Music

TERRY SUMSION: THE ENCORE CONTINUES

Terry Sumsion

Terry Sumsion is a man at peace with himself, with his world and especially with his music.  As he continues to work on his new CD, scheduled soon for release, he has surrounded himself with the best of both worlds – or perhaps we should say that both worlds have surrounded him.   


 


Terry refers to those who have rallied around him as his “Angels” – all very special people helping him fight a winning battle, each in their own way.   Musicians, singers, songwriters and technicians who have joined with him to create a work that this writer feels is the best he has ever produced.


 


The CD (Terry Sumsion – Encore) will have something for everyone and as the first single “You Gotta Believe” showed, it will be an emotional journey for the listener as many of the songs have been inspired by Terry’s real-life battle with cancer.


 

TANYA DAVIS’ ULTIMATE SURVIVAL TIP

Tayna Davis

The lady explains ‘How To Be Alone’ and the video scores a mil plus lonely hits.
Story: Lenny Stoute
Photo: Killbeat Music

Video may have killed the radio star but it can do wonders for a poet’s career. Hottest testifier to that truth’s Tanya Davis, a reasonably obscure Halifax poet who’s currently blowing up like Justin Beiber with her video for a tune off newest album, Clocks and Hearts Keep Going.

See, she also has a career as a singer/songwriter going on which has yielded three albums and while her press stuff’ll tell ya she does both things with equal fervour, when pressed she admits to being more poet than songwriter.

“ I stared writing poetry before songs and I do tend to go there first with an idea. A poet’s job is to observe and report; song writing is more about interpreting. Lyrics are structured differently because you have to keep rhythms and tempo in mind. Generally, it’s better for a song if the lyrics are shorter so you come at an idea differently.”

Both disciplines have their strictures but Davis seems to enjoy more freedom of experimentation as a poet. The fact that she specializes in ‘spoken word’ poetry creates a natural springboard to doing music. ‘Spoken word’ is poetry written purely to be performed live, making for a different approach than the stuff intended to appear on a printed page. Its power is in being heard, not read.

Faith Comes Through for Diane Wirtz

Diane Wirtz

Story: Bill Delingat

Diane Wirtz started singing at the age of 5 on week-ends when her father’s band would let her join in on their practices. At the age of 8 years her father was transferred to West Germany with the Air Force, where they would live for the next 4 years.

At the age of 12 the family moved back to New Brunswick but the Air Force transferred them again to Cold-Lake, Alberta. There was a group from the television show ” the Funny Farm Show ” who were singing on the base there.

Wirtz said. I had an opportunity to sing with their band called” Prairie Fire “. They invited her to go to Edmonton, Alberta where they were going to do a television program for the Variety Club Telethon. It was her first experience on television at the age of 17. She met Jamie Farr from the television show MASH, and Shari Lewis and Lamp Chop, the Alan Sisters from the Tommy Hunter show and Skyles and Henderson.

Wirtz said,”It was a fabulous experience for me and it gave me a chance to go in the recording studio with Prairie Fire and see what it was all about. I had gotten married and after a few months of marriage we were expecting a baby.

“ When I was in my eighth month of pregnancy the baby died. My brother who was 18 died in a motorcycle accident, then my Mother died and then my Grand-Mother died. She was the first person in my life to introduce me to our wonderful Savior.

Kellylee Evans does Nina Simone On New Album Nina.

Kellylee Evans in performance

By Lenny Stoute

Photo at right:Kellylee in performance

Ottawa neojazz singer Kellylee Evans is still on cloud nine after her involvement in a dream project. The dream started last summer at a time when she was fantasizing about something different happening in her career. Having put out two albums independently, Evans was looking for a break from the DIY of it all. Top of her wish list, to work with a label so that in essence, all she would have to do is focus on singing satisfying material.

From her mouth to God’s ears it seems, as a week or so later, French boutique label Plus Loin contacted her with a proposition. Evans was on the label's radar thanks to her Monk competition success. That would be a second-place finish at the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, a major springboard for her career. Which immediately took a turn away from the traditional stuff to material that was closer to pop and even smooth jazz, areas Evans was most interested in exploring. Since the Monk competition, Evans has had high-profile gigs opening for Tony Bennett, George Benson and Chris Botti at various Canadian jazz festivals, where her big, expressive voice and magnetic presence have garnered new fans.

A Short History of Recording Studios in Toronto

Cherry Beach

By Bill Delingat

The modern recording studio owes a great deal to that phonograph invented by Thomas Edison in 1877 and its early recordings, made outside of a studio environment. Early recording studios often lacked isolation booths, baffles, and sometimes even speakers. Designed for live recording of an entire band or performance, they attempted to record a group of musicians and singers, rather than to record them separately.

With the introduction of multi-track recording, it became possible to record instruments and singers separately and at different times on different tracks on tape. From then on, the recording process shifted to isolation and soundproofing. In the 1960s, recordings were analog, made using ¼-inch or ½-inch eight-track magnetic tape. By the early 1970s, recordings progressed to using 1-inch or 2-inch 16- or 32-track equipment. Most contemporary recording studios now use digital recording equipment and the number of tracks is limited only by the capacity of the mixing console or computer.

Toronto, the heart beat of the Canadian banking and economy was a natural place for attracting international and national artists to record and relax in a metropolitan atmosphere using state of the art equipment without the street hassles and urban pressures of New York or L.A. Billboard reported glowingly in a 1972 story on Toronto’s emergence as Canada’s recording capital.

