth it though!

Why have you decided to revamp Patrick’s older music and re-master ‘Days of Rain’? Is there going to be anything extra added to the newer versions of the albums?

NR: This was actually more Patrick’s idea than anything. Anybody who has every made a record(even ones that they are immensely proud of…) knows about the collection of little regrets, or lists of “things I would have done differently if I had the chance”. Patrick saw this as his chance to change some of those 20/20-hindsight issues, and we were happy to help him seize the opportunity. Beyond these types of little enhancements, each one of his older albums has been bundled with a never before heard bonus track.

You also released a new single on February 13th, “She Loves A Man”. How have the fans reacted to the new song? Were you a little uncertain about releasing it a Friday the 13th?

PB: Matt and I laughed about that release date…I could say that it reflected both the joy of true love (Valentine’s Day) and the fear and uncertainty of any relationship (Friday the 13th). But, of course, the calendar just fell that way this year. “She Loves a Man” is the antithesis of the rather sombre “Days of Rain”…it’s a little bit silly, upbeat…with a rockabilly vibe. I really like the song and so far the reaction has been enthusiastic!

Is there anything coming up for Patrick that you can give his fans a little hint on?

NR: Let’s just say that beyond looking forward to Patrick’s output of recorded music, we are looking forward to seeing how his songwriting may have the chance to influence the catalogues of some of the other artists we work with…

And finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

PB: Thank you for listening to and buying music I’ve had a hand in writing. I’m aiming to have lots of new songs out this year through Northwood Records so keep an eye (and ear) out!

She Loves A Man:

Days of Rain review:

Patrick Ballantyne on social media:

Northwood Records on social media:
Website: - Canadian Beats

"Patrick Ballantyne: “Close Your Eyes”"

Power Pop Pop Fizz Fizz

Canada’s Patrick Ballantyne is perhaps best known for penning songs used by Big Sugar and the Trews, among others. However, he’s stepping out from behind the curtain and making a mark on his own. Last year, he released an album called Days of Rain and, in January, it was picked up by Northwood Records, given a spit and polish, and had a bonus track tacked on. (Also, he was recently named “Best Songwriter of 2014” by readers of Toronto’s Now alt-weekly newspaper.) Well, the dude’s still at it, as he has (as of today) just released a song on iTunes and Bandcamp called “Close Your Eyes” that sounds vaguely Beatles-ish. With just a smidgen of more power, this could easily be a Big Star outtake. Fans of classic rock will probably lap this one up the most, but the song is catchy in its own subtle way.

If there’s a weakness to the song, it’s in Ballantyne’s vocals. His voice is wispy and reedy, and it sounds like he’s having difficulty reaching the register that the song is to be sung in. Still, as far as a classic rock pastiche goes, this one isn’t too bad. The chorus has a distinctive enough hook, for one. And even if the song does feel like a bit of a throwaway, I think those who like the sound of power pop before the genre was even invented by Pete Townsend will find something to like in this song. And, hey, on Bandcamp the single is retailing for a buck, so if you’re looking for an introduction to a guy who knows how to write songs, even though many of them have been for others, this would be a pretty good place to start before making a commitment to Days of Rain.

Rating: 6 outta 10

Single: “Close Your Eyes”
Artist: Patrick Ballantyne
Label: Northwood
Digital Release Date: 2015-03-13 - Zachary Houle

"Close Your Eyes and Float Away"

With the opening drum work I feel a playful nature skidding across my speakers. Tight and in the pocket, the snap from the snare keeps the vibe up in nature, and the tight kick drum that counters will have your feet tapping if not dancing around the room. The low-end from the bass guitar bounces around the atmosphere and you feel like you can chase the notes to any destination that they blow to. Guitar work on this track swims around the mind with either a playful hop from the electric guitar or a swinging bliss from the open acoustic chords. The texture on this cut provides a retro-pop vibe, but sounds fresh as a cold soda cracking open. The singing on this song is of just pure bliss. You can almost feel the smiles around the room while this track was being cut. Patrick has created a song with an up feel without the typical, “Ooo! Aw! Yeah! Get my freak on!” that seems to permeate just about every other Pop song these days. I would recommend this track to those that like Pop, Alternative and Classic Rock genres. No doubt that with this track on you can “Close Your Eyes” and whisk away from your daily blah’s. - Music Reviews by Michael

"Review of the Day - Patrick Ballantyne's Days of Rain"

There are household names, and then there are secret weapons. Ballantyne has so far been the latter, but that should change some day. After all, audiences country-wide have been screaming along to his co-written hits for a decade, whether it's The Trews' Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me, or Big Sugar's If I Had My Way and All Hell For A Basement. A gifted writer, he has made just two albums in that time, including this, which was released first last summer, and now upgraded with a new cut for larger distribution.

