Cover Story

Ray Griff A Legend Passes On


Submitted by Don Graham

Canadian country music legend Ray Griff has passed away at age of 75. Ray was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and raised in Winfield, Alberta. In Calgary he formed a band called the Blue Echoe. Ray aspired to be a songwriter and one of his early tunes, 'Mr Moonlight,' was recorded in 1959 by the late great Johnny Horton. Later on Ray would get to tour with Horton. Ray’s 'Where Do I Go from Here?' was recorded by Hall of Famer Jim Reeves.

In 1964, Ray moved to Nashville and began a successful run as a songwriter. It is estimated that by the mid-1980s, Ray had written over 2000 songs and had them recorded by such big name artists such as Wilma Burgess 'Baby' and 'Lost in the Shuffle’ by Stonewall Jackson were followed by 'Something Special' for Mel Tillis, 'Canadian Pacific' for George Hamilton IV, 'Step Aside' for Faron Young, 'Better Move It On Home' for Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, 'Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano?' for Jerry Lee Lewis, 'Where Love Begins' for Gene Watson, ‘It Couldn't Have Been Any Better' for Johnny Duncan, and others were recorded by country artists such as Bill Anderson, Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins Carrol Baker, Crystal Gayle, Tommy Hunter, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, the Mercey Brothers, Marty Robbins, and Hank Snow and pop artists such as Pat Boone, Wayne Newton, and Roger Whittaker.

Giving Up the Ghost with OMFG


Submitted by Sandy Graham

East Coast Canadians Great Big Sea paved the way for many bands to take traditional tunes and bring them up to speed to be popular with a younger generation of fans. With this influence, then adding their twist to the tunes, Old Man’s Flanagan’s Ghost (OMFG) brings a refreshing new sound to the public arena.

Launched in Jan 2014, Old Man Flanagan's Ghost have already hit the Celtic Festival circuit and have appeared at The Beach Celtic Festival, 2015 Coburg Highland Games as well as legendary venues in Toronto like The Hard Rock Café, The Sound Academy, and The Horseshoe Tavern.

Speaking with band leader Stephen Lamb we asked him what his inspiration was to have started a Celtic Band.”When I met Brooke we didn’t know we had music in common, we were both working in childhood education. We started playing music together and it was whole awakening for me. I contacted my brother Brian, and the ‘jams’ began.”

When asked how things have changed for him from 2014 until now, “I found it enlightening but I also found a whole new respect for the music industry. It isn’t just about having the talent, you need to go through the trials and tribulations, time and money. I found new respect for the people who make the industry work.”

Bonnie Raitt Dig in Deep

Cashbox Canada Bonnie Raitt.png

Submitted by Cashbox Canada/ Sandy Graham

Following the highly-anticipated release of her twentieth album, “Dig In Deep”, Bonnie Raitt will kick off her 2016 North American Tour, returning to major cities where she's long been recognized as one of contemporary music's great live performers. The tour comes to the Sony Centre in Toronto on March 15, 2016. The pre-sale Ticket sales on Bonnie's site include Special Benefit Seats and packages to pre-order Dig In Deep CDs and LPs and to purchase an exclusive merchandise item.

Bonnie's “Dig In Deep” Tour will feature her longtime touring band, which backs her on the forthcoming album, including James "Hutch" Hutchinson (bass), Ricky Fataar (drums), and George Marinelli (guitar), along with Mike Finnigan (keyboards), who joined the line-up for the triumphant 2012-2013 Slipstream tour.

"So much of the album is focused on what I want to do live," Bonnie says, "I write and pick these songs so we can nail them on stage."

Since the release of 2012's GRAMMY Award-winning album Slipstream, Bonnie has performed over 200 shows in the U.S. and abroad, including a sold-out concert at Boston's Fenway Park with James Taylor this past summer. Her powerful chemistry with this band creates a magic that has been described as "exquisite" (Chicago Tribune) and "perfect" (Boston Globe).

Bob Montgomery He Was All About the Song

Cashbox Canada Bob Montgomery.png

Submitted by Don Graham

There’s a lot of talk going around that there aren’t many good singers around these days, that there are not a lot of classic voices that will be remembered years from now. But after seeing some award shows and other performances of current artists doing hits from the past, I’m starting to think the problem isn’t really the singers as much as the songs. In my opinion there were a lot better songs being written back in the day but you need somebody to find those songs and get them to the artists and producers and get them recorded. There was none better at this then Bob Montgomery, the best friend a song and songwriter ever had. Working out of Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, Bob discovered and championed countless songs and their writers as well as writing classics of his own, “Back in Baby’s Arms” for Patsy Cline and the huge crossover hit “Misty Blue”.

