Summer Wrap Up And News!

Its been one heck of an awesome musical summer! I have to say I have never been so busy with music …. ever! I have been playing with a lot of great artists throughout the Fredericton area and have been part of some wonderful festivals. I have met so many new people it would make your head spin. The great part of this musical journey is the folks that walk into your life that you may never have met otherwise. This past weekend we played full out with my new group Carla and Family Tradition ( Fred Meyers and Wayne Hachey). We were in Minto, Clarks Corner and Cambridge Narrows NB. And as always I want to express my deep appreciation to those who supported in any way that they could. You are the ones that help keep music alive.

We are now booking into the fall and the new year with both Carla and Family Tradition as well as Ferris Bonnell and McNeill. I am very blessed to be a part of these two awesome groups. I am personally ramping up to get ready for the big Rise Up TV show tour that will start filming in May 2018 which when you think about it, its not that far away! Especially if the winter passes as fast as this summer does. Lets hope it feels like that. I’m not looking forward to being snowed in.

If you would like information on how you can sponsor me on this tour, please get in touch with me. If your a business you will have your name plastered all over the place by attaching yourself to my little wagon. Ta for now!

 

Carla and Family Tradition

The Hollywood Star Room August 26th 2017

Making Your Mark

Its been quite some time again since I had a few moments to add to the blog. Say Blog a few times, it can get weird in your head. Doesn’t sound like a real word after a while! But that’s besides the point. I was avoiding by attempting to distract you on that word and I apologize. A lot has been going on in my corner of the world. Moving from house to house, job to job, just like a true gypsy I guess.  At the same time I have a few projects on the go. It occurred to me in the last adventure I found myself on, that I have more pens in my arsenal to make a mark with than I thought I did.

I decided to take a leap of faith and do something fantastic for myself: SELF INVEST. Many of us in the music world seem to want others to invest in us, but we are a little hesitant to invest in areas we may be unsure in. That’s normal and it comes with confidence in our abilities to discern the unknown and sometimes we have to re-learn what we once thought was solid fact. Things are changing all the time, yet there are some things have a stronghold in certain areas. Some of us throw up our hands in despair and quit, while others wander around hoping to find the light switch. We read and research and still haven’t a clue how to put things into action and if we do, we question whether it is a worthwhile endeavor or our time and our money.

I thought I would leave some tips for those who are hungry to make their mark in whatever it is they choose to do.

Be Open

Don’t put yourself in a position of being right all the time. How often I hear people say ” well that’s not how we do it, or used to do it”. Stay flexible in your thought process.  Keep you mind open to hear new ideas that fit what you want to do and learn something you didn’t know. The best teacher is a student because it forces you to pay attention to the smallest of details. Life is fluid and we need to be fluid in our thought process as well.

Embrace the Screw Ups

Many of us think that failure is a bad thing. Failure is your best teacher because if your adverse to negativity in anyway, you will make sure your failure next time becomes a success. It would be sad if you quit after failure. Failure can be your best friend and create in you valuable wisdom that you would not have been able to get being successful.

Its Not About the Money

Maybe yes…maybe no. Money is a tool, its a thing. Its the way we exchange in our society. Making money is a SYMBOL of VALUE placed on a service or good. Our ideas about what money symbolizes limits us one way or the other. And perhaps its not about money, its about your limited belief system of your inherent value in the world of exchange. Its not a bad thing to give. Give what you desire to give and stop when it moves from freely giving to a place of feeling like your being taken advantage of. The most simple concept is often the one that is the hardest to put into practice.

and lastly….

BE NICE

No matter what you choose to do in life, your attitude its everything. Sometimes you may get the ” gig” on skill, but you will continue to get the call backs and your name comes up first when you have the skill and the manners! No one wants to deal with a diva. When you are selling any product or service, your not selling the thing, you are selling yourself. Are you trustworthy, understanding, knowledgeable, and flexible? This keeps you top in people’s minds. They will forget the product in time but they will always remember their interaction with you.

 

And that’s all she wrote as they say here in NB. Just my thoughts for today. I hope it was helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

Loving the Adventure

My last blog was about coming out of a pit. I think I’m half way up the rock wall right now. Happily we are having a blizzard in New Brunswick Canada and that makes me feel safe strangely enough. Because I know the world is going to be busy dealing with natural ” disasters” and they will leave me the heck alone for a bit. So I’m looking forward to being unnoticed for a couple of days.