This collection is more introspective than those fist-pumpers he's helped write for others. Days Of Rain has a theme of dealing with loss and moving on, delivered with a lot of depth and an ambitious palette of styles. Rich and moody acoustic tracks such as Roll With It sit alongside big pop numbers, opener King Of The Road the most infectious. The harmony-rich I Follow You adds a Neil Young harmonica break to its campfire singalong feel. Throughout it all, Ballantyne proves himself a master of melody and the turn of a phrase. New track Try Love Instead adds a bit more crunch to the disc, a bluesy turn that would go well for his buddies in Big Sugar. - Bob Mersereau

"CAPSULE REVIEWS by Mark E. Waterbury"

A veteran songwriter from suburban Toronto area, Patrick Ballantyne has started crafting his own songs lately and his finely honed talents shine. Highly versed in various modern pop styles, he really showcases rounded talents in songwriting, vocalwork and instrumentation through a variety of styles ranging from bare bones folk to gritty rock. Music that is both catchy and ear-opening. - Music Morsels

"Patrick Ballantyne – Singer/Songwriter Talks About His Music, Hit A Month Challenge and Big Sugar!"

(Oakville, ON) – The name Patrick Ballantyne is a name not familiar to most people but his list of song credits are. Ballantyne has co-written songs recorded by Big Sugar, The Trews, Tim Chaisson, Alli Walker and Meredith Shaw. Ballantyne, along with his friend Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar/Grady), co-wrote the hits If I Had My Way, Girlwatcher, I Want You Now and All Hell For a Basement. Ballantyne also co-wrote The Trews’ single Poor Old Broken Hearted Me which charted well for the band in 2007. Beat This Heart, a song co-written with Tim Chaisson, received nominations for “Song of the Year” by the East Coast Music Association and Music PEI.

But it wasn’t until 2008 when Ballantyne, who picked up his first guitar at age 14, released his own album – a self-titled album followed by Days of Rain in 2014. Earlier this year Ballantyne signed to Northwood Records who re-released his two albums along with some bonus tracks.

Now Ballantyne has a new project – a challenge that started out as a lunch-time dare over a few drinks. Ballantyne will be releasing one single per month for his Hit A Month challenge which started with the release of She Loves A Man back in February followed by Close Your Eyes in March and his latest single, Someone You Should Know, released on April 21, 2015. The latest single features CBC Searchlight contestants The Oh Chays.

Ballantyne also released a lyric video for the single I Follow You – off the Days of Rain album.

I caught up with Patrick Ballantyne this week to learn more about him, his music and his Hit A Month challenge.

JOEL – Thank you for taking this time for an interview. I would like to get to know you a bit before we get into what’s new with you. You’re based out of Oakville, Ontario. Are you from there originally?

PATRICK – No, I am originally from Windsor, Ontario, just a few hours down the 401. I moved up in the late 80’s. The 1980’s, not 1880’s as many believe!

JOEL – You’ve been in music, mainly as a songwriter, for many years. When did music enter your life? As what age did you get into music?

PATRICK – There were three factors, really. I lived on a very musical block. There were at least a couple of bands who practiced in their basements and my ear was glued to their windows. Secondly, CKLW radio was one of the premier Top 40 stations, not only in Windsor but also Detroit and the entire US Midwest. Their playlists over the years were my music lessons. And Top 40 back then was pretty inclusive and broad – Rolling Stones to 4 Seasons to Andy Williams to Isley Brothers to Johnny Cash to all the Motown music. If it was a great song, it got played, regardless of genre. And third, well, I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show when I was three. And all these years later, that event had a lasting impact.

JOEL – You basically got your start co-writing with Gordie Johnson and also penned songs with The Trews, Tim Chaisson and Meredith Shaw but you didn’t release your own album until 2008. How did you hook up with Johnson and why did you wait until 2008 to release YOUR first album, a self-titled album?

