December 8, 2009

The ‘Woodside Wintertime Revue’ at the NSCC Waterfront Campus
The NSCC Music Business Students present a Christmas Charity Concert

The First Annual Woodside Wintertime Revue, a star-studded Christmas charity concert, will take place on Thursday December 10th in the NSCC’s Waterfront Theatre.

The intimate, ‘unplugged’ show will feature performances by from local artists Andrew Sisk, Charlie A’Court, Christina Martin, Dan Ledwell, Steven MacDougall, Tanya Davis, Ian Sherwood and Anna Denova,. The show will also showcase current and former NSCC students Danny MacNeil, Jenny MacDonald, Jon Allen and Pat Walsh, Rose Folks, Sam Lee and The Wild.

The Waterfront Theatre is located on the college’s Waterfront campus in the Woodside neighbourhood of Dartmouth. All proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Music Therapy Department of the Capital District Health Authority.

The show is open to all ages, with a licensed area. The Revue is a production of the students of the Music Business program.

Tickets are $15 in advance, available at any Ticketpro outlet at noon on Monday, November 30th or online Tickets will also be available for $20 at the door. Doors are open at 6:30pm, with the show starting at 7:30pm.

More information is available at the NSCC Music website,






November 23, 2009

‘Crank and wail,’ says A’Court

The Truro Daily News

TRURO - ‘Crank and wail.’
Alone, the two key words in that phrase have many meanings but when used in a musical context, you should be well-advised the tunes are going to pulsate with life, volume and emotion.
And that is especially true when award-winning musician Charlie A’Court tells you that will be the case when he and Little Derek and the Haemo Blues Band hit the stage this Friday night at the Engine Room.
“It’s going to be electric and it’s going to be loud,” A’Court said with a laugh during a recent interview. “No one’s going home until they’re full of sweat,” he added.
“We’re going to crank and wail.”
Of late, A’Court has been touring on his own, promoting his latest CD, Live at the Marigold, which featured the soul-filled performer backing himself with just an acoustic guitar. Friday night’s show at The Engine Room, however, will be with the backing of a tight band that was put together in 2004 with a special purpose in mind.
Since the inception of Little Derek and Haemo Blues Band
in that year, the group has helped raise more than $110,000 for leukemia patients at the QEII Hospital in Halifax.
Derek Caine, the Little Derek of the band, was diagnosed in 2004 with leukemia.
“So about five-and-a-half years ago I was diagnosed with leukemia and after the seemingly mandatory period of feeling sorry for myself, I snapped out of the doom and gloom and just started to enjoy every minute of every day and will do so for the rest of my life,” Caine explained during a recent interview.
“Then I put a lot of things into motion, one being the decision to work towards retirement and enjoy my family and also to do those things I had always wanted to do and for whatever reason had never done.
“So then I turned to music. I had never studied or played any form of music and just loved the blues, especially the wailing blues harmonica, so I started to play and found a release in music that helped me in many ways both coping with a terminal disease and healing. I was lucky and had made some friends in the music scene that played blues and I guess with what I was facing they made me welcome to sit in and play and learn with them.”
From playing and learning, it was suggested to Caine by Ed Levick of Life-Line Entertainment Group that he do a CD, “to do it for you” and to help give something back, particularly to leukemia patients. Levick put A’Court and Caine together and the rest is history.
A’Court called some of his musically-inclined buddies, Danny Sutherland on bass, Dave Skinner on drums and Ross Billard on guitar, and the wheels started to turn.
The first CD, Little Derek and the Haemo Blues Band, raised $20,000 for the cause, something Caine said he was quite proud of. The second CD, the Red and White album, did much better in terms of sales and won the Jazz/Blues Recording of the Year at the 2006 Music Nova Scotia awards.
In addition to the proceeds from the CD sales, Caine has followed up with a lot of door-knocking and work to help make the fundraising effort as successful as it is. He
takes on the challenge with a passion in his heart because he knows what leukemia patients are faced with as they come to terms with their diagnoses and the aftermath that follows.
The monies raised are not for medical expenses, explained Caine. The fund is available to help patients and their families pay the extraneous expenses that invariably are part of such a life-altering illness.
While there is much work involved in the effort, Caine feels he takes much more from the experience than he puts out. Music “is my medicine. I go somewhere else when I’m playing, it’s as if my health problems don’t exist.”
That, “and there’s something magical happening when I’m with Charlie and the band. It’s an integral part of my whole ability to fight this disease.”
Caine is feeling great now but in the past there have been nights he didn’t. “One night I was out but I was feeling just awful. I got ready to leave but they called me up to play and with the first note, I snapped right out of it. It really was amazing.”
Little Derek and the band will be hitting the Engine Room stage at 10 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $20 each and are available at MacQuarries Pharmasave on the Esplanade or at The Engine Room.

November 18, 2009

A’Court to play Truro, Annapolis Valley and announces Halifax date

After being named Nova Scotia’s top entertainer at the Music Nova Scotia Awards in Yarmouth earlierthis month, Charlie A’Court will be returning to his home town of Truro for a one-night-only performance.

A’Court is bringing his powerhouse electric show to The Engine Room in Truro on Friday, November 27. Tickets are $20 and are on sale at The Engine Room and at MacQuarries Pharmasave on the Esplanade or by phoning 902-895-1681. Proceeds from the concert are going to QE II Health Sciences Foundation in support of their Leukemia Patient Trust Fund. Show time is 10 PM.
On Saturday, November 28, A’Court will perform solo acoustic at the Evergreen Theatre in Margaretsville in support of his latest recording, Live At The Marigold. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by calling 902-825-6834 or online at Show time is 8 PM.

Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill in Halifax will set the stage for A’Court on Wednesday, January 27 at 8 PM. Tickets are $25 plus HST and go on sale, Friday, November 20. They can be purchased at Stayner’s Wharf (across from the Halifax ferry terminal) or by phoning 902-492-1800.

September 4, 2009

“Busking 4 Bucks” raises donations
to help prevent homelessness

Roots and blues musician Charlie A'Court presented Halifax Housing Help with a donation of $4,029.17, representing the funds he collected during last week’s “Busking 4 Bucks” event. A’Court spent five days busking in three locations—on the Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry, at Grand Parade and in front of the Spring Garden Road Library--in support of the local agency, which has hit a major funding shortfall.

“Busking 4 Bucks was a very heartening experience,” said A’Court. “During those performances I was connected to all walks of life who would come up and donate to HHH. The response was tremendous and it shows in the final tally of donations. I'm extremely proud to call Halifax home and I'm particularly proud of those who live here that came and supported the cause.”

Darcy Harvey, Project Coordinator with Halifax Housing Help was on hand to accept the donation on behalf of the organization. “We are so thankful to Charlie and Dawn Sloane for their commitment to this initiative and their recognition of the important work being accomplished at the community level for individuals who face tremendous barriers and are among the most vulnerable to homelessness,” said Harvey. “Busking for Bucks brought issues of homelessness and housing to the public's attention, who were very receptive and generous to the cause and showed how we can come together as a community to address real issues and needs.”

Charlie also donated $5 from every sale of his latest recording, "Live At The Marigold.” The performance was recorded at the Marigold Cultural Centre in Truro and is released as a digital download keychain.

About Halifax Housing Help:
Halifax Housing Help (HHH) is an innovative project that provides unique support and trustee services to disadvantaged populations, aiding to prevent eviction and homelessness. The Metro Non-Profit Housing Association, in collaboration with Direction 180 have worked together to develop and implement services aimed at preventing the situations that lead to cyclical homelessness among the most vulnerable populations in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

August 14, 2009

A'Court busks for deserving Halifax Housing Help

Halifax, NS--Atlantic Canada's roots & blues troubadour Charlie A'Court will be taking his music to the streets from August 24th to the 28th to help a grassroots non-profit organization, which supports individuals looking for secure housing.

A'Court will be going back to his roots of busking in 3 designated spots in the downtown Halifax where he will perform one-hour acoustic sets in support of Halifax Housing Help (HHH). With all the money raised from A'Court's busking going to the project, Charlie wants to raise awareness of HHH and aid them with their outstanding community work.

"When I first moved to Halifax in 2000, the only thing I could do was busk. I lived for months off the kindness of strangers when no one knew who I was," said A’Court. "Now, I want to go back to those days to help HHH give the help to those who deserve it."

Charlie is also donating $5 from every sale of his latest recording, "Live At The Marigold.” The performance was recorded at the Marigold Cultural Centre in Truro and is released as a digital download keychain.

HRM Councillor Dawn Sloane believes HHH has had a deep, positive impact on the very diverse community it serves. "HHH is a service that supports those individuals who may need guidance and a helping hand to secure a place to call home," she said.

A'Court will be busking Monday, August 24 to Friday, August 28 at the following times:

  • 8 a.m. on the Halifax/Dartmouth Ferry.
  • 12 p.m. in front of the Halifax Library at Spring Garden Road and Grafton St.
  • 5 p.m. in Parade Square.

