w/ Country's Hottest New Trio
Hosted by Kim Cyr
Presented by NOW and THEN Magazine
Country's Hottest New Trio
If you’re craving a bit of relief from the apprehension and uncertainty of our troubled times, New Moon Junction has just what you’re looking for.
With a sound that treads the line seamlessly between new and old school country, the Ontario-based trio of Barb Doran, Tamara Maddalen, and Matt Rogers, have come together at the perfect time to spread a bit of much-needed positive energy around.
There’s no doubt that their debut single, ‘Feel Good Kinda Thing’, does that and then some; all while expressing the joy and creative satisfaction these three solo artists have found together since they first got together in late 2019.
The need for some unbridled positivity was a primary factor in getting New Moon Junction off the ground originally, says Doran: “That was the idea right from the start. Typically, my music is quite serious – even depressing at times – but the great thing about the three of us together is that we very much focus on being positive and upbeat.”
Doran, an established recording artist in her own right, had been looking to make a change in recent years. “I liked the idea of an all-female band, but I wanted to do something different, so I was trying to find two men to work with instead.” Having little success finding the right mix of personalities for the project, however, soon after opening the door to both women and men she found Maddalen and then Rogers. “And when I heard their voices I was immediately like, oh my God, it’s them – no doubt,” she adds.
“We’re all passionate about songwriting, but also about serving the song and supporting each other in that process,” Maddalen adds. “There’s no ego here; we all just want to have fun, grow as songwriters, and see where this takes us.”
The first and most important step in establishing a viable musical partnership is finding like-minded individuals, each of whom brought something unique to the mix that challenges and complements the others; and clearly, New Moon Junction has nailed that part of the equation hands down.
All three are ‘musical lifers’, as Rogers puts it, but what they each have in common outside music is just as important as their shared love of writing, recording, and performing. While vocal and songwriting chops counted heavily in finding the right mix of players for New Moon Junction, being established in the music industry was far less important than being established in life. Period.
Each of them has spent years on and off stage honing their chops individually – Doran and Maddalen as country and Americana solo recording artists, respectively, and Rogers as a journeyman songwriter and live performer. But all have lives and responsibilities outside of music. “We have a professional mindset. We’ve all put forth effort in the regular world and the music world,” Doran says. “Everyone treats their responsibilities within the band seriously, because they’re old hands at taking responsibility for themselves and others.”
That commonality only deepens their personal and musical bond and pushes them forward Rogers says: “That really is the feeling all the way around. We have respect for each other and the project and we’re established people who know what it means to work together with others to get things done.”
That fuels their commitment to the project, to the songwriting and recording process, and to what Maddalen describes as their common goal, “To grow as songwriters and singers, push ourselves out of our comfort zones and get better as artists.”
Granted, the pandemic has presented some challenges to momentum, but Doran, Maddalen, and Rogers, haven’t let that stop them from finding ways to work together, and – after Rogers posted the raw material for what would ultimately become ‘Feel Good Kinda Thing – getting their first single finished and down while it was good and fresh.
Although as New Moon Junction they've written numerous tunes together, given the challenges of recording safely, they wanted to ensure they’d found the ideal track to kick off the process with Multi-platinum selling producer, songwriter, and mixer Jeff Dalziel (Brett Kissel, Jim Cuddy, Lights, Chantal Kreviazuk).
From the moment the song started coming together, they all knew they had something special on their hands. “I was on a work trip last summer and sat down in my hotel room and just started playing,” Rogers says. “I wrote half a verse and half a chorus and posted it, and immediately everyone was like, that’s great.”
“Matt’s omitting some important details; as men typically do,” Doran adds, laughing. “After he posted that little clip, Jeff Dalziel called him immediately and said, ‘That’s the one. Let’s get it finished’. So that’s what we did.”
After polishing the song and recording rough vocals, Dalziel brought them into his home studio individually to record the final track, Maddalen explains, adding that Dalziel’s ability to draw the best performances out of them, as well as the creative freedom he gave them to put their individual stamp on the song vocally, truly enhanced the final recording.
The result is a rarity, a track that sounds and feels like it’s been recorded live off the floor and in the moment – an off-the-cuff quality that’s hard to accomplish even when everyone is in the studio together – a testament to Dalziel’s talents in the studio, and Doran, Maddalen and Rogers’ uniquely striking blend of voices.
Although Doran, Maddalen, and Rogers have taken distinct paths musically and personally in establishing their voices as songwriters and performers, it’s clear that New Moon Junction have a common goal – to celebrate the moments that make life worth living and encourage their listeners to do the same, which, in and of itself, is a ‘Feel Good Kinda Thing’.
''I had the chance to chat with Tamara, Barb and Matt about forming the new trio and how important it was that the ideas behind the project for New Moon Junction were cohesive across the board,'' says Kim Cyr, Editor in Chief for NOW and THEN Magazine and host of the International Music's Journey Podcast. ''New Moon Junction is the real deal. The experience that the three artists bring to the table along with the understanding of who they are individually and the work it takes to make a trio produce quality music successfully is half the battle but listening to the transitions in the vocals is magic. For three artists to get together and create the kind of harmony that takes years to accomplish, you know you have something special in this new trio called, 'New Moon Junction.''
Cyr: Can you tell us what the writing process has been for you guys on this project?
Tamara: I think we are really productive every time we get together and it has had its challenges when we started in 2019. The first time we got together we did a writing session for about 3-4 hours and we got a song written. It is the single we have just released. It is the song that got Jeff Dalziel's attention. We all have the same mindset in wanting to be productive with the time we have especially with the challenges that COVID has presented to us. It is so important that we make the best out of what we have and doing some of the sessions virtually, although not the same, but still very productive in getting what we need to get done. Each time gets us further and further along. What started out as a small body of work has turned out to be a large number of songs that have great potential. The writing has gone really well. We have four songs that are done and are performance ready. We are all like-minded in that sense. We really want to help each other grow and pushing forward. The more we do it and the more we write the quality of songs we have to release. You touched on the harmonies too. We never preplanned the harmonies at all. We didn't know if we were all going to sit into the pocket. Sometimes the song dictates that. I think we are getting stronger and stronger with every performance. I love the sound.
Cyr: Barb, what is the weirdest quirk you have?
Barb: Hmmm, well my current weirdest quirk is that I have a really strange facial twitch going on! I don't know what is happening but I haven't been able to figure out why it keeps happening. Every now and then there is a spot in my cheek that looks like a ghost is sticking a finger in it...
''The magic that multi-award-winning producer Jeff Dalziel does in a studio with each of these artists to create that perfect sound for the debut single ''Real Good Kinda Thing'' is amazing,'' says Cyr. ''Taking a peek inside the studio sessions with this master producer is really interesting when you hear what each artist has to say. From the world-class musicians to the catchy lyrics, and the incredible harmonies that are pitch-perfect, you have the song that uplifts us all making you want to get up, get in your car, roll down the windows, and crank the music. It is the perfect song at just the right time.''
There is just way too much fun to miss in this interview so you don't want to miss a thing. To listen to the full interview, click HERE
Real Good Kinda Thing_Live
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