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News Update
July 19, 2001

In between recording their next release in Toronto, photo shoots in Montreal, performing for the  Lt. Governor in Ottawa and performing with The Chieftains in their home town of St. John's, Newfoundland, the Ennis Sisters are presently on a tour of the United States.  Last week, they performed at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, PA, where they received rave reviews, selling nearly one CD per person that attended the event!

Following that, they hopped on a plane to California where they played the California World Music Festival and set an all-time record for the most CDs sold ever by any artist at the established and long running festival.

On Friday, they are playing at the prestigious Master Musicians Festival in Kentucky, then it's off to Cleveland for the annual Irish Festival.  The band are selling hundreds of CDs wherever they go and are opening doors for future shows and festivals in the US. The fan mail channeled through their web site (www.ennissisters.com) has been overwhelming in response to their live performances and new material.

They return to Toronto on Monday, July 23, where they will put the finishing touches on their new recording, due out in Canada this Fall, and in America early 2002.

For more information contact:
ABC Entertainment Inc.
Andre Bourgeois - andre@abcentertainmentinc.com
Heather Frantsi - heather@abcentertainmentinc.com

 


May 2, 2001
The Ennis Sisters Conquer Merlefest

The Ennis Sisters returned to St. John's, NF late Monday night after a hugely successful trip to Merlefest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

They performed at the prestigious festival all 4 days and wrapped up their weekend by doing an acoustic set on Sunday afternoon in front of thousands of people just prior to Mary Chapin Carpenter taking the stage.

The Ennis Sisters sold hundreds of their debut CDs: "3" and "Red is the Rose" at the festival that also hosted performers over the weekend including Dolly Parton and Ricky Skaggs.

Watch for The Ennis Sisters' first Warner Music Canada studio recording due out in Fall, 2001. 

For more information contact:

ABC Entertainment Inc.
Andre Bourgeois
andre@abcentertainmentinc.com

OR

ABC Entertainment Inc.
Heather Frantsi
heather@abcentertainmentinc.com

 


March 18, 2001
Ryan's beautiful voice just gets better with age
St. Paddy's Day concert was soul-stirring
Marla Cranston - The Halifax Daily News

Two thousand music-lovers enjoyed a classy St. Patrick's Day this weekend at the Rebecca Cohn, with a pair of rare performances by East Coast Irish icon Denis Ryan and his "house band," Symphony Nova Scotia. Ryan, whose main gig these days is the investment business, still belongs
behind a microphone.

The concert's big goosebump numbers were his soul-stirring laments for home: Let Me Fish off Cape St. Mary's and Dark Island, a place where "the beauties of heaven are found by the sea."

Seasoned voice

Ryan joked he can't get his records into the stores anymore, but age has only seasoned his clear, true voice, infusing it with a deeper sense of history and passion for his people. Born in Newport County, Tipperary, Ryan left Ireland in 1969, but brought the country's music with him to Canada, where his band Ryan's Fancy reached wide acclaim.

On Friday and Saturday nights, he let the orchestra, conductor Scott Macmillan, and "sidekick," Tony Quinn, handle the instrumentation, but brought out his penny whistle for a haunting air he'd learned as a boy, demonstrating the tight Irish connection between music, land and sea.

Ryan also pulled out some of Ireland's top musical talent - his accordion-whiz cousin Denis Carey of the New Celtic Orchestra, who composes and arranges for the dance spectacle Lord of the Dance and is director of one of the country's leading music academies.

Irish star Dennis Allen was a delightful surprise, with his lovely Limerick You're a Lady, the longest-running tune on Ireland's hit parade. He also sang Shannon River, about singing around the world and dreaming of some fine day when he can return home to "stray through the summer fields at evening time, (when) the world just stops to play."

The St. Patrick's special underlined that the Irish are hopeless romantics when it comes to love and memories of home.

But the show never quite caught the rollicking party atmosphere some in the audience had expected. It came closest with the winsome Ennis Sisters of Newfoundland, who whooped and leaped about in the show's few uptempo party tunes, Love Is Teasin' and the sea shanty Haul Her Away.

Newly signed to Warner Records, the trio showcased stunning harmonies on the Dermot Henry song Summer In Your Eyes, and Maureen Ennis's moving ballad Rainy Days, adopted by Newfoundlanders as an anthem for parents who have lost their children.

