Archive for the 'career' Category

     It’s been a while since I was last in the Recording Studio, but after several challenging years, I’m happy to say that I was able to get back in and record a new Single with my Friend/Producer Jarome Matthew, back in June.

     The track is called “Why Can’t I Forget You?”, and both the music and lyrics were written by Jarome, as he knows I have had a hard time dealing with several losses over the past few years. In my Family, we lost both our Sister and Mother ( only 5 weeks apart ) a few years ago, then our Dad, last year. To say that these deaths left us devastated, would be a huge understatement. It makes you feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under your feet, and like your World no longer makes sense. Some losses in Life hit harder than others, of course, depending on the relationship, and the circumstances. I now feel as though my Life is divided into a “Before” and “After”.  Many People say “Time heals all wounds”, but Anyone who has lost a Loved One knows, this is simply not true.

     Whether you have actually lost a Loved One, or been through a painful breakup of a Relationship, this song speaks to that feeling of just not being able to “let go”, or “move on” in Life. I think it is something most of us can relate to. Grieving loss of Life ( or Love ) has no time limit. I find it sometimes feels as though Someone pressed the “pause” button, and you simply cannot go back to feeling many of the things you could before. We may want to move forward, so we can try and “live” again, but it is not always that easy… if only the painful wounds of the memories didn’t feel so raw and real. Jarome’s thoughtful lyrics certainly resonated with me.

     Jarome and I had a lot of fun spending the Day together, and recording the new song in his Vancouver Studio. It was great to finally be able to get together, as he had been away in his Beijing Studio the past few years.  My Husband snapped a few photos for us.

     The song will be released next week, and I’ll announce it with another post then.

In career, music
17Feb 22

     It’s been quite a while since my last Blog Post, but I am happy to let you All know that my Producer and I have recently put all of my Music back up online, for streaming and downloads. All 3 of my Singles, the Original “Cool and Careless”, my remakes of 80’s Classics “I Want To Know What Love Is” and “(Keep Feeling) Fascination “as well as my full CD, are now available again.  My CD “I’m Beginning To See The Light” ( with Big Band/Swing/ Lounge/Jazzy Classics ) is also available to physically purchase on Amazon. ( All links are on my Music Page )

     Please visit my Website, and go to the “Music” Page to check it all out:

     It feels great to have it all back up again, and to be working on a new Song, as well. More about that later…

     Thanks so much to all my Family, Friends, Fans and Supporters for continuing to be there for me, on my Musical Journey.



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“You Belong To Me”

Posted by Heather
In career, music
27May 12

     I recorded my first CD back in 2005, called “I’m Beginning To See The Light“.  Most of the songs are 1920’s – 1950’s Big Band/Swing/Lounge, and by far, my favourite song on that CD is “You Belong To Me”.  I’m sure the first version I ever heard of that song when I was a little girl was Dean Martin’s.  It was only a few years ago that I heard the version I would come to love most – that of Jo Stafford.

     Of all the songs I have recorded, this is the song I get asked about most.  A friend in White Rock told me he heard my version of it played at someone’s Wedding, and it seems to be a favourite at Karaoke – especially for the people who were around when the original was recorded. I was asked to sing it at a Wedding last year, as well. It was recently put on a Jazz Lounge Compilation CD in Taiwan and China, which was pretty cool.  ( Disc 2 Track 8 )

     A D.J. in Buenos Aires, Argentina dedicated half an hour to my CD shortly after it was released.  José Luis Ajzenmesser had a radio show called “La Guagua” , and it was mostly Jazz. He contacted me to let me know he wanted to feature my CD, and he played several songs from it during the show. He mentioned that he loved my version of “You Belong To Me” a lot, and that was evidenced by the fact that he played it twice that day. 🙂 I thought that was pretty awesome of him – a complete stranger, doing so much for me, simply because he enjoyed my music. That made me feel really good.

