Shauna Major
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Shauna Major

| INDIE | AFM

| INDIE | AFM
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Friday, July 14, 2006
By Tyler Simpson, (with photos)

It was insanely hot today, but Shauna Major was still able to put on a rocking show.

Chatting a lot with the crowd, Shauna shared some laughs in between songs.

Rotaryfest was in full swing with people of all ages milling about the performance area and carnival rides.

Various other bands hit the stage keeping the music steady on through the night.

If you missed out today, don't worry.

Rotaryfest is going on again tomorrow.

Same place. Same time. Hopefully, not the same temperature. - SooToday.com


Friday, July 14, 2006
By Tyler Simpson (with photos)

Courtney and Katie Hicks had the right idea on Thursday night. The two found a big rock underneath the shade of a tree to watch the Shauna Major RotaryFest Second Stage performance.

Courtney and Katie aren't just regular fans.
They're family/fans - Shauna Major's second cousins. The girls are up from St. Catharines for the month of July, visiting with family here in the Sault.

If you look closely in the picture you can see the stage where Shauna is performing, between the girls in the background. Both said Shauna's music is great, but they haven't been aware of their family ties to the musician for that long.

"We just found out we were related to her a few days ago," Katie admitted. Shauna performed just after 5 p.m. at the RotaryFest Second Stage. The audience was slim at the beginning, but she got a warm welcome from the crowd that did come out to see her.

After her stint here in the Sault, Shauna is off to Ireland. Then she heads to Sweden where she has a large following due to her website. Shauna is just finishing up her tour of Canada. - SooToday.com


Friday, January 20, 2006
(with photo)
By Carol Martin

Transplanted Sault chanteause, Shauna Major, says that she really appreciates the incredible support she's received from her hometown.

That's why she is coming home to launch her latest musical offering, The Changeling

She will be at Loplop Lounge and Gallery for the launch party and a performance on January 28.

Major says that life in the Greater Toronto Area is a tough go for musicians.

"There's something big and special going on every weekend around here," says Major. "You practically have to take your clothes off and run naked through the streets screaming LOOK AT ME to get anyone to notice you."

But we're pretty sure she'll manage to keep her shirt on at Loplop this weekend.

Major says the CD is already a success, both from an artistic perspective and from a sales perspective.

"I pre-sold a lot of them," she says. "I bet a bunch of those people thought they'd never see me again, but it's finally done and their names are all on the liner notes."

Major says she pre-sold a lot of the ones spoken for while performing in the Sault over the past few years and felt it was important to recognize and thank everyone who supported her.

The full text of the release from her recording company, Wyld Patchouli Records appears below.

**************************
Wyld Patchouli Records presents Shauna Major’s CD release mini tour in support of The Changeling

Shauna Major delves deep into the human psyche - both the common and the personal - in order to uncover the bare emotion that hides under the social defense systems we create as we move through our lives.

Her music and lyrics resonate in the caverns of one's soul.

Shauna's voice is in itself a dichotomy between naiveté and understanding - optimism and pain, charisma and introversion.

Shauna's 9-song indie debut will be released this January, 2006, with arrangements by Spectrebox Productions.

With tracks that range from the loveliest acoustic guitar/vocal combinations to the most sublime heavy rock, Shauna continues to be - the Changeling.

After three and a half years, the much anticipated album from Shauna Major is ready to make its debut.

Originally entitled Shy, the project developed and began to take on another life.

Everyone involved in the project, the producers, musicians, designer, photographer, and Major herself, went through some transformation.

Thus The Changeling was born.

The Changeling, recorded in Hamilton, will be released on Major’s Indie label, Wyld Patchouli Records, in January 2006.

A three-city CD release mini tour will accompany this, with dates in Toronto (her present home and base of operations), Hamilton (her home away from home while recording this disc), and Sault Ste Marie (her actual home town).

Truly embodying the DIY ethic, Major will spend the next year promoting and touring this record.

Major's newly redesigned website, www.shaunamajor.com, will be launched to coincide with the CD release.

Currently, the CD can be purchased online through her website.

Digital downloads are being set up, allowing listeners to purchase the whole album, or individual tunes.

The CD will be in stores soon – details will be on the website.

