December 29, 2016

Back Up Singers & Goodbye to 2016

Over the holidays I watched a documentary that fundamentally has impacted how I feel about music, and even more so about some of the famous songs of the 60’s, 70’s & beyond. In a good way!!!

If you love music, I highly recommend you watch ‘20 Feet from Stardom‘. I never knew the name Merry Clayton (Stones-Gimme Shelter) or Lisa Fischer (Sting-Hounds of Winter) until I watched this doc. I know them now, forever burnt into my musical psyche, and will be listening too and writing music differently from this day forward.


That’s all I have to say about that…

Oh and goodbye 2016 🙂

PS. Few new Raito & The Leed tunes coming your way early 2017.


October 10, 2016

Busking Success for Winnipeg 2016

I will update this soon, but wanted to quickly say to everyone that the City of Winnipeg has indicated they will produce a communication plan by the end of 2016 on Busking in Winnipeg. This is, to my best understanding, following the Edmonton model of clearly communicating existing by-laws, via our city website, and promoting the diversity of the arts in the Peg.

Select qoutes from City Council Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services & Parks- October 14th/2016:

Direction 1: Continue to develop Winnipeg’s unique artistic identity and diversity of expression.
Direction 6: Promote awareness of the richness of Winnipeg’s arts & culture within and outside Winnipeg.
Direction 8: Establish Winnipeg as a city of choice and desired destination for artists and creative professionals.

In short, I do believe this is an excellent outcome and win for buskers IN and travelling through Winnipeg. Happy Thanksgiving! #winnipegrocks

May 11, 2016

Busking Radio Silence Update, NO Busking Bylaw & Next Steps

My apologies for the radio silence the last two days. If you have been following my busker proposal this past week then here is the update. If not, in one sentence or less, I have had a fair amount of local media reaction to my proposal to Winnipeg City Council to implement guidelines for busking in Winnipeg; with the intent to have more freedom and more buskers performing in Winnipeg public spaces! #moreofagoodthing (Skip to the end of you just want the Winnipeg City Council Update)


So, after writing an open letter to the mayor/city councillors, I spent time explaining my proposal to multiple media outlets (CBC, CTV, Metro, Bell Media, etc.). Here is a short interview with Richard Cloutier (CJOB Radio Winnipeg) so you get the gist.

Youtube Link:

CITY COUNCIL UPDATE: On May 9th, a few hours after the CJOB interview, I found myself patiently waiting at City Hall (Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks) to state my case. Unfortunately, I didn’t book the entire morning off and ran out of time, due to another local issue running WAY longer than expected.  After excusing myself, I did leave behind the Edmonton Busking Guidelines and learnt later that City Council committee unanimously agreed to  review busking guidelines in Winnipeg. I did request to speak at a future meeting, and kinda promised I would bring my guitar next time! 🙂

My intent is to follow up with the committee in the next couple of weeks and ensure that they are considering all the angles/facts when it comes busking in Winnipeg. The ultimate desire is to make busking easier, more transparent, and the most street performing friendly city in Canada.

April 27, 2016

Busking By-Law Open Letter to Winnipeg Mayor & City Council

Recent Press: 

May 6th Winnipeg Sun Article
May 7th Metro News Article
May 8th Global News & Winnipeg Free Press

Original Open Letter Below


Dear Mr. Bowman,

I appreciate in advance you taking a moment to read and comment.

We have a problem in Winnipeg that is easily solvable for our fine music & art friendly city.

No Busking in WinnipegProblem:  We do not have a busking bylaw. Instead, police warn artists they are soliciting or hand out fines and lump in buskers with panhandlers. I blogged about this last year, after hearing about a local busker being fined. I know handing out fines isn’t the norm. Yet, if a busker/street performer were to have  a concrete by-law or defined set of rules in place, they would know how to play within the fence posts.

Fire Works Winnipeg PermitIt is beyond my comprehension that Winnipeg , who has and continues to create some of the world’s best musicians, in the absence of a bylaw, will not at least allow an artist (musician, juggler, mime, etc.) to get a permit or business license to share their passion & talent in public places. It is relatively easy to get a Winnipeg business license to give body rubs or a (no cost) permit to discharge fireworks. Does this make sense to you, that we are not so Friendly Manitoba when it comes to street performers & buskers Mr. Mayor? 

We all want a vibrant city and are constantly looking to improve downtown. Musicians and performing artists, like in 1000’s of cities worldwide, can add a positive, fun, cultured atmosphere, well beyond the buskers who have to apply for Portage Alive Busking (Jun-Sep) & the limited buskers & performers permitted at the Forks (annual busking license via competition).

Solution: I have provided links below to Kenora &  Edmonton’s Busking Bylaws (although Edmonton doesn’t technically have a bylaw). I would propose Winnipeg City Council copy either of their progressive approaches to providing direction to street performers in their city. I’m sure if you call either Mayor for permission to copy they would give you two thumbs up!

