Tim Isberg – update on a Listening and Reading Recommendation

This is an update of Tim Isberg’s Listening Recommendation, published on my main blog on May 8, 2017. I’m now featuring Tim on Reading Recommendations, because as well as creating new music, he has also contributed to a book that was published since his first appearance on my blog.

Tim Isberg

Brief Biography:
Originally from southern Alberta, Tim Isberg is an accomplished singer-songwriter and multiple ACMA nominee who is emerging in the scene after a lengthy hiatus to serve in the Canadian Army. From Rwanda to Afghanistan, Tim experienced the many life-changing challenges while deployed in different cultures and conflicts, and amid the best and worst humanity has to offer.

As a performer, Tim has entertained audiences in many corners of Europe, Africa, and Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East and Levant. Many of his storyteller songs stem from these life adventures. In his years abroad, Tim was a favourite on folk club circuits and in group performances for deployed military and civilian personnel.

Tim brings an Americana style blend of well-crafted Alt-country, Roots and Contemporary Folk songs to the stage along with an appealing vocal timbre, and a unique and endearing array of life experiences he shares in a way that makes each listener feel connected. Tim is also touring a special multi-media concert entitled 25 years After: Songs & Stories of a Soldier in Rwanda, based on a personal account of Tim’s year deployed there in 1994. With a genuine sincerity and sense of humour carefully woven through stories and songs, it is Tim’s live show – whether solo or with his full band – where he shines most. Tim’s shows are not to be missed!

Tim’s latest album Running on the Edge, also recorded with Grammy nominee and JUNO celebrated producer-engineer Miles Wilkinson at the helm, was released in 2019 and nominated as a Top 5 Best Album of the Year by the ACMA. It is an eclectic mix of original contemporary folk/roots songs, and includes a rousing cover of Bob Seger’s Turn the Page. Prior, an international tour in spring 2016 followed Tim’s album Tears Along The Road released in October 2015 which was also recorded with Wilkinson, was selected by Music Canada in the Top 25 Favourite Albums of 2015.

What Tim is working on now:
Covid 19 has altered plans significantly, so I’m doing some limited live stream ticketed or tip-jar shows on my social media or other media, I’ve produced a live recorded isolation video with my trio for release on my Youtube channel, and a lyric video for the song Baghdad Cafe from my latest record. No shows means no merchandise revenue so I’m also trying to enhance on-line sales.
(From Tim’s Facebook page: Before I knew the world would get a bit weird and hit the pause button… I ordered more merchandise for my shows. A few thousand dollar$ later.. here hundreds of CDs and books sit impatiently awaiting opportunity to be shared. Problem is, no shows means pretty much no merch sales. However, for those so inclined that might like to have some items or gifts sooner than later, you know how to find me… Thanks in advance!)

Tim is also a published author. In October 2017, Simon & Schuster Canada published the book Everyday Heroes which includes a chapter by Tim on one of his many experiences in the line of duty. It is a national best-seller!

Here’s a link to Ted Barris’s website post, A Soldier’s Voice, in which he talks about Tim Isberg’s role in the Canadian military, his music, and writing.

And a link to a video about Tim Isberg and fellow musicians who got together as The Band With No Name in Kabul while they were on a NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan.

Tim’s Listening Recommendations:
I listen to genres from rock to classic country to big band to bluegrass and all other things in between. Too many to list. Go exploring music outside your box!

Where to purchase Tim’s music and the book:
Everyday Heroes published by Simon & Schuster Canada

Betty Jane Hegerat Recommends Glen Huser


Book title and author:
Time for Flowers Time for Snow
Written by Glen Huser
Illustrated by Philippe Béhe
Music by Giannis Georgantelis

What genre is it?
A children’s book—the retelling of a myth— but one that will surely delight all ages.


Quick description:
Time for Flowers Time for Snow is the retelling of the myth of Demeter and Perspephone. This book is the collaboration of author and lyricist, Glen Huser, composer and director Giannis Georgantelis and a choir of more than 180 Quebec children, and the Orchestre Symphonique Pop de Montréal. Illustrations are by Philippe Béha. The book includes a CD of the music, and narration by Terry Jones of Monty Python fame. The book is an enchanted telling of the myth in narrative and song. As well as the story of Demeter and Persephone it is a contemplation of why seasons change; the cycles of plenty and scarcity, and joy and sorrow.