From a Fan @ Garageband.com:

"I could wake up to this every morn'in."

"This beautiful, sultry, passionate voice murmurs right into my ears … this girl's voice is my latest addiction."

"The vocals really won't get out of your ears for a while after hearing this." - SooToday.com


Friday, January 20, 2006

By Brian Kelly (Column: On The Town) (with photo)

Recording her first full-length disc tool longer than a Sault Ste. Marie native ever imagined.

Shauna Major began work on "The Changeling" in 2002.

The disc was expected to take 12 months to complete.

The Toronto resident ended up spending more than three years to finish her project.

Along the way, Major matched wits with a computer meltdown, a producer who quit and a guitarist who gave birth and moved.

"Life just morphed," she said in a recent telephone interview. "In this project, everyone had a change. It's just been a whole process of development for everybody."

Major releases her nine-track disc on Jan. 28 at Loplops.

Her Sault appearance, her first in the area since performing at the Lost Loon Music Festival in 2004, is one of three CD release parties. Major will also perform in Toronto and Hamilton.

While the prolonged recording of "The Changeling" was "really, really frustrating", Major said she is now a "much better songwriter".

Her lyrics are "more honest," especially in the album's final two songs, "Our 24 Hours" and "Tale of the Goblin King".

Tickets to Major's show are $6 or $21 for the show and CD. Major is the second member of the former Sault band, Four Really Nice Guys, to recently release a disc.

Controller.Controller, with Scott Kaija, released "X-amounts" in October.

Major's website address is www.shaunamajor.com.
- The Sault Star


a Review by Anna Maria Stjärnell

Shauna Major’s debut has all the hallmarks of a great record, good songs, expressive voice and good production.

"Star" speaks of fulfilling your potential and is hope inspiring.

"Fairy Queen" is folksy and dreamy as the title implies. Major weaves a seductive, intense weave of music.

"Shy" is playful and sweet. Major’s voice is terrific here.

"Tale of the Goblin King" with its fairytale lyrics and intense vocal is another good song.

This is a brilliant album.

Posted on June 9, 2006 - www.collectedsounds.com (Sweden)


by Andrea Schneider

Making it as a musician on the Toronto stage circuit is not an easy task. Along with the obligatory thickness of skin and vexatious tenacity, prospective performers need connections, a good shake of talent, and occasionally, the co-operation of the fates. A load of cash to record a CD can't hurt either.
Yet, despite the fact that these daunting prerequisites almost always outweigh the resultant glory, local artists continue to demostrate a remarkable amount of perseverance and ingenutiy in their attempts to make a name for themselves on teh Toronto music scene.

Shauna Major is one performer who has clearly thrown all traces of caution to the wind in her efforts to bring her music to a wider audience.

Refusing to let the skyrocketing costs of album production get in the way of her talent, she has come up with a creative fundraising campaign that allows her to get closer to her goal of recording an album and to the fans who can help make it happen.

A Sault Ste. Marie native, Major moved to Toronto in 1993 in an effort to ignite her career as a singer and songwriter. She put in time as a TTC subway musician, traveled the city's open-stage circuit, and collaborated with other women on shows featuring solo performers and acoustic sets.

Major knew that a demo CD could create valuable inroads to success both within the city's solid stage scene, and on a broader market. Yet, working long hours to raise enough money to create such a valuable tool of exposure was exactly the thing that was keeping her from devoting more time to her bugeoning music career.

Refusing to become trapped in this circular struggle, Major decided to play with the rules of the recording game, and looked into the idea of 'pre-selling' her CD.

Having heard of a singer who had raised funds for the production of his album by actually selling copies in advance of its release, Major enlisted the help of her friends and family. Promising to print each contributor's name in the liner notes, she sent letters out asking for people to invest in her project by pre-purchasing her CD. Using this approach, Major managed to raise $1200 to make her four song demo, aptly titled, Getting There

While this campaign was initially concerned with raising the money to make an album, Major insists that it grew into something much more meaningful.

She was encouraged not only by the substantial investment, but by the interest expressed in her music: "I learned that people who are financially supportive of my career, also enjoy being a part of it." Instead of acquiring mere financial sponsorship, Major uncovered an untapped fan base. As the singer remarks, "keeping these supporters up-to-date on what's going (on) with me helps keep me going. These folks are behind me, so I can't give up now."

