June 2017

Gary Cain Band playing It Right with Twangadelic Bluesophunk'

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Since the May 12th release of their outstanding debut album Twangadelic Bluesophunk, Kitchener Waterloo's Gary Cain Band have enjoyed extensive airplay and positive album reviews from around the world, particularly among guitar and blues-rock aficionados.

Canadian guitarist and songwriter Gary Cain has had a long road to get to his debut album. After suffering a vocal injury while playing in a band in Dubai, Cain took a hiatus from live performance that was physically and mentally rejuvenating.

“I was making a living playing music, which had been my goal,” says Cain, “but I realized through that experience that what mattered more to me was playing what felt right to me, not necessarily what paid my bills. After that experience, I didn’t even touch my guitar for three months. For me that was a big deal - it was normal to play every day, six or eight hours. In summers when I wasn’t in school it would be 13 hours a day. It’s all I ever wanted to do. When I came back to it, everything was different. I didn’t try to label what I was playing, or worry about what kind of music it was. I just followed that magical feeling that made me pick up the guitar in the first place.”

Do Make Say Think Danforth Music Hall Toronto

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Submitted by Sam Jay Copeland
Photo Credits : Ryland Tomlinson

If you were looking for a mosh pit last Saturday, you probably didn't find it at the Danforth Music Hall. But the self-described 'old farts' of Toronto's own Do Make Say Think definitely delivered excitement for the crowd, even if it was more in the form of a mesmerized audience swaying back and forth, bathed in purple light.

Originally an art project which practised in the basement of the CIUT radio building, Do Make Say Think is now over 20 years deep into a career that is as innovative as it is referential. Their music lacks lyrics, but is packed with emotion and energy. The average track length is maybe 9 minutes, and when I first heard it long ago as an artsy 14 year old, it reminded me of Godspeed You! Black Emperor complete with emotional rollercoaster, the jazz drum beat which is reminiscent of a train chugging forward into eternity but without the despair or obvious political messaging of Godspeed.

Do Make Say Think seems to let the audience draw their own conclusions, but each song has a distinct mood to it. But what genre are they anyway? Long-time front man Ohad Benchetrit explained between songs:

Kim Doolittle Hugh's Room Live Toronto

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Last winter I walked into a Kim Doolittle show just as she was wrapping up a song called "Snowballs Day In Hell." It's a droll little narrative about why she no longer takes requests at shows and I wished I'd heard more. Got my wish on a muggy summer's eve when I entered HRL just as the lady was getting started on, yeah, "Snowballs Day In Hell." so finally heard the whole thing and it was worth it.

Also, very much in the spirit of the event because Kim Doolittle showed up at Hugh's Room Live to do a celebratory concert for the release of album number 9, Into The Blue, and a good ol' East Coast kitchen party broke out. Backed by the stellar combo of guitaristsKen Whiteley and Rob Quail, Tom Leighton on piano and accordion and one of town's best backlines, drummer Bucky Berger and bassist Victor Bateman on bass, Doolittle went to work on Into The Blue and its infusions of blues, folk, roots rock, country and roof raisin' Gospel. Hair-raising actually, as her close to 7 minute take on "Amazing Grace" was a mesmerising and transporting experience that went from acacpella to the joyous foot stompin' end of Gospel, leaving not a soul in the house unmoved.

Stay Groovy and Have Mercy!

Cashbox Canada Mercy The Band.png

Submitted by MERCY The Band (Ted Lalonde/Shelley Buffitt)

When Steve Clark introduced Chris “Travis” Townes, Pat Lalonde and Ted Lalonde to Shelley Buffitt and her daughter Alysha Carman in May 2016 to perform at a benefit concert in Marathon, Ontario in June, little did they know that nine months later they’d be Mercy The Band.

“Shortly after the June 2016 concert in Marathon, I became quite ill. Unfortunately, we had to cancel a couple of gigs that Steve booked for us in August and September, 2016. I also had to leave the Clay Williams “Canal Pursuit” marathon run, in which I was selected Crew Chief. I took the next few months to recover and in February 2017, I received a call from Chris “Travis” asking if I was able to perform for The 6th Annual Unplugged for Cancer Concert in Marathon in March,” explains Shelley. The group got together within days to start practicing and the performance went very well. On March 22nd they officially became Mercy The Band and began collaborating on original material. What followed was a recording session on April 29th at Pennock Studio in Thunder Bay, with Producer (Steve) Clark and Sound Engineer Bob Kovacs.

BTW- Darcys, Astrocolor, Heather Bambrick, Hnry Flwr, The Smugglers, Heather Rankin, The Flatliners, Pokey LaFarge

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

It's beginning to look a lot like Summer, so next week Darcys hit the pavement with tour dates across North America, and today they roam through the American West in an El Camino in the new video for "Arizona Hwy" courtesy of NPR. "We've always been taken with the kitschiness and heroism of the great American road trip," says Wes Marskell. "It's hard not to be seduced by the freedom and redemption of driving the American West. So, instead of staging a music video we filmed a joyride through the stunning natural backdrops, campy motels, and cheap roadside attractions that make the highways of Southern California so iconic. It's hard to tell where reality begins and ends in this buddy comedy, but it's clear that the aging blue Chevy El Camino slowly emerges as the films' true star.

"Arizona Hwy" single will also feature Jason Couse and Marsksell performing a cover of Prince's "Kiss" on the B-Side. The single is out now via Arts & Crafts.

Last fall, The Darcys released their third original studio album, Centerfold. Exclaim! called it "infectious, retro-tinged electro-pop", while Clash hailed it as "an outlandish exploration of pop ambition." Guided by Grammy Award-winning producer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer, Lucius) Centerfold evokes the heat and wanderlust of the stays in New Zealand and Los Angeles where it was recorded. Centerfold followed 2013's acclaimed Warring, which earned JUNO Award and Polaris Music Prize nominations.