January 2012

Carpet Frogs-The Best Band You Don’t Know

Cover, Jan 6-2012

Story: Michael E. Williams

There are few crack elite live and studio session bands in the country that are bands for hire. They learn new material all the time, translating it with skill, accuracy, and speed, bringing out the originality and authenticity in all the music they play.

One such unit is The Carpet Frogs. I talked to founding members Jeff Jones and Nick Sinopoli.

NS: I was in a tribute band at the time “Just Alice”. We put The Carpet Frogs together for the closing of the Gasworks, Jan. 9th 1993. All the bands came down and played; Saga, Triumph, Helix, Platinum Blonde, and Coney Hatch.

JJ: I joined Red Rider in 1978, left in 1985, joined the Infidels and after that formed The Carpet Frogs. We did the Gasworks closing and Sammy Culpepper’s Tuesday night jam for beers and the band has been going ever since. It has been 19 years.

MW: When did the Carpet Frogs become this crack studio session and live backing band?

JJ: During the 90’s at Lulu’s Roadhouse. They had a house band. We played between the house band and the main acts as an opening act for everyone that came through. Lots of the people that came to Lulu’s wanted us for corporate gigs.

Charlie Camilleri A Legacy to Be Remembered

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By Sandy Graham

The Canadian Music Industry has lost ‘one of our own’. Charlie Camilleri, well known in the old school circles, has left us, and the business has lost an icon who truly paved a path for future record reps to learn the ropes.

I met Charlie in the mid-70’s in Montreal, when I was a very young Music Director at CJFM. When all the reps would show up on Wednesday to push their latest new hits, they were a young hip bunch, dressed in the latest looks. Not Charlie. He would show up in shirt and tie, looking more like a bank manager than a record rep. But boy did he know his stuff. He was a music man, from his relationships with radio, nightclubs, theatres and the artists, managing to make them all happy and feel good about this business.

Burton Cummings and CharlieBurton Cummings and CharlieCharlie was also more mature than the rest. We were in our 20’s and he was pushing 40-ish so that was mature for us back then. He was a gentleman as well, and never made you feel obligated to play his latest ‘push’, but somehow he always got his songs played and charted by his persuasive promo skills.

Charlie also spent time with his artists, and was always on the tour with them; making lifelong friends with stars like Tony Bennett, Ronnie Hawkins, Tom Jones and Andy Williams to name a few.

Jonas & The Massive Attraction-Breaking out in Europe

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Story: Cashbox Canada

After much success in Canada, Montreal-based Jonas & The Massive Attraction are set to release their album ‘Big Slice’ in Europe on February 10, 2012 through Big Slice Records/H’ART Musik. A European tour to support this release has just been announced, commencing in Copenhagen, Denmark and talking them through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Benlux.  As part of the tour, the band will perform a special show at Harmoni in Bonn, Germany, that will be taped for the German television show Rockpalast. No strangers to Germany, Jonas & The Massive Attraction performed this past September 20 at the Blackland Metal & Rock Club (Lilli-Henoch-Strasse 1, Berlin) and at Canadian Blast @ Canada House Reeperbahn Sept. 24, 2011 -  (kukuun, 22 Spielbudenplatz, Hamburg). The following is a review submitted to Cashbox Canada both in English and German.

Down a dark street and around a couple of bends on a stretch of unlit road in the middle of what looks like a forbidden forest from a Brothers Grimm picture book lies the Blackland Metal and Rock Pub. This is Berlin and Canadian rockers Jonas & The Massive Attraction are onstage surrounded by a packed house of very serious music fans who are ready to see the band for the first time.

MARY POPPINS SHATTERS BOX OFFICE RECORD FOR HIGHEST WEEKLY GROSS IN TORONTO’S THEATRE HISTORY

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TOURING ENGAGEMENT IS PLAYING AT THE PRINCESS OF WALES THEATRE THROUGH JANUARY 8, 2012

With nine performances still remaining, the North American tour of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s MARY POPPINS set a new record in Toronto grossing over $2 million Canadian during the nine performances New Year’s week ending January 1, 2012.  This figure marks the highest single-week gross for a theatrical production in Toronto’s history.  By the time the premiere nine-week engagement concludes on Sunday, January 8 at The Princess of Wales Theatre, it will have entertained more than 130,000 people and grossed over $12.6 million Canadian at the box office.

It is estimated that by the conclusion of the engagement, MARY POPPINS will generate a $44 million economic benefit to Toronto from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff.  This figure is based upon a report from the Touring Broadway League, the official trade organization for Broadway and their North American Tours. The report states that on average, Broadway tours contribute to the local metropolitan area’s economy an economic impact 3.5 times the gross ticket sales.