     The very first time one of my songs was played on the radio in Canada – it was “You Belong To Me”.  Well-known Bandleader Dal Richards kindly played it on his radio show in Vancouver one night, and gave me a nice little intro.  ( His wife used to be a regular customer of mine when I was a Cashier at a grocery store – a very lovely lady. ) Heather singing on the radio

     I have sung a lot of songs before that one, and since, but to this day, I think it is still my favourite one to perform. It has always meant a lot to me.  That is why, for my 100th Blog Post, I chose to write about this song I love so much.  Thanks for listening.

Sing The Melody, Please

Posted by Heather
In career, life, music
21Feb 11

     I remember a time when I’d hear a song on the radio, and would exclaim to my friends or family, ” I LOVE that song !!! “.  Admittedly, sometimes it was because I thought the guy singing it was cute, ( when I was very young ) but most of the time, it was because the song was well-written, and the singer’s voice was amazing.

     I have always admired people that can sing a song so beautifully that it moves you to tears – no fancy stuff, no embellishments or vocal acrobatics,  just a pure, rich, melodic tone to their voice. Their genuine emotion comes through in their delivery and phrasing, but it’s subtle, not over the top.

     Back in the day, people appreciated a good song, and a great voice.  You could close your eyes, and be transported to another place, and you never wanted the song to end. Think of all the Love Songs and Power Ballads you liked as a teenager … and how those songs still “get you” when you hear them, all these years later.

     A singer used to be able to sit on a stage on a stool in front of a mic, and just sing …. and people went crazy.  Back then, real talent was rewarded and appreciated, pure and simple.

     Nowadays, people expect a bunch of costume changes, elaborate sets, backup dancers etc. to keep their short attention spans focused.  Many of the famous singers don’t even have that great of voices, but they are marketed to look/act a certain way, and the masses lap it up, like a bunch of sheep. Some sound good in the studio, but live, not so much – this goes to show just how “manufactured” much of it is today. Why is that accepted?

     The main reason I’m writing this post is to address the issue of singing “runs”.  Well-executed runs, by such people as Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, and a large number of Gospel singers, are absolutely phenomenal.  We can all appreciate their vocal talent, whether or not it is our “kind” of music.

     What drives me crazy, is when contestants on all these singing competition shows try to emulate these people, and sadly, most don’t do it well.  There are only a handful of people that are able to pull these runs off, and it really should be left to them.

     I recall hearing Randy Jackson say to a contestant a couple years ago something like “That was great, you didn’t try and put runs all over it, you just sang the melody”, and I was very happy to hear that. When even the experts are saying that kind of thing, maybe some of these young people will get the message.  If you can really sing, you don’t need to drown a word in all these notes, to the point where no one can understand what word you were trying to sing.

     Just for fun, I Googled the subject of vocal runs, or melisma, just to see if I was alone in my opinion.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I am not.  There are a lot of articles on this, but one of the best I found was here.  Make sure you scroll down and read the part “What are they doing wrong” – it says it all.

     The best example for me of excessive vocal runs was when Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” came out, as is also mentioned in the above link.  Previous to that , I liked some of her songs, and I liked her voice.  To this day, if I hear the first few notes of that song, I run and turn it off. It is just too much, in my opinion. I may not be known as a Country fan, but I much prefer Dolly Parton’s version of the song.

     Even the handful of women who are really good at runs have songs ( such as ballads ) that I prefer the sound of their voices in – rich, pure and simple.  I want to hear a beautiful voice, not something drenched in vocal acrobatics all the time.  There is definitely a time and a place for it – in small doses, by a select few – but I think aspiring singers might want to find their own unique voice, rather than only trying to copy others …. just a thought.

     My husband agrees with me.  We were watching something on T.V. a couple weeks ago, and he said he wished people would just sing the melody, because “It’s not a yodelling contest ! “.

     Do you think that too many people are ruining songs these days by excessive vocal runs?  It would be great to hear some opinions on this subject.

