Music

BTW-MONA, Diamond Mind, Lowlands, Laura Rain and the Caesars, Laughed The Boy, Lori Cullen, Little Scream, Piper Hayes

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Good to hear from this crew again. It's been a few years since MONA (Nick Brown, Zach Lindsay, Alex Lindsay, Jordan Young & Justin Wilson) released anything so there\s a palpable excitement around the band and its fans regarding the Oct. 28 unveiling of the six song EP, "In The Middle"

The five piece has seen rejigging and creative tensions since their last release and has come with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh and vibrant set of newly penned songs that may very well be the best of their career. MONA recently gave fans a sneak peak of what they've been working on.

"We have always been a tight knit group, but the vibe is the best it's been and we are looking forward to bringing these songs to the public," says front man Nick Brown. The band is currently preparing to join fellow label mates - The Wombats - as special guests on the second leg of their North American Tour for a handful of exclusive shows that will run until the first week of October. The first show kicks off on Tuesday, September 27th in Denver. In addition to the series of dates with The Wombats, Mona will be opening for July Talk on their North American Tour later this fall. The tour will run through mid-December. 

The Golden Voice of Bonnie Dobson

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Submitted by Iain Patience
Photo: L-R Jim Cuddy, Bonnie Dobson, Gordon Lightfoot

With a hand cupped to an ear the echoing whisper can almost be heard: '……Who?.... Bonnie who?…..Bonnie Dobson….who?,' as it filters through the hall. A strange state of affairs indeed, because Bonnie Dobson is one of music's true survivors, a lady with a gorgeous, glorious voice that over half a century since her emergence in New York's nascent folk-music scene, still glints like gold.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dobson worked the incipient US folk scene alongside Judy Collins and Joan Baez, and was ranked by Time Magazine as one of the top three folk-musicians and singers in 1960s USA alongside them.

She played all the famed haunts, now steeped in legend and musical myth and folklore, hanging out in Gerde's Folk City, The Gaslight, The Bitter End. The lady toured extensively with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Mississippi John Hurt, and worked with Pete Seeger, Reverend Gary Davis, Lightnin' Hopkins, Artie and Happy Traum - always working her way and looking astutely around the world surrounding her as she wrote songs of love and loss and prescient, at times disturbing, thought.

David Bromberg Band - The Blues, The Whole Blues And Nothing But The Blues

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Submitted By Iain Patience

Any new release from US roots master guitarist David Bromberg is bound to whip up a fair music feeding frenzy. For around fifty years, I personally have been an unashamed, outright huge fan of this guy and his spectacularly significant, genre-crossing musical magic. When I first heard him back around 1970, I became an avowed fan, chasing up releases as and when and where I could find them. With this latest release, Bromberg has again shown just how wonderfully versatile and untamed he really is. This is Delaware-based Bromberg returning to his blues roots with complete ease and startling control.

Kicking off with “Walking Blues,” he goes on through the old traditional number “900 Miles”, a simply superb take on “Delia” and a wonderful version of “Bulldog Blues” mixed together with his own material always brimming with his trademark Jewish humor and laconic, lyrical delivery. It hardly need be said it features some exceptional fretwork with the iconic Bromberg switching effortlessly between, electric, acoustic and slide styles at the drop of the proverbial hat.

Asked about the release, he says he considers it the best thing he’s done to date, heaping praise on producer Larry Campbell for his understanding of what Bromberg was aiming to produce and Justin Guip who engineered the project with minimal fuss or difficulty in the studio.  ‘What do I hope to get from this album,’ he muses briefly before chuckling, ‘Worldwide domination!’

BTW- Jadea Kelly, Moon Tan, Royal Canoe, Adam Baldwin, Anna Atkinson, Jimmy Bowsill & Carlos Del Junco

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Dividing her time between Toronto, ON and Nashville, TN, Canadian Songstress Jadea Kelly is very familiar with life on the road. This fall she'll embark on a tour with Winnipeg's Sweet Alibi and share songs from her compelling and intimate third studio record, Love & Lust. The album was released to rave reviews on June 3, 2016 via her own label Darth Jadea Music (distributed by Fontana North). The new record includes the CBC Radio 2 lauded track Make It Easy and Exclaim declares it to be "Kelly's finest work yet." Check out the brand new LIVE video of her track Good Girl (co-written w/ Robyn Dell'Unto and Stew Crookes), captured at her sold-out Toronto show at The Drake.

Love & Lust features 11 lovingly crafted and thoughtfully executed songs. "Beauty" in particular is perhaps the most delicate and forgiving of songs on this album, co-written with Canadian artist Peter Katz. The song was chosen to accompany a tribute video to celebrate Terry Fox, Day 11 of the Paralympics opening montage and has amassed on Facebook. Prior to the release of Love & Lust, Kelly headed into Union Sound Company to capture a collection of live performances for the new material.

Jane Harbury’s Live Discoveries

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Submitted by Don Graham
Discoveries Photo Credit Pat Blythe A Girl With A Camera The Picture Taker

Hugh’s Room in Toronto is a highwater mark for artists and entertainers. It’s a big room and the stage has been graced by many, many legends. Jimmy Webb, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Eric Andersen, Sylvia Tyson, Jesse Winchester and so many more. It’s a room emerging artists strive to perform at. But local publicist and music veteran Jane Harbury wanted to find a way to make that dream a reality for bubbling under artists before their big break and for over a decade has been providing them an opportunity. “All the talent on stage is handpicked by me. This isn’t a talent contest or American Idol, these are artist that impressed me enough to believe that they are almost there.” And Jane should know, she worked at the iconic Riverboat in Yorkville during the folk boom and saw many of today’s legends in their infancy. “These folks you’ll see tonight on stage are just steps away from achieving  their goals and I’m proud to be able to help them by providing a stage like Hugh’s Room. If this were baseball these folks are Triple A, one jump away from the Show.”