PATRICK – I’ve always recorded demos of songs, pretty much since I started writing. I met Gordie back in Windsor and he helped me with a few songs I was working on in a local studio. From there, and pretty much immediately, we started writing songs together. He was full time music, I ended up in law school but we kept up the partnership. A few of the Big Sugar songs have their roots back to Windsor when we started. As for why I waited to release an album? Well, that project really started off as more demos, but more professionally recorded with Mark Plancke at Sharktank Productions in Windsor. We had just finished recording Kelly “Mr. Chill”Hoppe’s solo record, which he recorded while Big Sugar was on hiatus. I guess I was kinda in the groove and loved what I heard so we recorded a bunch more songs which ultimately become my first album.

JOEL – How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?

PB Press BW WideScreen 1
PATRICK – I’m not so sure how to answer that. My two albums are made up of rather different songs stylistically, some are fairly heavy rock and roll, others pretty poppy, some have a tinge of country and rhythm and blues. As I said, in terms of range, it’s not so different than the radio stations I listened to growing up. Also, I’m a big Beatles fan.Their albums contained a broad range of styles but it always sounded like the Beatles. I think that’s something to emulate.

JOEL – Earlier this year you signed to Northwood Records who re-released your first album as well as Days of Rain (2014). How did you hook up with Northwood Records?

PATRICK – I’m a big fan of Ambre McLean, who is also on the label. I met Ambre when she opened for Meredith Shaw in London Ontario. I was deeply impressed by her and the subtle power in her performance and writing. Anyway…we kept in touch occasionally through Facebook. I mentioned my notion of releasing a bunch of singles, she mentioned I should talk to Matt Connell who runs Northwood. And the rest, as they say, is history.

JOEL – In February you began a challenge called Hit A Month where you are challenging yourself to issue a new single every month. So far you have released two singles and your third single, Someone You Should Know, is being released on April 21. What can you tell me about that single?

PATRICK – It was recorded live off the floor with my pals Kelly and Mike Authier, who perform as The Oh Chays. We did it back at the Sharktank with Mark Plancke. I guess it’s in a country-ish style. It’s pretty light hearted and hopefully fun! We did a second song that day called Mirror, Mirror which I’m also pretty excited about. It’s about as different a song as could be from Someone You Should Know. AND it’s about 7 minutes long which in terms of song length is a record for me. I’m usually all about editing, cutting, chop this beat, cut that word, lose that solo, delete that bridge…get it down to 2.45!!! Sometimes I have to let myself be self-indulgent and this is one of those times. I expect it will be out in a month or two or three…

JOEL – How do you choose what singles to release and how many singles are you planning to release for your Hit A Month challenge?

PATRICK – This started as a bit of a drunken lunchtime dare with a few friends. I’m lucky to have songs I’ve written that haven’t found a home with anyone else, so why not release them myself? That was the plan but songs like Someone You Should Know and Mirror, Mirror and even the last song Close Your Eyes were recently written and quickly recorded. I expect that will be the pattern, some older songs from my catalog, some brand new.

JOEL – Why did you decide to do this challenge? What are you hoping to accomplish with this challenge?

PATRICK – As I said above, drinking and decision making rarely go well together. As for the goal, well, as a songwriter, I hope to write songs people will enjoy and that performers will want to record. This is kinda like an aural business card.

PB Press Colour Portrait 7

JOEL – You’re also releasing a video for I Follow You from the Days of Rain album. What can you tell me about this release?

PATRICK – This was my manager Lulu Demaine’s idea. She had the idea to create a lyric video featuring dogs we know, those ever loyal and loving beasts following their masters and playing with other dogs. It’s a joyful and heartwarming video and really augments the tone of the song which originally stemmed from a bit of a darker place.

JOEL – Are you currently writing with anyone?

PATRICK – I am! And hopefully the fruits of that labour of love will be released soon! I also co-wrote You Got Love on Tim Chaisson’s recently-released record Lost in Light. I love Tim and I really love that song!

JOEL – Any plans for a new album anytime soon?

PATRICK – The ‘song a month’ endeavour may tap me out. But it may make some sense to package them up at the end of the year. Maybe polish them a bit so they are more consistent sonically. We’ll see.

JOEL – What have been some highlights in your career?

PATRICK – Honestly, having the opportunity to meet and work with and just HANG with so many wonderful musicians and writers. Being on stage with Big Sugar was certainly a high, as was playing guitar behind Meredith Shaw for a pile of shows, including several at the Bluebird in Nashville. And, I will never forget hearing If I Had My Way (by Big Sugar) on the radio for the first time. I’d never heard one of my songs on commercial radio. I was elated for about 20 seconds, then immediately started worrying about whether we had any other songs they might play. I guess we did, mercifully!

