Features

Forever Country

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Submitted by Don Graham

Country music needs some savin’. The road has been bumpy with resistance to some of the changes in song content and presentation. Some of the discontent is justified as a lot more emphasis seems to be placed on how much revenue a song can generate as opposed to how the song can reach and touch people. But country music is strong and has a rich history and background to draw on. So with the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Association Awards coming in November some of the biggest acts in country music have joined together and filmed a remarkable and memorable video – ‘Forever Country’.

Shane McAnally, a CMA winner as well as a board member, produced the video and confessed that the mashing together of several country music’s classics was ‘a very scary process’.“The first conversation I remember having about the CMA project was at a CMA board meeting when everyone was just sort of brainstorming about an interesting, unique way that might bring light to the 50th Anniversary,” he explained.“I didn’t think it would work in our genre. I said, ‘Maybe in pop music you can just take a piece of a song, but we tell stories. And we can’t just cut into them and take a piece.”

But judging by the final result that fear was unfounded. The video is a remarkable piece of work.

BTW-Phish, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Piper Hayes, Raine Hamilton, Brendan Canning, The Pack A.D.

Phish

Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Jam meisters Phish is dropping new studio album, Big Boat  Friday, October 7th and everywhere bongs are being loaded to the hilt. Big Boat was announced last week with an exclusive album trailer, viewable now at phish.com. The album was produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS), his second collaboration with Phish following 2014's Fuego.

Recorded in Nashville, New York and the band's home state of Vermont, Big Boat features 13 new songs contributed by all four members of the band - Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Page McConnell. The album was recently named among Rolling Stone's "Fall Preview 2016: 35 Must-Hear Albums," with Anastasio noting, "There's definitely a point of view to this one. We're old enough to have a healthy respect for mortality." we can regard the end times with celebration of life rather than with doom, it feels like one of the more personally direct songs in Phish's repertoire."

PHISH FALL 2016

Rik Emmett Set to Release New Album Worldwide

Left to Right Paul DeLong, Rik Emmett, Dave Dunlop, Steve Skingley Photo Credit Carl Cederman.jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo: Left to Right Paul DeLong, Rik Emmett, Dave Dunlop, Steve Skingley Photo Credit Carl Cederman

Legendary artist Rik Emmett is set to release a new album on November 11th featuring Contributions From Rush Guitarist Alex Lifeson and Dream Theater Vocalist James LaBrie.

“This album represents a journey through my life,” Emmett observes, “and the idea behind a lot of these songs is me trying to figure out who I am, and why I’m doing what I’m doing. There’s a common thread of positivity here that ties into the records I was making 30 years ago. What did I learn from making them? You’ll hear all of that echoed in the grooves of this album.”

Indeed, the scope of the 11 deeply heartfelt songs on RES 9 covers a lot of exciting aural ground, from the out-of-the-gate gallop of “Human Race” (which also features a driving 12-string contribution from Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson) to the testifying tones of “My Cathedral” to the whispering blues of “The Ghost of Shadow Town,” not to mention the cutting-heads guitar duels on “End of the Line” and the touching album-closing bonus track “Grand Parade,” which reunites Emmett with his onetime Triumph bandmates, bassist Mike Levine and drummer Gil Moore. The RESolution9 band itself is comprised of Rik’s touring quartet, with Dave Dunlop on guitar, Steve Skingley on bass and keyboards, and Paul DeLong on drums. Dunlop and Skingley also co-produced RES 9 with Emmett.

A Downtown Neighbourhood Jazz Festival in Toronto Finds its Feet and Debuts in Style

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Submitted Courtesy of Richard Flohill
Photo at right: Jackie Richardson

Packed houses, enthusiastic crowds, a buzzing neighbourhood: the inaugural Kensington Market Jazz Festival debuted in style on September 16, 17, 18.

More than 200 Toronto musicians played 80 shows at nine venues across Kensington Market during TIFF's closing weekend and during the Toronto Urban Roots Festival.

Ivana SantilliIvana SantilliDespite other attractions, the new and highly focused festival captivated, engaged and involved audiences throughout the weekend.

The hub of piano talent, iconic Baldwin Street suit store Tom's Place, was packed for performances by Gene DiNovi, Joe Sealy, Andrew Craig and Robi Botos, who performed on an acoustic Yamaha grand piano.

Jane Harbury’s Discoveries at Hugh’s Room

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Submitted by Don Graham

Hugh’s Room in Toronto is an iconic listening room supplying established artists and legacy artists. A venue to showcase their talents in an acoustically good room with good sightlines and warm ambience. It’s a venue young aspiring acts dream of appearing at but can’t get booked without some history behind them to draw a crowd.

