An artist I’ve been writing about since first hearing her perform at a jam in the Junction area nearly fifteen years ago, Samantha Martin has been riding pretty high the past few years since starting her Delta Sugar band
She’s was nominated as Blues singer of the year three times running by Maple Blues Awards and her band, in addition to a Best Album Juno nomination in 2019 and four Maple Blues noms for the band’s latest Run to Me disc, in 2017 was selected to represent Toronto at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
In addition, the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) honored the combo with the certification “Road Gold,” awarded when CIMA certifies they have sold over 25,000 tickets to Canadian fans over a twelve-month period.
In fact the 7 to 11-piece group, which features lush Soul harmonies and multiple horns around Martin’s Blues songwriting, that still bears a bit of a Country flavour from her days fronting Samantha Martin & The Haggard, was all set to start a European tour in a month or so —until COVID-19 hit.
As she recounts in several Facebook posts, Air Canada cancelled the group’s flight, forcing the tour to be postponed until next year. But as if that weren’t bad enough, the airline also refuses to refund any of the thousands of dollars she’d already paid them for the transport, offering instead only travel credits “with so many strings attached to them that we will end up getting screwed from said Airline to ensure their continued economic viability.”
On March 27 she posted an open letter to the airline asking “please explain how YOU can cancel my flight Toronto to Amsterdam and NOT return my money. I don’t want your blasted credit, I want my money back.
“I paid for a service you can’t deliver - the price I paid for the ticket was not a loan to keep your business afloat.”
In a subsequent March 29 open letter to the Prime Minister she writes, “I implore you to instruct airlines like Air Canada, WestJet, Flair Airlines, Air France who have taken $5904.85 of my money for flights they can no longer provide, to refund these flights in full.”
“Travel credits won’t put food on my table, or pay my rent. These flights were for shows and tours, not vacations. I was bringing taxable income into Canada, I was hiring other self employed Canadians. These tours are now either cancelled or hanging in the balance thanks to no flights being available and world governments asking us to stay home.
“I will happily do my part by following your advice, I will sacrifice everything I have worked so hard to build and plan, for the greater good of my fellow Canadians and friends around the world. Where I draw the line is essentially loaning these aforementioned Airlines my hard earned money, when they are willfully wiping their corporate arses with the Air Passenger Protection Act, and Canadian Contract Law,” she says.
“Why are the Artists the only one asked to forgo my economic viability, and stability for the greater good?
“Why are the artists the only ones being held financially responsible for this pandemic?” she asks.
“Pandemics do not allow corporations to start making up their own rules when it suits them them to do so. The law is the law, and as a law abiding, tax paying citizen of this country I expect you to uphold those laws,” she exhorts the Prime Minister.
As if the business of being an original musical artist weren’t precarious enough, this sort of situation is about all it would take to sink most careers. Hopefully she’ll either get satisfaction if the airline relents or government intervenes or somehow find a way to endure and bounce back from this heavy-handed blow.
-By Gary 17, TorontoMoon.ca
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*6am-6am> CBCMusic shows feature all-Canadian content @ CBC Radio One
1> Clay and Friends for National Arts Centre #CanadaPerforms series on NAC Facebook page
3-7> Julian Taylor hosts @ 106.5 ELMNT FM in Toronto & www.elemntfm.ca ~eclectic music 25% indigenous, 35% CanCon
3> Cheng Duo for National Arts Centre #CanadaPerforms series on NAC Facebook page
4-6pm> Blues Source International w. Ken Wallis @ 101.5 FM or 1015thehawk.ca
7> Kathleen Lovett performs on Facebook live
7-11> #TogetherAt Home Online Open Mic” with Matt Zaddy on Facebook Live Email [email protected] to sign up
7> Jacqueline Auguste “Isolation Live Feed” with “By Request” theme live stream on Facebook
