Bobby Curtola Inducted Into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Fri Nov 01
Bobby Curtola Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee Photo Credit Johanna Carlo

Canadian icon Bobby was already in three Hall of Fames, the Coca Cola Hall of Fame, The RPM Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and on Sunday Oct 27, 2019 he took his rightful place in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in Calgary, Alberta, along with also deserving Andy Kim, Chilliwack and The Cowboy Junkies.

This is one honour that Bobby really coveted and wanted to be a part of for many years. He used to half-jokingly say “when I’m gone they’ll induct me!”

I was one of the fortunate ones who got to be friends with Bobby, for over 25 years. We wrote songs together, planned projects, talked about the past and dreamt about the future. I learned so much from Bobby, about everything from the music business to life lessons and the importance and humility along with supporting our fellow musicians. So I know what Bobby would say if he heard  “it’s about time.” He would say “the timing doesn’t matter, I’m inducted now.”

Sultans of String Partner with Ojibway Elder Duke Redbird & Indigenous Duo Twin Flames “The Power of the Land”

Fri Oct 25
Twin Flames

With their historic and visionary seventh album REFUGE (releasing March 20, 2020), Sultans of String bring their unique brand of musical synergy and collaboration into the studio like never before. 

Their most ambitious, diverse, inclusive and passionately political album, REFUGE puts the Toronto-based Sultans of String face-to-face with a VIP roster of artists from around the globe who have fled the peril and persecution of their homelands for the safer shores of USA and Canada (including Iraqi violinist Imah Al Taha, Iranian santur master Amir Amiri, Robi Botos, and many more) as well as those who have been global ambassadors for peace, including Béla Fleck and Yasmin Levy. REFUGE also includes important Indigenous voices from artists Twin Flames and Ojibway Elder Duke Redbird.

BTW-Zach Oliver, Basement Revolver, Lydia Persaud, Frazey Ford, Laura Repo, Little Scream, Betty Moon, Terry Gomes

Fri Oct 25
Zach Oliver

Starting off with a blast of cheeky monkey music. Canadian pop-rock n’ roll bad boy and self-described “bastard” Zach Oliver has dropped his personal anthem and “battle cry” in the form of new 10-track LP, Banzai — available now.

“I feel alive in this music,” the Toronto-based artist says of the album as a whole. “I think that’s where the name came from. I love that ‘banzai’ is used as a patriotic cheer and battle cry. It’s kind of like the Japanese version of ‘hooray’ and shouted in the same sense as ‘long live the King’ in English…

“This relates EXACTLY to how I felt making this,” he continues. “It’s a battle cry for being original. I wanted to celebrate coming into my own.

“Although 90% of the album is about a relationship, a lot of the back-end emotion came from just being 21 or 22 years old, and figuring out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to say.”

Tonia Evans Cianciulli pens biography of Newfoundland opera legend, Georgina Stirling

Fri Oct 25
Tonia Evans Cianciulli

A standing ovation for Newfoundland-born, Toronto-based international superstar opera singer Tonia Evans Cianciulli, The Heart’s Obsession celebrates the historical ripple effect of one woman's voice—Georgina Ann Stirling—and brings her astounding legacy into the twenty-first century. Forging a musical journey from across the surging sea of Twillingate, this heroine conquered the hearts of audiences through Europe, the United States, and beyond. This is the definitive biography of Georgina Stirling, and in addition, Tonia has also released an accompanying album, Nightingale of the North and both are available now!

Don’t Expect People To Like Your Music

Fri Oct 25
Peter Åstedt

I got one of those emails when the artist requested feedback on their songs. I am always a bit reluctant to do that. You can see the new trends with bloggers and magazines as almost all of them take a step to just write about things that excite them. Bad reviews don’t really exist any longer. Instead, it’s like a silent agreement that if you don’t hear back after you got the thank you for sending in the files, if I’m interested, I will get back to you.

