February 2016

BTW Jim Bryson, Ron Hawkins, Hollow Hand, Little Scream, Elliott Vincent Jones, Basia Bulat.

Jim Bryson.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Jim Bryson

Jim Bryson played 3 sold out shows at Quitters Coffee Shop in Stittsville to celebrate the release of his anticipated new album 'Somewhere We Will Find Our Place.' While relatively unknown in the mainstream, Quitters has considerable clout among music folk, being owned and operated by another roots star, Kathleen Edwards, currently on retirement from the biz. Which made the sellout pretty much a slam dunk.

Exclaim.ca premiered the new video for the track The Depression Dance, and check CBCMusic.ca for an exclusive First Play of the album, which is available through the usual dealers.

To bring this record to life, Jim elicited the help of Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene) and Grammy Winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes) to flesh out and rethink how songs would and could be presented. "Somewhere We Will Find Our Place is about change, about trying new things. It's the soundtrack to moving back home, building a shed, breaking a leg, and finding a stability. Plus hope and optimism."

Upcoming Show Info:
February 25, The Burdock, Toronto, ON (Early)
February 25, The Burdock, Toronto, ON (Late)

Proudly Canadian The Mercey Brothers

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Mercey family grew up to music in their household at an early age. Brothers Larry and Ray, formed a country musical group in 1957. Their brother Lloyd joined the group in 1966. Natives of Hanover (which is south of Owen Sound), Ontario, they eventually went on to become (7) seven-time Juno Award winners for "The Top Country Group" and were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989.

Larry Mercey, the eldest of three, was born on December 12, 1939. Larry became the lead singer and guitarist for the band. Ray Mercey was born on November 21, 1940 and he became a singer and bass guitarist for the band. Lloyd Mercey, the youngest Mercey brother, was born on December 12, 1945 to be a backup singer and drummer for the band.

Larry Mercey sang on the radio station CKNX Barn Dance in 1956, in the neighborhood town of Wingham, Ontario. In 1957, Larry and Ray began to seriously pursue a possible career in music, calling themselves The Mercey Brothers. Inspired by the Everly Brothers, a harmony duo popular in the United States at the time, they patterned their music and their image to resemble them.

Larry and Ray placed second in CBC Television’s Talent Caravan in 1960, and later went on to sign with Chateau Records in 1961. They made their first chart appearance with "Just the Snap of Your Fingers" that same year.

Jen Lane This Life of Mine

Jen Lane This Life of Mine.jpg

Submitted by Lee Fraser

Jen Lane grew up writing and singing, creativity naturally streaming through her vocal chords and fingers. She had an album released when she was still a teenager. With the release of a fourth album, “For the Night”, momentum was building and the outlook on her future was full steam ahead. But then a fluke accident ripped up the tracks suddenly.

The years following that injury saw Jen in and out of hospital and physiotherapy. There were multiple surgeries and unforeseen effects that straddled her with pain and immobility. While her husband, John Antoniuk, was touring his own albums, Jen was stranded at home, trapped in their Saskatoon home month after month. But as Henry David Thoreau once said, “All misfortune is but a stepping stone to fortune.”

With a bundle of new songs under her arm, Jen sought out an opportunity to record a new album in the US with a desired producer. It didn’t work out, but everything happens for a reason. The stars aligned with the opportunity to record the album with producer John Ellis, who has worked with the likes of Barney Bentall and The Be Good Tanyas.The recording studio was an alpaca farm, in the heart of beautiful British Columbia. The serene surroundings, the workspace designed by a veteran of the scene and accommodations suited to a musician’s lifestyle were all conducive to inspiration and peace of mind. All the best qualities of Jen’s vocal talents are evident on this album, which is surely the result of this locale.

Wynton Marsalis – 360 Jazz!

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Submitted by Bill King

9  time Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis is one of jazz’s most eloquent  spokespeople. Over the past 30 years, he has been one of the premiere  musicians responsible for creating a renewed interest in the art form. The New Orleans born trumpeter-composer gained fame as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in his early twenties and quickly established a solid career as a leader, recording in both the jazz and classical idioms.

With over 95 albums to his credit, Marsalis continues to pursue a demanding performing and recording schedule. He also serves as artistic director for New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and remains active as an educator. The program was birthed in 1987 and facilities – (JALC) Jazz at Lincoln Center is located at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY) opened in 2004 after several years under construction. There are three performance facilities – Rose Theater that seats 1,233 patrons, The Appel Room- 480, Dizzy Club Coca- Cola 140 – an intimate night spot, Ertigun Atrium with a reception area with a capacity of 500 and Irene Diamond Education Center.

Avery Raquel Life Lessons Live

Avery Raquel Photo Credit Pat Blythe "A Girl With a Camera"

Submitted by Don Graham
Photo Credit Pat Blythe - "A Girl With a Camera" 

A few weeks ago Cashbox Canada did a review of a fine album recorded by 14 year old jazz singer Avery Raquel. Last night ace publicist Jane Harbury invited us to a CD launch and live performance of Life Lessons at the cozy Jazz Bistro in downtown Toronto.
The venue is well set up for an intimate experience and our table was front and center so there were no distractions and we had an up close look at this rising young star.

Toronto personality Rudy Blair introduced Avery to the enthusiastic crowd and she joined her three piece band consisting of Joel Haynes on drums, Mike Pelletier,on stand up bass and Rob Fekete, piano, on stage to begin the show.

The petite singer looked confident and totally comfortable as the band kicked off with a song from her album  Life Lessons, “Accentuate The Positive.”  This was followed by great versions of “ Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing” from Stevie Wonder’s catalogue and rendition of “Que Sera Sera”, “Blackbird” and a haunting version of “Over The Rainbow” which Avery credits as the song that kick started her singing career. “My Dad called me down to  the basement to listen to a version of “Over The Rainbow “ he had found by Ray Charles. He said to try singing along with it and when I said I didn’t know that version he suggested I just try it and see what happens. We both kind of lit up and thought ‘Okay, this is fun and it works.”