**7-8> “Songtalk Radio” songwriters interviews/chat with weekly guest @ CJRU 1280AM Toronto and online
7-9> “Unsung and On The Side” with Carolyn Fe on www.Rock-FM.ca
7-10> Bluesday On Tuesday @ CKUW 95.9 FM www.ckuw.ca/listen
8> Home Routes presents National Online Folk Festival streamed on Facebook, with The Schotts ~songwriters
*9-12> “Soul Nation” with Bill & Jesse King @ JAZZFM.91 ~Jazz/Soul outside the mainstream
*9:30-10:30> “Q” TV broadcast with Tom Power with segments from @TheCurrentCBC, interviews, entertainment news & more @ CBC-TV
10-11> “Howl” with hosts Nancy Bullis & Valentino Assenza on CIUT 89.5FM & online ~profiles of and interviews with poets and songwriters
RESIDING> Rob Minderman performs “Invisible Enemy” original song about COVID-19 on YouTube (0:4:00)
RESIDING> recording of Carmen Toth performing St. Patrick’s Day concert solo ~songwriter (1:10:23)
RESIDING> Wayne Neon and the Amazing Tubular Orchestra™ on Youtube: Social Distance Sessions live ~eclectic covers & originals (0:18:22)
RESIDING> Susie Grooves & Company performs “Rhianna” at Southside Johnny’s on Facebook (0:3:44)
RESIDING> Eclectic Power Company featuring Graham Clarke performs “Wheat Kings (Tragically Hip) on InstagramTV (0:3:10)
RESIDING> recording of Carmen Toth performing “Way Too Early Show” March 29 edition on Facebook solo ~songwriter (1:31:48)
RESIDING> Josh Gordon on Koch guitar solo for “Koch Quarantine Sessions” on YouTube (0:1:33)
RESIDING> Late Fakirs featuring Greg Shields perform “Silent Keeper of Your Lost Dreams” on YouTube
RESIDING> Howard Gladstone performs original Roots solo on Facebook ~songwriter (0:5:32)
RESIDING> Dougal Bichan performs original song “More Than 100” on InstagramTV (0:8:23)
RESIDING> David McLachlan performs two original songs recorded @ Bluebird Café, Nashville, on YouTube (0:8:02)
RESIDING> Alex Radeff & Donkey perform original song “Another Night At The Bar” on YouTube, recorded @ El Mocambo, December 1993 (0:4:20)
RESIDING> Howard Gladstone at Winterfolk XVIII performs “Crazy Talk” on You Tube ~songwriter (0:4:10)
RESIDING> Roger “Pops” Zuraw with Joshua-Walker & friends performs original song “Headboard Boogie” on YouTube (0:4:55)
RESIDING> “I Gotta Wash My Hands” Beatles parody COVID-19 video by Hobby Marketing on You Tube (0:2:30)
RESIDING> Barenaked Ladies “Selfie Cam Jam” together-apart performance of “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” (Bruce Cockburn); 0:5:15
RESIDING> Toronto Symphony Orchestra together-apart performance of “Appalachian Spring” in remote ensemble on YouTube ~Classical (0:4:26)
RESIDING> James Anthony performs original “Corona Blues” song on YouTube ~songwriter (0:2:39)
RESIDING> Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield performs “Space Oddity” from International Space Station on YouTube via TorontoMoon.ca (0:5:30)
RESIDING> Eugene Smith recorded live stream show from March 27 on YouTube ~songwriter (1:13:55)
RESIDING> Jillian Bunting performing original & cover songs on Facebook ~songwriter (0:53:20)
RESIDING> The Jukebox Hour with Phill Hood and The Exclamation on Facebook ~covers and originals by request (1:23:08)
RESIDING> Reuben O’dell-Barkow with Marianna Lvovskaja recorded live (0:51:40)
RESIDING> Sarah Siddiqui video recorded live “Put The Worry Away (Isolation Sessions)” ~songwriter (0:25:28)
RESIDING> Sam Roberts Band as Isolation Jubilation Sensation performing original song “We’re All In This Together” on YouTube (0:03:10)
RESIDING> Marsala Lukianchuk performs “I Wish I Was Locked Down With You” Facebook video ~songwriter (0:1:49)
RESIDING> “Austin City Limits” presents free concerts from Country greats and original acts on pbs.org
RESIDING> The Dexters R&B super group perform “Melon Collie Serenade” on YouTube (0:5:55)
RESIDING> Jessica Mondello performing covers & originals on Facebook ~songwriter (1:03:43)
RESIDING> Colin Brunton performs original song “Coronavirus Rhapsody” on Youtube (0:6:01)
RESIDING> Mark Malibu and the Wasagas perfom Rockabilly PSA “Fight Covid-19” on YouTube (0:0:53)
RESIDING> Michael Theodore performing covers & originals on Facebook ~songwriter (1:17:01)
RESIDING> Home Routes podcast Show #22 with host Tim Osmond & tunes by Kalyna Rakel [previous podcasts also accessible from page] (0:21:31)
RESIDING> Bandcamp Weekly with various artists tba
RESIDING> Instructional video “The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do” on YouTube (0:8:34)
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