January 2019

BTW-Boogaloo Squad, Dewinter, Ivana Popovic, Dan Mangan, Rayland Baxter

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

This week it’s about music I wasn’t sure about but kept going back anyway.

Soulful, jazz/funk Hammond B3 organ trio JV’S Boogaloo Squad has dropped debut single "SQUADZILLA" (Flatcar Records, Fontana North) and it’s out now and available wherever music is streamed or downloaded. The single is from their soon-come debut album Going ToMarket, which is also now available for pre-order.

They’ve been described as a classic organ trio, very into moving the genre forward, lively showmen who deal in the musicianship of the highest quality, take their craft seriously but know how to have a good time."

Winnipeg native and now in-demand Toronto keyboardist Joel Visentin joined up with on-the-scene musicians, guitarist Adam Beer-Colacino and drummer Jeff Halischuk, to form JV’s Boogaloo Squad, in 2015. The musical connection was immediate and electric, the chemistry palpable, and all three instantly recognized that they had stumbled on something greater than the sum of its parts. They have since honed their neo-vintage sound on the club circuit in Toronto, becoming a regular fixture at The Rex, as well as playing festivals like the Markham Jazz Festival and the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. In Markham, they had the great fortune of playing before living jazz organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Winterfolk Xvii Blues & Roots Festival Announces Full Lineup

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The 17th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, taking place in Toronto February 22-24, 2019, is set to present the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, and will feature returning favourite artists as well as fresh new talent. It’s an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event that emulates a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 100 artists will be performing at three venues and five stages over a three-day weekend.

Winterfolk XVII featured performers include Borealis Records artists Guelph-based activist and social conscience singer-songwriter JAMES GORDON, eclectic folk and traditional music duo EMILYN STAM andJOHN WILLIAMS who merge violin and clarinet with a bit of accordion to offer Klezmer, New Orleans jazz, old-time, bluegrass, French and Scandinavian folk songs; highly acclaimed Canadian folk, blues and gospel singer and multi-instrumentalist KEN WHITELEY, and MOSE SCARLETT, who’s been on the Canadian music scene for more than 40 years and remains a delightful and skillful guitarist and performer.

I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions Beach Boys

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Submitted by David Bowling

Following on the heels of their Friends Sessions comes I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions. The Beach Boys owed the Capital label one last album before moving own to their own label. The original 20/20 may not have been their most creative release as it contained a number of previously released singles, a few lightweight new songs, and tracks that had been sitting in the vaults. Despite its haphazard nature, it was a solid release. It may not have had an overall cohesiveness but the songs, when taken individually, are better than the whole.

I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions is only for the hardcore Beach Boys fan, who wants absolutely everything by the band.

There are very few completed songs as the 40 tracks consist mostly of demo’s, early versions, and acapella takes before the music was added. There is an early mono single release of Ersel Hickey’s “Bluebirds Over The Mountain,” and an alternative stereo mix of “Do It Again,” but the gem is “All I Want To Do” with the lead vocal by Dennis Wilson, which is another reminder of just what a beautiful voice he possessed.

There is always an appreciation of the Beach Boys just singing without instruments. It puts the focus squarely on the purity of their voices and the harmonies they created. Their big hit “Do It Again,” “I Went To Sleep,” “Time To Get Along,” “We’re Together Again,” “Never Learn Not To Love,” and “Ol Man River” all retain a simplicity without instruments.

Reggie Young Forever Young

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Submitted by Don Graham

One of the most recorded session guitarists of a generation, Reggie Young, has passed away at age 82. Young died during the evening of January 17, 2019, at his home in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee from heart failure.

He got his start in Memphis with a band called Eddie Bond and the Stompers, a rockabilly group that toured with the likes of Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins in the late ‘50s and in 1958 joined Johnny Horton’s band and played the Louisiana Hayride several times.

He was a member of the Bill Black Combo and in 1964 The Beatles requested the Bill Black Combo to be their opening act in Europe and their American tour and that was Reggie’s first taste of Europe and Beatlemania. The Bill Black Combo players wore jackets with the initials BBC for Bill Black Combo but of course, the kids in England thought they were from British Broadcasting Company, BBC. Bill Black passed away in 1965 and Reggie began to do more studio work at Royal Studios in Memphis. He eventually left Royal and went to work with  Chips Moman at American in Memphis. The Memphis Boys were responsible for a string of hits with Moman. Reggie was tired of traveling and wanted to concentrate on session work and was comfortable at American in Memphis but went to Nashville to record with Joe Tex. They cut a song called Show Me and Joe Tex wanted to book more sessions but Reggie said he only wanted to record at American in Memphis, so the next record from Tex, Skinny Legs And All, was cut in Memphis.

Randy Travis Forever and Ever - Amen

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Whether you are a country fan or not the signature tune of ‘Forever and Ever – Amen can’t be denied in anyone’s memory of just a stone cold hit song.

Born Randy Bruce Traywick in a small North Carolina town, he learned to play the guitar at the tender age of 8. Two decades later and a slight name change to Randy Travis, the southern superstar has had one of the most successful careers in what is considered staunchly traditional country music.

Now enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and having survived viral cardiomyopathy and a massive stroke, Travis has lived to tell a tale of stardom, heartache, perseverance and redemption. On May 14th, he will do just that with the release of his memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life.

Taking the first part of its title from one of the 18 Number One singles he scored during his extended run on the country charts, Travis shares tales of his troubled youth, including drinking and arrests, and looks back at the creative path that took him from music to film and TV roles, and reflects on his near-fatal stroke and other life-threatening health issues while also revealing details of many of the songs that led to worldwide sales of over 25 million and inspired a new generation of pure country vocalists.