Rebecca Muir
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Rebecca Muir

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band R&B Soul


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"Star Search - Berklee Showcases It's Most Promising Singers"

STAR SEARCH - Berklee Showcases Its Most Promising Singers
by Bob Young

Berklee College of Music isn't exaggerating when it calls its "Singers Showcase" a night featuring "the stars of tomorrow."
Susan Tedeschi, Paula Cole and Lalah Hathaway all have sung in the "Showcase" in years past. Which is no big surprise, considering that Berklee has become as much of a hotbed for pop and r&b vocal talent as for future jazz heavies. Singers including Melissa Etheridge, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks and Constantine Maroulis of "American Idol" fame all have studied at Berklee.
The "Singers Showcase" isn't "American Idol," however. There's no Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson or Simon Cowell judging the eight participants. No winners or losers. No melodramatic tears.
But there was stiff competition to get to tomorrow night's show. A team of Berklee faculty judges narrowed the field from 200 to the final eight. And the pressure will be on with the Berklee Performance Center stage outfitted for a major pop show, with lights, video and effects providing a starry setting for the student singers.
So let's meet "the stars of tomorrow" right now.

Hometown: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Styles: Soul
Favorite Singers: Eva Cassidy, Bonnie Raitt, Jewel, Ben Harper, Stevie Wonder
Songs To Perform: "Baby, I Love You" (Aretha Franklin), "Crazy" (Aerosmith).
What do you think of "American Idol"? - "Great if you're that type of performer, but it's not for me." - The Boston Globe

"Berklee's Future Stars Shine"

by Bob Young

"Rebecca Muir's earthy soul was a highlight, with a spareness and grit that did justice to Aretha Franklin's "Baby, I Love You." - The Boston Herald

"Guest Rocks Berklee"


"Berklee student Rebecca Muir even managed to steal the spotlight from the honored guest for several moments, as she led the Berklee band in a rocking version of 'Gimme Some Money' that turned many heads - Guest's included."
- The Bostonist - December 2007

"Palestra Music Blog"


Rebecca Muir’s experiences at Berklee School Of Music are sort of like a computer science major writing code with Bill Gates.

Muir performed with Steve Winwood and Linda Rondstadt among others. Now graduated, she does her school proud with her white hot soul singing. Get your education tonight at Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Rebecca Muir at The Lizard Lounge

"Jesse Dee with Rebecca Muir"

The final installment of Dee's residency at The Lizard Lounge sees the rising star invite another rising star to the stage. Jesse Dee plays a super-cool and loose, old-soul style of laid-back music that keeps him endlessly on the road (he plays the House Of Blues in October with Al Green). Rebecca Muir is his guest tonight, herself a smooth R&B soul voice, from Nova Scotia, of all places. A twin billing that's guaranteed at least one "I saw them when" moment.
- Boston's Weekly Dig

"Berklee Plays Host To Canadian Artists"

Berklee plays host to Canadian artists

Victoria Cheng

Rebecca Muir, a Canadian studying songwriting at Berklee College of Music, said she sometimes wonders whether Americans are even aware of her home country just across the northern border.

“Nobody really knows about us, and we might as well not even exist, because most people don’t really think about Canada,” she said.

Then she paused, and hedged toward diplomacy.
“Maybe some Americans do,” she added. “I mean, I don’t want to offend anybody. I definitely don’t want to offend anybody.”

The polite and patriotic songwriter will perform in the “Canada Comes to Berklee” concert next Wednesday, Dec. 12, alongside a handful of fellow Canadian music students and three rising Canadian music acts, to spotlight the continual contributions of our neighbors to the north to musical forms that some might see as quintessentially American.

k-os brings his genre-bending blend of rap, reggae, funk and rock to Boston for the third time this year; Bill King and the Saturday Night Fish Fry will play a blues set infused with the rhythms of the American South; and The New Pornographers, a critically acclaimed indie rock group whose name everyone stumbles over at least once, will round out the eclectic mix.

The show is an opportunity for Americans to find out more about Canadian music, Muir said, including the thriving blues scene in her native city of Halifax, Nova Scotia — a long way away from Robert Johnson’s Mississippi Delta.

