A Canadian concept whose time has come curated by the originator best equipped to do the job. Accordingly, this is not a ‘greatest hits’ project and Garth Hudson’s choice of tunes from The Band to be re-worked by an eclectic crew of Canadians, is bound to furrow a brow or two.
And unless you’re a Raine Maida fan it’s not all good news. For the most part, the match of singer and song makes for tasty treats in a variety of styles.
The Sadies shine throughout and do a damn fine job of re-creating the barroom backing band spirit of the early The Band. Never better than on a rip roarin’ ride through ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ fronting Neil Young as dude bawls and shreds it like the joint’s ablaze.
Then they turn on a dime with nine cents change to help Mary Margaret O’Hara conjure up the spooky vibe of ‘Out Of The Blue’.
Elsewhere, Bruce Cockburn brings his A game to ‘Sleeping’, little-known Road Hammers funk up ‘Yazzo Street Scandal’ courtesy of inspired work from the backline and Chantal Kreviazuk does a great job of representing the household by drenching ‘Tears Of rage’ in womanly soul. Underpinning every track, just as he did with the originals, is Garth Hudson’s piano and keyboard playing, weaving the connecting threads between then and this.
I don't have the resources to find out who coined the phrase, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission,” but I can tell you that in today's Music Business, that phrase is no longer true.
In today's music world there is no forgiveness for illegal downloads, or any form of copyright infringement. People are being prosecuted to the fullest degree allowed by law for what was once a misdemeanour.
Not paying the statutory royalty rates to the appropriate writer and or publisher can get you in enough trouble that it can take thousands of dollars in some cases to free yourself from going to jail.
The days of getting a slap on the wrist for copyright infringement are over.
You can still ask for forgiveness if you so choose but don't be too surprised if it is not granted.
Quebec born impressionist André- Philippe Gagnon is bringing his 401 voices down the 401 to treat the province of Ontario to his extraordinary talent. His press release bills him as The Man of 400 Voices, so counting his own voice it brings the total number of voices to 401. Perfect for traveling down the 401 Highway from Quebec to Ontario.
When asked how he started doing impressions Gagnon explains, ” As babies we start speaking by imitating the sounds we hear around us and then at a certain age we outgrow that habit. I never did outgrow it!” He goes on to say “My idol, as a kid, was Mel Blanc who did Bugs Bunny and all those great cartoon voices. I started by doing Tweety Bird and when I did it my brother praised me instead of punching me. That’s when I knew I was on to something!” A shy kid who didn’t enjoy speaking in public, Gagnon found his talent to be a great ice breaker and it put him at ease in those awkward situations.
In 1985 Gagnon got a break by performing at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival where he recreated, with uncanny accuracy, every voice on the famous Michael Jackson penned, We Are the World song that had been recorded by USA for Africa.
Kenyan guitarist/vocalist Adam Solomon has been a fixture on the Canadian world music scene for close on two decades and after all that time, he’s still not standing still.
Over that period genre fans have watched Solomon go from an evangelist for Africa’s myriad guitars styles through an Afro/rock fusion phase to his current interest in digging up the traces of the blues in African music and inserting them into North American blues styles.
Retaining his roots in traditional music, Adam's compositions embrace a wide variety of African rhythms, from traditional soukous, African Renaissance blues, highlife and reggae to samba, bossanova and rhumba. His African Renaissance Blues style brings the blues back to the African continent where they originated in tribal song structures. The effortless manner with which he controls the guitar so that it sings with him exemplifies the talent of this East African native. Little wonder in his youth he was called ‘the African Jimi Hendrix’.
Adam's style of guitar playing is renaissance in its careful fusion of the Mississippi Delta blues style of John Lee Hooker, BB King and Muddy Waters while highlighting the African blues style.
The jury’s still out on who wrote the book of love but we now know that Keith Bradford’s just written the definitive book of the music business. Being that this is the 21st century, the book is actually a DVD and will eventually be available as a download.
The Music Business-Ya Gotta Love It is a nuts ‘n’ bolts how-to instructional manual for surviving and thriving in the music business. Everything from what’s a TV tile to stool; what is it good for?, using street teams and achieving airplay dreams. Amazingly, it’s the first of its kind to gather this kind of arcane knowledge about the music business in one place and Bradford’s proud to be the one to do it.