Stax and the Canadian Connection


Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo: Canadian Mel Shaw, Vic High Band Mark Wender CEO of The Soulsville Foundation receiving the Cashbox Canada Cover

April 26, 2013, Cashbox Canada did a cover story on the legendary Stax label, the event in Memphis Tennessee.Canadian and now Nashvillian Mel Shaw, writer and producer of ‘Dream Singer The Musical’ made an agreement in 2012 to have The Vic High R&B Band become a core part of the ‘Dream Singer’  Victoria edition. In 2012 they traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to record the first tracks for the musical.  In 2013, Mel Shaw arranged to have the group come to Memphis to record and experience the world of Stax, courtesy of Mark Wender, CEO of The Soulsville Foundation.

Until We Meet Again!Until We Meet Again!The Stax Museum of American Soul Music took it to the streets with its STAX TO THE MAX, all-day, outdoor, free music and arts festival. This year’s event, billed as Arts Memphis Presents Stax to the Max, took place Saturday, April 27, 2013.

The I.M.F’s Rock The Tattoo


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

If you are a fan of R &B soul, funk and the Rolling Stones then the names Bernard Fowler and Stevie Salas will not be strange to you.

Bernard Fowler is not new to the big stage with 25 years on the road with the Rolling Stones and being featured on several Stones solo projects his voice has captivated audiences worldwide. It all started back when he was first hired in 1985 to do backup vocals on Mick Jagger's first solo album, “She’s the Boss”’ this proved to be the beginning of a lasting business and personal relationship, Jagger on speaking about Fowler back in 1998  said Fowler impressed him ,"He is also very strong and can sing for ages. He's got a lot of range and a lot of stamina vocally. You have to have that if you're going to do long nights and lots and lots of shows, all in the open air; he can easily keep up with me." Fowler is currently on tour with the Stones helping them celebrate 50 years of music.

H’Sao – (It’s a) Family Affair

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Submitted by Michael Williams

In August of 2001, the members of the afro-pop band H’Sao make Montreal their home. It is a long journey for the Rimtobaye brothers: Caleb, Mossbass, and Israel, from their native Chad. Since settling in Canada they have had incredible success. Drawing from gospel, traditional African music, as well as their Chadian roots, H’sao displays clear soul, pop, and R&B influences. It is their masterful a capella singing that sets them apart. I recently had the opportunity to interview Israel from the band.

MW: How long have you been in Canada?
Israel: Since 2001, 12 years now.

MW: Why Quebec?
Israel: We have a few friends here. Our first Canadian shows were here and our first language, coming from Chad, is French.

MW: You were all singing together back home in Chad?
Israel:  There are members from two families in the band. We grew up together.  We’ve been together almost 17 years now. I was 9 when I started to sing with them.

MW: Did you record before you came to Canada?
Israel: Only demos. Our first album was done here in Canada.

Headstones Release New Comeback CD - Love + Fury

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Headstones are a Canadian punk-influenced alternative rock band that began in 1987 in Kingston and were active until 2003, subsequently reforming in 2011. The band consists of vocalist Hugh Dillon, guitarist Trent Carr, bassist Tim White, and drummer Dale Harrison. They frequently sold out at small and mid-sized venues and were known for their high energy live shows, particularly the antics of Dillon, who interacted with his audience in a variety of ways including spitting on them and hurling lit cigarettes into moshpits. The songwriting tackled many serious and taboo topics, including suicide and even necrophilia. Headstones were one of the most commercially successful Canadian rock bands of the 1990s.

The band signed to MCA Records in 1993 and released Picture of Health, with the original drummer Mark Gibson, but he left the band after touring for Picture of Health was over. Dale Harrison was recruited for the follow-up Teeth and Tissue in 1995. The Headstones broke more ground in 1996 with Juno Award nominations for Best Group and Best Rock Album, while releasing Smile and Wave that same year. Three years passed before Nickels for Your Nightmares was released, in which time Carr and Harrison became fathers and Dillon recovered from a drug addiction.  The band would release one more album, on BMG, entitled The Oracle of Hi-Fi, before breaking up in 2003.

Ska/Reggae Legends Speak

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Submitted by Michael Williams
Photo at right: Desmond Dekker

Back in 1955, Chris Blackwell heard blind pianist Lance Hayward and his band at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He decided to sell Jamaican music to the world. His first production, Millie Small “My Boy Lollipop” sold 7 million records in 1962. It was the biggest ska to achieve world-wide success until he released Desmond Dekker’s, “ Israelites “, with Island Records in 1968. The early days of the Jamaican music industry gave birth to Ska/Reggae and are brought to life in Perry Henzell’s 1972 classic film “The Harder They Come”. The hero of the film, played by Jimmy Cliff, is an uneducated country boy who sang like Sam Cooke.  In his hunger to become famous he is talked into signing away his song’s publishing and performance rights.( His music was included in the sound track of the film.)

This sounds like the story of most artists in the beginnings of their music careers. Recently, I got to talk to Dennis Alcapone, Leon Delroy Williams, Dawn Penn and Willi Williams about those early days.

