August 2014

Proudly Canadian: Sylvia Tyson


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Sylvia Tyson, CM  (born Sylvia Fricker in Chatham, Ontario) is a musician, performer, singer-songwriter, broadcaster and novelist. From 1959 to 1974, she was half of the popular folk duo Ian & Sylvia with Ian Tyson.

Sylvia Tyson started performing professionally in 1959 as one-half of the internationally acclaimed folk duo, Ian and Sylvia. She wrote her first song, “You Were On My Mind”, in 1962, and three years later it reached #3 on the Billboard chart for a group called We Five, subsequently hitting the British charts as a hit for Crispian St Peter.

Through the sixties and early seventies, Ian and Sylvia produced thirteen popular albums and toured extensively in North America and Europe, sharing their manager, Albert Grossman, with such luminaries as Bob Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, The Band, and Janis Joplin. The duo went their separate ways in 1977.

The Silver Bullet Showcase


Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Canadian Country Music Week in Edmonton, Alberta is one of the most important weeks in Canadian country music. From September 4th to the 7th the entire industry will be in one place at the same time. It’s a golden opportunity to network, catch up and showcase talent.  Hence the Silver Bullet Showcase, a chance for some deserving talent to be seen and heard. Presented by iSee & Associates and Anya Wilson Promotions  and sponsored by Cashbox Magazine Canada the showcase will take place on Thursday, September 4th from 7 p.m. to close at Sherlock Holmes Pub.  Anya Wilson said “This will be a great opportunity for some of amazing talent we have in Canada that are looking for way to promote themselves and be seen by some of industry movers and shakers in a professional setting.

The evening will be hosted by veteran singer/songwriter Don Graham, who will perform a few of his tunes and introduce all the great Canadian artists.

Kendra Kay, an 18 year old singer/songwriter from Elkhorn, Manitoba is beautiful young girl with a strong voice and fascinating charm as an entertainer. Her career is on a fast track to stardom as she continues to delight more and more audiences.  Kendra recently released her first single to radio “It Was”, co-written by Jason McCoy and Carolyn Dawn Johnson and produced by Jeff Jones.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Mike Trudell from Sudbury, Ontario is currently getting airplay with his Gil Grand produced single “Do Ya Wanna?”, a radio friendly song that is sure to give him his shot in markets both sides of the border making him a ‘Northern Star with a Southern Shine’. Mike is currently promoting his self titled debut CD on Star North Records on the festival circuit.

Canada’s Own Carli and Julie Kennedy to Perform in Europe

Carli and Julie Kennedy.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Touted as “nothing short of awesome” (Cashbox Magazine Canada) and “one of ten to watch out for” (Edmonton Journal), Victoria, BC’s twin phenomenon, CARLI and JULIE KENNEDY will begin their 2014 Fall tour in Iceland and then to Sweden where they will perform at the Opening Gala for LIVE AT HEART in Örebro, Northern Europe’s largest showcase festival.

With songwriting, recording sessions and performances in Calgary, seven showcases at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, one of six featured acts and the only Canadians awarded a performance slot in St. Petersburg, Florida for the Third Annual Listening Room Festival, Carli and Julie Kennedy were also awarded a sanctioned showcase at Canadian Music Week in Toronto where their high energy session captivated a full house of international audience delegates and captured the attention of Peter Åstedt, Artistic Director of International Acts, for Sweden’s Live At Heart Music Festival who personally invited The Kennedy’s to perform in September.

“Carli and Julie Kennedy are exactly the type of artists we look for to perform at our festival,” said Åstedt. “They’re wonderful entertainers with great voices; they love their audience and the audience loves them; Sweden is in for a real treat.”

Since their debut as a duo in 2011, Carli and Julie Kennedy have earned 5 BCCMA nominations and fascinated audiences in Canada and the US with hundreds of performance dates. Whether taking stages at house concerts, festivals, fairs, showcases or conventions, The Kennedys have been touted as “the next big thing in country music” (Nashville Examiner).

Monday, September 1st 9:00pm Tickets $1500 KR
Café Rosenberg

Klapparstígur 25-27
101 Reykjavík
+354 551 2442

Cold Specks: Neuroplasticity

Cold Specks Neuroplasticity.jpg

Arts & Crafts
Submitted by Lenny Stoute

This muchly-anticipated follow-up from the diva of doom soul does not disappoint. It scarifies, mystifies and is naked of anything radio friendly. Also absent is the stripped down deep-rooted gospel folk of Juno nommed debut I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. Going the completely opposite way with the follow-up is a bold move aimed at dodging the sophomore boogieman. It succeeds more often than not and misses the mark less in comparisons with its predecessor and more in reaching the bar CS sets for herself at various places in the album.

While the dark tones of the Deep South remain and there’s music aplenty, Specks indulges her experimental side at many points. There are woozy, slack-tuned guitar lines, shrieking trumpets drop in and out, bringing a menacing whimsy, the deep, deep brooding vocals of the Swans' Michael Gira on “Exit Plan” and “Season of Doubt” and permeating the whole enterprise, a sense of unease.

Not so far around the corner from prime Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, except for the lack of strong melodies. This is after all doom soul, so there’s no expectation of killer hooks but still  too often the ornamentation outshines the melody.

The standout songs stand way out. Opener “A Broken Memory” nails the tone firmly in place: synths and drums of a creeping menace supporting a solid melody most suitable for lyrics like “All is calm / Nothing is right”, delivered in a semi-sung chant which Specks employs on a number of songs. “Old Knives” and “Absisto” are cut from similar bloodstained black flags, the latter being released as the album’s first single, despite the plodding tempo.

Too often, CS seems to be content to let songs meander along, any dynamics which appear seem like pleasant happenstance. Check “Bodies at Bay” and “Exit Plan”

Wendell Ferguson - New Kid In The Hall

Wendell Ferguson.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

Wendell Ferguson, guitar player/singer/songwriter/producer is about to add a new tag to his name. Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame member.

“I was at a gig and Don Green from the Canadian Country Music Association called me aside and said I need to tell you something. I had no idea what he was going to say but it didn’t sound good. Then he said “You’ve been selected to be a member of the Hall of Fame. “My first reaction was, no, I don’t deserve to be in there with Hank Snow and Wilf Carter. He said I wasn’t telling you so  could accept or not. It’s already been decided, I just didn’t want you finding out online or by somebody stopping you on the street to tell you.” Wendell went on to say, “It was humbling to say the least; there are some heavy hitters in that club and to be included with them is beyond my understanding.”

But of course to everyone besides Wendell it makes perfect sense. He’s been selected as the all star band country guitarist so many times in a row (seven) that he is no longer eligible. “I actually pulled myself out of the running. Between me and Russell DeCarle from the Oysters as the all star band bass player, it wasn’t fair to the young kids moving up the ranks. So I said please don’t nominate me anymore.”

So now at the CCMA week in Edmonton Wendell Fergusuon will be enshrined  in the Hall of Fame, an honour that he will cherish forever.