BTW Johnson Crook, Caveboy,Margaret Glaspy, David Kitt, Avery Raquel , Moby, Peter Asher & Jeremy Clyde

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Kinda rootsy, kinda folk-rocky, Toronto-based band Johnson Crook have released their latest single "Mr. Nobody" to coincide with tour dates in Ontario this March. The song, from Johnson Crook's 2017 full-length debut The Album, released by Coalition Music, features guest vocals from Canadian music legend Tom Cochrane, The quartet—Noel Johnson (rhythm guitars/vocals), brothers Nathan (lead guitar/mandolin/vocals) and Trevor Crook (drums/vocals) and Jared Craig (bass/vocals), have forged their sound out of a love of pure, honest music stemming from their small-town backgrounds. Drawing inspiration from groups like the Eagles and the Avett Brothers, each member of Johnson Crook contributes equally, injecting their unique personalities into an overall sound built on four voices.

BTW- Hearing Trees, Devin Cuddy Band, Richard Shindell, Five Alarm Funk, Iskwé, Len Mizzon

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Hearing Trees Photo Credit Greg Gallinger

Could the third one be the charm? Winnipeg indie rockers Hearing Trees are following up their previous 2 EP releases with a 3rd release and debut full-length album Quiet Dreams on March 2nd. The lyric video for the first single 'Telling Peter' premiering on and in support of the new album, Hearing Trees will be embarking on a lengthy Cross-Canada Tour starting March 2nd in Regina.
Hearing Trees existed before frontman Graham Hnatiuk had ever picked up a guitar or penned a single lyric. Even as just an apparition in his mind’s eye, Hnatiuk’s musical vision essentially saved his sanity, maybe even his life. And now, with the release of their debut LP, Quiet Dreams, the creative seeds sown years ago have come to full fruition.

“I started this in 2009 because I had a serious mental episode and almost ended up in the hospital,” the singer, guitarist, and songwriter candidly explained, “I was pretty much unable to care for myself. My life just wasn’t going in the right direction, but I found solace and inspiration in art and music. I knew that’s what I needed to do.”

BTW - Kayla Diamond, Ought, Triathlon, Snowblink, Elk Run & Riot, Reuben and The Dark

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Near lawyer turned pop chanteuse Kayla Diamond has dropped a new video for her uplifting single "What You're Made Of' via PopDust .

Following Kayla from childhood through to adulthood, the video tells the story of her journey from a young girl who dreamed of being a songwriter and performer to a fully realized musician and singer. The video also serves as a loving tribute to her family, whose unwavering support made the realization of her dream a reality.

"'What You're Made Of' is about recognizing your own abilities and having the courage to go after your dreams, especially when someone tells you it's impossible or that you're not good enough," reflects Kayla. "Much like the essence of the song, I was able to bring my visions for this video to life by having full creative control over production and direction. I'm lucky that both my parents and my label have supported me from day one; if you have people in your life who push and encourage you, and you believe in yourself, the possibilities are endless. This video means so much to me - I hope others find meaning in it too."

New Kaytrnada-Produced Single Featuring Jazz Cartier Signs To Last Gang Records

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Fluidly combining hip-hop and ethereal electronic beats, Montreal's Lou Phelps is the biggest rapper in his city. Skating over a candy-colored disco-funk instrumental courtesy of Lou's brother, KAYTRANADA, Lou Phelps turns on his charm on his latest single, Come Inside. This is his first release as a new signee to Last Gang Records worldwide.

Effortlessly stacking syllables, Lou tells a story about meeting a girl and taking her out for a good time: "Met her at the strip club, she was a freelancer/Told me to give me her sign, she was a Cancer/Dancing for the dollars at the damn club/Strippin' for these n*ggas that we wouldn't even dare touch/She knows I ain't trippin' over damn thugs/She was a mama bear--I was her damn cub." Premiered by Complex, the song features a standout verse from fellow Canadian, Jazz Cartier, who has a blast stringing together flashy punchlines over the club-ready sonics.

Felix Cartal Sends A Meaningful Message With "Runaway" Ft. Regn

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Felix Cartal teamed up with vocalist REGN for his stunning new track "Runaway" on Physical Presents, and it will resonate deeply with listeners on and off the dancefloor. "Runaway" carries power in REGN's passionate voice and angsty lyrics that are perfectly complemented by Cartal's moody piano melodies and deep, groovy basslines; it delivers a message that is rebellious but also encouraging in its authenticity. The single will appear on his forthcoming full-length album due later this year.

