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Please note that the majority of music-oriented work I have produced has been under the nom-de-plume 'Tom Sheriff'. This is simply to avoid confusion with a namesake freelance music journalist.

Also please be aware that much of this work was commissioned by publications aimed at an adult readership. Therefore, some samples contain instances of profane language in the narrative. Such language was also occasionally used by interview subjects and reported verbatim. If you are easily offended by such irreverences, please refer to non-music-based samples to gauge my suitability to write for you. I have chosen to include original work of this nature because I believe the quality of writing is representational; I have no intention whatsoever to offend any visitor to thefreelancewriter.ca.

BENT KNEE: Bent Knee build buzz on their travels - Concert preview/Interview - Nanaimo Daily News, Nanaimo, BC (June 2015) SHERRY SMITH: Never Too Old to Rock! - Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (June 2014)

BEV FINCH: On Tonewood and Blue Silk - Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (May 2014)
"While woodworking might be an uncommon profession for a woman, it is hardly radical, yet when at an early age Finch recognized she had no desire to toe the line of sugar-and-spice-and-all-things-nice, it caused quite a stir at home."
BLUES VETERAN RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM AT AGE OF 68 - Event preview/Interview - Harbour City Star, Nanaimo, BC (April 2014)
DAVID SOMERS: Celtic Soul Brother - Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (February 2014)
FASCINATING RHYTHM: The Beats Goes On - Retail business profile/Interview/Event preview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (October 2013)
ERIC HARPER: Instrumental Health - Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (September 2013)
GURU GURU - An interview with Canadian/US music industry veteran, Dave Read.
This piece on the 'Vinyl Record Guru' was originally commissioned for a website named VITAL (Vancouver Island Totally Awesome List), a project currently on indefinite hold. (Article updated June 2013)
ANNIE LOU: The New Star of Old-Timey - Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (March 2013)
"In closing, I couldn't help but wonder, though - does Genest adhere to her grandma's rules for drinking?"
ERIC HARPER: Embracing the World - Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (October 2012)
2nd ANNUAL LIGHTHOUSE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL - Event preview/Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (June 2012)

THE SOUNDGARDEN: Planting the Seeds of a Musical Future - Interview - EyesOnBC Magazine, Bowser, BC (April 2012)
ALLISON CROWE: Good Tidings She Sings to You and Your Kin - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (December 2011)
"I'll definitely have a party with my friends, I'm definitely going to make a cake, and I'll probably do some belly-dancing... or it'll be some combination thereof!"

JONATHAN CHALLONER: Among the Top Brass - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (November 2011)
CALIFONE - Interview/Event preview - BeatRoute magazine, Vancouver, BC (August 2011)
THE LITTLE FESTIVAL WITH A BIG HEART - Event preview/Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (July 2011)

STRIKING ACCORD: Takin' it to the Streets - Feature/Event preview - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (May/June 2011)

GERRY BARNUM: Walkin' in a Straight Line - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (November 2010)

JOEY CLARKSON: The World is Her Strudel Crust - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (October 2010)
"It is not every day, after all, that one encounters a song with an opening line like: 'In Grade 7 I had a science project where I had to make a model of the earth, including all the layers, and I chose to make mine out of pastry!'"
VANCOUVER ISLAND OPERA: Ten Years of Arias - Event preview/Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (September 2010)

AFRO-MUMANZI WORLD MUSIC SUMMER CAMP - Event preview/Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (August 2010)
"I can guarantee you now that those regal toes will have been tappin' away like Michael Flatley after a gallon of Brazilian espresso."

PHIL DWYER MUSIC FESTIVAL: Let the Music Play! - Event preview/Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (July 2010)
BETH MARIE ANDERSON: Hitting the Open Road - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (June 2010)


ANDREA SMITH: Song-Smith Extraordinaire! - Interview - The Beacon magazine,
Bowser, BC (April 2010)

"I took a perfectly good set of lyrics about acute aviophobia and mashed them into unsingable, circumlocutory nonsense."

CAMERON WIGMORE: The Clean, Green Sax Machine - Interview - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (March/April 2010)

"For here is a man who just under a decade ago was hurtling headlong into drug-fuelled oblivion, until he faced up to his addiction and committed himself to getting back on track."
ALEXANDRIA MAILLOT: Quite Simply, a Natural - Interview - The Beacon magazine,
Bowser, BC (February 2010)
"Imagine how I jumped, then, when I first heard Alexandria Maillot sing."

JAMES McRAE: Marching to the Beat of His Own Drum - Interview - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (January/February 2010)

"Bewildered? Well, yes - as the revellers had expected a country band, not teenage pretenders to Pink Floyd's crown."
MARJORIE CULLERNE: Roses, Stars & Breezy Ballads - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (January 2010)
"Thereby the bridge from my childhood to this article is complete."