JOEL – Is there anything else you would like to add or plug?

PATRICK – Well, I mentioned Meredith Shaw who I adore and I’m so lucky to work with. Big Sugar is still releasing compelling records and their stage show just gets better and better. Keep an eye open for Alli Walker who is writing and recording some killer modern country. And The Oh Chays, y’all…righteous and wonderful.

JOEL – Thank you for your time!

PATRICK – And thank YOU for your interest! - Music Life Magazine

"LISTEN: Patrick Ballantyne ‘Someone You Should Know’"

Prolific songwriter and Toronto native Patrick Ballantyne has scored cuts with the likes of Big Sugar, The Trews, Meredith Shaw, Shane Chisholm and Tim Chaisson, but he’s now gaining attention for his own releases. He released his debut album in 2008 before following it up with ‘Days of Rain’ in June 2014, and recently began a songwriting project entitled The premise of the project is simple: release a brand new single every month for a year. This month’s offering is our featured track, a ditty named ‘Someone You Should Know’ featuring the Oh Chays.

“I’m someone you should know,” Patrick sings on the sweet, lilting, old country rock number, while harmonies from the Oh Chays surround him in perfect symphony. Piano, guitars, drums and harmonica gently accompany them for a track that’s great for driving and just for listening at home, complete with an infectious piano solo and a catchy melody. It’s simple, but effective. ‘Someone You Should Know’ went to iTunes on April 21st, and you can check it out below. - For The Country Record

"Review – Patrick Ballantyne & The Oh Chays’ “Someone You Should Know”"

As I’ve stated numerous times on the site, country music can come from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t just come from the southern portion of the United States. Today’s country music comes from the opposite direction, north of the border in Canada. It’s singer-songwriter Patrick Ballantyne’s latest single “Someone You Should Know.” This is his third single of the year. Wait, what? Yes, it’s his third single of 2015. Ballantyne just started a project sardonically called, where he aims to release a single every month of the year. The Toronto-based artist is hopeful this project “encourages creativity and dedication in the craft of songwriting.” On this April single he’s also joined by the duo, The Oh Chays. They’re a husband and wife pairing that is also from Canada that tackles many styles of music.

Does the trio tackle this country/folk single well? Yes, yes they do. It’s a rocking little tune about a man trying to convince a woman he’s someone she should know and care about. The string instrumentation and drums are really paced well, giving the song a fun and catchy beat. The piano interludes also really add another layer to the song too, giving the song a throwback feel. The harmonica solo in the bridge followed by another brilliant piano interlude is one of my favorite moments in the song. It really harkens back to the past days of country music and folk. Ballantyne’s vocals are smooth as silk and suit this song well. The Oh Chays harmonizing with him in the chorus gives it an extra “oomph,” grabbing the viewer’s attention. Ballantyne or whoever made the call to put these three together on this song made an excellent choice. I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing them sing together again.

Everything in this song works together flawlessly. The easy-going beat and attitude of the song is infectious. The piano and harmonica really make the instrumentation stand out. After a few listens the lyrics are easy to remember and to sing along with, making it a great song to hear live. Really the more I listen to this song, I more I enjoy it. It’s simple and fun. This is a song that’s impossible to hate. If Ballantyne continues to put out songs like this it will certainly help accomplish the goal of his HitAMonth project. And giving a lesser known duo like The Oh Chays a chance to be noticed even more is highly commendable. I highly recommend checking out “Someone You Should Know,” as well as Ballantyne’s project. You won’t find much country/folk fusion songs like this one. This is a song you should know.

Grade: 9/10 - Country Perspective

"Patrick Ballantyne - Someone You Should Know - New Single Release"

Singer songwriter, Patrick Ballantyne, has a new single, Someone You Should Know now available via itunes. The tune has an upbeat rhythm and a catchy melody along the format of I Walk The Line featuring the Oh Chays.

