Features

AMMARA to Release Debut EP Black Moon

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada 

AMAARA is the Ethereal Pop music and multi-media project of Kaelen Ohm. A musician, actor and award winning filmmaker, Ohm began AMAARA as a basement project in between tours as a guitarist and singer for Canadian band, Reuben and The Dark. Today, AMAARA shares the news of her forthcoming debut EP, Black Moon, set for release on June 22nd. For a taste of what is to come, see below for the video for the title track, and listen to new song, Dreamcatcher .

The six-track EP features guest appearances by Charles Spearin of Broken Social Scene, L.A. Guitarist/Producer, Joel Shearer, and Grammy-winning Producer/Engineer, Shawn Everett. Recorded at OCL Studios in Calgary and at The Banff Centre, as well as pieces in Ohm's basement in Calgary and Shearer's home in Topanga Canyon, L.A., Ohm calls the album a practice in creative self-trust.

"It was time for me to birth something musically that came from deep within my heart without too much outside influence or without doing something too specific. I learned a lot making this EP though in some ways I feel I've already personally outgrown it and am ready to do something new and different."

Sounds of Home at Toronto’s Harbourfront 2017

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Harbourfront Centre’s 2017 summer season celebrates Canada’s cultural heritage with Sounds of Home, a sonic tribute to the strength of the diversity found across the land known as Turtle Island. The season kicks off on June 27 with Here in the 6ix: Celebrate Multiculturalism Day, a program offering a full day of free events reflecting Toronto’s rich cultural mosaic.

Four distinct weekend festivals in July form the core of a programming vision that gathers Canadian talent from coast-to-coast-to-coast for an array of evocative and entertaining events ranging from concerts, comedy shows, family activities, culinary events, and late-night afterparties. Audiences and visitors are invited to join us throughout the summer on Toronto’s waterfront to relax on our lakeside vista and enjoy these curated festivals, your favourite annual festivals, and season-long events, such as the Summer Music in the Garden classical music series, and our weekly Free Flicks outdoor film series and Dancing on the Pier events.

BTW with Lenny Stoute The Wilderness Of Manitoba, Bombargo, Hermitess, Tin Pan North, Pokey LaFarge, Betty Moon, The Pistolwhips, The Blue Goose

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right: The Wildern4ess of Manitoba
Photo Credit Zuzana Hudackova

The current offering from The Wilderness Of Manitoba, The Tin Shop EP is something of a changeup for the band. The layers of anthemic folk rock it's known for have been stripped back to reveal the heart of Will Whitwham’s songwriting. Whitwham together with vocalist/guitarist Raven Shields will support the release with a string of tour dates throughout Spring with Jenny Berkel and Eamon McGrath.

Since its inception The Wilderness Of Manitoba has continued to grow and evolve with every new release. Throughout it all founding member Will Whitwham has left his imprint on each and every sound the band has produced - from the chamber folk debut, Hymns of Love and Spirits, to the cinematic indie pop of Between Colours.

Sean MacLean of Waves That Stray Releases New Single Brick by Brick

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Toronto songwriter and musician Sean MacLean is launching his new project ‘Waves That Stray’ with the release of the video for his debut single “Brick By Brick” on June 1st, 2017. Training a lens on the colourful roots of his hometown, MacLean populated the video with a diverse cast, found through an open casting call put out just weeks before the shoot. The result is a cross-section of Toronto’s thriving culture, featuring actors, dancers, parents, professionals, and students alike. Filmed in an empty loft above now defunct Toronto venue The Hoxton, the video is a sometimes somber yet uplifting glimpse into the personalities of those who have built their lives in the ever-changing landscape of Toronto’s downtown core.

Acclaimed Supergroup Lunch At Allen's Returns with Dazzling New Album, If It Feels Right

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo: Lunch at Allen's Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Ian Thomas, Marc Jordan

Destined to be the ideal soundtrack to glorious summer in its alternately spirited and languid days and always-convivial nights, If It Feels Right – the hotly anticipated new studio album from Canadian folk/pop giants Lunch At Allen’s – arrives June 16.

Featuring chart-topping musical veterans Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church, Marc Jordan and Ian Thomas – who have collectively shifted a staggering 25,000,000 units as both solo artists and songwriters for stars like Chicago, Josh Groban, Bonnie Raitt, America, Santana, Cher and Rod Stewart – Lunch At Allen’s is that rarest of beasts: a genuine musical democracy.

If It Feels Right soars as a result.

Featuring 12 brand new, original tracks alternately written and performed by McLauchlan, Church, Jordan and Thomas and abetted by a crack team of session hands, the self-produced If It Feels Right confidently shifts from plaintive balladry (Jordan’s ‘Nothing Comes from Nothing’) to campfire-ready folk (McLauchlan’s ‘If The Wind Could Blow My Troubles Away') to sweetly nimble pop (Church’s ‘Little Bird’) to the insistent, clap-along groove of the title track (courtesy Thomas).

Here Comes the Sun!

