April 2017

Come And Sing A Simple Song of Freedom

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

“ Come and sing a simple song of freedom, sing like you’ve never sung before. Let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere, that we the people here don’t want a war.”

Those lyrics written by Bobby Darin are as relevant and true today as they were 48 years ago when Darin wrote them.

It’s true we’ve had wars since, the Gulf War and the Persian War and unrest in the Middle East but somehow, although we had military involved, it was never a threat in our own backyard. It always seemed far away. It’s a little different now. Now you have two unstable leaders with access to nuclear codes and  we can feel the breath of the threat on our necks. Nuclear war never seemed a possibility to me because level heads on both sides know that with each having the deadly weapons, nobody wins. But these are not level headed times.

While thinking about this situation my mind drifted to music and how we get messages to the world through song. I remembered a few years ago Don Graham had recorded the old Bobby Darin classic Simple Song of Freedom with former Burrito Brother and Rick Nelson guitarist, John Beland near Austin, Texas. It was a moving rendition at the time but the threat of war at home was distant. I gave it another listen and lines popped out that sounded like they were written today. “most of what you read is made of lies.”

Slaight Music SING! Legacy Award Honouree Elaine Overholt

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Submitted To Cashbox Canada

Each year SING! Toronto honours a person or ensemble who has made a significant contribution to the vocal arts in Canada and internationally. We are pleased to announce the 2017 honouree: Elaine Overholt. She will receive the award on May 27 at Jane Mallett Theatre as part of the ” O Canada! The Golden Age of Canadian Pop” concert. Tickets at boxoffice.stlc.com

Ms. Overholt has established herself as one of North America’s most respected and treasured singers, voice coaches and vocal producers. She has performed on stage with such musical titans as Ray Charles, Martin Short and Paul Shaffer. As a coach, her clients range from Hollywood A-listers John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Hairspray‘ the movie; Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, and Queen Latifah for the Oscar-winning ‘Chicago‘; TV star Ellen Degeneres on ‘The Ellen Degeneres Show’, to stars on Broadway, to hundreds of recording artists, including current pop phenom Shawn Mendes. Her ‘Big Voice’ TV series aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Elaine and her team coach young and not-so-young, emerging talent seven days a week at her Big Voice Studios in Toronto.

Tom Russell Honours Canadian Icons with Play One More: The Songs of Ian and Sylvia

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The rich musical legacy of Ian and Sylvia continues to entertain millions of fans across the globe, and today singer songwriter, painter, and essayist Tom Russell announced a project honouring their music with new interpretations of classic songs with his May 19th release of “Play One More: The Songs Of Ian And Sylvia.”

Russell has recorded 35 highly acclaimed records, & published five books - including a book on his art and a book of his songs. Russell and Ian and Sylvia share similar values and cultural traditions – both deeply rooted in the depth of the song and story. Russell says, "The music of Ian and Sylvia has stood up over a half of a century and is still recognized as deeply Canadian, it was an honour to pay tribute to them.”

In 1992, Ian and Sylvia were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the Juno Awards ceremony. In 1994 they were both made Members of the Order of Canada.

"In 2005 an extensive CBC poll determined Ian Tyson's song, recorded by Ian and Sylvia, "Four Strong Winds," to be the "most essential" piece of Canadian music, and is no doubt the most popular Canadian song ever written. But don’t look for it on "Play One More: The Songs of Ian and Sylvia." Russell says, “I wanted to mine the deep, neglected, album tracks that I've listened to for over forty years. Works that I could never get out of my mind. Classic songwriting.”

Hugh’s Room Playing the Blues Again with David Rotundo

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Toronto blues harpist David Rotundo heard James Cotton perform at the El Mocambo in 1991. “He blew one note on the harmonica that hypnotized me...” The next day, Rotundo went out and bought a harmonica. “...and I’ve been playing the blues ever since.” Obsession with the blues led Rotundo on a diesel-fuelled roots tour of blues epicentres of the United States including – New Orleans, Clarksdale, Austin, Memphis and Chicago with little more than his wits and a bag full of harmonicas. “I wanted to hear and experience the real thing.” He returned to Canada with a visceral perception of the blues and a deep knowledge of blues history. After making the stories his own, he earned the right to tell them. Rotundo has developed his own language of the blues, honing the technique that gives the voice power and authenticity. Proof of his impact shows in the fact that he has been nominated for a Maple Blues Award for 11 consecutive years!

Dorjee Tsering ‘Thank You Canada’ at Lula Lounge

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Gifted Tibetan-Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist DORJEE TSERING is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday has released a new single, “THANK YOU CANADA,” on Friday, April 21st, and a full album of the same name, in a concert at Toronto’s Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas Street West, on Tuesday, June 6th at 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Doors open at 6:00 pm and Dorjee invites everyone to join him in a beginner Tibetan dance lesson before the concert. Toronto’s purveyors of folk, rock, blues, and Hindustani music SO LONG SEVEN close out the night.

On the occasion of the True North’s sesquicentennial, Dorjee Tsering’s “Thank You Canada” single is a heartfelt expression of great gratitude for the open arms of welcome from the country to which he emigrated from his native Tibet many years ago. It's a piano-pop song, sung alternately in Tibetan and English, that quotes our national anthem and features a fast-tempo sargam rap in the middle, followed by Dorjee's gentle bansuri (flute) and Anne Lindsay's fiddle solo after the break. Given the current climate toward refugees and immigrants in the U.S., it’s an especially poignant and meaningful recognition of Canada’s warmer, more hospitable approach. He’ll release a full album of the same name at the June 6th Lulaworld concert.