Andy Kim Celebrates Christmas with his 6th Annual Christmas Show

Cover Dec 3, 2010

The sting in the tale of early success is that from there on, the road is guaranteed to be rough and on a gradual down slope. Sorry Justin Beiber but keeping thinking of the money. Andy Kim was kind of a Justin Beiber figure in his day, a 16-year-old dreamer turned darkly handsome dude with a wicked knack for crafting nuggets of pop perfection. 


On the eve of his 6th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show, the man some folks call ‘Canada’s Neil Diamond’ talks about its genesis and being back in the spotlight once again.

“ In 2005, I hooked up with Ron Sexsmith to write a Christmas song"What Ever Happened To Christmas’. Out of that came the idea of the show and so The Andy Kim Christmas Show was born.” It was meant to be a one time thing when some friends would come up and play. Then I thought if it was going to be an event, it should be of benefit.  When I put it out to other people, the response was gratifying. The first to come on board were Sexsmith and the late, lamented Haydain Neale. With the help and encouragement of so many people, the show went on at the Mod Club in Toronto and that’s where it has lived ever since.”

Dirty Paper Will Hurt You


There is a term in the Music Business called, "Dirty Paper."  Dirty Paper is about as desirable as used toilet paper.  There are many forms of dirty paper but the most common of them all is fake bookings.  

When an agent is on a weekly quota in order to receive his salary he or she will often turn in a contract for a booking to their boss, knowing all the while the date is no good.  It indicates they made their quota for the week but in reality within a few weeks the date mysteriously falls through.  

By then if the agent gets lucky there are other dates that come in and all is well because the money off sets the date that didn't happen and everyone ultimately is happy.  

The form of dirty paper that I think is the worst of them all is when an agency accepts a deposit from a talent buyer for a certain artist on a certain date and the agency knew in advance that artist was booked already for that date.  

At the last minute the agency contacts the talent buyer and declares the artist will not be able to make the date.  By then the concert promoter is stuck.  He has already paid the deposit, he has already advertised, advanced tickets are sold and he is forced to accept the replacement act or lose everything. 



Story: Keith Bradford


I don't have the resources to find out who coined the phrase, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission,” but I can tell you that in today's Music Business, that phrase is no longer true. 

 In today's music world there is no forgiveness for illegal downloads, or any form of copyright infringement.  People are being prosecuted to the fullest degree allowed by law for what was once a misdemeanour.  

Not paying the statutory royalty rates to the appropriate writer and or publisher can get you in enough trouble that it can take thousands of dollars in some cases to free yourself from going to jail.  

The days of getting a slap on the wrist for copyright infringement are over.  

You can still ask for forgiveness if you so choose but don't be too surprised if it is not granted.  

The Music Business, Ya Gotta Luv It.

ANDRÉ- PHILIPPE GAGNON Bringing His 401 Down the 401

Cover Nov 26, 2010

Story:Don Graham 


Quebec born impressionist André- Philippe Gagnon is bringing his 401 voices down the 401 to treat the province of Ontario to his extraordinary talent. His press release bills him as The Man of 400 Voices, so counting his own voice it brings the total number of voices to 401. Perfect for traveling down the 401 Highway from Quebec to Ontario.


When asked how he started doing impressions Gagnon explains, ” As babies we start speaking by imitating the sounds we hear around us and then at a certain age we outgrow that habit. I never did outgrow it!”  He goes on to say “My idol, as a kid, was Mel Blanc who did Bugs Bunny and all those great cartoon voices. I started by doing Tweety Bird and when I did it my brother praised me instead of punching me. That’s when I knew I was on to something!” A shy kid who didn’t enjoy speaking in public, Gagnon found his talent to be a great ice breaker and it put him at ease in those awkward  situations. 


In 1985 Gagnon got a break by performing at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival where he recreated, with uncanny accuracy, every voice on the famous Michael Jackson penned, We Are the World song that had been recorded by USA for Africa.

Adam Solomon Drops Highly Anticipated Album of Afro-Blues

Adam Solomon

Kenyan guitarist/vocalist Adam Solomon has been a fixture on the Canadian world music scene for close on two decades and after all that time, he’s still not standing still.


Over that period genre fans have watched Solomon go from an evangelist for Africa’s myriad guitars styles through an Afro/rock fusion phase to his current interest in digging up the traces of the blues in African music and inserting them into North American blues styles.


Retaining his roots in traditional music, Adam's compositions embrace a wide variety of African rhythms, from traditional soukous, African Renaissance blues, highlife and reggae to samba, bossanova and rhumba.  His African Renaissance Blues style brings the blues back to the African continent where they originated in tribal song structures. The effortless manner with which he controls the guitar so that it sings with him exemplifies the talent of this East African native. Little wonder in his youth he was called ‘the African Jimi Hendrix’.


