July 19, 2001
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
For more information contact:
ABC Entertainment Inc.
Andre Bourgeois - firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Frantsi - email@example.com
May 2, 2001
The Ennis Sisters Conquer Merlefest
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.
ABC Entertainment Inc.
ABC Entertainment Inc.
March 18, 2001
Ryan's beautiful voice just gets better with age
St. Paddy's Day concert was
Marla Cranston - The
Halifax Daily News
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.
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."
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
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
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
Pedersen - Halifax
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Irish Eyes Are Smilin'
Ennis Sisters, Denis Ryan
Team Up With Symphony For St. Paddy's Day
By Andrea Nemetz - Halifax
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
"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
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.
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
"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
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).
Ennis Sisters sing Lord of the Dance from 3, a new arrangement of the old
"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."
The Word from ... Maureen Ennis
Marla Cranston - Halifax
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
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."
the tube: Frasier, Ed and The Simpsons "are my three programs that have to
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."
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
Warner Canada Signs The
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
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.
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
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
February 12, 2001
The Ennis Sisters win an ECMA!
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.
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
Ennis Sisters snag record deal
Mark Vaughan-Jackson - The Telegram,
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
“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
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
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
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!!
Industry Award Nominees Industry Professional of the Year
Anne Oakley / Jane Secord
November 22, 2000
Ennis Sisters appear on Barra MacNeils
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!!