Since I have been working with my friend and Producer Jarome Matthew for the past 3 years or so, we have been doing covers of 80’s songs.  We both love 80’s music, and have had a lot of fun bringing some of those songs back to life. Many of my happiest memories are of dancing at nightclubs in the 80’s with my friends, and I really miss that time when songs were really well-written – both in terms of the music, and lyrics.

     Although we have enjoyed recording these covers of 80’s tunes, we have learned how difficult it can be to get these songs “out there” as an indie artist.  Jarome knows how much I love songs from that decade, and that there are many more I would love to record, but he also knows that doing a non-cover song would be really good for me.  He has been telling me for the past couple of years that we really should be doing an original song.  At first I didn’t “get” that – I was just so excited because there are so many 80’s songs I love, and would really like to do my own version of. After having done a couple, I have seen firsthand that it is not an easy thing, especially when you are not “famous”. Every time your song gets on iTunes, there are sometimes hundreds of other versions that you have to compete with, whether you view it that way, or not. Add to that the fact that your version will always be compared to someone else’s, and things get even harder.

     Thankfully, Jarome is someone I know well and trust completely, so he was able to finally get around my stubborn side, and we did record our first original song recently.  Those of you that have kept up with my blog posts over the last few years will recall that we have done some work with Darryl Kromm of Canadian Band Strange Advance.  He most graciously agreed to do backup vocals on one of our cover songs for us. Now, he is letting us use one of his original songs that virtually no one has heard before . We are very excited to be on the verge of releasing our first song that isn’t a cover, and are totally stoked that it was written by Darryl! He is an amazing songwriter ( not just a phenomenal vocalist 🙂 and this new song he penned has an 80’s dance feel – just love it!

     It is a really cool feeling to know that once this new song is released, there won’t be any other versions for people to compare it to. There also won’t be huge roadblocks, trying to get it out there, as we won’t have someone saying they “don’t know who we are”, and therefore, won’t help us.  We are so grateful to Darryl for giving us this opportunity – without his generosity, kindness, and talent, we could not have done this.

     Jarome has sent me a couple versions of the song since we recorded it – he picked out what he felt were the best vocal takes, and played with the music a little bit, and now he’s ready to do a final mix.  It won’t be long now until he sends me a final version – maybe a couple of weeks.  I’ll let you know when it’s all finished. 🙂

     Here’s a “blast from the past” photo for all my club friends from the 80’s:

Heather Doré in the 80's


In events, life
9Sep 11

     When people visit us up here on the Sunshine Coast of B.C., we often take them on a hike to the Skookumchuck.  It is almost an hour’s drive up the Coast from Sechelt, but well worth it.  Once you park, it is a bit of a walk in before the trail starts, so you want to wear your most comfy shoes.  One good thing is that there is a portable washroom both at the start and the end of this trail – many up here only have them at the beginning, so this is a real bonus. ( important stuff to know when you are drinking lots of water …;)

The Obligatory Sign

One of our favourite parts of the hike was seeing what my Husband called “The Skookumtruck”, which for the longest time, was parked at the side of the road into the trail.  It has been moved a bit – I’m sure you’ll spot it when you go.

Skookumtruck

If you are looking for a nice, easy hike, this is the trail for you.  It takes a while to get in, but it is one of the most wide and flat trails we have encountered on the Coast so far.  You can see this in the next picture.

Lovely People Hiking

There are a lot of great photo opportunities while going throught the forest in here – the trees are gigantic, and many are covered in moss.

Trees at Skookumchuck

Part way along the trail, you go past Brown Lake, which is always a good place to get a picture, no matter what the season.  I have probably taken a couple hundred pictures in this area, and they always look a little different each time.

Brown Lake

As with most of the hikes up here, the end is always the best part.  (You are once again rewarded with a fabulous view.)  This one is a little different than most others, though, as it is all about the tides.  Depending on what time of day you go, you’ll either see the Ebb ( outgoing ) – which brings swirling whirlpools –  or the Flood ( incoming ) which creates a standing wave. The following sign explains a bit about it:

Skookumchuck Rapids Sign

Pretty much every time we’ve hiked the Skookumchuck, we’ve been there during the Ebb tide.  It is very cool to watch the water churning and swirling around like crazy.  The last time we went, in July, my Brother-In-Law was visiting, so we wanted to show him something different. It started with some waves …

Flood Tide Waves

… and then came the Kayakers, who always draw a crowd of eager photographers from all over the world.  This is what most people come to see.  Theses kayaks are very small, and are made specifically for doing  “tricks”.