Adam's style of guitar playing is renaissance in its careful fusion of the Mississippi Delta blues style of John Lee Hooker, BB King and Muddy Waters while highlighting the African blues style.  


Keith Bradford Records New Music Business Bible

Keith Bradford Photo Credit: Natasha Slinko

Photo Credit: Natasha Slinko

The jury’s still out on who wrote the book of love but we now know that Keith Bradford’s just written the definitive book of the music business. Being that this is the 21st century, the book is actually a DVD and will eventually  be available as a download. 


The Music Business-Ya Gotta Love It is a nuts ‘n’ bolts how-to instructional manual for surviving and thriving in the music business. Everything from what’s a TV tile to stool; what is it good for?, using street teams and achieving airplay dreams. Amazingly, it’s the first of its kind to gather this kind of arcane knowledge about the music business in one place and Bradford’s proud to be the one to do it.


JOSE FELICIANO: Still Lighting The Fire

Cover Nov 19, 2010

By Don Graham

Often credited with opening la puerta for Latin American singers in North America, Jose Feliciano is still filling rooms with people and great music, four decades later. Jose literally burst onto the scene with his soulful, latinesque version of The Doors mega hit ‘Light  My Fire’. This song got the attention of radio, finally settling at number three on the U.S. pop charts.

When I spoke to Jose from his home in sunny Florida he gave this insight into the recording of  ‘Light My Fire’, “I had been performing the song in coffee houses and when it came time to record my producer Rick Jarrard said I should record ‘Light My Fire’.  I scoffed at the idea saying it’s already a hit by The Doors so what’s the point. Rick said Jose please oblige me, which I did and the rest is history. The song was actually the B side of the single ‘California Dreaming’. Then one day a disc jockey in Seattle flipped it over and ‘Light My Fire’ took off.  “Speaking of  that  record” , Jose added,  “I just saw online that they picked the Top Ten covers of rock tunes and I was #1 with California Dreaming!”



There is nothing more aggravating to a DJ than to get 5 or 6 phone calls in a row for the same song.  It is very tempting to tell all your family and friends to call your local radio station and request your song to be played.  It is also very transparent when this happens.  


Most of the time when they call in, they are not even tuned in.  I can't begin to tell you how many times a request came in for a song that I was currently playing or had played the song prior.  This doesn't go over very well with the DJ who knows first hand the caller is not even tuned in to his show.  


The proper way to get your song played on a radio station is to hire a radio promoter.  This person will call the music director or program director on an assigned day and time to discuss your record.  The promoter may or may not get the PD or MD to agree to play your song but this is the right way to do it.  


The other way, getting your family and friends to call and bug the radio station is the sure fire way to get your record thrown in the trash.  


The Music Business, YA GOTTA LUV IT.


Keith Bradford

Day 2 Déjà Vu-Let Lady Liberty Rule!

D2DV bringing' it live.

Story:Lenny Stoute


It used to be that a genre-bending act was described as a little bit country, a little bit rock’n’roll. These times, it’s more like a little bit pop, a little bit punk’n’roll. Which brings us to Day 2 Deja Vu, a trio out of darkest suburbia or Newmarket, which epitomises the state of rock’n’roll, a struggle for street cred and commercial success.


It makes historical sense they be coming out of the ‘burbs, traditionally the spawning ground for rock music. From the Stones through The Ramones to Kurt Cobain they all cooked their shit in the burbs before bringing it downtown. 


And how much more classic rock’n’roll can you get than a band formed by two dudes working in a music store. 


Sean MacLean is the bassist and deep-voiced singer with the band and on this particular day, its mouthpiece. The point’s worth making as D2DV is a democratic institution, being that all three members write the songs, there are two lead singers and all three harmonize. 


“This is not the first band I’ve been in but it’s one that lasted long enough for me to believe it could go places. We’ve been together around five years, going through the mechanics of a young band, learning each others’ dynamics and going through all the necessary stylistic changes before arriving at the sound we now have”



It seems like every time I have ever played on a recording session there is always a bunch of extra people hanging around.  Most of the time I don't even know who they are.  These folks may have been invited by the artist we are recording, they may be the financial backer of the session, a door to door salesman, or someone stopping by to sample the free pizza.  The point is, you don't know who these extra people are unless you stick your hand out and introduce yourself and ask them what they do for a living.  


Many years ago while recording a few demos in Rhode Island (my home state) I noticed an elderly gentleman sitting in the corner.  He was not what you would call the model or movie star type in appearance but for some reason I approached him and we struck up a conversation.  He was reading a copy of the New York Times.  He showed me an advertisement for auditions being held in NY for a theme park in Nashville, TN called OPRYLAND.  It would take far more space than we have here to explain what took place between this man and my career but the bottom line is with his encouragement I auditioned and got the job which I was re-hired for a total of 4 seasons before moving on to other interests.  

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