BTW Michelle McAdorey, Trey Anastasio, Peaches, The Brothers Landreth, Al Lukas, The Rhythm Express Soul Explosion ‘69

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

The first new music from Toronto singer-songwriter Michelle McAdorey in over ten years drops Oct. 30 on new album Into Her Future. Its nine songs address the nature and importance of love as a guiding and crucial force in the world. The love for a child, the love of nature and the earth, and the way love travels through time, linking the past to the present and indeed into the future.
 First single  is 'Disappearing Things' which speaks to the audacity of love. “The song was, in part, inspired by an interview I heard with a First Nations Chief speaking about what was happening in Fort Chipewyan,” says McAdorey. “He was talking about the impact of the Tar Sands, the largest Industrial disaster on the globe happening in Northern Canada that is affecting our water and climate, and changing the environment. He described what he was seeing; the pollution, mutated fish, and sickness, and he said ‘All water comes together in the end’. He also spoke of his deep love for the earth, for all creatures, saying that when you really love, you must be ready to stand, no matter the turbulence and how that takes great courage.”

Into Her Future was recorded over a period of two and half years with long-time collaborator and friend Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo), at his Lost Cause studio. “Michelle’s spirit has always been an inspiration to my own work”, says Keelor. “I have long been in awe of her strength and passion, not just as a singer but as a writer and an interpreter of feeling, which to me is the essence of great songs. I am thrilled to have been a part of this process.”

McAdorey cut her musical teeth in London, England during the 1980s; recording with her own band as well as with the late Kirsty MacColl. On her return to Toronto, McAdorey formed Crash Vegas with Keelor. Memorably described at the time as ‘an awake Cowboy Junkies’, their debut album, Red Earth, was popular with critics and fans and was certified silver on the strength of the singles “Inside Out”, “Smoke”, and “Sky”. After Crash Vegas split in 1996, McAdorey went solo,  releasing solo debut LP, Whirl, in 2001 and the more experimental Love Don’t Change in 2003. The famously very private McAdorey has yet to announce a tour but it's only a matter of time, as the work on Into Her Future is too strong and insightful not to take directly to the people.

Trey AnastasioTrey AnastasioAnother artist who hasn't had an album in some time but has one now is Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. It's titled 'PAPER WHEELS' and comes out Oct.30. Produced by Anastasio and longtime collaborator Bryce Goggin, 'PAPER WHEELS' was recorded last year at The Barn, the Phish founding guitarist's Vermont farmhouse-turned-rehearsal space/recording studio. Anastasio and the members of Trey Anastasio Band (TAB) developed the material on stage while touring and sound-checking on the tour leading up to the sessions, allowing them to track the album in just under a week. Taking a cue from the energetic immediacy of classic Stax Studio recording sessions, TAB worked fast and loose, playing together live in The Barn and wrapping up tracks after one or two takes. Written and co-written by Anastasio alongside frequent lyric partners Tom Marshall and Steve "The Dude of Life" Pollak, songs like the funk-driven "Bounce" and the elegiac "Invisible Knife" (written solely by Anastasio) are among the legendarily diverse artist's most infectious and inventive, alive with creative vigor, robust musicianship, and true soul power.

'PAPER WHEELS' features the classic TAB line up of drummer Russ Lawton, bassist Tony Markellis, and keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, augmented by a full horn section (including trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman, multi-instrumentalist James Casey, and long-time TAB trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick). The album was mixed by 8x GRAMMY® Award-winning sound engineer Elliot Scheiner, known for his work with Van Morrison, Steely Dan and Derek & The Dominos. Trey Anastasio Band are celebrating the release of 'PAPER WHEELS' with a headline tour through to November 13, 2015.

PeachesPeachesSince the September release of Peaches' new record 'Rub' the accolades have come pouring in from all over the world.   This album is her most adventurous, audacious musical statement yet. It continues on the bold, sexually progressive path she forged 15 years ago that's opened the door for countless others to follow. Her inventive vision was most recently acknowledged with her nomination for the inaugural 2016 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize.