This single is on the heels recent release, Days Of Rain, a rocker with a lot of different sides. Here's a summary of Day's of Rain for reference: King Of The Road has an almost alternative pop feel but a seriousness about it. Lift Me Up is another solidly written melody with keys and a tight bottom. I've Got A Feeling is a very melodic folk track with well blended vocals and only the simplest of acoustic guitar backing. Very nice. Title track, Days Of Rain, is really a tight orchestral piece, more of a lead in to one of my favorite tracks on this earlier release, Hundred Year Flood. A solid acoustic rocker shows Ballantyne's strength as a songwriter with it's enchanting melody and slide guitar work. Wrestling With The Devil has a radio rock feel... strong pop sense and solid melody. Christmas Day is another well written ballad with a sophisticated melody. Creating emotion and dynamics with only the basic of instrumentation is really nice. Who Am I has an "Eastern" flavor with percussion and sitar. With a possible nod to the Beatles this track is interesting. Roll With It, a quiet folk rocker has well woven vocal harmonies and bright acoustic guitar rhythm. I Follow You is another strongly written light rocker with a western flavor. Bob Dylan like harmonica work blends nicely against light steel guitar vamps and vocal duets. Very nice! I'm Yours strays further into the country vein but in a very clean way. Tight male vocal duets give this track an almost Kinks like sound. As Soon As I Find Her has a bit of a Neil Young feel. The harp by Kelly Hoppe, is really nicely executed. Wrapping the release is The Devil's Note. With a resemblance to a eurofolk tune but with strong North American styling, this is a really nice track as a closer. Although Someone You Should Know is not on this earlier release, I felt that the track would benefit from some basic background of Ballantyne's earlier work. - Bman

"Patrick Ballantyne"

Patrick Ballantyne is a singer-songwriter-bass player who has worked with a number of musicians, including Big Sugar, The Trews, and Meredith Shaw. Besides releasing two solo albums, he has taken on the task of releasing a single every month for a year at His recent releases include “The Look of You Gone” and “Stay in Heaven.” If you like pop-folk-rock music, enjoy! –Mark Weber Music Blog - Mark Weber Music Blog


When Canadian country/folk singer Patrick Ballantyne released a self-titled compilation in 2008, it was originally just meant to be a collection of demos. However, after it started to generate a fair amount of hype and gain favourable reviews, it became something much more monumental. Its follow-up, Days of Rain, was co-produced with Mark Plancke and, with the exception of some help from drummer Christian Bonk, was performed entirely by Ballantyne himself. This led to his being named Now Magazine’s “Best Song Writer of 2014” in his homeland.

Ballantyne is currently engaged in an ambitious new endeavour, the goal of which is to drop a new single every month. June’s contribution, “Mirror, Mirror”, sees him collaborate with fellow musicians The Oh Clays. It stomps off upon an urgent and enthusiastic acoustic riff. Pleasant percussion joins in during a verse that features a tranquil and touching harmony. Continuously gaining momentum, the piece uplifts as it sets an optimistic atmosphere.

The eager instrumentation jogs along jovially, ensuring that things remain cheerful. At the same, the vivid vocals resonate rousingly, eventually transitioning into a delightful duet which adds an even more affecting edge to an already spirited serenade. The melody becomes particularly moving as the music tones back briefly just past the five minute mark, then the whole thing erupts again for a forceful finale.

Its fast pace and riveting rhythm rarely relent, meaning that it’s a consistently captivating composition. There’s not a dull moment throughout, despite its near seven minute run-time. This is an easy and innocuous acoustic folk anthem that’s worth investigating. Check it out on iTunes now. - Pure M Magazine

"My Excellent Boy – Patrick Ballantyne"

You have got to check out the newest track by Patrick Ballantyne “My Excellent Boy”. This Beatlelesque infused performance is a great listen. Once again Patrick knows how to deliver. - Makeda Taylor

"New single released by Patrick Ballantyne"

By: Amanda Hather

Ontario folk/rock/country artist Patrick Ballantyne released his new single “My Excellent Boy” via Northwood Records on July 21st, the seventh installment of his hit a month series. Inspired by a Facebook status by a proud parent and based around his own childhood, Ballantyne put together this harmony filled track filled with influence from Harry Nillson and The Beatles. Ballantyne also has an upcoming show:

August 11th – Barrie, ON, Donaleigh’s Temple Lounge

My Excellent Boy: - Canadian Beats


Toronto songwriter Patrick Ballantyne – voted best songwriter in last year’s NOW readers poll – is releasing a single a month through his Hit A Month series.

The Big Sugar and Trews collaborator has teamed up with Northwood Records on the project, which has so far yielded seven songs, including Mirror Mirror and My Excellent Boy.

The latter was inspired by a friend’s Facebook post about his son and has a gentle psychedelic feel.

