October 2016

Rod Temperton, songwriter Behind Thriller Dies

Rod Temperton with Mica Paris David M Benett Getty Images.jpg

Courtesy of The Guardian UK
Photo: Rod Temperton with Mica Paris David M Benett Getty Images

British writer of the huge Michael Jackson hit, who also worked with Quincy Jones, Anita Baker and Aretha Franklin, has died of cancer at the age of 66.

Rod Temperton, the British songwriter behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Rock With You, has died aged 66.

Jon Platt, the chairman of music publisher Warner/Chappell said Temperton died in London last week following “a brief aggressive battle with cancer”.

“His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times,” Platt added.

Temperton, whose other credits include Boogie Nights, Off the Wall, Give Me the Night, Sweet Freedom and Always and Forever, is one of the most important songwriters and composers in contemporary pop.

Hailing from Cleethorpes, his career began in the disco group Heatwave, a band best known for Boogie Nights, and went on to write for the likes of Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, The Brothers Johnson, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, who enlisted him to work alongside Jackson.

His compositions for the King of Pop – particularly on the Thriller album – are some of the most famous pop songs in history, and the album continues to sell more than 100,000 copies a year.

He came up with the title for the smash hit song and album Thriller, which went on to sell millions of copies worldwide.

Rik Emmett Set to Release New Album Worldwide

Left to Right Paul DeLong, Rik Emmett, Dave Dunlop, Steve Skingley Photo Credit Carl Cederman.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo: Left to Right Paul DeLong, Rik Emmett, Dave Dunlop, Steve Skingley Photo Credit Carl Cederman

Legendary artist Rik Emmett is set to release a new album on November 11th featuring Contributions From Rush Guitarist Alex Lifeson and Dream Theater Vocalist James LaBrie.

“This album represents a journey through my life,” Emmett observes, “and the idea behind a lot of these songs is me trying to figure out who I am, and why I’m doing what I’m doing. There’s a common thread of positivity here that ties into the records I was making 30 years ago. What did I learn from making them? You’ll hear all of that echoed in the grooves of this album.”

Indeed, the scope of the 11 deeply heartfelt songs on RES 9 covers a lot of exciting aural ground, from the out-of-the-gate gallop of “Human Race” (which also features a driving 12-string contribution from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson) to the testifying tones of “My Cathedral” to the whispering blues of “The Ghost of Shadow Town,” not to mention the cutting-heads guitar duels on “End of the Line” and the touching album-closing bonus track “Grand Parade,” which reunites Emmett with his onetime Triumph bandmates, bassist Mike Levine and drummer Gil Moore. The RESolution9 band itself is comprised of Rik’s touring quartet, with Dave Dunlop on guitar, Steve Skingley on bass and keyboards, and Paul DeLong on drums. Dunlop and Skingley also co-produced RES 9 with Emmett.

Jane Harbury’s Discoveries at Hugh’s Room

Cashbox Canada Jane Harbury.png

Submitted by Don Graham

Hugh’s Room in Toronto is an iconic listening room supplying established artists and legacy artists. A venue to showcase their talents in an acoustically good room with good sightlines and warm ambience. It’s a venue young aspiring acts dream of appearing at but can’t get booked without some history behind them to draw a crowd.

Enter Jane Harbury a fixture on the Toronto folk scene since her days working at the legendary Riverboat of Yorkville fame. In Jane’s words “I created Discoveries after repeatedly requesting opening act spots for some of the up and coming artists with whom I was working. Holmes Hooke, then booker of talent at Hugh's Room finally said to me, "we're gonna give you your own night to do whatever you want." I was fumbling in the dark as to what I'd do as well as what I'd call it and so Discoveries was born.I do not go looking for artists - there is always a waiting list - February 2017 is booked and now I'll start making decisions soon for next May.”

So it has now been 13 years and growing. Previous artists such as Nicole Rayy, emerging young country singer and Justin Hines as well as Julian Troiano, nephew of legend Dom Troiano have used this concept as a stepping stone.

And now on October 11th a new quartet of future stars will take the Hugh’s Room stage.

Nicole Rayy Taking Big Steps

Nicole Rayy Photo Credit  Ian McCausland_0.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham
Nicole Rayy Photo Credit:  Ian McCausland

Nicole Rayy has been paying her dues and finding her path on the Canadian country music scene for about five years now,and has been getting more and more comfortable in her musical direction, growing into the artist she is destined to be.

Now that her name is familiar to fans and country radio, she is kicking it up a notch this month with the release of her debut full length album titled, Dig. We asked about the choice of album title; “I played around with different ideas for titles. I’ve always liked titles of songs on the album as a title and when we landed on Dig I thought it was perfect because that’s what I felt I did writing this album. I was digging deep and writing from my heart.”

The release date for Dig is October 14th, with a release party at Cowboy’s Roadhouse in Winnipeg on October 15th andall proceeds from the night being donated to the Manitoba Neurofibromatosis Support Group(MBNF). “We wanted a charity that really needed to have its awareness level raised. I was introduced to this charity by my manager whose 9-year old nephew lives with NF and I’ve seen the daily challenges he faces.I wanted to give back and help spread awareness by donating all the proceeds from the evening to MBNF.”

Southside Shuffle, Chuck Jackson and Stax is Back

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Submitted by Cindy Shibley Koury
Photo Credits: Cindy Shibley Koury
Photo at right: Southside Shuffle 2016

The weekend after Labour Day, for eighteen years now, Port Credit has come alive with Blues, Jazz and Roots music at The Tim Horton's Southside Shuffle and this Blues Mama has attended every year. It's my local festival, my home festival. It's easily my favourite weekend of the year and experiencing the evolution of this festival, from its inaugural event in the ballpark at the corner of Hurontario and Port Streets, where Chuck Jackson gathered a group of blues bands to play on the back of a flat bed, to the major four day event with 4 stages in Memorial Park, Street Shuffle, Beggars Banquet, Blues and Roots Jamstage and more, has been a pleasure. I have been fortunate to have seen International Blues greats like Mavis Staples, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Johnny Winter, Big Bill Morganfield, Elvin Bishop and Canned Heat just to name a few. However, more importantly, is the highlighting of great, sometimes Legendary, Canadian talent at Southside. Jeff Healey, David Clayton Thomas, David Wilcox, Lighthouse, Jack de Keyzer and more have all played at the Main Stage.