Live To Dance

Posted by Heather
In career, life, music
29Jan 11

     I absolutely love to dance – it is definitely one of my very favourite things to do. Most of the dancing I’ve done has been in nightclubs, out with friends, having fun.  I have also taken some dance lessons, of various styles: Swing and Jive,  Ballroom,  and Tap. I would like to take Latin, as well as Belly Dancing, some time.  I suppose it is to be expected then, that I enjoy watching  ” dance shows ” on T.V.  The thing that I admire most when watching other people dance is not just technical perfection, but when you can really see that they absolutely love what they are doing.  The music just flows through you, and your body responds naturally – it is not forced. ( and certainly, not everyone is a natural ) For me, dance is an escape, a good way to relieve stress, socialize with others,  get exercise …. but most importantly, it is so much fun !!!

     Recently, we have been watching Paula Abdul’s new show, ” Live To Dance “.  What we really love most about it is:  unlike certain other dance shows that shall remain nameless, the dancers can be any AGE, any group size, any genre. 

     Similar  dance shows ( in Canada ) require you to be between the age of majority ( which varies by Province ) and 30,  or in the U.S. version, 18 – 30.  That has always bothered us – it seems so unfair.  So, if you are under 18, or over 30, and have big dreams of dancing, it’s not possible?  – that just seems ridiculous.  Talent does not begin at 18, and it certainly does not end at 30 !

     Anyway, I have to applaud this new show for being intelligent enough to broaden the rules to be more inclusive.  The judges are very positive and encouraging, and there aren’t the usual “mean” comments that are sometimes heard in these types of shows. They are honest with the contestants when they aren’t at their best, but any criticism is done constructively, which is as it should be.

     My favourites of the competition so far are:  Kendall Glover, D’Angelo and Amanda, and Twitch.  I really hope that one of these 3 wins!

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In career, life
4Jan 11

     From the time we are little children, people try and influence our decisions.  Most of the time, people that genuinely care about us are trying to be “helpful” or to lead us along the “right” path.  Telling us not to put our finger in a socket, or touch the stove when it is hot, are examples of good influence.  ( but most people know that the only way a child will really learn is to actually experience these things, and decide for themselves whether or not this is something they would like to repeat ) Telling a little girl she should be playing with Barbies rather than a train set is not a beneficial thing, nor would insisting a boy cannot wear pink, be.  As much as some parents may think these kinds of guidelines will help, they may actually be stifling their childrens’ creativity to a degree.

     I am not a parent, but I have lived long enough to know full well that most children want to be supported and encouraged by their parents in the things that they are actually interested in.  Just because your children may not share your interests does not mean there’s anything wrong with them.  Everyone is different – an individual, and we need to respect that fact.  Peoples’ differences should be celebrated, not hidden.  The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all into the very same things, or all shared the same talents and abilities.

     As adults, we are also faced with situations where we may feel like someone is trying to put a square peg in a round hole, so to speak.  I have never understood this – it makes no sense.  In the past, I have worked at jobs where one person is told they should get trained to work in a different department ( which they have absolutely no interest in ) yet there are people who have asked specifically to learn that job, yet don’t get the chance.  It is completely illogical to force someone to do something they really don’t want to do, when there is someone eager and interested just waiting for the chance.  One would think that employers would understand that each person has strengths, and putting them in an area that they excel at/have a real interest in, is a win/win situation for everyone.  Why would anyone purposely do the opposite? It certainly won’t gain you any respect, and it may make you lose truly good people.

