Music

If I Can Get Readers, You Can Get Fans

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Submitted by Peter Åstedt

All this started with yet another one of the artists I manage who complained how hard it is to get fans.Or rather get them to stay and follow them.

My answer was that I could start a blog and be the old grumpy man I am and still get readers and If I can get readers you can get fans. The thing is it would be easier if you are an attractive artist with good songs to get an audience. I’m exactly the opposite, grumpy old guy from the music industry, nagging about things in the music industry.

So, the bet was on. And I started my blog. First thing, where was my audience? I guess my biggest mistake was that I thought I wrote for artists. There are so many blogs online about how the artist struggles. How they don’t understand why people don’t discover them, or why they don’t get this or don’t get that. I thought I could break into that market mainly just pointing out the angle that the industry has. All these questions would find an answer in my blog!

Was I wrong! I didn’t get it in the beginning. I was marketing the blog against the artist community all the time and hoped that people would go in and read it. All I got was silence. I saw that artists would read it but they didn’t comment or come back. I was puzzled. These are the answers on the questions the other was telling in the other blogs or posts I saw online?

Country Music Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

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Submitted by Don Graham

It’s that time of year again when The Country Music Association announces its inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The class of 2019 includes, Brooks and Dunn, Ray Stevens and Jerry Bradley all outstanding contributors to the country music industry. The inductees are from three categories, the modern era, the veteran era and the songwriter/musician/non-performer categories.

In the modern era category is Brooks and Dunn. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn form Brooks & Dunn are the best-selling duo in country music history with 27.5 million U.S. units sold, according to the RIAA. With one of the best live shows of the time, the excited crowds right from the start and had four No. 1 singles in a row starting with “Brand New Man” in 1991. They stayed in the Top 10 right up until their final release as a duo in 2009 and on April 5, Brooks & Dunn will release a brand new album, Reboot, featuring a star studded list of guest artists includingKacey Musgraves, Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, Lanco, Ashley McBryde, Midland, Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi and Tyler Booth. Brooks and Dunn have 11 platinum albums, more than 80 industry awards, including two Grammy, 20 CMAs and 29 ACMs. They have been named Entertainer of the Year four times collectively by the ACM and CMA.

Joni Mitchell’s 75th Birthday Celebration CD

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Submitted by Don Graham

Last November, some of Joni Mitchell’s musical friends and 3,000 fans gathered to celebrate and the special night was recorded by Verve/Decca Records. Her friends and fans gathered to pay tribute to the legendary singer, performing a special concert on Mitchell’s birthday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. The star-studded line-up included James Taylor, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan and Rufus Wainwright and a host others.

The release of The Music Center Presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration was 8 March 2019 and also featured performances by Brandi Carlile, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro &Xochi Flores, Graham Nash, Seal and more.

Each performer brought their own interpretation to Mitchell’s iconic catalogue. Brandi Carlile teamed up with Kris Kristofferson for a duet version of ‘A Case of You’, while Diana Krall covered the jazz-leaning ‘Amelia’. Mitchell’s hits were also represented, with Seal taking on ‘Both Sides Now’, and Rufus Wainwright doing a beautiful rendition of ‘Blue’.

Barry Stagg Capturing ‘One Heart At A Time’

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Barry Stagg was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where he lived for the first 29 years of his life. Although he resides in the US, he still spends summer months in Nova Scotia and maintains a Canadian address and passport.

He has written and recorded songs for Gamma Records, United Artists, London Records, RCA, and Cashbox Records. Barry is well known for his world hit song "To Love Means To Be Free,” released on his Green and Stagg album in 1969, which earned him the Canadian Business Music Industry’s writing award.

I caught up with Barry at his home and he still has all the enthusiasm of a young artist starting out.

“I just got back off the road doing a US promotional tour for both radio and television for ‘One Heart At a Time”. I was humbled by the reception and accolades we got every stop we made. I feel blessed that after all these years I still get to do what I love most. Write my songs and perform for people. There is nothing better than seeing the reaction to your material.”

BTW - Lenny,We Got Your Back! Jaymz Bee, Tim Bovaconti, Kim Doolittle, Don Graham, Fergus Hambleton, Hotcha!, Laura Hubert, Big Rude Jake, Look People, Danny Marks, Joanne Powell, Audra Santa, The Essentials

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right: Look People

BTW is given over to saluting the musicians who have so graciously and generously donated their time and energies on my behalf by performing at Lenny, We Got Your Back! This benefit concert for yours truly takes place at the Horseshoe Tavern, Mar.28 with an 8PM showtime. My heartfelt thanks to everyone, and there have been many of you, who have had a hand in making this happen. I am humbled and grateful. Gonna be a hot show, tell your friends.

Jaymz Bee is an artist, musician, philanthropist and broadcaster who has produced countless events, over a dozen albums and been a member of several bands including The Tiki Collective, Tuk, The Royal Jelly Orchestra, Bonzai Suzuki and Look People. He's hosted and/or produced charity events for JAZZ.FM91 (over 16 years), Unison Benevolent Fund, Covenant House and the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (amongst others).

