June 2018

Sleepy Zuhoski: Better Haze

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Submitted by Mark Druery

We are immediately confronted with Sleepy Zuhoski’s talents when listening to his debut studio album Better Haze. The first song of twelve, “Asleep for a Year”, invokes a side of Sleepy Zuhoski’s musical character recurring throughout the album and his woozy, slightly hallucinatory vocal is an ideal fit for the lyrical and musical mood. The folk influences informing this cut are obvious from the first but never clichéd. Those same influences exert a hold over the second song “Sour” with a focus on a cleaner presentation, specifically on the vocal, but greater clarity from the instruments as well. Zuhoski’s vocal phrasing deserves to be singled out for his skilful invocation of the song’s sentiment. “Muscle Memory” is one of my favourite Zuhoski performances and the understated musical arrangement accomplishes much without ever straining for effect. It’s one of the more completely realized numbers on Better Haze.

Sarah Patrick: The Woman I Am

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Submitted by Johnathon Klee

With a harmonious, symphonic bend of strings and simple, reverberating strums of an acoustic guitar, Sarah Patrick’s new full-length LP The Woman I Am opens with a bit of an old-fashioned kick that is slightly reminiscent of some of our favourite country artists of the late 1980’s. Through her lyrics, she writes a declaration to the world; this is who I am, what I stand for, and no one is going to contain the woman that I am. Her straight-forwardness doesn’t stop there; “That’s the Way Love Goes” follows a similar cue, calmly dismissing cares and concerns over what could, or should, have been in favour of a much simpler, relaxed outlook on the future to come. The electric guitars sparkle with a certain poppy luminosity, but this doesn’t feel overly pushy when it comes to striking a haunting note. “I’m Right Here” and the slow song “To Stay” share a common cordiality that if not accompanied by traditional country song structures, could possibly make for intriguing a cappella.

Liona Boyd to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from JoAnn Falletta Guitar Competition

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Liona Boyd, “First Lady of the Guitar,” will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition on Saturday, June 9, at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo, NY.

Boyd, an internationally renowned classical guitar player, has been given five Honorary Doctorates, The Order of Canada, The Order of Ontario, the Diamond Jubilee Medal, five Junos, and is five-time winner of the Guitar Player Magazine poll for best classical guitarist. On Saturday evening, her award list grows longer with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition.

The guitar competition includes two semi-finals at 7:30 pm Wednesday, June 6, and Thursday, June 7, at WNED-TV studios, 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, NY, and the finals at 7:30 pm June 9 at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY. For more information about the competition and to buy tickets to the events, click here.

Audra Santa The Power And The Pain

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

From Thunder Bay to Melbourne, Toronto to Cannes, Audra Santa's a happening thing. Started happening in Australia, where she spent ten happy years exploring the Aussie badlands and goodlands, playing in various musical projects, including progressive rock band, The Wandering, and Indie-folk duo, Amon and Audra. Her powerful, expressive vocals and talent for instaconnections with people were simply too evident for Audra not to go solo. Recording commenced at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne over Easter 2016 with high enthusiasm on all sides. For Audra though, it was a being put in a blender kind of thing, high on getting her songs down, low down inside with the certain knowledge that the marriage she had cherished with all her being, had put aside her music for at one point, was going off the cliff.

BTW Century Thief, Lief Hall, CARLO, Dee & The Grand Brothers, NXNE, Trent Severn, Betty Moon, Excuses, Excuses, Tara Shannon

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Here's a genre-defying crew with a lot of reach and some neat riffing.

For starters, check the ever-expanding orchestral folk-pop of ''Deaf Beneath The Waves" here: https://soundcloud.com/century-thief/sets/deaf-beneath-the-waves
Bandcamp: https://centurythief.bandcamp.com/album/deaf-beneath-the-waves
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4Hg8Z90V37E4uuDj6cvd62?si=rTRxh3oeSoulYxXv__ytBw

Century Thief is a six-piece band based in Toronto, ON. They bring a blend of introspection and energy, sometimes soft, sometimes noisy experimental indie rock featuring brass, woodwinds, keys, guitars, bass, drums and multi-layered vocal harmonies.

Their favourite description comes from a sound engineer in Montreal, who described the band as trash lounge folk prog rock. Drawing on influences like Broken Social Scene, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Wilco, and Elliott Smith, it seems pretty apt. They are noisy and melodic, with a touch of salty nostalgia.