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.

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Bruce Cockburn Donates Archives to McMaster University

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Bruce Cockburn, one of Canada’s best loved musicians and composers, has donated his archives to McMaster, including his notebooks, musical arrangements, gold records, letters, scrapbooks, nearly 1,000 recordings, and even three guitars.

“These are my tools, my rough drafts, my mementoes and my trophies. Together, they form the roadmap of my working life,” says Cockburn. “I’m pleased they will have a safe and permanent home in a place where they may be useful to others.”

The collection includes 32 of Cockburn’s notebooks from 1969 to 2002. Through their pages, one can trace the development of individual songs, sometimes from single thoughts to finished lyrics, all set randomly among pages of sketches, observations, budgets, set lists and other notes. The notebooks offer a real window into the artist and activist’s imagination, creative process and his life as a working musician rising to international prominence.

Cockburn talks of the three guitars he has donated:

A  Guild 12-string, model F212-NT, serial 51968, 1971
“That is on a couple of albums, You’ve Never Seen Everything (2003), for sure, and I think it’s on Breakfast at New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu (1999) … We had trouble amplifying that one for live shows. It didn’t come with a built-in pickup. I replaced it with a 12-string Manzer.”

Within Rust Not your Average Vantown Band

Within Rust

Story: Lenny Stoute

We tend to look to Montreal for the next new things but increasingly,Vancouver is becoming the new Montreal. While the rapid success of the Yukon Blonde type sound spawned its share of clones, Vantown ‘s got its own brand of diversity going on. The groundwork laid down by pioneers Nardwar and Neko Case continues to yield up crop after crop of Left Coast mavericks with something to shout about.

Meet Exhibit A, Within Rust. In their own words.

Living Color Still Vivid After 25 Years

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Submitted by Michael Williams

Photo Credits:  Petra Richterova

PHOTO: Vernon Reid and Michael Williams

Twenty five years ago Living Color released “Vivid”. Their debut album, fostered Mick Jagger, took the world by surprise. They were opening for Robert Palmer at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto. Being a big Robert Palmer fan since Vinegar Joe, I was at the show.  His 1985 release of “Addicted to Love” and its high fashion video dictated the way the crowd was dressed that night – men in suits and women in long gowns. This was not a Living Color crowd! While I loved their performance, the audience barely clapped.

After the show I went backstage. It was quiet. I pushed open Living Color’s dressing room door and saw the long faces of disappointment. I stuck my head in and said to them, “You were great! Come see me at Much Music”. Corey Glover, the lead singer, did and that was the beginning my wonderful relationship with Living Color.

Twenty-five years and several Grammys later, including one for “Vivid”, Corey Glover and I sat down and talked before a recent  Living Color show at the Opera House in Toronto.

MW:  Twenty-five years ago it all started to happen. How does it feel now in retrospect?
CG: Old, very old. I never thought I could last 25 years in anything so I am good with this!

Luminato Festival Returns to Toronto – June 14-23, 2013

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The 2013 Juno Awards - and the Winners Are!

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The Juno Awards are presented annually to Canadian musical artists and bands to acknowledge their artistic and technical achievements in all aspects of music. New members of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame are also inducted as part of the awards ceremonies. Winners are currently chosen by either members of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences or a panel of experts depending on the award. In almost all of the main general categories, such as Album of the Year or Artist of the Year, nominees are determined by sales during the qualifying period; in genre-specific categories, they are determined by panel.

The Annual Juno Awards were held April 20/21 2013 at The Brandt Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan, hosted by Canadian crooner, Michael Buble.
2013 Juno Award winners:

Ska Chronicles: Desmond Dekker

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Submitted by Michael E.Williams

I had the honour of interviewing a number of Reggae/Ska artists at the Reggae/Ska Explosion #1 in 2007 where I first met and interviewed Leon Delroy Williams. He added to my musical education. Leon Delroy Williams is an actor, entrepreneur, manager and musician.  As an actor he can be seen in Batman Begins, The Saint and a number of UK television series. As an entrepreneur, he was the first promoter to do a show in Hyde Park, London with The Rolling Stones. As a musician, his big hits were reggae versions of the songs “Down in the Boondocks” by Billy Joe Royal and Aretha Franklin’s “Don’t Play That Song”. When asked about his “Down in the Boondocks” hit he says, “I was just having a laugh and it became my big break in 1966”.  A master producer, Leon Delroy Williams, helped craft the talents of Aswad and the sound of British Reggae.

MW: You managed Prince Buster and Desmond Deckker?
LDW:  I managed Desmond Deckker for 27 years and during that time I was always with Prince Buster as Manager as well. I like it better in the studio and stage with my two artists; it was always exciting on stage.

Justin Bieber Not So Bad

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

The media has a selective memory. A good story is one an artist hopes for; negative reviews are dreaded and feared. As most of you know, Cashbox is a team of real music people; we have all worn many hats, with backgrounds as vee-jays, artists, music directors, producers, dancers, newspaper journalists, singer/songwriters, record reps; we have done it all. That is why we always attempt to keep a positive spin on our coverage. Because we have all been on the receiving end at one time or another. As the old saying goes, ‘if you haven’t got something nice to say, then don’t say it all.’ We also have a commitment to responsible journalism and must try to show both sides of a story.

The public has a notorious habit of building an idol, and then finding everything wrong with that artist, until they are finished and on to the next. We have watched while Britney Spears shaved her head, Miley Cyrus went from cutie girl to vamp, Michael Jackson turned into a freak show, sadly ending his life in a trail of yet to be lawsuits and more controversy. Elvis was the King of it all. We still won’t let him die, surrounding his death for decades with talk of him still walking around incognito to get away from his fans. All for our personal entertainment.

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