About Halifax Housing Help:
Halifax Housing Help (HHH) is an innovative project that provides unique support and trustee services to disadvantaged populations, aiding to prevent eviction and homelessness. The Metro Non-Profit Housing Association, in collaboration with Direction 180 have worked together to develop and implement services aimed at preventing the situations that lead to cyclical homelessness among the most vulnerable populations in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

July 17, 2009

Festival’s a 'hidden gem'
A'Court among great lineup for weekend event at Kempt Shore

By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter - Halifax Herald

NOBODY SAID making a living out of making music was easy, but singer-songwriter Charlie A’Court says when he performs at the Acoustic Maritime Music Festival at Peterson’s Festival Campground in Kempt Shore, it’s about as far from work as you can get.

It’s the Truro area native’s fourth year at the event, taking place tonight through Sunday at the site on the Minas Basin at the mouth of the Avon River, also the home of the Kempt Shore Bluegrass and Oldtime Music Festival, Aug. 14 to 16. He’s part of a terrific lineup that includes Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard, Ron Hynes and J.P. Cormier as well as emerging talents like Coco Love Alcorn, Christina Martin and Steven Bowers.

"It really is a hidden gem. It’s a family-run campground and there’s no pretentiousness," says A’Court. "Artists are there as headliners, but they’re also there as fans. Everyone is buddy-buddy, and you don’t feel like you have to keep anyone at arm’s length; I’ve never been to that festival and felt uncomfortable just hanging out.

"I’m going down with my dad, my wife Emily, and a bunch of family, with an RV site right on site and camp together with everyone else. There’s something magical about the whole weekend, maybe because it hasn’t really exploded the way other events have, it’s just been bubbling under the surface. It’s very grassroots, it’s very down home, and the Petersons are true music lovers."

After a busy spring spent touring across Canada for two months and a trip to the famed Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas last month, the blues-roots singer/guitarist is looking forward to reconnecting with fans at home; he’s also playing a free instalment of Bruce Guthro’s Songwriters Circle at Antigonish’s Columbus Field July 29 and New Glasgow’s Riverfront Jubilee August 1. A’Court’s also keen to spread the word about his new recording Live at the Marigold, taped in concert at Truro’s Marigold Cultural Centre. It’s only available via download from his website, either by buying a keychain with a download code on it at a show or purchasing it directly from

A’Court admits it’s an experimental approach for him, but says it benefits both the listener by providing music at a lower cost, and the artist, by cutting down on packaging and the number of boxes you have to lug around from show to show. If listeners want a physical CD, they can burn a disc and print off the booklet at home.

"I don’t know if I would have jumped at the idea for a studio release, but I wanted to try it for the live album to see how people responded to it," he says.

"Judging by the response so far, I could see how an artist could do their whole back catalogue in the same fashion, and have the CD graphics incorporated into the download, or sell a CD combined with the keychain. There are a lot of options out there that independent artists can go for that are a lot more cost effective with the same results, or even better results because people are visiting your website to get the album."

Fans have been asking A’Court for a live recording for some time, saying the raw, unvarnished quality of his performances on stage have a different texture than the polished sound of his studio CDs like Colour Me Gone and Bring on the Storm. The act of performing brings out a daredevil quality in his powerhouse singing and guitar playing, which Live at the Marigold captures admirably.

"That is the biggest thing I get from fans and people in the industry, that the Charlie they see on stage is a different version than what they hear in a studio setting," he says. "So it’s nice to show that altered reality of who I am and what I do.

"The recording itself … I’m really happy with it. I think Miles Gallagher, Chris Coote and Brad Stevens from Fortress Studio did a phenomenal job of catching the nuances and dynamics of the show. We had to do very little to the original mix of the show, what you hear is what was naturally recorded in the venue, which speaks well of the Marigold as well as Fortress."

While A’Court continues working on songs for another studio project, the next major event is a fall tour of house concerts in B.C. and Alberta, part of a series called Home Roots organized by Winnipeg Folk Festival founder Mitch Podolak.

"They’re just such a cool thing to do," says A’Court, who’s also a fan of playing these intimate showcases in homes around Nova Scotia. "It’s a win-win situation for everybody when you get the right host and the right musician at a house concert. There’s always something a little extra that happens.

"Everyone’s there for the purpose of music, so it’s a very direct and open conversation in music between the artist and the audience. Because it’s such a personal experience, the audience wants to take part of it home with them, and you end up selling more CDs than you would at a venue or a festival."


June 24, 2009

A'Court returns with digital release and casino show

When it comes to living in a greener world, we all hold the key. Why not have a snazzy looking keychain to go with it? That's the concept behind ECMA winner, Charlie A'Court's new, live recording.
"Live At The Marigold" is an intimate look into the heart of this soulful troubadour. Recorded at the beautiful Marigold Cultural Centre in Truro, Nova Scotia, the release of this live album is being done in an exciting new way. In an effort to be in a "greener" frame of mind, “Live At The Marigold” is being released exclusively as a digital download keychain.

To help cut down on the costly manufacturing and bulky packaging of traditional CDs, the Charlie A'Court keychains are a more compact and physical means of distributing digital music. Every keychain has a unique PIN code on the back. Fans will be able to purchase the keychain at live shows or at Charlie's official web site.

When fans go to, they can type in their PIN code for a one-time download of the entire live album as well as the bonus content including material on the Marigold Cultural Centre, lyric sheets, and printable artwork for CD cases (in case you burn the album to CD).

The performance itself is a moving, solo concert that contains acoustic versions of tracks from A'Court's earlier albums as well as two new tracks, I Hope I Get To Heaven and The World Around Me.

To celebrate the release of “Live At The Marigold”, Q104 will present Charlie A’Court in a special, intimate concert at the Compass Showroom at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax on Wednesday, July 8 at 8 PM. Tickets are $25.00 including HST and service charges or 759 Player's Club Points. Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Atlantic or at the Casino Box Office, or charge by phone (902) 451-1221. Tickets are also at all participating Atlantic Superstores and on line at Major credit cards are accepted, and service charges apply.

April 18, 2009

Playing at a house near you: A'Court spreading his gift through intimate shows

The Truro Daily News

TRURO – The lights dim as the pre-show chatter of the audience stills to a quiet murmur of anticipation. Everyone settles in for an intimate evening of music as the first chords are struck and a voice full of soul and life beyond its years fills the house.

And to make the night complete, Boots your favourite cat curls up on your knee to share the experience of sharing your home with your friends and recording artist Charlie A’Court.
No, the award-winning musician hasn’t dropped by to jam with you in your kitchen. He’s set up to provide you and your friends with a night of entertainment that will elevate your hosting status to beyond the stars.

The house concert is a concept that has been around for decades but over the past five years, A’Court has added the intimate shows as another means “to keep gas in the tank and food in the belly.”

The 30-year-old performer said during a recent interview that he has played a couple of dozen concerts at private homes over the past two years and aside from enjoying every aspect of the shows, they’ve “become a vital way for independent musicians to come home from the road with any money in their pocket. Because of the economy it’s a brave new world out there for musicians. If I had to rely on the metropolises of Canada for all of my income I would be in the hole before I left home.”

While keeping gas in the tank can be driving force enough to keep a musician performing, A’Court’s love for his career choice is evident when he talks about how much he enjoys doing house concerts.
“They are a way for me to connect the dots from rural community to rural community across this country. You have people putting on a private function in their home so it’s stripped down to a more basic evening that opens up the intimacy of the whole experience.

“There’s a different sort of energy that happens at a house concert. More personality comes through because things are so intimate, so much so they can even pass me my guitar,” he said with a laugh.
Turns out that’s what happened at a concert in Petite Riviere. With 50 people gathered for the evening, it was one of the larger house concerts he’s played but the hostess has set up a couch near where A’Court was sitting. Four lucky people had tickets to the VIP section, with the added bonus of being quasi-roadies for the night.

“You have to be comfortable as an artist with that kind of intimacy. You’re the only distraction in the room, the focus of attention for the next 90 minutes or more.”

The show that A’Court performs in the comfort of a person’s home is the same as that one would enjoy in a larger, soft seat venue or a bar. Unlike a bar show, the audience at a house concert is there to listen to every song and every story behind the music.

”It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to experiment with your nuances and dynamics in a way that can’t be done in a club where you may reach 50 per cent of the crowd. At a house concert, you are reaching 100 per cent of the audience.”

A’Court never ceases to be amazed at how creative some of the hosts can be. “It can have all the elements of a really nice dinner party at someone’s home with the added structure of a professional show. What better way to expand your fan base?”

The evening doesn’t end when the sound system is turned off and the instruments packed away. It’s during the wind down after the concert that A’Court gets the opportunity to socialize and meet the people he’s performed for. “I love that. I’ve made so many new friends who’ve made me feel like we’ve known each other forever. I’ve run into people at festivals and other venues whom I’ve met at house concerts and it’s like old home week. It’s a level of intimacy that you don’t reach in a club or concert hall.”