But all artists want that feedback, why I don’t understand, but I’m getting to that. The feedback has become an industry at different sites. When you pay for it, they actually give you some feedback. The problem with this I that it’s just bloggers that in many cases, just your average joe sitting and give feedback. Much of the feedback is also nonsense. Here is some feedback from bloggers that passed on The Magnettes track “Shakes (Falling in Love). 

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/FxHZcaePAH8

Myles Goodwyn Friends of the Blues 2

Fri Oct 25
Myles Goodwyn Friends of the Blues 2

An artist debut album is most often ten years or more in the making, a collection of the best material they have gathered over the years. It’s the best of their best. The label usually requires the follow-up album 6 months to a year later leaving less time to create material. That to me is why the sophomore album is the true test for an artist’s shot at longevity.

Myles Goodwyn’s first solo blues album was 11 years in the making and was critically acclaimed and Juno nominated.  I personally loved the first album so when I heard there was a second one coming I was wondering if Myles would be able to keep up with himself and deliver another killer album on such short notice. Well, those fears were totally unfounded as not only Myles keeps up with himself he actually surpassed himself.

BTW-Andre Ethier, Modern-Rock Ensemble, Ellevator, The Lifers, Headstones, Sin City Boys, Girl Wilde, Anna Atkinson/Jessica Stewart, Searson, Ray Montford & Friends, Reid Jamieson Band, Soundgarden

Sat Oct 19
André Ethier

So noted iconoclast and ex-Deadly Snakes frontman André Ethier celebrates the release of new album Croak In The Weeds with the new video for “Froggy”. Of the track, Ethier says : “It's like Froggy Went a Courtin' except this time Froggy is courtin' existential collapse. “

Watch Froggy here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-nsvjxp3Ls

Out via Telephone Explosion Records, Croak In The Weeds was created in collaboration with Sandro Perri (producer) at his Toronto studio in late 2018 / early 2019.

In Memory Of Jay Frank

Sat Oct 19
In Memory Of Jay Frank

Even if it was expected it came as a shock when it happens. Jay Frank's death was not that expected even though he had suffered badly for the last year of cancer. Or yes, you sometimes know the outcome, we are all going to die. Just this went very fast. And it always happens to the wrong people. It’s always the nice, really friendly people that are going away.

I meet Jay by accident, like so many of my people in my network. I was on CMJ invited by Robert Singerman, another friendly and awesome guy. I had You Say France & I Whistle there playing live. I was in a real networking mode and took as many meetings as possible. And in the last hour, before I had to go to the gig and help the band, I made the decision to also visit the exhibition in the basement.

The Latest Rock Music Merch? Check Out iGaming Websites

Fri Oct 11
Motorhead

“Good evening” screams a familiar gravelly voice, “We are Motorhead; and, we play rock n’ roll!”. The voice, of course, is the legendary Lemmy, who begins to bark out vocals to an adoring crowd. It was a common way for Motorhead to open a concert before Lemmy’s death in 2015. However, this is not a DVD of a legendary concert; this is Motorhead the casino game.

It is surely one of the strangest phenomena in the area of iGaming that a whole genre of casino games has been built up around classic rock and metal bands. These are officially licensed games, merchandise if you will, with as much production value as you would see for something on a games console: Real footage, music snippets and images, all spliced in with spins and bonus games to create blockbuster casino games.

Line Up is a Who’s Who of Metal

BTW- Reuben and the Dark, Emily King, Sultans Of String/Ifrah Mansour, Broken Social Scene, Alex Cuba, Laila Biali, Wolf Den, Mark Fewer/Daniel Janke, Little Coyote, Linda Carone, Paul James

Fri Oct 11
Reuben & The Dark Photo Credit Sheva Kafai

It’s said Reuben Bullock has a genre all his own, alt altfolk. He’s announced a new full-length album full of it entitled un | love, out October 25 on Arts & Crafts. With that, the band released the first single “faultline” and the video, directed by Brock Mitchell, debuted last week. Reuben and the Dark shares the new track “rising” – the melancholic but uplifting overture to un | love, with Reuben’s lonesome voice buoyed by exultant melodies.

