Submitted by Sandy Graham Biography Credit: Sarah French Publicity
Hailed as "an artist bringing the piano back to the front ranks of contemporary blues," multiple-award winning blues, boogie-woogie and jazz pianist Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne is called "Blues Boss" for a reason. His musical career began as a child prodigy in the 1960s and has continued to flourish for over 50 years with Wayne at the forefront of modern day blues piano practitioners.
Born in Spokane, Washington, raised in New Orleans and now based in British Columbia, Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne has built a stellar reputation within Canada and abroad for his lively attire and energetic concert performances. The zoot suited Wayne will be returning to Russia, South America, and Europe later in 2016, where he regularly sells out 800 to 1000 seat venues and headlines many international concerts and festivals.
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings originally formed in 1996 when Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson came together to record what was suppose to be a one- off tribute album to the great Canadian songwriter Willie P. Bennett.
At the time, all three members were deeply committed to burgeoning solo careers that they had no intentions of putting on hold, and had no plans to turn Blackie into an ongoing concern. Now twenty years later, 8 albums , one Juno award and several Juno nominations under their belts, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings have organically evolved into one of the finest roots-oriented bands in North America. Blackie and the Rodeo Kings remains one of Canada’s greatest musical treasures.
Legendary Australian rock band and agitators Midnight Oil today announced their first World Tour in over two decades including a stop in Toronto on May 20 at the Danforth Music Hall and in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom on June 2. They also unveiled plans to release three archival box sets including a collection called "The Overflow Tank" which will contain more than 14 hours of previously unreleased and rare material.
"The Great Circle 2017" World Tour will see the group's classic lineup literally circle around our overheating planet for 6 months, starting and ending with gigs in Sydney. Appropriately for a band forged in their hometown's sweat-drenched beer barns, the tour will begin in mid-April with an intimate local pub gig (details to be announced closer to the date). Midnight Oil will then perform 30 gigs around the world during the northern summer, playing iconic venues from Sao Paulo's Espaço das Americas and the Wiltern in L.A. to London's Hammersmith Apollo and The Olympia in Paris. They will share festival stages with artists like Arcade Fire, Sting and The Pixies and finally return to New Zealand after 20 years. This long-awaited World Tour will climax with 18 special homecoming concerts through October and November, 2017.
Submitted by Lenny Stoute Photo at right: Kim Doolittle
The 15th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, taking place in Toronto February 17-19, 2017, 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 five venues and six stages over three days of the long Family Day weekend. For more information on the festival, schedule and for updates, please visit www.winterfolk.com .
Valentine’s Day, the day we celebrate love, is around the corner. It’s time to talk about love songs. “ I heard it in a love song, can’t be wrong.” Thus spoke the Marshall Tucker Band. Jim Croce said “Everytime I try to tell you the words just come out wrong. So I’ll have to say I love you in a song.” And Paul McCartney said “You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs I look around me and I see it isn't so. Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, what's wrong with that I'd like to know.” Well Sir Paul, nothing! Nothing is wrong with that.
Love songs have been around forever and are in every society in some form or other. Heck, even birds sing each other love songs. Love songs go back to the early troubadours singing airs to their romantic interests. Scottish poet and songwriter Robbie Burns sang of his love being like a red, red rose. The cowboys sang of love in The Red River Valley or Cowboy Love Song. Legend has it that sitting around the fire at night as they strummed guitars and sang after a hard day on the range, the cowboys would sing what they knew of the song and make up new verses that would be passed on at the next roundup. As the song moved from year to year and camp to camp more verses were added. I once heard it said there were over a hundred verses to the song.
