Fortunate Ones: Hold Fast

The Newfoundland folk duo releases a video to accompany the title track of its popular second album. It features soaring and full-blooded production courtesy of Daniel Ledwell, while the vocal harmonies are sweet and tight.

Fortunate Ones: Hold Fast

By Kerry Doole

Fortunate Ones - "Hold Fast" (Old Farm Pony Records): This award-winning Newfoundland folk duo comprises Andrew O’Brien and Catherine Allan. Released back in the spring, their sophomore album Hold Fast reached #1 on CBC Music Top 20 Chart and remained in the Top 20 for 10 weeks.

Expect the momentum to continue with the release of a video for the title track and an extensive national tour.

Describing the video, O’Brien and Allan explain that "at the end of August we piled a bunch of camera gear into our car and made our way to one of our favourite hiking trails in Newfoundland to shoot the official video. 'Hold Fast' is a special song for us. The video was directed and shot by our super friend, Shehab Illyas with help from Phil Maloney. We had a grand time shooting in what felt like every type of weather one could experience in Newfoundland.”


The beautifully filmed clip certainly won't harm Newfoundland's tourism boom, and its evocative mood complements the song well. The sound of the track isn't sparse and rustic, but features soaring and full-blooded production (courtesy Daniel Ledwell) utilising strings, while the vocal harmonies are sweet and tight.

Fortunate Ones were one of the three winners of the inaugural Allan Slaight Juno Master Class, and their rapid career ascent since shows they learned those lessons very well.

The Hold Fast album release tour cross-Canada tour begins tomorrow (Sept. 27) at Lucky Bar in Victoria, concluding Nov 24 with a hometown concert at St John's Arts and Culture Centre. Mo Kenney and Joey Landreth guest on different legs of the trek.






Publicity: Take Aim Media, Kim Juneja,

Celine Dion
Courtesy Photo

Celine Dion


Celine Dion Battled Extreme Muscle Spasms From Stiff-Person Syndrome With Dangerously High Doses of Valium: ‘It Could Have Been Fatal’

The singer opened up about her decade-long struggle with the rare neurological disorder in Tuesday night's (June 11) primetime NBC special.

Celine Dion was so desperate to alleviate the pain from severe muscle spasms during her secret, nearly two-decade-long battle with the rare neurological and autoimmune disease Stiff-Person Syndrome that she took near-lethal doses of Valium in search of relief. In her one-hour primetime NBC special on Tuesday night (June 11), Dion said she took up to 90 milligrams of the medication used to treat anxiety, seizures and muscle spasms, an amount that is more than twice the recommended daily dose.

“I did not know, honestly, that it could kill me. I would take, for example before a performance, 20 milligrams of Valium, and then just walking from my dressing room to backstage — it was gone,” Dion said of the instant pain relief the medication offered at levels, however that “could have been fatal” if she’d continued at that pace. “At one point, the thing is, that my body got used to it at 20 and 30 and 40 [milligrams] until it went up. And I needed that. It was relaxing my whole body. For two weeks, for a month, the show would go on… but then you get used to [and] it doesn’t work anymore.”

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