September 2015

Buffy Sainte-Marie wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: Buffy Sainte Marie Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

On Monday, September 21, 2015 Buffy Sainte-Marie’s album Power in the Blood has won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, an award that celebrates the Canadian album with the most “artistic merit” each year without regard for genre, sales or label. The coveted award was presented at a gala in Toronto, and has a value of  $50,000.

Power in the Blood has Buffy Sainte-Marie showing her versatility recording songs of diversified genres from blues to rockabilly, and is considered to be the most activist generated album to win in Polaris history, featuring songs like The Uranium War and a version of UB40’s Sing Our Own Song, and Alabama 3’s Power in the Blood.

“Ever since the sixties I’ve been making diverse albums, and every single album has had big love songs, which has managed to support me, like Up Where We Belong,” she said in an interview Monday night. “That’s allowed me to remain an artist. But on every album there’s been songs that have some kind of social meaning to them. I don’t hold back form trying to craft a song that not only touches people but also might expand their horizons,” she continued, “and give them some support for sticking up for what needs to be protected in their own communities.”

Proudly Canadian: The Haunted

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Haunted came out of Montreal, Quebec, with a dirty and scruffy bad boys image. Formed by Jurgen Peter, it has previously been reported that the band formed as an instrumental group called The Blue Jays in late 1963. This is now known to be incorrect, although the band did start out playing instrumentals, with Bob Burgess on bass, The Blue J's were a separate high-school act for whom Jurgen Peter stood in on guitar once for one gig which was broadcast on local radio.

Jurgen Peter: "In Canada, in the early '60s, there was no such thing as a commercial music industry. The DJ's played only American records and it was common knowledge that they lived off "payola" from the record companies. When we, The Haunted, started to play as a band in the Montreal area, there was no way to get a recording contract, no one to play your records, no booking agency to book us, no large shows and paying gigs to play at, no music magazine or anything like it to promote a local band."

Odetta – Bernie Sanders and the Winds of Change

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Submitted by Bill King

Martin Luther King called her the Queen of folk music. Most people beyond the caravans of folkies knew little of her yet she was an important and impressive social and political figure who stood tall – a respected voice in the folk revival of the ‘50s and ‘60s alongside Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples etc. She was center stage for the civil rights March on Washington in 1963 and considered her part as “one of the privates in a very big army.”

It’s 1981 and American president Ronald Reagan suffered a gun wound and America stands still. It’s one of those “how could this happen” moments yet it did and it shook the land. A few months later I’m on a return plane flight from California and assigned an economy seat next to this compact African/American woman.  Americans talk! They are never shy and when an event of such epic proportion hits home every corner of that occurrence is researched, lit, exposed and dissected. It was our turn.

We were about to endure big change under Reagan. The bullet was only a temporary set-back. I’d experienced Reagan’s iron-fisted punch up with air traffic controllers and got sidetracked in Detroit – almost spent a night when the union called a strike. I’m thinking, why would someone pick a fight with those who keep all those thousands of specs that criss-cross and shine on radar from smashing into each other that could cost thousands of lives? This was sheer madness.

David Gogo Releases 14th Album Vicksburg Call

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

David Gogo's groove-fueled blend of blues and rock is the basis for a singular and storied music career. His songs have been featured in film and television and are regularly played on blues radio programs the world over. He has earned numerous Canadian blues accolades, including five JUNO nominations, a Western Canadian Music Award, a CBC Saturday Night Blues Award, and multiple Maple Blues Awards. He has thirty years of performing and hundreds of thousands of tour miles under his belt. He's played on stage with Johnny Winter, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Albert Collins and Bo Diddley. He has opened for George Thorogood, ZZ Top, The Tragically Hip, Buddy Guy, Charles Bradley, Robert Cray, and Jimmy Vaughan among many others. Gogo can swap road stories for as long as you can listen!

BTW-Starring Taylor Knox, Alabama Shakes, Alejandra Ribera, Fergus Hambleton, Whitney Rose, Chris Staig, Sin City Boys

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Taylor Knox

This one has been some time coming. Taylor Knox has contributed to the performances of some of Canada's most well respected artists. Everyone from Rich Aucoin to Jason Collett has invited Knox and his multi-instrumental talents to the studio or stage. Now he steps out from the shadows with debut EP Lines and will celebrate the release with a very special show April 23 at The Horseshoe Tavern. As would be expected of a dude who's a thang in the music community, praise for the product's been coming from all corners. Most frequent factors cited are the crunchy guitars, smooth harmonies, and tales of tragic young love currently in power pop vogue. That said, in six brisk tracks clocking in close on the three minute mark, Knox shows a winning hand with a meld of the familiar and the unique. Expect the gig at the 'Shoe to be stuffed with musos.