BTW Tara Shannon, Conor Gains, Cowboy Junkies, Lee Aaron, The Young Novelists, The Trews, Ghost

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Gonna start off on a serious note this week. Award-winning adult contemporary artist Tara Shannon is proud to align with LymeHope , a not-for-profit organization dedicated to education and outreach on the subject of Lyme and related diseases in Canada. After being personally affected by the disease in recent months, this cause is close to the artist’s heart. LymeHope aims to raise awareness on the devastating disease affecting four-million Canadians. Known for supporting local and national charitable campaigns throughout her career, including the Butterfly Child project and Big Brothers and Big Sisters’ BeYou , Tara looks forward to lending her voice to LymeHope.

Lyme Disease, a serious bacterial infection which can affect every organ system in the body, is completely unheard of to 30% of Canadians. Tara will be working closely with LymeHope’s co-founders Jennifer Kravis and Sue Faber on their educational campaigns designed to raise awareness across Canada.

We think every Canadian needs to be aware of the growing risk of Tick-borne diseases in Canada and understand the desperate lack of accurate diagnostic tests, experienced physicians educated in making clinical diagnosis, treatment options, disseminated chronic forms as well as alternate modes of transmission ” says Kravis.

Add your voice to the 59,000 people from every Province & Territory in Canada who have signed the Lyme Petition created by Jennifer & Sue:

As someone who personally suffers from Lyme Disease, I am looking forward to working with LymeHope, an incredible organization that works to raise awareness on this anonymous disease ” says Tara Shannon. “ I am a strong believer in using my platform to support causes and organizations that are close to my heart and I am excited to give my voice to LymeHope ."

JUNE 7-10 - Nashville, TN - CMA Fest, Writer Round
JUNE 14 - Renfrew, ON - Batstone's Northern Ramble
JULY 8 - Ottawa, ON - RBC Bluesfest, City Stage
AUGUST 2018 - Maritime tour (TBA)
SEPTEMBER 2018 - Be You Campaign (TBA)
OCTOBER 25 - Ottawa, ON - National Arts Centre
DECEMBER 7 - Ottawa, ON - St-Brigid's Centre for the Arts

Conor Gain Conor Gain Just coming onto many radars is Connor Gains. On his first solo album, "Compass", singer/songwriter Gains proves himself devoted to making uncompromisingly soulful music that transcends genres. Gains' label debut marks the follow-up to the self-released sophomore album "Run Away With The Night", which sparked interest in the young artist's music. In 2016 Gains' album closing song "Leave It On The Line" won the Cobalt Prize at the Maple Blues Awards. This national prize is designed to highlight innovation and creativity in songwriting. This is the impression one gets while listening to The Conor Gains Band. The deep respect of roots, jazz and blues music paired with the soulful, adventurous exploration of contemporary music gives Gains' songs an air of familiarity while listening to something just a lil' different. "Dance Like It's Your Birthday," "Ordinary Love" and "Darkness In The Light" are highlights of this go round.
Conor Gains On Tour

June 2 - Album Release Party Rivoli. - Toronto, ON
June 3 - Orangeville Blues Festival (Solo show) - Orangeville, ON
June 7 - Album Release Party: EVO - Cambridge, ON
June 21 - OM Solstice Festival - Singhamton, ON
July 5 - Montreal Jazz Festival - Montreal, QC
July 6 - TBA, Quebec City QC
July 7 - Evolve Festival - Moncton, NB
July 10 - TBA - Halifax, NS
July 11 - TBA - Truro, NS
July 12 - TBA - Moncton, NB
July 13 - TBA - Fredericton, NB
July 17 - Beaconsfield Concert Series, Beaconsfield, QC
July 20 - Album Release Party Rainbow- Ottawa, ON
July 21 - TBA - Kingston, ON
August 10 - Album Release Party Heartwood - Owen Sound, ON
August 11 - Kitchener Blues Festival - Kitchener, ON

Cowboy JunkiesPhoto Credit Stasia GarrawayCowboy Junkies
Photo Credit Stasia Garraway

Sometimes revolutions begin quietly. In 1988, Cowboy Junkies proved that there was an audience waiting for something quiet, beautiful and reflective. The Trinity Session was like a whisper that cut through the noise -- and it was compelling. All That Reckoning is the follow up to 2013’s Polaris Music Prize Long-Listed The Kennedy Suite and with it Cowboy Junkies once again gently shake the listener to wake up. Whether commenting on the fragile state of the world or on personal relationships, this new collection of songs encourages the listener to take notice. It also may be the most powerful album Cowboy Junkies have yet recorded.

