March 2016

Ray Griff A Legend Passes On

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Submitted by Don Graham

Canadian country music legend Ray Griff has passed away at age of 75. Ray was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and raised in Winfield, Alberta. In Calgary he formed a band called the Blue Echoe. Ray aspired to be a songwriter and one of his early tunes, 'Mr Moonlight,' was recorded in 1959 by the late great Johnny Horton. Later on Ray would get to tour with Horton. Ray’s 'Where Do I Go from Here?' was recorded by Hall of Famer Jim Reeves.

In 1964, Ray moved to Nashville and began a successful run as a songwriter. It is estimated that by the mid-1980s, Ray had written over 2000 songs and had them recorded by such big name artists such as Wilma Burgess 'Baby' and 'Lost in the Shuffle’ by Stonewall Jackson were followed by 'Something Special' for Mel Tillis, 'Canadian Pacific' for George Hamilton IV, 'Step Aside' for Faron Young, 'Better Move It On Home' for Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, 'Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano?' for Jerry Lee Lewis, 'Where Love Begins' for Gene Watson, ‘It Couldn't Have Been Any Better' for Johnny Duncan, and others were recorded by country artists such as Bill Anderson, Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins Carrol Baker, Crystal Gayle, Tommy Hunter, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, the Mercey Brothers, Marty Robbins, and Hank Snow and pop artists such as Pat Boone, Wayne Newton, and Roger Whittaker.

BTW Rococode, Ben Caplan, Reddening West,Lily Frost Slakah The Beatchild, Bombargo, Tanika Charles, Jason Collett

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Vancouver-based indie pop duo Rococode's new full-length album 'Don't Worry It Will Be Dark Soon' is just out, and Noisey has a sneak preview with the Exclusive Premiere of the album track 'A Diamond'. Rococode (Laura Smith and Andrew Braun) will also be hitting the road in support of the new album, kicking off a North American Tour Apr. 21st in Edmonton, AB.

The release of 'Don't Worry It Will Be Dark Soon' is hot on the heels of Rococode's critically acclaimed 'Panic Attack' EP which came out last October. It's been four years since Rococode released their debut and now they’re making up for quieter times. The sophomore album features more tracks from the band’s work with producers Caleb Shreve and Ted Gowans, recorded in Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles. 'Don’t Worry It Will Be Dark Soon' picks up where the 'Panic Attack' EP left off and delves deeper into recurring themes of growth, fear, escape and acceptance delivered via pure pop hooks in spacious arrangements. 

The Magic of George Martin

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Submitted by Pat Blythe

The news spread rapid fire. On March 8, 2016 "we" had lost another one. Announced by a "tweet" from Ringo Starr. (The word "tweet" makes it sounds almost insignificant, even trivial) However, there is nothing insignificant about Sir George Martin, or his passing....quietly, at home, in his sleep. Survived by Judy, his second wife of almost 50 years, and a proud father to four children, Alexis, Gregory, Lucie and Giles.

A private man. A distinguished man. A learned man. A man of many quiet talents who has left us a legacy of beautiful songs and exquisite moments. A man who "heard" what we did not.

A giant in the world of music, Sir George Martin towered above everyone. A note, a nuance, a sound....from sheer simplicity to the most complex, he worked his magic not only for the Beatles, but for countless others including Kate Bush, Robin Gibb, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Peter Sellers, Shirley Bassey, Sophia Loren, Elton John... The list is endless. Numerous titles follow his name....producer, musician (oboe and piano), arranger, conductor, composer. I'll include "magician".

Matt Andersen: Honest Man

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Submitted by Iain Patience

Matt Andersen comes from Canada. He plays blues and soul music with class and confidence. His guitar-work is solid, soulful and tasty. Honest Man is an excellent album with bags of style and pizzaz, featuring ten self-written tracks that showcase the guy's artistry and emotion to full extent. What more is needed?

Andersen's voice is deeply steeped in southern soul and gospel tradition while his lyrics reflect his thoughts on personal relationships, be they good, bad or badder; love, life on the road and political/cultural processes across North America in general. The result is an unusually honest release that sparkles with common-sense, complexity and erudition at almost every turn.

Honest Man is an album that is not only simply very good. It's very good, indeed. A release that should, deservedly on this basis, elevate this guy's profile and provide delight to the rest of us.

Lisa Hartt and Don Graham Bring It Full Circle

Lisa Hartt Photo Credit Pat Blythe A Girl With a Camera

Submitted by Sandy Graham
Photo at right: Lisa Hartt
Photo Credit Pat Blythe "A Girl With a Camera"

They started out in the coffee houses in Montreal in the late 60’s and early 70’s, formed different bands and played the clubs, toured, made records and eventually played better venues with larger crowds. On Sunday March 20th, Lisa Hartt and Don Graham will be under the same roof and sharing a stage at a coffee house as the circle comes round again – full circle.

To complete the Montreal theme, the event will take place at venue run by another Montreal celebrity (Cleveland born) Montreal DJ Michael Williams, who rose to national fame as one of the first VJs at the groundbreaking MuchMusic television network.