Features

Canadian Rock Icon Kim Mitchell To Release Single “Diamonds Diamonds” Featuring Barenaked Ladies

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

ole label group is pleased to announce that Canadian rock legend Kim Mitchell will release a re-recorded version of the Max Webster hit, “Diamonds Diamonds”, featuring Barenaked Ladies on February 22, 2019. Produced by Greg Wells (Keith Urban, Twenty-One Pilots, Adele), the Max Webster gem co-written by Kim Mitchell and his writing partner Pye Dubois, marks Mitchell’s highly anticipated first solo release in six years.

“After hearing audiences sing this song louder than the band on many nights, we decided to give a nod to this classic without trying to make it a period piece. Simply, let's record it more as we play it now," said Kim Mitchell. "Working with Barenaked Ladies made the session more vibed and fun than we could have imagined. She STILL takes more whiskey than I wine!"

"My high school band played more than a dozen Kim Mitchell and Max Webster songs, so it was a real thrill to be asked to record this classic song with Kim," added Ed Robertson, Barenaked Ladies. "The session was relaxed and fun, and it made for a pretty serious 'pinch me moment'... see what I did there?!"

BTW-Boogaloo Squad, Dewinter, Ivana Popovic, Dan Mangan, Rayland Baxter

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

This week it’s about music I wasn’t sure about but kept going back anyway.

Soulful, jazz/funk Hammond B3 organ trio JV’S Boogaloo Squad has dropped debut single "SQUADZILLA" (Flatcar Records, Fontana North) and it’s out now and available wherever music is streamed or downloaded. The single is from their soon-come debut album Going ToMarket, which is also now available for pre-order.

They’ve been described as a classic organ trio, very into moving the genre forward, lively showmen who deal in the musicianship of the highest quality, take their craft seriously but know how to have a good time."

Winnipeg native and now in-demand Toronto keyboardist Joel Visentin joined up with on-the-scene musicians, guitarist Adam Beer-Colacino and drummer Jeff Halischuk, to form JV’s Boogaloo Squad, in 2015. The musical connection was immediate and electric, the chemistry palpable, and all three instantly recognized that they had stumbled on something greater than the sum of its parts. They have since honed their neo-vintage sound on the club circuit in Toronto, becoming a regular fixture at The Rex, as well as playing festivals like the Markham Jazz Festival and the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. In Markham, they had the great fortune of playing before living jazz organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Winterfolk Xvii Blues & Roots Festival Announces Full Lineup

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The 17th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, taking place in Toronto February 22-24, 2019, is set to present the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, and will feature returning favourite artists as well as fresh new talent. It’s an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event that emulates a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 100 artists will be performing at three venues and five stages over a three-day weekend.

Winterfolk XVII featured performers include Borealis Records artists Guelph-based activist and social conscience singer-songwriter JAMES GORDON, eclectic folk and traditional music duo EMILYN STAM andJOHN WILLIAMS who merge violin and clarinet with a bit of accordion to offer Klezmer, New Orleans jazz, old-time, bluegrass, French and Scandinavian folk songs; highly acclaimed Canadian folk, blues and gospel singer and multi-instrumentalist KEN WHITELEY, and MOSE SCARLETT, who’s been on the Canadian music scene for more than 40 years and remains a delightful and skillful guitarist and performer.

I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions Beach Boys

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Submitted by David Bowling

Following on the heels of their Friends Sessions comes I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions. The Beach Boys owed the Capital label one last album before moving own to their own label. The original 20/20 may not have been their most creative release as it contained a number of previously released singles, a few lightweight new songs, and tracks that had been sitting in the vaults. Despite its haphazard nature, it was a solid release. It may not have had an overall cohesiveness but the songs, when taken individually, are better than the whole.

I Can Hear Music: The 20/20 Sessions is only for the hardcore Beach Boys fan, who wants absolutely everything by the band.

There are very few completed songs as the 40 tracks consist mostly of demo’s, early versions, and acapella takes before the music was added. There is an early mono single release of Ersel Hickey’s “Bluebirds Over The Mountain,” and an alternative stereo mix of “Do It Again,” but the gem is “All I Want To Do” with the lead vocal by Dennis Wilson, which is another reminder of just what a beautiful voice he possessed.

There is always an appreciation of the Beach Boys just singing without instruments. It puts the focus squarely on the purity of their voices and the harmonies they created. Their big hit “Do It Again,” “I Went To Sleep,” “Time To Get Along,” “We’re Together Again,” “Never Learn Not To Love,” and “Ol Man River” all retain a simplicity without instruments.

Randy Travis Forever and Ever - Amen

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Whether you are a country fan or not the signature tune of ‘Forever and Ever – Amen can’t be denied in anyone’s memory of just a stone cold hit song.

Born Randy Bruce Traywick in a small North Carolina town, he learned to play the guitar at the tender age of 8. Two decades later and a slight name change to Randy Travis, the southern superstar has had one of the most successful careers in what is considered staunchly traditional country music.

Now enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and having survived viral cardiomyopathy and a massive stroke, Travis has lived to tell a tale of stardom, heartache, perseverance and redemption. On May 14th, he will do just that with the release of his memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life.

Taking the first part of its title from one of the 18 Number One singles he scored during his extended run on the country charts, Travis shares tales of his troubled youth, including drinking and arrests, and looks back at the creative path that took him from music to film and TV roles, and reflects on his near-fatal stroke and other life-threatening health issues while also revealing details of many of the songs that led to worldwide sales of over 25 million and inspired a new generation of pure country vocalists.

