BTW White Hot Guilt, Ember Swift, George Thorogood,Tim Moxam and Liz Stringer, (Sandy) Alex G, Rik Emmett, The Road Hammers

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Side projects are great evolvers of music and White Hot Guilt is on that from the get go. Change is good, and for Josh Warburton (July Talk) and Toronto producer Thomas D'Arcy (Small Sins/BROS./Tommy Hawkins) change was exactly what these two needed to fully discover their new side project White Hot Guilt. Out making the rounds is first new track, Little Things , off self-titled debut EP (TDM Inc.). All proceeds from sales will be donated to ' SKETCH ' - a Toronto-based community-arts-development initiative that creates equitable opportunities for young people homeless and on the margins from across Canada to experience the transformative power of the arts. Check out more info about White Hot Guilt at

Warburton and (July Talk) and D’Arcy (BROS./Small Sins/Tommy Hawkins) met years ago - Warburton looking for musical therapy post-rehab and a place to park his pop songs, while D’Arcy looked to hone his production chops at his new studio (Taurus Recording). Yin had met yang. The result: a future retrospect in dance music. Now meets then. Daft Punk meets the Bee Gees. LCD Soundsystem meets Stevie Wonder. This is to say: White Hot Guilt is sort of like a lot of things, but not really like anything else at all. The only common thread: fun. On July 21st, the first five White Hot Guilt songs were released. All proceeds will be donated to SKETCH.

The carefree vibe to each writing session was helping me feel passionate about music again. It was kind of like being transported back to those early days of jamming in your parents’ garage, with no expectations. The only rule was to keep it fun.” Josh Warburton. No talk of a tour as yet but this stuff is just too vivacuious not to take out clubbing.

Ember SwiftEmber Swift

Comes visiting a lady we don't have round here enough. The remarkable Ember Swift plays Hugh's Room Live Friday, Aug. 4 with an 8.30 showtime. Swift is an internationally touring musician and songwriter, and founder of the independent label Few’ll Ignite Sound. Originally from Toronto, she has spent the past few years making her home base in the magnetic city of Beijing, China. Still doing occasional touring in Canada, the US, and Australia, (and always hoping to return for her third tour on the New Caledonia French island in the Pacific), she and her band regularly travel around China for festivals and events.

She has released 12 albums and 1 DVD project since 1996 and continues to have a loyal fan base across many national borders. New album, “ Sticks & Stones,” released in January 2017, is a collection of three categories of music: “Songs for Adults,” “Songs for Kids” and “Songs for Adults w/ Kids.” It is her first release in 5 years and marks an important transition in Ember’s identify from not just an impressive musical and literary artist, but also as a proud parent.

Living in Beijing and having taken the time to learn Mandarin Chinese, immerse in Chinese culture, as well as to develop a body of work featuring not just the language but also several musical elements indicative of Asia (such as the inclusive of erhu in her band, a traditional Chinese instrument, and the regular use of harmonies in fourths), Ember Swift is an artist who bridges two cultures and represents a future goal to see East and West linked, in harmony, and mutually understood. As per all Ember Swift material, her new body of work features several different styles ranging from pop to jazz, funk to klezmer, R&B to rock. Linking it all together is Ember’s unmistakable jazz-smooth vocals and sociopolitical wit.

George ThorogoodGeorge Thorogood

He's baaack at Rounder Records, still badish to the bone and brandishing his debut solo album. George Thorogood's Party of One was produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines (John Lee Hooker, Luther Allison and Stevie Ray Vaughan), who reunites with Thorogood on the project, having produced several of dude's biggest albums to date ( RIDE ‘TIL I DIE, THE HARD STUFF, THE DIRTY DOZEN). The album’s primarily acoustic instrumentation – including slide, Dobro, and harmonica – is performed entirely by Thorogood, raw and stripped down, with an intimate one-on-one feel.