“Culturally, I’m sure it’s different, because in Canada, the blues didn’t come from where we are,” she said, noting that she had grown up listening to her father perform with Dutch Mason, Canada’s premiere blues artist. “But in Halifax, we’re just playing the blues because we love it.”

k-os, who was born in Toronto and lived in Trinidad for a few years as a child, echoes this enthusiasm about being Canadian.

“I’m a Canuck to the bone,” he said, adding that his multicultural Canadian identity is clearly visible in his music.

“My music transcends so many different genres of music. Canada is very much a multicultural place. Anyone who comes to Toronto and walks the streets is always like, ‘There’s so many cultures here: there’s Chinatown, and there’s Jamaica-town, and Portuguese-town, and there’s the Italian neighborhood…’

“What speaks to that is the fact that my music is rock one minute, then hip-hop another, reggae another minute, then punk rock another. So I think that’s woven into the fiber of the music.”

k-os’ boundary-breaking work has garnered attention in the United States and Europe. A recent collaboration with the Chemical Brothers yielded a hilarious video spoof of a martial arts movie for a song entitled “Get Yourself High,” earning a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording.

Bill King also appreciates his perspective on the music industry from outside the mainstream. King likens the relationship between his music and that of Canadian pop “monster-park artists” Shania Twain, Celine Dion and Avril Lavigne to the relationship between minority French-Canadian Quebec and English-speaking Canada.

“We’re the French,” he said. “When it comes to blues, jazz, folk, world-beat stuff, it has its own audience; it’s always on the outside.

“It will never be as popular as pop or rock, but the audience is pretty devout and hardcore about the music,” he added, chuckling.

Many of the musicians who will perform at the concert also have a personal connection to Boston and to Berklee.

King was awarded a scholarship to the music school in 1965, but did not have the additional funds available to attend. He saved his letter of admission as a keepsake and is excited about collaborating with musicians in the college he thought about attending three decades ago.

k-os grew up exposed to cultural icons like the Boston Celtics because of “how widespread American culture is,” he said.

During one summer visit earlier this year, he and a couple of friends took off walking after a show and wandered throughout Boston.

“I remember that [walk] almost more than the performance, just checking out the city and marveling at it,” he said. “The city is amazing and the people in the audience were really, really keen and open to the whole idea of the hip-hop I was doing.”

He characterized his style of hip-hop — “if you really want to put it in a category,” he said — as “alternative or different.”

His live performances are backed by a band, an experiment that he notes is gaining popularity around the country, with legendary emcees Rakim and Ghostface Killah recently performing at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., and asking fellow performers for feedback on their bands’ groove and timing.

While k-os said he has encountered some criticism that he is “diluting” genres of music, his attitude — that this exchange of influences has been productive for him — seems to reflect his profoundly Canadian sensibility towards the potential for multiculturalism.

“I think we should be able to patch a lot of different things together,” he said, “and hopefully, if you’ve got culture, that’s going to rub off on anything you do, you know?”

“Canada Comes To Berklee” takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets are $30, or $22.50 for seniors, and can be purchased at the performance center’s box office or through Ticketmaster at 617-931-2000 or For more information, call 617-747-2261 or visit

- The Boston Banner

"Guest Takes Berklee To 11"

"Up until an hour ago, I thought this was a practical joke," said Christopher Guest as he stood at the podium at the Berklee Performance Center on Friday. But there he was, having just been given the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music by Berklee's president, Roger H. Brown, and for the sold-out crowd of 1,200, it was serious business.

These Go To 11: Christopher Guest Meets Berklee
At: Berklee Performance Center, Friday
On the surface, it wasn't difficult to see where Guest's skepticism came from. As integral as it's been to several of the movies he's directed ("A Mighty Wind," "Waiting For Guffman") and acted in ("This Is Spinal Tap"), his music would seem to have been secondary to the stories. But Brown read testimonials from jazz guitarist Mike Stern and Benjamin Verdery, chairman of the Yale School of Music's guitar department, that suggested that Guest's contributions to the field extended well beyond establishing a well-needed reality check for musical self-seriousness.

Starting off the concert that followed with "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight," Spinal Tap's ode to underage girls and redundancy, could have undermined that point instantly. But the more than 25 musicians and singers (including four guitarists, a horn section, and a string quartet) appeared to be having quite possibly the best time they'd ever have making music.