It’s a deeper and a more complete record than we’ve ever done before,” says Michael Timmins. “We’ve always tried to make records that are relevant to who we are as people. These songs are about reckoning on a personal level and reckoning on a social level. So much is going on around us right now and nobody knows where it’s going to end up.”

Due out July 13 via Latent Recordings, All That Reckoning was written in places that look out upon water and trees...the songs are about, empty hearts, empty nests, lost paths, lost lives, and all the reckoning that brings about the end of things, and the beginnings of something else. LP title track and first single “All That Reckoning Part 1”, which had its broadcast premiere on The Strombo Show , examines the layers that build up over time and works to strip them away.

“We go through life building our protective skins, shields, armour, all the while thinking that we are protecting those we love from the fear and anxieties that roil inside each of us,” says Timmins. “ When all we are really doing is systematically shutting those people out, pushing them away. The walls we erect become our emotional prison. If we are lucky, we recognise the destruction early enough. If we are lucky we find our way back.”  


Beginning this month, Cowboy Junkies will be on the road throughout North America, with a stop at Massey Hall in Toronto on May 24 and at Corona Theatre in Montreal on May 26. While the Cowboy Junkies music is characteristically easy to listen to, the songs on All That Reckoning are visceral. In true Junkies fashion, the gentleness is juxtaposed with rock that can be jarring.

Fear is not so far from hate, so if you get the folks to fear, it only takes one small twist to kick it up a gear,’ sings Margo Timmins in the new song “The Things We Do To Each Other”. “It is the oldest tactic in the playbook of social control", says Michael Timmins. "Create a culture of fear and then begin to manipulate that fear to distract, divert and divide . Unfortunately, the end result is that fear usually turns to hate and hate is a human emotion that is impossible to predict and control.”

The Massey Hall gig is billed as An Evening With Cowboy Junkies And Friends and will feature performances from LeE HARVeY OsMOND and Skydiggers.

Tour Dates
May 24 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall
May 26 - Montreal, QC - Corona Theatre

July 6 - Albuquerque, NM - ABQ Biopark Zo
July 8 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
July 9 - Fort Collins, CO - The Armory
July 18 - Lexington, MA - Cary Hal
lJuly 19 - Martha’s Vineyard, MA - Old Whaling Church
July 20 - Portsmouth, NH - The Music Hall
July 22 - New York NY - City Winery
July 23 - New York, NY - City Winery
July 26 - Alexandria, VA - The Birchmere

Lee AaronLee AaronWith a career spanning over 35 years and still going strong, Lee Aaron is one of Canada's most diverse artists and, as Billboard once described her; “an invincible voice. She proves it yet again on Diamond Baby Blues, out April 27, 2018. Aaron delivers a world-class vocal performance that may very well be the finest in her career.

She was one of the first women in Canada to navigate the male-dominated waters of rock’ n' roll, pioneering the way for a significant number of artists. Her 1989 album BodyRock was proclaimed by Chart Magazine as “one of the 20 most influential Canadian albums of the 80’s, with artists like Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette and Shania Twain under Aaron’s influence.”

The late 80's and early 90's brought radio hits, gold and multi-platinum sales with Body Rock and Some Girls Do (1991), multiple JUNO nominations and song writing awards. She appeared on the cover of dozens of magazines - even TV Guide! - and for several years seemed to be everywhere, her videos in near constant rotation on MuchMusic. Aaron turned the tables on the sexist status quo in her video for Whatcha Do To My Body, which featured a group of rugged, attractive men objectified in a tongue and cheek, yet respectful manner. This resonated deeply with the public and became a smash hit.
Recurrent themes in her writing – from teenager to maturity – have always been female empowerment and individualism, challenging the feminine stereotype and of course, love, in all its beauty and iniquity.