      In my personal life, I always try and encourage friends and family to do things that make them happy.  It may be something they absolutely love, it may be something they have a natural talent for … the bottom line is: life is too short to let someone ( who obviously doesn’t have your best interests at heart ) force you to do something that makes you miserable. (whether this be in a relationship,  at a job, or whatever. )

     I think Einstein put it best when he said:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
–Albert Einstein

     Every person has value, whether it be in your family life, personal life, or work life.  It takes a lot of different personality types to make something work smoothly.  Not everyone has to agree all the time, but I do think we need to focus more on encouraging people in the things they are good at, rather than criticizing them for not doing something else.  Some people don’t seem to need praise – the over-confident, in-your-face type people, perhaps. Well, if they really felt that good about themselves, would they really need to be so in-your-face, loud and obnoxious?  ( Of course not !!! )  They are simply screaming for attention – it’s insecurity hiding under false bravado.  We’ve all seen the type.  As for the shy, “sensitive” people that society generally casts aside as being “weak” or “inferior”, well, news-flash – they have value, too!  They tend to take their time with things, do a more thorough job, and actually care about what they are doing – what a concept.

     I could go on and on about this subject, but for the sake of brevity, will try and wrap this up.  My main point is this: instead of tearing down people, we should be building them up, supporting them, encouraging the things they are good at/interested in.  If everyone gave this a try, I think we’d see much happier, healthier work environments, and this would spill over into other aspects of our lives.  Like Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius”.  Give people the chance to shine in their own way.

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In career, events, life, music
13Dec 10

     I realize that there are still a few weeks left in 2010, but with the holiday season almost upon us, thought it may be a good time to reflect back upon the highlights of my year.  Although things never seem to turn out how we may expect ( or wish ) them to, there are always some great things to look back on, when a year is almost over.

     The following are some of the things that made me very happy in 2010:

     My producer Jarome Matthew was not only successful in getting my entire CD on iTunes and various other music sites, but he also got my two 80’s singles ( remakes ) on there as well.  It takes a while to get reports from these sites, but I have seen some recently, and things are picking up.  It feels really good knowing that people care enough to check out my music, tell their friends, and support me.  You all know who you are, and you know how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. Word of mouth goes a long way, so please keep talking ….

     My husband and I did a lot more hiking this year, and it did wonders for our stress levels.  We went to our 2 usual spots several times each, but discovered our new favourite hike at Francis Point.  It is so incredibly peaceful there, and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.  It always reminds us of how very lucky we are to live where we do.

     We didn’t have much of a chance to really “get away’ this Summer, so we decided to try something closer to home, and were very pleasantly surprised with “A Lakeside Retreat ” in Egmont.  It ended up being everything we were looking for, and more! What a perfect escape – a beautiful Bed & Breakfast on a secluded lake,with a fabulous host.  We will definitely go back there again !

     It’s always good to get out and see some live music, and this year, we were able to do that more than usual.  I try and see my friend Brandon Isaak at least once a year, and when he came up to the Coast with The Twisters in September, we met some of our good friends at the Garden Bay Pub, to see him.  It was an awesome night of incredible music, and good company. It was definitely one of the most fun nights we had this year.

     If I had to pick one thing that I would consider to be the best experience of my year in 2010, it would be the Sunshine Coast Karaoke Idol Contest.  Going to Karaoke every couple of weeks in the Summer was so much fun, and we met some wonderful people, and a lot of fantastic singers.  I’m not really one for contests/competitions of any kind – it’s so not my thing, but I am glad I gave this one a shot.  It was worth it for the experience, singing in front of new audiences, trying new genres etc, but the very best part was the good people we met.  We made a lot of new friends during that time, and their friendships have definitely enhanced our lives. The Sunshine Coast has a lot of talented, supportive, kind, caring people, and I am so glad we had the chance to meet so many of them through this contest.

     I just re-read this post, and realized that pretty much everything that made me happy in 2010 either involved music or relaxing/enjoying nature.  I guess it really is true – this living up here for the past 2 and 1/2 years is really starting to help me get my priorities straight.  I am spending far more time doing things that bring me joy now, rather than worrying or getting stressed out like I used to. I still have a long way to go, but I do believe I am slowly mellowing out the longer I live up here, and that’s a good thing.

