Cover Story

As The Years Go By Randy Ray and Mark Kearney

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

The first thing that strikes you when talking to co-author Randy Ray is his enthusiasm about Canadian artists and how important doing this book was to his mission. Amazing he could stay that enthusiastic about the hard world of publishing, considering this is Book # 10 in his archives.

Ray first encountered Mark Kearney in 1977 when they were rookie reporters at the London Free Press in London, Ont. It was to be a kinship that would last decades and lead to their latest book, As The Years Go By, Conversations with Canada’s folk, pop and rock pioneers.

It all started for Randy Ray in 1967-68, when he went to High School in Scarborough, Ontario and eventually met the love of his life, Janis, who would be his future wife. They danced at the High School dances amidst the basketball nets and his destiny would be with this girl who stole his heart while he fell in love with the live music playing in the gym.

“I was a basement drummer when I was young. That and being a ‘CHUM Bug’ – 1050 Chum influenced me back in the day. So many great memories for me and the Chum charts influenced what 45’s we bought at the local store. That was the beginning of my lifelong romance with music.”

Ken TobiasKen Tobias

Giving Thanks for the Music

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Submitted by the Cashbox Team

Sandy Graham
Editor in Chief Cashbox Canada Magazine

Betty's New Moon Comes Chrome Plated

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

In these troubled times, Betty Moon wants us to all to chrome out and appreciate the bright and shiny aspects of life. So it follows that her current cookie Chrome is the soundtrack to all that appreciation, an on point SoCal NuPop sound filtered through Moon's quirky and all-embracing sensibilities.

“The name Chrome comes from an expression I use. When you think of chrome, you think of shiny, sparkling, something that mesmerizes you, the cream of the crop. That was how we saw the album, so Chrome it was."

If you're familiar with Moon's output, 7 albums staggering the lines between Goth, garage rock and metal, this shiny happy new thing seems to be coming outa nowhere. Truth is, Betty's always been a genre dabbler. While the lines she's blurring may have changed, the blurring itself remains, flirting brazenly with disco, clubby bangers, pure pop harmonies and Europop and techno throughout. Being Betty, the girl pop on " Bullet To My Brain" and "Natural Disaster" comes over like something Haim and Nina Hagen cooked up in a Detroit basement.

“The album was crafted to be a collection of singles, each strong and attractive on its own. I would get the feeling of an idea, a flavour, and the songs would evolve from there in an organic way. We worked on them together as a band and by the end of recording we had about 25 songs. Picked 12 for the album, set the others aside for other projects, and put together Chrome.”

Canadian Country Music Association Awards 2017

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Submitted by Don Graham

Every year in September the pilgrimage to celebrate Canadian country music, its artists, songwriters, business folks, radio stations and fans kicks into full gear. This year the gathering was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and for four days and nights the city rocked with Wranglers, Tony Lamas and pearl snap shirts. The days leading up to the Awards show are filled with old friends gathering together, road musicians reacquainting with compadres; they crisscross on the road with fans, radio folks and country music lovers. Late night hotel lobby jams are common place.

The 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Awards Show had Saskatoonians on their feet at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Canadians from coast-to-coast cheering for all their favourite country stars on CBC when the awards were broadcast exclusively by the national public broadcaster at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT). In the action-packed two-hour event, eight of the most sought-after CCMA Awards were presented and fourteen exceptional performances blew fans away.

Dean Brody Live and Kickin’

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Submitted by Don Graham
Cover Photo Credit: Fiona Lawson Studio 22 Photography

A beautiful summer night, an iconic venue, Toronto’s Budweiser Stage, a full house of pumped up country music lovers. What more do you need ? How about adding show that measures up to all the other ingredients? Well that is exactly what transpired in Toronto on August 24th, 2017.

The “ready to headline” Tim Hicks kicked off the night with a dynamic show complete with pyro, beach balls and kick butt country music that set the tone for the whole night. The Niagara Falls native rocked the stage, engaging the huge enthusiastic crowd with a string of hits: “Got A Feeling”, “Stomping Grounds” and his Canadian homage “Stronger Beer.” The buzz created by Hicks never subsided during the break between his finale and headliner Dean Brody’s downbeat. Hicks, nominated for two CCMA Awards, Male Artist of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year at the 20177 CCMA Awards in Saskatoon took to Facebook live to announce his new single, “Forever Rebels”.

Kelita Everyone Has A Story

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Submitted by Don Graham

Kelita Haverland, singer/songwriter, motivational speaker and comedienne has had a very successful career so far but to hear her talk she is just getting started. And she is getting set to embark on yet another exciting chapter on her journey. “I am so excited to finally give you some amazing news! This is my 35th year of being a recording artist, and with that I am embarking on my 9th studio album called “Everyone Has a Story”. We begin recording in September, so the clock is ticking.”

Kelita goes on to explain “I am now crowdfunding for the album, which is where my fans and friends come in. The way the music industry is evolving crowdfunding is most viable way to record. It’s win/win. It gets the fans some unique perks and allows an artist to record their music with expenses covered by “investments by friends and fans. I decided to go with Pledge Music which is GoFundMe and Indiegogo but is just for recording artists.”

