Cover Story

Taking the World BY Storm – One Beat At A Time

Alyssa Rubino


By Bill Delingat


Cashbox first met Alyssa Rubino on 9.9.9, the date that marked the launch of D.K.O the new project of renowned reggae artist, Darrin Kenneth O’Brien a.k.a. SNOW.


The event had a spectrum of talent from all genres of music, the evening ending with a surprise performance by SNOW himself. The start of the event was just as surprising as a young female backed by an acoustic guitar took the stage while the bustle of bar life filled the room. Suddenly the buzz quieted down when Alyssa Rubino started to sing. The song was “Beautiful to Know” written by Rubino, Danny Rubino and Trust. The crowd showed their respect as the 11 year old singer and her accompanist left the stage. That’s right, 11 years old. On November 6th of that year she was slated to open for Canadian teen star Justin Beiber at his Toronto debut at the Koolhouse, but due to a heavy flu she had to cancel. Beiber has gone on to be the top earning teen star of last year with a whopping $ 55 million to show for it and our Alyssa fondly known as “Girl Wonder” hasn’t stopped either. We caught up with her camp for an update on what the now 13 year old singer is doing today.


Singing, School and Stardom? It’s all in a day’s work for Alyssa Rubino. She's unique,talented and an atypical 13 year-old. While her schoolmates spend their summer break at camp or on family vacations, Rubino has diligently attended dance and voice rehearsals to prepare for the hottest event in New York's Time Square until the New Year's Eve ball-dropping festivities.

And the Band Played On….

Cover Sept 2, 2011

By Sandy Graham

Those of you who read Cashbox will be wondering on my story this week – what does the Titanic have to do with the current music industry ? For those of you who know me personally you know I produce an event that is near and dear to my heart – The Beach Celtic Festival – in honour of my Scottish ancestry.

This year, we are welcoming a new display, the RMS Titanic, which was built in Belfast, Ireland and left from Glasgow, Scotland and therefore qualifies to be with us with its connection ‘from across the pond.’ As I had a few wee chats with George Watters,(who will  be bringing memorabilia to the Celtic Festival)  I remembered the fact that the huge controversy was what song the Titanic band was playing when the ship that ‘God alone could sink’ disappeared in the ocean on that fateful night nearly one hundred years ago.  Now, one hundred years later, one of the most talked about questions on the Titanic sinking, besides the iceberg warnings, lack of adequate lifeboats and sketchy behaviour of some of the passengers is …”What song was the band playing as the ship was swallowed up by the cold Atlantic waters?” Some reports emphatically state it was Autumn while others swear it was Nearer My God To Thee.

Running Stop Signs with Marshall Dane

Cover, Aug 26, 2011

By Sandy Graham

When you first speak to Marshall Dane you can actually feel the effervescent and mischievous personality coming through the phone, making you feel like you have known him all your life. Dane is that comfortable with himself, and he makes you feel that way too.

“I am one of seven children, the poor forgotten middle child’, he deadpans, then starts to laugh. The truth is Marshall Dane was born into a large musical family in St. Catharines, Ontario with a mother who played and taught piano (in between feeding her large brood) and every Sunday they all traipsed over to Grandma’s house for the weekly ‘jamboree’. ‘Everyone played an instrument; Dad on guitar, Grandpa on violin, my various sisters on piano, and I stood outside with my soccer ball, looking in the window. When I asked my Dad if I could join in, he said I could learn to play guitar. He was the one that showed me there are over 500 songs you can learn to play with only three chords.”

“My Grandma’s favourite singers were Bing Crosby, John Denver, and most of all Kenny Rogers. That is when I got hooked on songwriters and the stories they could tell. I would believe Kenny Rogers when he sang about being ‘The Gambler’, or Johnny Denver when he sang about ‘Rocky Mountain High’. I started writing songs when I was 15 years old and I haven’t stopped since.”

CMAO Delivers the Goods

Cover, Aug 19, 2011

By Don Graham

The brothers Good, Bruce, Brian and Larry are Canadian music legends and are still going five decades into their musical journey. Twins Brian and Bruce started out with James Ackroyd to form James and The Good Brothers in the late sixties. The Columbia Records recording act toured North America, including a concert in Toronto Canada opening for Grand Funk Railroad. The twins Brian and Bruce returned to Canada and brought younger brother Larry and his banjo in the fold and started developing the sound that still defines them to this day. The lineup of guitar, autoharp and banjo is at the core the sound that everyone in the Canadian music scene indentifies as “The Good Brothers Sound”.

With a history like that who better to headline the newly formed Country Music Association of Ontario’s first annual emerging artist showcase at the 2011 Canadian Country Music Association. Bruce Good, an active board member of the CMAO has recruited his brothers Brian and Larry and an extension of the Good Family in the form of country alternative band The Sadies The family tradition continues with Bruce Good’s sons Travis and Dallas Good spearheading the band.

Colm Wilkinson –The Singing, Acting face of Fiction

Cover, Aug 12, 2011

Story: Lenny Stoute


Some men achieve greatness, some have it thrust upon them and some slip into it for two shows every night, matinee on Wednesdays and Saturdays.


Some might argue Colm Wilkinson has had the cake and eaten it all three ways. For one thing, he entered show business through the world of music. Growing up as Dublin lad in the rockin’ Seventies, Colm played in a number of bands, most notably The Action. While the groups as such did not amount to much, the macho, sex-appealing front man began attracting attention outside the confines of Dublin pub rock.