Photographer at Skookumchuck

My camera isn’t the greatest, but I managed to get 40 – 50 decent shots of these guys riding the standing waves.  It was really cool to watch.

Trick Kayak - Red

Trick Kayak - Yellow

The 3 of us must have sat and watched these guys take turns riding the waves for well over an hour, with a bunch of other people.  It was absolutely amazing, and we were so glad we got to finally see the Flood tide for the first time – so different from the Ebb we’d always seen before.
It was a great day, and after stopping for some dinner on the way home ( at the Back Eddy Pub ) we could see the sun going down by Ruby Lake.  We just had to stop for a couple of minutes so I could snap a couple more pictures.  This is one of my favourites:

Sunset at Ruby Lake

So, if you’re up here on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, and looking for a great ( but not too difficult ) hike, pack a lunch, and check this place out.  We locals think it’s pretty skookum. 🙂
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My Next Song

Posted by Heather

     For any of you that have been following my Blog posts for a while, you’ll already know that it’s been a little over a year since I was last talking about my next song.  If you are fairly new to this site, you can get filled in here.  Much has happened in the last year or so,  including the fact that my producer Jarome Matthew and his family moved to Beijing, China, where he has built a brand new Recording Studio.  Obviously, it was a little easier for us to get together when we both lived in Vancouver.  I’ve been up on The Sunshine Coast for 3 years now, and he lives far away, so logistically, it has been interesting.

     The moves haven’t stopped us from working on anything – it just makes it a little tricky when it comes to actually recording. Luckily, Jarome and his family had planned a visit to Vancouver recently which happened to fall during some holiday time for me.  We were fortunate to be able to arrange some Studio time this past Friday with Kevin Hamilton of Fresh Air Audio.  It was so good to see Jarome again, record a new song, and to meet Kevin, who was just wonderful.

Heather In The Booth

Jarome and I are both really excited to have recorded our first original song, which was written by Darryl Kromm. ( from well known Canadian Band Strange Advance )  All of our songs so far have been covers, so this is pretty cool to finally be releasing something virtually no one has heard before.

Heather In Booth Closeup

Heather Doré at Fresh Air Audio

Producer Jarome Matthew and Heather Doré

We had a great session in the Recording Studio, then we kept with tradition and went out for dinner to celebrate.  It seems every time Jarome and I record together, we always end up going out for a good meal afterwards.  As always, we made sure we split a couple of decadent desserts – after all, it was a special occasion, right? 😉

Producer Jarome Matthew and Heather Doré Dinner

Once Jarome gets back home, he’ll work on the song, and I will keep you posted as to what’s going on.  Thankyou all for your patience –  we’re looking forward to writing some of our own stuff together very soon, as well.  I’ll let you know how that goes …
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Waiting For Summer

Posted by Heather
In events, life
20Jul 11

     I grew up in Southwestern Ontario, and I am used to nice, hot Summers.  I have many wonderful memories of trips to the beach at one of the nearby lakes: laying on the soft, warm sand, swimming, laughing, and having fun.  We would play beach Volleyball, have a picnic, or just bask in the warm rays, and relax.

      When I was 16, our family moved to B.C.  My parents said it would be a “milder climate” – not such hot Summers, or such cold Winters.  Well, I loved the heat, and I also loved the beautiful, sparkling, fluffy white snow, in the Winter time. ( Christmas is just not the same when it’s green out. )  In short, it was a big adjustment for me living out here after spending so many years in Ontario.

     Fast – forward to today.  This has to be the absolute worst “Summer” I have ever had since living in B.C.  The temperatures have been ridiculously low, most days have been full of grey skies, wind, and showers.  The sun has come out a handful of times – I have literally walked upstairs to put on shorts and a tank top, and by the time I get to the deck, the sun has gone under the clouds again – no joke.

     We love to go out in a kayak, go for a walk, or a long hike, but these are not things you want to do when it’s cool, windy or rainy out.  I can’t believe it’s 2/3 of the way through July – this is just crazy !  I had some time off in June, and had a lot of outdoor plans, but none of them happened, because of the lousy weather.  Too bad you can’t get a refund on your time off from work if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

     I am really hoping that the sun will come out – and stay out – very soon, and for a while.  There are a lot of people here feeling emotionally drained who could use some sunshine to perk them up.  ( and yes, of course, they will wear their sunscreen, and be smart about it ! )

     What I am really longing for is some hot sun, palm trees, and a comfy lounge chair – somewhere where there is no wind to ruin the amazing heat.  Maybe I should just move to Vegas … 😉  I can dream, can’t I ?


