Catching A Break Al Brake

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Submitted by Don Graham

Fort McMurray resident, Newfoundland native Al Brake has traveled halfway across this great country to be where he is supposed to be. The 11th of 11 children that includes 8 boys and 3 girls is “foot off the brake, pedal to the metal ready” for his moment in the spotlight. He is making all the right moves and feels like now is time. | Music has always been a huge part of my life, especially growing up in Newfoundland. Everybody plays music and it bonds together families and friends.”

Al Brake started playing guitar when he was about 8 yrs, drawn to the music from watching his brothers, sisters and parents. His Dad was an accomplished and great fiddle player, his mother was a great singer, with his brothers and sisters picking on one instrument or another, there was rarely a time when there wasn't music in their home. This soon moved out of the home as the family began performing at local Festivals and Garden parties. Al had his own band by the time he was 18 years old. He began writing his own material around 2008 and in 2010 began working on his songs in Nashville. In 2012 he traveled to Nashville to begin recording a full-length album which he finished at Metalworks Studio in Toronto.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from All Of Us at Cashbox Canada


Submitted by Sandy Graham

As the year 2017 comes to an end, I am still amazed by the fact that I get to work with such an incredible staff at Cashbox Canada.

To my tireless Editor, Lenny Stoute, thank you for always sticking by me and being such a creative force every week.  His column BTW celebrates so many diversified artists and gives the indies a chance to shine. Lenny has an incredible background in journalism and I am grateful to have him.

To Don Graham, who somehow in between his own musical career as a recording artist, songwriter and performer, takes the time to do the personal interviews with fellow country artists and beyond to get some of the most memorable stories we have on CB. I truly believe his own career and background is what makes even the most wary artists feel comfortable in their interviews.

To Chris Wardman, my wizard of the web, who takes it upon himself to make Cashbox Canada work and continues to keep our archives available for all to go back and revisit. When you Google Chris Wardman it is quite the eye-opener to see his career; as a musician, a record label guy, a producer and so much more. I have such respect for Chris and what he does for us.

BTW - Soja, Grace Vonderkhun, Jerry Leger, Don Ross. Suzie Vinnick, Seasonal Concerts, Skydiggers, Typhoon


Submitted by Lenny Stoute

The 8-piece reggae supergroup SOJA has shared a music video for "Fire In The Sky" -a poignant highlight from new album Poetry in Motion, out now on ATO Records. Directed by Christopher Good (Grizzly Bear, Okkervil River), the striking clip was filmed in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia near where the album was recorded.

Says lead singer Jacob Hemphill: "I wrote 'Fire In The Sky' outside the airport in Argentina after a band member lost a family member. The song is about how beautiful it is to be alive even though all of us at times question our purpose in being here, and can be terrified by the fact that we all must leave at some point. We're all connected, and there is a plan much bigger than any one of us. We're all this beautiful 'poetry in motion.' We're all 'fire in the sky.'"

Poetry In Motion has earned raves everywhere from Billboard, Salon, Paste + more, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard reggae charts week of release (their fourth #1 debut to date!). Recorded at Dave Matthews Band's studio in Charlottesville, VA, near where the band first got their start two decades ago, the new music digs deeper than ever into their message of finding peace - tackling everything from government corruption, immigrants, marriage, veteran's rights and beyond.

Our Lady Peace New Video For Nice To Meet You

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Our Lady Peace has released the brand-new video for their song, Nice To Meet YouFeaturing YouTube star, Matthew Santoro, the video is the third installment in the band’s miniseries for tracks featured on their new album, Somethingness, and explores a unique look into personal stories that happen every day, all around us, in a new light. Watch the first two “episodes” – Drop Me In The Water , and Hiding Place For Hearts – to see the story unfold.

“This was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of my career. As a long time fan of OLP it was truly a privilege to be a part of the visuals for such amazing music,” says Santoro. Vocalist, Raine Maida adds, “The Somethingness series of videos explores the personal stories that happen every day, all around us. Matt did a great job at allowing us to view these though his lens.”

Barry Stagg From the Carolinas to Canada Barry Stagg’s Christmas Grace!

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Going back to my Montreal roots, there are always artists that say in my memories, Gino Vanelli, Ken Tobias, Andy Kim, Pagliaro and of course Barry Stagg –one-half of the ever popular Green and Stagg.

Barry Stagg, singer/songwriter, musician, playwright and musical entrepreneur is a prime example of what tenacity and talent are all about when it comes to the love of music.

