It has been almost two weeks since the air stood still as the thundering herd of officers marched in procession winding their way down Toronto’s main streets. They grimly marched in silence to show their respect and say their farewells to a fallen officer and friend Sergeant Ryan Russell. The drones of the bagpipers and the pounding of the drums augmented the only voices heard as the drill Sergeant’s led their platoons with a Hup 2, 3, 4 past the tearful eyes of 1000’s of citizens, who stood in awe and sadness as the sea of blue, red, yellow and gray coats marched past for the final farewell at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Ever look at the backing band behind your fave act and wonder what their stories are? Many are journeymen road dogs and some others are like Donny Parenteau.
Parenteau ‘s a talented singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitars and the unique mandocaster). After touring with Neal McCoy for twelve years, Donny launched his solo career in 2003.
This seasoned entertainer has performed with numerous country artists and genuine music icons such as Charlie Daniels, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and Reba McIntyre, while honing his skill and waiting for the right time to do his own thing.
Since going solo, Parenteau has garnered numerous Provincial and National recognitions including a Juno Nomination in 2007 for Aboriginal Recording of the Year, wins for SCMA (Saskatchewan Country Music Association) Male Vocalist of the Year, Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year and Aboriginal Artist of the Year.
Donny has won two CAMA (Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards) in 2007 for Song of the Year (Father Time) and Producer / Engineer of the Year (What It Takes) which he shared with Steve Fox, Glenn Enns and Matt Anderson.
You never know what a marketing team will get up to next; Mississauga alt-rockers Crash Parallel shed the winter blues and kicked off the New Year with a unique partnership with Blo, Blow Dry Bar, that is, North America’s Original Blow Dry Bar.
Blo and the band share a wide reaching female fan base and had teamed up to execute an experiential marketing campaign that includes connecting with customers through grass roots promotions, events and giveaways. The timing couldn’t be better for Crash Parallel who are set to release their sophomore album Sunset in Reverse on February 8, 2011 and are heading out on a tour of Eastern Canada with the Goo Goo Dolls this February.
Ten Blo locations throughout Ontario and British Columbia will be involved in an exciting in-bar promotion; giving Hair Cadets (aka clients) download cards that will grant them access to an exclusive acoustic EP from Crash Parallel. Additionally, as the band is extremely eco-conscious, the cards are made of 100% biodegradable materials and contain seeds that will flower once planted.
“Blo is a huge fan of Crash Parallel and thrilled to partner with them on this blo-tastic campaign,” says Hilary Chan-Kent, of Blo, Blow Dry Bar. “We believe that our database of Hair Cadets will dig this in-bar value add – especially Crash Parallel’s new tunes. We like Crash Parallel’s innovative approach to marketing and look forward to creating a viral buzz that will benefit both brands.”
Recently I was quite impressed with the appearance of the tellers in a very popular bank I visited. Each bank employee was in a very nice outfit and all of the women appeared to have a recent manicure. It seemed to be the perfect job for anyone that don't mind working inside. Later that week I found out that the janitorial service employees of that bank make more money per hour than the tellers.
Don't get me wrong; ``those guys and gals looked mighty spiffy in their 3 piece suits and dresses but it disturbed me to find out they don't make as much money as the janitor. That prompted me to do some further investigation on the money split in the Music Business. It was interesting to find out the road manager for an artist as an example, makes more than the artist in some cases.
By the time the artist pays all the expenses involved with a tour there is very little left. This is not the case with huge major stars. I am talking about acts with only one or two hits under their belt.
The star or the one out front getting all of the attention is not always the moneymaker. Sometimes it is quite difficult to determine who makes the money.
The term’ original' gets hurled around a lot and in most cases, it's totally undeserved. Then there's Catl, who went so far back into the roots of the blues they've come out the other side with something quite different.
How many bands can you name who mine the roots traditions of the Twenties, that point in American history when Afro-centric Delta blues was meeting up with Euro-centric Appalachian folk music to create this mutant wild child named country blues that would one day go all rock'n'roll on us? And who else is so elastic in their approach that one member showed up for some random guest shots and was asked to stay the night, every night.
Jamie 'catl' Fleming is the band's guiding light and beneath the laid-back stage persona is a man with a righteous plan. That it was sparked in a used records store sounds perfect for a band steeped in tradition.
"I was always in Rotate This, and I asked Pierre (Hallett) for a good springboard to country-blues-type stuff. He suggested Mississippi Fred McDowell, who just blew my mind. I just got right into that sound, Fred and guys like Furry Lewis, the kind of sound their recordings had, the way they played.
"In some songs it sound like Fred (McDowell) is playing three different guitars and I thought, damn I want to learn how to do that"
Fleming came out of the Toronto punk scene so when he decided to put his act together, it was natural he turned to another TPunk alumnus, drummer Johnny LaRue.