In 1972 Wilkinson went to an audition on a dare and landed the plum role of Judas Iscariot in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Chris Superstar. The part put a fictional spin on a real historical person, becoming the template for the kind of role that would catapult Colm Wilkinson to international fame.


Thrust into the role, Wilkinson came up with an interpretation so strong he wuld henceforth ‘own’ the character. He reprised the part in the London production and took it on the road for the British national tour. The next ficto-historical part for Colm was that of Cuban proto-revolutionary Che Guevara in the 1976 musical production of Evita. This time around, he was on-board to sing Che’s part in the concept album which came out of the show.

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS ( AND HOT SUMMER DAYS ) IN BURL’S CREEK PARK !

Cover, Aug 5, 2011

Don’t Miss It !!!!!

By Don Graham

Usually the end of August brings mixed feelings, especially in Canada. Labour Day is a week away, summer is winding down and it won’t be long until parkas, toques, scarves and boots are reappearing to face the winter. This year, 2011, however, the end of August has a bright light shining on it and an event that will make this time of year something we will look forward to for years to come! The 1st Annual CMT Music Festival begins on August 26th and runs through Sunday, August 28th.

Finally a large scale country music festival within easy driving distance of the Greater Toronto Area, just up the 400 Highway, minutes from Barrie, Ontario, in Burl’s Creek Park in Oro Station. And what a festival it will be. The artist-line up reads like a who’s who and a who’s hot in country music today. The two headlining acts, Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum are currently riding a wave of success around the globe. The so called supporting acts , Ronnie Dunn, Blake Shelton, Sara Evans , Corb Lund ad George Canyon are headliners in their own right!

The Friday show starts with the Corb Lund and Blake Shelton opening for the evening headliner, Lady Antebellum.

Corb Lund is a great Canadian act who’s latest effort ‘Losin’ Lately Gambler’ marks his American debut, produced by Nashville’s Harry Stinson of Marty Stuarts Fabulous Superlatives is the lanky Albertan’s 6th album but his first New West release.

The Abrams Brothers-From Bluegrass to ‘Newgrass’

Cover, Julu 29, 2011

Story: Lenny Stoute
                                    
If John Abrams is a typical 20-year-old Canadian youth then our country is in for a bright future. Right on the rim shot of 9 a.m. the front man for bluegrass rockers The Abrams Brothers is on the line from home base Kingston, Ontario with the story of the Coldplay connection.

Just before new album Northern Redemption closes out there’s the unlikely explosion of Coldplay’s anthemic ‘Viva La Vida’. Since the originals are pretty cohesive on the theme of music’s redemptive power, quite how that one fits in is a puzzlement.
“ Ok, that one was just for us,” laughs John. “We’re huge Coldplay fans and we thought it would be really cool to do a bluegrass country rock version. We started playing it live and people liked it so then we thought to make a video, really just for fun.
It took some doing but we ended up getting the song to Coldplay. They sent word back that they really liked our version and gave us permission to go ahead and do the video for free.

Robin Givens tells on the ‘Church Girl’

Cover July 22, 2011

Story: Lenny Stoute
Photos: profileent.ca

As usual in Toronto, once mid-summer hits all thoughts turn to cottages and aid conditioning. Down on the baking streets, flocks of colourful sundresses return from their annual migration, eagerly followed by the Common Shorted Male and everywhere, dogs of every size and shape shuffle and pant. All hot, all dragging ass. Just looking at them makes you hot too.

Kit Andrew Brings The Big Time To Little Burl's Creek!

Cover July 15, 2011

By Don Graham

On the weekend of August 26 to 28, 2011, the biggest names in country music will make an appearance in the little town of Burl’s Creek (Oro Station), Ontario, just minutes from Barrie, Ontario, which of course is just up the road from Toronto, Ontario. The first annual CMT Music Festival will bring together some of the finest talent for a weekend of music, family fun and celebrations.

That is the great thing about country music and musicians. Where else would you get this many headliners sharing a bill and a stage? It really is what rock ‘n’ roll used to do. Back in the days of Woodstock, Monterey and Newport, rock bands would unite in a festival atmosphere and create a great environment for music and good times. It seems now that all the rock bands prefer the arena/ stadium route and don’t want to share the bill and revenue with other bands.   But country music still believes in bringing the music to the people and The CMT Music Festival is a perfect example of this way of thinking.  Country music is like the “cool” uncle that everybody wants to hang out with, easy to get along with and fun to be around. Rock music is more like the big brother that everyone wants to hang with because he’s cool and struts around like he’s got the world by the tail.

The Swing and The Sting Of Ashley MacIsaac

Cover July 8, 2011

Story:Lenny Stoute

There has never been a fiddlin' fool like Ashley MacIsaac and Lord knows it'll be a long time 'till we see his like again. So it's great to know he's still with us and kickin' it Ash-style. Which translates as: Send lovers, guns and money and take no prisoners. Oh wait, that's Ashley Bad Boy and dude says he ain't down with that no more.

Or not. Depends. Not that he'll ever roll over and take shit but the former ‘enfant terrible’ acknowledges since he’s no longer ‘enfant’ he’s likewise past the ‘terrible’ for its own sake stage.

“ I just came in from checking the gutters because now I have a normal life and I can still stay creative. I’m mainly focused on the music now but I guess I’m still somehow pissing people off because I regularly get death threats. Been getting them for years.”

Here’s where the going gets tricky. The man’s a known media manipulator who takes an impish glee in the prospect.  Here’s a typical exchange on that subject, of the sort which continued throughout the conversation.

“ How did you deal with all the trash that was written about you?”

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