Every year we at Cashbox get to write a little vignette describing a favourite Christmas memory and every year I think I don’t have any more, I‘ve told them all. But turns out that’s not true and the beauty is it forces me to travel back in time to various stages of my life, looking for a new Christmas memory.
So I thought this year maybe I’d write about something that happened after my childhood, when I was an adult. Nah, that won’t work. All my real happy memories of Christmas are from when I was a young boy. Christmas was different then. It was commercial alright, but not to extent it is now. As kids we each got one “big” present and a bunch of little things like socks or gloves or a little book. Our stockings had an orange, always an orange, some nuts; walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans and such. And usually a little candy and chocolate. It really was more about family and all being together on that special day. My feeling and memory of is of a huge, full tree covered in long strands of tinsel, great big lights, not the puny little lights of today, big round, fragile Christmas balls of red, green, silver and blue. A beautiful angel that perched on top of the tree and angel hair scattered all around.
If anyone had told us at beginning of 2016 how many musical icons we would lose in the course of the year we’d be hard pressed to believe it. But it was a year like none I can remember for deaths in the musical community. By April it appeared to me that surely we couldn’t lose anymore. But the grim reaper kept coming. Some say it’s the age, that so many of the artists we grew up with were aging out, but that theory doesn’t hold water in all cases, there were some that were just too young to go.
The year started off in January with two giants of the industry passing within days of each other. The passing of mega star David Bowie was a shock and while we still reeling from that an even bigger shock hit us when Eagles co-founder and superstar Glenn Frey exited suddenly. Also in January rock pioneer with The Jefferson Airplane, Paul Katner left us. February started off on first of the month by claiming country crooner Jim Reeves and followed by taking country and early rock ‘n’ roll singer (Young Love) Sonny James. The month also took Lennie Baker, saxophonist for Sha Na Na. March saw country singer Joey Feek succumb to her long public battle with cancer and Canadian legend Ray Griff who built a career for himself in Nashville passed away back in Canada. Frank Sinatra Junior joined his dad in the heavenly orchestra and one third of Emerson Lake and Palmer, Keith Emerson checked out. And the man responsible for the Beatles sound, Sir George Martin, left us.
Not at all Christmassy but bright fun all the same is “St Lucia”, newest video from artpop crew Bernice, pairs soulful vocal melodies with playful sonic tripouts. Bernice vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann says artist Sonia Beckwith-Cole, who directed the “St Lucia” video, was the clear choice – “Her animation felt completely right to me, and I knew she would make something so beautiful for the song's world.”
“When I first heard the song I imagined pinks and blues, a lot of textures and water, water, water,” director/animator Sonia Beckwith-Cole says of her inspiration for the video. “The song talks about how as a woman you are connected to a lineage of women that are a part of you, and contribute to who you are, while somehow still being distant. The verses bring up these complicated feelings and the chorus brings us escape from these worries to be present in a moment of joy. The woman in my story starts out in a confused wandering state surrounded by dark, obscured imagery. When she finally dives off the edge of a waterfall the imagery becomes bright, colourful and full of movement and she finds solace with friends in the water.”
Jack Scott (born Giovanni Domenico Scafone, Jr.), January 24, 1936, Windsor, Ontario, Canada is a Canadian American singer and songwriter. He was the first white rock and roll star to come out of Detroit, Michigan. He was inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011 and has been called "undeniably the greatest Canadian rock and roll singer of all time."
Scott spent his early childhood in Windsor, Ontario (Canada), across the river from Detroit, Michigan (United States). When he was 10, Scott's family moved to Hazel Park, a Detroit suburb. He grew up listening to hillbilly music and was taught to play the guitar by his Mother Laura. As a teenager, he pursued a singing career and recorded as 'Jack Scott.' At the age of 18, he formed the Southern Drifters. After leading the band for three years, he signed to ABC-Paramount Records as a solo artist in 1957.
After recording two good-selling local hits for ABC-Paramount in 1957, he switched to the Carlton record label and had a double-sided national hit in 1958 with "Leroy" (#11) / "My True Love" (#3). The record sold over one million copies, earning Scott his first gold record. Later in 1958, "With Your Love" (#28) reached the Top 40. In all, six of 12 songs on his first album became hit singles. On most of these tracks, he was backed up by the vocal group, the Chantones.
He served in the United States Army during most of 1959, just after "Goodbye Baby" (#8) made the Top Ten. 1959 also saw him chart with "The Way I Walk" (#35).
Ken Tobias, Canadian music legend is at it again. He has just released a brand new single Soul Tune that ranks up there as one of his best to date. And that’s goin’ some cause Ken has had a slew of hits and made some great records.
His most famous song “Stay Awhile” was a monster hit for the Bells in the 70’s but Ken himself recorded a lot of hits on his own. His first album included the title track “Dream #2” and “ I Just Wanna Make Music” , both hits, and was recorded in L.A. featuring Hal Blaine on drums, Joe Osborneon on bass, Larry Carlton on guitar and Larry Knechtel on keyboards.
