January 2019

Habib Koité Bassekou Kouyaté in Toronto for a night of African Blues

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo Credit Dirk Leunis

One of Africa’s most popular and recognized musicians, Malian guitarist Habib Koité joins Bassekou Kouyaté, master of the traditional Malian lute known as the ngoni, for a night of African blues, March 5, 2019, 8PM at the George Weston Recital Hall, Toronto Centre for the Arts.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at tocentre.com, by phone, or in person at select Civic Theatres Toronto box office.

Habib Koité and Bassekou Kouyaté are two eminences of African music and are performing together as part of an unprecedented international tour, performing songs from their repertoire, and accompanied by the powerful voice of the Malian singer Amy Sacko.

Recognized as “the biggest pop star of Mali” by Rolling Stone and called the “African Jimmy Hendrix” thanks to his unique guitar playing, Habib Koité’s artistry and magnetic personality have made him an international star, delighting audiences the world over, and placing him firmly among the leading figures in contemporary world music.

Myles Goodwyn Lost and Found Memory Maker

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Submitted by Don Graham

Imagine you lose something very near and dear to you. You’re told that the article has been destroyed. You go through all the stages of loss; grief, questioning what happened and finally acceptance that it’s gone, never to be seen again only to suddenly have it reappear some forty years later.

That’s exactly what happened to blues artist and founding member of April Wine, Myles Goodwyn.

BTW- Madame Psychosis, Dogs at Large, Erin Costelo, Ladom Ensemble, The PepTides, Darrell Millar, Audra Santa, Danny Marks, Friendly Rich

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Here we go into 2019 and wishing all of you all the best and may much good music fall on your ears. Due to an ongoing medical issue, BTW is gonna become a little more limited in scope, as my situation limits the number of live gigs I’ll be able to attend. On the other hand, an increasing US profile means we’ll be able to get access to more US indie acts and that base, in turn, will continue to be exposed to more up and coming Canadian talent. 

A splash of Goth here, a greasy garage feel there. Toronto-based rock band Madame Psychosis kicks off 2019 with the release of “Just Wanna Be Myself”, the lead single off their upcoming album. With sing-along lyrics and a catchy hook, this radio-friendly single highlights the fight for individuality in a world full of predetermined expectations. The song was recorded by Alex Gamble at Union Sound Company.

The five-piece band first made waves with debut album “Madame Psychosis”, released in June of 2017. Alan Cross, the internationally syndicated host of The Ongoing History of New Music, selected the single “Space Motorcycle” for his weekly Top 11 Playlist in August of 2017 and that just fine by me.

Mr! Mouray releases New Single Sunshine Supermarket

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On the heels of the holiday single The Christmas Belles, Toronto’s Mr! Mouray has released another great single ‘Sunshine Supermarket’ from the upcoming EP “Atlantic”.

Mr! Mouray formed in 2018 from the remnants of three successful Toronto alt-rock acts: singer/guitarist Simon Bedford-James (Swedish/MaDE), Dominic Whelan (The Mahones), and Jaimie Vernon (Moving Targetz/Swindled). They yearned for the days of more classic melodic pop influences and have embraced their AM radio upbringing.

Their first album, 'Bats In Disguise,' and its title track was a refreshing pop-rock debut in Canada in the Fall of 2018 followed immediately by their break-out Christmas hit "Christmas Belles."

‘Sunshine Supermarket’ is garage grunge at its best, reminiscent of the 80/90s music feel, where the delivery was raw on honest, combining clear vocals with thundering guitar riffs. Released on the legendary icon label Bullseye Canada label, the influence of Jaimie Vernon is all over this track. As the man who brought so much to the industry and a founding member of Mr! Mouray, he had this to say:

"Following our debut release 'Bats In Disguise" in October 2018 we headed back into the studio with producer Brian Gagnon Hallowe'en weekend and began work on our follow-up EP 'Atlantic'. "Sunshine Supermarket" is another Simon Bedford-James tune that we thought had some great pop sensibilities so we unanimously decided to lead with the tune for our first introduction into 2019."

Watch and listen here 

Kjell Gustavsson Rhythm & Blues Orchestra Down at the Saloon

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Submitted by Iain Patience

Down at the Saloon is one of those surprise releases that turns up delivering a knock-out blow. Who, what, where? you ask yourself. The answer in order being: Kjell Gustavsson & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra; an album that absolutely boils, full of wonderful blues-edged fun and talent; a band from Sweden recorded and released by Sweden’s, Malmo-based independent label, Rootsy.

This is a truly excellent album. Ten self-penned tracks, bulging at the seams with full-tilt R&B, and a nine-piece band that covers all bases from guitars, drums, Memphis horns to driving squeeze-box and searing vocals. I had the good luck to catch this band live recently and will add that they really can produce the goods. 

Anyone with even a passing interest or love of US band, the Mavericks, will certainly enjoy this one. If anything, this band has a much clearer true-blues and roots grounding than their American counterparts. If there’s a real surprise here, it must be why we’ve never heard of this top-quality outfit before now. It appears they have been around for many years in their native Nordic homeland where they already have an ardent following.

It’s a lucky thing for the rest of us that Rootsy has elected to push out this simply wonderful release, so the rest of us can hear this band and play catch-up with their music. Make no mistake, this is a fabulous album. I absolutely love it.

For more visit kjellgustavsson.se