Concerts, Class and a Closing

Tim Tamashiro, Reg Schwager, Don Thompson, Ben Heppner.jpg

Submitted by Pat Blythe
Photo Credits: Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera "The Picture Taker"
Photo at right: Tim Tamashiro, Reg Schwager, Don Thompson, Ben Heppner

It's been a rather exceptional week for music....jazz, folk, blues, touch of absolutely stellar week and it puts me right over the top. To say I'm delighted is a gross understatement. So let's begin....

Saturday night found me at the Glenn Gould Studio as the guest of Jane Harbury. The show....well, it was not what I all. What a wonderfully entertaining evening. Full of music, stories and laughter, host Tim Tamashiro and tenor Ben Heppner kept us all in stitches and our ears full of beautiful, toe tapping, finger  snapping music. Sam Taylor, you would have been right at home!

BTW Nocona, Slow Talker, Noah Zacharin, Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Youngblood, Lucinda Williams, Lowest Of The Low, Willie Nile


Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Americana country psych band Nocona's music is based on the family tradition – from The Carter Family and The Louvin Brothers to Willie’s Family Picnic and the cool California breeziness of The Mamas and the Papas. At times the music finds the petulance and power of The Ramones and The Kinks, but it is tradition that comes out on stage every time Nocona bring their traveling circus to town.

Nocona is about energy--a rock band with history. They draw their roots from country, folk, punk and rock, taking the psychedelia of the 13 th Floor Elevators and mashing it up with the Bakersfield sound—Roky and Buck, Love and the Burrito Brothers. They’ve just released their 2 nd studio album, Long Gone Song, from which muso blog, Moxipop call Nocona, “…one of the most promising frontrunners of the Americana revival scene as of late.”

Greg Keyes Keyes To The Highway

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Submitted by Don Graham

Back in the golden days, a hot young guitar picker would start a band with his buddies, play the pubs and bars 6 nights a week and make a name for himself and his band. Not to mention get incredible chops from playing live and often. Young kids like Clapton, Jimmy Page and that ilk did just that. But in this modern age of not many paying gigs to play for bands what does a young gunslinger do?

Well Toronto’s “hot as a pistol” young gun, Greg Keyes, seems to have it under control. “I moved to L.A. to check out the music scene there but there wasn't as many opportunitiesas there were at home.  When I came back to Toronto I realized that on any given night I could see a multitude of different kinds of live music, funk, ska, rock or country. So I thought I should become adept at lots of different types of music. There were lots of people playing music but not a lot of money so I saw an ad on Craigslist looking for a fulltime country guitar player. I didn’t know much country but started listening to guys like Brett Mason and I rented a Telecaster and auditioned. I got the gig with Lindsay Broughton and really enjoy playing that style.”

Little Richard: Bronze Liberace

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Submitted by Bill King

I woke up this morning to a great shot of Little Richard rocking the piano and ‘bop a lula’in’ - “Long Tall Sally” back in ’56, courtesy all those clip-diggers on Facebook. What’s remarkable about this vintage black and white is the band is solid African American - front loaded with saxophones and scattered about - a “bippy crowd” – corner to corner smiley white folks. Those be the days my friends. This got me thinking about a gig I dig back in the early seventies at Queen’s University when my band was the opening act.

It's been decades since I've smoked a bowl of hashish, and none finer than the one I shared in January of 1971 with Little Richard, the Bronze Liberace.

At that time, I was the keyboardist and vocalist with Homestead, a Toronto act that had caught the attention of Guess Who producer Jack Richardson in 1970.
Our Homestead concerts were testimonials against the Vietnam War and protests over degradation of the environment. I wore more Canadian flags than springtime on Parliament Hill. Jack understood my position and my opposition to the war. He just rolled with the situation, doing all he could do to rectify it--although I made his task nearly impossible.

We were invited to do a 7:30 pm set at Queen’s University, opening for Little Richard. The stage was outfitted with humongous Traynor speakers. Back then they were cheap, with a sound quality like stampeding caribou when fully exercised.

BTW Rococode, Ben Caplan, Reddening West,Lily Frost Slakah The Beatchild, Bombargo, Tanika Charles, Jason Collett

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Vancouver-based indie pop duo Rococode's new full-length album 'Don't Worry It Will Be Dark Soon' is just out, and Noisey has a sneak preview with the Exclusive Premiere of the album track 'A Diamond'. Rococode (Laura Smith and Andrew Braun) will also be hitting the road in support of the new album, kicking off a North American Tour Apr. 21st in Edmonton, AB.

The release of 'Don't Worry It Will Be Dark Soon' is hot on the heels of Rococode's critically acclaimed 'Panic Attack' EP which came out last October. It's been four years since Rococode released their debut and now they’re making up for quieter times. The sophomore album features more tracks from the band’s work with producers Caleb Shreve and Ted Gowans, recorded in Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles. 'Don’t Worry It Will Be Dark Soon' picks up where the 'Panic Attack' EP left off and delves deeper into recurring themes of growth, fear, escape and acceptance delivered via pure pop hooks in spacious arrangements. 

Lisa Hartt and Don Graham Bring It Full Circle

Lisa Hartt Photo Credit Pat Blythe A Girl With a Camera

Submitted by Sandy Graham
Photo at right: Lisa Hartt
Photo Credit Pat Blythe "A Girl With a Camera"

They started out in the coffee houses in Montreal in the late 60’s and early 70’s, formed different bands and played the clubs, toured, made records and eventually played better venues with larger crowds. On Sunday March 20th, Lisa Hartt and Don Graham will be under the same roof and sharing a stage at a coffee house as the circle comes round again – full circle.