With a solid base of support established, Major is currently raising funds for [Continued on page 7] her first full-length CD, entitled Shy. Having worked well in the past, she is once again pitching a pre-sell, this time promising her supporters a spot in the liner notes of her release.

On August 16, an enthusiastic crowd attended a 'Pre-Sale Concert' at Holy Joe's (Queen and Bathurst), and was treated to a cabaret of performances, including a solo set by the artist, stand-up comedy by Gord Disley, and electronica samplings from musician David Paoli.

Major allowed the audience to get a taste of what they were investing in, performing a karaoke-style set to some pre-recorded studio arrangements.

Due for release in Spring 2003, Shy promises more folksy, thoughtful ballads, building upon the acoustic arrangements of past pieces with expanded instrumentation. To listen to some samplings from the artist, or to find out more information on the fundraising campaign, visit www.shaunamajor.com - THE WEST END REVUE ~ Arts Revue, Page 5


by Lisa Beaton

Sunday night's thriving scene at Holy Joe's nightclub is a portrait of resilience and community strength.
Over 150 people are out, raising over $1600 in support of the Anshei Minsk, the popular Kensington Market synagogue that was attacked by arson during the early hours of March 11.

The three-quarters-of-a-century-old Minsk at 10 St. Andrew Street suffered about $100,000 damage to both the building and thousands of books inside. Many of the books were irreplaceable texts from the nineteenth century.

The fundraiser features a strong line-up of local bands, a kosher bar, and a packed house.

Artists Noah Zacharin, Michael Paoli, Audiobomb, Shauna Major & Friends, Liad Twena, Superhalo, and King Frisky have joined forces to play in support of the synagogue, affectionately known in Kensington Market as "The Minsker."

"I wanted to be here to raise awareness, " says Shauna Major, [continued on page 3] a Kensington musician, who helped organize the event.

A lot of people in Kensington Market still don't know about the attack on the synagogue. Both Jewish and non-Jewish musicians are coming together, because it doesn't matter who's faith it is, it's just wrong. In that it was arson, it was a product of hate."

Brothers Michael and David Paoli are both musicians and active members of the Minsk. They quickly organized the event with Major, booking the venue, gathering the bands, making sure there were kosher options at the bar so that everyone would be welcome, and spreading the word - mostly through word of mouth and postering.

"We are really happy with the support. There have been lots of donations. Every band was really keen and excited to come out and play," says David Paoli.

The Minsk's spiritual leader, Rabbi Shmuel Spero takes in the crowds and the music, expressing thanks for the support.

What's going on here turns a sad situation into a blessing. People from all walks of life are coming out and aksing what they can do to help."

The night of the fire, the Rabbi called Michael Paoli at about 3 a.m. to tell him what had happened and asked him to come.

"When I arrived there were so many cars and fire-engines on the street, I thought the place must have burned to the ground," Michael recalls as he takes the stage. "The upper windows were blown out and firefighters were throwing the burning books from the windows - to control the fire.

And you have to understand - when a Jewish book even touches the ground"... he motions picking up a book, brushing it off, kissing it. "We have respect for Jewish books. And if a book isn't going to be used anymore, we bury it."

"The imagery that is connected with the destruction of a synagogue is disturbing," says Maxwell Kates, a member of the Minsk.

"As a Jew, I feel this is a Jewish tragedy, but as a member of the community, I feel this is an attack on acceptance. That's why it is important to have these events."

Vocalist Andrea Fields agrees. "It was not just an attack on the synagogue, it was an attack on a vital part of the community. In rebuilding the synagogue, we are also rebuilding a sense of community among people."

Michael Paoli says the night's event is just one of the ways the community has responded. "People came out and helped with the clean up, people have been donating their time, sending letters, generating donations, many books are being sent to Montreal for salvaging treatment from water damage, some Catholic school kids pooled their lunch money and raised $600."

Many tonight are making donations beyond the $5 cover charge at the door, including Barry Jacobs, a real estate investor. "I hope a lot of other landlords in the area make donations," he says.

