Features

BTW-Loreena McKennitt, Overcoats, Pro Teens, The Reed Effect, Dogs At Large, Dan Talevski, Benjamin Booker, Blues at The Goose

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

A song about love, dedication, and family sacrifice has been released for Remembrance Day by award-winning Canadian recording artist Loreena McKennitt.

The single, entitled “Breaking of the Sword”, was inspired during McKennitt’s participation in April at The Canadian National Vimy Memorial for the 100th anniversary of the historic Battle of Vimy Ridge where she experienced a palpable sense of profound loss. During the ceremony, she performed “Dante’s Prayer” from her 1997 album The Book of Secrets.

“I feel the sentiment of this song is both timeless and universal,” says McKennitt, who, in this new, original piece evokes both her role as an artist, and as an Honorary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern A Complete History by David McPherson

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

The Horseshoe Tavern, The Horseshoe, The ‘Shoe – all the names patrons have called this legendary, iconic building over the years.

Also iconic are the artists that have played there; it was a country haven in a town like TO that favored R&B clubs.

The continuing rumor that Hank Williams graced the stage when it really was Sneezy Waters and The Show He Never Gave.

Like the Queen Street strip that has been its home for seven decades, the Horseshoe Tavern continues to evolve. It remains as relevant today as it did when Jack Starr founded the country music club on the site of a former blacksmith shop, probably the reason it was called The Horseshoe Tavern. From country and rockabilly to rock ‘n’ roll, punk, alt/country, and back to roots music, the venerable live music venue has evolved with the times and trends — always keeping pace with the music.

LGBTQ Empowering New Video by Maggie Szabo Don’t Give Up

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Maggie Szabo is a Canadian singer-songwriter who has been winning over audiences worldwide with her stunningly soulful vocals and empowering pop anthems. Hailing from small-town Ontario, Szabo is now an accomplished musician living in Los Angeles and is using her music to conquer social injustice.

After quickly becoming one of the most sought-after songwriter/vocalists for DJs and notable film and TV placements, Szabo’s latest work has focused primarily on her solo project and was written in some of the most beautiful and exotic places on earth, including Greece, Amsterdam, London and Thailand.

‘Don’t Give Up’ is the first single off of Szabo’s upcoming EP, entitled Worthy. It’s a beautifully authentic and heartfelt song dedicated to transgender youth around the world who live in fear and suffer from rejection and exclusion. ‘Don’t Give Up' showcases an emotional rawness rarely found in music today, whilst addressing a subject which is imperative within today’s society. With soaring layered vocals, Szabo sings an uplifting and encouraging message of hope and acceptance. The single features a driving rhythm section and gospel-inspired backing vocals, creating the perfect empowering anthem for those in need. 'Don’t Give Up’ was written and recorded in Los Angeles along with Stefan Lit (One Direction) and Chaz Mason.

BTW - Nagata Shachu, Blake Reid Band , Avery Raquel, Winnie Brave, Jaymz Bee, Russell De Carle, Smut, The Dears, Slowdive, Jonathan Richman

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Pre-eminent Canadian taiko group Nagata Shachu present rhythm and music as a force for unity and solidarity and bring together diverse elements of the world's multicultural mosaic in their 19th annual concert season 'Beats Beyond Boundaries' at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre.

The season kicks off featuring the group's visually stunning production 'Half Cycle, Full Moon' (directed by Nagata Shachu's Aki Takahashi). They balance tradition with innovation in this collection of 15 new works, which follows the waxing moon illuminating through its various phases in this celebration of night, light and life at Fleck Dance Theatre Saturday, November 18, 2017.

Taiko master and artistic director Kiyoshi Nagata states, "Nagata Shachu's 2017-2018 season 'Beats Beyond Boundaries' is a testament to the power of rhythm and its ability to transcend cultural, political and socioeconomic boundaries. Our aim is to bring both diverse artists and audiences to this eclectic mix of concerts, which includes our visually stunning season opener featuring all new works in November, a mash-up of taiko and blues in March and a collaboration with a master shamisen player from Japan in June."

Lest We Forget

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Submitted By Sandy Graham

Every year we mark November 11th as Remembrance Day – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month marking the end of the Great War – WW1. As the years go by, the parade of soldiers get smaller and smaller and in our busy day to day lives, we need to be reminded of why we have the freedom we enjoy today.

I would really like to hear from you, the readers, about your family history and family memories of the war days that affected so many of our Canadian soldiers and families.

Here is a bit of our family history:
Recently, I received a box of treasures from my Aunt Sherry (Rondeau) who was married to my Uncle Murray Graham. (Our father’s brother) Uncle Murray served in the Army in WW2 and was a musician. Murray also went on to be the Musical Director for Max Bygraves in London, England, performing on Top of the Pops on the BBC. Years later, he would perform with Judy Garland. Comments from Murray in the treasure trove of notes stated, ‘Judy was so nice to all of us. She always wanted to make sure we were all well taken care of and happy’. A piece of history that I never knew about.

Also in the ‘box’ was some paperwork about my Dad’s Uncle – Herbert Graham. It gave us the information of the date he died along with his service number. My son, Graham Robertson, pursued it further and found this.

