Congrats to all of our Campers!

Six of our fellow Songcampers have been nominated for nine 2015 ECMA Awards!

And the nominees are…

Mo Kenney
Pop Recording of the Year – In My Dreams
Song of the Year – “Telephones” (Written by Mardeen, Prod. Joel Plaskett)
Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year (Fans can vote here:

Molly Thomason
Rock Recording of the Year – Columbus Field
Songwriter of the Year – “Buttons”

Corey Lerue
Producer of the Year
Electronic Recording of the Year – “Blinders” (Neon Dreams & Dezza ft. Laura Roy)

Laura Roy
Electronic Recording of the Year – “Blinders” (Neon Dreams & Dezza ft. Laura Roy)

Willie Stratton and the Boarding Party
Rising Star Recording of the Year – Deserter

Carleton Stone
Solo Recording of the Year – Draws Blood

Congrats, Everyone!

gordie sampson songcamp now accepting submissions

At the Gordie Sampson Songcamp, emerging writers come from all over the province of Nova Scotia to collaborate and co-write songs with their peers, mentor with award-winning artists, and learn from music industry leaders.

We are now accepting submissions for songwriters to attend the Gordie Sampson Songcamp, which takes place in Ingonish, Cape Breton in early July 2015 (exact dates to be determined).

To be eligible to apply, you must:
– currently live in Nova Scotia
– be between the age of 16-24
– have links online to where we can listen to 3 songs you’ve written (on your artist website, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, are most common) OR email us MP3 recordings/demos

There is no fee to attend the Gordie Sampson Songcamp. Accommodations and meals are provided at no cost to the songwriters. Only 5 songwriters will be selected to attend. Only successful candidates will be notified.

To apply, please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:
– Your first and last name
– City/town where you currently live
– Links online to where we can listen to 3 songs you’ve written (on your artist website, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, are most common) OR email MP3 recordings/demos
– Lyrics for the 3 songs you are submitting, in a Word document
– 1 to 2 paragraphs explaining your musical background

You can include 3 additional websites like your Facebook fan page, Twitter, and links to videos and press online.

Deadline for submissions is: March 15, 2015

The Gordie Sampson Songcamp Song is an annual event, conceived by Gordie Sampson, a multiple-award winning Canadian songwriter and artist, as a way to “give back” to the community that has supported him. The intent is to nurture young songwriters, give them access to knowledge, and to help them develop tools that will benefit their writing careers.

Past songwriters include Molly Thomason, Dylan Guthro, Carleton Stone, Mo Kenney,Evan Meisner, Breagh MacKinnon, Barbara Cameron, Brandon Johnson, Elijah Wohlmuth, Jenny MacDonald, Natalie Lynn, Dave Sampson, Dana Beeler, Seamus Erskine, Willie Stratton, Laura Roy, Nicole Ariana, and Kyle Mischiek.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners for your generous support: Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage; Music Nova Scotia; The Ceilidh Cup; SOCAN; and the SOCAN Foundation.

Three songcampers join forces to create new band

Halifax musicians put solo careers aside, join forces for new band ‘Port Cities’
Port Cities
Carleton Stone, Breagh Mackinnon and Dylan Guthro pose for a photo at the Carleton earlier this week.

For a musician, there’s nothing like being on the road with your friends.

Especially when your friends are artists you used to be in competition with, said local musician Carleton Stone of Dylan Guthro and Breagh Mackinnon.

“There’s a lot of singer-songwriters, especially in this community. We were kind of doing our own thing but also competing against each other,” said Stone, sipping beers with Guthro and Mackinnon in the back room of the Carleton Music Bar and Grill in Halifax.

“We just thought, there’s such a great chemistry between us, why not try to join forces and do something that’s bigger that any of us could do on our own?”

Stone, Guthro and Mackinnon are putting their solo careers on the back-burner and forming the band Port Cities.

Although all three have found success on their own, it wasn’t a hard decision to leave that behind, said the 23-year-old Guthro.

Read more…

songcamp’s east coast influence featured in the guardian

Nova Scotia: oceans of music at the edge of the Atlantic

Drawing on music from the Gaelic folk brought by Scottish refugees to hip-hop imported from New York, the Canadian province has a sound all of its own

Nova Scotia’s dynamic music scene is filled with a distinctive array of musical influences and an eclectic mix of genres. It is centered around Halifax, a city with a large student population. Sitting on the edge of the world’s second-largest harbour, it is a city steeped in history, from the Halifax explosion in 1917 that killed thousands, to the hundreds of bodies laid to rest there after the sinking of the Titanic. It’s a place that has inspired many musicians and singer-songwriters (Sarah McLachlan spent her formative years here, while folk singer Anne Murray based her career in Nova Scotia), and has deep ties to Scotland and Ireland, dating to the Gaelic diaspora who first settled there in the late 1700s.

The rugged sea coast of Cape Breton Island forms the northernmost tip of the province. It is a place of vast, winding valleys that lead you into the heart of Celtic culture and tradition. Acclaimed fiddler Natalie MacMaster is one of the region’s most celebrated musicians, while Ashley MacIssac broke new ground with his distinctive rock-infused fiddle sound.

Singer and songwriter Gordie Sampson was born and raised on Cape Breton Island. He earned a Grammy for co-writing the country hit Jesus, Take the Wheel, performed by Carrie Underwood, and has written for some of the biggest names in country music, including Keith Urban, Blake Shelton and Hunter Hayes. Sampson’s invitation-only songwriting camp is a choice destination for a select group of promising young musicians each year, who make their way up to Cape Breton hoping to glean what they can from his years of industry experience.

Read more…