The Voice – The Final Four

Posted by Heather
In events, music
28Jun 11

     It’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote about this amazing show.  Tonight, it was down to 4 finalists:

Dia Frampton  ( Team Blake )

Beverly McClellan ( Team Christina )

Vicci Martinez  ( Team Cee Lo )

Javier Colon  ( Team Adam )

     Part of the reason we keep watching this show is that it has something different pretty much every week.  Tonight was no exception.  Not only did each Artist perform a duet with their Coach, which was very cool, but they each also sang an original song written just for them. 

     Highlight of the night for us in terms of the duets:  Beverly and her coach Christina performing “Beautiful”.

     As for the original songs,  both my husband and I liked Dia Frampton’s performance the very best,  just barely edging out Beverly McClellan’s.    We absolutely think that one of these ladies will be crowned ” The Voice “.  They have very different styles and voices, but both are absolutely going to be superstars!

     The last few weeks watching this show have been so awesome – what a journey, watching the artists get better every week, and getting to know them, and their famous coaches.  It’s great to have a show that isn’t the same old format as many others – very refreshing.

     We are totally stoked to see the Winner of The Voice revealed tomorrow night on NBC !!!

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In events, life, music
9Jun 11

     This show just keeps getting better and better !  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read my previous posts about “The Voice“.   The second one is here.  You can visit the Official site on NBC, as well, here.  Tuesday night was the beginning of the Quarter Finals – Round 1.

     Singers from Team Christina and Team Blake took the stage this time, and both my husband and I had some clear favourites.  Hands down, we agreed that the overall strongest performer of the night was Beverly McClellan, ( on Christina’s Team ) who sang “Im The Only One”.  This was the perfect song for her – she totally rocked it !  This woman has one powerful voice, and knows how to take charge of a stage, and engage the audience. Unbelievable!  She nails everything she does.

     As much as I admire Beverly’s strength and power, I must admit, I love watching quiet, shy people have the chance to shine.  I absolutely understand how difficult it is to love to sing more than anything in the world, but to genuinely be a shy person.  Forcing yourself to keep getting up and doing it because it brings you joy, is at once hard, yet empowering.  This brings me to our next 2 favourite contestants of the night. Dia Frampton sang and played piano to ” Heartless “, and you would never have known that she was the least bit shy. Her voice is unreal – so incredibly beautiful and unique, and her performance seemed effortless.  Xenia, who seems even more nervous, finally came out of her shell a little, used some movement onstage, and smiled a lot more than before, when she sang ” Price Tag “.  This girl is young, and has so much potential. Her voice is phenomenal, and I don’t think she has any idea how good she is, which, in itself, is yet another reason to like her.  The quality and tone she has is just beyond words. Wow!  Both of these girls are on Blake’s Team.

     Although we didn’t think the song choice was the best on this particular night for Team Christina’s Raquel Castro, ( she has sung songs better suited to her previously ) she is still in our Top 4 for the night.  She sang ” Blow “, and did a really  good job, worked the crowd, used the space, and kept the energy up.  At 16, Raquel is the “total package” – she has a great voice, is beautiful, can dance, and knows how to work it.  This girl is going to have one heck of a career ahead of her – no doubt about it.

     All in all, it was a night of really amazing performances, but those were the ones we enjoyed the most.  I can’t wait until next week to see what happens next …

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In events, music
22May 11

       A few weeks ago, I mentioned a new singing competition show that we had started watching, called “The Voice”.  The thing that appealed most to us about the concept of it was that people were judged on just that – their voice – and not on anything else.  In the “Blind Audition” rounds, coaches competed to convince the contestants with the best voices to be on their team.

     The last couple of weeks, they have entered into “The Battle Rounds” , where each coach must pit 2 of their own team members against each other.  They sing a duet, and the coach decides which one stays on their team ( thus advancing to the “Live Broadcast” stage ), and which one goes home.

     So far, our favourite singer from the battle Rounds is Casey Weston.  She sang “Leather and Lace” against her teammate, and we think she did an amazing job.  If you like Stevie Nicks, you may want to watch Casey in action – her voice is incredible, especially for one so young.