A’Court will be adding to his buddy list over the next seven weeks as he drives across Canada and back to perform at more than 20 shows and house concerts. He’s been from one end of the country to the other several times but he has always flown. “I’m really excited about the whole trip but I have to be back in Halifax by the first of June because a contingent of us from the East Coast are heading to Kerrville, Texas to play the folk festival there.” Joining A’Court will be Ron Hynes, Amelia Curran, Dave Gunning and Rose Cousins.

The festival in Texas carries additional significance because the late Stan Rogers played his last show there before perishing in a plane fire on his way back home to Canada in June 1983.
While on the road, A’Court continues to work on his next CD, Live At The Marigold, which he hopes to release in the near future. “The tracks are all done so now we’re working on developing the bonus content we want to include on the CD.”

The disc is from a show he performed last December at the Marigold Cultural Centre in Truro. It includes songs from his previous releases, Color Me Gone and Bring on the Storm, as well as a couple of covers and a couple of new tunes. “It turned out to be a real hot performance and the audience was really responsive so I can’t wait to get the CD wrapped up and released.”

April 18, 2008

Charlie A’Court Sets Out On Maritime Tour

Soul/roots troubadour, Charlie A’Court will be touring the region this spring with concert dates across the Maritimes. The Truro native has scheduled a two-week tour in May supporting his current release, Bring On The Storm, which won Pop Recording of the Year at the 2007 East Coast Music Awards and Blues Recording of the Year at the 2007 Music Nova Scotia Awards.

Concert dates include May 1 at Session’s Café, Rothesay, NB; May 2 at the deCoste Centre, Pictou, NS; May 4 at King’s Playhouse, Georgetown, PEI; May 8 at Chester Playhouse, Chester, NS; May 9 at King’s Theatre, Annapolis Royal, NS; May 10 at the Dragon Fly Café, Antigonish, NS; May 13 at Stayner’s Wharf, Halifax, NS; May 15 at the Marigold Cultural Centre, Truro, NS.

Since the release of Bring On The Storm, A’Court has enjoyed a steady touring schedule that has seem him open for Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dan Aykroyd and most recently, Grammy winning ensemble, The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Opening the upcoming Charlie A’Court shows will be Winnipeg’s Lindsay Jane, who made her east coast debut at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in 2006.

For ticket information please visit the tour dates page.

February 7, 2008

Charlie A'Court goes on record
We get an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the recording process with an ECMA winner

The Daily News

Charlie A'Court gets ready to record at The Echo Chamber. (Daily News/Mike Dembeck)

He's been in the studio numerous times before - even won a few ECMAs for his work - but the process still intimidates Charlie A'Court.

"It is like you are under a microscope," he says. "Live shows are often more forgiving because you are in-the-moment and it is a little more raw. I seem to have this mental wall about bringing rawness into the studio.

"I feel it needs to be bang on."

Putting his anxiety aside, A'Court books a studio to record a demo album, and invites HFX to join him for a behind-the-scene look at the process.

"I have these internal battles with myself, and at the same time putting up this front that I am comfortable in the studio and I feel fine with I am doing," says A'Court. "I try to deal with those battles because you can get too wrapped up in it and lose the sparkle of a tune."

We're at Charles Austin's The Echo Chamber on Kempt Road to record three songs - Won't Let It Slip Away, Home Is Just a House Now and I Hope I Get to Heaven - for a CD A'Court can shop around the ECMAs in Fredericton this weekend. He wants to secure support for a new record.

A'Court and sound engineer Dave Ewenson listen to an acoustic-guitar track of Won't Let It Slip Away made the night before. The song was recorded for his last album, the ECMA-winning Bring On the Storm, but it didn't make it on the release. He decides to try something new with it.

"I'm still getting that sound on the guitar," A'Court says.

"Yeah, that ring," Ewenson replies.

"Would it be any different if we recorded in the other room?" A'Court asks. The two decide to give it a try.

"I am making sure the artist feels comfortable, and getting across what they want," says Ewenson as he sets up the digital recording system on his computer. "I want them to feel like they can do what they do natural, and not feel a need to alter it because it is a studio environment.

"You also get good takes out of people, which is the main thing."

Sitting in the recording studio, A'Court wears headphones that play a rhythmic computer click - it helps him keep the beat - and the bed track recorded the previous evening.

The bed track is the foundation of a song: The drum, bass and maybe a bit of guitar. While those musicians performed in one space, A'Court was in a separate room singing and playing his guitar.

"One bleeds into the other," A'Court said. "On the vocal track you will hear guitar, and on the guitar track you will hear the voice."

It was made as a scratch track, so the essence and energy of the song - that live feeling - would be felt by the other musicians as the recorded in a separate room.

The scratch tracks are later erased, and A'Court will record new - and separate - voice and guitar tracks that can be edited later.

"You do the bare essentials that you need to start with, then you go into a phase where it's the details, the finishing touches," says A'Court. "It's the interior decorating of a song, the overdubs and adding other instruments or background vocals."

As A'Court strums and sings, Ewenson works at his computer, attacking his digital soundboard with a mouse. He adjusts levels and keeps an ear open. Occasionally, he wheels over to the soundboard and isolates A'Court's performance from the rest of the previously recorded material.

'Fussy process'

"You want to make sure the acoustic (guitar) sounds good on it's own and you don't get any noise or anything like that." Ewenson says. "You have to make sure each track sounds clean. Those sort of things add up, and in the end you are asking, 'Why does that sound muddy, why doesn't it sound crisp?'"

"It is totally a fussy process," A'Court says. "I am my own worst critic, and everyone is their own worst critic. I hate listening to myself in playback, but it is a necessary evil if I am going to determine whether it was a decent enough performance that could be used for the rest of the world to listen to."

At the same time, he knows this is a demo he's recording. Only a select few will hear the finished product - a small, influential group of people.

"It's a slippery slope," he said. "You don't want to invest too much time in demos, but you don't want it to sound like you sat around a kitchen table with a cassette tape."

He goes back in the studio and closes the door behind him to record another take of Won't Let It Slip Away. You soon hear his count - "Two, one" - and the music starts again.

Jason Mingo, a Halifax session musician who attended Nova Scotia Community College with A'Court, listens in. He's one of three musicians - there's drummer Keith Mullins and bassist Kevin Corbett - A'Court brings into the studio to work on the demos.

"We are cutting it really close. It's kind of using gorilla tactics attacking this project," A'Court says, knowing he has less than a week to get the CDs ready.

"I have been really lucky in that all the guys I have been using are close friends, and they have a fairly flexible schedule and were able to juggle some things."

He says he's not being one of those musicians who spends a lot of time on pre-production work and rehearsals. He prefers getting musicians in the studio and let them work through the material - and let their individuality come through.

"Let them suss it out and find the common ground where musicians meld," he says.

While Ewenson isolates the different sounds and makes some adjustments, Mingo plays silently along on his guitar, but a soft note occasionally escapes from his strings as he listens to A'Court's strumming.

Being a session musician, he says, is almost like working in a service industry. You go in, do what the artist wants, and try to make it the best you can; make it better by adding your own personality to it.

"In some cases, you craft the songs, or in the other 90 per cent of the cases the song is all there and I am only adding touched here and there," says Mingo, who also plays live around Halifax. "I just try to make the songs better, as good as possible, and add stuff to them.

"It's fun, creative, different all the time. That's for sure. It is great making music, and it is really great hearing it back once the finish product is done."

Finishing his take, A'Court leaves the sound booth. He's concerned that he might have heard a voice through the headphones as he was playing. It stumped him and he wasn't sure whether it was Ewenson telling him to stop.

Ewenson calls up the track and they listen to the Won't Let It Slip Away recording.

"I'm liking this a lot better than when I did this on the last album," says A'Court. "There is a je ne sais quoi," he says about deciding what track to use on the final song. "You listen to the technical, the quality of the chords, the cleanliness of the notes, and the tempo of the drums.

"Then, you listen to the overall vibe. Does this sound like the right instruments coming together for this tune, and are they representing the music the way you hear it in your head?"

Mingo decides he wants to try something different and gets ready to go back into the room and record.

"Everyone needs to be happy with their performance, and at the same time happy with everyone else's performance," A'Court says.

"It is not just my work being represented, it's the individuality of the other musicians helping me build these tracks."

January 6, 2008

Canadian talent rocks at Ontario Contact

October 2007, Mississauga, Ontario Each year, Community Cultural Impresarios Centre for Social Innovation (CCI) hosts Ontario Contact which showcases over fifty performing artists from across Canada. And to put it simply, the talent is amazing. Featured below are what I think what the top five performers from Ontario Contact 07 held in Mississauga at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre.

