May 2017

AMMARA to Release Debut EP Black Moon

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada 

AMAARA is the Ethereal Pop music and multi-media project of Kaelen Ohm. A musician, actor and award winning filmmaker, Ohm began AMAARA as a basement project in between tours as a guitarist and singer for Canadian band, Reuben and The Dark. Today, AMAARA shares the news of her forthcoming debut EP, Black Moon, set for release on June 22nd. For a taste of what is to come, see below for the video for the title track, and listen to new song, Dreamcatcher .

The six-track EP features guest appearances by Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene, L.A. Guitarist/Producer, Joel Shearer, and Grammy-winning Producer/Engineer, Shawn Everett. Recorded at OCL Studios in Calgary and at The Banff Centre, as well as pieces in Ohm's basement in Calgary and Shearer's home in Topanga Canyon, L.A., Ohm calls the album a practice in creative self-trust.

"It was time for me to birth something musically that came from deep within my heart without too much outside influence or without doing something too specific. I learned a lot making this EP though in some ways I feel I've already personally outgrown it and am ready to do something new and different."

Benjamin Booker Releases New Album Witness

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With the release date ofJune 2nd,Benjamin Booker's new album Witness (ATO Records) is streaming in full now via CBC Music's First Play.

In recent weeks Witness has earned praise from Time Magazine , Mic.com , Fader , the NY Times , Rolling Stone + more. NPR Music shared the title track (featuring Mavis Staples), paired with a powerful personal statement from Booker detailing the album's origins in Mexico.
npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/03/09/519214472/songs-we-love-benjamin-booker-witness-feat-mavis-staples

Acclaimed Supergroup Lunch At Allen's Returns with Dazzling New Album, If It Feels Right

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Photo: Lunch at Allen's Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Ian Thomas, Marc Jordan

Destined to be the ideal soundtrack to glorious summer in its alternately spirited and languid days and always-convivial nights, If It Feels Right – the hotly anticipated new studio album from Canadian folk/pop giants Lunch At Allen’s – arrives June 16.

Featuring chart-topping musical veterans Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas – who have collectively shifted a staggering 25,000,000 units as both solo artists and songwriters for stars like Chicago, Josh Groban, Bonnie Raitt, America, Santana, Cher and Rod Stewart – Lunch At Allen’s is that rarest of beasts: a genuine musical democracy.

If It Feels Right soars as a result.

Featuring 12 brand new, original tracks alternately written and performed by McLauchlan, Church, Jordan and Thomas and abetted by a crack team of session hands, the self-produced If It Feels Right confidently shifts from plaintive balladry (Jordan’s ‘Nothing Comes from Nothing’) to campfire-ready folk (McLauchlan’s ‘If The Wind Could Blow My Troubles Away') to sweetly nimble pop (Church’s ‘Little Bird’) to the insistent, clap-along groove of the title track (courtesy Thomas).

Hugh’s Room Live and Lance Anderson Present a Celebration of Levon Helm

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Hugh’s Room Live and Lance Anderson will be presenting a Celebration of Levon Helm with
Jerome Levon Avis (Levon Helm’s godson), Jesse O’Brien, (Colin James Band), Matt Weidinger and musical director Lance Anderson, with a nine piece band.

To honour Toronto’s adopted son Levon, who with his fellow Hawks, tore up Yonge St. in the early sixties and laid the foundation of Rock n Roll and Rhythm and Blues in T.O. We have gathered an All Star cast of some of the country’s top musicians and singers, to play the music Levon sang with THE BAND, before The BAND with Levon and the Hawks and after the band with Levon Helm and the RCO All Stars and the Barnburners.

Levon Helm was one of the world’s most unique drummers. The fact that he also had a voice that could charm the coldest heart and could sing and play at the same time, made him even more special.

It is a special evening, with incredible performances and heartfelt tributes. This show has always sold out. Don’t be disappointed, get your tickets early.

HUGH’S ROOM LIVE PRESENTS A CELEBRATION OF LEVON HELM
FRIDAY, JUNE 9 • DOORS 6PM/ MUSIC 8:30PM • $35 adv/$40 door
2261 DUNDAS STREET WEST, TORONTO • 416.533.LIVE  (5483) hughsroom.com

Jay Douglas & Chris Butcher Release An Anthem for Peace and Love

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Photo: Messengers Chris Butcher & Jay Douglas

Two of Toronto’s iconic musicians, reggae master and soulful singer Jay Douglas and outstanding trombonist/composer Chris Butcher (of the Heavyweights Brass Band), have teamed up to write, record, and release “Messengers,” an anthemic reggae single and video that aims to be the change we want to see in this world by spreading the word of peace and love. The two recorded an instrumental version as well, for more varied radio play.

If there’s anything we need more of in today’s world, it’s peace and love. Jay Douglas and Chris Butcher bring that essential truth to the fore, and remind us of our crucial roles in creating that spirit. As the beautiful lilt of the song carries its gentle but insistent spiritual message, they encourage us to "Rise above hate and fear / Don't be no chump." Interesting – and intentional – how “chump” rhymes with a name we all know. ;) As the song says, “We can build a bridge with peace and love.”

The centrepiece of the video is a huge "Reggae Lane" mural commemorating the immigration of an estimated 100,000 Jamaican immigrants to Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s. The video shows Jay & Chris strolling through the streets of the city's Eglinton West neighbourhood, which both Douglas and Butcher called home; it’s also the locale of the mural and the heartland of Toronto's Jamaican community – also known as "Little Jamaica."