     We are looking forward to watching the next Battle Rounds on Tuesday night on NBC.  If you haven’t already, you should really check it out.


The Voice

Posted by Heather
In events, music
2May 11

     A while back, I wrote a blog post about a show called “Live To Dance”.   The main reason my husband and I liked this show so much was because for once, there was no age limit for the Contestants.  ( Many similar competition shows required that you be 30 or under. )  They also let people dance to any genre of music they wanted, and did not limit the size of the group.  We felt this was definitely a step in the right direction to make these shows more inclusive.  Obviously, not all talented people with hopes and dreams are 30 or under, and not all people fit neatly into certain categories.

     We really enjoyed Live To Dance, not only for those reasons, but because it was a very positive show. The judges were encouraging, and built people up, rather than tearing them down, and creating a lot of drama.  After watching this show, I recall thinking to myself, “Now why can’t they do a similar show for Singers ? “.  It would be awesome to see people of all ages and genres of music on a stage, with a chance to have their voices heard.

     Well, we were very happy to see the ads on T.V. a few weeks back for “The Voice”.  This show is just for singers, and has coaches Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Cee Lo Green.  The idea behind the show is simple: it starts out with what they call “Blind Auditions”, so named because people sing, but the coaches can’t see them.  Their chairs are literally turned away from the contestants, so all they can focus on is what really matters: the voice !!! Nobody can be judged for their age, what they look like etc., which we think is a huge step forward in these often superficial shows. You can read a brief summary of the stages of the show here.

     The first round of auditions was last Tuesday night, and the second round is tomorrow night, on NBC at 9:00/8:00 Central.  If you enjoy listening to good singers, and like to see talented people given a fair chance ( and not be judged by unimportant things, such as how old they are, or what they look like ) then please check it out!

     It’s about time they had a show like this !

     Now we just need to get them to have these kinds of shows in Canada ….


In life, music
19Apr 11

     I often get asked what kind of music I like best, and if I had to pick a favourite genre, what would it be?  Well, I like good music, regardless of genre. I think you have to be able to appreciate beauty in all its various forms, and music is no exception to this rule.

     If you’re talking dancing, I love some old school R & B and Funk, one example being Earth Wind and Fire.  I don’t know how anyone could sit still, and not dance to that groove.  I also love Swing n’ Jive music, such as The Stray Cats – all you need is a partner who has some mad skills on the dancefloor. ( and what girl doesn’t appreciate that ? ) Everyone who knows me well, knows that most of my time spent on a dancefloor was in the 80’s, and that I absolutely adore a lot of the music from that decade. I wrote a blog post about the 80’s a while back, and listed some of my favourite bands in it.

     I can admit to liking a good power ballad or two that bring back memories of school dances, and I think Crystal Gayle made me see Country Music in a different light when I was little.  I can appreciate some good old fashioned Rock n’ Roll, and more recently, I’m learning just how sweet The Blues can be, thanks to a Buddy from the Twisters.

     Obviously, there are many other types of music not listed here, but you get the point : most open-minded people can admit to at least liking one or two songs from pretty much every genre of music.  Good music is good music – to heck with the ” labels “.

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Elizabeth Taylor

Posted by Heather
In events, life
23Mar 11

     I was very sad this morning when I noticed on a friend’s Facebook status that Elizabeth Taylor had died.  As far back as I can recall, I have always admired her for her beauty and grace.  When I was a little girl, I looked at her in absolute awe – her gorgeous, dark, shiny hair, her incredibly beautiful eyes, lovely complexion and curvy figure – she was my ideal picture of what beauty was.  ( and I still feel that way )

     Of course, Elizabeth Taylor was more than just stunningly beautiful. She was a talented actress, a devoted and loving friend to so many, and the supporter of some very important causes.  Her beauty was more than just physical: she was strong,  smart, sexy, confident, feminine, and classy.  Most so-called “stars” of today pale in comparison to her.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

As most of you know, I have an affinity for all things Ancient Egyptian, so naturally, when I first saw her as Cleopatra, I adored her even more.  I can’t imagine anyone else having played that role ( and looking the part ) so well.
Cleopatra

Cleopatra

Today we say “Goodbye” to a classic beauty – a talented actress who loved deeply, understood the meaning of true friendship, stood up for what she believed in, and gave us all so many happy memories.  May you Rest In Peace, Elizabeth – you will not be forgotten.

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