Even MusicNL president David Chafe couldn't pull any strings to get him into his organization's own showcase at East Coast Music Week in Halifax Friday night.
Chafe, at one point, was among the fans of Newfoundland and Labrador music forced to wait in a lineup to get into The Carleton Music Bar and Grill for the MusicNL showcase, since the place was packed to capacity.
Local acts Terry Penney, Sean Panting, The Secrets, The Dardanelles, Baytown, The Long Distance Runners and RocketRocketShip performed at the showcase, which will continue tonight with Katie Baggs, Larry Foley, Duane Andrews and Dwayne Cote, Chris Kirby, Pilot to Bombardier, Repartee and Hear/Say.
The question, "Are there any Newfoundlanders here tonight?," posed to the crowd by Tom Power of The Dardanelles, received a much louder and more rowdy cheer than, "Are there any Haligonians here?"
The six members of RocketRocketShip — no short on energy, jumping around the stage until after 2 a.m. along with their powerpop punk tunes — had "Rocketeer" fans travel from St. John's for the show, their first performance off the island.
Today's ECMA events will include an export buyers showcase and francophone, children's and rap/hip-hop performances, as well as private meetings between musicians and industry professionals. ECMA week will wrap up Sunday night with an awards gala at the Cunard Centre.
Gosse making mark at ECMA week
In the past six months, Brianna Gosse's music career has exploded.
The 18-year-old emits an effervescence when she takes to the stage that hasn't gone unnoticed at this year's East Coast Music Week in Halifax.
Though not performing in the main showcases, Gosse wowed a packed house at Tempo bar and restaurant Friday night during Dipole Productions' Soul Food Kitchen Party. She played a half-hour set that visibly enthralled the crowd and caught the attention of some industry professionals, who approached her afterwards.
Last October, Gosse, of C.B.S., won a youth open mike contest held as part of MusicNL week in St. John's, and was given the opportunity to perform at the organization's industry brunch as a result. In December, she was named one of three winners of the Statoil Christmas Songwriting Contest, presented by MusicNL, for her song, "My Christmas Song to Sing." Local videography duo Heavyweather donated their services and helped Gosse and the other winners create a music video to go along with their tunes.
Video highlights from Halifax -
Since then, Gosse has performed at a number of folk music events in St. John's, although her musical style also includes some pure pop songs. She's been working with multiple ECMA award nominee and MusicNL winner Kirby to produce an EP, which she hopes to have released in the coming months.
"Brianna is a serious talent and she's winning over every audience she stands in front of," Kirby said. "Her star is on the rise in a big way."
Kirby, who owns Dipole Productions, is one of the busiest musicians at this year's ECMAs. He was nominated for two awards, but also has a hand in accompanying and producing shows for a number of other artists.
For the Soul Food Kitchen Party, he brought members of his musical family -- and biological family, since his dad, Sheldon Kirby, co-hosted the gig -- together: Gosse, Charlie A'Court, Kim Wempe, DIESEL and Keith Mullins.