  1. Charlie A’Court
  2. Kelly Lee Evans
  3. The Shuffle Demons
  4. David Francey
  5. Garnet Rogers

Number 1

Charlie A’Court
Wow, what a powerhouse and such a stage presence. This Dartmouth native from Nova Scotia is winner of the East Coast Music Awards, 2007 Pop Recording of the Year for his new album Bring On The Storm and 2003 Best Blues Artist for his debut album Colour Me Gone. Charlie A’Court’s performance is something you do not forget. He sings soul and blues like it was made for him and I just have figured why we have not heard more about him. You can listen to him at


November 11, 2007

Charlie A'Court wins Music Nova Scotia Award!

Charlie picked up Blues/R & B Artist/Recording of the Year at the Music Nova Scotia Awards in Liverpool, Nova Scotia on November 11, 2007.

For more information on Music Nova Scotia, please visit

October 22, 2007

A'Court wins TEMAs, tours Alberta

Toronto - Winner of the 2007 ECMA for Pop Recording of the Year and nominated for three 2007 Nova Scotia Music Awards, Charlie A'Court can add two more awards to his growing list of accolades. Last week A'Court took home Best Provincial Adult Contemporary CD (Bring On The Storm) and Best Provincial Adult Contemporary Male Artist at the first annual Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards
( Toronto Exclusive is a print and online magazine that focuses on indie fashion and music in Toronto and across the country.

Currently, A'Court is on tour showcasing at music conferences Ontartio Contact and OSAC (Saskatchewan). While out west Charlie will be performing three intimate shows in Alberta with Albertan songwriter, Dave Simpson ( A'Court and Simpson will be at The Slice in Lethbridge on Thursday, October 25; Prairie Sky Co-Housing for a house concert in Calgary on Sunday, October 28; and at the Ironwood Stage in Calgary on Monday, October 29.

For ticket info on any of the above shows, please call:

The Slice
314 8th Street South
Lethbridge, AB, Canada
(403) 320-0117

Prairie Sky Co-Housing
402 30th Ave
Calgary, AB, Canada
(403) 999-3292

Ironwood Stage & Grill
1429 9th Ave SE
Calgary, AB, Canada
(403) 269-5581

October 16, 2007

A'Court to showcase in Colorado, open for Marshall Tucker Band

Three time Nova Scotia Music Award nominee, Charlie A'Court has been selected to showcase at the Colorado Music Summit in Denver, CO, next month. CMS is a comprehensive music conference offering workshops, seminars, networking opportunities and music showcases. CMS will feature over 50 musical acts from around the globe on five stages, plus café’s and restaurants in downtown Denver. The conference takes place from Nov 8 -11.

After his Denver showcase, A'Court then flies to North Carolina on November 10 where he'll be opening for original southern rockers, The Marshall Tucker Band. Best known for their seminal rock song, "Can't You See", MTB has continued to tour the festival and club circuit averaging over 200 shows a year. "Can't You See" is the very song that has propelled Matt Minglewood's long standing career, having adapted it into what has become known as the Cape Breton anthem.

Sept 27, 2007

A'Court sure can pack them in

The Daily News

With summer now officially over, your humble Buzz servant found himself a little down and in need of a night (or two!) on the town. A little blues for my blues was in order, and who better to provide it than Charlie A'Court, who returned to his old stomping grounds Wednesday night.

Stayners Wharf was packed with longtime fans needing their fix before Charlie swings through Antigonish, Mabou and North Carolina next month. I also became an instant fan of Rob Szabo, the opening act from Toronto.

Sept 25, 2007

Charlie A'Court nominated for 3 Music Nova Scotia Awards!

Music Nova Scotia announced the music and industry nominations for the 11th annual Nova Scotia Music Awards at the Alexander Keith's Beer Institute in Halifax today. Charlie A'Court received 3 nominations - Blues/R & B Artist/Recording of the Year (Bring On The Storm), Male Artist/Recording of the Year (Bring On The Storm) and Entertainer of the Year!

Also up for a nomination is One Night in January: Songs for the IWK in the Folk/Roots Artist/Recording of the Year. Charlie performed "The World Around Me" at the live concert and this is included on the nominated CD! For more information - click here

For the second year in a row, Nova Scotia Music Week will take place in Liverpool. The White Point Beach resort will host the conference, industry brunch, registration and a slew of late night performances throughout the three-day event. The majority of the awards will be given out at the Industry Awards Brunch on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 11:30 a.m., with the remaining eight being handed out that evening at the Music Awards Show at the Astor Theatre at 8 p.m.

Conference passes are available now by contacting Music Nova Scotia, by phone (902) 423-6271 and online at

Sept 18, 2007

Bring on the Storm CD Review from Ultimate-Guitar.Com

Sound: This is an awesome band and I never would have known that if I hadn't of actually met Charlie. Before that I had never heard of him but it is really good music it’s on the blues side of things. If you like bluesy stuff get this album, if you like rock do not get this. This is a cross between light rock and blues. There are some cool and unexpected guitar riffs on this CD. The only other thing I have to say I about the sound of this album is when I play blues why can't I get a tone like that?

Lyrics: i can see why this lyrics are so amazing. when i met Charlie he was teaching a lyric composing class that i happend to be in. One of the reason that these lyrics are so great is how deep they are to Charlie. Each of his songs in some way comes back to something in life. Charlie A'Court is just a great singer on the first track there is a little vocal solo it is defenitly worth checking trust me on this one.

Impression: This album does not compare to any other album I have ever bought it the past. Probably because I have never bought an album this bluesy in my life I probably won’t again. This album is great if someone stole it I would kill them because it’s almost irreplaceable it’s autographed and everything but I would buy it again but it wouldn’t be the same. The most impressive song on this album is Big Dark Canyon I think it’s his best hit of all time.

August 22, 2007

Charlie A'Court: The most soulful Canadian Artist ... EVER!!!!!!

Amie Street newcomer Charlie A'Court is here to inject your soul with some sweet rock n' roll! An East Coast Music Award Winner, A'Court has toured extensively throughout Canada and abroad headlining performances at the Stan Rogers Folk Fest, Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, Kerrville Folk Fest, and the Ottawa Blues Fest. He has also opened for high profile artists including John Reischman & the Jaybirds, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Harry Manx, Colin James, Mick Taylor, and Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd. Bring On The Storm is A'court's second studio album and features powerful blues inflected folk-rock with a soulful undercurrent. Truly an Amie Street gem!

Key Tracks:

Every track is a must-have, but if you must be hand fed a few then check what some of these users recommended:

> Bring On The Storm (54¢)

"I'll have to buy more recs in order to rec all Charlie's songs....each one impresses whether it's a quiet ballad or one that includes his back up singers. You can't go wrong buying his whole album!!" [rec by dorsey]

> Seeing You Around (54¢)

"There's always a point in any good collection where a song jumps out of your earbuds and screams THIS IS GREAT STUFF!!! and compels the "Buy all" button. Here it is. There will be great before it, and others after, but always the memory that this song was it. Gold." [rec by CraigH]

Buy the album Bring On The Storm for $5.40

This was taken from

June 28, 2007

A'Court to perform Canada Day with Andy Stochansky and Ron Sexsmith

2007 ECMA winner, Charlie A'Court will be heading to the University of Waterloo in Ontario to perform with the widely popular, Andy Stochansky and internationally acclaimed, Juno winner, Ron Sexsmith this Canada Day.

"This is huge for me because Ron is hands down an absolutely amazing songwriter. I can't wait to just watch his show and learn."

Details for the free outdoor concert can be found at

A'Court has been pouring on the steam with his latest album, Bring On The Storm, which won Best Pop Recording at the East Coast Music Awards in Halifax earlier this year. The album's first single, "Big Dark Canyon" was picked up throughout Atlantic Canada and the national release of his second single, "Seeing You Around", is the perfect summer song.

A'Court will be at several major festivals this summer season including Privateer Days in Liverpool, The Dutch Mason Blues Festival, and the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee.

Jul-07-07 Liverpool NS CAN - Privateer Days
Jul-11-07 Antigonish NS CAN - Music on Main
Jul-12-07 Saint John NB CAN - Salty Jam
Jul-13-07 Troy OH US - City Square
Jul-15-07 Ashland OH US - Myers Memorial Bandshell
Jul-17-07 Cleveland Heights OH US - Cain Park
Aug-04-07 New Glasgow NS CAN - New Glasgow Jubilee
Aug-10-07 Truro NS CAN - The Dutch Mason Blues Festival
Aug-17-07 Mount Stewart PE CAN - Trailside Cafe & Inn
Aug-18-07 Mount Stewart PE CAN - Trailside Cafe & Inn

Color Me Gone
and Bring On The Storm are both available at iTunes.

June 22, 2007

Charlie A'Court on CBC Radio 2 "Canada Live"

Sunday, June 24 - CBC Radio 2 "Canada Live" - 8:00 pm (8:30 NL) - one hour "live" segment of the 2007 ECMA Songwriter Circle with Charlie A'Court, Ron Hynes, Rose Cousins, Steven Bowers and special guest Jully Black.

"Canada Live" airs 8 - 10pm (8:30 - 10:30pm NL) on CBC Radio Two.