When Scotland Ruled….the pop charts

Mull of Kintyre

When Scotland Ruled….the pop charts.
An epic tale of Paul McCartney, the Mull Of Kintyre and the Canadian Connection.

By Lenny Stoute

The Mull of Kintyre (formerly Cantyre) is the most southwesterly section of the long Kintyre Peninsula in southwestern Scotland, about 10 miles from Campbeltown.. The area’s significance as a cultural nexus dates back to Neolithic times. The name is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic ‘maol chinn tire’, the bare headland of Kintyre. Mull is derived from ‘ maol’ meaning bare and refers to a land formation bare of trees, such as a rounded hill, summit, mountain or promontory. It’s mostly in use in the southwest of Scotland, often applied to headlands and the tips of promontorys or peninsulas.

The area’s ancient and rugged geography pounded by the relentless North Sea is the picture book definition of “wild beauty”; travellers familiar with the region say the description is equally applicable to its women. Scotland’s mighty malt whiskies are likewise widely available throughout the region with servings the traditional ‘a full measure and a wee drop more’.

Meghan Morrison-Takes A Walk On The Dark Side

Meghan Morrison 1

By Lenny Stoute

She may look like the poster girl for sensitive indie chicks but Meghan Morrison is all that and a savvy business head. Which means her chances of survival are that much better that if she was a pure artiste and the lady is well aware of how it is.

As she says on her website:” Branded. I am now a commercial commodity; a product. Hard things to come to terms with as an artist whose music, regardless of its form, is meant to be the product, not the person. Today, however, the artists themselves are so salient in this industry (facebook, twitter, youtube, etc.) that the person creating the art also needs to be relate-able outside of their music in order for people to really pay attention”.

And pay attention they should to the work of this refugee from picture postcard St. Margaret’s’ Bay, a hoot’n’holler from Peggy’s Cove, now transplanted to the T.Dot, East Coast sensibilities intact.

Morrison made the traditional trek from the East Coast to Toronto in full dream chaser mode, but with a Masters in Health Sciences, a useful discipline in coping with the rigours of touring and keeping the voice in shape.

The Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart …The Legacy Lives On.

The Boston Pops-Photo Credit Stu Rosner

The Boston Pops, these three words are instantly recognizable words of vintage Americana. And rightfully so! They are celebrating their 125th anniversary this year, 2010.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1881 and founder Henry Lee Higginson wrote at the time of his desire to present to the city of Boston, concerts of a lighter type of music. From 1885 to 1900 a series of concerts, known as “The Promenade Concerts” were performed, combining “lighter’ classical music with the popular theatre tunes of the day. Except for the obvious updating to current songs, not much has changed with the structure of The Boston Pops.

It wasn’t until 1930 that The Boston Pops appointed its first official conductor, Arthur Fiedler. And so would begin incredible 50 year tenure as the ‘Pops’ conductor! With Fiedler at the helm The Boston Pops popularity spread far beyond the city of Boston with the aid of radio, television and recordings. Fiedler was determined to show people that classical music wasn’t just for the well heeled and made good on his efforts to get the music to the everyday man and woman. Under Fiedler’s direction The Boston Pops has sold more recordings than any other orchestra in the world, with sales exceeding $50 million. The first recording was in 1935 for RCA Victor Records and included the first complete recording of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In 1947, they recorded their first hi-fidelity recording, featuring the music of Jacques Offenbach.

Kenny Loggins …… Still Lovin’ His Music !

Kenny Loggins 1

By Don Graham

Very seldom does a duo split and one of the two parts go on to larger success than they had. Even Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel as individuals didn’t reach the level of prominence of Simon and Garfunkel. Although each achieved some level of success the best known songs are still S&G songs, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Mrs. Robinson and Sounds of Silence. Don Everly sans Phil was not a household name. And the list goes on.

Kenny Loggins is the exception to that rule! As half of the hugely successful pop duo Loggins and Messina with Jim Messina of Buffalo Springfield and Poco fame, they had phenomenal hits with ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance’, ‘Danny’s Song’ and ‘House at Pooh Corner’ to name few. Formed in 1972 this group was a mainstay on the pop charts until 1976 when they disbanded to pursue solo careers.

Soul Music’s Silver Lining Bounces Back With New Album

Liberty Silver

By Lenny Stoute

Lock up the boys. Liberty Silver’s back and hot times are on the horizon. After stepping out of the spotlight to deal with a family tragedy stemming from a fatal house fire, the major mama from Mississauga is set to drop her first album in five years, Groove Symphony, later this month.

It’s an extremely significant one for Liberty, not only as a career benchmark but also as musical memorial to her father, gravely ill at the time of interview, who was a bone deep inspiration to the lady. “Essentially I had to step up and take responsibility for raising two of my granddaughters. I felt family was more important than career and I acted on that.

“ To be honest I thought it would be easier, but now I just use more beauty aid. Everything coming into the house is strictly monitored and we do a lot of family things together. I knew that the music could always wait. I’m always family first, because I know when you do work hard, you do get rewarded. And I don’t buy into a lot of fame and bling things. I’ve seen a lot of that, enough to know what the value of that is. Especially compared to the value of other things.”

“Once the kids were on the right track, I was ready to get back to making music. There was such a backlog of emotions and ideas, once I sat down I had all the writing done in a month. I was born to make music and so I knew when the time was right it would all come pouring out.”

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