Marc Weisblott, a member of the synagogue, says the Minsk is a unique part of Jewish culture in Toronto that began in Kensington Market before the 1920's. The Minsk has a very young and active congregation.

"We have socials that pack the house," he says, adding, "The synagogue and congregation will be restored to their old glory as much as possible."

"We are going to build a library," says Michael Paoli, optimistically. "That's what happens when you burn Jewish books - we build a library." - THE WEST END REVUE ~ APRIL 2002, Front Page


Singer/songwriter Shauna Major holds a CD pre-sale concert tonight at Holy Joe's (651 Queen W., above Reverb). $10 gets you in, a receipt for the forthcoming CD "Shy" and your name in the liner notes. Show starts at 9, and you can get more info on Shauna at www.shaunamajor.com: "I go out to a lot of local shows, and open stages. I love Kevin Quain and his Mad Bastard Cabaret. They play at Graffiti's (170 Baldwin) regularly. I have varied reading tastes; I study comparative religions, I like sci-fi/fantasy like Lord of the Rings, but my favourite book is Whale Music by Paul Quarrington. The movie version is a favourite of mine too." - The Toronto Star, D12 (with photo)


by Brian Kelly

Nearly a decade after she left Sault Ste. Marie to seek fame and fortune as lead singer of "Four Really Nice Guys" in Toronto, Shauna Major will be sharing the stage in her hometown - with four guys.

The dream didn't exactly work out as planned when the alternative rock group made its way to the provincial capital in 1993. The eight-piece band lasted about a year, but after its dissolution Major continued her musical journey with a number of other musical projects - including stints with soul cover band, as a back-up singer and a year with an alternative Latin jazz rock fusion band.

"(Four Really Nice Guys) was a vehicle to get to a bigger ocean, bigger waters," she said.

In 1997, Major added guitar to an artistic resume that long boasted an interest in songwriting. It's an added skill she is very happy to have - even if it took the self-confessed procrastinator a few years to pick it up.

"I just kept getting involved in these collaborative efforts that weren't what I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it," she said.

"(By playing the guitar) I don't have to depend on anybody for the other half of words and music. I can do that myself. I'm not having to go through getting comfortable with someone to write with them or having to wait around for someone else or deal with their crap." A four-track, folk-pop solo EP, "Getting There", was released in 2000. Her next effort, "Shy", is expected out this spring.

The disc will feature a full band. Assembling at least five players in the coming months is something Major acknowledges fills her with some trepidation.

"A band is a lot like a family," she said. "The mix of the personalities will really affect what comes out. You have to be very careful about who you pick."

Major, who appeared in several productions with Musical Comedy Guild, Sault Opera Society and Pull-Chain Theatre before leaving for Toronto, has relied on a unique scheme to fund production of her two discs.

Family and friends in the city contributed $1,200 to have "Getting There" manufactured. They have chipped in more than $900 for "Shy's" pre-production work.

In return, and depending on how much they contribute, donors receive a copy of the disc, acknowledgement in the liner notes and a newsletter chronicling Major's career.

Her pair of shows at Martini's marks her first solo appearance locally.

"I am excited. I am nervous just because (my family) have never seen what I do now. I think some people are going to be surprised," she said.

Musicians Ryan Bullock, Chris Belsito and Joe Della-Savia will also perform on Friday. Della-Savia and Craig West are fetured on Saturday's bill.

Major's Sault appearance comes after Scott Kaija and Jason Myles, two other former members of "Four Really Nice Guys", played Foggy Notions in early December with their band, Space Elevator.

Major's Web site can be accessed at www.shaunamajor.com.

A demo of the title track for her upcoming album can be accessed at www.mp3.com/shaunamajor.

(since the printing of this article, the name of the released has been changed to "The Changeling" and is due out in December, 2005. Tracks and info can be found at www.shaunamajor.com only.) - The Sault Star ~ City


Discography

The Changeling - 2006
Getting There, EP Demo - 2000

Photos

Bio

Shauna's 9-song indie debut, "The Changeling" was released in January (2006), with arrangements by Spectrebox Productions. The tracks range from the loveliest acoustic guitar/vocal combinations to the most sublime heavy rock band.