What you get if you donate? You get a pre-order of the album, private behind the scenes videos and updates about the project. You will receive special gifts you choose from, for being part of the process. “I have some cool things to give out. Unreleased music from my country days, handwritten song lyrics, one on one Skype conversation with me & Living Room Concerts, to name a few.” Everyone who contributes will receive something for their investment.

The Beach Celtic Festival

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Although I have spent decades in the music industry, many of you know I have deep roots in the Celtic world, being a first generation Scot who was always reminded by my Mum about our heritage. As the story goes when she knew she was ‘going home’, she asked that we not mourn her but to celebrate her life and to hold our family traditions close to our hearts.

And so the Beach Celtic Festival was ‘born’. Slated to be a one day event only to be a celebration of life, thanks to the many people who have been there for me, we are now entering our 14th year in the beautiful setting of Kew Gardens in the Beach, Toronto, Ontario.

This year’s line up is stellar to say the least.

Among the artists lined up to entertain are the Bold Step Dancers, one of the finest Scottish Dance troupes in the city and a not to be missed experience.Bold by name and bold by nature, Meghan Bold has never been shy about taking a big step and every year, we are so pleased to have her talented troupe of Highland Dancers who also present an amazing presentation of what is known as Step Dancing originally taken from the Ottawa Valley settlers. Bold Step Dancers are part of the Beach Celtic Festival and helps to celebrate with us every year.

Bold Step DancersBold Step Dancers

Geoff Gibbons: Buffalo Hotel

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Submitted by Don Graham

Geoff Gibbons, a veteran singer/songwriter from Vancouver, has an excellent new body of work that really deserves to be heard. I was alerted to this talented performer by Canadian Pop Encyclopedia of Pop Music author Jaimie Vernon who had worked with Geoff with his band Silverlode. The band released two albums and garnered some airplay and recognition with the band.

Geoff started out with an acoustic guitar and a host of great role models, Cat Stevens, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to name a few and of course The Eagles. All these influences are evident in his work.

Geoff has collaborated as a songwriter with artists like Jeff Carlisi of .38 Special-Lynard Skynard, Dawn Langstroth the daughter of Anne Murray and Nashville writers James Dean Hicks and Peter McCann to name a few. His songs have been used for TV shows such as Higher Ground, Just Cause and Robson Arms. Geoff also wrote the score and the songs for Lions Gate Film's "Wolf Moon" aka "Dark Moon Rising.”

But the real pinnacle for Geoff is his new album Buffalo Hotel , a twelve song collection of carefully crafted songs, reminiscent of Jackson Browne and even a little J.D. Souther. Working with producer John Ellis the pair have come up with a well balanced and hook heavy album that emphasizes the strong lyric content of Gibbons’ songs. The opening track “Ain’t Going Back” should get airplay and would make an excellent film track. Other standouts are “Carolina Bound”,” Back To You” , “Ever Get To Georgia” and “Where Midnight Rolls.”

Mariposa Going Long and Strong

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Submitted by Jonathon Hiltz

If success is measured in longevity then the Mariposa Folk Festival is one of the most prosperous events around.

In 1961 the folk revival was at its peak with performers that included Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, and Joan Baez to name a few. In light of that popularity the Mariposa Folk Festival was created.

Bruce Cole was a photographer who witnessed the ascension of the festival from its early stages of a simple event, to becoming an internationally known incubator of folk stars everywhere. Bruce was involved starting in 1971 and took photos of some of the best musicians around.

“It was the first few years that it was on Toronto Island, before that it was in Orillia,” said Bruce in an interview with Cashbox. The event has since moved back to Orillia and this year it was reported by CTV Barrie that it could top the record-setting attendance of 24,000 people that it made back in 2010. The Orillia Packet & Times later verifired that claim by revealing that the Mariposa Folk Festival had approximately 27,000 attendees this year.

Mariposa at DuskMariposa at Dusk

The Fimisters Play/Pause/Resume

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Submitted by Kim Gillard

In high school, I travelled to Kingston or sat around Colin Blamire’s house to listen to these guys jam and share their passion with us all. In as many years as I have lived away from the town we went to high school in, The Fimisters had not played together. But in the last several years these guys have not only gotten back together, they have released their second album. So, when the opportunity to interview them about the new adventure in their lives came up, I was both excited and nervous, for I hadn’t seen these guys in 20 years!

I got to have lunch with Cory Gauvin and Basil Wood just after they picked up their new CD’s, titled Play/Pause/Resume to chat about it and catch up with them on the years that had passed since we had all finished our high school careers. They also filled me in on Andrew Gilchrist, Colin Blamire and Rob Gillet, as they couldn’t join us.The CD is aptly named as it follows their musical career as The Fimisters. They played, they paused and 20 years later they have resumed. Thanks for my copy guys, I am truly enjoying it!

It was great to hear about their families, what they have been up to and, of course, about how the guys rejoined forces and began recording their second album.

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