I have enjoyed every single on-air conversation I've had on Hop The Fence. And so I find it hard to single out the Top 10 for 2018 - but here it is! (in chronological order):
- Feb 16: Sue Foley. By age 21, Ottawa-born Foley was living in Austin, TX and slinging guitar jams with some of the best bluesmen in the world. This year, she released her new CD, The Ice Queen featuring Jimmie Vaughan and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. Her performance at the NAC was riveting.
- March 2: Our Lady Peace’s Steve Mazur phoned in before the band’s show @TD Place. It was an honour to chat with the lead guitarist of a band who were a big part of my formative years. He shared a funny story about one of his favorite touring experiences which happened right here in Ottawa. I wrote about it in Ottawa Life: Still At Peace 25 Years Later.
- April 6: Indie-rock quintet Hillsburn performed their sophomore album, The Wilder Beyond @Live on Elgin. I spoke with Clayton Burrill whose siblings and bandmates perform some of the best 3-part harmonies on the east coast... or any coast for that matter.
- April 27: Rob Lutes brought his 7th album, Walk in the Dark to the NAC that night. It was a pleasure inviting this well spoken and charming gentleman to the CHUO studio. He is the personification of folk, roots, Americana music as an art form.
- June 8: Rita Carter. A real powerhouse! A bundle of energy and talent with a great set of pipes. She’s a shining and rising star from our fine city. Watch for her in years to come.
- June 29: Paul Reddick. What can I say? Hosting this JUNO award winning bluesman on Hop The Fence was a highlight of my year. He and his bandmates continue to keep the spirit of classic blues alive and thriving.
- July 6: Tara Shannon wrote and performed, Butterfly Child about the late Jonathan Pitre, a young Ottawa boy suffering from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). The Butterfly Child project was instrumental in raising awareness and funds for EB research. This year, she collaborated and performed at Bluesfest with rising star, indigenous local artist, Cody Coyote. She has also raised awareness about Lyme Disease, an increasing threat to all of us in the region as our climate changes.
- Aug 31: Jim Bryson released an EP called Tired of Waiting featuring 6 new songs all composed on an old guitar. The renowned and prolific local artist had lots to talk about. You can read more about him in an article I published in Ottawa Life Mag: Jim Bryson No Longer Waiting.
- Oct 12: Erin Costelo. She is an inspiration to all women in music. She is the only woman to have received a JUNO award as Producer. After devoting her talent to others, she returned to her own work in 2018 releasing an outstanding new album, her fifth, Sweet Marie.
- Nov 9: Kaia Kater came to the Blacksheep Inn with her latest album, Grenades. Wise beyond her years, this talented young musician and singer uses her multi-national background as inspiration for her unique brand of music.
- Nov 23: Richard Reed Parry. After attending Canterbury High School for the arts in Ottawa, he launched into a successful music career with Arcade Fire. During his downtime off the road he creates introspective, meditative music compositions. I wrote more about it in Ottawa Life Mag online.
Honourable mentions go to The Peptides, Dee Dee Butters and Church of Trees, and Kimberley Sunstrum.