Far more than a children’s book, this is a work of multi-disciplinary art of the highest calibre.

Why I recommend this book:
Everything about Time for Flowers Time for Snow delights me. I believe the best of books for children are equally appealing to adults and beg to be read aloud and shared. This book has the added eloquence of song—opera by children. I recommend it because I want it in my own library and I want to give it to every special child in my life.

Links for people to buy it:
Always, I recommend that readers first seek books from local independent booksellers who are usually delighted to order the book if they do not have in stock.
Online: Amazon
Tradewind Books

HEGERAT BR09Guest reviewer’s latest title or project:
My newest title Odd One Out (Oolichan Books) is a book for young teens to be released this spring 2016. Betty Jane Hegerat has been featured a number of times on Reading Recommendations, most recently announcing this new about-to-be-published book she mentions.

Maria N. Rachwal

Maria_0004 crop Maria N. Rachwal

What is your latest release and what genre is it? From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall: Ethel Stark and Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, published by Second Story Press. It belongs to the Non-Fiction genre.

Quick description: From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall: Ethel Stark and the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, documents the amazing true story of the first all-women’s orchestra in Canadian history. In the 1940s, it was unheard of for women to be members of a professional orchestra, let alone play “masculine” instruments like the bass or trombone. But Ethel Stark, a talented violinist, and Madge Bowen, a wealthy socialite, broke convention by pulling together a rag-tag group of women from all walks of life—housewives, secretaries, and grandmothers—to create The Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra (MWSO). For years they lugged their old instruments from their living rooms to store basements to hold rehearsals. Cynics sneered and family members frowned. Yet despite these formidable challenges, the MSWO became the first orchestra to represent Canada in New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 1947 to glowing reviews. One of its members also became the first Canadian black woman to play in a symphony in Carnegie Hall. While the MWSO has paved the way for contemporary female musicians, the stories of these women are largely missing from historical records. From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall illuminates these revolutionary stories, including the life of the incredible Ethel Stark, the co-founder and conductor of the MWSO. Their work opened doors of equal opportunity for marginalized groups and played an important role in breaking gender stereotypes in society at large.

From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall

Brief biography:
Maria Noriega Rachwal is a music teacher and musicologist living in Toronto, Ontario. She has given many lectures on women in music throughout the country and written articles on the subject for professional organizations. She is also an accomplished flute player who has performed with The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, and various chamber groups in Alberta. Her work on the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra was featured on the CBC Radio documentary, “It Wasn’t Teatime: Ethel Stark and the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra.”

Links to buy Maria’s book:
Second Story Press

Maria’s promo links:
Official webpage
Book Trailer

What are you working on now?
I am busy editing the memoirs of violinist and conductor, Ethel Stark.

Maria’s reading recommendation:
I recently enjoyed reading Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

Ian Lowell


What is your latest release and what genre is it? Son of Sam Was My Catcher and Other Bronx Tales – historical memoir of the 1960s

Quick description: A card-carrying member of the free-spirited Greenwich Village counterculture, Lowell’s photographic memory and attention to detail makes for a fascinatingly fresh perspective on the major events of the 1960s, from JFK to Motown to Jimi. Son of Sam Was My Catcher and Other Bronx Tales is alive with the rapid-beating pulse of that decade. A rich kaleidoscope of little-known facts, outrageous opinion and dubious hearsay, this must-read memoir is entertaining, enlightening and essential reading for any history or music buff.


Brief biography:
Ian Lowell was born in the Bronx in 1952. As a five-year-old, he began to develop a deep and enduring love of music and his passion for it provides an abundance of material for him to write about in deeply reverential fashion. He grew up in a low income Bronx housing project and frequently incorporates this experience and upbringing into his writing. He has lived in Colorado for many years.

Links to buy Ian’s book:
Paperback edition will be available soon.

Ian’s promo links:

To those of us who grew up during the sixties, no matter where in the world we lived, the music of the decade was extremely important. While Ian was writing and preparing this book, he compiled a number of playlists covering the major songs released and performed during each year of that pivotal decade, from 1961 to 1970. These lists are available on Ian Lowell’s YouTube channel and they provide the perfect background while reading this book. Thanks, Ian!

