Cover Story

Frank D’Angelo Being Frank

Frank D’Angelo  Being Frank

Submitted by Don Graham

Frank D’Angelo: singer, songwriter,TV host, actor, producer, director, restauranteur, chef, businessman, and I’m sure I’m missing a couple of activities, is an energetic, resourceful and talented  man. Sitting across from him at a table in his restaurant, Mamma D’s, I am struck by the focus in his eyes and his attention to detail. The consummate host, even for a meeting where he is the one being interviewed, he made sure the mood was right for an in depth conversation about his life so far and his current projects. The food was incredible and the background music was Frank’s recordings, played at a low level, until something came on that we needed to hear ,then it was cranked. And man did this stuff sound good. Frank D’Angelo is a talented singer, with a Motown influence and a touch of the great Bill Withers finding its way into Frank’s music. Frank D’Angelo is also an excellent songwriter.

When asked how and when he got interested in music Frank said, “I was always into music, loved it. I guess at about 16 years old I had to make a choice between hockey and music so I got a band together and starting touring and recording. We were a good band, played to packed houses but I got tired of the road and decided to shelve it for a while and get into business.”

The Musical Box-Selling England by The Pound in Toronto

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

‘Selling England By the Pound’ was the fifth studio album from prog rock pioneers Genesis. It was released on 12 October 1973 to an England in the grip of a recession with widespread unemployment and street gangs nightly brawling in violent turf wars. (‘The Battle Of Epping Forest’).

Forty years later, as England struggles with a sagging economy and ongoing social unrest, this Genesis classic remains as relevant as ever.

Now hailed as a masterpiece of prog rock, it followed the Foxtrot album and reached a new commercial high for the band, peaking at #3 in the UK, where it remained on the charts for 21 weeks. It also marked a major breakthrough in critical acceptance on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2012, the album ranked seventh in Rolling Stone's "Readers' Poll: Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time". It was also included in IGN’s list of "10 Classic Prog Rock Albums" in 2008. "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" was Genesis' first single to receive any sort of chart action, hitting No.21 in the UK in April 1974.

The Many Minds of Gowan

Cashbox Canada GOWAN

Main Photo Credit: Ash Newell Photography
Secondary Photo Credit: Richard Beland
Submitted by Sandy Graham

Lawrence, Larry, Gowan, Styx vocalist/band member – all the same person, all talented in so many ways. The first thing you notice when talking to Gowan is he has an incredible wit about him. Fast on his feet in not just his stage moves but the way his brain thinks. The other thing is how he knows the difference between Larry; the family man, singer/songwriter, the Glaswegian/Scarborough east end guy as opposed to GOWAN the product -  the artist who came about in the 80’s with ‘Strange Animal’ and ‘A Criminal Mind’. A man who is comfortable in his own ever-evolving skin or as his song says finally ‘Dancing On My Own Ground’.

Born in Scotland, Lawrence Gowan was one of the diaspora who came to Canada with his family in the ‘50’s. With his typical Celt humour he quips “Without my consent, as a child I was brought to the tropic of Canada and settled among the unparalleled beauty of Scarborough. My marks in high-school were of a caliber that left me no option but to pursue the occupation of rock star.”

Julian Taylor Taking it from ‘Zero to Eleven’

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Julian Taylor is one of those great talents that has a name but has not quite reached his ultimate goal in the music world yet – but his new product is sure to take him there this time.

Born and raised in Toronto, Taylor experienced diversified musical influences, with his Dad being a classical pianist, his Uncle is Brainerd Blyden-Taylor of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Uncle Paul plays trumpet, and the rest of his family all sang in the Church choir, all the while bringing the young Julian up with the music of Motown, Stax and all the other great R & B music of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, that included Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding.  His Dad bent his ear with the crooners (like Nat King Cole) and classics, so the young Julian had a music education that spanned many genres.

“I started playing music at the age of four, taking piano lessons but it was actually overnight camp that turned my head with learning guitar. I was about 10 or 11 by then, and I got my hands on a guitar and a friend taught me a few chords. That was the beginning of my love affair with acoustic guitar and songwriting.”

Brian Chater The Best Friend a Song Ever Had

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Canadian music industry has lost one of the pillars of the business, a true champion of the artists and songwriters of his adopted country, Canada. Brian Chater will be missed and never replaced.

Brian Chater arrived from his native England in the late sixties just when the Canadian music scene was getting ready to explode into the global market. With the introduction of CanCon in 1970 the stage was set from the Canadian industry rose to bloom. And bloom it did!

Brian worked in Montreal at what was known as  Montreal’s ‘Brill Building’, referring to the building at 49th & Broadway in New York City that was the home of record companies and publishers. The Montreal building was located 1396 Ste Catherine Street West and housed Bob Hahn’s offices and Brian’s newly formed (with Alan Waters of CHUM) Much Productions. Bob Hahn was a legendary musician, producer, jingle writer ( Hygrade, Dominion Stores, DuMaurier etc.) and had his Champlain Productions offices in the building. Art Morrow another extraordinary musician, arranger and copy writer shared that office as well. And then there was Brian Chater and his gang. Bill Hill, Montreal’s go to producer at the time was on staff as was Carol Reisch, a musical maven working her magic.