In 1998 Aaron turned to performing blues and jazz in intimate venues around Vancouver, surprising fans and industry insiders alike with a musical left turn and released Slick Chick (2000) a spirited and soulful nod to her early influences. Despite initial skepticism, her authenticity and solid live performances from coast to coast led to credibility as one of the country’s most respected and versatile female vocalists and songwriters.

In 2016 Aaron catapulted back onto the scene with Fire and Gasoline, a stellar collection of rock originals. Canadian and European and UK dates followed and video singles, “Tom Boy”,“Fire and Gasoline”, and “Bad Boyfriend” have well over 100K views on YouTube and continue to grow in popularity.
So now it's Diamond Baby Blues time , a fiery collection of blues-based rockers, rock ‘n’ roll and hard-rock that pays homage to the giants of the late ’60s and ’70s music scene. Set to perform at Wacken, Germany's biggest open air festival this summer, Sweden's, Skogsrojet Fest and a string of Canadian shows, this multi-talented songstress shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Get ready for the hurtin'. Reuben And The Dark have shared the heart-wrenching video for All Or Nothing”, from the current Arms Of A Dream LP.


Directed by songwriter/vocalist Reuben Bullock’s wife Kaelen Ohm, the video features personal and powerful performances from a diverse cast, choreographing both the tender and tenacious nature of identity and relationships. Reuben and Kaelen explain: “Our journey in love together has been tested by many storms. This video paints a picture of some of those moments in time. The fragility and complicated nature of the human experience, coupled with it’s incredible beauty, belongs to everyone and hopefully we discover that more and more, so that we can recognize our unity more than we can our divide “There is still such divide and segregation in the world and so much work we have to do in the line of inclusivity, tolerance and peace. There are however some very simple, universal elements of the human experience that connect us all - love, grief, belonging, identity - we all, no matter what our story is or where we come from, can probably find a way to relate to each other through various expressions of these experiences.”

All Or Nothing” is currently #22 on the Canadian Alternative Radio Charts and at #3 on the CBC Radio 3 Top 30. The video follows the release of title track Arms of a Dream” from the upcoming album. Arms Of A Dream finds Reuben And The Dark working outside its comfort zone, both musically and lyrically. The result is Bullock’s most vivid and transformative music to date: an intimate exploration of the inversion of imagination and reality in dreams. The album will be available on LP, CD and digital formats, plus a limited edition of 100 white vinyl available by pre-order only. LISTEN AND SHARE “ARMS OF A DREAM” HERE

Reuben And The Dark will also be playing summer festival dates in Canada, including Toronto’s Field Trip Festival and Calgary Folk Fest.  

5/15: Toronto, ON - Royal Cinema
6/2: Toronto, ON - Field Trip Festival
6/10: San Francisco, CA - Hotel Utah
6/11: Los Angeles, CA - Bardot, School Night
6/12: San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
6/14: Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
6/17: Davenport, IA - Raccoon Motel
7/20: Edmonton, AB - Interstellar Rodeo
7/28: Calgary, AB - Calgary Folk Fest
7/31: Quebec City, QC - L'Anti
8/2: Charlottetown, PE - Fishbones
8/4: Saint John, NB - Area 506 Festival
8/10: Prince Edward County, ON - Hayloft

The Young NovelistsPhoto Credit Jen SquiresThe Young Novelists
Photo Credit Jen Squires

Up and coming folkpopsters The Young Novelists' have dropped their new album in city & country. The Toronto-based group comprised of husband and wife duo Graydon James and Laura Spink travelled out of the city and into small-town Ontario in order to connect the two places. The album features a 10-song collection inspired by these towns, including the single Back To The Hard Times . The band spent much of April touring Alberta and will celebrate the release of the album with stops in Ottawa, Guelph, and on May 24th at the Tranzac Club in Toronto

LISTEN TO in city & country incityandcountry

The Young Novelists recorded in city & country with the help of JUNO-winning producer Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Leonard Cohen, The Wooden Sky). Recorded at Bilerman’s Hotel2Tango studios in Montreal, the duo returns with their classic him-and-her vocals, with James playing acoustic guitar and Spink on percussion and vibraphone. For the album’s fullness, they enlisted the help of bassist Derrick Brady, drummer Rory Calexico, and guitarist John Law. With a sound that has been compared to everyone from The Band to ‘pre-weirdness’ Wilco, the band’s personal mission is to create sad songs for happy people — whether that means a nostalgic ballad or an upbeat anthem, The Young Novelists’ ability to tell familiar stories with a modern folk edge gives them that little something extra.