Tom Ghent The “h” Is Silent But Not The Man

Cashbox Canada Tom Ghent.png

Submitted by Don Graham

Cover Photo Credit: Kelli King

Singer/songwriter Tom Ghent may not be a household name in a lot of homes but he is in mine. Tom Ghent almost has “six degrees of separation” status he’s been associated and connected with so many big name recording artists. Kris Kristofferson, Bobby Bare, Bobby Goldsboro, Nat Stuckey, Rita Coolidge, Steve Goodman  and Mickey Newbury to name a few.

Terry Draper Searching


Submitted by Don Graham

Toronto singer/songwriter Terry Draper has had a remarkable run in the music business and is still breaking new ground in his musical quest, he is in fact still “Searching”, the title of his brand new, just released CD. The 13 track album, actually 14 (there’s a hidden track) shows Draper at his melodic and lyrical best. His experience and background have over the years taught him well in the construction, melodically, lyrically and sense of purpose in the arrangement to create a perfect pop song.

A little of Terry’s background will help in understanding his musical journey. Terry is probably best known for his work in Klattu, a Toronto based band that created mystery and controversy in the ‘70s and early ‘80s. “Klattu was a band that wanted to remain anonymous, we just wanted to make music without all the hype and extracurricular activities that come with being a rock band. Well somehow with nobody knowing who we were or what we looked like, a rumour got started the Klattu was actually the Beatles. Then Capitol Records took a full page ad out in a major music trade saying that Klattu weren’t the Beatles and said quite simply KLATTU IS KLATTU. Then people started thinking that we perpetrated the rumor and that we were scamming people. The attendance at our shows started dropping and finally we just packed it in as a band.”

Poor Nameless Boy Making a Name For Himself

Cashbox Canada Poor Nameless Boy.png

Submitted by Don Graham

Poor Nameless Boy actually does have a name and it’s one that you will know very shortly as Joel Henderson is poised to make a big splash on the folk/roots/Americana scene.. When asked about his choice of Poor Nameless Boy as a stage name, Joel explains “ My dad toured for 18 years as a musician and my brother Chris has got a good sized Country music following so I wanted something that would give me my own indentity. I went to see my dad and brother with about 40 name ideas but none of them really worked. I couldn’t come up with one and dad jokingly said “ Poor Nameless Boy” , and that was it.”

Avery Raquel Learning Life Lessons


Submitted by Don Graham

One of the hardest things for young people these days is trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. There are so many options and it’s hard to make up your mind at a young age to decide what you would like to spend your life doing. But that’s not a dilemma for young Avery Raquel. At 14 years old, Avery is focused and primed for a career in music. When asked about her favourite musical memory Avery says, “I remember my parents taking me to see  Annie when I was about 4, and I came home and learned all the songs.”

From the age of 4, she began traveling from her home in Hamilton, Ontario, across the country to perform and quickly became proficient in singing, dancing and acting. But of the three, although Avery has worked in film with television productions for Disney and Dreamworks, music is the source of her passion. “I remember my Dad playing Ray Charles’ version of ‘Over The Rainbow’ and calling me down to listen and sing along. I loved singing those great songs.”

Inge Andersen Fallen Angel On The Rise

Cashbox Canada Inge Andersen.png

Submitted by Don Graham

Inge Andersen is one of those hidden gems that are scattered on the musical landscape, just waiting for hungry ears to discover. A pure voice, intelligent but moving lyrics all captured on a 10 song CD, Fallen Angel, brilliantly produced by Americana icon Eric Anderson.

The debut album by this Dutch singers/songwriter was a long time coming as life took her down a different path early on, a path of academia, a path on which she earned a PhD in Educational Psychology. But Inge loved poetry and music for as long as she could remember and she describes a life changing event that took place while she was in college “My friend in college, who was a music collector, took me to a concert of a group of singer-songwriters. This was in 1989. Townes van Zandt, Guy Clark, David Olney and Eric Andersen were on a joint tour. This was the first time I saw and heard Eric. I immediately loved his music. However, it took eleven years before we actually met and another five years before we started singing together. I accompanied Eric on a tour of Japan in 2005 and after that we performed regularly together, with the brilliant Italian violinist Michele Gazich. We played songs from the whole of Eric's repertoire. Eric and Michele encouraged me to perform my own songs and eventually co-produced my album Fallen Angel.”

David Bowie Look Up Here, I’m In Heaven

Cashbox Canada David Bowie.png

Submitted by Don Graham

The world was shocked to wake up to news of the passing of an icon, musical superstar David Bowie. Although not many even knew he was sick; Bowie had been battling cancer in private for 18 months. But Bowie knew his days were numbered when he made one final public appearance in December 2015 at the New York City premiere of his off-Broadway musical –‘Lazarus’. The press wrote that he looked so well, so healthy but it was reported later that when he left, he collapsed.

Bowie’s passing came after a difficult few years during which he suffered half a dozen heart attacks related to his cancer. But that didn’t stop the icon from creating as he just released his new album “Blackstar” on his 69th birthday, two days before his death. His sense of timing is eerie, he released “Space Oddity” only days before the moon landing in 1969.

Syndicate content