Born in Montreal, Quebec he graduated from Université de Montréal and started on his musical path with Tony Green to become Green and Stagg. The duo was signed to Gamma Records out of Montreal under the tutelage of manager Ben Kaye.(who also managed Celine Dion) Their debut single, "To Love Means To Be Free", became an instant hit when released in February 1970. The song won the Canadian Business Music Industry writing award.Green and Stagg rode the charts for the better part of the early '70s.

Signed to Gamma at the time, they were offered a deal with London Records which had a better reach for them on a distribution level so they made the decision to move to the ill-fated label, which went bankrupt not long after. Stagg would have success with a number of solo releases on RCA before starting his musical and magical journey from theatre to playwriting and scores.

Hike Up Your Socks Liz Kennedy

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Submitted by Alonzo Evans

It does a disservice to Liz Kennedy’s music to label it Americana and leave it at that. The term scarcely encompasses what she does. Her latest release Hike Up Your Socks shows plenty of rootsy influences, but it never stops there. There are more artful singer//songwriter styled turns and a few outright efforts in the pop tradition that never compromise their artistic value. Blues, jazz, folk, and pop all exist side by side on Kennedy’s latest studio album and her long-standing producer Joel Jaffe results in another close-quartered and deeply atmospheric recording. Kennedy sounds like she’s playing mere inches in front of you and there’s a strongly immediate quality about her vocals that compels your attention. Her remarkably elastic voice is well highlighted on Hike Up Your Socks and it is a pleasure to listen as she handles twelve first-class songs with confidence born from personal security and artistic command.

Matt Dusk Offers Old School Yule!

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Every year we hear all the standard Christmas songs hit radio again; Brenda Lee, Bobby Helms, Bing Crosby with David Bowie, Elvis and Frank Sinatra.

Then we start receiving new product here at Cashbox Canada and we always enjoy the fresh offerings of new artists or at least their new Christmas albums.

But on this rare occasion when this new CD came in, it was a perfect combination of the old tunes offered by a young artist, Canadian icon Matt Dusk.

A Christmas album that embraces the festive swagger of the 1960’s, Old School Yule! is an up-tempo, cocktail party album that will have you feeling a little “Ring-a-Ding-Ding” while you croon along to “Fa-La-La-La-La”.

“It’s supposed to feel like a classic variety show,” says Dusk while on tour in America. “I wanted to record an album that you would have sitting on the turntable right next to your Bing Crosby Christmas records.”

If retro is what you’re looking for, Dusk’s new album has everything you need. The sixteen tracks contain many of the most popular holiday classics, from White Christmas to Jingle Bells. Along for the (sleigh) ride are some new songs and a few twists on some old favourites. The album also features an original holiday hit, Snowed In With You, penned by Dusk himself.

BTW- Piper Hayes, Terra Lightfoot, Carlos del Junco, Winona Wilde, Taylor Knox, Dawson Rutledge

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Canadian folk singer, songwriter and social activist Piper Hayes celebrates the launch of her new full-length recording titled ‘Piper & Carson’ with two album release concerts in Ontario. The first show is inHamilton at This Ain’t Hollywood on December 7, and the second is in Toronto at The Dakota Tavern on December 8.

Nowadays, Hayes performs and writes closely with her partner Carson Ritcey-Thorpe and, after a 2017 western Canada tour, many prime showcases at Folk Music Ontario, Folk Alliance International and South East Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), they have become beloved darlings of Canada’s folk music scene. First single “For All We Know” is about the celebration of life and death. Hayes states, “It is important to seize the moment. To live fully we must embrace life’s unknowns, because for all we know…we only get one chance.”

August Burns Red Ring In the Holidays With Last Christmas

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Two-time Grammy nominees, August Burns Red, are excited to kick off the holiday season with their reimagined version of the classic Christmas song by Wham!, Last Christmas. August Burns Red have made a highly-anticipated annual tradition of releasing Christmas covers, with last year's being, What Child Is This? (Greensleeves), and the beloved Home Alone theme song the year prior.

Bassist Dustin Davidson from the band explains, “ This year I sat down with the intention of writing something upbeat, melodic, and shredtastic. When we decided to cover Last Christmas I kept in mind that most people only know the chorus of the song. We didn't want to recreate something word for word, or note by note, so I took the main hook and built a bunch of original ideas around it. The lyrics to Wham's Last Christmas are very sad, so if you're feeling lonely this holiday season, I hope this cover finds you well .”

This week, August Burns Red were announced as nominees for the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards in the Best Metal Performance category for their song, Invisible Enemy, taken from the band's latest full-length album, Phantom Anthem. This marks the second Grammy nod for Lancaster, PA's August Burns Red, as they were nominated in the same category in the 58th GRAMMY Awards for their song, Identity, from 2015's, Found In Far Away Places.

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