Industry Feature Friday: Dave Woods (Podcast, Radio and Livestream Host, Blogger and Songwriter).
Welcome to Industry Feature Friday, putting the spotlight on the people behind the music! From producers, radio DJ's and radio trackers, to photographers, managers and everything in between. These are the music business professionals who work hard to help put your favourite artists (emerging, independent and hit makers) on the charts, DSP's, radio and on the map through their work behind the scenes!
We have a GUEST this week! Pretty sure he is the OG Canadian country music podcast host with In The Country With Dave Woods (started in 2009)! He is a source inspiration for me (and many!) and also a true believer in the Canadian music scene and industry. In the spotlight this week, is one of the coolest people - Dave Woods! He's been nominated for several awards, and is one of the most well respected industry personalities in Canada! He has offered incredible outlets, songwriter showcases, events and features for country artists (at all levels) to be able to share their music, stories and journeys. And that is just the tip of the iceberg!
His bio on Facebook says, "Dave Woods is a podcaster, blogger and live music event/live stream host. He was nominated in 2021 (and in two previous years) for Industry Person of the Year by the Country Music Association of Ontario."
Get to know more about Dave Woods here:
Sarah Scott (SS): Since this is your first time being featured on Studio B (super excited to have you!), tell us a bit about your story and background! You are a podcast host, contributor to the CMAO Newsletter, Moonshine Cafe host, radio personality on True North Country radio and songwriter! You got a lot going on! Tell us more!
Dave Woods (DW): Thanks for the invite, Sarah! Yes, when it comes to country music, I have a lot going on. I grew up on it and took radio broadcasting at Centennial College in Toronto which led to on air opportunities (for many years) in country radio in Northern Ontario! As a kid, I always wanted to have my own radio or TV show. Have always loved country music for its stories and ability to stir our emotions and make us feel something. And the artists in country music are the nicest around. My songwriters series Country Nights In The City at the Moonshine Cafe in Oakville, Ontario is a blast. I love hearing songs done acoustically by the writer and getting the stories behind them. And these nights help to introduce artists to new fans and it also connects artists to artists who, in many cases, have gone on to write and perform together other places. To say the least, country music is my passion and I am very grateful to have found a place in the community! I'm always trying to think of new ways to promote and showcase the artists and their music. And the latest such opportunity to do that is my new radio show on True North Country which features music & interviews with several Canadian Country artists every week.
(SS): You're like the OG of country music podcasts! You have hosted the popular podcast In The Country since 2009. What inspired you to shine the spotlight on independent and emerging artists in this way?
DW: Thanks! The podcast is what started my presence on the Canadian Country Music scene and it's something I absolutely love to do! It just really interested me to be able to create a platform where I - and the audience - could get to know an artist's journey, influences and approach to songwriting, etc. I love the opportunity to have chats that can last up to an hour so the conversation can be in depth. I never knew how long the podcast would exist for but here we are 13 years later! Along with the independent and emerging artists, I've had the chance to interview big names like Anne Murray, Michelle Wright, Brett Kissel and Meghan Patrick. The kid in me still can't believe I'm doing this!
SS: I also just found out, you're a songwriter yourself! Tell us more about that and who you have written with and some notable songs or songs you are super proud of? DW: I started writing lyrics as a kid and never stopped! It's always come naturally to me to write and, growing up, I would read lyrics in magazines and when they were printed on records/CDs. I wrote a song with Luanne Carl of Alberta's Renegade Station called "All We Need Tonight" which they recorded and put on one of their albums. Also, I wrote a bunch of songs with Sarah Beth Keeley who is also from Alberta. She put them on her album Reinventing Myself. One of them was a real heartbreak tune called "With Your Goodbye". Had several cuts and a top 20 single "If I Didn't Call It Love" back in 2001 with Ontario's Colin Amey. Those songs were co-written by Colin, me and the legendary Barry Brown of Family Brown fame. And many other songs are out there! I love the process of writing lyrics and hearing the songs come alive with the music and vocal. One of my favourites that I've written is "Whiskey Won't You Tell Me A Lie" because the lyrics are pure country and the hook is cool. I had a demo done of that song by the late country artist Jeff Carson who also sang on it!
SS: You research and cover as many areas of an artist's music life as you can so listeners can learn something new and be entertained at the same time. What is something you have learned that surprised you as an industry person about an artist's journey or their musical process?
DW: A couple of artists have said they 'dreamed' a song! They'd dream it and then when they woke up, would quickly write/record it on a device before it was gone. It's also interesting how many artists can point out one particular concert they went to at a young age where it made them know that's exactly what they wanted to do someday! And that moment began their journey in music. It's also cool and surprising to get to know the stories behind group's names like Ottawa's Lemon Cash. The two brothers would refer to their lemonade stand money as kids as "lemon cash". Always something new to learn on the show!
SS: Who are some artists to watch? Who are you excited about? I know this is a big questions and there is so much talent, but who is showing some amazing potential in Canadian country these days? DW: Yes, there are so many amazing artists on the scene these days across Canada that are making waves. I'll take this moment to mention a few artists here in my province of Ontario who have done and continue to do great things. Elyse Saunders, Nicole Rayy, Graham Scott Fleming and Mackenzie Leigh Meyer. By naming them, I leave out many, many others I love but they are definitely ones to watch - and listen to. If anyone reading this doesn't know their names yet, check them out online! And, of course, I highlight them and many more talents on my social media sites and on my live and online shows.
Get episodes of In the Woods with Dave Woods and learn more about Dave Woods here: http://www.inthecountryinterviews.com/