Cover Story

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.

Beamer Wigley Beaming Up !

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Submitted by Don Graham

Say the name Beamer Wigley to yourself. Then say it a couple more times. Then write it down somewhere, put it in a memo in your phone and tell all your music loving friends about him. That way when he makes it big you can tell folks “remember I told you about him?” And his chances of success are definitely there.

As we all know, talent is of course, a huge prerequisite for “making it” but there are other components. Desire, perseverance and then the right people in a position to make it happen getting on board with you. Beamer Wigley can put a check mark next to all of the above. He is a talented young man, has the desire and perseverance. “ I have no plan “B”, this is what I want to do with my life” Then the most important piece that you can’t control, the right people running your career path.

Beamer has the best in the business, guiding and promoting him, getting his name and product out there. The team at Invictus Entertainment led by powerhouse Jim Cressman are hands on with Beamer and their belief in him is creating the positive image, product and performance opportunities. Jim Cressman says "Beamer embodies the old adage that obsession creates genius. He's constantly collaborating, writing, practicing, working on his craft, engaging with his fans on social media. His evolution hasn't just been impressive, it's been inspiring."

ONES - The Number ONE Hits of The Beatles

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Submitted by Pat Blythe
Photo Credits: Pat Blythe A Girl with a Camera “The Picture Taker”

The brainchild (and dream) of singer, songwriter and recording artist Frank Zirone, ONES is a special music production presenting the North American number one hits of The Beatles with a very special nod to Canada. Unknowingly, this particular project has been years in the making, beginning with that very first Beatles performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Throughout Zirone's years of writing, recording and performing, The Beatles and their music have deeply influenced his career almost every step of the way.

Zirone's long history in the music business makes him well suited to create and produce a show such as ONES. He has been nominated for a Juno, toured around the world and worked with acts such as The Monkees, Loverboy, Herman’s Hermits, Saga, Gary Puckett, Max Webster, Randy Travis and Triumph. Frank’s body of work, extensive history and reputation have earned him the respect of some of the finest musicians in Canada, allowing him to gather unequalled talent for his production of the ONES show.

Beaches Jazz Fest Returns for the 29th Year in Toronto’s East End Neighbourhood

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Beaches International Jazz Festival is a 10-day music festival held each year in the lakeside Beaches community of Toronto in the month of July. Originally started in 1988, it is now one of Canada's largest free jazz festivals with nearly 800,000 attendees, throughout its 10-day span.

The Festival takes place across a number of venues; stage concerts are held in several different parks within the area and also along a two kilometre stretch of the Beach main street - Queen Street East.

Every year, the Festival brings in internationally acclaimed jazz performers while also showcasing local talent, including “new generation” jazz musicians. The Festival now hires around 1000 artists per annum, including 50 bands for its “StreetFest” event along Queen Street East. The Festival offers concerts at six stage locations: Kew Gardens Main Stage; the Latin Square and Big Band Stages (also located in Kew Gardens Park); the Woodbine Park Main Stage and the New Generation and Youth stages also at Woodbine Park. The Festival holds a Workshop and Lecture Series which varies each year and is programmed to appeal to both professional musicians and to the general jazz loving public. The Festival also sponsors a "Jazz in Motion" Juried Photography Exhibition.

Tanika Charles Endless Chain on a Soul Run

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

The first thing you feel when you hear Tanika Charles talk about her music and performing is the passion in her voice. Tanika is filled with passion; about her songs, her music, her band, her loves, her life. Her passion, performance and songwriting combine the strength of her soul while showing her vulnerable side through her music.

‘’I was surrounded by music growing up. My Dad, Leonard, always had great records playing so I heard Spiro Jiro, George Benson, Chante Moore, George Duke, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and so many more. I always loved the soulful vocals of Patti LaBelle, Nina Simone and Etta James but the one that really was a huge influence on me was Paula Abdul. I am a dancer and a singer and so she really has it all.”

“My older brother Rudy is also a greatly multi-talented man; he can play any instrument so he inspired me as well.”

Tanika Charles has also appeared on television with a re-occurring guest spot on CBC Kids, and a torchy lounge singer on Global TV’s Bomb Girls, a much acclaimed drama series. Her music has been featured on HBO’s Less Than Kind, ABC’s Rookie Blue, The CW’s Seed and CTV’s Saving Hope. In 2017 Tanika made her theatrical debut with the touring production of Freedom Singer.

Stay Groovy and Have Mercy!

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Submitted by MERCY The Band (Ted Lalonde/Shelley Buffitt)

When Steve Clark introduced Chris “Travis” Townes, Pat Lalonde and Ted Lalonde to Shelley Buffitt and her daughter Alysha Carman in May 2016 to perform at a benefit concert in Marathon, Ontario in June, little did they know that nine months later they’d be Mercy The Band.

