Skip to main content

CD Review: Singer Songwriter Elessar Thiessen: A Rainy Week in Paradise (Independent - June 10, 2015)

With material from a media release:

CD Review: 
Elessar Thiessen: A Rainy Week in Paradise
(Independent - June 10, 2015)

Buy the CD from iTunes

A Rainy Week in Paradise is the fourth - and first full-length - release from this Winnipeg based singer/songwriter and a strong entry into what is admittedly a crowded field.

Elassar is said to have been drawn to study music during those long Canadian (Winnipeg!) winters and bought his first guitar at the tender age of 8. The lyrics cover personal territory - longing, angst, hope and love and all that. Musically, he covers ground from pop to soft rock to jazzy adult contemporary and touches down on traditional blues too for a nicely diverse range. He's a full-time independent producer as well as a musician, accounting for the lovely, clean sound on the recording. You can listen to some of Elessar’s work at this link.

Another Love Song leaves the focus on his nimble voice and an unabashedly romantic sentiment with a standard pop feel that veers into vintage jazz territory. I Need a Woman is rhythmic and showcases his languid vocal delivery with jazzy chord changes. There's a distinct flavour of rnb in many of the songs and an uptempo, radio-friendly pop/rock vibe to tracks like I Don't Wanna Go and A Rainy Week in Paradise, the title track.

The intensely personal inspiration comes through in some of the songs - like Sister, a ballad ode to a sibling who's leaving home. Without Him is a melancholy ballad with a torchy kind of feel and lyrics that touch on existential angst.

You Girl, a duet with Alexa Dirks and her sultry vocals, is a high note of the album - a slow, sexy and bluesy tune complete with churchy organ riffs and a stuttering drum line.

It's a thoughtful album that should please fans of the singer songwriter genre.

Members/Instruments: (For the album)
Cam Friesen - Drums, Percussion; Brody Britton - Percussion; David Landreth - Bass; Jordan Jackiew - Organ/Piano on Track 5; Alexa Dirks - Vocals on Track 5; Catherine Wylee - Supporting Vocals on Track 3; Elessar Thiessen - Vocals, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Programming

1. Another Love Song
2. I Need a Woman
3. Lover Dear
4. I Don’t Wanna Go
5. You Girl (feat. Alexa Dirks)
6. When the World Ends
7. Without Him
8. Truth
9. A Rainy Week in Paradise
10. Sister
11. The Perfect Bloom



What Else Is Hot This Week?

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Review: Night of the Kings / La Nuit des Rois by Philippe Lacôte

Night of the Kings
La Nuit des Rois
by Philippe LacôteA France, Côte d'Ivoire, Canada and Senegal co-productionNow Playing In The New York Film FestivalImageAfter Venice and the Toronto Film Festival, Philippe Lacôte's Night of the Kings has moved on to conquer New York City. A young pickpocket (Koné Bakary), is incarcerated in the giant La MACA prison, the largest in Côte d’Ivoire. The prison offers a hostile atmosphere, where the guards have long given up keeping order and the prisoners run the show, albeit confined within the prison walls. They dance, sing, and mingle at will in a common area called The Jungle. There is a violent power struggle between Lord Blackbeard (Steve Tientcheu), who runs things, and the younger leaders of other factions. Blackbeard is old and infirm, and he knows he can't hold on forever. But, he does want to hold on long enough to leave on his own terms. Blackbeard designates the newcomer as the new storyteller - the griot - called Roma…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…