To complete the Montreal theme, the event will take place at venue run by another Montreal celebrity (Cleveland born) Montreal DJ Michael Williams, who rose to national fame as one of the first VJs at the groundbreaking MuchMusic television network.

Jamey Aebersold – In His Own Words!

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Submitted by Bill King

Early 60’s we turned onto Aebersold Drive and pops parked the station wagon out front of our new music teacher’s small brick bungalow and began what would be a lifetime friendship based on music and basketball.

Aebersold was just wrapping up a degree in saxophone at Indiana University and plotting his future. That future would drive him to originate his version of a ‘Play-A-Long Series’ of jazz standards – some 133 plus recordings since inception in 1967. Along the way, some 40 years of Summer Jazz Workshops and in 2014 Aebersold was honored by the National Endowment of the Arts with the prestigious Jazz Master award.

Through the years I’d make Aebersold Court a mandatory stopover. That meant several games of pick-up basketball on Aebersold’s home court and the customary jam session.

We have people we look for inspiration in our lives – people who keep you straight and aware the only way to achieve your goals is through hard work. Witnessing the octopus like arms of Aebersold binding, licking stamps, fielding telephone calls, taking and placing orders, proof-reading and correcting the pages of the next book caused one feel you weren’t collecting or contributing all you could to each day. Aebersold did this all while gigging, teaching and serving his community in so many ways. Humility is key here!  There’s none of this self - bravado – no – “I’m the greatest bullshit” – just do the work – play the chords, scales and solve problems.

BTW Jim Bryson, Ron Hawkins, Hollow Hand, Little Scream, Elliott Vincent Jones, Basia Bulat.

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Jim Bryson

Jim Bryson played 3 sold out shows at Quitters Coffee Shop in Stittsville to celebrate the release of his anticipated new album 'Somewhere We Will Find Our Place.' While relatively unknown in the mainstream, Quitters has considerable clout among music folk, being owned and operated by another roots star, Kathleen Edwards, currently on retirement from the biz. Which made the sellout pretty much a slam dunk. premiered the new video for the track The Depression Dance, and check for an exclusive First Play of the album, which is available through the usual dealers.

To bring this record to life, Jim elicited the help of Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene) and Grammy Winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes) to flesh out and rethink how songs would and could be presented. "Somewhere We Will Find Our Place is about change, about trying new things. It's the soundtrack to moving back home, building a shed, breaking a leg, and finding a stability. Plus hope and optimism."

Upcoming Show Info:
February 25, The Burdock, Toronto, ON (Early)
February 25, The Burdock, Toronto, ON (Late)

Hilario Duran – A Canada/Cuba Latin Jazz Perspective

Hilario Duran Photo Credit Bill King.jpg

Submitted by Bill King
Hilario Duran: Photo Credit Bill King

As a pianist, composer, bandleader and arranger Hilario Duran is one of the greatest virtuoso jazz pianists to emerge from Havana, Cuba. As a member of Arturo Sandoval’s band from 1981-1990, he toured the world performing at major jazz festivals and sharing stages with legendary musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and composer-arranger Michel Legrand. In 1990, Duran formed his own band, Perspectiva, which toured successfully through Latin America and Europe. One year later, he participated as key pianist in Jane Bunnett’s Juno Award – winning CD, Spirits of Havana. Since moving to Canada in 1995, he has become an integral part of the Canadian music scene with his Latin Jazz orchestra and piano jazz trio with drummer Mark Kelso and bassist Roberto Occhipinti and a member of the jazz faculty at Humber College.

Hilario Durán’s 20 piece Latin Jazz Big Band and album, “From the Heart”, (2006, Alma/Universal Records), featuring Paquito D’ Rivera and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, won a 2006 Grammy nomination and the 2007 Juno Award for “Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year.

Bill King: What were your first musical experiences?

BTW Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs, Yukon Blonde, Jordan Klassen, Matt Andersen, Kevin Hearn, Peaches, Onion Honey

Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs.jpg

Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right: Sam Cash & The Romantic Dogs

Sam Cash’s new album Tongue-In-Cheek Vows perfectly captures that moment when a young artist and his cohorts find their collective voice and suddenly realize that there are no limits to what they can accomplish together. The explosive opening track “Cast Away” serves notice that this isn’t just another singer/songwriter-fronted band. With Cash’s unflinching poetry riding atop The Romantic Dogs taut exuberance, Tongue-In-Cheek Vows is a gimmick-free, melodic excursion, riffing on a time when conviction was measured by the amount of sweat and blood exuded on stage, and in the studio.

Set for release on March 25 via Cameron House Records, Tongue-In-Cheek Vows is Cash’s third album and the second with the Romantic Dogs. It follows the group’s acclaimed 2013 debut, Stand Together, Fall Together, an album that earned more attention than even Cash was hoping for, given how spontaneously it was made. Cash chose to take more time to develop Tongue-In-Cheek Vows. Working in tandem with producer and bona fide Canadian alt-rock legend Ian Blurton (Change Of Heart, C’Mon, Public Animal), Cash and the Dogs have served up 11 tracks of sharp lyrics and insistent licks. Highlights are “Tossing & Turning", “That Was The Summer” and “Carmen,” from which the album’s title was drawn.

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