December 2017

BTW - Soja, Grace Vonderkhun, Jerry Leger, Don Ross. Suzie Vinnick, Seasonal Concerts, Skydiggers, Typhoon

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

The 8-piece reggae supergroup SOJA has shared a music video for "Fire In The Sky" -a poignant highlight from new album Poetry in Motion, out now on ATO Records. Directed by Christopher Good (Grizzly Bear, Okkervil River), the striking clip was filmed in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia near where the album was recorded.

Says lead singer Jacob Hemphill: "I wrote 'Fire In The Sky' outside the airport in Argentina after a band member lost a family member. The song is about how beautiful it is to be alive even though all of us at times question our purpose in being here, and can be terrified by the fact that we all must leave at some point. We're all connected, and there is a plan much bigger than any one of us. We're all this beautiful 'poetry in motion.' We're all 'fire in the sky.'"

Poetry In Motion has earned raves everywhere from Billboard, Salon, Paste + more, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard reggae charts week of release (their fourth #1 debut to date!). Recorded at Dave Matthews Band's studio in Charlottesville, VA, near where the band first got their start two decades ago, the new music digs deeper than ever into their message of finding peace - tackling everything from government corruption, immigrants, marriage, veteran's rights and beyond.

What You’re Looking For Bree Taylor

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Submitted by Mindy McCall

Hailing from the Toronto, Canada area, Bree Taylor’s rise in the music world should be swift and notable based on the quality of her initial releases. Her first single “Broken Dreams” introduced her in late 2016 as a formidable talent in the making whose powerful pipes, songwriting acumen, and willingness to put herself on the line in songs sets her apart from the typical young performers looking for their piece of the pie today. There’s little doubt that Taylor craves the spotlight and critical recognition, but there’s equally little doubt that she writes and performs music simply because she has no other choice. Her latest single “What You’re Looking For” amply testifies to the breadth of her unusual talents and positions her to assume the mantle of one of her generation’s most promising musical exports. Based on the quality we hear with this new single, there’s little question that Bree Taylor has the talent and discipline alike to grace stages around the world for years to come.

Barry Stagg From the Carolinas to Canada Barry Stagg’s Christmas Grace!

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Going back to my Montreal roots, there are always artists that say in my memories, Gino Vanelli, Ken Tobias, Andy Kim, Pagliaro and of course Barry Stagg –one-half of the ever popular Green and Stagg.

Barry Stagg, singer/songwriter, musician, playwright and musical entrepreneur is a prime example of what tenacity and talent are all about when it comes to the love of music.

Born in Montreal, Quebec he graduated from Université de Montréal and started on his musical path with Tony Green to become Green and Stagg. The duo was signed to Gamma Records out of Montreal under the tutelage of manager Ben Kaye.(who also managed Celine Dion) Their debut single, "To Love Means To Be Free", became an instant hit when released in February 1970. The song won the Canadian Business Music Industry writing award.Green and Stagg rode the charts for the better part of the early '70s.

Signed to Gamma at the time, they were offered a deal with London Records which had a better reach for them on a distribution level so they made the decision to move to the ill-fated label, which went bankrupt not long after. Stagg would have success with a number of solo releases on RCA before starting his musical and magical journey from theatre to playwriting and scores.

Sultans Of String Isabel Bader Theatre Toronto

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

This one had all the high energy and exhilarating music to be expected from the World Music music quintet abetted for the occasion by vocalist Rebecca Campbell. There was motivation to take it all up another notch in the fact the band was premiering their first Christmas album to the hometown folks. So what really happened was an adventurous musical trip around the world, with Christmas as the backdrop, with a passport stamped for 2017 Juno Award-nominated Sultans of String deliver an exuberant performance featuring impressive genre originals, world-music-inspired classics, and seasonal favourites.

From fiery fiddle tunes to a Caribbean sleigh ride, this show had it all, for young, old and midrange too. The classics were represented by this “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring," "The Christmas Song" a “Feliz Navidad” ska party, a Turkish twist on “Greensleeves." The wondrous to watch Cuban percussionist Rosendo Chendy made "Little Drummer Boy" his own, creating overlapping textures with the cajon.

The mood is properly set by the beguiling air of "Turkish Greensleeves", so by the time they get to "Sing For Kwanza," "Himalayan Sleighride" and the edgy "A Django Christmas," the word's out this isn't one of those Christmas shows.