BTW-Denise Leslie, Audra, American Television, Micah Barnes, Elk Run & Riot, China Crisis/Rational Youth, TD Black History Month, Jamila & The Other Heroes, Harry Manx, Howard Jones Acoustic Trio, Jon Bryant, The Blue Stones

Fri Jan 24
Denise Leslie

Kinda quirky, kinda dorky and all intriguing, Canadian artist Denise Leslie is on a mission “to bring the fun back to jazz” through fresh arrangements, unique musical interpretations, and magnetic charisma. She lays it all out on the Toronto-area vocalist’s debut solo album, One Fine Morning — and its premiere single, her take on Brit rockers Badfinger’s circa-1971 hit, “Day After Day” — both available now! Produced by award-winning producer and guitarist Bob McAlpine, One Fine Morning sits squarely at the ambitious intersection of jazz, R&B and rock, and features bassist Pat Collins, drummer Paul DeLong, pianist Don Baird, and horn players from Brass Transit and Lighthouse.

“This album is paying tribute to the music I cherished in my formative years,” Leslie shares of the release. “Particularly the 70s. The music of that time had a pureness,” she continues. “It was a time when music could really make a difference, and when melody was more integral to songwriting.”

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Perform at Meridian Hall April 30

Fri Jan 24
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt Perform at Meridian Hall April 30

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt, two of America’s premier singer-songwriters, join forces for an acoustic evening backed by nothing but their superb voices, first-rate guitar playing and charming reminiscences.

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt will perform together at Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre) on Thursday, April 30 at 8 PM. 

Tickets go on public sale this Saturday, January 25 at 10 AM. Tickets can be purchased online at meridianhall.com, by calling 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754, and at select TO Live Box Offices.  Tickets range from $72.50 - $85.50 with limited Gold Circle at $99.50 (plus applicable fees and service charges).

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt’s previous Toronto appearances at Massey Hall (in 2008 and 2014) were both sold-out. These elegant, captivating meetings between cherished friends and collaborators make for dynamic song-and-story swaps that are difficult to resist.

The Algorithm Can’t Predict The Future!

Thu Jan 23
Peter Åstedt

Well, the tech guys want us to believe that the algorithm is that magic thing that can actually predict the future in the big data world. Maybe in a George Orwell future, it can, but I really don’t want to live there.

I got this idea for this text from a press release of another company doing a site with an algorithm that goes on the mood. In this case for sync placements. For me, this feels like 2010 when several companies did the same thing. If you really want that search engine to go top Spotify then find the people that just want mood playlists. And yes, sad playlists are the most popular right after workout playlists. The problem that is now occurring on Spotify is that the audience is not really listening to the music they just use it as background music on other things. It’s like the music in the ceiling of the supermarket. It’s there but no one cares what it is;  you are too busy shopping.

BTW-Extreme, River Drivers, Steel City Rovers, Humble, Jesse Cook, Ilja Alexander, Celeste, Dilly Dally, Rebecca Hennessey, Olivia Jean, Caveboy

Fri Jan 17
River Drivers

Gentle reader, please consider this a PSA. In light of the continued abuse, misuse and degradation of the words ‘amazing’ and ‘awesome’ at all levels of society, they will continue to be absent from this space. If you require tired hyperbole drained of all meaning in your reading material, have a nice day.

Extreme
Extreme

More Than Words: Extreme

We Need a New Top Chart

Fri Jan 17
Peter Åstedt

I’m utterly tired of explaining to idiots that you have millions of streams doesn’t make you a star, or even successful. In the old days, the counting of sales was a good measurement of how popular you were. That is NOT the same as streams. Streams can be anything. A bought physical thing is an action you must do and a lot of thresholds so in the end yes that can prove something. A stream is not even a person pressing a button it can be on a playlist that really no one is listening to is just a background in a store or even on a chine mobile farm. There is no investment from the fan in a stream. And that is why it can never prove any fanbase whatsoever.

So, bragging that you have a couple of million streams is stupid. If you want it to be more stupid those million streams are just on one platform.  The easiest trick is to compare an artist through different platforms. You want to get even more stupid those millions of streams were created before 2019 when you could easily cheat on several playlists.

Caardia Release Heartfelt Song and Video “Walking Away”

Fri Jan 10
Caardia

Caardia, Celia and Annie Siriopoulos, are sister songwriters from the GTA. Highlighted performances include CP24 Breakfast Weekend Television, The Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery-annually, CBC Radio and The Rivoli.