2017 proved to be a monumental year for the producer, who is currently nominated for two JUNOS including Jack Richardson Producer of the Year and Dance Recording Of The Year for his single "Get What You Give". The single recently certified Gold in Canada, has well over 19 million streams globally. "Get What You Give" was also included, in Billboards"50 Best Dance/Electronic Songs of 2017" and Cartal was included in their "13 Dance Artists Who Dominated 2017" feature. "Based on the producer's newfound sound and vision for the project (...) it looks like Cartal is now leading the charge and owning it," quoted the renowned music publication. There has never been a better time for Cartal, and "Runaway" further proves that he is truly stepping into his own.

BTW-Grounders, Art of Time Ensemble/Leonard Cohen, Charlotte Day Wilson, Big Little Lions, RECOLLECTIV, The Coronas


Submitted by Lenny Stoute

So you thought they were all used up and dumped in the garbage? Well, Grounders are back and gearing up to release sophomore LP Coffee & Jam on February 23 via Nevado Music. Get a taste of the LP with second single "Perfect".

First single, 'Bringin' It In' was released last fall and has since been climbing the CBC R3 charts. The Soporanos-esqe video casts the guys as java maniacs who will stop at NOTHING to get some Griz. Grounders will be playing a string of live dates throughout Ontario with label mates The Wooden Sky.

Marvel’s Black Panther

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Submitted by Michael Williams

I saw Black Panther on Tuesday February 6th, ten days before the release of the film.

I waited a few days to see if the buzz would wear off? I have been waiting for this film since the first trailer. I did not want it's blackness to carry it limping across the finish line but its strong performances, stunning visual style ,excellent characters portrayals and a well written script to carry the day!

It did!

The story had to be current, relatable and hold the water of a culture denied. It was!

You expect a strong original soundtrack and underscore with Top Dawg Entertainment, Multiple Grammy Award Winner Kendrick Lamar, adding a cast of hundreds including our very own The Weeknd on the closing theme with Kendrick Lamar, "Pray for me". It is!

In the recent post-Spike Lee years , Black Films, Black Filmmakers have a had a rough go in film with better luck in television because of the immediacy and cost. The powers that be care less about the meat grinder that is television now that Netflix and Amazon have taken over the marginal minority projects they would never fund. Film now is where the shooting budgets and promo budgets match, for a basic shot at success. Disney's expanding the Marvel Universe naturally with Black Widow as one of its films next.
"Black Panther" is not a Black film!

BTW-Winterfolk XVI, Moon Taxi, Kim Churchill, I Hate You Just Kidding, Terra Lightfoot, Ellevator

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Anne Lederman 

The 16th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, taking place in Toronto February 16-18, 2018, is set to present the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, and will feature returning favourite artists as well as fresh new talent. It’s an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event that emulates a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 100 artists will be performing at four venues and five stages over three days of the long Family Day weekend. For more information on the festival, schedule and for updates, please visit

Winterfolk XVI featured performers include Borealis Records artists MOSE SCARLETT, who’s been on the Canadian music scene for more than 40 years, fiddler ANNE LEDERMAN, highly acclaimed Canadian folk, blues and gospel singer and multi-instrumentalist KEN WHITELEY, and award-winning singer-songwriter JON BROOKS.

Mt. Joy Releases Self-Titled Debut Album

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

February 7, 2018, Mt. Joy announced that NPR Music has selected them as the Slingshot Artist Spotlight for February. Mt. Joy will be featured on NPR partner stations throughout the month. The band has also announced a headlining spring tour, including Canadian dates in Vancouver and Toronto (full dates below). Mt. Joy’s self-titled debut album will be released on March 2nd via Dualtone, an Entertainment One company.

In little more than a year as a band, the LA-via-Philadelphia band has racked up over 15 million streams on Spotify, toured with The Shins, Whitney, The Head And The Heart and The Lone Bellow, and performed at Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, Made In America and Lollapalooza. Mt. Joy just wrapped up a North American tour with Neko Case, and they're set for highly anticipated appearances at SXSW, Shaky Knees, BottleRock, and more come spring.

BTW Ryan Hicks, The Olympic Symphonium, Rhye, Willie P. Bennett Tribute, The Coronas, Kim Doolittle, Lori Cullen

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Ryan Hicks Photo Credit Ali Lauren

Regina-based singer/songwriter Ryan Hicks is set to release his 2nd full-length album February 9th, Video for the first single and title track 'Pulsing Colours’ is premiering exclusively on Live in Limbo.

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