Recorded over the course of 2014 in Peaches Los Angeles garage studio collaborating with her long-time friend Vice Cooler. "After six years, I was excited about my lyrics again, about what Peaches was," she explains. "I felt more comfortable living out any idea I wanted to try. We spent ten hours a day making beats, and whatever stuck, I would write on and develop. The only agenda was to make the best album we could."

Peaches 2000 debut 'The Teaches of Peaches,' catapulted her into the spotlight, album single 'Fuck The Pain Away' appeared everywhere from Sofia Coppola's 'Lost In Translation' and 30 Rock to South Park and HBO's True Blood.  She followed that album with a series of critically acclaimed releases featuring collaborations from Iggy Pop, Joan Jett, Josh Homme, Beth Ditto and more.  The past six years have been some of the busiest and most productive years in her artistic career. From her one-woman production of 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' (renamed Peaches Christ Superstar), to 'Peaches Does Herself,' an electro-rock opera which morphed into a film of the same name, to singing the title role in a production of Monteverdi's epic 17th-century opera 'L'Orfeo' in Berlin and collaborating with Yoko Ono, Major Lazer, Le Tigre, REM, and more.

These last years between albums are documented beautifully in the new book 'What Else Is In The Teaches Of Peaches,' published in June via Akashic Books, a collection of Holger Talinski's photos from at home and on the road, on-stage and behind-the-scenes.

The Brothers LandrethThe Brothers LandrethJUNO Award Winners The Bros. Landreth are working with a similar single releasing strategy. Teaming up with Spotify and Exclaim! to release an EP of cover songs titled Undercover Bros., or rather a collection of “songs we wish we wrote,” says vocalist / guitarist Joey Landreth. Beginning October 9, the songs were released one-by-one exclusively through Spotify with a new track appearing each week on the band’s Spotify playlist over the next five weeks. The EP will include tracks by Steely Dan, Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Paul McCartney, and Ry Cooder.

"We’ve always leaned heavily on our influences and wore them on our sleeves,” says Landreth. “We wanted to find a way to say thanks to those whom we have borrowed so much from by recording our renditions of their tunes. We've teamed up with Spotify and Exclaim! and we will be releasing a song each week until November 7. So, keep your eyes peeled to our Spotify playlist! Just like we do live, we're going to kick the whole thing off with "Let Em In" by Paul McCartney and Wings!"

Each of the songs make their way into The Bros. live set from time to time, so be sure to catch them on the road as they cross North America on tour this fall, which began beginning October 17 in the band’s hometown of Winnipeg.

Keep checking each week to see which song The Bros. Landreth are covering. And, let The Bros. Landreth know what you think of the cover songs on social media by using #UndercoverBros. Plus, the band would love for you to let them know what other songs you’d like to hear them cover. Vote on a selection of chart-topping pop songs that you’d like to see The Bros. Landreth put their spin on.

Earlier this year The Bros. Landreth were honoured with the JUNO Award for Roots Album Of The Year. Their record, Let It Lie, is album about open highway and broken hearts, anchored by the bluesy wail of electric guitars, the swell of B3 organ, and the harmonized swoon of two voices that were born to mesh. Rolling Stone has called them “...four Manitobans who understand that in blues music, it's all about the swagger, not the speed,” while BeatRoute has claimed that “The Bros. Landreth put on a performance that made you swell with Prairie pride and hope to God that they continue with this project for a long time.”

It has been four years between albums for roots-inflected singer/songwriter Al Lukas, but that's all to the good. The response to 2011's breakthrough third album In My Soul was so over-the-top-loving-it the hard-working troubadour has toured behind it ten times! The eclectic tunes have been heard on over 45 campus and commercial radio stations across Canada and garnered rave reviews. So now he's given us Matches to play with. This new album showcases the development of Toronto-based Lukas as a songwriter of real emotional eloquence. Match this with his fluency as a guitarist (both acoustic and electric) and his powerfully soulful vocals and you have a genuine triple threat. The gruff quality of his resonant voice has drawn comparison to the likes of Tom Waits, Richie Havens and Van Morrison, but he always harnesses its power to best serve the song. The sound of Matches is, by design, a little more sparse and stylistically focused than on In My Soul. "A big part of my career is playing live, so this time out I said 'hey guys, let's record an album that sounds like what we do live,'" Lukas explains. "I write everything on acoustic guitar, so I wanted that on everything."