Roast ‘N’ Reggae with Jay Douglas & Chris Butcher

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo: Jay Douglas

Jay Douglas & Chris Butcher have joined together to create a regular showcase of reggae at the Emerson, 1279 Bloor Street West in Toronto every Sunday starting October 30, 2016.

Two of Toronto’s finest musicians reggae star Jay Douglas and trombonist extraordinaire Christopher Butcher (of the Heavyweights Brass Band), decided to team up for a real reggae feast every Sunday starting October 30th with a dinner at 5:30 pm and music starting at 6:30 pm for three sets. There is no cover charge but reservations are suggested for this great opportunity to enjoy two legendary artists in a great setting.

Jamaican-born and Toronto-based reggae star Jay Douglas has been in the entertainment business for more than 45 years performing a wide-ranging repertoire of American blues, West Indian rhythms, and jazz standards.

Since the early '60s, through to the late '70s, Jay combined his fancy footwork and incredible on-stage charisma while fronting the R&B group "The Cougars." They lit up the city of Montreal as well as Toronto's Yonge Street nightclubs, with soul, funk and reggae.

Over the past 10 years, Jay has performed around the world, and at annual Toronto events such as the Beaches Jazz Festival, Jerk Fest, Canadian National Exhibition, Yonge and Dundas Square, and a Taste of Lawrence.

BTW-Phish, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Piper Hayes, Raine Hamilton, Brendan Canning, The Pack A.D.

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Jam meisters Phish is dropping new studio album, Big Boat  Friday, October 7th and everywhere bongs are being loaded to the hilt. Big Boat was announced last week with an exclusive album trailer, viewable now at phish.com. The album was produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS), his second collaboration with Phish following 2014's Fuego.

Recorded in Nashville, New York and the band's home state of Vermont, Big Boat features 13 new songs contributed by all four members of the band - Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Page McConnell. The album was recently named among Rolling Stone's "Fall Preview 2016: 35 Must-Hear Albums," with Anastasio noting, "There's definitely a point of view to this one. We're old enough to have a healthy respect for mortality." we can regard the end times with celebration of life rather than with doom, it feels like one of the more personally direct songs in Phish's repertoire."

PHISH FALL 2016

Rik Emmett Set to Release New Album Worldwide

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo: Left to Right Paul DeLong, Rik Emmett, Dave Dunlop, Steve Skingley Photo Credit Carl Cederman

Legendary artist Rik Emmett is set to release a new album on November 11th featuring Contributions From Rush Guitarist Alex Lifeson and Dream Theater Vocalist James LaBrie.

“This album represents a journey through my life,” Emmett observes, “and the idea behind a lot of these songs is me trying to figure out who I am, and why I’m doing what I’m doing. There’s a common thread of positivity here that ties into the records I was making 30 years ago. What did I learn from making them? You’ll hear all of that echoed in the grooves of this album.”

Indeed, the scope of the 11 deeply heartfelt songs on RES 9 covers a lot of exciting aural ground, from the out-of-the-gate gallop of “Human Race” (which also features a driving 12-string contribution from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson) to the testifying tones of “My Cathedral” to the whispering blues of “The Ghost of Shadow Town,” not to mention the cutting-heads guitar duels on “End of the Line” and the touching album-closing bonus track “Grand Parade,” which reunites Emmett with his onetime Triumph bandmates, bassist Mike Levine and drummer Gil Moore. The RESolution9 band itself is comprised of Rik’s touring quartet, with Dave Dunlop on guitar, Steve Skingley on bass and keyboards, and Paul DeLong on drums. Dunlop and Skingley also co-produced RES 9 with Emmett.

A Downtown Neighbourhood Jazz Festival in Toronto Finds its Feet and Debuts in Style

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Submitted Courtesy of Richard Flohill
Photo at right: Jackie Richardson

Packed houses, enthusiastic crowds, a buzzing neighbourhood: the inaugural Kensington Market Jazz Festival debuted in style on September 16, 17, 18.

More than 200 Toronto musicians played 80 shows at nine venues across Kensington Market during TIFF's closing weekend and during the Toronto Urban Roots Festival.

Ivana SantilliIvana SantilliDespite other attractions, the new and highly focused festival captivated, engaged and involved audiences throughout the weekend.

The hub of piano talent, iconic Baldwin Street suit store Tom's Place, was packed for performances by Gene DiNovi, Joe Sealy, Andrew Craig and Robi Botos, who performed on an acoustic Yamaha grand piano.

Nicole Rayy Taking Big Steps

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Submitted by Don Graham
Nicole Rayy Photo Credit:  Ian McCausland

Nicole Rayy has been paying her dues and finding her path on the Canadian country music scene for about five years now,and has been getting more and more comfortable in her musical direction, growing into the artist she is destined to be.

Now that her name is familiar to fans and country radio, she is kicking it up a notch this month with the release of her debut full length album titled, Dig. We asked about the choice of album title; “I played around with different ideas for titles. I’ve always liked titles of songs on the album as a title and when we landed on Dig I thought it was perfect because that’s what I felt I did writing this album. I was digging deep and writing from my heart.”

The release date for Dig is October 14th, with a release party at Cowboy’s Roadhouse in Winnipeg on October 15th andall proceeds from the night being donated to the Manitoba Neurofibromatosis Support Group(MBNF). “We wanted a charity that really needed to have its awareness level raised. I was introduced to this charity by my manager whose 9-year old nephew lives with NF and I’ve seen the daily challenges he faces.I wanted to give back and help spread awareness by donating all the proceeds from the evening to MBNF.”

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