I do love the adventure of my life. Sometimes it can wear you down pretty quick but its so good to get to that place where you can look back and say ” Thank God I’m not there anymore”. It gives you a hope for the future. Those who know me personally know that I have a relationship with my Creator. So He gets all the credit and the thanks for all good things in my life. I even love watching myself getting older because I giggle to myself of how ” wise” I have become. I would never wish to be a teenager again. Youth is cool when your there, but I wouldn’t want to repeat it. I love where I am at. I love the succession of one event after the other.

There is a cool place you get as you get older. You find your place. You know who you are. The creative process returns to expression for expressions sake and not to impress or to ” get to success”. Success is right where you are at doing what your doing and being who you are. That’s my tidbit of wisdom for today.
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Resurrected from the Pit

They say if its worth having, its worth fighting for. There has definitely been a war going on as far as a music career goes. I am lucky to have such a wonderful support system. This has been a crazy year. A temporary move from Ontario to New Brunswick has created both amazing opportunities for friendships and unforgettable memories, but it has brought some serious financial difficulties. When I first arrived I was armed with equipment and my axes, full of energy and vision to keep the momentum up that I had worked so hard to attain in Ontario. The typical New Brunswick Brick Wall was hit and hit hard. All I have left now, from just trying to survive is some very solid friendships ( Thank God!) and my guitars. I swore I would never lose my tools of the trade, but it happened. I can’t really think about it even now or I will literally wake up in the night in a panic knowing that these tools of the trade are gone.

I won’t give up or give in to the circumstances. Yes yes, it wears me down and I get very depressed at times, but then the Holy Ghost second and third and tenth wind comes and infuses me with ambition and hope again to continue on. That is where I find myself today. I am armed with a great deal of useful experience. The writer is always bombarded with ” real life issues” otherwise we would be less effective in our craft. Well no worries there! I have always got a good country folk song that I lived out completely to write for my wonderful listeners.

I was speaking to a friend of mine who called me today. I barely could speak because I lost my voice thanks to the lovely and generous virus that came my way last week, but I listened and listened good. She reminded me that I’m not alone. Artists goes through some really hard places. I think what makes it a little more challenging is when we can’t channel those experiencing into the craft in some creative way. That was my issue this year. I neither had time or energy when I did have the time to put thought to paper. I would then start worrying about not being able to finish the album that is has been ready and waiting in Ontario for print. I literally wore myself out this year trying to be all things. I won’t say to all people because I honestly was too busy just trying to keep a roof over my head, food on the table and pay the bills. Good country song right? A typical one for sure!

What changed? Probably not a whole lot, except this: I made a decision that I am not going to put all this on my shoulders all by myself anymore. I can’t. It won’t work. God has to because I cant. Took me long enough to figure that out. So I’m letting him do it and I’m just along for the ride. The album will be financed eventually. It will get done. In the meantime, I am going to do what makes my heart the happiest which is building relationships, telling stories and entertaining whenever He grants me the grace to continue.

In the meantime, I will get back to writing that book I promised myself I would do for way too many years. Stay tuned and be sure to share this page with your friends and folks.  Enjoy the show from Ringo’s last spring

 

 

What’s up!

Its been a year since I have had the opportunity to post in my blog. I apologize for being so slack with writing. However its been a very busy year! There’s been a few changes since I last posted. This past year I was signed with BME STUDIOS CANADA as an artist. That wonderful connection has enabled me to provide a radio show through BME RADIO ONLINE called CARLA’S COUNTRY MILE. I developed this radio show to promote independent artists who do not get as much airplay as the commercial artists do. I couldn’t believe how many artists I actually knew from all of my travels throughout Canada. A country mile is about the long journey we all take to have our music heard and supported. I play almost all genres.

Coming up we will be doing live shows at venues when requested for a donation to BME Radio Online to help us help you. I will be having live bands come into my kitchen studio to play live for you. I’ll be posting a lot more often now that I have settled down a bit. But that is it for now and we will see you all soon!