They have been featured on CBC/Fresh Air, IndieCan/The Verge Channel on Sirius XM, Global News, CTV, Rogers TV, Girls' World Magazine, ALTo Magazine, Snapd, The Markham Economist, Pappas Post, Agape Greek Radio and other Greek media throughout Canada and the world.

They made it to the second round of the 2019 CBC Searchlight Competition, as they were part of the top 50 contestants selected by the judges from thousands across Canada.

Other performances include Taste of the Danforth, The Lindsmore, Supermarket, The Tennessee, Free Times Café, Brave TO, Pure Philanthropy, City of Markham events, East End Arts, Kick the Stigma/Michael Garron Hospital, and Salute to Olympic Athletes such as Andre De Grasse and much more. They are permanent performers on Main Street Unionville, especially in the summer and during Christmas.

BTW-Never Elected, Tombstones in Their Eyes, The Jab, Caveboy, Growler Choir, SPEAK Music Be Kind Festival, Long Winter, Elvis Birthday Tribute

Fri Jan 10
Never Elected

Happy New Year. 2020 is gonna need all the luck that comes its way. Setting the tone, Robert Zimmerman’s environmental scream ‘"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5al0HmR4t

Straight outa the Washington, DC swamp, the hard-hitting Never Elected have a new single “Wake Up” that will be out on November 15th. Energetic and engaging, it’s pure rock with a catchy flair. The grunge power crew is Altan Aydin– Guitar, Dr. T – Bass, AbelPaiva – Drums and Sujit Kumar– Madness of a percussive and vocal nature.

Check “Wake Uphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXq4F9B4UPg

Free Spirits Release Single “The Power of Our Love” From Debut Album 11.1

Fri Jan 10
Free Spirits 11.11

Multi-JUNO Award-winning Canadian Platinum-status producer, composer, singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Chris Birkett has a newly minted project on his plate, just ahead of a notable career milestone this Spring. 

Free Spirits prides itself on being more than just what meets the ear; The Free Spirits are a musical collaboration shedding light on life, the world, and how artists can help be a positive force for truth and change, they say. 

Together, the duo — Chris Birkett on guitar, drums, bass, and keys, and Tallon on flute, keyboards and vocals — are unlocking sonic synchronicity with a debut album, 11:11, and its premiere single “The Power of Our Love.”

Crooner Micah Barnes Puts His Own Stamp on Classic “When In Rome (I Do As The Romans Do)”

Fri Jan 10
Micah Barnes Photo Credit Juan Palacio

Canadian jazz virtuoso Micah Barnes has transformed into a transcontinental tomcat with the release of his new single, “When In Rome (I Do as the Romans Do)” — available now!

“For the video, we got very lucky indeed,” Barnes says of the opportunity to shoot in the song’s subject city itself — Rome! “So for three days I pretended I was Marcello Mastroianni in La Dolce Vita, sweltering in a suit as we shot in the warm Italian sunshine.

“For the song itself, ‘When In Rome’ has a real ‘swingers anthem’ to it, so I decided to give it a sexy, breezy, Bossa Nova feel with strings for that ‘International playboy’ approach,” Barnes continues, detailing his 2020 vision for the 60s-era Cy Coleman / Carolyn Leigh classic, in collaboration with his band — Michael Shand, Russ Boswell, Al Cross, with additional contribution from Rob Pitch and Don Breithaupt. “I hope folks will find the results deliciously naughty! 

“After all, ‘When In Rome’ is essentially a very smart and sophisticated ‘cheating’ song.

Watch ‘When In Rome’ here:
https://youtu.be/ORQA_6OdV08

Here Is The Secret How To Break!

Fri Jan 10
Peter Åstedt

No, there is no one that can totally fix your career. Stop looking! The time where an artist could just be on for the ride and do drugs and just have a party is no longer there. Yes, it was in the 80’s and 90’s mainly because you could write off things as tax defaults. Today that is no longer possible.

There is no secret label that can fix your career. You have to do the work yourself. The closest you get to someone to fix your career is the manager, but that person needs help to keep the wheels turning.

A band that I know was in this discussion. Their friends had been signed to one of the three majors. And my band thought it was cool as hell. I just told them that it won't make any difference. The band is totally unknown and the major can only operate on their local market. The chances that this will go further are so slim that I say they have a bigger chance that they get an offer to play on the mainstage of Sweden’s biggest festival. Still, the band thought it was a cool thing.

