“for the LOVE of Music” with Nathen Aswell and his guests Andrea Menard and Robert Walsh, on air from January 24th.
Andrea Menard and Robert Walsh are one of those dynamic songwriting duos whose creativity only gets stronger the more music they write. With over 100 songs written together, and many industry awards and nominations to their credit, this prolific songwriting team has had songs placed in many film & television shows, including “Canadian Idol” and “Queer as Folk”.
The musical works in “The Velvet Devil” were recorded on an award-winning album, and then became the main feature in a made-for-television movie, (CBC), which has been screened at film festivals nationally and internationally; the songs of “Sparkle” were featured in a holiday TV special (APTN) that continues to be broadcast annually; and “Simple Steps,” an album inspired by Andrea’s Métis roots, has won the most awards of any of their collaborations. Menard and Walsh received an honourable mention in the 2007 Unisong Competition (AAA category), and are published by Christmas and Holiday Music (BMI). They have also been commissioned to write songs for the Inspire Awards (National Aboriginal Achievement Awards), and for special events, and past gigs include the Bluebird North Cafe (Vancouver), The Regina Symphony Orchestra, and regular appearances on Saskatchewan’s Telemiracle.
From jazz to folk to musical theatre to native traditional to pop, this prolific songwriting duo are as versatile as they come.
- Andrea Menard & Robert Walsh are long-time collaborators and have written and recorded four of Andrea’s albums together.
- They released Andrea’s new album, LIFT, in May 2014 and toured across Canada.
- “Let’s Sing a New Song” from Lift was given an Honorable Mention at the 2014 Empower Positive Music Awards (Posi Awards) in Tampa, Florida
- Robert has released 4 solo albums and Andrea sung on two of them.
- Andrea has been spearheading a positive music initiative, called The Music Messengers, to help encourage musicians to be the messengers of positive music for the world.
- To showcase his work as a Music Messenger, Robert will be releasing his 5th solo album this year.
- Andrea created a 70-minute format of “TedTalks meets FolkFest” called “The Music Messengers Keynote Trio”. It showcases 3 keynote speakers who use Positive Music as their platform. Andrea & Robert (with Nathen Aswell) each share their 20-minute keynote speech in this music trio.
- Robert has written his first book, Bob’s Book of Theory, & has been trying to teach Andrea theory ever since.
- Andrea wrote and starred in a 70-minute holiday special called, Sparkle: An Evening with Andrea Menard, which plays with the idea that every human being is a Spark of the Creator. Robert and his entire family were featured on the show.
- Robert & Andrea are both successful keynote speakers and workshop presenters.
- Andrea debuted her jazz symphony show, I Am Andrea Menard with the Regina Symphony Orchestra in May 2014. Robert played with the symphony and orchestrated 3 of their songs.
- Robert teaches songwriting at MacEwan University and will be releasing his second book in the coming year.
- As part of her Native spiritual practice, Andrea leads a sacred ceremony called a ReUnion Circle, which honours the Emotional Body and the Sacred Mother. She also leads a ReUnion Workshop, designed to honour the Four Sacred Bodies.
- Andrea is the author of a Message Card deck called, “The Messages from the Patchwork Grandmothers” and has another book in the works.
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Andrea Menard is an acclaimed Métis singer-songwriter and actress who has created life-long fans with her powerful voice, her songs, and her message of hope. The Vancouver-based Menard has performed for royalty, prime ministers, and even sang her song “Peace” to the world’s NATO generals. This author and cultural leader also stars in several hit Canadian tv series, including Blackstone, The Switch, and Hard Rock Medical.
Originally from Montreal, Robert Walsh is one of Canada’s top guitarists and is an accomplished producer, teacher and author who has been described as a “true musician’s musician”. His talents are widely recognized by greats like Petula Clark, the Pointer Sisters, and Rickie Byars Beckwith, who hand-picked Robert out of the crowd to improvise a musical duet with her onstage. He has released 4 solo albums, one book of theory and will be releasing his 5th album and a songwriting book this year.
Andrea and Robert have performed in Centres for Spiritual Living and Unity churches all over North America, including the 2015 Canadian New Thought Conference in Toronto. This dynamic duo received an Honorable Mention at the 2014 Positive Music Awards for their anthem “Let’s Sing a New Song” from Andrea’s new album, Lift. Co-written and produced by Walsh, Lift is a collection of songs meant to bring people together. With love and purpose infused in their music, Menard and Walsh are true Music Messengers.
Funny or quirky tidbits:
- Andrea and Robert have both performed for Royalty three times but never at the same time.
- Robert met Queen Noor of Saudi Arabia.
- Andrea is a proud Métis woman and is a hell of a jigger. Robert is not!
- Robert has worked in three different cultural communities because of his music skills: Métis, French, & Chinese
- Andrea sang a Joni Mitchell song… in front of Joni Mitchell!
- Robert was the featured guitar player in the Edmonton Symphony’s music of Frank Zappa. Tough gig!
- Andrea & Robert call themselves “soul siblings”.
- Andrea’s Cree name is Notigwew Yutin, which means “Grandmother Wind”.
Robert Walsh is an award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, guitarist, musical director, composer/arranger, speaker and educator.
Robert grew up in Québec where he obtained his music degree from McGill and was part of seminal Montréal bands Johnny Jetblack and the Xmen. He then spent 10 years in Toronto, where he met his wife Rhonda Trodd, and together they signed a recording deal with Renaissance Records of Nashville. The Fates then drew them to Edmonton, where Robert has become entrenched in the music scene. He is the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s regular guitarist, and has been a featured soloist on many occasions, most notably when the ESO played the music of Frank Zappa, Queen and with the Pointer Sisters. He has worked with a wide variety of artists – many famous, and many others who should be.
Robert has released four albums as an artist, co-written three musicals (The Forbidden Phoenix” is published by Playwrights Press and was nominated for Outstanding Sound Design or Original Composition in Vancouver) and co-written and produced a large catalogue of music for other artists, including Métis singer/actor Andrea Menard. Their work together includes several television shows, a CBC Movie of the Week and 4 award-winning albums. Robert also formed the duo Two Blue in 2014 with singer Karimah, and together they won the Edmonton Blues Society’s “Memphis Blues Challenge”, and represented Northern Alberta in Memphis in 2015.
Robert recently received an Edmonton Music Award for co-writing the song Dear Marie, by Post Script. He has also been commissioned to write songs for the National Arts Centre, the YMCA, and events such as the return of the Bell of Batoche.
On the French scene, Robert is a member of celebrated Franco-Albertan roots group “Allez Ouest”, who have represented Alberta in Ottawa, Washington and at the Vancouver Oympics and received the City of Edmonton’s Arts and Culture Performance Award. He has also produced many albums for francophone artists, and musical directed large events such as the Gala de la chanson, Chant’Ouest and Les Rencontres Qui Chantent across Western Canada.
Robert is an educator, and has taught Songwriting and other courses at MacEwan University since 2008. He recently published his first book – “Bob’s Book of Music Theory” and has given workshops all over Canada in English and French. He is currently writing a book on Songwriting for MacEwan University.
Catch a few of their songs here