Reuben explains how “rising” sets the course for the new album:

Danny Blueberry Releases New Song and Live Video for ‘Contact High’

Fri Oct 11
Danny Blueberry

Cashbox has been following the remarkable career of Danny Blueberry and we were impressed with the new release of a live recording of the song, “Contact High”.

“This song is about while watching a good friend struggle with addiction and not being able to help,” Blueberry says. “The audio was recorded at Cafe Shaika in Montreal in 2018 and was part of the first Bugs United performance - I am singing with Raquel Hoekman, with Allison Von der Land on mandolin and Elias Morkos on percussion.”

The poignant lyrics will hit home for anyone who has ever struggled with addiction or has had to watch a loved one fight the battle:

Canadian Alt Rockers Reay Hold “Halo” High

Fri Oct 11
Reay

Toronto-area alt. rockers Reay have released their newest single and video, “Halo” — the latest off their noteworthy and one-to-watch debut LP, Butterfly Tongue Revisited.

"This has been a project of perseverance," frontman Sean Murray understates. "It's been in the works for close to 15 years.”

The veteran singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer has devoted a vast portion of his life to the all-consuming pursuit of a distant, seemingly unreachable goal: The completion of his magnum opus, a long-gestating labour of love whose arrival also heralds the birth of his new alternative indie-rock project Reay (pronounced Ray, after his grandmother's maiden name).

“Right from the beginning, I knew these songs were special,” he continues. “And since then, I have put so much time and effort and sweat into finishing them. It's been weighing on my shoulders for so long. There have been so many times I wanted to give up, but my soul would never have rested. I could never have gone to my grave without putting out these songs. It would have been the biggest regret of my life.

BTW- Gordon Lightfoot, Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Yoke Lore, Martin Simpson, Jessica Rhaye, Wide Mouth Mason, Begonia, Leela Gilday

Fri Oct 04
Gordon Lightfoot

There’s something about ‘The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald’ that makes it an essential Fall song as well as a crucial Halloween one.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKJNBxDCMIs

Multi-Award Winning & JUNO Award Nominated Toronto Tabla Ensemble just dropped a new single “Dream Symposium.” It’s a large deal for the group as it features next gen players of the TTE carrying on the tradition of the table drum forming the core of a musically compelling drum-centric ensemble.

Watch "Dream Symposium" via YouTube Here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzmX5_6beOk

BTW-Brittany Howard, Roman Lewis, Danny Brown, Skydiggers, Great Lake Swimmers, Fergus Hambleton, Hotcha, Sisters, Jaymz B’s One Stop Jazz Safari

Fri Sep 27
Brittany Howard Alabama Shakes

In Jaime, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard has a contender for album of the year. Howard’s most recent offering, 13th Century Metal, “as "a roller-coaster of a spoken-word rant that's part self-help exhortation, part sermon. View Howard performing the song live with her touring band in this Danny Clinch-directed video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7YtOa7jD_c

Howard, who performed on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on September 26, has extended her North American headline tour into November. Every online ticket purchased for the U.S. fall headline dates will include a CD of the new album, Jaime.

Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter Christina Martin Releases New Single The Winner Takes It All

Fri Sep 27
Christina Martin and Dale Murray Photo Credit Matt Epp

Award-winning singer/songwriter Christina Martin has released her seventh and newest album, Wonderful Lie — including new single, “The Winner Takes It All.” 

“I haven’t split with anyone in a while, but when I sing this song it reminds me of how hard breakups can be,” Martin shares.

“It’s definitely a favourite of mine from my high school days, singing along and dancing to ABBA., before I knew anything about breaking up with someone or getting dumped.”

The release of Wonderful Lie comes amidst Martin’s extensive 49 date cross-country tour, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, with longtime lead guitarist and producer Dale Murray. Audiences will be treated to the newest music live throughout a combination of cozy house concerts via Home Routes (Chemin Chez Nous), as well as clubs, cafes and theatres.

Long known and lauded for her signature indie pop-to-rock style, Wonderful Lie sees Martin wading effortlessly into the roots rock and Americana sound pool. Among the album’s 10 songs, four stand stellar as original compositions.