     Most importantly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and support this year.  Spending time with all of you brings me the most happiness of all.

In career, events, music
19Nov 10

     For those of you who read my blog posts regularly, you know that the last post I wrote was talking about recording my 1st CD in 2005.  ( if you haven’t read that post, you can find it here )  It took a lot of time, money and work to get to the point where we were ready to record, and it was definitely a learning process for me.

     After all that work, there was, of course, a ” big night ”  where I was going to perform the songs from my CD, and release it to the public.  My CD Release Party was held on April 12th, 2005, at Bogart’s on West Broadway in Vancouver.  Bogart’s was an intimate venue, with an excellent menu and a fabulous Martini list.  The event was by invitation only, and we had family, close friends, co-workers, and some music industry people in attendance.

Scott Wheeler Introduces Heather Doré

Scott Wheeler Introduces Heather Doré

My dear friend and Acting Teacher Scott Wheeler was nice enough to play Master Of Ceremonies for me once again ( as he did at my Wedding ) and introduced me to the audience.
Heather Doré Watches Her Band Sing

Heather Doré Watches Her Band Sing

Not only were my musicians phenomenal players, they also had great voices for backup vocals, both on my CD, and during the live performance of it.
Michael Bublé's Dad Lewis

Michael Bublé's Dad Lewis

After seeing Michael Bublé perform at Babalu literally hundreds of times over a 2 year period ( when he was still relatively unknown ) I got to know his parents, too.  I had gone to see their son every week from the start, so they wanted to support me, and attended my CD Release Party. In the above picture, Lewis was giving me some words of advice as I signed CD’s for him and his wife Amber, and Michael.  It was very sweet of them to take the time out to be there for me – the whole family has always been so incredibly warm and kind to me.
My Buddy Ron Drew This Picture Of Me

My Buddy Ron Drew This Picture Of Me

Singing in front of people that care about me was a wonderful experience. I felt so much love and support from so many – it was a great feeling. One of the highlights of the evening for me was when a couple of my co-workers presented me with a gift. My buddy Ron is a very talented artist, and he drew a picture of me, which you can see above.  I was almost speechless, and it made me cry, it was so good. What an awesome surprise!
My Sister Leslie, Manager Beverly Delich, Her Son-In-Law Mike

My Sister Leslie, Manager Beverly Delich, Her Son-In-Law Mike

Once I had performed all the songs from my CD, it was time to celebrate with some delicious appetizers, and a few drinks.
Pauleen, Heather, Leslie

Pauleen, Heather, Leslie

The above picture is one of my favourites from the night. My dearest childhood friend Pauleen and my Sister Leslie both flew in from out of town to support me on my big night.  Neither of them would have missed it for anything, and that meant the world to me.
My Sweet Mom

My Sweet Mom

Despite having a massive stroke not too long beforehand, my sweet Mother was also there to help me celebrate – she sat in the front row, and cheered me on while I sang.  I was truly blessed that night to have so many special people there with me.
It feels like so long ago now, but my CD Release Party was an amazing night in so many ways. I got to do what I love most – sing – dressed up, surrounded by the people I love most … and it was just the most magical feeling.  I could feel so much love, and so many positive vibes – it was the best.  I am very grateful to all who came out to support me on this most important night, those who bought my CD, and told others about me.  Having you all there meant so much to me, and it was a night I shall never forget.
CD Cover Shot

CD Cover Shot

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     I have mentioned before that I used to have 2 big dreams ( more like wishes ) in my life, when I was younger.  The first was to meet ” Moondoggie ” ( James Darren ) from the movie “Gidget”.  If you have been following my blog posts for a while, then you already know that I did that, in 2005.  It was definitely something I will always remember fondly. 