Watch Back to The Hard Times

The TrewsThe Trews

Altrock darlings The Trews have announced they're gearing up to release their sixth studio albumCivilianaires, due out September 14 via Cadence Music Group. Earlier this spring the band released, "The New US", the first track from Civilianaires . Viewed through the lens of our current political climate, the band describes "The New US" as ".... a call-to-arms for us all to try and cut through the static, noise, clutter and b.s. of the insane times that we find ourselves living in and hopefully seek out a little truth for ourselves in the process...or at least give you something to head bang along to in frustration in the meantime."

Watch: "The New US"

The Nova Scotia-bred, Hamilton, ON-based combo of singer/guitaristColin MacDonald, guitaristJohn-Angus MacDonald, bassist Jack Syperek, and drummer Chris Gormley - songwriters all - has won universal acclaim for both their dazzling live performances and wildly accessible songs. With two Gold albums, seventeen (17) Top-10 singles on Canadian rock radio and over twenty-five (25) music industry awards and nominations The Trews have earned their place as one of Canada's most iconic Rock bands. Their career has spanned two decades and The Trews have performed over 1,000 international live shows, including support slots for The Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Guns N' Roses, KISS and Bruce Springsteen. That's some sweet resume.

Tour Dates
May 31 - Dublin, IR - Whelans*
June 01 - Dublin, IR - Whelans*
June 02 - Dublin, IR - Whelans*
June 09 - Mt. Brydges, ON - Rockin Wheel @ Mt. Brydges Arena
June 16 - Sudbury, ON - Feast Fest @ Grace Hartman Amphitheatre
June 30 - Brockville, ON - 1000 Island Regatta
July 01 - Regina, SK - Canada Day @ Wascana Park
July 04 - Peterborough, ON - Music Fest @ Del Cray Park
July 06 - Niagara, ON - Jackson Triggs Winery
July 14 - Hamilton, ON - Because Beer Festival
Aug. 05 - Bala, ON - Kee to Bala
Aug. 10 - Shelburne, ON - Shelburne Arena
Aug 31 - Shawville, QC - Shawville Fairgrounds

Ghost Live in UtrechtGhost Live in Utrecht

Grammy winning Swedish mystic rockers, Ghost, have announced their first-ever headline arena dates in support of their fourth sacred psalm, Prequelle. Ghost will perform at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA on November 16th, 2018, and Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on December 15th, 2018.

Ghost broke news of the arena performances with a special press conference helmed by Papa Nihil and Sister Imperator at Irving Plaza in New York City. Watch their special sermon via the band’s Facebook here. The duo also debuted the Chapter Three: Back on the Road live at the event, finally putting to rest the age-old question of where all the Papas go. Watch the band prepare for their upcoming tour dates in the clip here .

Prequelle (pronounced prē-KWELL) is due for release on June 1st, 2018 via Loma Vista Recordings.

Prequelle was announced earlier this month alongside lead single, Rats, and an accompanying music video directed by Roboshobo. Watch the videohere. Rats is available to stream and download now via iTunes , Apple Music , Spotify , Amazon , and Google Play .

In an interesting twist in Ghost’s saga, Cardinal Copia has been appointed to take over vocal duties for the forthcoming psalm. Meet him here. Lyrically, Prequelle delves into the plague, the apocalypse, and dark ages. The entire body of work is also a snapshot of the world in which we live in on a daily basis, brought to life through an emotive, enlightening, and riveting body of songs.

May 25, 2018 - St. Louis, MO - Peabody Opera House
May 26, 2018 - Pryor, OK - Rocklahoma
May 27, 2018 - Memphis, TN - Cannon Center
May 29, 2018 - Ft. Wayne, IN - The Clyde Theater
May 31, 2018 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater
June 1, 2018 - St. Paul, MN - The Palace Theater

Support live music. Really.