“I was sitting with some songwriter friends talking about songwriting challenges and how we, as songwriters, have to self-challenge to raise the bar,” explains Ballantyne. “Next thing I know, I’m on the phone with my manager asking her to reserve the domain name, and I was committed.”

Visit to listen to My Excellent Boy and the other singles. | @nowtoronto - Now Magazine

"Patrick Ballantyne performing in Barrie for Songwriters Series"

Patrick Ballantyne will perform at The Songwriters Series next week in Barrie.

He has participated in many songwriter events in the past, including Nashville, and really enjoys them.

“Being able to share the song in its purist form, perform it for people who are actually there to hear the song is pretty remarkable and also to be able to do that with other writers is a treat for me,” said Ballantyne, who will be appearing with Jenny Whiteley and Ken Yates.

It be his first time meeting Whiteley and Yates, although he has heard of both artists.

Whiteley is an Juno Award-winning artist (twice, plus several nominations) who, in addition to writing songs for herself, has collaborated with Colin Linden, Fred Eaglesmith and Joey Wright, among others.

Yates, from London, Ont., has studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music. Since then, he has released two albums and was named winner of the 2014 Colleen Peterson Award (by the Ontario Arts Council) for his song The One That Got Away.

Ballantyne’s plans for the evening include some songs from his previous two albums as well as his latest Hit A Month project. The tongue-in-cheek title was inspired by a friend.

“I was having some friends for lunch and, maybe a beer or two were consumed, someone made a joke about ‘hit a month’ and it turn into a project,” said Ballantyne, who acquired the domain name,, and started releasing on song every month.

“(The reaction has) been pretty positive, although I don’t think it is the most efficient way to market yourself, in retrospect," he said.

Nevertheless, Ballantyne has attracted attention, comments and bloggers from the U.S. to England and Ireland. The seven songs he generated for it vary in style and subject matter.

Ballantyne is a songwriter, first and foremost. He started writing songs in his mid-teens, performing them at local coffeehouses. Throughout high school, he didn’t have many opportunities to perform his originals because he was playing in cover bands, but he continued to write.

As an adult, his first CD (2008) was a demo intended to match artists with his songs, but it found its own footing when Canadian music industry icon Ron Harwood placed it among the five best independent releases of the year.

Days of Rain followed his self-titled debut last year. It contained a number of co-written songs with other artists, such as Colin MacDonald of The Trews and Meredith Shaw. He has written with a number of other artists over the years such as Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar) — they have written together on a regular basis since they were in their early 20s — to Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) award winner Shane Chisholm and rising country star Tim Chaisson. The songs have been recorded on records by each artist. He also continues to write and record solo songs.

“I did an album last year that was fairly dark. It was inspired by a couple of people I knew, close friends of mine who passed away,” said Ballantyne. “It was fairly heavy, hung over me for the entire writing process, but I think the songs come out with a light at the end of the tunnel.”

His interest in music was sparked growing up in Windsor in the 1960s, listening songs that were created by couple of musicians in his neighbourhood. He could hear them practising. He also listened to AM radio, which, in those days, played a wide variety of music.

“I was exposed to a wonderful range of styles. I think all of that has filtered into the way I write now,” he said.

When Ballantyne is not performing or writing songs, he works as a lawyer in Toronto. He has been married for 14 years and the couple has a 10-year-old daughter who is into competitive dance.

Local singer-songwriter Brett Caswell hosts The Songwriters Series evening Tuesday, Aug. 11 at the Temple Lounge, Donaleigh’s Irish Public House in downtown Barrie. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost is $10 at the door. For more, visit

Tickets are available in advance at the pub. - Barrie Examiner


Canadian talent is emerging from all corners of the internet in today’s social society, and musician Patrick Ballantyne is making his way into the music scene at a rapid pace. Ballantyne has not only released two studio albums in his career, but this year he has started a project called “Hit A Month.” This project focuses on him releasing a single every month, and on August 25, 2015, he released the eighth single for this year called, “What’s A Girl To Do?” featuring The Oh Chays.

This latest single is very upbeat and has many similar sound aspects to The Beatles from 1969. But while the song is upbeat and gives the illusion of a feel good country ballad, the lyrics talk about something that is the complete opposite of joyful. The song begins with the lyrics, “What’s a girl to do? / Dressed in her Sunday best / You pick the Lord’s Day to confess / What did it prove?” Confessing the fact that she was unfaithful, without thinking of what it would actually prove to everyone. The second verse talks more about how saying sorry doesn’t mean much anymore once you have committed the act. “We slept in separate beds so willingly / This voice inside my head is killing me, chilling me,” it was so easy for them to separate themselves at night while the voice in his head playing over the events and thinking of how everything has played out. The last verse goes on to talk about how the home they had together is now divided and how she hasn’t decided what she wants nor do they know what will happen next. The song repeats a few of the verses over again before finishing with some high notes, and a smooth fade out.