BTW-Tomato Tomato, Bobby Long, Chelsea Stewart, Don Brownrigg, Madison Violet, Julian Taylor, James Taylor Tribute, Audra Santa, Danny Marks

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Very representative of how New Brunswick-based roots rock outfit led by Lisa and John McLaggan, Tomato Tomato do their thing is Canary In A Coal Mine. The new album by Tomato Tomato, is now on all digital platforms, and through their website tomatotomato.ca. The latest collection marks a significant creative step forward, having been recorded at Nashville studio The Bomb Shelter (Alabama Shakes, Margo Price) with producers Jon Estes and Andrija Tokic, along with some of Music City’s finest musicians.

The result is a potent display of everything that’s made Tomato Tomato one of the most beloved groups on the Canadian folk music scene in recent years, from John’s inventive songwriting to Lisa’s unforgettable Neko Case-esque vocals. “Kite Song” is only one example of the duo’s intimate connection, following in the wake of the album's stomping first single “Take It On The Road.” Their range is further displayed on the album tracks “You Don’t Know Anything,” an instant roadhouse classic, and the quietly powerful closer “Nothing Left."

Bruce Cockburn Back on Tour – States I’m In

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Few recording artists are as creative and prolific as Bruce Cockburn. Since his self-titled debut in 1970, the Canadian singer-songwriter has issued a steady stream of acclaimed albums every couple of years. But that output suddenly ran dry in 2011 following the release of Small Source of Comfort. There were good reasons for the drought. For one thing, Cockburn became a father again with the birth of his daughter Iona. Then there was the publication of his 2014 memoir Rumours of Glory.

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn explains, from his home in San Francisco. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Such doubt was new to the man who’s rarely been at a loss for words as he’s distilled political views, spiritual revelations and personal experiences into some of popular music’s most compelling songs. What spurred Cockburn back into songwriting was an invitation to contribute a song to a documentary film about the late, seminal Canadian poet Al Purdy and he was off to the races.

Suzi Kory Her Time Has Come

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Submitted by Don Graham

Suzi Kory has waited patiently for her time to come to live out her dream of performing under the bright lights and showing her talent to the world. And now the time has come. Born in Beirut Lebanon where the idea of being a performer was not looked upon in the brightest light she and her family relocated to Canada and she discovered the music Guns n Roses and was fascinated by frontman Axl Rose.

“Watching his raw and no inhibitions style and his charisma stirred something in me and it still does” Suzi decided to park her dream and raise a family and having now done that has reignited the spark. “ A few years ago I made the trip to Malibu and looked up where Axl Rose lived. I drove up there and there he was walking down the road in his sweats. I approached and he was amazing. We talked for a while, took a photo and we went our separate ways. But a part of me was so determined to pursue my dream after that encounter’” Her music doesn’t sound like Axl Rose but his determination and showmanship is evident when you see a Suzi Kory show

The Zombies Complete Studio Recordings On Vinyl

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

For the first time ever, the essential studio recordings of Britain’s legendary Zombies and 2019 Inductees into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame are assembled in one place on vinyl via Varese Sarabande, Feb 22nd, 2019. This is a 5 Box Vinyl Set which includes two original US albums: She’s Not There/Tell Her No and Odessey & Oracle; Two important compilations: R.I.P which was compiled by CBS Records and intended to be a follow -up to Odessey and Oracle, but then cancelled and never pieced together until now, with only a few tracks appearing on various collections and some originally released as singles, and I Love You, which was only released in the UK and Japan. Also included, a bespoke collection of rare singles and UK-only album tracks: Oddities & Extras. This LP includes new notes from the historical producer/engineer Andrew Sandoval known for multi-artist presentations such as the British Invasion Tour. There are new photos for the album cover and slipcover. This is the most comprehensive vinyl collection of The Zombies’ work ever constructed.

62 Tracks of Pure Psychedelic Jazz-tinged Pop and hours of fascination for the determined diehard fans.

This set comes on Black 180gm LP’s in a beautiful slip case with the Zombies logo in a fancy foil stamp. Record Collectors will be in Zombies Heaven!

Tracklisting:

She’s Not There / Tell Her No

Side One

BTW Lief Hall, Donna Grantis, Getaway Van, Donovan Woods, The Blue Stones, Mark Morton, Joni Mitchell Tribute, Jaymz Bee, The Peptides

Leif Hall

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

With all the grey clouds and freezing rain, thought we’d start with music bright, warm and of curious intent. Victoria pop experimentalist Lief Hall (a former member of MYTHS/The Mutators) is large in Japan, with a nice fan base and two record labels, Moorworks and Fennelly, which are joint-releasing her entrancing new album Roses For Ruins in Japan. The album, released in North America in April 2018, will be available on CD in Japan on March 6, 2019.

Just out is 'Glass & Obsidian', the second music video from Roses for Ruins. With its minimalist beats, distant reverberating squeals and low hushed vocal choruses, the song uses imagery of the earth's elements colliding and transforming to explore forms of renewal and radical change. Earth, metal, crystal and air emerge throughout this video as themes which bring to life the song’s lyrics through sparse, surreal and fantasy-like environments. Dramatic lighting shimmers reflect and flares accentuate the hypnotic and dream-like quality of the music while dancers explore the sound through austere and sensual movement.

The video was directed, choreographed and edited by Lief Hall in collaboration with cinematographer Shayne Zwickel and stars dancers Marc Arboleda and Nancy Lee with styling by Chris Reed.To support the release, Lief Hall embarks on an 11-date tour of Japan starting March 1st. There’s talk of a mid-April North America jaunt.

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