Delicate, dreamy

The symphony showed a delicate, dreamy touch on Irish airs and hornpipes written and arranged by Carey and Macmillan, pieces performed in the past by orchestras in Scotland and Ireland. But the livelier tunes screamed out for some fiddles, showing that violins and fiddles each have their strengths and are not interchangeable.

Despite a selection that emphasized Ireland's serious side rather than its fun-loving spirit, the concert wound up on a high note with all the Ennises and Denises onstage for the stirring show-capper Mist Covered Mountains, earning them all a standing ovation.

  


March 17, 2001
St. Paddy's Show Could Do With More Ennis, Less Denis
Symphony N.S. Special Sold-Out Again Tonight
By Stephen Pedersen - Halifax Herald

With three performers named Denis and three singers named Ennis on Symphony Nova Scotia's St. Paddy's Day doubly sold-out special in the Cohn Friday night (repeated tonight), you might have expected equal time on the program.

Popular as Denis Ryan undoubtedly is, and skilled in musicianship and entertainment as he, Denis Carey and Denis Allen are, some of the sold-out house might have come away from the concert wishing there had been a little more Ennis and tad less Denis.

A comment I heard one gentleman make to his wife as they left the Dalhousie Arts Centre was simple enough: "I thought they would have sung When Irish Eyes Are Smiling."

The Ennis Sisters - Teresa, Maureen and Karen - participating in their first symphony show, sang only three tunes on their own, plus a couple of by-invitation sing-a-longs. The Denis lads - with their triple threat of traditional singer (Ryan), singer-songwriter (Allen) and instrumental composer (Carey) - knocked out only one less than an even dozen.

Maureen Ennis's Rainy Days proved the most touching song of the evening. Leading their threefold, sweet, young voices she sang of separation and loss with powerful simplicity.

The Ennises are a cheerful trio, bright and bouncy and full of excitement which spills over the footlights like water over a dam. They deserve, and are surely soon to get, a complete program on their own.

But it was Denis Ryan's show, really.

No Irish Eyes smiling their way through the tears, but lots of sentimentality, especially in Denis Allen's songs about Limerick (Limerick You're A Lady), and Shannon River, which evoked the often-sung pain of the Irish immigrant longing for home.

Carey's instrumental contributions - the accordion feature, Polka Dots, and the piano feature, Charter Suite, were less dewy-eyed and much more sparkling, especially as engagingly set by conductor/arranger/composer Scott Macmillan, and as harmoniously played by the orchestra.

Carey's Cape Breton Sunrise, however, was all Irish sunset, which should surprise no-one. Never mind, it was a pretty tune and a generous thought.

Ryan, ever the genial Irish host, cracked jokes, teased the Ennis sisters and the audience alike, played his penny-whistle to thunderous applause, and sang, among other tunes, Dark Island, and his obligatory anthems, Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary's, and Mist Covered Mountains (the mist in question being Scottish rather than Irish.)

Macmillan gave us two orchestral numbers, Copland's variations on the Shaker Melody (Simple Gifts) that dominates his Appalachian Spring ballet, and an all-string arrangement of Danny Boy (aka Londonderry Air) by Percy Grainger.

Unfortunately for the Ennis Sisters, the orchestra drowned them out in their first tune, Summer In Your Eyes, as the sound man found it difficult to bring up their mikes without catching a lot of orchestral spill.

Also, lining the brass along the back wall and setting them up on risers was injudicious, and gave rise to a brilliant but overpowering accompaniment.
 


March 15, 2001
Irish Eyes Are Smilin'
Ennis Sisters, Denis Ryan Team Up With Symphony For St. Paddy's Day
By Andrea Nemetz - Halifax Herald

Growing up in St. John's, Nfld., St. Patrick's Day was always the one day of the year Maureen Ennis didn't feel like the odd one out.

"I learned guitar when I was nine and I taught myself all the old traditional Irish songs," recalls the eldest of the rising roots trio known as The Ennis Sisters. "When everyone else was listening to the latest song, I was learning the Irish songs.

"On St. Patrick's Day we'd all wear a shamrock on our coats and mom and dad would get us to sing. They made it really special."

This year The Ennis Sisters, who claimed the East Coast Music Award for roots/traditional group of the year in February in Charlottetown, will be wearing the green in Halifax.