Bringing back an older sound, Patrick Ballantyne has really made a statement with his sound in this latest single. Taking a classic story, classic sound, and giving it a joyful light, is what was done in this single.

Official Audio and Lyrics on Soundcloud

Rock On!

Alyssa (Rolling Music Reviews - Rolling Music Reviews

"Patrick Ballantyne"

Patrick Ballantyne ~ There have been over 125 artists featured in some capacity here on the Digital Earbuds Music Blog, including many outside the U.S. For example, there's solid representation and following from our neighbors up North. I always find it interesting when I stumble upon one of those Canadian artists. I always feel like I've uncovered a hidden gem; only to realize later that the artist is pretty much “common knowledge” in Canada, but lacks his/her deserved recognition here in the States. That said, I'm adding Patrick Ballantyne to the growing list of Canadian artists who have graced the pages of The Digital Earbuds Music Blog demanding our fair, if not equal, “earbuds” listening time.

Ironically, Patrick shouldn't be a stranger to American listeners. He was nominated for the Nashville Universe Awards as the “Best Songwriter of the Year” and for the “Best Song of the Year” for his song Wrestling With the Devil. And just to prove his songwriting nominations and awards are not a fluke, he was hailed “Songwriter of the Year” by Now Magazine's (Toronto) Readers' Choice Best of 2014. He's been nominated for that same award this year (2015) as well, but the results were not conclusive when this issue went live. Of course, I could keep going with a lengthy list of other awards over the years, but let's just say there's been lots, and since Patrick tends to have an infinite supply of images swimming in his artistic brain, I'm certain the poetic words and songs describing those landscapes will continue to flow for years to come.

I must admit, the thing that first attracted me to Patrick Ballantyne, was a project he established early in 2015 that he describes as his “Hit of the Month,” which he describes as “...a sardonic yet hopeful project that encourages creativity and dedication in the craft of songwriting.” I caught up with Patrick in late August and asked him how he felt about the project, and if he could share some positives or challenges about the outcome thus far. He shared, “I called the project 'Hit a month' with my tongue firmly in my cheek, not because the songs aren't good, but who can ever tell if you have an actual 'hit'. Gordie (Johnson) and I used to always say 'let's write a hit', like it was the easiest thing to do. We got lucky on a few occasions, though! The positives have been that I've been focused on writing, refining, recording and releasing almost non-stop since we started. The challenge is exactly the same; it's a constant effort. Also, I'm not sure that marketing a new song every month is wise because it's a bit hurried. Any traction seems to take a few weeks, and by the time it does, we're on to the next song!”

When I asked Patrick to select one of the “Hit of the Month” songs he'd describe as his favorite thus far, he quickly named My Excellent Boy. He continued, “It fairly sums me up from a writing perspective, with the obvious Beatle, Beach Boy, Harry Nilsson references. Lyrically, it stemmed from a friends Facebook post where he used the phrase 'my excellent boy' in referencing his son. I ended up writing about my own childhood.”

Keep in mind that The Digital Earbuds Music Blog satisfies my obsession to “know the artists” I listen to by researching their work, asking questions to engage with them personally, and finally sharing what is may be appealing to your the reader/listener. In Patrick's case, I found he's that guy writing songs for other artists. Since a good singer doesn't always make a good songwriter, they often need his creativity to enhance their singing talents. Unfortunately, we get to hear and visualize the singer, but the songwriter is often buried in obscurity. Some; however, emerge from the the shadows by performing their own words. In my opinion, the most recognized songwriter to make this leap was Carol King. I mean, who DIDN'T own (especially women) her Tapestry album in the 70's? When I mentioned this to Patrick, he was a bit reluctant to be compared to Carol, but I dismissed that as being both respectful, humble and shy. But I pressed on and asked him to name some other songwriters he admires.

Patrick explains, “Well, I already mentioned Harry Nilsson, who would also be in that category, as would Randy Newman and, of course, Carole King. These people, and there are many I'm forgetting as well, are always a huge source of inspiration for me and I'm not exactly comfortable seeing my name in the same paragraph as theirs! We all write songs, though. That's the connection, I guess. Their songs are easily standing the test of time.” He hesitates, and then jestingly adds, “I'll have to get back to you in the future and let you know if I'm keeping up.”

