March 2016


Saskmusic Heads South To SXSW

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

SaskMusic and our artists are preparing to head south for another international market export event: the 30th Annual South by South West (SXSW) Music and Media Conference in Austin, Texas. “The world’s leading music industry event” offers attendees the opportunity to explore the future of the music industry during the day through important panels discussions, talks, trade show, gear expo and other activities. At night, the music festival showcases over 2200 artists, including over 500 international acts from 60+ countries.

SXSW’s innovative approach melds music, film, and interactive industries together into one enormous business and networking opportunity. With over 30,000 delegates to the music conference component alone – and millions attending the festival – it’s easy for an artist to get lost in the roar. To rise above the noise, SaskMusic partners with other Canadian music industry associations to present targeted events, with artists who have been selected by SXSW organizers as representing the best in Canadian talent.

Benny Turner When She's Gone

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Submitted by Iain Patience

This is an excellent album, packed with real quality musicianship, vocals, material and soulful feeling. Turner is not just another bluesman but the brother of the late, legendary Freddie King. With this guy, we have a true bluesman, brought up in the tradition from a family that was positively steeped in the blues. The fourth release from Texan Turner, the ten tracks here include sure-fired soulful vocals and quality bass from Turner with some  subtle support from Muddy's old guitar support sideman player Bob Margolin.

Dr John even puts in a rare appearance on rhythm guitar on one track. Margolin displays his sheer quality and experience with a wonderful slide-based take on Bill Withers' hit standard Ain't No Sunshine, turning it on its head in places. For the past fifty or so years, Turner has been happy to skip the spotlights, working as bandleader for the former widely acclaimed Blues Queen of New Orleans, Marva Wright, (one track, Pity On This Lovesick Fool, features a duet recorded before she passed), and shoring up countless big-name players including a decade or so on bass, performing and touring with his late, elder brother Freddie King. Soul-blues music at its near best, When She's Gone showcases a master at the top of his game.

Stephanie Martin to Debut New CD at Hugh’s Room

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Stephanie Martin celebrates the release of her second full length recording at Hugh’s Room. The disc features 12 new songs written by Martin and longtime collaborator and producer Chad Irschick. For this special concert, joining them onstage are Tom Szczesniak, Michael Francis, Brian Barlow, Eric St. Laurent, David MacDougall and some very special guests.

Stephanie Martin is a bilingual Canadian songwriter, singer and actor who has performed all over the world in award-winning theatrical productions and concert tours. In the theatre, she has played leading roles in Les Misérables, Napoleon and Schwartz’s, the musical among others. In studio, she sang the voice of Pocahontas in the French version of the Disney movie. On the concert scene, she has performed with symphony orchestras across North America, Europe and Asia.Her creative songwriting is inspired by a lifelong spiritual inquiry and a passionate conviction that music has an unparalleled unitive power. Her first recording of original songs shape, line and harmony was critically acclaimed and received widespread airplay.

Proudly Canadian: Lisa Dal Bello

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Credit: Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock & Folk Music Rick Jackson

Growing up in Woodbridge, Ontario, an eleven year old Lisa was fascinated by her neighbour’s acoustic guitar. At thirteen she began singing professionally, at fifteen she sang her first advertising jingle, a beer commercial. By her late teens, Lisa had become a regular performer on CBC’s Music Machine. The exposure led to a record contract with MCA and the release of her self-titled debut album in 1977. It was to be her only label.

Lisa credits her success to her friend and mentor, Roy Kenner, of the TV show Music Machine, He wrote the R&B influenced song Stand in Your Way on her debut album.

In 1981 Dal Bello, stopped her musical career to concentrate on her reading and poetry. She also took courses on Women and Law at Toronto’s York University. But three years later former guitarist and producer Mick Ronson from Mott the Hoople saw Lisa in a CBC Documentary and convinced her to return to the recording studio. She resigned with Capitol Records and in 1984 WOMANWHOSAYS (the title was a play on ‘human forces’) was released. This album marked a change in her image and attitude from main stream dance music to more diverse stylings. She also shortened her stage name to Dal Bello.

Five years later, in 1989, Dal Bello released the album SHE, featuring the single Tango. In between albums she wrote the lyrics for 99 Red Balloons for Nena, and composed songs for the soundtrack of director Adrian Lyne’s film 9 ½ weeks. (1989)

Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats The Avenue

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Submitted by Iain Patience

Another contender at this year's International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Jason Vivone & The Billy Bats were there to fly the flag for their home-town of Kansas City. The title is taken from a former Mafiosa retirement street in the burg where Vivone himself pitched up and bought a house back in the 90s.

This eight-track release reflects life and love, despair and hope in equal measures as lived on the Avenue over the years and features a full-blown seven-piece outfit with a soaring sense of humour and an astute eye on the world around them. Most tracks are written by Vivone himself and his slide-guitar work hints at more than a passing nod to the fretwork of former Kansas City resident picker Casey Bill Weldon. Vivone wields his beloved cigar-box guitar with style and clear class here, supported by some neatly pitched electric banjo - an otherwise troubling thought, perhaps - from Ben Hoppes.

The remainder of the band comprises Matt Bustamante in percussion, drums and backing vocals; Paula Crawford on backing vocals, percussion and guitar; Rick MacIvor again backing vocals, and keyboards, piano and organ; Jeremy Clark on bass, and Joanna Berkebile on percussion and vocals. This is a mighty fine album, a tad quirky in places and at turns but an overall charmer worth discovering.