The engaging sisters, who were selected by Macleans magazine for their 100 young Canadians to watch list, will be performing at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax in a special St. Patrick's Day show both Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with Symphony Nova Scotia, Halifax's Irish balladeer Denis Ryan, his Irish cousin Denis Carey, a music teacher who composed the music for the Newfoundland-shot film The Divine Ryans, Denis Allen, one of Ireland's most famous songwriters, and comedian Tony Quinn.

"We're thrilled to play with Denis Ryan, who is one of the people we listened to growing up," says Ennis, 23 who is the group's lead vocalist and plays guitar and bodhran, as well as handling songwriting duties.

Both Karen, 21, and Teresa, 20, sing, stepdance and play the bodhran. Karen also plays flute and tin whistle.

Ryan, who first played the Cohn 30 years ago with his band Ryan's Fancy at a benefit concert organized by John Savage, long before he became premier, returns the compliment.

"I'm excited about this St. Patrick's Day concert with the symphony and to be working with a new generation of performers like The Ennis Sisters," says Ryan, who as host of CBC TV's Up On The Roof watched the start of many Maritime musicians' careers.

The native of Newport County, Tipperary, Ireland, also lived in Newfoundland for six years in the early '70s where he recalls The Ennis Sisters' parents, John and Cecilia, coming to watch Ryan's Fancy play. Ryan's Fancy, who recorded more than 20 albums, broke up in 1983 after 13 years of international touring.

This weekend Ryan, who is gifted with the Irish charm, will both emcee the show and sing a few favourites. It's his second show with the symphony. He previously appeared with Natalie MacMaster and Jerry Holland.

The Ennis Sisters will sing three or four songs including Rainy Days and Haul Her Along from their album 3, released in January 2000. They may also do Summer In Your Eyes, which has not appeared on any album yet.

Maureen is so busy writing songs for their next album with manager Mark Murphy that she was not able to join Karen and and Teresa on a recent Florida vacation complete with visits to all the area theme parks.

The Ennis Sisters anticipate an August release for their first Warner Music Canada record. 

The announcement that they had signed with Warner, which also has deals with MacMaster and Great Big Sea, was greeted with much jubilation when it was made during the ECMAs as they are the first East Coast act to sign with a major label in five years.

Things have been heating up since the girls signed with manager André Bourgeois in September (he also handles MacMaster's career) and this year for the first time they'll be working in the States.

Among their scheduled shows is the prestigious Merlefest in Wilkesboro, N.C., April 26 to 29.

"Dolly Parton and Mary Chapin Carpenter are both playing there," says an obviously excited Maureen. "But as long as we think of it as work we're set. If we make mistakes we just laugh. Our feet are on the ground.

"This isn't something we wanted to do in the beginning. We just did it because it was fun and we'll see whereever it will take us."

Other dates will take them to Pennsylvania, California, Kentucky, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.

The girls, who released their first CD Red is the Rose in 1997, still live at home where their parents handle all the finances and for the first time this fall they toured without them, on a three-week tour.

"We're so close we're almost like triplets," says Maureen. "I had a dream when Teresa first went to Florida that Teresa was sunburned or sick, but Karen was OK. When I called mom in the morning she said Teresa was in bed with the stomach thing. It was the strangest thing, but I knew.

"We're like best friends and we get to share experiences."

Experiences like this St. Patrick's Day concert for which Karen and Teresa are so excited they keep calling every day to see what's new, says Maureen. 

It will be a big change for the sisters who spent last year's holiday in an impromptu performance at Beaconsfield Junior High in Newfoundland where their 15-year-old cousin Matthew Brocklehurst was playing fiddle in the school's variety show.

"We were just going for family support and they recognized us and ended up calling us onstage, we were blushing," recalls the modest Maureen.

The sisters usually spend St. Patrick's Day in a downtown St. John's pub like O'Reilly's or the Blarneystone listening to local bands until 2 a.m.

Ryan says while the holiday is a great excuse to visit a tavern, he believes St. Patrick's Day is "overdone."

"I think I have St. Patrick's Day 365-days a year," he laughs. "Still it's a time for people of Irish descent to get together - I'm first generation Irish, but there are many in Halifax who are second, third, fourth or fifth - to talk about their heritage and background. It's very important to talk about those things. It gives you something to grasp onto, it's your roots.