BTW-Iskwé, Melissa Bel, Rococode, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, The Olympic Symphonium, Kelela, Ariana Gillis

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Iskwé Photo Credit Lisa MacIntosh

In a world where the sum of our lives is defined through another’s gaze, genuinely unchained artists like Winnipeg-bred Hamilton-based Iskwé (pronounced iss-kway) are a rare breed. Named one of the ‘Top 10 Artists to Watch’ by CBC Music, Iskwé (‘woman’ in Cree) is set to release her sophomore album, The Fight Within, on November 3rd (Independent). The album features the new single Soldier . Listen, buy and share here hyperurl.co/IskweSoldier . The lady's currently on a cross Canada tour in support of the forthcoming album. Her unmistakable sound weaves her Irish and Cree/Dené/Métis roots with poignant politically charged lyrics, dark soulful R&B rhythms, electronic flourishes, and trip-hop breakbeats. Iskwé teamed up with several notable producers for the new album including The Darcys on Nobody Knows, Hayden Wolf on Soldier and Will I See; and Keolya on Sometimes and The Storm.

Jim Cressman and Invictus Entertainment Group The Gold Standard

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Submitted by Don Graham

The music business has changed significantly over the past twenty years, even over the last five to ten years. With the growth of the interweb and recording options and artists being able to reach their base on a daily basis, the roles of all parties have evolved and changed as well. The art of music management has taken on a need for different and more diversified skill sets. Enter Jim Cressman, the owner and president of multiple award-winning concert promoting firm, artist agency and music management firm – Invictus Entertainment Group. Cressman is also the president of Big Star Recordings a record label jointly ventured with Universal Music Group Canada.

Jim recognizes the shift and had this to say, “It's the best time to be in the business in history. Thanks to the Internet, artists have a direct line to build their own fanbase, following and consumers. Middlemen like myself have to work harder than ever to justify our existence, and that's a good thing. Anytime the industry is forced to raise their standards, and artists are more empowered, we end up with a stronger business.”

I have been watching Jim Cressman and his steady growth for a number of years and my respect for him and his business acumen grows daily. He is a man of great integrity and razor-sharp business sense.

Kevin Breit Releases Johnny Goldtooth and The Chevy Casanovas

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Acclaimed Toronto-based guitarist Kevin Breit is set to release his new CD, Johnny Goldtooth and The Chevy Casanovas on Sunday, November 26 at Lula Lounge in Toronto. The new disc, available on Stony Plain Records, was written and produced by Kevin Breit. The evening will feature Kevin Breit along with Ian DeSouza, Gary Taylor and special guests.

Kevin Breit is a master guitarist who has recorded with the likes of Norah Jones, Taj Mahal, Rosanne Cash, k.d. lang, Cassandra Wilson and Hugh Laurie. With unmatched artistic vision, Kevin has created the joyful and whimsical Johnny Goldtooth and The Chevy Casanovas as a guitar-driven musical journey through genius. Joining Breit on this all-instrumental album are Vincent Henry (Amy Winehouse, Tom Waits), Michael Ward Bergeman (Yo Yo Ma), Davide DiRenzo (Cassandra Wilson) and Gary Diggins (R Murray Schaffer). Known for hisinimitable guitar playing, exquisite lyrics and eccentric performances, Breit is a humble Canadian musical treasure. With multiple awards, including a Maple Blues Award, National Jazz Award and two JUNO awards (Canada’s Grammy) for his own recordings, as well as for his work on albums that have a collective 10 Grammy Awards, Breit’s unparalleled creativity is infinite.

BTW- Joseph, Metz, Headstones, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Martha Wainwright, Lily Frost, Mark Newman, U.S.Girls

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

All femme trio Joseph returns with a seven-track EP, Stay Awake, released digitally by ATO Records. The collection includes three new songs - "All," which opens the set, a demo of "50, 60, 80" and the closing track, "Stay Awake" plus re-imagined versions of two older songs and stunning covers of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" and the Rolling Stones' " Moonlight Mile."

Natalie Schepman, who founded Joseph with her two sisters, Allison Closner and Meegan Closner, says, "Stay Awake is a small collection of songs we put together to help ourselves deal with heaviness. It's a bit of telling it like it is. It's a bit of a 'keep going.'"

"When we were recently reminded of Tears for Fears' song 'Everybody Wants to Rule The World,' it hit us how pertinent it is today even though it was written in the 80's. Today, maybe more than ever," explains Natalie, who added a few lines after the bridge that especially speak to the times we live in:

'Make the most of freedom and pleasure.

All I know is take care of each other.

An open door, a seat at the table, there's enough to go around.'

Ken Whiteley’s Sunday Gospel Matinee @ Hugh’s Room Live

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Ken Whiteley’s Sunday Gospel Matinee @ Hugh’s Room Live

Submitted to Cashbox Canada

For those of you not familiar with "Sacred Steel", it is one of the mostexciting musical forms on the planet and Chuck is one of its greatestexponents. Ken first met the award winning pedal steel guitaristChuck Campbell on a Memphis elevator. Even before Kenheard the African-American Sacred Steel superstar groupThe Campbell Brothersperform, Ken sensed that here were musicians he'd love to make music with.The next day after he heard them play, the deal was sealed. Chuck Campbellplayed on two of Ken's cds – ‘Listening’ and ‘Another Day's Journey’. With The Campbell Brothers, Chuck has beenfeatured at Luminato, the Hummingbird Centre, The Kennedy Centre, TheHollywood Bowl and has toured extensively across North America and Europe.The last time Chuck appeared on Ken’s Sunday Gospel series it wasstanding room only so we suggest you get your ticketsearly.

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