“Shortly after the June 2016 concert in Marathon, I became quite ill. Unfortunately, we had to cancel a couple of gigs that Steve booked for us in August and September, 2016. I also had to leave the Clay Williams “Canal Pursuit” marathon run, in which I was selected Crew Chief. I took the next few months to recover and in February 2017, I received a call from Chris “Travis” asking if I was able to perform for The 6th Annual Unplugged for Cancer Concert in Marathon in March,” explains Shelley. The group got together within days to start practicing and the performance went very well. On March 22nd they officially became Mercy The Band and began collaborating on original material. What followed was a recording session on April 29th at Pennock Studio in Thunder Bay, with Producer (Steve) Clark and Sound Engineer Bob Kovacs.

Eric Andersen Mingle With the Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron

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Submitted by Don Graham

You’re Eric Andersen. You have iconic status, you have a Gold Membership card to the folk elite club with fellow members like Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and Joni Mitchell. You were there when the great folk boom exploded. This is your time to bask in the golden light and soft glow of all you have accomplished in your music career. That’s what one would think.

But Eric Andersen has a different approach to it all. Not content to look back at his past, he keeps pushing himself onwards, always looking for something new and fresh to sink his creative artistry into. Perhaps deep down he is driven by the edict of the great poet Blake who said an artist has a duty to create. From the beginning with songs like ‘Thirsty Boots’, ‘I Shall Go Unbounded’, ‘Violets of Dawn’ and ‘Close the Door Lightly When You Go’ to the later years of ‘Blue River’, Eric secured a deep rooted place in Americana history. For six decades now Eric Andersen has been writing songs and making records and I’ll bet you if you told a young Eric in 1966 that he would still be making records (and relevant records, not reissues) 50 years later in 2016 he would be hard pressed to believe you. But that’s exactly what he’s doing. Lately, Eric has taken the words and works of some literary giants from the past and written music to accompany their poetry and prose to bring it into the 21st century. He managed to take the works of the great existentialist Albert Camus and make a haunting record that got rave reviews.

Cashbox Magazine Television Debuts with the Legendary Bobby Curtola

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Submitted by Don Graham

Last year, 2016, Cashbox Magazine Canada started the wheels turning on a new branch of the publication, Cashbox Canada Television. Cashbox CEO and Editor in Chief Sandy Graham, “I wanted to take Cashbox to a new dimension, take advantage of our digital capabilities and reach our growing audience in a different way. The idea of having video interviews seemed like the logical step and offered so many possibilities.”

In May, Canadian Music Week welcomes industry people from around the globe and Cashbox always has a booth at the event to help spread the word. Graham thought this would be the perfect chance to have some music luminaries all in one spot and have a great backdrop to film the interviews in. “I knew I could keep the budget down and be able to conduct interviews sequentially and not have the logistic problem of flying people in and setting up a venue to interview them in. We were lucky to have names like Andy Kim, Gord Deppe from the Spoons, Danny Marks, Eddie Kramer of Jimi Hendrix fame, and Julian Taylor to name a few in the house. Then while we were shooting we got lucky and Gordon Lightfoot came up to say hello and we managed to get him in a segment.” Cashbox had three interview hosts on hand. The legendary dreadlock VJ of Muchmusic Michael Williams, veteran scribe and music encyclopedia, the Louisiana man himself, Lenny Stoute and yours truly. I was humbled to be included in that trio of veterans.

Sounds of Home at Toronto’s Harbourfront 2017

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Harbourfront Centre’s 2017 summer season celebrates Canada’s cultural heritage with Sounds of Home, a sonic tribute to the strength of the diversity found across the land known as Turtle Island. The season kicks off on June 27 with Here in the 6ix: Celebrate Multiculturalism Day, a program offering a full day of free events reflecting Toronto’s rich cultural mosaic.

Four distinct weekend festivals in July form the core of a programming vision that gathers Canadian talent from coast-to-coast-to-coast for an array of evocative and entertaining events ranging from concerts, comedy shows, family activities, culinary events, and late-night afterparties. Audiences and visitors are invited to join us throughout the summer on Toronto’s waterfront to relax on our lakeside vista and enjoy these curated festivals, your favourite annual festivals, and season-long events, such as the Summer Music in the Garden classical music series, and our weekly Free Flicks outdoor film series and Dancing on the Pier events.

Here Comes the Sun!

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Submitted by Don Graham 

Every year around this time when winter has finally played itself out and summer is warming up for its annual residency, everything starts to change. The greens return, the sky becomes a deeper blue and the golden sun is once again the star of the show. And music on radio and playlists changes as well. Used to be you planned releases around the seasons and certain songs were held back as “great summer song” material. Some of these hits are still being played or covered today. Nothing says summer, even 60 years later like “Summertime Blues”, Lovin’ Spoonful’s “ Summer in the City”, and of course don’t we all feel better, practically or metaphorically, when it’s “ summertime and the livin’ is easy, fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high?”

Some of the following list is from last year’s informal poll and some are from today. Hopefully this will make you think of your favourite summer song.

BOYS OF SUMMER..DON HENLEY Incredible guitar theme by Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Henley nails the lyrics. Feels like a hot summer night with windows down driving down the PCH.....watching the waves crash into the shore. - KEVIN MONTGOMERY NASHVILLE SINGER/SONGWRITER/ADVENTURER

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