On May 26, 2014 The Country Music Association of Ontario hosted their second annual Awards Show. Held at the Markham Theatre, it was a sold-out night, and was star-studded with both legacy and up and coming country stars.
Hosted by Jason McCoy, the evening was filled with live performances by Western Swing Authority, Deric Ruttan, Marshall Dane, Tebey, Beverley Mahood to name a few. The highlight of the evening was the first Impact Award to the legend Gordon Lightfoot. Jason McCoy and Deric Ruttan did a few iconic Lightfoot songs and the evening ending with a rousing rendition of ‘Alberta Bound’.
Cowboy Junkies are a Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock band. The group was formed in Toronto in 1985 by Margo Timmins (vocalist), Michael Timmins (songwriter, guitarist), Peter Timmins (drummer) and Alan Anton (bassist).
The Junkies first performed publicly at the Beverley Tavern and other clubs in Toronto's Queen Street West, includingThe Rivoli. Their 1986 debut album, produced by Canadian producer Peter Moore, was the blues-inspired Whites Off Earth Now!!, recorded using an ambisonic microphone in the family garage.
The group's fame spread with their second album, The Trinity Session, recorded in 1987 at Toronto's Church of the Holy Trinity. Their sound, again using the ambisonic microphone, and their mix of blues, country, folk, rock and jazz earned them both critical attention and a cult following. The Los Angeles Times named the recording as one of the ten best albums of 1988.
The band was nominated for Group of the Year at the Juno Awards in 1990 and 1991. In the early 1990s Margo Timmins was named "one of the fifty most beautiful people in the world" by People Magazine.The group has continued to tour North America, Europe, Japan and Australia with extensive North American and European tours following album releases in 2002 and 2004. In 2008, they released Trinity Revisited in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original recording of The Trinity Session.
Here’s an act that’s not only survived without that monster, career-defining album but thrived by sticking to their quirky electrobeat thang in a genre eternally on the hustle for the next new thing.
This album isn’t that monster hit but it’s a damn fine romp around the block inna Chromeo style. The Canuck electrofunk duo of Dave 1 and P-Thugg have once again crafted a hooky collectioin of real songs built on their mutual love of the vintage elements frameworking modern electrofunk and lyrically taking the stance of the playa as Pranksta. That requires a tricky balance between the heartfelt and the ironic and achieveing that balance is at the core of most of their best songs.
To that list can be added album opener "Jealous (I Ain't With It)", a song driven by funkified guitar chording and a classic Chromeo hook with an full-bodied anthemic chorus hanging from it. powered by chunky, ringing guitar chords. The hook’s courtesy of production duo Oliver, and another collab, with Toro y Moi results in another killer tune replete with classic Chromeo touches, the instant earworm "Come Alive".
The year was 1969, I was visiting my family in California, Wolfman Jack still on the air and the first Santana album hit the radio with cover art by Lee Conklin. It mesmerized me for hours.
It was a concept he had used on a poster for a concert by Santana, Grateful Dead, Staple Singers, Steppenwolf and the Sons of Champlain concert at the legendary Fillmore West.
The mystery started with the debut cover and continued with “Abraxas”; for the last forty four years Santana has given us beauty, grace, fire, spirituality and music to dance to while we wait for the dreams and lessons of the sixties to take hold.
Carlos Santana says he plays Black music for White people. In actuality, he does what Duke Ellington told Quincy Jones to do, which is break down the barriers between music and people, making categories disappear.
Santana - Abraxas (1970)Santana touched me that way back in 1969 with his performance at Woodstock with “Soul Sacrifice” ”Jingo”, ”Evil Ways” and especially “Treat”. My cousin and I listened to the 8 track over and over as we cruised the California highways. It was the first time the music and the place fit perfectly.
Dolly Parton’s 42nd album release is fittingly titled ‘Blue Smoke’, fitting because it takes us back to where Dolly was born and bred and began pickin’ and writing her songs. She may live in Nashville now and maintain homes in Los Angeles and New York, but she grew up poor in a holler near Locust Ridge, about seven miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Sevierville, Tennessee, where a bronze Dolly statue graces the courthouse lawn.
The heart of that area is what the Cherokee Indians called Shakaney, or "Land of Blue Smoke," for the mist that shrouds its peaks and floats over its valleys. "I bought the old homestead in 1987 as a retreat, for family reunions, a place away from prying eyes. “
Parton reached the pinnacle of her mainstream success in the 1980’s when she not only starred in the 1980 hit comedy 9 to 5, which marked her film debut, but she wrote and sang the title track and contributed to its soundtrack. The title song proved to another #1 hit for Dolly and earned her an Academy Award Nomination. Parton starred in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in 1982, which helped introduce a new generation to her song "I Will Always Love You." which would become a mega hit for Whitney Houston. The following year she scored another major smash with her duet with Kenny Rogers, "Islands in the Stream."