Find your channel and frequency:

Listen online at:

May 24, 2007

Nova Scotia’s Top Artists Anchor in Northern Ireland Aboard “Operation Musician Ship”

All amps on deck! In a bid to promote the wealth of Nova Scotia music and culture abroad, the some of the province’s top musical artists have been called to service across the pond to play in Belfast, Northern Ireland aboard the multi-role frigate, the HMCS St. John’s.

The shows, produced by Music Nova Scotia and funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, will use the ship as a backdrop to the event, which is intended to build cultural relations between Nova Scotia and Northern Ireland. Featured on the bill are 3-time ECMA winners In-Flight Safety, two time ECMA award winner Charlie A’Court and Music Nova Scotia’s Best New Artist award winner Jenn Grant.

“Music Nova Scotia is very exited about this initiative. We have a chance to showcase some of our great Nova Scotia talent to Northern Ireland and to promote Nova Scotia as a cultural tourism destination just in time for the introduction of Zoom Airlines new direct flight between Belfast and Halifax,” says Gordon Lapp, Executive Director, Music Nova Scotia.

Sponsoring participants of the show include: Music Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism Culture and Heritage, Zoom Airlines, and of course the HMCS St John’s.

“Operation Musician Ship” anchors on the following dates:

Fri June 1st The Lime Light, Belfast N. Ireland
Sat June 2nd Aboard the HMCS St John’s
Sun June 3rd Aboard the HMCS St John’s

April 14, 2007
Halifax Herald

By ANDREA NEMETZ Entertainment Reporter

A'Court, Grant help Bring It Home

Bluesman Charlie A'Court, above, and folk singer David Myles play the Astor Theatre in Liverpool tonight at 7:30 p.m. as part of Music Nova Scotia?s Bringin? It Home tour. Tickets are $18.

Charlie A'Court and David Myles share the stage tonight at Liverpool?s Astor Theatre as part of the opening weekend of Music Nova Scotia?s Bringin' It Home tour.

The concert is being taped by CBC Radio One's weekly program Atlantic Airwaves for future broadcast.

Bluesman A'Court, of MacCallum Settlement is a two-time East Coast Music Award winner whose recordings include Bring On The Storm and Color Me Gone.

Singer-songwriter Myles was a recent winner of the prestigious International Songwriting Competition in the folk singer-songwriter category. His latest album is Things Have Changed.

For reviews and photos, click here!

April 3, 2007

Charlie A’Court will be BRINGIN’ IT HOME

Music Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, is showcasing 16 of Nova Scotia’s top artists in 18 community venues across. Charlie A'Court teams up with David Myles and will perform at the Evergreen Theatre in Margaretsville, The Dominion Building in Amherst and the Astor Theatre in Liverpool. Check the tour dates page for more information!

Click the posters to enlarge for full details

Evergreen Theatre, MargaretsvilleThe Dominion Building, AmherstAstor Theatre, Liverpool

Evergreen Theatre, Margaretsville | The Dominion Building, Amherst | Astor Theatre, Liverpool

March 1, 2007

Canadian Charlie A’Court Comes to Hayes Center March 10
Award-Winning Musician Combines Blues, Soul & Songwriting

Story by David Brewer

On Saturday, March 10, Blowing Rock’s Hayes Performing Arts Center will welcome award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist Charlie A’Court for a solo acoustic performance.

A resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia, A’Court began developing his musical pedigree with classical guitar lessons before digging into his father’s blues-and-r&b-rich record collection. A’Court succumbed to the power of the blues, practicing for hours to hone his chops. (full story)

February 26, 2007

Canadian musician/singer pleases crowd at PHCC

Charlie A'Court belts out the blues

Charlie A'Court delighted the audience with his music, and his wit.
Monday, February 26, 2007

By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Staff Writer - Martinsville Bulletin.

There was more laughing than crying during the contemporary blues concert of Canadian musician Charlie A’Court Saturday night at the Walker Fine Arts Center at Patrick Henry Community College.

The Canadian singer and guitar player kept the audience of about 200 people chuckling between songs with anecdotes and one-liners. (full story)

February 20, 2007

Charlie A'Court's new album wins ECMA Award

Photo Credit: Grant Martin

At the 2007 East Coast Music Awards held in Halifax, Charlie A'Court's new CD, Bring on the Storm was named Pop Recording of the Year. Charlie also performed on the show during the ECMA tribute to Dutch Mason.

"I have to send a special thank you to Charlie A'Court who willing played for me at the songwriters circle not to mention performed the HELL outta his own songs. I'm now a Rose Cousins GROUPIE! That woman has one of the best voices I've heard EVER and her songs made me cry. What an inspiration. Steven Bowers gave a killer performance even though he was fighting flu and he is CUTE ladies. Last but not least Mr. Ron Hynes...This living legend gave me chills. His writing and performance moved me and being in his presence was magical. Below is a list of the "Dream Team" I performed with." - Jully Black

click to enlarge!

Ron Hynes (Host), Charlie A'Court, Rose Cousins, Jully Black (SOCAN), Steven Bowers


February 6 , 2007


The 2007 EAST COAST MUSIC AWARDS GALA roster keeps getting bigger and better! A Canadian Idol, tributes to a Canadian rock and roll icon, and a Canadian blues legend have all been added to this year’s lineup of performers.

The 2007 Awards Gala broadcast, hosted by the Trailer Park Boys - Julian, Ricky and Bubbles, will feature some top East Coast performers, including Joel Plaskett Emergency, In-Flight Safety, Classified, Jill Barber, Ron Hynes, George Belliveau, The Divorcees, and Measha Brueggergosman.

Additional performers will now include multi-ECMA and Juno winner George Canyon, joined on stage by Dave Gunning and Doris Mason to perform a very special tribute to rock and roll legend Denny Doherty. Doherty was the amazing tenor of the 60’s group The Mamas and the Papas, and later in life became the beloved Harbour Master for CBC Television’s Theodore Tugboat.

Rex Goudie has just released his second solo album and will perform his new single live on the ECMA stage.

Fiona MacGillivray of The Cottars joins JP Cormier, Ashley MacIsaac, The Barra MacNeils, Shaye, and Stuart Cameron in their tribute to the Godfather of Celtic Music – John Allan Cameron.

Nova Scotia’s best-known bluesman Dutch Mason will be honoured in song by sensational blues guitarists JP LeBlanc and Charlie A’Court, accompanied by Angelo Spinazzola on blues harp.

Banjo songster Old Man Luedecke, who sings his songs accompanied by his loving five strings, foot stomps and the occasional yodel, brings uniqueness to centre stage as he performs alongside contemporary singer-songwriters Rose Cousins (NS), David Myles (NB), and Catherine MacLellan (PEI).

The 2007 EAST COAST MUSIC AWARDS gala will be broadcast live from the Metro Centre in Halifax, NS, on CBC Television Monday, February 18 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) in all time zones.

January 29, 2007

Charlie can feel the blues within

This is not an unfamiliar story.

It goes something like this: kid from middle of nowhere picks up guitar. He takes lessons in the traditional ways, but eventually hears a man playing the blues. He moves to the big city, finds he plays those same blues sweetly, and success quickly follows, albeit with limitations.

Charlie A'Court's roots are a long way from the Mississippi Delta; but his home might be the Canadian equivalent. The pride of MacCallum Settlement, Nova Scotia ("population about 50," he notes) has been working out of the much larger musical hotbed of Halifax for several years now, putting out three acclaimed discs and touring Europe to acclaim and a solid new fan base.

For one, the 24-year-old A'Court, who plays the Arden Theatre in St. Albert tonight, doesn't really know why he has the blues - he hasn't sharecropped, been put down by the man or hustled for a buck. But he still manages to infuse his blend of modern soul and traditional electric blues with hard times.

"When you get down to it, the one thing that all of these original styles have in common - whether it's blues, country, celtic, folk or whatever - is the emotion that lies behind the music," says A'Court. "And although I can't say I've ever had to live under racism in the south, my family has a long history of dealing with mental illness and depression. I don't mind talking about that."

Artistic passion can be found in any number of personal trials, A'Court notes. "I can talk about some of the things people here deal with now. I can talk about coming from a broken home, and I can talk about the difficulty of dealing with those emotional issues."

But he's adamant about one thing: as much as blues is his first love, and the music he always returns to, he has enough other influences to guarantee he never fills a disc with shuffles and slow grinders.

"I have a fairly broad palette of interests and I'll draw from that palette. If the music is about expressing the way you think and feel, it doesn't make sense to me not to do that .

"I'm not going to worry about whether people think I'm not traditional enough or anything like that. I'll always love the blues because it's a part of me and how I express myself. But the music is about putting something honest out there, so that's what I have to do."

A'Court's refined-yet-gritty vocal delivery and stinging guitar licks are offset by his acoustic sets, where he can get downright smooth and soulful. The latter recently won him second place at the annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

He's thinking of verging off again at some point and blending blues and the traditional Celtic music of Nova Scotia. He's won an East Coast Music Award for his efforts, and opened up for the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Colin James.

