October 2014

The Top Ten Cashbox Canada Playlist and Trivia for Hallowe’en!

1. Bobby Boris Pickett The Monster Mash (1962).jpg

Submitted by Sandy Graham

1.Bobby "Boris" Pickett
"The Monster Mash"

The sound effects on "Monster Mash" were all performed in the studio: the creaking door was a nail being pulled from a piece of wood, the bubbling beakers were suggested by blowing through a straw into a glass of water, and the heavy chains were dropped onto plywood for that "shackled" effect. The Cryptkickers included members of Ronny and the Daytonas, the Ventures, the Bermudas, and Leon Russell, who later became a star singer-songwriter in his own right.



2. Michael Jackson

The horror king of movies Vincent Price is forever etched into this song and video. "Thriller" is the title song from the bestselling album of  all time. Still a great video to watch at any time of the year. The video cost half-a-million dollars; at the time, it was the most expensive video ever made.


3. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
"Nightmare On My Street"

This song was so successful that the producers of the film Nightmare On Elm Street sued for copyright infringement. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith, the Fresh Prince, will add good humor to any Halloween gathering.




The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever - An interview with drummer Max Roach 1992

Jazz at Massey Hall.jpg

Submitted by Bill King

The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever Jazz - Massey Hall - May 15, 1953. Max Roach personifies jazz music.  From his early accomplishments as a leader, drummer, and composer for a variety of bands with Clifford Brown, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie to his later theatre, film, TV and orchestral work.  Roach continued to develop and shape the very essence of jazz and the role of the drummer.  Along with performing, composing, arranging and recording, he was a professor in the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. This interview took place in 1992. Roach passed away August 2007.

There is much debate between those who were there and those who said they were. Max actually played that night!

Max talks about his music, the players and that grand night at Massey Hall.

“When we did the historic concert with Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie, Mingus, and me at Massey Hall in Toronto, Mingus was the one who brought the engineer and tapes up there.  Mingus and I put together a company called Debut, and brought the engineer up, but we had to do it silently.  Bird was signed with Norman Granz. The first record we put out on our label we couldn’t use Charlie Parker’s name on it. We called him Charlie Chan. Later on, we made deals with other people and it was released another way. You have to create your own opportunities really.”

Blue Room

Cashbox Canada Blue Room Oct. 31.png

Submitted by Sandy Graham
Cover Photo Credit: Kevin Kelly

Eighteen years later and this band is still rockin’ the blues on the TO scene and beyond. Formed in 1996, Blue Room will celebrate their 20th Anniversary in 2016.  This is their fourth album and sure to join the other releases that have received international attention and radio airplay.

The core musicians of Blue Room are veteran live and studio players, featuring: Brian Neller's big, bluesy, passionate vocals; Fraser Lawrason’s solid bass lines and backing vocals; Paul Sanderson's soaring blues rock guitar; Norm Ryan's fluid and inspired saxophone; Pat Quinn's seasoned drum grooves. (Frank Watt started with the band and is a lifelong friend of all the musicians in the band and a musical colleague, but only Pat plays on this last CD)

Songwriting is shared by Brian Neller (vocals) and Paul Sanderson (guitarist) and this new offering will not disappoint fans who fell in love with Blue Room’s signature tune ‘Red Beans and Rice’.
Blue Room has a list of accomplishments that reads like a Juno nominee:
Finalists in the 1997 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search, runner-up in 1998, and second runner-up in 2000! Since 1997, the band has played in major blues venues around Toronto, including the Silver Dollar Room, The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, and Chicago’s. Sharing the bill with the likes of John Hammond and Jully Black, BLUE ROOM has also played the JVC Jazz Festival, The Beaches International Jazz Festival, First Night Toronto at the SkyDome, and Lloyd’s Blues Music Festival, featuring B.B. King, and Buddy Guy.

The band’s CDs have garnered airplay on over 40 radio stations in Canada, including CBC, Q107, CJRT, and internationally on hit top 20 CHR radio station, Radio Kaleidoscope in France, and received a 5 star rating (the highest) on Radio Halo in Holland.

Chris Smither Still On The Levee

Chris Smither Still on the Levee.jpeg

Submitted by Iain Patience

Is Chris Smither the cleverest lyricist out there today? Probably, and as this 50 year retrospective double album suggests, he has been for the past half century.

With 25 tracks, each a current, modern reinterpretation of his own original songs, Still On The Levee is a marvellous effort featuring many of his signature songs; Lola, Leave The Light On, No Love Today, Seems So Real, and the rocking Love You Like A Man - famously covered by Bonnie Raitt - are all squeezed into the mix.

Strong on Smither's trademark guitar picking and rhythmic foot stomping shuffle, these fresh arrangements of his huge back-catalogue also include more keyboard covers than is usual, bringing a positively refreshing sound to many of the old familiar tracks.

Smither is hard to categorise. There's always a light blues edge to him while his lyrical skills are intelligent, witty and erudite. Americana roots and country are clearly part of his genetic make-up.  For those yet to meet or hear the man, this splendid album serves as a great introduction to Smither and his music.


Elliott Brood Work and Love

Elliott Brood Work and Love.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Ten years in and the Men In White remain secure in their position at the very top of the Canuck roots rock heap. A Juno for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year’ll do that for ya. In the US, Mumford & Sons and The National were busy messing with the roots sound, to great critical and commercial acclaim. Against that landscape, when Elliott Brood showed up down there, tour work aplenty was to be had.

From out of the constant touring outside Canada comes Work and Love, a thematic album, rife with reflections on the passing of time and milestone transitions.

Among the latter, the band’s move from their trademark bluegrass altcountry into full on roots rock, cemented by the presence of local guitar god Ian Blurton as producer, which accounts for the trademark wall of screaming guitars all over the album. The banjos, mandolins and acoustics are still in the mix, but not the major ingredients.

Fresh, at times unexpected touches come from stellar guests horn player Michael Louis Johnson, pedal steeler Aaron Goldstein and a one-of from bassist John Dinsmore. As unexpected is how the guys tackle subjects that could make for a miseryfest by dressing the songs in bracing roots rock with no room for feeling sorry about anything.

‘Taken’ is the primest example, lyrically riffing on a lost teenage love on the way to a bleak future, and managing to be both sad and uplifting along the way. Lead off tune ‘Little Ones’ could have drowned in nostalgia for the passing of youth. Instead, the energetic playing and anthemic lyrics ("We should all stay little ones and never be bitter ones”) transform the piece into a battle hymn. “Jigsaw Heart,” teeters on the edge of the so-so until that bigass chorus and massed guitars show up.