Victoria Banks is living the dream in Nashville, Tennessee, writing songs and making a good living at it. It’s been a long, hard road to get to this point in her career but if you give it enough time the cream will always rise to the top. Sitting with Victoria at the Gibson Shop in Toronto she is a picture of calm and confidence in her craft but with enough of the creative insecurity that all great artists have. “ A lot of folks think of songwriting as just something you sit and do. You pick up a guitar and a pen sitting at your kitchen table and a song comes to you. But actually I go to the office everyday and spend 8 to 10 hours writing and labouring over ideas and melodies.
It’s a lot of work and I’ve put 10 years into working at my craft” Victoria signed her first publishing deal in 1998 where she was a staff songwriter for Fame Music and from 2002 to 2007 she was a writer for Full Circle Music and as of 2007 she is writing for Nashville's Sony/ATV Publishing.
Born in Port Carling, (Muskokas) Ontario, Victoria’s self-produced debut CD When You Can Fly was released on the On Ramp/EMI Canadalabel in April 2009. The CD earned her a 2010 Canadian Indie Award nomination and six nominations at the 2009 Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMAs) that included Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Single of the Year ("The Wheel"), Songwriter of the Year ("The Wheel"), Female Artist of the Year and Rising Star, making her the most nominated female artist of 2009. The album's first single off the album "The Wheel," was a Top 20 song.
Victoria was named both Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter(s) of The Year at the 2010 CCMA Awards and was nominated in the Female Artist of the Year category again in 2011.
Being a staff songwriter in country music is not an easy position to get to and has its benefits if your work is up to the task. Victoria has had songs featured in movies and TV and recorded by some of the top names in country music. Jessica Simpson, Sara Evans, Cowboy Crush, Marty Raybon, 3 of Hearts, One More Girl and Johnny Reid. “I co-write with some incredible people and Sara Evans just cut two of our songs on her Slow Me Down CD. Both tracks, “Gotta Have You” and “Can’t Stop Loving You” were co-written with Emily Shackelton & Phil Barton. Pretty pumped by this !!” When asked if she had a bucket list act to record one of her songs Victoria said “I love Martina’s and Trisha’s voices. And there is a male artist that I would love to have a cut with. I don’t want to jinx it but he is recording one of my tunes right now. I’ve had my heart broken too many times so I don’t want to count on it making the final cut. BUT, he emailed me saying he had recorded 6 different versions of it but wasn’t sure if he’d have time to put the strings on it that he wants.” She laughed when she said “I sent him some numbers of string guys I know and he sent me a picture of a huge string section in the studio and said “I had something bigger in mind. This is the string section and they’re working on your song right now. I will let you know as soon as I know!” (Fingers crossed for her.)
Victoria is also a fine performer and endorses Gibson guitars. And her guitar is not a prop, she actually is an accomplished player and has played acoustic guitar for Pam Tillis, Crystal Shawandaand Rachel Proctor, “ I’ve played Gibsons since about 2008. The folks there have been so great to me - they have repaired many a United Airlines dent, that's for sure! And Gibson has such a great tone and action. Love them and my J45.”
Now here we are at the at the stage where Banks gets to release the album she always wanted to make. “It was a leap of faith, being so different from my other records, but I decided to just go where the songs wanted to go, make the record I wanted to make, and cross my fingers that people wouldn't hate it!” And what a fine record it is.
The album, “Indigo”starts with a rhythmic tune called “Get On The Train” . It has an infectious hook and positive perseverance message. “Hello Heart” is a beautiful acoustic song, simple production that doesn’t step on the lyric and vocal performance. One of those “put on auto repeat” tunes.
“Cruel” is a pop oriented radio friendly song and “Firefly” is another pretty tune about how we all have a light to shine. “Angelina” is one the most haunting songs you’ll hear about a missing child on a milk carton. Banks delivers a heart wrenching vocal and draws you in with the intense lyric. “Let Go Of The Stone,” advice we all could use at times in our lives. You can’t swim with your boots on. Great rhythmic bridge. “Ruined”, the first single of the album should get a lot of airplay. The title isn’t what it seems. Ruined in a good way. “Yours” follows and is another acoustic gem. As the lady in the song says “I’m loyal to the end and a little jealous of your old girlfriend. but I’m yours” Love this one. “Run To You” is a minor key mid-tempo tune, explaining all the things that draw the singer to her love. “Indigo”-when I saw the title “Indigo” I thought it was going to be about the Indigo Hotel in Nashville. But it is a wonderful imagery portrait of the feelings and colors between black and blue, indigo. Beautifully produced and sung.
Go get a copy of this CD, Perfect for listening to on a rainy day or sunny day, warm day or cold day. It’s a comforting record and one you will thoroughly enjoy as you get to know our Canadian treasure, Victoria Banks.
For more visit: www.victoriabanks.net
Northern Ontario Local Artist Sacha-Lee, is a singer songwriter, with an edge.
Her music is a mixture of Country, Rock, Blues and Pop, which reflects the different styles she was raised listening to.
Her second and latest album “The Music Made Me Do It” really reflects those different styles with “Forever Thing” a Country-Pop song about knowing when a love will last through the ages, and for the die-hard Country fans out there, there is the haunting “Alone and Waiting”. The album also features a very hot and edgy song called “Love Me Sexy”. For those Cross-Over Country fans out there, this one is surely for you. No matter what style of music you like, her album is surely to get your toes tapping.
Born in a family of musicians, Sacha-Lee has been performing since the age of seven, which would explain her comfort on stage. Her ever ready smile and intoxicating energy, makes everyone feel like a part of the party.