 

Carla

 

The Risk of Transparency

I ran into a situation just recently. It had to do with recent and old hurts all wrapped up in one big ball called a mess. I considered it, and truthfully I just cannot understand the concept of ” hurt”. Not that I don’t know what it is to feel emotional pain, but I can’t understand the concept of not just accepting the pain, feeling it, and then deciding ok that’s enough time to move on. Some may see that as heartless and callous. However, in my perspective and experience in life, I don’t see it as that at all. I see it as….. it happens. None of us are exempt from excruciating pain ranging from a variety of causes. Sometimes pain comes from self infliction through a choice of a wrong word or bad decision, sometimes its inflicted upon us by others. Sometimes people intend to hurt us, sometimes they don’t but we get hurt anyway.

The whole issue caused me to take another look and start to think about the whole issue of hurt. I had to realize pretty quickly this simple concept. What makes me so special that I feel I should be exempt from being hurt? It was an easy realization to quickly say … nothing makes me that special. I’m by no means a spiritual guru, but I believe that I do have a strong relationship with my maker who I like to consider my father. That’s what gets me through troubling times, being able to think on the scriptures and realize that so many things I could hold on to and trouble myself with are not worth the trouble. Life is but a vapor of smoke. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger… and so many more scripture that I use to guide my behavior and thought life. I said GUIDE, I’m human and I struggle with such simple concepts as well at times and have to work them out in my own speed as I allow the revelation of these” simplistic” scriptures to work more deeply in me.

I have to often remind myself to let hurts go. I hate crying. I am not a weeper. I never have been. I don’t like the feeling of tightness in my throat or my nose getting all stuffy. I find it exhausting to cry. But apparently I have heard the experts say its a good way to release pain. Maybe that’s why I have some aches and pains. I should really take up crying. Sometimes I think though if I start I may never be able to stop! I’m sure others feel the same way.

As a song writer, I know I have been told my lyrics can be powerful because they are elusive but poignant at the same time and can speak into many situations. I appreciate that. My personality has often been described the same way by those in my inner circle. I’ve been experiencing a bit of writers block this past year. I don’t like what’s coming out of the pen. Song writing is a lot like self discovery. It on  some level has to be personal because the writer is engaged in the act of telling the story that is being put down on paper. But I realized a little while ago, that I have had pent up emotions. And because of that the flow of writing has almost stopped cold. I have a lot of things rolling around in me that I want to put down on paper. Great songs! But when I look at the paper, my mind quiets, and I feel lost. Transparency as risks. Honest writing also has risks. So what ends up happening is…. I hide in myself, I return to covers… and I stop writing…. at least until I can get it figured out on how to write without risk. Of course that’s a bunch of hooey because there is always risk when you write! Just like this blog is a risk. But I thought I would be brave and semi transparent and give it a whirl.

Hurt, as far as I am concerned, has two levels to it. On one level, it is unavoidable, on the other level, you need to expect it to happen. What am I to do with it? Well, if I think someone else is going to open up their hearts to say, oh yes, I see where that could have hurt you and I’m sorry… well I don’t count on it and I don’t look for it. On the rare occasion I do but I soon head back to my self determined philosophy of living with myself this long, that it doesn’t matter what I have done or not done, or someone else as done or not done, the only one responsible for the way I feel is me. Yes I have had injustices in my life. Small offenses too. But in the end it doesn’t matter. The only justice that is available to me, is living beyond the limitations of hurt. That’s justice. The blame game is so tiring. Even the whole psychology of speaking up so that others will take responsibility for their words and actions is tiring. That still puts me in a position where I have to monitor some one elses feelings and actions and I’m just not up to the task. I have found living this way is the best way to remain untainted by bitterness as well. Sometimes it takes a little more work and a little more effort depending on the hurt incurred, but in the end its worth it. Of course I have ” simplified” what I have spoken of here. Life is too grand to put in a few words. But I offered a small snippet of how I maneuver through troubling times. Its only my experience and my choice on how to deal with things I don’t always understand. There’s freedom in that. So take it with a grain of salt and do what you need to in order to be free from the cage called hurt. ( And try not to purposefully hurt anyone in the process  ***:)***)

 

Never give up

I  have had the good fortune to talk to a lot of local musicians and artists this summer. It broke my heart to hear of some of their stories of discouragement. The music industry isn’t the easiest industry to be in. People can be down right mean in every way imaginable. Thank goodness not eveyone is! I was able to share some of my experiences with those who were disillusioned. First of all there is no such thing as “stardom”. Its an illusion that we buy into. All we have is connection- human connection with one another. Music is the greatest relationship builder, first to your own soul, then to reach out to another’s soul.