But he's still a small-town Canadian boy. "We have Truro not far away but it's a pretty tiny place, yeah," he laughs.

GIG: East-coast soul and blues guitar with Charlie A'Court, the pride of MacCallum Settlement, Nova Scotia; also playing is New Brunswick blues and roots man Matt Andersen.

VENUE: The Arden Theatre in St. Albert, 5 St. Anne St., just north of Birch Drive. Capacity is 529.

FACTOID: Charlie A'Court's last name is a contraction of the French community Agincourt, as in the famous "battle of." His family emigrated to Britain centuries ago and changed it.

January 22, 2007

Click on image for full story

December 12, 2006

Charlie A'Court nominated for Three 2007 East Coast Music Awards

(Halifax, NS) ---The East Coast Music Association announced the 2007 East Coast Music Award nominees today in Halifax.

Charlie A'Court received nominations in the following categories, FACTOR Recording of the Year, Male Solo Recording of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year for his new release Bring On The Storm.

Award nominees are chosen by juries of industry professionals from all five regions of the East Coast Music Association: P.E.I., New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton.

Tickets for the ECMA 2007 Gala Awards Show and the opening night FashionEASTa extravaganza at the World Trade and Convention Centre - are now on sale and can be purchased through the Ticket Atlantic box office at the Halifax Metro Centre, Atlantic Superstore outlets, by phone at (902) 451.1221 or on-line at

The 2007 ECMAs will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from February 15 to18 and will culminate in the ECMA Gala Awards Show, broadcast on CBC Television, Sunday, February 18, starting at 8 p.m. in all time zones (8:30 NT).

For more information on the ECMAs, please visit

Nova Scotians top ECMA nods
Cormier, Canyon have five apiece; Barber, Hynes, In-Flight Safety claim four each
By ANDREA NEMETZ Entertainment Reporter

IT’S AN understatement to say Halifax singer-songwriter Jill Barber had a good day on Tuesday.

She was sitting down in Toronto chatting with Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy about his appearance in her video for Don’t Go Easy when her manager tapped her on the shoulder to let her know she’d been nominated for four East Coast Music Association awards.

"I’m in a great mood," she said by cell phone from the St. Lawrence Market where she and Cuddy began filming at 7:30 a.m.

Barber was nominated for FACTOR recording of the year, female recording of the year, SOCAN songwriter of the year and folk recording of the year. She was one of three artists along with Halifax band In-Flight Safety and Newfoundland singer-songwriter Ron Hynes who were quadruple nominees when the East Coast Music Association announced 149 nominees for this year’s awards at a news conference at the Marquee Club.

George Canyon and J.P. Cormier will be vying for the most hardware when the 19th East Coast Music Awards are held in Halifax Feb. 15 to 18. Each claimed five nominations.

Pictou County cowboy Canyon, who now divides his time between his ranch in Alberta and his home in Nashville, was nominated for recording of the year, male solo recording of the year, entertainer of the year, video of the year and country recording of the year.

Cape Breton’s Cormier received nods for male solo recording, bluegrass recording, DVD, instrumental recording and folk recording.

Charlie A’Court, the Chucky Danger Band, the Joel Plaskett Emergency, Sloan and The Trews each received three nods.

In-Flight Safety performed the title track from their album The Coast Is Clear to open Tuesday’s festivities, and later learned they’d claimed four nominations.

"We didn’t expect as many nods. It was very welcome news," lead singer John Mullane said of the nominations for CBC Galaxie rising star recording of the year, video of the year for Surround, alternative recording and group recording of the year for The Coast Is Clear, which was released in January.

It’s been a break-through year for the alternative pop quartet.

"I think the main thing is we finally put out a full-length record and it snowballed from there. To have a video alongside Nelly Furtado and Eminem is a real highlight. We watched Much Music as kids growing up," says Mullane, who also plays guitar.

"We also toured in the U.K. and played in Ireland this year and we were pretty happy about our success at the Nova Scotia Music Awards." In-Flight Safety took home trophies for group of the year, album and alternative album at last month’s awards in Liverpool.

Barber, who was nominated two years ago for ECMAs for folk recording and female recording of the year, joked she’s doubled her nominations this year. The one that means the most to her is the songwriting nomination for Don’t Go Easy, which appears on her disc For All Time.

"It brings the most satisfaction when you feel your talents as a songwriter are recognized. That’s where the art comes in. And it’s fairly safe to say it’s a category that tends to be fairly male-dominated."

Other songwriting nominees are Bruce Guthro for Holy Road, Joel Plaskett for Nowhere With You performed by the Joel Plaskett Emergency, Hynes for Dry and Rose Cousins for Good Enough.

Cousins, who was also nominated for the rising star award, was among the announcers Tuesday. Among the others were members of the Halifax Mooseheads hockey team, politicians Len Goucher and Dawn Sloane, actor Kelly Peck and Fred MacGillivray, CEO of the World Trade Centre where much of the action for the ECMAs will take place, including the gala awards broadcast from the Halifax Metro Centre on Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

MacCallum Settlement’s Charlie A’Court said he was like a kid in the candy shop after learning he’d been nominated for FACTOR recording of the year, male solo recording of the year and pop recording of the year for Bring on the Storm.

"The male solo artist is a heavy category. I’m competing against Bruce Guthro (Beautiful Life), George Canyon (Somebody Wrote Love), J.P. Cormier (Looking Back Vol. 2 – The Songs) and Ron Hynes (Ron Hynes). To have the association view me with the same regard they do these artists, artists I’ve grown up listening to, to know they house us all on the same playing field is a bit of a shock."

A’Court, who was previously nominated for three ECMAs for his debut album Color Me Gone and won blues artist, says the fact the ECMAs draw delegates from around the world is helping artists’ careers.

"I showcased the last time the ECMAs were in Halifax in 2003 and delegates saw that showcase and told me they could build me in the European market, facilitating my tours there."

Enfield-raised rapper Classified, who was nominated Tuesday for video of the year and rap/hip-hop single track of the year, says it’s been a very good year. The winner of hip-hop recording of the year at last month’s Music Nova Scotia awards says success has been a long time coming. He put out his first album in 1995.

He has just returned from a 28-date, month-long tour featuring top Canadian hip hop artists and is working on a video for the single All About You, which he expects to drop in January.

"People have been saying it’s very Jack Johnson-ish. It hits a different market," he said, noting he’s also busy producing a CD for local artist Jordan Croucher that will be a mix of R and B, soul and rock.

The first round of ECMA showcase artists was also announced Tuesday including the Mainstage Showcase featuring double nominees Catherine MacLellan and JP LeBlanc, as well as nominees hey rosetta! and Old Man Luedecke, among others.

The Roots Room Showcase at the Schooner Room in the Casino will feature double nominee Amelia Curran and nominees Duane Andrews, Elmer Deagle, Lennie Gallant, Madviolet and The Divorcees, among others.

And the Max Trax Rock Showcase at the Marquee Club will feature nominees Chris Colepaugh and the Cosmic Crew, Jon Epworth and the Improvements, On Vinyl and Two Hours Traffic, among others.

More showcase performers, industry nominees and participants in the 72-hour jam are expected to be announced in mid-January.


The Toast of the Coast

Canyon, Cormier lead the pack with five nominations each

By Dean Lisk
The Daily News

It was a great way for In-Flight Safety to top off an all ready impressive year.

There were tours of Canada and the United Kingdom, videos in heavy rotation on Much Music, three Nova Scotia Music Awards, and now four East Coast Music Award nominations.

"Everything that has happened the last four months has been unexpected," lead singer John Mullane said yesterday at the news conference announcing the 2007 award nominees.

His band, with members from all three Maritime provinces, are up for awards in the rising star, video, alternative, and group-recording categories.

'Tipped off'

"We were tipped off when they asked us to play the press conference that we would be nominated for one award, but I didn't think we would get nominated for four."

A crowd of nearly 100 at gathered at the Marquee Club yesterday to hear who would be up for awards at the ceremony, which takes place at the Halifax Metro Centre on Sunday, Feb. 18.

"Thanks for joining us for the most important day of the entire year," said Stephen Antle, chairman of the ECMA 2007 committee, at the announcement.

Leading the pack with five ECMA nominations are George Canyon and J.P. Cormier. They are followed with four nominations each by Halifax's Jill Barber, Newfoundland folksinger Ron Hynes, and In-Flight Safety.

"We are just hoping we can win one award," said Mullane, who didn't want to set any expectations. "Any time we had expectations in the past, it has been disastrous. So, we are excited just to go.

"We have never been nominated before."

Also receiving multiple nods are The Chucky Danger Band, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Sloan, The Trews and Charlie A'Court. They're each up for three awards.

Especially honoured

A'Court, who was nominated in the recording of the year and pop categories, was especially honoured with a nod as male solo recording of the year.

"It is a super heavy category," said A'Court, who is up against Bruce Guthro, Canyon, Cormier and Ron Hynes. "If the ECMA association thinks that I have got what it takes to be in that category, then it is very humbling.