Sacha-Lee is sexy and mesmerizing to watch so be sure to get a chance to see her perform, and as you are sure to be enthralled by her as much on-stage as off.
For the SMOOTH ROCK FALLS,ONTARIO singer Sacha-Lee , performing music has always been passion, in November, she will see that passion recognized as she is inducted into the Northern Ontario Country Music Hall of Fame.
With one album released, and another in production, Cadieux has been able to realize one of her long-standing dreams from childhood.
“When I was seven years old, my mom got me and my baby brother on stage for a carnival one year, and that was the first time I remember being in front of people and saying I want to do this, it’s been a passion for me ever since.”
Sacha-Lee said that hearing she was going to be a part of the Northern Ontario hall of fame shocked her.“I was amazed when I found out I was being inducted,” she said.
“You have to be nominated to get inducted, and the person who nominated me actually called first and asked if I would be interested. I didn’t even know it existed at the time.”
As part of the nomination process, the musician is interviewed by scouts in order to gauge their passion, and contributions to their community.
“The scouts Ivan and Linda Nadeau contacted me from Timmins and stopped in at my house to do an interview, “ Cadieux explained. “What normally happens is that they say they’ll call back with more information on how things went, but that didn’t happen this time, they didn’t even leave before saying that they were definitely interested in having me.”
As part of the ceremony, those invited to the hall of fame ceremony can have a tour bus head from their home community to the award show in Sault Ste Marie. Funding for the bus was received through a dance held at Smooth Rock’s Legion last weekend.
“It had an amazing turn out, there was around 130 people or so that went.” Cadieux said. “I’ve never seen it so packed, I was very emotional. It was so nice to see all that support.”
Her next step is to gather people interested in going to the ceremony.
“Purchasing a seat and a room will cover the costs for the tour bus, breakfast, one supper, and two dance nights,” she said. “It’ll be a nice country music weekend for anyone that really likes it. I’ve already got 8 people booked.”
Sacha-Lee Herbert-Cadieux will be formally inducted during a ceremony that takes place during the weekend of November 7.
You can now hear Sacha-Lee's New Tracks on The Net at C.R.A.P. RADIO Commercial Free 24/7 www.crapradio.net
January 7,1938-October 4, 2014
Where do I begin? How do I tell you how much I love you and what you have meant to me?
Have you ever met a person and felt like you've known them your entire life, sensed a familiarity and warmth? That's how I felt the very first time I met you, and the feeling only grew stronger the more I got to know you.
Like most people, my initial introduction to you was on television, radio and records, but none of those mediums gave me a real clue to the one-of-a-kind life force that was Paul Revere.
Sitting in an audience at my first Paul Revere and The Raiders concert introduced me to a larger-than-life dynamo of high-energy slapstick, outrageous and spontaneous humor and a genuine child-like joy. Everyone in attendance just knew that you MUST be a wonderful person offstage too, no doubt about it.
Meeting you after a show in the autograph line cemented the deal for everyone. Just as fun, funny and spontaneous as you were onstage, extremely nice and accommodating to everyone who waited in the long lines to meet you. Take a picture - "SURE, take TWO!" Sign these 20 albums? "Why NOT, you helped pay for my first house, and my first wife!"
Generous to a fault with your family, your friends and your band, there seemed to be no limit to your kindness. When you turned your attention towards someone, you made that person feel special and in your spotlight. You had a pet name for each person, and you never hesitated to tell them how exceptional they were. You appreciated the talent, beauty, skills and uniqueness you found in others, and you were never shy about telling them so. All the more reason for people to feel wonderful in your presence.
It's no accident that people called you "Uncle Paul". You were like a favorite uncle who's always fun to be around. Hug-gable, like a child's favorite stuffed animal, smart, funny, world traveled and so very interesting. (and as you would say, "Don't forget CUTE!!") You were also the epitome of a cool rock star, admired and respected by so many entertainers throughout the decades.
And how about people like Dick Clark? How many businessmen and showbiz people did Dick Clark meet in his lifetime? And yet he gravitated to you, and chose to work on many projects and business ventures with you. He saw something in you, even when you were a kid, that separated you from the pack of extremely talented and interesting people with whom he constantly came into contact. He was proud to call you his friend and enjoyed your company tremendously. The same goes for Andy Williams and many, many others.
You loved eating a hot dog at a truck stop with the guys as much as you enjoyed spending an entire evening in a classy restaurant appreciating the finer things. You loved taking your friends out to dinner, and you never let them pay. You always got to know the staff when you ate out too. By the end of the evening you not only knew your server's names, you knew all about their hopes, their goals, their family. You knew the manager's name and you made sure you told them how fantastic your server was. And you always tipped WAY too much. This is EVERY time, at EVERY restaurant. This says a lot about the kind of person you were.
Your deep love and devotion to your wife, Sydney, was beyond compare. Anyone could see the eternal connection you shared, the great marriage you were part of, what a doting and attentive husband you were. The way you made each other laugh, holding hands and your open show of affection. No one could make you happy like she did, and no one could make you laugh like she could. Hopeless romantics enjoying each other and the life you shared together.
You loved Christmas like no one else. You loved Disney World, old movies on TCM, rocking chairs on the porch, Sunday mornings at home with your wife, a nice fire in the fireplace and a big bowl of popcorn - you absolutely just loved life!
But now you have passed on. By your example, both professional and personal, you've left a blueprint of how to live a life full of love, laughter and happiness. The world will be a lot less fun, a lot less kind and gentle without Paul Revere in it. Your larger-than-life absence will leave a void in our hearts and our lives.
We are all blessed to have known you, and we'll miss you more than you could ever know.
Everyone who has ever listened and or met you.
R.I.P. My Friend