On July 29th I released my very first official video for a track of my album ” The Liberator. This song means something very personal to me. As a Maritimer, for years I have always watched my friends and family move away to places westward for employment and better security. In the early days it was Ontario, in the latter years it has been out west. There are many reasons why our economy is the way it is, but you would really need to read an indepth history book on our region to completely understand it, our you will just end up having a surface understanding that is biased and untrue. I believe there are many people relating to the message in this video. We are almost to 500 views in only 3 days. Keep sharing! It was produced by Manee Osman and I would like to thank him publicly for doing such a fantastic job on a short budget!

I have been traveling alot this summer. I have a few days now where I can try and get my body back in shape from the demands I put on it. Maybe get the soft tissue injure in my shoulder and neck under control. Yes yes… repetitive motion injury from playing so much guitar and holding my arms out straight driving all the time haha. No compensation for me! I don’t come near to qualifying. We had a great time in New Brunswick with my band Small Town. We get together every chance we get when I’m in their area. They all live in New Brunswick and I live in Ontario. But we make it work. We didn’t even have a chance to practice so we went on stage cold. After a slow start on Friday night at the Gage Curling Club we lit the house on fire. We found our legs.

 

By the next night at the Hollywood Star Room we were ready to rock the house. We had Erynn Robichaud open for us and she warmed up the crowd in good shape. 14 year old Erynn sang her heart out and the crowd loved her. We had a special anniversary that night and also sold tickets on a basket of merch. We always have so much fun at the Hollywood Star Room its hard to shut it down and go home.

Once I returned to Ontario I didn’t have much time to recoup before heading to the Ontario Country Music Open (Contest). I was really considering just not going. I wanted to prepare for the Blind River (Rocking on the River) Festival. But I chose to go with the thoughts I wouldn’t make the semi’s. Unfortunately I did hahaha. Murphy’s law! Although I am thankful for the opportunity. There were about 200 people there and they seemed to be very responsive to the classic country I tend to play. I did have a lot of fun! Got to see some old friends too!

I took off after the event and went to bed to get up and head three and a half hours west to play at the Blind River Festival. What a great bunch of people there too! I had a blast! If your going to be exhausted, be exhausted living life to the fullest!!.

12 hours of playing and being on the road I came back to Callander Ontario to compete in the finals. I made 9th place. I was happy with that because I knew Sunday I could SLEEEEEEPPPPPPP!!!!

 

So what’s up this week? Heading to Moose Factory Ontario then returning from there to head to Sault Saint Marie to start pre production for the new album. After that its back to New Brunswick to play the last gigs of the summer down there with Joan Kennedy, and some awesome other local people! ( Dale and Lorraine Krall, Macey Jenkins, Josleyn and Jolene, Terry Ferris and more!). If you had of asked me last summer what the next year would have brought I wouldn’t never have been able to imagine what has come to me with hard work and perseverance and a little business knowledge. Don’t give up. Just do it.

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More Radio Play!

ImageThe Liberator is doing very well in many radio stations across the globe. The Last Train is received 1857 spins on radio stations! More stations have agreed to play The Last Train!

 

 

Effective July 1st:

KHTL Los Angeles, California USA
www.hotfm-radio.com/losangeles1

KHTP Phoenix, Arizona USA
www.hotfm-radio.com/phoenix1

KHTS Shanghai, China
www.hotfm-radio.com/shanghai1

KHTI Istanbul, Turkey
www.hotfm-radio.com/istanbul1

KHTB Buenos Aires, Argentina
www.hotfm-radio.com/buenosaires1

You can click any link and request radio play for the song. Thanks so much for supporting the music of Carla Bonnell

Major Radio Push and Official Video

The Last Train has been chosen for an international radio campaign by the Berkshire Media Group out of Los Angeles. Please visit my main page and click the REQUEST RADIO button on the right hand side of the page. The first 5 links are specific to the campaign. You can also listen to the Last Train on my page if you are not familiar with it yet. I am hoping it will be well received by those who listen to these radio stations. You can help make that happen.

I am also very excited to let you know that the OFFICIAL VIDEO for the Last Train will begin being story boarded within the next couple of weeks!! This is my first time in doing a professional music video and I am very excited to share the process with you with videos and pictures on this blog! Stay tuned! And thank you again for our love and support!!