2 P.E.I. musical acts make top 100 in CBC Searchlight competition

2 P.E.I. musical acts make top 100 in CBC Searchlight competition

The CBC Searchlight competition has been narrowed down to 100 finalists, including two from P.E.I.

More than 2,000 musicians from every province and territory entered the CBC Searchlight contest, which looks for Canada's best undiscovered musical talent.

The shortlist of 100 acts was announced Thursday, half chosen by popular vote and and half by a team of CBC Music producers.

P.E.I. has two acts who made the cut. One, the Amanda Jackson Band, got through based on the popular vote, and the other, Danny Drouin, got through on the producers' vote.

"This year, the field of the 2,000 artists was very, very strong," said Grant Lawrence, a CBC Music producer in Vancouver.

The Amanda Jackson Band includes members Amanda Jackson (vocals), Dale McKie (guitar, harmonica), Todd MacLean (guitar, piano, sax), Jon Rehder (bass) and Reggie Ballagh (percussion). They entered their song, Dance Into the Light.

Drouin performs in a band called Renegade and also released his first feature length solo album, It's Been a Long Week, in July. He entered his song, Lost.

"He was a favourite of some of the producers, who think that Danny's really, you know out from the west side of the Island, really nailing the country rock sound that he's creating," Lawrence said.

The next round of the competition will be whittled down to 10 acts, which will be announced in a week on March 8. Again, five will be chosen by public vote and five by CBC Music producers. The top 10 will then be judged by a panel of celebrity judges to choose the winner.

Listeners can vote here for the two Island acts.

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