PEI Singer Chad Matthews Brings His Stompin’ Tom Connors Tribute Act to Hugh’s Room Live

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Submitted by Robin Leblanc

“It's Saturday Tonight.”

If there’s one music artist that most if not all Canadians know, it’s Stompin’ Tom Connors. Young or old, the words to “The Hockey Song” are practically encoded in our DNA along with Wade Hemsworth’s Log Driver’s Waltz and Stan Rogers’ Barrett's Privateers.

And much like his songs, Stompin’ Tom’s life story is an unforgettable one, with his legendary journey kicking off at the age of thirteen after running away from his adopted family in Skinners Pond, Prince Edward Island. From there he began his life on the road in Canada, spending thirteen years working odd jobs, writing songs, and literally singing for his supper. This led to that fateful night in Timmins when Maple Leaf Hotel bartender Gaëtan Lepine agreed to sell him a 35 cent beer for 30 cents - and include a free second one - if he would play a few songs. That turned into a 14-month run at the hotel and...well, the rest is history.

BTW-Royal Tusk, Lee Harvey Osmond. Judy Brown, Emily King, Sugar Brown, French Squeeze, Bev Kreller

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Blue-collar troubadours from the Great White North, Royal Tusk are steadfast champions of the majesty of kickass riffs, meaty hooks, a thick bottom end, and loud guitars. The four-piece band born in Edmonton, Albertamount a high-octane assault on the lazy security-blanket self-aware irony of hipsters and the disingenuous commercial pandering of rock poseurs alike.

Trailblazers like Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and Pearl Jam defined success on their own terms, putting artistry and authenticity first. Royal Tusk follows in that tradition, reveling in unbridled creativity that is provocative, nuanced, and captivating. The laidback charisma of stoner groove, the polished melodicism of classic and progressive rock, and the energy of punk all collide within Royal Tusk, earning them a steadily building buzz as big as their riffs.

This is music with meaning, sometimes even a message, that’s always built around a powerful vibe and uncompromising passion. Royal Tusk is a deeply soulful celebration, brimming with working-class optimism and tempered by renegade realism. On their sophomore-slump-smashing TUSK II, the group summons the effortless energy of an era of rock music when bands weren’t content to merely reverse-engineer hit-making formulas to move units. RT debuted with the Mountain EP in 2014; their debut full-length, DealBreaker, arriving two years later. Now, two years after that, we find Tusk II

Tina Turner The Big Wheel Keeps On Turning

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Courtesy of Rockin’ Robin
Tina Turner Courtesy of Getty Images

Tina Turner is 79 years old and still going strong.  Anna Mae Bullock but we know her much better as Tina Turner. Her life has been well documented in a 1986 book ("I, Tina") and a movie whose title was the same as her #1 hit from 1984 ("What's Love Got To Do With It"). Plus, Casey Kasem told one totally inspirational story about Tina on the "American Top 40" show that aired 34 years ago on November 24, 1984.

Here's Casey's Kasem’s story:
Now, the story of the sensational comeback of Tina Turner. Nine years ago after more than 15 successful years in the music business as half of the of team of Ike and Tina Turner, Tina walked away from an unhappy marriage and music partnership with her husband, Ike. She says that when she left the marriage, she had only 36 cents in her purse and no other assets at all. And because Tina had left the act, she was the one responsible for monetary damages resulting from all the Ike and Tina Turner shows that had to be canceled. And that amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. How did Tina come back?

The Spirit of John (Mann) a Benefit Concert for The Toronto Alzheimer’s Society

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

A few years ago, when Spirit of the West’s singer and main song co-writer John Mann was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s, a ripple went through the fairly close-knit Canadian music community. While it was clear that performing music would recede from John’s personal endeavors over time, his love of music has not diminished.

This concert is a benefit for the Toronto Alzheimer’s Association Music Project, which provides iPods free of charge to people living with dementia. Loaded with music from each patient’s “soundtrack”, they are able to listen to music connected to meaningful experiences over their life.

Listening to personalized music can be a powerful activity for those with dementia: music has the potential to increase physical and social activity; reignite older memories; and improve sleep, mood, cognition, communication, and overall quality of life.

BTW-Garnet Rogers, Michelle Rumball, Natalie Prass, White Cowbell Oklahoma, Steph Cameron

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Here’s a rare Toronto appearance from boldface Canadian Legacy artist Garnet Rogers. Within ten years, and barely out of high school, Garnet Rogers was on the road as a full-time working musician with his older brother Stan. Together they formed what has come to be accepted as one of the most influential acts in North American folk music.

Since then, Rogers has established himself as ‘One of the major talents of our time”. Hailed by the Boston Globe as a “charismatic performer and singer”, Garnet is a man with a powerful physical presence – close to six and a half feet tall – with a voice to match. With a smooth, rich baritone that can sound like it’s coming up from his toes, and thoughtful, dramatic phrasing, Garnet is widely considered by fans and critics alike to be one of the finest singers anywhere.

His music is literate, passionate, highly sensitive, and deeply purposeful. Cinematic in detail, his songs “give expression to the unspoken vocabulary of the heart” (Kitchener Waterloo Record). An optimist at heart, Garnet sings extraordinary songs about people who are not obvious heroes and of the small victories of the everyday. Rogers debuted as a solo with 1977’s Fogarty’s Cove. From then on, Stan’s best writing focused on the Canadian experience, his songs giving a new voice to ordinary folks who worked the fisheries, mines, and farms of this vast country.

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