Saturday, December 25, 2010

River Rock Casino, Richmond BC, live entertainment, Vancouver band, Rachael Chatoor, covers.

Rachael Chatoor at River Rock Thursday Dec 23rd.
My band on this night was impeccable:
Russell Marsland -Guitar
Shawn Soucy-Drums
Mick Dalla Vee-Bass

Guest Tyson Froese joins Rachael and her amazing musician friends on Baby Blue (a song his father Howard Froese played on when he recorded it with the band Chilliwack )

I was asked to sing along on this song which I was not expecting, but I was given the lyrics so that I could read them. This is the first time for me to sing this song, so glad the moment was captured on video.

For more info on my corporate band the HitZone see website!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the final League of Rock showcase at the YALE is upon us!

Well the final showcase is upon us, this Thursday Dec 9th the 4th session of the West Coast League of Rock will take the stage at the Yale 7-9pm and dare I say it, this has been the best session yet.
Here are some pictures from the previous 9 weeks to give you a glimpse of what you can expect when you join the League. :)

The first few weeks are dedicated to rehearsing at one of Vancouver's best loved jamspaces, NAL sound.

Kara (who helps facilitate operations in the League) in rehearsals!

me, generally just hanging out with the bands and cheering them all on!





Dave and Stephen

 (another one of our invaluable co-ordinators, whom we could not run the West Coast League without! )



Sean and Jay




Every week members enjoy receiving advice from professional coaches. Here pictured is Shawn Soucy who  toured and recorded with countless artists including  One Horse Blue, The Blue Shadows, Farmers' Daughter, Ellen McIllwayne, Joel Feeney, Lisa Brokop, Doug and the Slugs, and many others. His band Alibi was a Juno award nominee and, he is also the drummer for my band!

After a few weeks the bands get together and perform for each other in what are known as the midway workshops. The first midway is held in the big room at NAL sound.  This is where my part comes in as I am the MC for the events.
Pictured here with Lory who is also a part of the LOR production team and she is practically the glue that keeps this thing running with the way she pays attention to all the details, emails to members and paperwork (ie: scripts for me).

Taking the stage,  Bitter Suite


Steven (whom I am throwing a shout out to for helping me with his gracious and generous donation to a family in need, thank you Stephen and Parker Mattresses, what a great company!)

Corinna (you may recognize her from this post here )

Moose Nukl takes the stage

Watching the other bands...

Coaches Shaun Verreault (Wide Mouth Mason) and Simon Kendall  (Doug and the Slugs) who have been mentioned several times on my blog already thanks to the League of Rock, were the first mid-way coaches for session four and these fellas are always so hugely helpful and very appreciated for all the support and insight they have to share and continue to give to the members of the League of Rock.

After the first midway we had another week of  rehearsals where we enjoyed the coaching advice from Camille Henderson, a friend of mine whom I featured in a video on this blog post. Camille played the role of Shirley in the classic Canadian movie My American Cousin in 1985, and then went on to become part of the Vancouver-based pop group West End Girls from 1991 to 1993. Following her departure from the band in 1993, Henderson became a backing vocalist for Sarah McLachlan, and also appeared as a vocalist on albums by Delerium. She is the daughter of Bill Henderson, a singer-songwriter associated with the bands Chilliwack and UHF, and is a vocal instructor in Vancouver.  I didn't have my camera with me that night so I don't have a pic of Camille in action with the League, but I poked around and found this picture online with me and Camille, credit goes to the North Shore News.

The next midway was held at the Yale and the community really came together and cheered each other on. If this midway was any idication of how the finale will go, then the showcase 9th is going to ROCK!

Edible Looking Plastic rocks out!

Sweet Kerosene

During the midway we were glad to welcome back coaches Mick Dalla Vee and Marc La France to share their vast wealth of experience. Mick and Marc both have been mentioned on my blog a number of times for  their own projects as well as having been featured as the rock solid musicians who back up Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman. The trio (including Brent Howard who is also a LOR coach)  have just completed a world wide tour with Bachman and Turner to support B and T's recently released album of new kick ass material. The weekend before Mick and Marc came to work with our members, they had just performed with B and T during the half time show at the Grey Cup so the room was buzzing.  All the members at the League of Rock were so excited they were able to fit us into their busy touring schedule it seemed to be a bit of a thrill for all involved. I'll take an instant to send a shout out to Mick who records/produces my songs for me, and let you all know that bands and singer songwriters who are looking for a producer, might like to check out his great work at Millennia Sound Design.

The final week of rehearsals brought coach Brent Howard and by this time he really just had to share some 'finishing touches' advice with everyone. At the end of the night some of the members of Bitter Suite enjoyed a unexpected surprise as Brent jumped onstage to show them a bass part. Somehow this moment turned into a few songs and really, everyone was pretty stoked about how much fun it was to play with him.

The final week brought  LOR co-founder   Topher Stott all the way from Toronto to produce the bands at Nimbus school of recording arts. Each band by now had chosen their strongest song and they all spent half a day recording it with the guidance of Topher who produces all the League of Rock recordings  from both Vancouver and Toronto.

I myself was gigging that weekend so I couldn't make it to all the recording sessions but I made it back to town and caught the last band Bitter Suite as they finished off their last tracks and they knocked it out of the park!