BTW-Partow, Sitar Fusion, Oblyx, Wayne Hussey, Morning Bells, Betty Moon, Jonathan Emile, Logan Ledger, Lynne Hanson

Fri Dec 20
Partow

The World at Hugh’s is a new series coming to Hugh’s Room Live that will feature some of the best music from around the planet. The host of CBC’s Big City Small World, Errol Nazareth, will be speaking to a few of the musicians on stage ahead of the performance. This intimate Q+A will be a perfect introduction to our World at Hugh’s. Errol will be taking the stage at 8PM along with his guests.

First up is Partow, Sunbeam in Persian. Partow is an international ensemble led by Iranian tar player and composer Padideh Ahrarnejad. Its roots are in Persian classical music but the sound encompasses diverse influences and draws its strength from the group’s members who come from Turkey, Greece, Peru and Brazil. Partow has recorded its first album, set to be released in early 2019. website: https://bit.ly/36tIsmL

Singer/Songwriter Mauve Releases a “Brand New” Video

Fri Dec 20
Mauve

Award-winning avant-garde electro-popstress Mauve has ushered in an electrifying “Brand New” era with the release of her newest video, available now! 

The Canadian singer/songwriter best known for infusing chill-bop pop tracks with distinctly infectious hints of tropical house and RnB, is quickly garnering recognition. Mauve was nominated for a 2018 Niagara Music Award for “Best New Artist” and her single “Come Around” won top honours at the 2019 InterContinental Music Awards for “Best of North America.” 

With tracks topping upwards of 450,000 streams across Spotify, she has also been featured by NBC-2, FOX40 News, ABC7 News, CBC Music, 107.3 Virgin Radio, Buzz Music LA, Talk About Pop Music, WFMZ-TV 69, Best Kept Montreal, Tinnitist, KOTV-TV CBS-6, IndieCan Radio on SiriusXM and many more. 

Danny Thomas Sound of Thunder

Fri Dec 13
Danny Thomas Sound of Thunder

Everything about Danny Thomas says country singer, from his rich baritone voice to his Georgia roots, songwriting skills to his easy as Sunday morning way of interacting with folks

Danny grew up listening to is grandpa pickin’ on the front porch on Saturday nights in Alto, Georgia and was so enthralled by the music that felt the strong pull to the musician’s life. At 17 years old young, Danny picked up his guitar and began his journey. He started performing professionally about  5 years later, playing at Churches, on TV and WCON Radio. “I grew up listening to George Jones, Merle Haggard and Elvis and later on got into southern-rock with Lynrd Skynrd and bands similar to their sound.”

After more than a decade of playing gospel and country on the circuits, Danny decided to put a temporary hold on his dream in order to build up his business up and secure his future. “I wanted to be able to have something to fall back on.” But his passion was never far from his mind and heart and in 2018 he got back in the saddle. “I feel like God blessed me to sing songs and write them too. It’s so important to use the gifts God gave us and I’m now in a position to do just that.”

BTW Boreal, White Cowbell Oklahoma, The Membranes, YSSY, The Franklin Electric, David Lesak, Festival Of Cool, Ault Sisters, Raincity, Hollerado, Peter Hill, Serena Ryder, Toronto Chamber Players

Fri Dec 13
Boreal

From November 29th through December 21st, popular seasonal harmonies trio Boreal will share their “Songs For The Snowy Season” concerts with nine communities across much of Ontario! Group members, award-winning Guelph singer-songwriters: Tannis Slimmon and Katherine Wheatley are pleased to introduce their talented new bandmate, Orillia's Angie Nussey.

As a member of the Bird Sisters Slimmons has sung harmony for many Canadian music stars including the Rheostatics, David Francey and Valdy and received the Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Vocalist of the Year. When not performing with Boreal, Wheatley performs as a solo artist with Betty and the Bobs, and in Wendell and Wheat with Canadian Country Music Hall of Famer, Wendell Ferguson. Wheatley’s song “Hallelujah” won a 2009 Golden Quill award, and 2 of her other songs were selected for the new Rise Again Songbook. Through her program Youthsongs, she has written over 200 songs with kids and produced over 25 school CDs.

Yes You Are A Failure!

Fri Dec 13
Peter Åstedt

You have every right to fail. I don’t know why failure is such a high thing in the music industry? Okay, it’s high in the rest of the market but still, I just find it very present that you must succeed. Inside the startup world in some cases, it’s a plus that you have done some failure missions. In the music industry, it’s that you changed the style and didn’t want to be a sellout!

