Features

BTW Lightning Echoes, Sammy Duke, Miss Emily, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Alternative pop duo Lightning Echoes is taking listeners on a spherical journey of sound with their newest release, “In Circles”, available now from the usual suspects.

The Vancouver-based pairing is equal parts singer/songwriter Kaitlin Deavy and producer Alejandro Zarazúa. Having teamed up in February 2018 amidst their respective studies on music and production, the multi-instrumentalists were driven by their shared vision of music and human connection. On “In Circles” you’ll hear seemingly simple melodies swirling among complex layers of indie, folk, and what the two call “smart pop” elements.

“We wrote “In Circles” before officially becoming Lightning Echoes,” explains Zarazúa. He and Deavy studied Music Technology together and, after being assigned to work together, started opting to consistently until it blossomed into a long-term partnership we see — and hear — today. “It was actually part of our final portfolio project for the music program we studied together. We wanted some live material for the portfolio, so we invited some friends to the studio and recorded four songs that day.”

Sylvia Tyson & Scarlet Rivera at Hugh’s Room Live

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Submitted by Don Graham
Sylvia Tyson Photo Credit Christopher Lawson

They’re back! Sylvia Tyson and Scarlet Rivera will once again light up Hugh’s Room stage on August 7th.  They last appeared there together in 2016 where they put on a show for the ages and there’s no reason to believe that this upcoming night won’t be just as epic Canada’s living legend and a huge part of the fabric of Canadiana and our roots, Sylvia Tyson is a joy to watch and I’m pretty sure  she will  perform some staples from the Ian and Sylvia days including “Someday Soon” and “Four Strong Winds” And her big hit as a songwriter that she performed two years ago where she said “the first song I ever wrote in 1962,” which  was “You Were On My Mind” a big hit for We Five”. Sylvia said tongue in cheek, “My accountant asked me if I could write another one of these.”

Violin legend Scarlet Rivera is the perfect compliment to Sylvia spellbinding presentation. Scarlet is a legend in her own right having performed with Bob Dylan in The Rolling Thunder Review among a host of others greats.

Sylvia Tyson began her journey in 1959  as one half of the duo, Ian and Sylvia. She wrote her first song, “You Were On My Mind” in 1962, and three years later it reached #3 on the charts for a group called We Five, subsequently hitting the British charts as a hit for Crispian St Peter.

Rory Block A Woman’s Soul: A Tribute to Bessie Smith

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Cover Photo Credit: Sergio Kurhajec
Submitted by Sandy Graham

As a young teenager Rory Block — her full name is Aurora — grew up in New York’s Greenwich Village at the height of the “folk revival.” At 14, already an accomplished guitarist, she discovered the Delta blues — then part of the wide world of folk music. She vividly remembers hearing Mississippi John Hurt in 1963, and spending time with Son House, Fred McDowell and the Reverend Gary Davis.

Her first recordings (under the pseudonym Sunshine Kate) were made for Elektra Records, but she didn’t return to the studio until 1975 when she recorded for RCA Victor and Chrysalis before signing to Rounder Records, for whom she cut more than a dozen albums. She has also recorded for a number of other labels, in between endless tour schedules.

Along the way, she has won five W.C. Handy Awards (now known simply as Blues Awards) from the Blues Foundation, two for “Traditional Blues Female Artist,” and three for “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year.” She’s earned a gold record in Holland, and toured from one end of the United States to the other end of Canada, not to mention Poland and Norway and Italy and a half a dozen more European countries.

BTW Rayland Baxter, Moby, Annie Bonsignore, Rae Spoon, Stephanie Ratcliff, Sirens Of Shanti

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Alt-country/Americana artist Rayland Baxter has offered a new song from the Butch Walker-produced project, Wide Awake.. "79 Shiny Revolvers" was the first song Rayland wrote during his three-month-long isolation quest at Franklin, Kentucky's secluded Thunder Sound Studios. He composed fifty songs there, ten of which eventually became Wide Awake.

"79 Shiny Revolvers" is, in Rayland's own estimation, one of the most important songs he's ever written. Its lyrics burst with irony and cutting humour to interrogate our nation's fixation on guns: "You really wanna save the world, man / well, I wanna save it too / we can blow em away / the American way."

Says Rayland, "'79 Shiny Revolvers' is a satirical and sensitive song about the shortcomings of our human race. I watch and I write, not only as an onlooker but as a participant. As the world continues to swing around the sun, I cannot help but notice that we are good people. However, our shortcomings have been highlighted by a long line of imperfect decisions. Leonard Cohen died the day I wrote this song."

Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6VKdDcDCBY

Amos Lee Unveils Hang On Hang On

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

This was the hardest song for me to sing on the album,” says Amos Lee of Hang On, Hang On – the cathartic and soulful ballad at the center of his upcoming My New Moon (August 31 / Dualtone Records). While the record is largely focused on Amos finding strength in the courage of others – from relationships he built through Musicians on Call and the Wounded Warrior Project to inspiration he took from the Parkland survivors - Hang On, Hang On sees Amos use these experiences to work through profound loss in his own life. Written after Amos lost his grandmother, the song is set around the last night he spent with her: “I would’ve stayed forever,” he sings, “but it didn’t work out that way.” Listen to Hang On, Hang On, here.

The Beaches Jazz Festival Celebrates 30 Years!