There wasn't much radical rearrangement of the material. "Skeletons of Quinto" played up the song's Spanish influence (especially in Jim Kelly's guitar) while adding aspects of jazz and chamber music. The classical and baroque influences of "Cups and Cakes" were brought to the fore in an instrumental version that was as intricately arranged as "Eleanor Rigby." And Elvis Costello, in his prefilmed congratulations, offered a heartbreakingly pretty solo acoustic version of "A Penny for Your Thoughts."

But too much reinvention would have been a self-defeating mistake, imposing a musicality from the outside rather than letting Guest's songs speak for themselves. Most were simply adjusted to fit the size of the impressively honed band, often resulting in glorious bombast. Guest often joined in on rhythm guitar, deferring most of the leads to Kelly and Mirsad "Cuni" Besic.

An array of singers provided uniformly excellent vocals, from Owen McGreehan's chesty bluster on most of the Tap material to Jennifer Hirsh's swinging and charming "Nothing Ever Happens In Blaine," which captured just the right combination of boredom, frustration, and affection. Rebecca Muir's blues-rock take on "Gimme Some Money" faltered only in her failure to intone "Go, Nigel, go!" before the four guitarists traded solos.

Guest's biggest spotlight came during "Stonehenge," with his portentous English-accented intonations and some fleet-fingered mandolin playing that led to an extended Celtic stomp of a coda. But he stepped back into the ensemble for the closer, a triumphant and rapturously received "Big Bottom," which featured approximately 50 giddy bassists flooding the aisles and Brown providing the thunderous drumbeat. Any man who can get the president of Berklee to pound out an ode to large posteriors surely deserves the title of "doctor."

- Boston Globe


Rebecca Muir debut EP - "Misfit" - 2010

Rebecca's vocals have also appeared on the following albums:

- Jess Ross - 3 Morals - 2010
- Heavy Rotation Records' Dorm Sessions 6 - "Music Man" and "Send Down The Rain" - 2009 *
- Wesley Cole - "Humble Me" - 2006
- Lennie Gallant - "When We Get There" - 2005 **
- Servo - "Hootenanny!" - 2003 **
- Mike Cowie - "Big Night Out" - 2001 *
- Fair Kero - "In A Good Way" - 1999 *

* Internet radio-play
** Juno-nominated (terrestrial radio-play in Canada)



Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Rebecca Muir is a rising star. With her debut EP "Misfit" released this past December (the proceeds of which will all be donated to The American Cancer Society and The IWK Children's Hospital), and the recent LA shooting of her first music video for her highly-anticipated single "Angel Undercover", she has racked up an impressive list of credits. She can also boast work with Grammy-winning producer George Massenburg and Grammy-winning superstar Linda Ronstadt, a live duet with rocker Steve Winwood, and a performance of the national anthem at Fenway Park.

Rebecca has performed with the likes of Gloria Estefan, Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire, Christopher Guest, and Canadian superstars k-os, The New Pornographers, Lennie Gallant, Matt Mays, Classified, Spesh-Ill-K, Bruce Guthro, Lana Grant, Theresa Malenfant, Matt Minglewood, Dutch Mason and Garrett Mason. Add to that performances for the legendary funk band Tower of Power, Melissa Etheridge, The Edge – lead guitarist from U2, and renowned producer Phil Ramone, you've got one impressive resume.

In 2005, Rebecca was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, thus beginning her love-affair with the music scene in the United States. She has become a fixture on the Boston music scene, appearing with the Jazz Cafe at Symphony Hall, and local label Heavy Rotation Records featured two of her tracks on 2009’s compilation CD.

Rebecca is also in high demand as a background singer and songwriter, frequently lending her talents to other artists’ projects. Her diversity as an artist is unparalleled - she has done vocal session work for prolific songwriter Mark Simos (Allison Krauss cuts; country/bluegrass), and has appeared on records by Canadian chart-toppers Classified (hiphop) and Lennie Gallant (pop/folk), both of whom are Juno-nominated and many-time ECMA winners. She has also appeared on jazz, classic rock, R&B, pop, country and electronica records. Rebecca’s solo album promises to be a finely-crafted mix of all these musical flavours. She is currently performing her original material with her band throughout New England, and travels to New York, L.A., and Canada from time to time for performances.

* The Juno Awards can be considered the transnational counterpart to the United States’ Grammy Awards.
* The East Coast Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony based in Atlantic Canada for music appreciation on the East Coast of Canada.