It seems in the music industry or at least in artist sections it is like a taboo. Things like artists think it’s bad that they post videos when there is not much audience. It looks like failure to them that there is no audience and the numbers are low. That can also be a lack of marketing or other things. Same situation, when their last single didn’t go as planned, then they did this artistic thing to not be a sellout. If you have any critic against a song, well then you don’t get it, but my 25,000 spins on Spotify prove you wrong. In the music industry, you never fail. That is so wrong, this industry is full of failures.. So, come and join the party.

Don't Surround Yourself With Yes-Men!

Fri Dec 06
Peter Åstedt

"My mom thinks the song is great!" Yes, most moms are proud when their babies even just fart so that the source is not that reliable. Sure, you want people to like what you are doing. When you do the hard work and put your heart and soul into it, then you want people to like it. Still, you need the critics to become your fans.

I see it too many times, artists surrounding themselves with yes-men. Sure, it feels great with people that instantly like what you have to offer. It’s easy when you don't need to change anything. At the same time, usually, these yes-men can't take you any further. Since they already like you, they already spread that in their network or either they lie to you to make you feel good. In either case, it won’t take you further.

Okay, all critics are not good either. Letting a metal fan judge a folksong might not get the right feedback for you.  But listening to your mom’s advice before the radio plugger can be a crucial mistake. The radio plugger has the knowledge of what the stations are looking for; your mom has no experience in that area.

BTW Leahy, Black Puma, Good Lovelies, Jay Douglas, Kaia Kater, Tush, Ripped, Salvation Army Band, Recollectiv, Unison Holiday Schmoozefest, Joanne Powell

Fri Nov 29
Leahy

You really should shout ‘cause Leahy band is coming to town. One of the country’s most highly regarded progressive folk-roots bands checks in at Hugh’s Room Live Nov.29/30. Music 8.30pm both nights.

The “Leahy sound” – a combination of strong stride piano, unique bass guitar and drumming styles along with driving rhythm guitar – was the foundation from which fiery fiddle led instrumentals and vocals were launched to mainstream music listeners. Leahy would go on to win three Juno awards and receive countless accolades for their dynamic and powerful performances. As well as touring extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Europe, the band had the enviable opportunity of opening for fellow Canadian, Shania Twain throughout the USA, Canada and the UK on her record-breaking Come On Over tour.

Cashbox Caravan Indie Week Wraps Up with Two Nominations for EMG Artists

Fri Nov 29
Ventresca

Cashbox Canada participated in our first Indie Week Canada and oh what a week it was!

Continuing our journey of the Cashbox Caravan, (recently performing in France and Sweden) we had two official showcases and both were met with resounding success. In addition, our acts performed at other venues throughout Indie Week, all to great reviews and accolades.

The first Cashbox Caravan Showcase was Thursday, November 14 at the B-Side Lounge, a cozy gem of a venue with a great stage and friendly staff. A cocktail hour show from 5-7pm featured Toronto’s newest shining star Ventresca, followed up by veteran singer-songwriters Barry Stagg and Don Graham.

Alex Pangman Releases New Video for “If I Don’t Mean It”

Fri Nov 29
Alex Pangman If I Don't Mean It

Alex Pangman’s latest release is a catchy retro song “If I Don’t Mean It” written by the legendary Connee Boswell (of The Boswell Sisters).

The Boswell Sisters were a close harmony singing group, consisting of sisters Martha Boswell Lloyd, Connee Boswell and Helvetia "Vet" Boswell who were noted for intricate harmonies and rhythmic experimentation. They attained national prominence in the United States in the 1930s.. After a successful career as a trio recording with top jazz musicians in New York, sister Connie embarked on a solo career, eventually selling 75 million records and influencing generations of singers, Ella Fitzgerald included.

What's The Point Of A Producer If You Want to Do It Yourself?

Fri Nov 29
Peter Åstedt

Back to explaining things from the industry again. I seem to come across this quite often, Today it's the urge to work with a producer. In every artist's career, they suddenly start to think that a producer is key to their success. Often with no knowledge what a producer the role really means.

To have a producer means that you hand all your material over to another person.

To have a producer is not that a genius comes into the studio and praises all your musical ideas. No, this person is here to take that stuff to another level. And in many cases, you will not agree on the things they actually change. Yes, they will take off that long nice drum solo that you like. Literally, they will come in and just change the look of your baby.

The artist thinks they need to spend a lot of money on a hotshot producer. This is also a cliché that you get really often. The more money or things they have done is better! In so many cases it's not.