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Beaches International Jazz Festival is a 10-day music festival held each year in the lakeside Beaches community of Toronto in the month of July. Originally started in 1988, it is now one of Canada's largest free music festivals with nearly 800,000 attendees, throughout its 10-day span. The Festival takes place across a number of venues; stage concerts are held in several different parks within the area and also along a two-kilometre stretch of the Beach main street - Queen Street East.

Every year, the Festival brings in internationally acclaimed performers while also showcasing local talent, including “new generation” jazz musicians. The Festival now hires around 1000 artists per annum, including 50 bands for its “StreetFest” event along Queen Street East.

Now celebrating the 30th year of this amazing event, there is something for everyone visit www.beachesjazz.com to see the full schedule of events.

One of the most popular highlights of this event is the Streetfest, an incredible Mardi Gras feel where live music is booked on alternate sides of the street and the talent has become so eclectic it isn’t just limited to jazz anymore. It is truly a music festival and there is something for everyone.

BTW Barney Bentall, Kill No Albatross, Elizabeth Shepherd, Dizzy Mystics, minihorse, Ellevator, Allen Stone, Go North Music Festival

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Barney Bentall Photo Credit Mark Maryanovich

True that storytelling through song has never been a weak point for JUNO Award-winning Barney Bentall. He continues to prove this with a rare excursion into single land on “Don’t Wait For Me Marie” and its cinematic, century-swapping video, available on YouTube now!

Between frames of fire and wild horses comes the tale of languished lust and Western greed, woven in a way only Bentall can deliver.

The song, of note, is one of many on The Drifter & The Preacher that Bentall says “ultimately wrote itself.

“There are times I look back and think, ‘well, that’s not where I thought this one was going to go,’” says Bentall. “With ‘Don’t Wait For Me Marie’ I thought, ‘I’m going to write a song about a guy leaving the Fraser Valley near Vancouver in the 1800s to look for gold in the Cariboo.’ I wanted it to be an uptempo bluegrass song because we were starting The High Bar Gang… I was very immersed in that style of music.

“Ultimately, it didn’t quite feel right so I decided to try the song with minor chords and an edgier feel. The feeling, subtext and meaning of the song did a one-eighty and I thought, ‘this was what I was looking for! A song takes you where it wants to take you if you are open and you surrender to those moments. I love the way music can do that in words.”

Singer Trudy Lynn Declares Blues Keep Knockin’

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Six-time Blues Music Award nominee Trudy Lynn will release her new CD, Blues Keep Knockin’ from Connor Ray Music on July 27. Backing Trudy’s vocals on the new disc are musicians Steve Krase – harmonica; David Carter – guitar; Terry Dry – bass; Matt Johnson – drums; Jim Brady – trumpet; and Dan Carpenter – sax; with special guests Bob Lanza and Carolyn Wonderland on guitar.

Trudy was recently honored with three nominations for the Living Blues Magazine Awards, with voting currently underway at the magazine’s website: www.livingblues.com.

“I want to thank all my blues fans new and old, or should I say ‘mature,’ for being with me through my journey with the blues, both near and far,” Trudy says in the album liner notes. “My name is Trudy Lynn and I sing the blues for you, some old some new and some borrowed too. I love singing the blues! The blues knocks on my door, on my window and my heart. I must sing and I sing only what I feel and I sing to make you feel exactly what I feel!”

Blues Keep Knockin’ features ten soul-drenched songs dripping with blues and R&B. In addition to a new original song written by Trudy (the album’s title track), she puts her own stamp on covers of songs from Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Big Maybelle, Big Bill Broonzy and Jimmy Rogers, among others.

Ori Dagan The Music Plays On

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Submitted by Sandy Graham
Photo Credits: Elijah Shark

Ori Dagan has much to be proud of in his ever-changing musical journey in this crazy business we call music.“A Tribute to Nat King Cole” (Dagan's 3rd recording and the first visual album in jazz history) recently debuted at #1 on the iTunes Canada Jazz Chart, and its corresponding 12 music videos have screened at over 35 Music and Film Festivals worldwide, garnering over 300,000 views on YouTube, Winner of the Best Album, Silver Medal – Global Music Award, Nominated for Best Jazz Vocals- Toronto Independent Music Awards along with a list a mile long of reviews.

Dagan also teaches what he preaches by giving scat lessons and workshops to learn the “Shoe-bee-do’s” and “Shoe-bee-don’ts,” to anyone who wants to learn either professionally or just for the love of the musical era and greats who paved the way for so many in the jazz world.

BTW The Shuffle Demons, Bernice, Emilie Mover, Danny Michel, Joey Landreth, Lauria, Goldilox

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

What do you get when you cross 3 amazing saxophonists dressed in wacky clothes, a crazy dancing drummer and a killer upright bass player and have them sing songs about Buses, Roaches and Hockey that spend 1/2 their time playing in the audience? The Shuffle Demons, that’s what!!!

The Shuffle Demons are a high-energy Canadian band that blends virtuosic jazz and funk playing with eye-catching costumes and over the top stage antics to produce a kinetic show. A hit at festivals all over the world, the Shuffle Demons are a crowd-pleasing, full-on musical group that backs up wild stage antics with phenomenal playing by some of Canada’s most talented musicians. Therefore, in the teeth of the summer's heat, the contrarian Demons are checking into Hugh's Room Live to go mano a mano with the club's AC system Fri. Jul. 6, showtime 8.30 pm.

Bernice Photo Credit Claire HarvieBernice
Photo Credit Claire Harvie

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