Kenora Busking Bylaw ~ 

Edmonton Busking Bylaw ~  In Edmonton you do not need a permit to busk/street perform. They have simply put together rules, publically displayed on their website, and have listed  all the relevant bylaws that apply.  This could be a very quick way for Winnipeg City Council to approve busking & street performing in Winnipeg while still protecting citizens.

In conclusion, we elected you for a reason Mr. Mayor; agility, transparency and accessibility! I do look forward to hearing from you Mr. Brian Bowman & any or all of City Council.

As with any open letter, this one is no different. I invite any and all to respond, no matter your opinion. I would especially ask the music/arts/performing community to weigh in too.

Best Regards,


Ref: City of Winnipeg Permits

April 26, 2016

Living Life In The Rear View MIrror

Living Life In The Rear View Mirror

Living Life In The Rear View Mirror

April 24, 2016

I had a dream about music revenue

Maybe I had the dream because I am currently selling gear to save up for a specific travel guitar, so I can write more tunes on the road! After all, If my music business was profitable…. which it’s NOT yet, then it wouldn’t be an issue right!

OK, so I’m sure I’m not much different than many other PT musicians out there, in that streaming revenue from my songs barely covers the cost of hosting a website, let alone buying new gear, repairs, video, etc. Ya, I have a full time job, but dang this music thing is an expensive sideline gig, that keeps so many of us in the RED!

How do I make it profitable?

So, I had a dream last night that I delved into the world of video review of gear. I awoke thinking could I help other people decide what gear to buy, and augment my musical revenue through affiliate commissions if people buy the gear I review.

Then I thought… what else is out there for PT musicians to augment their artist cash flow beyond streaming revenue…

What about merchandise? What about referrals to apps? What about online radio? Song reviews? Industry seminars?  What about online teaching? What else is out there???? Licensing instrumentals?

Time to find OUT!

My mind is spinning! Not sure where I go with this…. If you are a fellow musician would love to hear what you are doing to produce multiple streams of income from your music.

March 12, 2016


Writing a few tunes today. Decided to spare you my vocals, and give you a little Saturday afternoon guitar riff… decided to call it SHOTS 🙂

Hope you are having an AMAZING weekend!!! Wherever you are on this planet… whatever your are going through, we only have one SHOT at this thing we call LIFE, so hope you are LIVING IT to the FULLEST!!!

Raito OUT!

Shots Guitar Riff – 03-12-2016

Writing a few tunes today. Decided to spare you my vocals, and give you a little Saturday afternoon guitar riff… decided to call it SHOTS :)Hope you are having an AMAZING weekend!!! Wherever you are on this planet… whatever your are going through, we only have one SHOT at this thing we call LIFE, so hope you are LIVING IT to the FULLEST!!!Raito OUT 🙂

Posted by Raito on Saturday, March 12, 2016

February 20, 2016

The Game of Love-Keys To The Junos 2016

Happy Weekend To ALL!!!!!!!

Yamaha is having a songwriting contest to win tickets to the Junos 2016, access to the Juno Songwriting Circle, and some other wicked musical prize packages (for the top 3). Having said that, there is nothing I’m asking of anyone. No clicking. No voting. Just have a listen and comment or share if you choose. Yamaha Canada Music has judges who are going to be picking their top 3.
Either way, I have already WON!!! I have been working on this song for almost 20 years, and this contest gave me the inspiration to finish it! To me …that’s a prize all unto itself!!!

January 24, 2016

Need Help w/ Lyrics- Catching Fire Incomplete Song

Reaching out to my ‘artistic’ friends. I have been stumped on this song WAY WAY too long and could use some lyrical assistance. If you contribute, and the song goes anywhere… you will be #socan #copyright credited with dual writing status… #indie #rock # songwriting !!!!


Need Some Lyrics ~ Catching Fire

Reaching out to my 'artistic' friends. I have been stumped on this song WAY WAY too long and could use some lyrical assistance. If you contribute, and the song goes anywhere… you will be #SOCAN #copyright credited with dual writing status… #indie #rock #songwriting!!!!

Posted by Raito on Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 2, 2016

Happy New Year of Songs, Dreams & Dr Pepper

Happy New Year to all you crazy people still chasing your dreams, making a difference, and or living life to the fullest. I’m not going to get into a big review of 2015, as new beginnings tend to make us spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror.Having said that, this is my artistic outlet. As a songwriter, there are songs I have been working on for 16+ years. The past is where we came from, the past has brought us to today, and although it doesn’t define us… we can use ‘snippets of our experiences’ to complete the puzzle pieces of our present and future songs, relationships, and dream chasing! As long as we (you & I) don’t use the past as a crutch or excuse… sky is the freaking limit!!!!

So today, I leave you with an uncompleted song that I have been working on for 16+ years called Dr. Pepper. I thinking it’s a fitting reminder that our lives are a journey, not a destination. I started writing this song in a hospital room while waiting for my daughters heart surgery (FYI 100% successful). My wife crying while drinking Dr. Pepper, someone accidentaly stepping on a Ladybug, & a tea kettle crashing to the floor, are lyrics that lack context unless you were a fly on the wall.

May 2016 be a Year of New Songs for you & yours!