ANDRE BELL: Who He Is Inside - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC
(December 2009)

KYLA CAMPBELL: Girl With a Horn - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (September 2009)
"It goes deeper, in fact, when you consider that Googling simply 'female trombonist' presents the forum topic 'Why Don't Girls Play The Trombone?' as the first two results."

Jazz Pizzazz in the Garden - Event Preview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC
(August 2009)


COOMBS BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL: It's Hoedown Time! - Event Preview/Interview -
The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (July 2009)


THE KERPLUNKS - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (June 2009)
Islands Folk Festival 25th Anniversary Book Project: The First Five Chapters
In early 2008 I was approached by the Cowichan Folk Guild in Duncan, BC, with the idea of producing a book to celebrate 2009's 25th Anniversary of their Islands Folk Festival. Given free reign to write in my own style, I set to work. The five complete chapters presented here accompanied grant applications specifically targeted at funding this project. Unfortunately, funding could not be secured, so work on the book has been suspended. It may be resurrected and completed one day, but until then I remain proud of this work, feeling in some ways it can stand alone as is. I hope you enjoy it.

WIL: Where There's A Wil... - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (February 2009)
"And so it transpired, not one 'official' question posed for the first 45 minutes of our spirited telephonic confab!"

HALEY BREEDLOVE: Adventures in Music City, USA - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (January 2009)
WHAT GOES ON? NATALIE GERMANN: And Lovely With It - Interview Feature - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (November/December 2008)

HO-HO-HOMEGROWN! A WHAT GOES ON? Seasonal Special - Review Feature - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (November/December 2008)


COFFEE HOUSE CONCERTS: MUSIC + COFFEE = A HEADY BREW - Feature - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (November 2008)

"He was obviously as dryly droll as he was nifty at fugues and stuff."

WHAT GOES ON? VALHALLA: Rock of Teen Ages - Interview Feature - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (September/October 2008)
"Lisa strutted her rock chick stuff while the be-Stetsoned Spencer hammered holy hell out of the drums."

HELEN AUSTIN: Of Funny Bones & Heartstrings - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (September 2008)
"Queen devotees may view the cheeky arrangement of 'Bohemian Reality' as sacrilegious, but I'm convinced mum would have appreciated it as much as she detested the target of its acidic wit."

NO HORSES - One-Sheet for Vancouver alt.country-rock band (June 2008)

WHAT GOES ON? Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer ... - Feature - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (July/August 2008)
"A friend who shares my fondness for quicksilver rustic banjo recently described the Coombs event to me as 'a riot.'"

THE BIG TIME OUT - Feature - The Baynes Sound Current magazine, Bowser, BC
(Summer 2008)

"I've certainly been there, grinding out such as the hideous girlypop of Atomic Kitten and an excruciating solo set from the Spice Girls' Mel B when desperate to see just R.E.M. at South Africa Freedom Day in London eight Aprils ago."

CELTIC CHAOS - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (June 2008)
WHAT GOES ON? SUBWAY: With Rhymes and Reasons - Interview - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (May/June 2008)
"Rap and its attendant culture now thrives in every country on this planet that's ever been exposed to it and has, make no bones about it, become a lifestyle choice for millions."

TODD BUTLER: Rock 'n' Droll Star - Interview - The Baynes Sound Current magazine, Bowser, BC (Spring 2008)

"The man who describes himself as 'a 46-year old Canadian with the body of a 65-year old Swede' is one of this country's sharpest wits with over twenty years of acclaimed performances behind him."

WHAT GOES ON? ERIN O'BRIEN: Mover, shaker, music maker - Interview - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (March/April 2008)

"All things considered, Erin O'Brien redefines 'ubiquitous' in a small city like ours."

RICHARD SALES - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (March 2008)
"I asked him why this is, only to be informed: 'I get on 'em at night and take magic carpet rides into the ether and beyond. Guitars are rockets to heaven!"'

AMBRE RIPPON - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (February 2008)

WHAT GOES ON? IRA PELLETIER: The Mandolin Man - Interview - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC (January/February 2008)
"On a peaceful Sunday morning in the busy living room of his farmhouse home, Pelletier's two indefatigable dogs smothered us with slobbering affection as he recalled the moment the rescued mandolin changed his musical outlook forever."

GERRY BARNUM - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (January 2008)
"What a satisfying feeling it is to be able to pinpoint a massively significant moment in your life, one that seismically changed its course forever to shape every second that followed."

