Arbor Live Hits the Small Screen

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This month, Brandon Friesen's music empire will expand yet again. The award-winning producer, engineer, label and studio owner will launch his latest project: Arbor Live. Airing across the country on APTN, the music variety television show features an exciting new mix of live performances, scripted comedy, and artist interviews.

Hosted by rock legend Stevie Salas, episodes will include comedy bits, behind the scenes antics, and featured artists participating in gags. Beyond the laughs, Arbor Live will also feature performances by emerging Aboriginal artists alongside some of today's hottest music stars.

"We're doing something very unique in the sense we're trying to get away from the standard live music variety show formula where you have a few acts playing then interviews. We find that model has been way overdone," says Friesen.

Along with about 50 million other projects he has on the go, Friesen is founder and owner the show's namesake, Arbor Records. The label, which now has offices in both Manitoba and Ontario, releases genre-spanning albums by Aboriginal artists, including Salas. Friesen and Salas came up with the show's idea while working together on Salas' last album. They wanted to put together something that would inspire kids by featuring successful people in various entertainment and service fields. APTN was interested and the show expanded to highlight some of Arbor's popular acts.

In coming weeks, viewers can tune in to catch music by homegrown artists like Comeback Kid, Inward Eye, Domenica, Wab Kinew, J.C. Campbell, Eagle & Hawk, Floor Thirteen, Dreadnaut, and 2009 JUNO Award nominees Tracy Bone and Billy Joe Green. They'll also catch international artists like Motley Crue, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Crystal Shawanda, Joe Satriani, Derek Miller, The Stray Cats, Leela Gilday, Velvet Revolver, and Kinnie Star.

"There are great Aboriginal artists that constantly get pigeon-holed into 'Aboriginal only' shows. These artists are world-class and deserve the same opportunities to be on the same stage as some of our other buddies who are international celebrities," says Friesen. "It brings international attention to these artists who might have never had the opportunity other wise. We're doing our part to bridge this gap."

Response to the show so far has been very positive and Friesen's already negotiating license deals in Italy, Germany, Japan, Australia and the U.S.

Facebookers can click here to check out trailers, pictures, video and more on Arbor Live's Facebook page.

Meanwhile, don't forget to tune in to Arbor Live's debut episode on March 7 on APTN. Apparently, it will involve a Gun N Roses/Velvet Revolvers' Matt Sorum and a cantaloupe...

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