Daniel Casavant Soul Reunion

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

When speaking to Daniel Casavant his charming accent and warmth immediately makes you feel his passion for his music. Born in Montreal, Quebec, this singer/songwriter has it all; a great look, musical talent and a flair for writing wonderful songs.

“I used to listen to the radio when I was a small child’, Casavant says. ‘All the British singers were a huge influence on me; The Bee Gees, The Beatles, anything and anyone that combined great lyrics with great harmonies. I wanted desperately to perform like they did, which was a very big dream for a French-speaking boy.’

But his persistence to embrace music started at the age of eight when he took up the acoustic guitar and starting composing his own tunes. By 15, Daniel then took on the piano and continued putting his lyrics to music. When in his teen years, he decided it was time to travel to experience firsthand the original roots of where this music all started, so he set off and hitchhiked to New Orleans and Nashville, and as a wandering troubadour does, he stopped along the way to play with local talents, playing jam sessions and honing his craft.

By the year 2000, he had spent enough time in the United States to gather his Americana experiences and meld them with his love of British music; weaving it into a musical mosaic of his own French Canadian heritage, which led him to his current sound which quite honestly can’t be compared to anyone.

Kevin Head ‘Live’

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

In this current age of auto tune and ‘we’ll fix it in the mix’ it is refreshing to hear a live album, recorded ‘off the floor’ with an audience enjoying a true singer/songwriter and talented musician offering all original tunes.

The opening track (Was That) ‘Your Heart or Mine’ has an infectious hook, all tied up in an offering of clichés (falling through the cracks, hidden up a sleeve, if it fits then wear it, howling at the moon, reading between the lines) a little reminiscent of Dr. Hook, with great piano offerings by Cam Schaefer.

‘What Can I Say’ shows off the vocal talents of Head, and is blues at its best, while ‘Cheap Talk & Jive’ has a cynical undertone, moving it along with strong percussion with such a quiet audience you forget it is a live recording.

One of the strongest songs on the CD, ‘The Arrow’ has Kevin Head going back to his early roots of folk days, playing the Montreal circuit. Loosely based on a personal experience, the storyline keeps you hooked to the whole song from start to finish. ‘Thanks Hank’ takes its place on this CD as the first song ever written by this Canadian songwriter; honouring Hank Williams and the influence he had on a young boy, wanting his own ‘big day’ in the music world.

Linda Ronstadt Travelling To The Sound of a Different Drum

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Submitted by Don Graham

Linda Ronstadt was the owner of one of purest, crystal clear voices of her generation. From country, to country rock, to folk, the American songbook classics, to high octane rock and roll, Linda owned it all. She even did an album of children’s lullabies and a beautiful Mexican album, sung entirely in Spanish.

Last week Ronstadt broke the news publicly that due to her contracting Parkinson’s disease, she will never sing again.  Wow, even just typing those words seems surreal.  The buzz in the industry has been about Ronstadt’s new book, 'Simple Dreams' due out in September 2013. A tell all memoir of her career spanning the 1960’s through 2000’s and everything in between, the highs the lows, the good the bad and the hits and misses. There is, of course, no mention of the fate she just learned about. How ironic is it that a beautiful voice like hers is quieted and all the auto-tuned, edited, non singers of today are still able to sing? There is no meritocracy in the world of music.

Hugo Straney Beach Celtic Festival Celt of the Year

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Submitted by Cashbox Magazine

The Beach Celtic Festival, the little festival that grew, is heading into year ten of operation and they are making it special in every way. And “in every way” includes the annual Beach Celt of the Year Award.

The Beach Celt of the Year is carefully selected each year from a list of eligible nominees. The candidate must be a Celt for starters, must be held in high esteem by the Celtic community and community at large. The candidate must have exemplary credentials in the world of goodwill and charity and must give back to the community.

This year’s nomination fits all those criteria and more. Ireland born but Canadian through and through, Hugh “Hugo” Straney is the epitome of Celtic class, hard working devoted family man, entertainer and Celtic Ambassador. He was named Irish Person of the Year in 2010 and has received many accolades for his support in the Irish Community. He will proudly carry the mantle of Beach Celt of the Year 2013 in various events during the year.

The Rascals Once Upon a Dream

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Submitted by Don Graham

That moment at a live theatre show when the lights go down and the announcer admonishes you about electronic devices and what you should do with them once the show starts is familiar to most of us. But how many times have you heard “If you have a cell phone or camera please leave them on. You can record, or take pictures or do whatever the F**k you want!!” Well that’s exactly how The Rascals show, Once Upon a Dream begins. It kind of set the mood and tempo for the evening. This is a rock ‘n’ roll show cleverly disguised as a play.

The Rascals new stage show, Once Upon a Dream, opened in Toronto on August 14, 2013 at The Royal Alexandra Theatre hosted by Mirvish Productions.

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