What are you working on now?
A novel based on two lawyers, one of whom is a D.A., the mob and a roving murderer combined with some courtroom drama and a deep story of love and devotion.

Ian’s reading recommendation:
Todd Thiede’s Lies to Die For is a brilliantly written tale of mystery and a serial killer

Steve Boone

I am very pleased to be featuring Steve Boone as our Reading Recommendations author today! Steve was one of the founding members of a musical group that was very important to many of us who grew up during the 60s – The Lovin! Spoonful! Thanks to Tim Baker, previously featured on this blog, for interviewing Steve on his Surf 97.3 FM Friday evening radio program and making it possible for me to connect with Steve, inviting him to participate in my blog. (And one other piece of information I discovered about Steve during that interview is that he has sailed to Bequia!)

on dock w_dog Steve Boone aka John S. Boone and John Stephen Boone. Steve Boone is my professional name.

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Hotter Than A Match Head, Life on the Run with The Lovin’ Spoonful – memoir

Quick description: Steve Boone’s memoir comprises two nearly separate lives in one book with his role as a founding member of the Rock Hall of Fame band The Lovin” Spoonful as he charts it’s way from conception to now 50 years later, and his other life as a high seas pot smuggler with the drama of sinking boats and eluding Coast Guard interceptors.

HTAMH cover

Brief biography:
Steve was born into the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, N.C., just as WW II was turning in the allies’ favor in the Pacific. His dad’s life in the hotel business took him from the Pocono Mts of eastern Pennsylvania to the Atlantic coasts of Florida and Long Island, N.Y.. Sailing and sports with a future in The Marine Corps was abruptly ended by a terrible auto crash in 1960, but the fortunate gift of a guitar from his mom while recovering led to a chance meeting of two similar travelers on life’s highway, and The Lovin’ Spoonful was born.

Three intense years and 10 top 20 hits later became all the life of a rock and roller he needed, so buying a 56’ sailboat in the US Virgin Islands became his get-away – a return to what he hoped would be sanity of sorts that the music business had nearly driven out of him.

Life on the high seas had its ups and downs and Steve sailed on to fantastic adventures and excitement that met if not exceeded the level of life as a rock star.

40 some years after the Lovin’ Spoonful’s demise, a fortuitous meeting with Tony Moss led to the writing of this book which Steve feels finally tells all about what caused the Spoonful’s career to abruptly end and aided in Steve’s journey back to a life more easily managed and maintained!

Links to buy Steve’s book:
ECW Press – eBook and paperback
Amazon – eBook and paperback
Kobo – eBook
Chapters/Indigo – paperback

Paperback may be purchased from Major Bookstores across Canada and the US.

Steve’s promo links:
Website and Friction Zone Blog
Blogspot Blog

What are you working on now?
Steve is working out the logistics for a book and music tour in the US and Canada with his friend, musician and fellow Lovin’ Spoonful bandmate, Jerry Yester, who has recently published a book, as well. Also, The Lovin’ Spoonful has recently announced a 50th Anniversary Tour that will begin in the spring of 2015.

Cindy O’Neil

writer author CindyO'Neil 2014.JPG Cindy O’Neil

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Before The Mist – A selection of poetry and lyrics

Quick description: Lyrics and poetry about the stuff that makes us human – confusion, debt, silliness, triumph, insomnia … Amidst all this are the stories behind each piece.

frnt cover of Before The Mist ebook

Brief biography:
A left handed Pisces, Cindy O’Neil tends to be a bit backwards. This inclination comes in handy with animals, babies and words. Her writing styles include children’s books, articles, haiku’s, poetry, songs and word puzzles. A self-published author, she has yet to be discovered by 99% of the reading public. Cindy lives with her 2 four-legged babies of unknown lineage and her strong, silent type fiancé.

Links to buy Cindy’s book:

Cindy’s promo links:

What are you working on now?
My second book of word search puzzles – I make the puzzles from scratch. No working title for it yet. Articles are another ongoing project. Recently I’ve started publishing some of my articles on my website.

Cindy’s reading recommendation:
I’m on my third read of The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. Just recently found out that he self published it originally, which makes me like the book that much more.