JUDY NORBURY - Interview - The Baynes Sound Current magazine, Bowser, BC
(Winter 2007)

'It's not so often you'll encounter a CD containing lyrics about toads, motherhood, Black Widow spiders' mating rituals and mathematical ineptitude.'

WHAT GOES ON? FASCINATING RHYTHM - Interview - More Living magazine, Nanaimo, BC
(November/December 2007)

"Having spent almost as many hours in music stores during my lifetime as I've spent awake, I know my way around one pretty well."

EMMA POSTL - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (October 2007)
"Postl bippity-bop-skoobie-oobie-doobie's her way through 'Trading For' like a veteran."

XAVIER RUDD - Feature - The Baynes Sound Current magazine, Bowser, BC
(September 2007)

"Xavier Rudd is really popular. Like, really."

LAYLA ZOE - Interview - The Beacon magazine, Bowser, BC (September 2007)
"As I state unequivocally concerning 'Someday,' expressing herself is something Zoe does with cogent aplomb."

HAYLEY SALES - Interview - My first article for EyesOnBC's Bowser-based magazine
The Beacon (August 2007)


WHAT GOES ON? - The debut of my monthly column - More Living magazine,
Nanaimo, BC (July/August 2007)

"For the frenzied frug of your life, catch them at all costs riding that swell like champions,
whammy bars on fire."


BELINDA BRUCE - Press Release, Vancouver, BC (2007)
"Whilst the rustic whimsy and masterful grasp of pop melody that so characterized 'Dream Yourself Awake' remain undisturbed, 'The Good Life' is a grittier proposition altogether."

'SOUND OUT' - Concert Previews - The Source magazine, Brighton, UK (March 2006)

'SOUND OUT' - Concert Previews - The Source magazine, Brighton, UK (June 2005)

'SCOTTISH TONY' (Local celebrity) - Interview - The Source magazine,
Brighton, UK (2004)

"Namedropping is part of the spivish shiftiness of this engaging character, so there are few around town that don't know of when he met Isaac Hayes or had dinner with Thurston Moore."

JUNE CARTER CASH - 'Wildwood Flower' - Review - Comes with a Smile magazine,
London, UK (2004)

"In the case of Johnny, near hysteria gripped the room, with an ovation to the announcement as if his resurrected, giant, black-clad frame had entered the room on that cue."

ROBERT FISHER of WILLARD GRANT CONSPIRACY - Interview feature -
Comes with a Smile magazine, London, UK (2004)

"Robert looks at me quizzically, and rightly so under the cosh of such a question."
KURT WAGNER of LAMBCHOP - Interview feature - Comes with a Smile magazine,
London, UK (2004)

"In short, a band that just follows instincts, and one that has freely explored any genre it saw fit, charting new territory with old maps."

'BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY and the Rise and Rise of Americana' - L.U.V. magazine,
Brighton, UK (2003)

"He seems mysterious, eccentric and reeking of the unidentifiable darkness we perceive of the American south, beyond its unfortunate history."

'The Top 20 Most Important Country Songs of All-Time - Today' - L.U.V. magazine,
Brighton, UK (2003)

"It will have to do with the gleeful 'captive' audience laughter present on the live recording - that of a room full of dangerous criminals."

'Nu-Jazz' (Genre-specific section of larger feature) - The Source magazine,
Brighton, UK (2002)

"It's a matter of syncopation."
KEN BEATTIE of RADIOGRAM - Interview feature - Comes with a Smile magazine,
London, UK (2002)

"Wired, jetlagged and unshaven with eyes like saucers, he twitchily scans everything around him."

AARON RICHES of ROYAL CITY - Interview feature - Comes with a Smile magazine, London, UK (2002)
"I suspected it originated from another world - a very scary world, where all is restless."

CLOUDDEAD - 'Clouddead' - Review - Comes with a Smile magazine, London, UK (2001)
"It's harrowing and hugely uplifting by turns, and although tempo and mood change without warning, it flows like lager on New Year's Eve."

DANIELSON FAMILE - 'Fetch The Compass Kids' - Review - Comes with a Smile magazine, London, UK (2001)
"Like Geddy Lee on helium, he squeals tales of spiritual struggle backed by the Arkham Asylum house band."

BIG YOUTH -'Natty Universal Dread 1973-1979' - Review - The Latest magazine, Brighton, UK (2000)
"As inconceivable as it may seem to most, Mick Hucknall does actually have a valid role to play in some of our lives, including mine."

'THE STAX STORY' - Review - The Latest magazine, Brighton, UK (2000)
"While I was chatting to a local bloke in that bar, a white-haired man with cataracts tottered in, chuckling and clutching a Bloody Mary."

 

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