Jez Bonham and Shares His Song ‘Mental Health”

Fri Sep 27
Jez Bonham and Shares His Song ‘Mental Health”

Canadian alt-folk singer/songwriter Jez Bonham has opened up, sharing through song relatable revelations on depression and anxiety in his intimate, inviting new video, “Mental Health” — available now.

The single may be track #5 on the British Columbia-based artist’s 2019 debut EP, Thoughts into Sound, but its intimate insights offered have been something more like a personal soundtrack.

“I have battled with this all of my life,” Bonham shares of his struggle. “This song is an example of what my daily process would be… Beat myself down, over and over again… And then try to pick myself up just enough to do something as simple as leave the house. It can feel crippling.”

As far as debut releases go, Thoughts into Sound doesn’t arrive shy; the album serves as a raw, unfiltered autobiography, with lyrics and sound that march listeners from summertime bliss, to painful relationships, to the ear-splitting silence that is a torture-ridden mind.

Toronto Tabla Ensemble “Dream Symposium”

Tue Sep 24
Toronto Tabla Ensemble

The Toronto Tabla Ensemble World Music Organization (TTE) is a non-profit charitable organization founded by Artistic Director and tabla master, Ritesh Das. The TTE’s mission is to share the depth and excitement of Indian classical music, culture and history and make it accessible to all people.

When the Toronto Tabla Ensemble was founded in 1991, the tabla was rarely seen on the Canadian stage. Since then, Ritesh Das’ exciting and groundbreaking performances have brought tabla and his Ensemble to the mainstream public through numerous concert series at the Harbourfront Centre as well as collaborations with Japanese Taiko, Celtic music, Spanish Flamenco, rock and roll and more.

Since 1996 the TTE has produced three music videos and six albums, including the Juno-nominated Firedance. The Ensemble’s original music has been used in numerous films and commercials, and in 2003 the Ensemble was commissioned to create the current theme music for CBC Radio’s daily morning show, Metro Morning.

Micah Barnes Sings “That’s Life”

Tue Sep 24
Micah Barnes Photo Credit Juan Palacio

Canadian jazz music star and one of the country’s best-loved vocal coaches Micah Barnes has released his first single “THAT'S LIFE” and will be launching the full length “Vegas Breeze" album Spring of 2020.

Micah was recently featured in the new book, Bad Singer, as the vocal coach that made the author’s singing much, much better, and gave advice to the Toronto Star and BT in Vancouver on how to become a powerful singer – great advice for the older audience who just want to sing and the younger YouTube generation who are looking for success through social media.

BTW-Velvet Underground , Rose Cousins, Uffie, Glutenhead, Joseph, Bombay Bicycle Club, Paul James, Jack De Keyzer, Danny Marks, Charlie Parker

Fri Sep 20
Rose Cousins Photo Credit Lindsay Duncan

Least favourite kinda fall is like this one. When the cold wind arrives before the colour and the old demons come too soon to torment. An entry point from Velvet Underground
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62ckXALWn1M

JUNO Award-winning songwriter Rose Cousins shares her version of Prince’s classic, “I Would Die 4 U”, recorded together with Bear’s Den and Christof van der Ven.Why you ask?

Girl Pow-R - This Is Us!

Fri Sep 20
Girl Pow-R

Canadian popsters Girl Pow-R are once again set to inspire the masses with another stirring and encouraging release, “This Is Us” — available now! 

Hot on the heels of this year’s early success “Never Let Go” — which debuted on the iTunes Canada Children’s chart at #2 (second only to cultural force “Baby Shark” but ahead of genre mainstays such as Sharon, Lois & Bram, The Wiggles, and Raffi), and #15 in the U.S. — “This Is Us” comes in the midst of back-to-back-(to-back!) Canadian and U.S. summer tour stops.

With lyrics like “passionate for some change,” “take our message, shout it out,” and “we won’t be pushed around, we are strong, we are proud,” the latest song from the all-girl supergroup continues to embody their core mission of banding together and uplifting their peers.