"All I can do is hope that it translates into exposure, and fans of those guys will want to find out what Charlie A'Court is all about. You always cross your fingers."

The Coast - Halifax, NS, Dec. 7/06
By Johnston Farrow

The Charlie A’Court of today is a much different person than the Charlie A’Court of four years ago. At that time, A’Court was a talented blues-influenced guitarist who had chosen to pursue music rather than following the conventional university route of his peers. He spent many afternoons busking on the Halifax waterfront, until someone suggested he head down to open mic night at the now-defunct Tickle Trunk.

“Someone told me to go down and check out Dale Letcher,” the now 28-year-old A’Court says. “I went in there, sang a couple of tunes and Dale was like, ‘Hey, we need someone to do a couple of Wednesday nights here.’ That was my education.”

Since then, A’Court has recorded and appeared on several albums, picked up awards for 2002’s Colour Me Gone and toured in North America and Europe. He’s about to take his career a step further with his newest disc, Bring on the Storm.

Recorded over six months with producer Danny Greenspoon in Toronto, Bring on the Storm showcases the new A’Court. Once a fresh-faced, long-haired guitar wizard, the A’Court on this record is a clean-cut, seasoned veteran. He still retains a measure of the blues influences he’s known for, but now A’Court flexes his muscles as a singer-songwriter, detailing his thoughts on love, loss and life as a touring artist.

It’s a long way from his days singing for free at open mic nights, and A’Court says he has no plans on stopping any time soon, despite the success he’s had so far.

“A little over six years from moving to Halifax, this is my second studio album, and I have a little over five albums in total under my belt,” he says. “I have a lot of guest work done, touring different parts of the world. That says a lot, but at the same time you never want to rest on your laurels.”

—Johnston Farrow


Worldview Blues - by Carsten Knox, for 12.7.06

How did your classical guitar studies inform the way you play your music today?

It instilled the necessity for discipline. That’s not a form of music that you can approach lightly. It’s not the kind of music you can just sit around and jam to. It’s very structured. The couple of years I took classical guitar it really hit home that when you pay this much attention to music, if you take that same idea to whatever form of music that you write and perform, it could have the same impact, the same weight.

Read the full interview - click here!

November 28, 2006

Bringing it home
Local blues musician Charlie A'Court 'stoked' about December performance at Marigold Cultural Centretre

By Harry Sullivan
The Truro Daily News

TRURO – Charlie A’Court is coming home with itchy fingers.

After strutting his stuff across European stages in recent months, the McCallum Settlement native, who is quickly strumming his way to blues icon status, is all fired up about playing for a local audience.

“I’ve been really stoked for this show,” he said, of his upcoming performance at the Marigold Cultural Centre.

“We’re pumped, excited to be coming back to showcase the material with a full band and to be able to show the Truro audience what I do internationally, what it is I do to represent myself as a Nova Scotia musician.”

A’Court was home for a brief stint in September during the Marigold’s official opening but said that pales in comparison to being able to put on a full performance for a local audience.

Fans can anticipate hearing songs from his latest CD offering – Bring On The Storm – an album he described as an attempt to pick up where he left off on his previous release.

“The theme of the album is all about transitions,” he said recently during a telephone interview from his Dartmouth home. “A lot of things happened to me in the last four years, some good, some bad, and I needed to sing about that on this album.”

Bring On The Storm was recorded in Toronto and produced by Danny Greenspoon, who has also collaborated with the likes of such renowned bands as Spirit Of The West and Great Big Sea.

“A lot of it is about being on the road,” A’Court continued of the CD’s content. “Trying to do your thing and trying to be out in front of the audience, having to live your life on the stage, basically.”

In late September and early October, A’Court spent three weeks touring Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg where his CD was released a month earlier than in Canada.

“It was fantastic,” he said. “That was awesome because that was the tour for the new album.”

Bring On The Storm features 11 songs including the lead single, Big Dark Canyon, which A’Court co-wrote with JP Cormier and which he said has been “just snatched up” by radio stations in Atlantic Canada.

Other co-written songs include Broken Man, which was penned with well-known guitarist Jamie Robinson and Yes You Are, the 10th track on the CD, which was written with country music songstress Rylee Madison.

November 28, 2006

Click to read the article

November 20, 2006

Charlie A’Court Ready To “Bring On The Storm”
With CD Release Concerts:

Dec. 5 - Marigold Cultural Centre, Truro, NS
Dec. 7 - The Guild, Charlottetown, PE
Dec. 8 – The Seahorse Tavern, Halifax, NS

Charlie A’Court
, ECMA winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and entertainer extraordinaire will celebrate the release of his new CD “Bring On The Storm”, with concerts in Truro, NS (Dec. 5), Charlottetown, PE (Dec. 7) and Halifax, NS (Dec. 8). Tickets are on sale now at the venues and local ticket outlets. (Details below).

Bring On The Storm was recorded at Canterbury Studios in Toronto with renowned producer Danny Greenspoon (Spirit Of The West, Great Big Sea, Susan Crowe, Suzie Vinnick). Bring On The Storm features eleven songs including the smokin’ lead single “Big Dark Canyon”, a tune that A’Court wrote with JP Cormier, currently burning up the radio charts throughout Atlantic Canada and beyond. Other co-writes include “Broken Man”, written with well-known guitarist Jamie Robinson and “Yes You Are”, penned with country music songstress Rylee Madison. A’Court pays tribute to a couple of his musical heroes with covers of Willie Nelson’s “Heartaches Of A Fool” and Otis Redding’s “Dreams To Remember.” The balance of the songs on Bring On The Storm are self-penned works clearly demonstrating Charlie A’Court’s phenomenal growth as a contemporary, blues-rock influenced songwriter.

Recently returned from headline shows in Germany, the USA and western Canada, Charlie A’Court’s rise from rural MacCallum Settlement, Nova Scotia to the world stage has been a remarkable journey. He started playing guitar when he was 12 years old, spent a couple of years devoted to the study of classical guitar, then discovered his father’s record collection. The impressionable, young musician was introduced to the masterful sounds of B.B. King, Bad Company, Eric Clapton, Long John Baldry and a new world of music. The rest is history.

Charlie A’Court’s history includes his 2002 debut disc “Color Me Gone”, which earned him MusicNS awards for Galaxie Best New Artist, Album, Male Artist, Blues Artist and Entertainer Of The Year; along with the ECMA for Blues Artist of The Year, presented during his national television debut on the 2003 East Coast Music Awards show. He’s since released Color Me Gone and Bring On The Storm in Europe. A’Court’s history also includes appearances at Stan Rogers Folk Festival, Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, Ottawa Blues Fest, Kerrville Folk Festival and non-stop international touring. He's shared the stage with high profile artists such as John Reischman & The Jaybirds, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Harry Manx, Colin James, Mick Taylor, Dave Hole, Sugar Blue, Procol Harum and most recently, Blues Brothers film-star, Dan Aykroyd.

An emotionally charged, soul-touching artist, fueled by fierce passion, the desire and talent to deliver powerful music, and a hot new CD, Charlie A'Court is ready to Bring On The Storm! CD In Stores Now!

Join Charlie A’Court and friends for his “Bring On The Storm” CD Release concerts at The Marigold Cultural Centre, Truro, NS, on Dec. 5th; The Guild in Charlottetown, PE on Dec. 7th; and The Seahorse in Halifax, NS on Dec. 8th.

Charlie A'Court CD Release Concerts:

Tuesday, Dec. 5 - Truro, NS - Marigold Cultural Centre
Tickets: $20.50 Advance; $25 at the door
On sale now at MacQuarrie's Pharmasave, 179 Esplanade St., Truro
Call: 902.895.1681
Doors: 7pm

Thursday, Dec. 7 - Charlottetown, PE - The Guild
Tickets: $20 Advance; $25 at the door
On sale now at The Guild, 115 Richmond St., Call: (902) 620-3333 &
CD Plus in Confederation Court Mall, Call: (902) 566-9980
Doors: 7pm

Friday, Dec. 8 - Halifax, NS - The Seahorse Tavern
Tickets $12 Advance; $15 at the door
On sale now at CD Plus Barrington St., CD Plus Halifax Shopping Centre & Musicstop, Bedford
Doors: 10pm

A PnuWave Entertainment production.

Charlie A'Court * Bring On The Storm * In stores now!
Distributed by Distribution Fusion III

Vote for Big Dark Canyon at

November 10, 2006 - Chronicle Herald, Halifax, NS

Transition strengthens A’Court
Singer-songwriter has been on the move, physically, spiritually

By STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter

There’s a storm brewing, but Charlie A’Court doesn’t mind.

The Halifax-based singer-songwriter is prepared for a whirlwind of activity in the wake of the release of his second CD Bring On the Storm, including a trip this weekend to Liverpool where he’s nominated for entertainer of the year at the Music Nova Scotia Awards, which will be handed out on Sunday night at the Astor Theatre as part of Nova Scotia Music Week.