"And there's been a lot of sadness in Ireland over the last 30 years and this is one day to see the other side, with the music and culture, the positive side."

Irish culture is celebrated on Tidemark's newly-released compilation disc - The Irish Collection - on which both Ryan and the Ennis Sisters appear.

Ryan sings one of his all-time favourite songs Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary's from his recording Mist Covered Mountains (another is the Scottish song Dark Island which he recorded in 1971). 

The Ennis Sisters sing Lord of the Dance from 3, a new arrangement of the old standard.

"We've known the song forever," says Maureen. "We thought it was traditional, when we came to record it we were surprised it had a writer.

"We have a cabin about 45 minutes out of town and when we were little girls we'd fall asleep on the way and mom and dad didn't like it because it would have interrupted our sleeping in the night time.

"So they'd play the Irish Rovers so we could sing along in the truck the whole ride and keep us up. Lord of the Dance was one of the songs, so was the Unicorn. I was fascinated by the Irish Rovers when I was little. I thought they were the biggest rock stars ever."



March 9, 2001
The Word from ... Maureen Ennis
Marla Cranston - Halifax Daily News

Signing a major-label record deal at the East Coast Music Awards a month ago hasn't exactly propelled Maureen Ennis into a life of glamour.

Sisters Karen, 21, and Teresa, 20, are enjoying a family holiday in Florida this week, but Maureen, 23, is toiling away in snowy St. John's, Nfld., writing new songs for the trio's Warner debut.

"When they come back, we all start work, but I don't really stop. That's the big- sister job, see? I say, `No problem, girls, you go ahead' ... and they said, `Now, make sure you shovel the two driveways!'"

The fourth Ennis Sisters album will be recorded later this month in Newfoundland and released by fall. Ennis is just polishing up the last few tunes with co-songwriter, tour manager and producer Mark Murphy.

"It's going well. We're just doing some uptempo stuff now. It's so easy for us to write a ballad, but we can't have a whole record of slow stuff."

She got a confidence boost at the ECMA songwriters' circle, where Lennie Gallant and Bruce Guthro complimented her writing. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, are you accepting me?' It felt amazing, I have to say."

Halifax manager Andre Bourgeois - who also works for fiddler Natalie MacMaster - is lining up a summer full of festival dates, many in the U.S.

But the trio's "most exciting concert so far this year" is next weekend, when they come to Halifax for two St. Patrick's Day specials with Symphony Nova Scotia, Denis Ryan, his Irish cousin Denis Carey, and conductor Scott Macmillan.

Irish tunes have been a part of Ennis life "since we were little girls jumpin' around in our diapers," says Maureen. The sisters appear with Ryan on a new Irish music compilation, and they can't wait to finally meet him.

"Everybody's just so psyched for it. It's going to be a very cool St. Patrick's Day; one to remember, for sure."

Usual St. Paddy's Day: At the Blarney Stone or O'Reilly's pubs in St. John's. Last year, the sisters went to hear a cousin's junior-high variety show, and got hauled onstage and handed an out-of-tune guitar. "We just went into I's the Bye because we were totally on the spot, but it was very funny."

Listening: "The latest CD I got that I've been so freaked out about is Carolyn Dawn Johnson's A Room With a View." Her hit single Georgia "is the only song that'll stop me everytime, no matter where I am."

Film pick: Billy Elliott. "I fell completely in love with it. It took me everywhere, the happy, the sad."

On the tube: Frasier, Ed and The Simpsons "are my three programs that have to be seen."

Worst nightmare: Busting a guitar string onstage. It happened during their big millennium night performance in St. John's, televised around the world. "Right on the first song! I couldn't believe it ... But I just kinda smiled and thanked God I had a keyboard player that night and said, `Let's just do this.' I had to put down the guitar and just dance and clap and I felt completely naked! We got through it."


March 10, 2001
Ennis Sisters to appear on CBC's "On The Road Again"

The Ennis Sisters can be seen and heard on CBC TV's On the Road Again (with Wayne Rostad) this coming Wednesday, March 14th at 7pm, (7:30 in Nfld.) and again on Sunday, March 18th at 1pm (1:30 in Nfld.)