Once Lukas and bandmates, drummer Kent Macrae and bassist Chris Byrne, set up shop in Calgary's Studio D, the recording of Matches was quick and smooth. "We recorded live off the floor, two or three takes per song. We had all the bed tracks down in two days, and I added to them in between touring over the next few weeks." A key component in Matches is the co-production, engineering and mixing work of Steve Dierkens. His audio production skills have placed him in demand in film and television, with credits including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The Lion King, and American Dad!, and Dierkens now owns and operates Studio D.

While jokingly referring to it as "the bunker," Lukas notes that "it is a state of the art studio. Down there it's as if the outside world doesn't exist. There was a tornado in Calgary while we were there and we had no idea!" Al praises Dierkens as "the most experienced producer I've worked with, and a real nice and even-tempered guy.' The process took place democratically. "Steve would act as the producer while we were playing, and then we'd all go back and give it a listen and make some decisions," Al recalls. "I wanted everybody to have a hand on the steering wheel, even though they're my songs. I feel that when you get professionals into a project, you don't tell them what to do; you want to see what they can bring to the table. It all felt really organic and everyone had a nice positive attitude towards the songs."

Lukas' acoustic guitar work is strong throughout, as on the album closer "Don't Think Twice," a song with a lovely jazzy bossa nova vibe. His skill on electric is also showcased on a few of the songs on Matches. There's a real vigour to his playing on the intense "Mrs. Write," while clean and crisp lines enhance the tender track "Loved Before." The songs collected on Matches are a seamless mix of newer and older material. Al terms some of the songs 'orphans,' noting that "I wanted them to make it on the last one. That didn't happen, but I found they fit really well with my new songs. I actually entitled the album Matches because of that, plus the fact that everybody who worked on the album proved a perfect match."

As a writer, Lukas generally looks within, utilizing personal experiences and emotions to come up with his insightful material. The moving "Lost With You," for instance, comes from time spent helping a friend through a troubled time in her life. "I wrote that song at her kitchen table and left it with her as a way of saying 'even when I'm not around I'm still lost with you,'" Al recalls. The evocative imagery of the title track was inspired by a chat Lukas had with his super at the building he was then living in. "I told him we needed doors that lock and he replied that people would still find a way to get in. I said 'we can't hand them the matches to light the fire,' and that phrase resonated with me."

Lukas has had a fascinating and freewheeling musical journey to get to this point. He toured northern Ontario in his mid-teens as the guitarist in his family’s bluegrass-based band, then played in rock'n roll bands in the bars of his hometown of Kapuskasing (while under-age!). As a solo artist, he honed his performance chops in settings ranging from opening for Blue Rodeo, joining Jack deKeyzer onstage in Windsor, playing blues and roots festivals through Ontario, and participating in a jam session with some of Detroit’s top blues and jazz players (including legendary trumpeter, the late Marcus Belgrave). His first two albums, 2007’s self-titled debut and 2009’s Fall & Flight, earned positive reviews, though Lukas now explains "the genre on those albums felt a bit directed by my management team at the time. On the last two, I got to be myself as a singer/songwriter."

Rhythmn Express Soul Explosion '69Rhythmn Express Soul Explosion '69That tour fueled many songs on In My Soul and cemented friendships and connections that continue to pay dividends for Lukas, who now books his tours conventionally. This seasoned road warrior is already eagerly anticipating his next tour. In the meantime, here's Matches, equal parts warm glow to your heart and soul and burning down the house.

Closing on a party note, soul and r'n'b fans in the T.Dot will be happy to hear The Rhythm Express Soul Explosion ‘69 is kicking it at Lula Lounge, October 25, 2015. The double bill with Blackburn Brothers is an album release party, attendees of which get a copy of the album included with the ticket price. Sounds like a real soulful good time.