His second album recorded at George Martin’s Air Studio in London, England and yielded “Good To Be Alive in the Country”, “My My” and “Fly Me High”. These were followed by his first Attic record that featured “Every Bit Of Love”, “Run Away With Me”, “Lay Me Down Again”, “Give A Little Love” and “Lady Luck”. These hits were followed by “New York City” and “My Maria”.
Earlier this year, rapper, radio host, and now soft rock singer, Shad released a surprise album, Adult Contempt, under the name Your Boy Tony Braxton. He is preparing to hit the stage with Tokyo Police Club for three nights at The Mod Club on December 8, 9 and 10 in support.
Recently Your Boy Tony Braxton shared the music video for album track “Good (Enough).” The video, directed by Justin Broadbent, takes us on a trip back to the 90s and features Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning trying to rent a copy of Speed 2 on VHS.
"So, this is a song about a man who's just beginning to understand what's behind his loneliness, insecurity, and rage," explains Shad. While Broadbent added "I wanted to make a video that affirmed it was ok to like things like Speed 2. We often get in our heads about our futures or art making and need to take a step back and truly enjoy things for what they are."
While Holger Petersen’s best known for his blues-based radio programs, he’s just as interested in artists who work in other roots music genres — Cajun musicians Zachary Richard and Bobby Charles, Allen Toussaint, Sam The Sham, Van Dyke Parks, Rory Block, Mose Allison, Billy Boy Arnold, UK singers Maggie Bell and Maddy Prior (together), guitarists James Burton and Albert Lee (together) and songwriters Chip Taylor, Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham (together) and Tony Joe White are among those whose interviews are included.
Each of the conversations is introduced by Petersen’s personal recollections of the artists he’s meeting, and the book’s foreword is contributed by Grammy-winning musicologist Rob Bowman. As Bowman explains, “Talking Music 2 is an important collection, as interviews with the majority of the artists included are not common and certainly do not get included in question- and-answer format interview anthologies such as this.
“The strength of these interviews is Petersen’s conversational tone and the ease he has with the artists he is talking to.”
In addition to his ongoing 30-year run at CBC, Petersen has hosted “Natch’l Blues” on the Alberta radio network CKUA since 1969. He estimates that he’s done well over 3,000 interviews — and the conversations in Talking Music 2 were originally recorded for his radio programs, or at side-stages at folk festival.
In the years when artists released ‘albums’ their artwork was always their insignia. You knew when Santana had a new album, Grateful Dead always had their logo, The Rolling Stones ‘lips’.That artwork translated to their tour posters, t-shirts, tour jackets, merchandise. In today’s day and age, they call it branding. We just knew it as great artists and great music.
Andrew Golub, who I have come to know affectionately as ‘Durandy’ understands that magic, that marketing skill of posters and the band he chose to focus on is Duran Duran.
A chance email to Cashbox Canada about this beautiful keepsake hardcover book made me realize how the music business has no borders. Andrew Golub reached out to us to see if we would like to review his offering of reverence to this legendary band, Duran Duran. Self published and self promoted, he was asking if we could do a short piece and offered to send a book to our office. After receiving the book and looking through the glorious history and collection, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind this story was worthy of a cover. (Please remember we only have 51 covers a year so we try to chose wisely.)
Getting off to a folk rocky start withTribe Royal, a four piece out of Ottawa.The band was born from the partnership of Terry O'Brien and Chris Kerwin, two aspiring songwriters, and their shared interest in the musical giants of the 20th century. When their bandmates Bram Al-Najjar and Mike Giamberardino joined, the result was a dynamic relationship that has crafted the band's sound into the genres it now encompasses.
Tribe Royal's sound can be described as an alchemic blend of folk music, 60's British Rock and 90's Alternative Rock. At the core of the Tribe are three unique singing voices that can be layered for 3-part harmony, or woven to create imaginative counterpoints. Their sound and songs have a nostalgic feeling to them, introspective yet vibrant; grounded in honest experiences and youthful memories.
Since the band's formation in January 2014, Tribe Royal has earned a reputation as a hardworking and ambitious group. They have released one LP, " Samadhi", with a second 'Colours of theSun' recently released . In just over two years , they have played more than 150 shows in 20 different cities. Their love for music has connected them with thousands of people of all ages, through small private benefit performances, and large-scale rock venues.
Going into its 12th year of Music, Love and Charity, the Andy Kim Christmas has been gathering friends and fans together to celebrate the spirit and generosity of the musical community in Toronto with all proceeds going to charity. The concert event is the brainchild of music legend, and the evening’s host and performer, Andy Kim.
Andy Kim and his Christmas Show has now become as much a part of the Toronto traditions like the tree lighting ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square and The Bay Christmas windows.
In October 2015 Canadian Music Week inducted Andy Kim into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in honour of his achievements and longstanding career in the music industry.”Andy Kim’s contributions to the Canadian and international music community are truly remarkable in his almost 50 year career,”says CMW President Neill Dixon.