February 15, 2001
PRESS RELEASE
Warner Canada Signs The Ennis Sisters

After years of major label interest, Warner Music Canada is pleased to announce the conclusion of a recording agreement with Newfoundland's The Ennis Sisters. This agreement occurred during the East Coast Music Awards and Conference 2001 in Charlottetown, in February.
Warner Music continues its tradition of success with East Coast music and is proud to welcome The Ennis Sisters to the family.  Maureen, Karen, and Teresa Ennis now join Great Big Sea and Natalie MacMaster as label mates. The Warner Music catalogue also includes works from The Irish Descendants, Rawlins Cross and Chris Cummings.
Garry Newman (President and CEO) and Dave Tollington (Sr. VP) of Warner Music Canada are pleased as well to expand their relationship with Andre Bourgeois and ABC Entertainment.  In September of last year, The Ennis Sisters signed with Andre who also manages the career of Natalie MacMaster.
The Ennis Sisters are currently writing new material for their first Warner album, scheduled for a fall release.  The focus in upcoming months will be touring, with North American major festivals serving as an effective set up for the release of the new recording.


February 11, 2001
Wheeling and Dealing At The ECMA's
Greg Guy & Stephen Cooke - Halifax Daily News

Everyone attending the East Coast Music Awards and Confer ence this weekend in Charlotte- town has an opinion about the current state of the music indus try, many of them as gloomy as the skies that poured down rain on the island capital on Saturday morning.

But by late afternoon those grey skies had turned blue, just as a bright spot of news hit the ECMAs. Newfoundland vocal trio the Ennis Sisters made official the news that they’d be signing with major record label Warner Music Canada.
It’s the first signing of an East Coast act to a major label in five years, since Natalie MacMaster signed to Warner Music and Lennie Gallant inked a deal with Sony.
“Normally, things like this take a short time, but this courtship has been going on for a while,” said Warner CEO Garry Newman at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Newman said he was “thrilled” the first time he heard Teresa, Karen and Maureen Ennis sing together in a shopping mall at the ECMAs in St. John’s in 1999.
“All the major label heads were there, so we pushed our way to the front,” Newman recalled. “Then we had dinner with the girls and their parents.”
The Ennis Sisters resisted ma jor label advances for two years, deciding to hone their craft and finish school. Since that time, the sisters signed up manager Andre Bourgeois, who also worked out the Warner deal for his client MacMaster.
“After our first ECMA show case, all the majors were talking to us,” recalled Karen Ennis. “Dad would take the calls and over time a lot of labels backed off. But Warner kept in touch and kept following our career.”

That long term interest in the Ennises and a successful track record with MacMaster made this deal a much easier decision.

“Warner Music was interested in Natalie because she’s Natalie,” said Bourgeois. “The same goes for the Ennis Sisters. They want to help them become who they want to be, not turn them into manufactured product.

“There’s a lot of tradition and culture in what they do, and I’m here to protect that.”
The trio has written roughly half the material for their next album, due out in the fall. Bour geois said the group plans to tour in the summer and build an audience in advance of the re cord’s release.

Another Newfoundland artist, singer Damhnait Doyle, was on the receiving end of some bad news when she learned her guitarist wouldn’t be able to make it to the ECMA's from Toronto in time for her afternoon awards show rehearsal. Luckily, there’s no shortage of musicians at the ECMA's, and a fellow rocker from The Rock, Crush’s Cory Tetford, stepped up to the plate to back Doyle up. There’s nothing like a little Crush when you’re in a crunch.

Over at the CMC Centre, the CBC has once again transformed a hockey arena into a beautiful set for tonight’s live national broad cast. Designer Tom Anthes’ set is a sweeping masterpiece of waves with large screens sprinkled with small lights.

A sneak-peak Saturday of the ECMA award show opening fea tures Brookes Diamond’s DRUM!. It’s a musical gem with a mix of cultures from the East Coast, with Celtic fiddling by Richard Wood, Eastern Eagle’s aboriginal drums and chants, the powerful voices of the Hallelujah Praise Choir, the Acadian swing of Grand Derangment and a fling with the MacQuarrie Dancers.