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Submitted by Don Graham 

Every year around this time when winter has finally played itself out and summer is warming up for its annual residency, everything starts to change. The greens return, the sky becomes a deeper blue and the golden sun is once again the star of the show. And music on radio and playlists changes as well. Used to be you planned releases around the seasons and certain songs were held back as “great summer song” material. Some of these hits are still being played or covered today. Nothing says summer, even 60 years later like “Summertime Blues”, Lovin’ Spoonful’s “ Summer in the City”, and of course don’t we all feel better, practically or metaphorically, when it’s “ summertime and the livin’ is easy, fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high?”

Some of the following list is from last year’s informal poll and some are from today. Hopefully this will make you think of your favourite summer song.

BOYS OF SUMMER..DON HENLEY Incredible guitar theme by Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Henley nails the lyrics. Feels like a hot summer night with windows down driving down the PCH.....watching the waves crash into the shore. - KEVIN MONTGOMERY NASHVILLE SINGER/SONGWRITER/ADVENTURER

BTW-Paul Kelly, Brainstory, Don't Think Twice, Imelda May, Figure Walking, Blair Packham, The Revolution, Catl, Boss Hog, Root Magic

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Charlie Owen and Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly, arguably Australia’s preeminent songwriter, will spend the month of May performing intimate shows across North America — his first concerts on this continent since 2013 The tour is in support of Kelly’s 2016 release, the uniquely conceived Death’s Dateless Night , although he will also be playing songs from an award-winning career that has earned him induction into Australian Recording Industry Association’s Hall of Fame and, just earlier this year, being appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to the performing arts.

Death’s Dateless Night, a collaboration with highly regarded Australian multi-instrumentalist Charlie Owen, contains songs that they have played at various funerals. Featuring a mix of covers, traditional tunes and a few Kelly originals, the album’s vibe is actually far from funereal. The spare, stirring set has been hailed as a “powerful meditation on life, death and the mess we make in-between.”

The Road Hammers The Squeeze

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Submitted by Don Graham

The Hammers are back ! A new album and a new single from The Road Hammers, Canada’s premiere country rock band is about to explode onto the airwaves.

On May 12th, The Road Hammers, Jason McCoy, Clayton Bellamy and Chris Byrne, the highest selling Canadian country band in history released their fifth studio album The Squeeze. The new album is a huge step in the evolution of the band and the lead single “ Crazy About You” leads the charge with it’s mix of sentiment and grit. Strong vocals are a trademark of the Hammers and it’s never more evident than this track. “Crazy About You” should put the band back on the airwaves in a big way. A great blend of pop, classic rock and country with its theme of falling in love and staying in love. We caught up with Jason McCoy at his home to discuss the new reord and touring plans for the summer. “ We’re are really happy with how this record turned. The band keeps growing and getting better. This record is little bit different but we still have the edge the makes the Hammers sound what it is. And we had some great production work on it as well. We had Gavin Brown who produced Metric, Tragically Hip and Barenaked Ladies as well as Scott Baggett who worked with Alison Krauss, Buddy Guy, and Bonnie Raitt so there is some diversity there and definitely some pedigree there.”

Norbert Putnam Music Lessons Vol. 1

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Submitted by Don Graham

Norbert Putnam, bass player, arranger and record producer can now add author to his list of occupations. Actually more of a raconteur. The talented and well respected Putnam has a new book, Music Lessons Vol. 1, that just hit the shelves this month And oh the stories he can tell ! We asked Norbert from his home in Florence, Alabama, what prompted the writing of his memoirs? “My wife Sheryl and I were living in Hilton Head, North Carolina and going to these get togethers and parties with these moneyed people, non music folks, and they all wanted to talk about the music business and what I’d seen and done. They funny thing is most of them seemed more interested in the lesser known artists I had worked for and with. One night at an architect’s house they asked me about working with Jerry Jeff Walker. I explained that with Jerry Jeff we set up an actual bar in my studio. Then we’d sit around and drink and talk and then we’d record some. It was the atmosphere that Jerry Jeff was comfortable with. Well they loved the story and driving home Sheryl said ‘You need to write all these stories down, people enjoy hearing them.’ It took awhile to commit to it but we finally got there with volume 1 of the book.”

CMW2017 ROUNDUP - Quivers, Eliza & The Delusionals, Bad Pony, Silver Love Club, Tasseomancy, Amelia Curran, Sebadoh, Tim Darcy, The Barberettes, Tangina Stone, K.Forest

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
photo at right: Elisa and the Delusionals

It was a year of many grassfires, upon occasion a decent brush fire or three but there weren't any roaring, all consuming forest fires at CMW this year.

The Aussie showcase came close to an all out blaze, especially as the night wore on at The Hideout's new home on College and the outdoors temp on the rise. Ducked in to catch Quivers, making their Canadian debut with a fistful of brisk pop songs, cheeky clever lyrics, lotsa chiming guitars and likeable frontman Sam J. Nicholson. The hard candy-coated Eliza & The Delusionals brought shades of The GoGos and flavours of KPop to their indie poprock with a skittery edge. There are decent hooks and the stirrings of something here but it didn't really get across to the room.

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