Special thanks needs to go out to Tempus Drums who are a new sponsor in the League of Rock family. Tempus are handmade, high quality specialty drums that you MUST check out as I can't possibly cover it all here, but drummers, I invite you to see what the fuss is all about by going to the website. You can also see the drums in action if you come to the Yale on Thursday as there will be a kit there and a planned 'Drum off" Not to be missed......and oh, by the way, amongst the unusual materials Tempus uses, well lets just say they could have called their company "HEMP us" (wink wink)

What else will you see on Thursday besides four bands who met only 10 weeks ago  performing at the Yale? Well we will be giving away thank you awards including  a Tempus snare drum, a guitar from our long time sponsors Long and McQuade, software from IK Multimedia , and more.
Still want to know more? Check out these testimonials from past members and see more success stories in November's Sound Check, as well as the latest special deals for new members here!

Or, you can always watch this vid from session one!

So, ready to sign up and join the most welcoming music community around? Now were talkin! 
Next session starts here~! 

See you on Thursday! xo

Friday, November 19, 2010

CJSF Radio: Sound Therapy, podcast link!

                                     Direct link:  CJSF Radio: Sound Therapy / Great Canadian Roadtrip

Last Monday night I was invited for an interview on Sound Therapy Radio. I played a few songs, chatted with the panel and though I was nervous before I arrived, once I got there I was made to feel very welcome and wound up having a really great time. I thought I might share a link to the podcast with my blog friends, so without further adieu, here it is. Click the link above and go to the Nov 15th 2010 show to take a peek behind the veil and hear the inspiration and stories behind some of my songs!

Cheers, Rach

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Jamming~ acoustic covers, Rachael at the Kingswood.

Just sharing a few clips of some cover songs played at the Kingswood Pub in Richmond BC.

Tuesday and Friday nights I can usually be found here working my way through a few solo acoustic sets. Sometimes other great musicians show up to jam with me, thanks to Eddie Lam and Chris Newton for sitting in on this night!

Enjoy, Rach!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

early morning rock n roll, the League of Rock bands take flight...

League of Rock on Breakfast Television,
session four begins!

A few weeks ago myself and a band assembled from past League of Rock members got ourselves out of bed before the crack of dawn to go and rock some tunes on Vancouver's Breakfast Television. (To see the BT feature click here and wait for it to load)
Host Greg Harper (pictured at top) and his BT audience got a little look at all things League of Rock and it was an exciting morning to say the least. We talked about our rearsals at NAL jamspace where bands come together and rehearse and prepare for thier final showcase at the Yale, and how they do this with the assistance of guest pro and celeb coaches such as Mick Dalla Vee (pictured) who is a member of rock legend Randy Bachman's band which is currently on tour with Bachman and Turner (who by the way just released an outstanding new album this past fall ). Mick also records/produces my original music and if you are a singer songwriter looking for a studio I suggest you get in touch with him here.
So for Breakfast Television host Greg Harper gamely played some drums and walked the viewers through the process of being in the league, the band played some tunes and we talked about recording in studio which is something all the bands are able to do in week 9 of each session before the final live showcase. To hear all the fantastic recordings from past Vancouver and Toronto League of Rock sessions please click this link.
Going into studio and performing are often activities that are 'a first ever' for new members and I have to say, I love that part of the LOR, witnessing all the firsts people get to experience.  It was such great fun morning (even if it was early and I did have gig the night before) and it helped kick off the fourth session with a terrific bang.  A session, I am happy to report, is already on its way to full swing.

Our first Join a Band draft event is where everyone shows up and is put into their band, then they break off into groups to discuss names, music, songlist etc...... it was held at NAL jamspace.  It was really nice to see so many friendly faces from the past sessions (dear Stephen (pictured), my pal since session one was a delight to see after such a long busy summer away ). The energy was so good in the room that the brand new members felt welcome right away and I noticed  there was considerably less nervous energy in this group compared to previous sessions. This I attribute to the fact that so many of the members have gone through the league before. It seemed to me that them knowing what to expect, left them without that persistent sense of fear and in its place was only anticipation and excitement (with a few butterflies thrown in for good measure).  This is how it is supposed to be really and is one of the benefits of using a universal language like music to connect people. It is exemplified in every session I observe, I see that  not only through music do these people become friends, but they learn to really hold one another up so that the rest may blossom. It's so frikken cool.  

So people jammed a little, ate pizza, talked music, socialized a lot and we all walked away with each others email and contact info. Everyone set out to communicate throughout the week and prepare for our first real rehearsal date the next Wednesday. Which also went beautifully. Never before have I see bands gel right away like this. It's truly remarkable and a real pleasure to be a part of, I can't wait to see it all evolve.

(above  pics, observing the bands  is our fantastic award winning keyboardist/composer guest coach Simon Kendall  (Doug and the Slugs), chillin out with the members and giving advice to the bands on week one~!)

Big thanks go out to past members Wayne Oberst, Lory Senft and Kara Bently for handling most of what it took to pull this whole thing together this session. It takes a lot of time and dedication to get the word out and let people know how much genuine fun and benefit the League is for this here hidden population of music, the unsung heros of rock.  I think they are testament to the fact that this League is about the people in it as much as it is about the music they make when they are together. So thanks go to them for what they do, for each to help support 4 bands through this process as well as play in a band themselves...not to mention run their own lives.......its really something.   I am proud to be able to M/C host the west coast  League of Rock and am I glad so many great musicians are a part of it.  I also love that I can turn to LOR members if and when I am looking to assemble bands for charity events next summer.

So, go get your instrument and practise.
Rach xo