Expect rapper Papa Grand to introduce some of the show’s stars in a rap. It’s a rousing stah to the eighth televised ECMA Awards show. Musical director Doris Mason and singer Jeremiah Sparks add their voices to tile opening, while four drummers from Ian MacMillan’s grot~p Squid tap off a military-style beat More than 40 people participate in the opening The show airs to night at 9 p.m. on CBC.
People are already making plans for ECMA 2002, taking place in Saint John, N.B. next year. Organ izers and city boosters are on the prowl at the ECMA trade show at the Charlottetown Civic Centre this weekend, plugging Saint John features like the beautifully re stored Imperial Theatre and downtown’s interconnecting, heated pedways. The former will be the site of the weekend concert series, while the latter are a big selling point in cold, slushy Charlottetown.

Making an even bigger presence at the trade show this year amidst the instrument dealers and booking agents are businesses offering e-services. Computer technology and a presence on the Internet are just as vital as press kits and 8x10 glossies, and there’s a boom in firms offering to help artists get wired up. Tracey Dares is one of Cape Breton’s best-known traditional pianists, but she sits down at a different keyboard to do Web site design and create CD-ROMs for musicians. With her piper husband Paul MacNeil and partner Cheryl Smith, Dares is part of Gigs and Reels Productions inc. a.k.a. GRIP. Their clients include Heather Rankin, among others, who enlisted GRIP to create her new CD-ROM press package.

 


February 11, 2001
Business Still Done At The ECMA's
Warner Picks Up Newfoundland's Ennis Sisters

Marla Cranston - The Halifax Daily News

It’s been A long time coming, but the East Coast Music Awards have finally spawned a fresh major label winner - The Ennis Sisters from Newfoundland.

“We can’t believe this is happening,” an ecstatic Karen Ennis told The Daily News yesterday, while lawyers finished working out the fine print on the girls’ new contract with Warner Music.

We couldn’t sleep at all last night. Were just the three little Ennis Sisters ... this never really felt like a career until now: we were just doing it because we love to sing."

Nominated for group if the year and roots/traditional group at last year East Coast Music Awards (which airs tonight in CBC at 9pm), the trio will also perform on the show’s special tribute to Anne Murray.

Aside from their gorgeous harmonies. the trio’s high-energy act includes dancing, guitars, flutes, tin whistles and bodhrans. Maureen the lead singer and the band’s main songwriter. Expectations are high that they could follow in the footsteps of label-mates Great Big Sea and Natalie MacMaster.

Now that they’ve got some financial clout behind them, maybe in a few years they'll be sitting pretty at The Grammv awards, like MacMaster.

“Yeah, right!’ Maureen says with a guffaw. “That would be like the biggest dream come true!”

By last fall, the sisters father decided he'd taken them as far as he could and that it was time to call in a professional manager. And Ennis credits Andre Bourgeois - also MacMaster’s manager - for their success, which is hardly sudden.

A label bidding war broke out after their Halifax ECMA showcase three year's ago. but the sisters say the time wasn’t right.

“Of course we wanted to sign then, but we were still in school and we’re very glad we waited.” says Maureen, whose initial career plan was to become a speech pathologist. “Now nobody can change us, which might have been the case a few years ago when we didn't understand enough about the industry”

The two-album deal, with an option for more, gives the trio creative freedom, plus ownership of their masters so "we’re not backing ourselves into a corner."

 


February 12, 2001
The Ennis Sisters win an ECMA!

The Ennis Sisters and their management company, ABC Entertainment Inc.(Andre Bourgeois), are pleased to announce the group has won an ECMA for Roots/Traditional Group of the Year. The ECMA awards took place in Charlottetown, PEI this past weekend.

Along with winning the award the Ennis Sisters performed live on the televised production of the award show in a tribute to well known singer/songwriter, Anne Murray.


February 11, 2001
Ennis Sisters snag record deal
Mark Vaughan-Jackson - The Telegram, Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Four years after they took the East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) by storm, The Ennis Sisters have inked a deal with a major Canadian record label.

The Newfoundland trio officially announced the multi-album deal with Warner Music Canada at the ECMAs, going on this weekend in Charlottetown.

Maureen, Karen and Teresa Ennis were all smiles Saturday as they announced they’d finally decided to go with a major label, joining Great Big Sea and Natalie MacMaster on the Warner roster.

The deal brings to an end a steady four years of courtship from most of the major record labels in the country.

The Ennis Sisters were the buzz group of the 1998 ECMAs in Halifax.

At the time, there were rumours .the three sisters and their parents were being followed around the conference by representatives of major labels interested in signing them to a contract.

