“Miss Emily Returns to the Isabel” – Brigid Goulem, Kingston Whig Standard (June 2018)
“A Salute to Women Who Rock” – Bill Welychka, Kingston Whig Standard (March 2018)
Excerpt: “Even Kingston’s own Miss Emily Fennell can bring the house down just as well as Janis Joplin could. Never seen Miss Emily live? Do yourself a favour and catch a live show. Quite simply, WOW.”
“Miss Emily Sings the Blues – ‘That’s the music that moves me'” – Peter Hendra, Kingston Whig Standard (October 2017)
“Miss Emily Returns with Scintillating Soulful New Album – In Between” – Jim Barber, Music Life Magazine (October 2017)
“There’s No Place Like Home for Miss Emily” – Peter Hendra, Kingston Whig Standard (May 2017)
“Kingston’s Miss Emily Sings with Springsteen” – Peter Hendra, Kingston Whig Standard (January 2015)
“Matt Tracks (MUCHMOREMUSIC)”
December 5-11, 2011: Radio Radio
So when I’m picking these Matt Tracks every week I’m really at the mercy of what videos we have in our library. Granted, that library is a goldmine for music, but sometimes that isn’t enough and I have to go looking for certain videos/tunes and ask the artist to send them in so I can share with you…..this tune is one of those times. I had heard good things about Kingston’s Miss Emily but it wasn’t until I caught her on the main stage at Ottawa Blues Fest this year that I really got it. Think Janis Joplin, think Alicia Keys; great songs and a HUGE voice.
“Kingston’s Miss Emily Embraces Success”
Posted Sep 15, 2011 By Mark Bergin (For EMC Kingston)
About a year ago, Emily Fennell took a leap. She flew.
The past 12 months have been huge for her.
When I interviewed her this time last year, Miss Emily, as she’s known, was trying to pack a lunch for her daughter’s first day in senior kindergarten. Simultaneously, she was making plans for an opportunity that had come up at the last minute to perform at The Living Room in New York City on Manhattan’s Lower East Sidea hotbed of artists, musicians and songwriters.
Miss Emily, the musician, jumped at the opportunity to play in New York. Emily Fennell, the mother, was concerned about her daughter’s first week of school. Fennell covered both angles.
“I’ve spent so much time with my daughter,” she said. We’re both so fortunate. While other parents have had to ship their kids off to daycare since they were 12 months old, I’ve been hanging out with my kid and working while she sleeps.”
Miss Emily, on keyboard, plays feisty soul-rock-pop. Her Gibson ES-335 guitar’s name is Bettyclearly they’ve bondedand is flaming red. It matches Miss Emily’s gutsy music.
Her music is focused, but she said she doesn’t want it to become too polished.
“It’s much more edgy,” she said.
She says her days of heavy bar work are over. Like most original acts, Miss Emily plays one-set shows, solely showcasing, festivals and theatres.
In New York City she played in the same setting graced by the likes of Al Kooper, Minnie Driver and jazz phenom Madeleine Peyroux. At the time she was on a career cusp, about to take the leap.
From performing in New York City to being in a showcase for Gene Simmons, and receiving a recording contract offer, the sky’s the limit this year.
She’s performed at other showcases for Sony, BMG, Universal, Cherry Hill, Warner, and Verve. Major record labels are coming to her.
She turned down a recording contract from Gene Simmons, who is allied with Universal Music Canada.
That took guts. And wisdom. Too many performers, ego-driven, jump at the first sign of public recognitionthe recording contract.
Miss Emily explained that she is working as part of a team, a group of people she trusts.
“I don’t make a lot of the big business calls,” said Fennell. “I’ve made the choice not to make them.”
She’s the expert on her music, but Fennell turns to her team for business decisions. Her team includes management, a financial advisor, and New York entertainment lawyer Matt Greenberg who represents many of the music and entertainment industries biggest acts.
“I feel confident taking cues from him.”
In the past year Fennell has turned down several contract offers. That’s a nice position for her to be in.
“The music industry has changed,” she said. “Labels no longer have the resources they used to.”
Many of the professionals in production and marketing who used to work exclusively with labels have been cut from staff and are also available to independent artists.
“The labels know this,” said Fennell. “They know it’s hard to compete with independent artists. The scene has completely changed from 10 years ago.”
Thus, Fennell’s confidence in turning down offers from big recording companies. She said that members of her team, including Greenberg, think Fennell can do better.
Fennell now makes the Ottawa Bluesfest her home base. Kingstonians recently had a rare opportunity to see Fennell in one of her old haunts. Miss Emily performed at the Merchant McLiam during the Limestone City Blues Fest.