A’Court is also performing a solo showcase on Saturday night at the Mersey and with his band on Sunday at the awards show afterparty.

On top of all that, he’s putting in an appearance at the Marquee Club tonight,as part of the Dan Aykroyd & the Horsepower Blues Band benefit for the Halifax Military Family Resource Centre. And in December, he’ll be heading out on a Maritime mini-tour that includes a show at Halifax’s Seahorse Tavern on Dec. 8.

Considering he recently got back from a three-week European tour with fellow MNS Award nominee Jenn Grant, it’s no surprise that many of the songs on Bring on the Storm are about transition. Whether it’s moving from one place to another in the physical sense, or the spiritual.

"The past three years have been that way," says the Colchester County native over a club soda at the Economy Shoe Shop. "Definitely a state of transition on a career level and a personal level. Certainly Bring on the Storm is about digging in your heels and saying, ‘I’m on the road, but I can handle it!’

"It’s about being a musician and being on the road and going place to place and reaching for the moon. You want to take on the good and the bad, knowing you can handle it."

The experience has taught A’Court to think on his feet, like making the most of a "happy accident" that occurred while recording Bring on the Storm’s title track.

Not even sure if the song would make the record, the boyish singer with the big voice noticed the drummer’s headphones were a split second off while recording in Toronto, giving his playing an unusual rhythm.

"It’s almost as if his cans kicked in later, so he was playing a completely different groove than the rest of us, but one listen and we knew that’s what we wanted," A’Court recalls. "And it wound up being the title track for the album."

He cites that incident as an example of the relaxed, cooperative atmosphere created in the studio by producer Danny Greenspoon, initially known as a guitar player with artists like the McGarrigle Sisters and Ian Tyson, and lately as a producer for a roster of performers including Great Big Sea and Susan Crowe.

A’Court liked the work Greenspan had done with Saskatoon roots musician Susie Vinnick, and already had him in mind for a more expansive, soulful sound before he even knew the producer was a friend of manager Doug Kirby.

"His mindset was ‘Follow your instincts.’ He’d tell me not to try and fill every moment of space with something, to let some air pass through the passages," says A’Court. "Don’t overplay. That’s why we brought in Kevin Breit as the second guitar player. Certain songs had a more natural calling for something he’d play, while others were more suited to my style of playing.

"As a guitarist who’s worked with singer-songwriters, Danny brings a certain ease to the songs, and the way they flow from start to finish."

A’Court’s ease in performing is countered by the intensely personal nature of the songs, like Broken Man, written following the deaths of friends and fellow musicians Rick Jeffery and Carlo Spinazzola, or Give It All to You, inspired by his father’s struggle with chronic back pain and the depression it caused.

Even a stirring cover of Otis Redding’s Dreams to Remember is a tribute to his dad and his influence, harking back to when he took a teenage A’Court to hear Frank MacKay and the Lincolns perform that very song at the Truro Legion. Even though the then-underage A’Court couldn’t get in and had to listen to the show through an emergency exit by the stage, it helped spark that desire to perform.

A’Court’s interpretation also further signals his desire to move beyond being labelled as strictly a blues artist, which he has long said is only one part of the whole picture.

"You could rhyme off 50 blues songs a day if you’re just following the formula," he says. "But then I listened to contemporary singer-songwriters and wondered why I couldn’t do both. Give the music a rhythm and blues kind of groove, but make the lyrics contemporary sounding, and marry the two. That’s really what I tried to do with this album.

"The listener can peg it whichever way they want. I’m trying not to do it, and let the industry do that, because everyone’s going to have their own opinion. Basically, it comes down to creating good music, drawn from many sources."

November 2006

Toronto Blues Society Magazine

John's Blues picks
Charlie A'Court Bring on the Storm 6K7/Fusion

This is a huge step forward for this young Nova Scotian, a modern blues-based effort, full of original songs that should appeal to many tastes. He came here to record and with an A-list of players: Kevin Breit, Gary Craig, Dennis Keldie and Marc Rogers. Suzie Vinnick leads a team of backing vocalists that includes Amoy Levy & Ciceal Levy. Danny Greenspoon put it all together. Everyone takes care to let A'Court and his songs shine and three of them will appeal to readers here. "Isolation Blues" is as close to straight ahead blues as there is, the isolation coming from growing up unloved. Of the two others, "Big Dark Canyon" is an essay on the gulf between youthful innocence and a wife abuser and a derelict (with nice B.B. King-style guitar); and this particular "Broken Man" seems to have trouble coping with modern society. The other songs are aimed at radio and the title song & "Seeing You Around" might even make it. There's also a very good rendering of Otis Redding's "Dreams To Remember". A'Court has all the necessary tools, I hope he has a great future. His web site is

September 20, 2006

Charlie A'Court picked up 2 Nova Scotia Music week 2006 Music Award Nominations!!

Charlie was nominated for "Entertainer of the Year"

And also for "Little Derek and the Haemo Blues Band: The Red & White Album" in the Best Blues Recording of the Year category.

Awards will be given out at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool on November 12th.

Blues Festival hard to beat
Written by Braden Blackmon
Thursday, 09 March 2006

I’m feeling older than my age. On Mar. 3 at 10:00 p.m. the Saskatoon blues festival was already a day old and I felt like going to sleep on my couch. After a week of teaching I was finding it hard to summon the motivation to move. Of course I did manage to get dressed and out the door, and boy was I rewarded for my efforts.

My first stop was the Acoustic Blues Room, formerly dubbed The Off Broadway Theater. I had only planned to see the virtuoso harmonica player, Carlos Del Junco (pronounced “HUN-co”) so it was an accidental treat to experience Rita Chiarelli and John King. I must confess that as an avid fan of blues I am sensitive to how this music is sung. It takes a certain kind of voice to express the emotion of blues and Rita Chiarelli has this voice; she does not so much sing as she wails and grunts and hollers—all in key mind you—until you are sick to your stomach. The only other person I heard during the blues festival that sang so hard and well that you were moved to tears was Charlie A’Court who was not even mentioned on the Saskatoon Blues society website as opening for Sue Foley. In closing I will only mention that if you have the chance to see either of these individuals in concert or listen to their CDs you will hear what I mean.

Carlos del Junco was true to form. I saw del Junco at Crawdaddy’s two years ago and I really appreciated the variety of music he played. While he is not a pure blues artist, his jazzy licks were a musically pleasing compliment to Chiarelli’s roots-y blues sound. As far as stage presence is concerned, del Junco is a laid back performer who interacts sparingly with the audience. (More entertaining on the visual side was his guitarist who at times looks like he is about to gyrate himself into a seizure.) Del Junco’s sound is all over the musical map from jazz, to blues, to funk to other mystery genres I do not have a name for. The most pleasing thing about his performances is that you do not know what he is going to serve up next but whatever it is it is always original and well played.

On Saturday night my fatigue was even worse than on Friday. This is what I mean about getting old. At one point during Sue Foley’s performance she made the comment that it was nice to be doing something on a Saturday night for a change – I thought she was talking to me! Needless to say I was again well rewarded for my outing. I have already mentioned Foley’s opening act, Charlie A’Court as being an excellent singer. He is also an excellent guitar player, playing his set acoustically with two musicians backing him up during the two songs I listened to. What surprised and touched me about his playing was the sound that erupted from such an ordinary looking person. If you think I mean to judge his appearance you are mistaken because I actually mean to comment on appearances in general. How many people are walking around with talents and dreams that they never put into action? I’m one, and I bet there are plenty more out there. I am shocked and gladdened by the simple fact that some people choose to share there talents with the rest of us, and instead of making me jealous, it is at these times that I want to do more myself. Charlie’s singing and playing said to me, “Hey why do you spend so much time wringing your hands over trivial things when you could be actually living?”

I have listened to Foley’s music for a number of years so when she launched into a version of I’ll Love You Better I was attentive to whether her CD sound was as good as her live sound. As it turns out, it was. It is hard to count the ways of Foley, but here are some of her obvious talents: a) She is a deadly female blues guitarist in a world of male blues guitarists. b) She has a vibrato on her voice, which is solely hers. c) She is fun to watch glide around the stage. d) She plays a pink Telecaster with her fingers instead of a pick, (although I think she has thumb pick). Perhaps the most endearing aspect of Foley’s music is the way it catches you smiling, which I always take for a good sign.

The Saskatoon Blues Festival is a unique, intimate event. It is a long way from seeing Dwight Yokam or Nickelback at Credit Union Centre because the venues were small and the talent was more “local.” Everyone knows that seeing bands in smaller venues is more fun because it is more personal and memorable. All of the acts that I saw were fantastic and totally unlike each other. What can I say except that this festival was well supplied with talented musicians who were a pleasure to watch. I may be old but experience has shown me that when the Blues Festival comes back next year I will be anxiously waiting for the opportunity to attend.

© 2006 Charlie A'Court. All Rights Reserved. | Website - Wendy Gilmour - Gilmour Promotions