Freedom For The Song Completes Upgrading & Colour Correction Phase Of All Video Material

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Mel Shaw, president of Canada's Recording Legacy, has announced that the very important initial  upgrading & colour correction phase of all materials for  FREEDOM FOR THE SONG have been completed.

"Freedom for the Song" is a special 25th Anniversary salute to the elimination of the compulsory license for recorded music. The law had been in effect since 1924. Shaw was the Campaign Director of the TWO CENTS TOO LONG copyright change campaign   in 1986 & 1987. He comments that "Freedom for the Song" will bring to light for a new generation, a digital multi media presentation for schools showing a time of great achievement for creative songwriters.

During the inaugural phase Shaw gathered all existing video, audio, print, newspaper clippings, and all other materials from such sources as the Government question period tapes, CTV morning shows, local and various newscasts along with statement and interview tapes produced by Shaw.

The process included the conversion of all stored video materials that were created in 1986/1987 from such divergent sources as EMTEC 3/187 AMPEX KCA -60 Sony BCT-3 Beta Cam Scotch T120 / SCOTCH 120 / KODAK.

TSO Season Finale & a 200th Birthday Party for Wagner and Verdi at Luminato!


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

For Rhapsody in Blue (June 1 & 2), one of the most popular American concert works, conductor Bramwell Tovey will take to the piano to play Gershwin’s beloved jazz-infused Piano Concerto. Before leading the orchestra in Elgar's Enigma Variations– a series of charming musical sketches about the composer’s closest friends –Tovey, an eloquent host, will share some of the unsolved mysteries of the work’s “secret” contents. The June 2nd performance is at the George Weston Recital Hall (Toronto Centre for the Arts) and also features Bernstein’s “Overture” to Candide.

Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell returns to the TSO (June 5, 6 & 8) to perform both classical and folk-inspired works. When Bell performed with the Orchestra in 2009, the Toronto Star raved that “the way [Joshua] can make his instrument and the music sing, in every sense of the word…makes him one of the world's finest musicians.” With TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian at the helm, Bell is joined by double-bass soloist and composer, Edgar Meyer, in the Canadian première of Meyer’s TSO Co-commissioned Concerto for Violin & Double-Bass. Joshua Bell will join Music Director Peter Oundjian onstage for a lively post-concert chat!

Russ Kelley Crazy Shades Of Blue

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Submitted by Don Graham

Did you ever have a singer or artist that impressed you many years ago as having an awesome talent and wonder what became of them and their gift?  Russ Kelley is that artist for me.

I met Russ back in the days of the great folk scare of the 60’s when coffee houses in Montreal were as prevalent as Tim Horton’s stores are in present day Ontario. We both had guitars and hung out at the various venues in town soaking up the incredible musical vibe. Russ was part of a folk group and I would go see them perform at places like The Coalbin, in the basement of a church downtown. Russ had something special even back then. A natural on stage with a unique voice and delivery. Later, as part of a rock/country folk group called Proof, Russ was rockin’ stages and making records.

As is the way of life we went our separate ways and lost touch and I didn’t see or hear from or about Russ for years. I would often wonder what became of him and his talent. Then, this year , my question was answered! Thanks to the internet and digital music Russ Kelley reappeared, better than ever.

Daniel Casavant English Lyrics From a French Soul

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Hot off the critical success and international airplay of his first studio recording, ‘Nine At The Time’ singer/songwriter Daniel Casavant unveils his latest offering ‘Soul Reunion’, a five-song, mini EP of original tunes penned solely by this talented musician.

The singer/songwriter takes you on a personal life’s journey through the tracks of Soul Reunion…“When Time’s Runnin’ Out”, “Park And Fly”, “More Than A Lover”, “Two Times One Of A Kind (In Your World)” and “Heavenly High” (Live).  The first single release, “Park And Fly” recentlyreceived an honorable mention from the Song of the Year Songwriting Contest.

Adding to Casavant’s rich, haunting vocals and acoustic guitar playing on the EP are Sébastien Cloutier on keyboards, bassist Marco Desgagné,Daniel Marsolais on electric guitar, drummer Nicolas Paul-Turcotte playing drums with vocals and tambourine from Lisa Grenier.

‘Soul Reunion’ was produced by Daniel and Daniel Marsolais and recorded and mixed by Pierre Messier & Mathieu Dulong  at Montreal’s Piccolo Studios with live recording by Dominic  Boulay.  The EP was mastered by Marc Theriault of Le Lab Mastering, with art and photography created by Frédéric Deschênes.

The Mother’s Day Jukebox


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Last week with Mother’s Day at our weekly ‘huddle’ it was a unanimous vote to devote this week to mothers everywhere.

The interesting thing is how many artists had such influences from their Moms, and then we realized how many songs had the word Mom and Mamma in them. So once again our Jukebox creator and mastermind, Lee Vyborny of has compiled a great list of songs for you to enjoy for Sunday May 12, Mother’s Day.

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