Submitted by Lenny Stoute Photo at right: Chris Gostling
It's time again for DISCOVERIES, a showcase series that brings four artists together, have each one work to bring out as many family members, friends and fans as they are able and then the room fills up to give each of the four artists attention and support. This year's lineup: Ezra Jordan started piano lessons at five, and drums at nine. He shifted focus to singing and writing songs while studying music at the University of Guelph, and while playing keyboards in Warner Bros. artist Scott Helmans band. He continued his studies at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, where he graduated from the Independent Artist Program. He is now working on writing and recording his first solo project, which is a blend of Alt. Pop and R&B. Ezra can currently be seen playing with his band in clubs around Toronto.
Ever since Murray began writing songs and performing them in his late teens before moving on to famed venues like The Riverboat in Toronto and The Bitter End in New York, his astonishing status in Canada and around the world as a sturdy and beloved musician has been long settled.
Back in the day, before Murray had actually recorded an album of his own, his riveting magnificent “Child’s Song” was already making the rounds after being recorded by American folk star Tom Rush. Live versions of his song “Honky Red” were performed by Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Bobby Neuwirth, adding to his growing and committed following. He received early song boosts from country music star George Hamilton IV.
Now, with his 19th (!!!) album, ”Love Can’t Tell Time,” Murray answers the question, what more can he bring to his legion of fans? “I guess the most notable thing about this record is the songs. They are a great collection of songs I love to play when I have no other agenda than just to enjoy playing music.”
A mix of original material and a fair old-kicking to some much-admired chestnuts Pick Yourself Up, Hey There and Come Fly With Me, Murray says, “They’ve been around for quite a while but they are my songs, in so much as I have made them my own. They’ve seen me through some dark times and helped me celebrate seeing the clouds from the other side.
Veteran MuchMusic VeeJay Michael Williams Presents Sunday Night is fast becoming an established listening room featuring some of Ontario’s best musical offerings in a unique environment at Taste of Columbia El Salon in Oakville, Ontario.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, two legendary artists will come together for a two hour concert One Night – Two Hearts featuring Lisa Hartt and Don Graham.
Lisa Hartt began her career in Montreal, Quebec at the age of 15 when she was already working as a backing singer for Gino Vanelli. In the 1970’s, she formed the Lisa Hartt Band, who had a charting song with ‘Old Time Movie’ from her successful Starwatcher album, which lead to major touring and appearances. Lisa continues to pursue her songwriting and performing and will be offering the best of her love and life songs with this unique appearance with fellow artist Don Graham.
Submitted by Lenny Stoute Photo at right: Gabrielle Giguère
Even though Begonia, aka Alexa Dirks, didn’t officially release a collection of music last year, 2016 was still a big one for the Winnipeg-based musician. Known for her voice in the JUNO Award winning, harmony-driven group Chic Gamine, Dirks was recently featured on CBC’s National Canada 150 New Year’s Eve broadcast, performing live with The Bros. Landreth. Also, NPR listed her as one of the Ten Canadian Artists You Need To Know, CBC Music called Begonia one of the Best New Bands of 2016, Line Of Best Fit included her in their 50 Best Deep Cuts of 2016 list, and “Juniper” reached #1 on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20.
The Tea Party is a Canadian rock band with blues, progressive rock, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, dubbed "Moroccan roll" by the media. Active throughout the 1990s and up until 2005, the band re-formed in 2011. The Tea Party released eight albums on EMI Music Canada, selling 1.6 million records worldwide, and achieving a No. 1 Canadian single "Heaven Coming Down" in 1999.
The Tea Party toured Canada on twenty-one occasions and Australia on twelve. In November 2002, the band toured Canada with symphony orchestras reinterpreting a decade's worth of shared songwriting. Breaking up in 2005 due to creative differences, band members nevertheless re-united in 2011 to play several Canadian tour dates during the summer. The band decided to continue after the tour and has now re-formed. The band has since released a double live album, recorded on their 2012 tour of Australia. Video shot during this tour was released as a Live DVD/Blu-ray, "The Tea Party: Live From Australia" in 2013. The Tea Party has also been writing and recording new original material since Fall 2012, and their latest album, The Ocean at the End, was released in September 2014.