Staying somewhat on the same topic of writing for others, I asked Patrick to share what has been the most rewarding experience in that aspect of his career. He replied, "Anytime I've heard one of my songs on the radio, it is a huge high for me. First was If I Had My Way sung by Big Sugar. I was sooooo thrilled, but immediately worried about what was going to be our next single and if it would get on the radio too! But there were many more to come with Gordie Johnson and Big Sugar. Also, Beat this Heart did well for Tim Chaisson, who is such an awesome artist. I'm excited to have had the chance to work with him. All my co-writers have been a joy, and I am rewarded by having the chance to collaborate with such hardworking and talented people.”

Patrick's latest album, Days of Rain, was released in 2014 and is described by Patrick as “ intensely personal portrayal of overcoming struggle and dark days to find the light on the other side.” Patrick doesn't hesitate to share that there are Motown, Beatles, and Pink Floyd influences. But even more compelling is Patrick's lyrical, yet personal, portrait of both loss and renewal. Many artists expose a bit of their soul in their music, and Patrick is no exception on this album. One song from Days of Rain that reinforces this analysis is I Follow You. I asked him to reflect on that song and Patrick explained, “I wrote that song after a friend's very young daughter passed away. I still am not sure who the 'you' is in the title. Is it God? Am I saying I want to follow wherever 'you' have gone too?" I asked what lyrical line of that song is most meaningful to him and he shared, “The lyrical line, 'After the flowers come, the notes are sent, the race is run, the sun is spent, well who is lighting my view? I follow you...' It is both longing and loss and trying to resign yourself to the horrible bereavement (of losing a child).”

There was quite a gap between Patrick's 2014 Days of Rain and his first self-titled album released in 2008. I asked him what was happening in his career during that gap in album/EP releases? “Musically, my focus has always been co-writing with others. I've been quite busy with that and that's where any success has come from. However, I write a lot of songs that don't find a home with others. Releasing these albums is a way of getting the songs out. Otherwise, they'd just sit in my basement. I'd be thrilled if someone heard something and loved it enough to release their own version!” Following up, I asked him if his fans will need to wait that long for another album in the future and Patrick revealed, “As for another album, I guess we'll see. I'm thinking that at the end of the year I may gather the 'hit a month' tracks into a album.”

And of course twenty hours before Issue 24 launched, Patrick released his September's Hit of The Month. I'd like to think The Digital Earbuds Music Blog was the first to embed the song. So here you go listeners; Patrick Ballantyne's latest song release entitled, Fore The Harvest Comes. - Digital Earbuds


CD: Days of Rain 

CD: Patrick Ballantyne



"A songwriter of breathtaking range, Ballantyne is one of those rare musical talents who is perfectly happy working behind the scenes to create songs that capture the hearts and imagination of music lovers, and hearing them interpreted or re-interpreted through the voices of others." ~ Lithium Magazine

Usually content to for others, and with others, Patrick released his debut self-titled album in 2008. Initially intended as  “demo reel” to match artists with his songs, it found its own footing when Canadian music industry icon Ron Harwood placed it among one of his 5 best independent releases of the year. But, unlike his debut, his latest album, Days of Rain, contains songs that were written without the expectation that they would be adopted out.

Patrick explains, “The whole album came about because there had been a lot of loss in my circle of family and friends. There was all this heaviness going on and it influenced the record.  That's where the Days of Rain title came from. It was about trying to get through the dark to find the light. Even though there is loss, you have to remember all that’s worth living for.  Essentially, that is the theme of the record ... dealing with those struggles. Directing all that into music is how I deal with it.”

Sonically, the songs of Days of Rain are influenced by Motown, the Beatles, Pink Floyd and classic “singer-songwriters”. Lyrically, however, the themes of loss and renewal make clear that Ballantyne is channeling ‘Soul Music’.

Ballantyne produced the album alongside Windsor-based producer Mark Plancke, and played all the instruments on Days of Rain excluding drums, which were played by Windsor percussionist Christian Bonk.Ballantyne will play some select dates in the coming months, while continuing to write whenever he can with long-time collaborators and some new artists. Patrick explains, "I love never knows what will emerge. Writing is what I do most naturally...but every now and again I need to get on reference John Lee's in me, it's got to come out!"

Band Members