Playing for Change

One world, one voice, one day

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

• Without fail, the Playing For Change website makes me feel good. Most often it gives me goose bumps, but it’s always (in all ways) a joyful, uplifting experience. There’s no better time to feel this yourself than on September 24 when a global community gathers and unites – through the power of music to affect positive change – on stages, street corners, in schools, yoga studios, cafes and living rooms. More than 300 events in 50 countries are listed at www.playingforchange.com

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Those Nashville Blues – Victor Anthony salutes Canada

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

• The world is awash in opinions on immigration – to say nothing of millions of tragically desperate refugees – and heated debate about citizenship, much of it spilling over from the “Excited States.” One contribution most worthy of attention and repeat listening hails from the deep, musically iconic cradle and melting pot far south of the 48th parallel: Victor Anthony’s new release, Those Nashville Blues.

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World’s best songbook

New edition continues to empower

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

• As you read this, folks everywhere are singing their way through thumb-worn copies of Rise up Singing. First published in 1988 by Sing Out!, this songbook for group sing-alongs has circulated the planet – including China and Russia – without the benefit of commercial publicity or promotion. Now, millions of fans can’t wait to put their hands, voices and instruments to work and play on the Rise Again Songbook, the sequel to the best-selling “bible” of songbooks. Over 200 musicians, including Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Judy Collins, James Taylor and Bruce Springsteen donated the use of their songs for the book. One month after its initial publication, Rise Again, with 1,200 additional songs, is in its second printing.

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Slow Music & the Summer of Transformation

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

• Hope you’ve had one or two transformative musical moments during this far-from-finished summer. One such moment occurred under the canopy of trees at stage 3 at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival when hundreds of highly appreciative fans soaked up the sight and sounds of Rising Appalachia (as in throw an apple at ‘cha) and lined up afterwards in droves for autographed CDs and a few words.

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Sounds of hope and active community

Leah and Chloe Smith from Rising Appalachia

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

• One of the most interesting, promising quotes I’ve been unable to shake this year is from Leah and Chloe Smith, two 20-something sisters who front Rising Appalachia. “We are building community and tackling social injustice through melody – making the stage reach out with octopus arms to gather a great family.”

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The ultimate musical summer

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

It’s here. Let’s get started; www.bcmusicianmag.com is your link to the 2015 Ultimate Summer Festival Guide. This amazing, free resource connects you to 348 music and arts festivals and events all over BC, with lots in Alberta and Washington and some in Manitoba, Yukon and NWT. You’ll find street fests, art walks, concerts in parks, multi-venue five-day camp-outs, stages in barns, backyards and outdoor amphitheatres. Offerings include un-crowded to jam-packed and slick to impromptu.

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Instruments Beyond Borders

MUSIC RISING by Bruce Mason

Warning! This story may be addictive and you’ll be hooked into wanting much more. Symptoms include clapping, shouting, dancing and jumping for joy. Frantically searching for unused musical instruments in dark corners. Craving and purchasing a ticket to one of the most satisfying evenings of your life. Feeling as turned on as when you hear your all-time favourite song. Twice.

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