Karen Ennis said, looking back, it’s better for all concerned that they decided to wait.

“At the time, we wanted to sign. I guess it was the whole excitement of it. It’s what every artist wants,” she said.

“But we just went at our own pace … and as a group we now have more confidence onstage, we have more confidence in our music.”

“We know what we want to do now,” Teresa Ennis added. “We needed that time to really understand that.”

Karen confessed there were times when they wondered if they’d made a mistake by not taking the contracts offered four years ago.

But Saturday in Charlottetown, all three of them and their manager, Andre Bourgeois, agreed now was the right time and Warner was the right label.

Warner CEO Garry Newman said the wait was worth it for the label, as well.

“Normally, things like this take a short period of time, but it appears that with the ladies here, this has been a courtship that’s being going on for a long time. The first time I saw them was in St. John’s. ... Dave (Tollington, Warner’s senior vice-president) said, ‘Come on, we’ve got to go see these girls in a shopping mall,’ ” Newman recalled.

“As I got to the mall, there was the president of Polygram, the president of BMG, the president of EMI — and everyone was watching these ladies sing.”

Newman said Warner believed strongly enough in the sisters to be patient, willing to go with the family’s decision to wait until all three Ennises had finished school before committing to a major contract.

“I had to agree with their parents, (who said) ‘Let’s not talk until you’re ready and the girls are ready. Once they’re finished with their education and are ready to go into the studio, let’s go.’ So we just sat back and waited,” he said.

“We were patient and it paid off.”

Bourgeois — who also manages Grammy-nominated and fellow Warner recording artist Natalie MacMaster, said of all the labels he talked to about the Ennis Sisters, Warner was the logical choice.

Unlike other labels, Warner didn’t want the sisters to change their music. It was interested in The Ennis Sisters as The Ennis Sisters, he said.

The Ennis Sisters are working on new material for their first album to be released by Warner, due out this fall. Plans are also in the works to tour major markets.


The Ennis Sisters and their management company, ABC Entertainment Inc.(Andre Bourgeois), are pleased to announce the group has been nominated for two East Coast Music Awards - Roots/Traditional Group of the Year and Group of the Year.  Maureen, Karen & Teresa, who  have remained a successful independent recording act selling over 40,000 units so far; are thrilled with the  nominations especially in light of the very high volume of entries that were submitted.

The Ennis Sisters were recently awarded Album of the Year for their third independent recording, aptly titled "3", at the Music Industry Awards (MIA) in St. John's, Newfoundland. The awards show took place on Sunday, November 19, 2000 at at the Arts and Culture Centre.

The Ennis Sisters are putting the finishing touches on a ground breaking major label deal in Canada. Similarily, a major U.S. label deal is nearing completion. The group is currently being represented for live bookings in Canada by Vinny Cinquemani and Richard Mills of S.L. Feldman's Toronto office, whose roster includes such acts as Chantal Kreviazuk, Jann Arden and Amanda Marshall. 

The Ennis Sisters have already established prominent booking representation in the U.S. as well, having already been confirmed to appear at several prestigious American festivals in 2001. While they wait for deals to be closed on the recording and touring side of their careers, the girls are focusing on writing and demoing new material for their next recording which will be released in Fall, 2001. 

The Ennis Sisters will be performing at the ECMA Concert Series during the conference on Friday, February 9, 2001 at 7:00 pm where they will be showcasing new material. The East Coast Music Awards will be handed out in Charlottetown, PEI on Sunday February 11th, 2001. 

Good luck and best wishes to all the nominees! See you there! 

As well we have other good news, The Ennis Sisters new Manager, Andre Bourgeois is also nominated for a couple of awards. Check them out below!! 

ECMA 2001 Industry Award Nominees Industry Professional of the Year
André Bourgeois
Anne Oakley
Jane Secord 
Louis Thomas
Shelly Nordstrom
Tom O'Keefe
Wendy Phillips

Manager of the Year
Andre Bourgeois
Anne Oakley / Jane Secord
Louis Thomas
Mickey Quase


November 22, 2000
Ennis Sisters appear on Barra MacNeils Christmas Special

The Ennis Sisters will be making a guest appearance on the Barra MacNeil's Christmas Special. The special will air on CMT Canada on various dates throughout November and December. Tune your TV's to the station and enjoy!!

 
 

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