Says Thorogood: “I think this is a project that’s long overdue. Maybe it should have been the very first album I ever made. After playing with the band for all these years, I had to kind of reverse my hands and my head in order to do this thing justice.” George continues, “But I think Destroyers fans – and hardcore blues fans, too – are ready for the unexpected. My whole career, I’ve always said, ‘Just give them what you are, and they’re either going to dig it or not.’

After 15 million albums sold worldwide, more than 8,000 live shows, and an uncompromising catalog of hits that has certified him as one of rock’s most relentless entertainers, dude has returned home to Rounder Records to release the first solo record of his 40+ year career. Party Of One, Thorogood’s long-awaited tribute to the artists that shaped his musical consciousness. The 14 cuts (plus a bonus CD–only track) on Party Of One are a potent platter of traditional blues, classics, and modern blues benchmarks. The album sees Thorogood covering blues masters such as Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker, and Elmore James and other legends including The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan. The primarily acoustic instrumentation including slide, Dobro, and harmonica is performed entirely by Thorogood live in the studio, minimal overdubs. Thorogood himself says, “This record is what I was, what I am, and what I always will be.”

Liz StringerLiz Stringer

Following a successful Australian tour this past May, Roaring Girl Records labelmates Tim Moxam and Liz Stringer are joining forces again to celebrate the release of their new co-written duet Leave It Behind with an upcoming Eastern Canadian tour. Toronto based singer-songwriter Tim's first time in Australia saw him embark on a 16 date tour with Melbourne artist Stringer, taking in diverse locations across the east and west coasts of the country, such as Western Australia's breathtaking Kimberley region, which included a songwriting workshop with indigenous youth in Ardyaloon. The many hours on the road and a song concept that Moxam brought over from Canada lead to the creation of a brand new single - Leave It Behind - set for a digital release on August 4th via Roaring Girl Records. The duet was primarily recorded in Toronto at Dream Date studio with Joshua Van Tassel, with Stringer's vocals recorded in Melbourne.

Tim Moxam Photo Credit Lisa MacIntoshTim Moxam Photo Credit Lisa MacIntosh

Moxam recruited a who's who in Toronto's music scene for his 2016 album Soft Summer: former bandmates, Adrian Cook (guitar) and Tony McKnight (bass) of Great Bloomers, Joshua Van Tassel (drums) of Great Lake Swimmers, and Lemon Bucket Orkestra's Christopher Weatherstone (saxophone.) The songstresses Ivy Mairi (The Weather Station, Bruce Peninsula) and Raffa Weyman (RALPH and formerly Queen of the Fleet) provided accompanying vocals on several tracks. The album was recorded, mixed and produced by Chris Stringer, who has worked with Timber Timbre, Ohbijou, The Wooden Sky and Gentlemen Reg amongst countless others.

Melbourne’s Liz Stringer, one of Australia’s most respected songwriters and musicians, returns to Canada in summer 2017, following a year of international touring to support the release of her acclaimed 2016 LP “All The Bridges”. Recorded in Portland, OR at Type Foundry Studio, with producer Adam Selzer (M Ward, The Decemberists, Jolie Holland) at the helm, and released in North America through Roaring Girl Records, “All The Bridges” has continued to solidify Stringer’s reputation for highest quality musicianship, creative autonomy and intensely moving live shows.

August 5/6 - Gravenhurst, ON - Sawdust City Music Festival
August 11 - Wakefield, QC - Black Sheep Inn
August 12 - Kanata, ON - Squeezebox House Concert
August 13 - Toronto, ON - Burdock
August 14 - Victoria, PE - Victoria Playhouse
August 16 - St. Andrews, NB - House Concert
August 17 - Rothesay, NB - Concert In The Common
August 18 - Stanstead, QC - Haskell Opera House
August 19 - Pointe-Claire, QC - SHCN

