Canadian Angela Siracusa captures essence of country music

Written by Sabrina Tinsay

With her breezy vocals, Angela Siracusa captures the essence of country music. Siracusa’s latest album Drawn to the Flame has songs that can make one dance to their feet, sing along, and listen in complete stillness. In the song “It’s Not About Love,” once can decipher a sense of humanness and raw emotion spilling out into a piece of musical poetry. One song that stands out in Siracusa’s album is the title track, which is the cornerstone of her newest album. It is a great song to listen to during times of self-reflection. Without a doubt, Siracusa’s songs give us an assurance that we are not alone in this world, that a song can always mend a broken heart and make us smile any time of the day no matter where we may be. There is no doubt that Siracusa is a brilliant country musician with a new style.

Sabrina Tinsay: The country-music field is heavily competitive, especially among female artists. If I were a record label, what would you say are the qualities which separate you from the competition?

Angela Siracusa: I’m always open to the opportunity of being signed, especially because labels have superior distribution. I’m Indie right now, enjoying the successes without being signed. The best way to answer your question is what my manager told me when we began working together. He said so many female artists have the talent and the looks but invariably they lack the other qualities. In this business you can only go so far on talent and looks. It’s a tough business and you need the drive, the desire to keep you going when times get rough. You also need a great deal of intelligence and common sense as you will be faced with one career decision after another. If you have all these things coupled with personality, a desire to learn, and a strong work ethic, then you have the chance to rise above the competition. He says I have all these attributes and more, so who am I to argue.

Tinsay: Do you feel you’re at a disadvantage, in terms of being recognized by Nashville, by being based in Canada?

Siracusa: I feel I am at an advantage; they don’t call Nashville the “Music City” without good reason.  How many people get to travel and play in two great countries with amazing country fans in both?  I get to conquer both territories, spending about five months a year in Nashville and the rest in Canada. It’s important to my music business in keeping a strong artistic presence in Nashville. 

Tinsay: Where where you born and raised? Did you grow up in an environment wherein country music was constantly played?

Siracusa: I was born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in Woodbridge, Ontario. Country music was not the music I experienced with my friends but it was one of the major genres celebrated in my house. My mom has a love for country music and we would watch Grand Ole Opry, re-runs of The Tommy Hunter Show and Hee-Haw. Anne Murray, Debbie Boon, Linda Ronstadt and Crystal Gayle were some of my favorite singers. I’d learn their songs, then perform in front of crowds at weddings and parties. I knew early in my life my voice was made for country ballads. 

Tinsay: You did a duet with Walter Egan on his ’70s classic, “Magnet and Steel.” How did that come about?

Siracusa: My manager, Ken Kahler, called his long-time friend Walter Egan and asked him to listen to my demo songs. He then responded in an e-mail that he liked my voice and that he had some songs to suit my tonal quality, which he thought had a Linda Ronstadt tonal quality. I came up with the idea for the duet, and we just asked Walter and he said that he’d love to redo “Magnet and Steel” as a country duet. He co-produced the following songs, “Drawn to the Flame” and “Magnet and Steel.” Walter is so amazing to work with, a brilliant talent and super nice guy as well. 

Tinsay: Is there a large market for country music in Canada?

Siracusa: Indeed! Millions of country fans span across our country. Our CCMA’s and CMT Canada and the thousands of country radio stations and venues deliver the traditional and the new country music to Canadian country fans.

Lisa Dudley EP offers heartwarming patriotism with old-school country


Reviewed by Carson James

Lisa Dudley/I Believe in America (EP)

To say that Lisa Dudley’s music sounds as if it was released decades ago is an understatement. One track in particular, “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord,” captures the mournful twang of vintage country so well that it gives me flashbacks to an era I never lived through. In other words, like those classic black-and-white films they air on cable TV, “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord” has a haunting time-machine pull. Dudley’s rhythm guitar, Bo Brown’s mandolin and dobro, and Jonathan David Brown’s bass sound as if they’ve just returned from a Patsy Cline recording session. Then there is Dudley’s voice – fragile, sobbing, and filled with Gospel yearning. The shocker is that the performance, the lyrics, and the music are all new. Take it into the context of the Iraq War, and “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord” suddenly hits the world of today.

While the other two cuts on this emotionally stirring EP, the title track and “Twenty-One Guns,” don’t have the retro rush of “Bring ‘Em Home, Lord,” there’s no denying Dudley’s country-gold singing style. Free from the bogus pop seasonings of many of today’s country artists, Dudley returns the genre to its roots with her singing alone. The patriotic bent of this CD might be too sweet and sentimental to youthful cynics, but it is heartwarming and always a joy to listen to.

Published in: on March 9, 2008 at 5:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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