February 2015

Doug MacLeod: Exactly Like This

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Submitted by Iain Patience

MacLeod may have a Scottish Islanders name but he's actually American. Long resident in West Coast USA,  Dubbs,  as he's affectionately known, is easily one of the most accomplished and admired acoustic bluesmen of his generation with countless international awards to his name.

'Exactly Like This' is his latest release, an eleven track masterpiece, choc full of recognisable and nimble fretwork on resonator guitar and careening slippery slide sounds that are his hallmark. His voice seems to improve with age, like a fine Malt whiskey or an expensive vintage wine.

All tracks on this release were written by the man himself and range across the usual subject matter of love, life, hope and despair. From the 1950s Louis Jordan inspired boogie sound of the opening track, 'Rock It Till The Cows Come Home' to the echoes of Duke Ellington on the closer, 'You Got It Good (And That Ain't Bad)', this is an album that showcases MacLeod's captivating, talented artistry to the full.

Backed by Mike Thompson (for many years and currently The Eagles keys-man) on piano, the wonderful Jimi Bott on Drums and equally splendid Denny Croy on Bass, this is nothing less than a marvellous album from a marvellous musician.


Kendra Kay Breaks New Single “Broken”


Submitted by Don Graham

Take the beautiful voice of Kendra Kay, a song written by Jason McCoy and a record produced by Nashville’s Jeff Jones and you have all the ingredients for a hit. “Broken” the title track from Kendra Kay’s EP, is now at Canadian country radio and should garner a lot of airplay. Kendra was in Nashville, Tennessee when she met a renowned producer and songwriter Jeff Jones, on Lower Broadway and the producer/ artist union was formed.  (Jones had produced a couple of Terri Clark albums.)

Speaking to Jeff Jones about the release of “Broken” he said. “One of my favorite songs on the record, written by my good friend Jason McCoy. I was very excited when we got the song and recorded it. Kendra's vocals sound great and she really delivered on the song.”

Kendra, from Elkhorn,  Manitoba, has been working hard promoting her record. We caught up with her on her way back from a gig on Sunday afternoon.” It’s so great to sing your own songs to a live audience and have them all dance and sing along. Makes you know you’re doing something right. My band is awesome!”

When asked about the new single “Broken” Kendra said “I was so happy that we got to do this song written by one of my favourite writers Jason McCoy and also Willie Mack. It’s such a well written song and I love to perform it. Jeff did such a great job producing it. I’m very proud of this record.”

Anthony Tullo Acting On His Musical Dream

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Submitted by Don Graham

Anthony Tullo is an accomplished actor producer/screenwriter in the film industry but his passion is music and he’s taking that passion to another level. Music and songwriting is in Anthony’s bones, blood and D.N.A. “I’ve had a great deal of success in the television and motion picture side of the entertainment business but I always felt the pull of music. It was impossible to ignore.”

Bowser and Blue Still Funny After All These Years

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Submitted by Don Graham

Canada is well known for its great musicians, singers, songwriters, comedians and entertainers. George Bowser and Rick  Blue, collectively known as Bowser and Blue, are each blessed with all five attributes. Each is musically talented, good vocally, write well crafted songs ,have comedic timing nonpareil and have entertained small intimate audiences as well as 5,000 seat venues. For over 35 years the duo has been crisscrossing the continent of North America with their unique brand of musical comedy and wry satirical wit and show no signs of slowing down.

Both George and Rick were born in England and both ended up in Montreal, Quebec where the duo was formed in 1978. George was born and raised in Sussex, England where he had a band called People Like Us with Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) and Bill Bruford ( King Crimson) and arrived Montreal in 1970. Rick was born in Liverpool, England, left when he was 8 months old (I didn’t have an accent yet)and took a more circuitous  route to Montreal. He came by way of New Hampshire , Maine, New Jersey, Brooklyn ,Toronto ( I might have missed a few stops) and finally landed in Montreal. Once in Montreal each of them were in various bands and duos and solo acts performing in the vibrant Montreal club scene. Bowser made a couple of records and worked constantly; Blue did the same.

Lesley Gore Passes on from Lung Cancer

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Submitted Courtesy of Rob Durkee
Photo: Lesley Gore 1964

Lesley Gore, who has died of lung cancer, aged 68, once told an interviewer: “There’s nothing more wonderful than standing on stage and shaking your finger and singing ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’” Gore later appeared in films and TV series and was a campaigner for women’s rights.

Legendary producer Quincy Jones discovered Lesley Gore. Around February of 1963, Jones had Gore record some 200 demo tapes and one of the songs was "It's My Party." According to Wikipedia, Lesley told Quincy, "It's not bad. I like it. Let's put it on the 'maybe' pile." Two solo women singers--Barbara Jean English and Helen Shapiro--would record the song but it went nowhere.  Then producer Phil Spector heard it and had the Crystals record it. When Jones found out about it, he rush-released the Gore version to beat the Crystals to the pop chart.

How did Lesley find out about "It's My Party" being released as a single? While driving in her car and hearing it on the radio. She was so shocked to hear herself singing "It's My Party" that she almost drove her car off the road.