Alex G Photo Credit Tonje ThilesenAlex G Photo Credit Tonje Thilesen

Earlier this month, (Sandy) Alex G concluded a five-week long North American tour with a spectacular sold-out performance in his hometown of Philadelphia, marking his biggest headline show to date. Raring to get back on the road, (Sandy) Alex G has today announced a run of seven dates supporting Fleet Foxes with two stops at Toronto’s Massey Hall on August 4 and 5. Full tour details below and tickets on sale Friday, July 21. Since concluding the previous tour, Alex has kept busy - this past Friday, Alex joined Frank Ocean onstage at Lovebox Festival in London for his headline performance, playing guitar in Ocean’s band. In May, (Sandy) Alex G released his 8th full-length album Rocket. Hailed by many as his most accomplished work to date, Rocket features standout singles “Bobby”, “Proud”, and “Sportstar.”

Rocket is the Philadelphia-based artist’s eighth full-length release—an assured statement that follows a slate of humble masterpieces, many of them self-recorded and self-released, stretching from 2010’s RACE to his 2015 Domino debut, Beach Music. Rocket’s sessions began shortly after Beach Music’s ended, with Alex tracking songs at home, by himself and with friends, in the gaps between a hectic 2015 and 2016 touring schedule. Rocket was mixed by Jacob Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Bass Drum of Death), who also lent his hand to Beach Music, giving the album a fine-tuning that retains the homespun personality of earlier efforts.

Rocket is an album still unafraid to take risks. Songs like “Proud” and “Bobby” reveal a new Appalachian influence, bending violin and banjo lines into reeling rounds with a distinct country drawl. After making the jump to the prestigious Domino Records, Giannascoli still does much of the recording himself with an old copy of “GarageBand 6.” The songwriter warps and pitch-shifts sounds beyond recognition, turning his flat vocals into unintelligible Autotune-drenched atmospheres. “Sportstar” has almost the edge of Frank Ocean’s “Nikes” as if sung from the bottom of the ocean, while “ Country” blends the Rhodes-and-falsetto of labelmate Porches into a strange, almost-free-jazz jam.

8/02 Brooklyn, NY – Prospect Park Bandshell
08/04 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
08/05 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
08/06 Detroit, MI – Masonic Temple Theatre
08/08 Kansas City, MO – The Midland
09/03 Philadelphia, PA – Made In America Festival
09/09 San Bernardino, CA – High & Low Festival
09/26 Pittsburgh, PA – The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls
09/27 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
09/28 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
09/30 Lincoln, NE – Lincoln Calling
10/01 Iowa City, IA – Gabes
10/02 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway

BITS'N'PIECES From Kempenfelt Bay on Barrie's historic lakefront, it's the 9th annual Kempenfest Aug.4-Aug.7. The family friendly fest kicks off Friday August 4, with altrocker headliners The Trews and local comers Rue Bella in a supporting slot plus a special 150th Birthday Salute to Canada’s Military – presented by Rock 95.

Rik EmmettRik EmmettSaturday is classic rock day, headlined by Rik Emmett & RESolution9 with regional rabble rousers Memphis Mudd in support .Emmett is currently touring on the RES 9 album he cut for the MASCOT / PROVOGUE label, which was released in November of 2016. When that project came along, he took a hiatus from his new home studio, The Rockit Lab, where he has been using state-of-the-art digital technology to capture new singer-songwriter-guitarist material. When he settles back into The Lab, the plan is to record a steady stream of fresh new songs, make videos, and release them as they are completed, without waiting and worrying about the content forming album ‘product’. This steady flow of new creative work will provide the soundtrack for the next chapter of Rik’s career — a chapter entitled, “ ElectrikAcoustik

The Road HammersThe Road Hammers

Sunday be Country Day, headlined by the trucker rockin' barn burnin' sounds of JUNO winning The Road Hammers with local faves The Bareback Riders in support.

Monday, the golden oldies oldies are back as The Jewel presents Vintage 45s and The Dreamboats.