     I guess 2005 was a big year for me, as it was also the year I made my second dream come true, and that was to record a CD.  It was all cover tunes of 1920’s – 1950’s Big Band/Swing/Lounge music.  I recorded it at The Sound Kitchen in Vancouver, in January of that year.  Paul Airey and his wife had  part of their groovy Studio set up like an old-fashioned Diner – very cool, and lots of fun. Paul always kept it well-stocked with candy and snacks, which my musicians and I greatly appreciated.

     I was, of course, very nervous, since it was the first time I’d recorded a full CD in a Studio.  I was terrified of making mistakes, ( which would mean time and $ ) and was not as relaxed as I could have been.  Luckily, the guys I was working with could sense this, and would do silly things to make me laugh, and relax a bit.

     It was quite a learning experience, in so many ways.  We were all pretty happy with the end result. Paul Shatto did a great job making everything sound its best, and he was always there with words of encouragement.

Piano Player/Bandleader Doug Balfour Watches Paul Shatto Work His Magic

Piano Player/Bandleader Doug Balfour Watches Paul Shatto Work His Magic

Gary Mussatto Drummer Extraordinaire

Gary Mussatto Drummer Extraordinaire

Heather Doré at Sound Kitchen Studio

Heather Doré at Sound Kitchen Studio

Heather Doré and Gary Mussatto - Amazing Drummer

Heather Doré and Gary Mussatto – Amazing Drummer

Heather and Beverly Listening To Playback

Heather and Beverly Listening To Playback

I was fortunate to have a wonderful group of musicians working on my CD with me:
Doug Balfour – Piano ( and Bandleader )
Gary Mussatto – Drums
Karlis Silins – Bass
Ron Thompson – Guitar
Bill Abbott – Saxophone
Derry Byrne – Trumpet
Glen Tremblay – Trumpet
The kind and talented Neil Weisensel did all the arrangements of my music, and made sure things ran smoothly for me at all times.
Beverly Delich was in charge of everything, and gave it her all – she arranged for me to have the best people possible to work with- I felt so honoured to be surrounded by such talent.  It was great to work with not only such accomplished professionals, but really great guys, too.
Now it feels like such a long time ago, but at the time, it was a huge deal to me .
2005 was definitely one of the best years of my life for dreams coming true.  Maybe it’s time to think up some new ones …
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     In October of 2009,  I wrote a blog post about my re-make of ” I Want To Know What Love Is “.  It had taken a long time to get my song on iTunes and other music sites – over a year, in fact, and I was very excited that it was finally available online.  It is not easy as an Indie Artist to get music on the “big” sites, so it is always a big relief when it actually happens.

     I had received a lot of positive feedback from family and friends on that particular song, so was naturally eager for it to be easily accessible for people. My only disappointment was that I could not secure a license to sell it online in the U.S.A.  I have a lot of friends and fans in the States, and many of them weren’t pleased that they couldn’t download the song.

     The reason we had such a hard time trying to sell it in the U.S. is, to put it bluntly, because the songwriter does not know who I am.  Since I am not famous, my Producer’s requests ( and there were several ) were never responded to.  I remember hearing Mariah Carey’s version of the song on the radio one day, and thinking to myself, “I recorded my version many months ago, but because she is famous, hers gets on the radio months before mine does. ”  I have no problem with her, I just found it funny at the time that I was still waiting ( for over a year ) after I’d recorded it for it to be available online, then when it finally happened, it was a little anticlimactic, as a huge star had already released a version of it recently.

     Anyway, the purpose of this post is to let my American friends know that I received an e-mail from my Producer Jarome this morning, stating that they were finally able to find a way to secure a license to sell a limited number of copies of the song online.  So, we have the actual license, we now just have to make it happen.  I’m not sure how long this will take, but the minute it is available, I will definitely let you know.

     Thankyou to everyone who has already downloaded my version of the song, and a special thanks to my friends in the U.S. who have expressed an interest in purchasing it.  Your patience is appreciated, and so are all the kind comments you have made after listening to it on my website.  I will keep you posted.

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