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.


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.

December 23, 2015

The Smell of Crayola Crayons

Writing music in my head… reminds me of Crayola crayons melting! That smell… I swear is the happiest odour ever. Call me weird 🙂
Check these out:

September 27, 2015

United Breaks Guitars & Taylor Rocks

It’s not every day you meet someone who has a video with 15 Million + YouTube views.  Last week,  I thoroughly enjoyed a performance/presentation from musician Dave Carroll on the true power of social media. He has translated a 20+ year musical career and a negative United Airline experience into pure magic! This music video was created for $150 and has not only elevated his musical exposure, but proves you don’t need a big budget to have a true impact. Creativity ROCKS!!!! If you dig into the story behind the song,  in my humble opinion,  United Airlines completely botched the importance of the power of social media. On the other hand,  Taylor Guitars, who gave Dave two new axes, received a megaton of free advertising for being logical & responsible in today’s social media driven reality.

Must say thanks to Dave for letting me play his Taylor Guitar after the presentation! (Which BTW… I was blown away with and is totally my next guitar purchase!) Please check out Dave’s other songs here. Mr. Carroll is truly talented and has many other songs that need to be heard.



August 4, 2015

Gonna Knock On Your Door

My Mom sang this Eddie Hodges song to me in the bathtub as a kid! Was just messing around, so thought I would record the verses 🙂

June 8, 2015

It’s Not The Instrument- It’s The Player

3am. I dare you to close your eyes and just listen to this version of “Pride & Joy”recorded on a toy guitar in Walmart. This vid came across my FaceBook feed and made me seriously smile. Also reminded me that “It’s NOT the instrument. It is the PLAYER!” When you check Clay out… there is golden talent behind that Walmart toy guitar!

Props to @ClayShelburn you #ROCK! Thanks for the smiles 🙂

Clay’s ReverbNation Link:

Posted by in Misc and tagged as , , ,

June 3, 2015

What’s your favourite song?

Please use this question responsibly. It’s more powerful than you can imagine, and should always be used for good… Not evil! 

 Let me tell you a story. 

Last night I had the opportunity for my personal love of music and my day job to cross paths…. 
You see during the day, I get to work with so many amazing people in the Prairies. About 6 months ago  I started asking each person, ” What’s your favourite song?” Why? Well, at first, I was genuinely curious, and just wanted to start conversation and get to know people better. But, It worked so well, I started keeping a list….

Epiphany!!! Then it dawned on me. These are the people I work with. This is our playlist I’m compiling. Wouldn’t it be awesome  at our next company event to play a personalized playlist? Where everyone in the room had their song played!!!!

BAM! Well that HAPPENED last night! I’m so stoked, and it is now my new FAV playlist: Praire Playlist 

I did add a twist, and provided a list of songs to everyone attending. Having prizes for people to mingle through out the night, and write the names down of who belonged to each song!!! No rules, just talk to everyone in the room and get their fav song. 

Pure magic.  Oh, the mingle made me tingle 🙂 It was was amazing to watch people interact and discuss their favourite song. The stories of who, what, why, when & where we’re flying around the room, as the playlist pumped out the speakers for over two hours!

Smile. Give it a shot yourself!  Ask your friends, co-workers, or family what their favourite song is. I guarantee you will be amazed at the conversation or playlist you can create!!! 

Worst case scenario you have a crazy good convo, or hear someone say, “I don’t have a favourite song!” 

Ok, so because I’m generally curious, “What’s your favourite song?” Please add your song into the comments. I know this will help me to get to know you better!

FYI my fav song of all time is AC/DC Back in Black….  Why? No matter what… It gets me jacked and pumps me up!

For imaginary bonus points… Would love to hear in the comments the story of why it’s your fav song?



April 15, 2015

Grooving Some Snarky Puppy – Lingus

OK. Sometimes words mean nothing. Just close your eyes, open your ears to the music, and  in the words of Taylor Swift, “Listen to this sick beat!”

Posted by in Misc, Video and tagged as , , ,