Mark Monahan, of her current management team, is the artistic and executive director of Ottawa Bluesfest. He works closely with people like Cliff Fabri, who discovered Avril Lavigne and worked as her first professional manager. Fabri approached Fennell last year after seeing her perform on Wolfe Island.
Fabri has described Fennell as “like nothing I’ve heard in probably 40 years. It’s the big voice and incredible vocals.”
Fabri suggested Fennell differentiate her new act from her old work. Thus, the Miss Emily moniker.
Fabri describes the Miss Emily sound as Amy Winehouse meets Janis Joplin. I prefer to think of her as her own unique talent.
Miss Emily has her recipe for success and is excited about the future.
“Each day is something new,” she said. “It’s exciting and there’s not a dull moment.”
In case anyone thinks Miss Emily has transformed in a process of overnight success, think again. I remember the first time I heard her. She performed in the 2004 Limestone City Blues Fest. Since then, I’ve been raving about this amazing singer. I’ve heard her many times, shot many photos of her and gotten to know her. One unique moment was days before she gave birth. I was working on a story and photos about body painting. Fennell had a painting done on her pregnant tummy. She had the same sparkle in her eyes then when talking about becoming a mother as she does now when talking about music.
I’ve always been impressed by how she embraced motherhood while maintaining her career. She gives each role 100%.
“I haven’t waited a long time for this,” she said. “I’ve worked a long time for it.”
She said that a highlight of the past year was “playing in front of 30,000 people in Bobcaygeon. Playing in front of Canadian music lovers. That goes in the history books as one of my favorite nights.”
She added that now that she’s not losing her voice playing five nights a week in bars, she’s writing more and can focus on the creative aspect of her music.
“Things are good,” she said. “I bought a house in the spring. I have work I love at a level I’m comfortable with. I feel so proud and honored to be part of the music industry. I really see a future in this as opposed to having to scrape together the next meal.”
No one deserves the success more.
“Celebrities on the road”
By Josephine Matyas (For Travel News: September 7, 2011)
How do a Canadian comedian, indie singer-songwriter, choreographer, Hollywood heartthrob and famous soprano all deal with life on the road?
If you travel for work, you deal with missed flights, weather delays and wonky schedules.
There is comfort in knowing that some of Canada’s biggest celebrities—actors and actresses, musicians, sports figures—also wrestle with the Travel Demons.
Here are a few of their tips for staying sane while on the road.
WHO: Rick Mercer, Canada’s best-known comedian, political satirist and host of the very successful Rick Mercer Report on CBC television.
Packing tip: “I travel with great, big duffel bags and usually take too much because you never know what kind of weather and conditions we’ll have. So, when I go into a hotel room the first thing I do is unpack. I try to be much more organized in my hotel room than I am at home.”
Pet peeve: When we land and they say: “We’re going to pull up to the gate in five minutes . . . then I know it is going to be more like 40.”
WHO: James Tupper, actor known for his roles in Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Grey’s Anatomy. Voted by US WEEKLY as one of 2010’s “Sexiest Stars” and TV GUIDE’s “Sexiest Men on TV.”
Needs help with . . . “Packing. I’m one of the worst packers and I rely on the generosity and kindness of my family to help keep me organized.”
Never leaves home without: His watch – it’s the model with several time zone settings. By his own admission, Tupper is one of those travellers who is always checking the time back home when he’s on the road.
WHO: Emily Fennell, Canadian indie singer-songwriter who tours as Miss Emily.
Never heads out on tour without: Her classic Odds CDs (the alternative rock band). “If I have my CDs with me I am happy and can drive just about anywhere.”
Travel benefits: Fennell is mom to a very busy six-year-old daughter, so she knows how difficult it is to carve out time for herself. “If I’m travelling for work it forces me to take some time for myself by listening to music or reading a book.”
WHO: Stacey Tookey, the Emmy-nominated dancer and choreographer best known for her work on the television showSo You Think You Can Dance.
Travel tip: It’s a three-pronged approach. Pack some Epsom salts. After a long flight when you feel swollen, bath in Epsom salts to help drain the toxins and you’ll feel much better the next day. Before getting on the plane, take a little bit of green tea extract in water—it boosts your immune system. And while you’re in the air—drink a ton of water.
WHO: Measha Brueggergosman, an internationally renowned Canadian soprano, celebrated for both her opera and concert work. She performed the Olympic Hymn at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in British Columbia.
Travel must-have items: Noise cancelling headphones so she can block out the rest of the world and revel in the music or watch one of her favourite shows. And a good old fashioned book (no annoying e-readers for this gal). “I love to crack the binding and to shop for it myself in a bookstore.”