Enter Jane Harbury a fixture on the Toronto folk scene since her days working at the legendary Riverboat of Yorkville fame. In Jane’s words “I created Discoveries after repeatedly requesting opening act spots for some of the up and coming artists with whom I was working. Holmes Hooke, then booker of talent at Hugh's Room finally said to me, "we're gonna give you your own night to do whatever you want." I was fumbling in the dark as to what I'd do as well as what I'd call it and so Discoveries was born.I do not go looking for artists - there is always a waiting list - February 2017 is booked and now I'll start making decisions soon for next May.”

So it has now been 13 years and growing. Previous artists such as Nicole Rayy, emerging young country singer and Justin Hines as well as Julian Troiano, nephew of legend Dom Troiano have used this concept as a stepping stone.

And now on October 11th a new quartet of future stars will take the Hugh’s Room stage.

Nicole Rayy Taking Big Steps

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Submitted by Don Graham
Nicole Rayy Photo Credit:  Ian McCausland

Nicole Rayy has been paying her dues and finding her path on the Canadian country music scene for about five years now,and has been getting more and more comfortable in her musical direction, growing into the artist she is destined to be.

Now that her name is familiar to fans and country radio, she is kicking it up a notch this month with the release of her debut full length album titled, Dig. We asked about the choice of album title; “I played around with different ideas for titles. I’ve always liked titles of songs on the album as a title and when we landed on Dig I thought it was perfect because that’s what I felt I did writing this album. I was digging deep and writing from my heart.”

The release date for Dig is October 14th, with a release party at Cowboy’s Roadhouse in Winnipeg on October 15th andall proceeds from the night being donated to the Manitoba Neurofibromatosis Support Group(MBNF). “We wanted a charity that really needed to have its awareness level raised. I was introduced to this charity by my manager whose 9-year old nephew lives with NF and I’ve seen the daily challenges he faces.I wanted to give back and help spread awareness by donating all the proceeds from the evening to MBNF.”

Southside Shuffle, Chuck Jackson and Stax is Back

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Submitted by Cindy Shibley Koury
Photo Credits: Cindy Shibley Koury
Photo at right: Southside Shuffle 2016

The weekend after Labour Day, for eighteen years now, Port Credit has come alive with Blues, Jazz and Roots music at The Tim Horton's Southside Shuffle and this Blues Mama has attended every year. It's my local festival, my home festival. It's easily my favourite weekend of the year and experiencing the evolution of this festival, from its inaugural event in the ballpark at the corner of Hurontario and Port Streets, where Chuck Jackson gathered a group of blues bands to play on the back of a flat bed, to the major four day event with 4 stages in Memorial Park, Street Shuffle, Beggars Banquet, Blues and Roots Jamstage and more, has been a pleasure. I have been fortunate to have seen International Blues greats like Mavis Staples, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Johnny Winter, Big Bill Morganfield, Elvin Bishop and Canned Heat just to name a few. However, more importantly, is the highlighting of great, sometimes Legendary, Canadian talent at Southside. Jeff Healey, David Clayton Thomas, David Wilcox, Lighthouse, Jack de Keyzer and more have all played at the Main Stage.

The Platinum Rock All Stars!

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Submitted by Don Graham

Imagine an album featuring some of your favourite classic rock songs to hit the charts by the original artists with some of the finest musicians of that era.

Acts like The Rascals, Yes, Vanilla Fudge, Whitesnake, Asia, Blue Oyster Cult and more. Now imagine seeing that album performed live featuring some of the original musicians playing together as a super group, a group called The Platinum Rock All Stars.

Well that’s exactly what you can do in Toronto on October 19th as The Platinum Rock All Stars come to The Rock Pile West for one show only. The band will feature: Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck, Ozzy on drums;,Gene Cornish  of The Rascals on guitar;
Geoff Downes of Buggles, Asia and Yes on keyboards; Phil Naro of Talas, Peter Criss Kiss Army; Brian May, Julian Lennon on vocals and guitar;  Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot, Ozzy, Whitesnake, Blue Oyster Cult on bass and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, of Guns N’ Roses on guitar.

Rosie Mackenzie Releases New Album “Atlantic”

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On Thursday, October 6th, at 7:00pmThe Old Triangle Irish Alehouse’s An Seanchai Room in Halifax will play host to the highly-anticipated launch of Cape Breton fiddler Rosie Mackenzie’s latest album, Atlantic. Recorded in her current home of Dingle, Ireland, with guitarist Matt Griffin, Atlantic is a collection of original compositions that pays tribute to MacKenzie’s Cape Breton roots while also highlighting how much the Atlantic Ocean has shaped her life. For more information, check out the facebook page for the free event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/534725980062711/

Additionally, Rosie and Matt Griffin will be performing on Tuesday October 11th, at 7:30pm, The Port Morien Legion/Community Centre in Port Morien as part of Cow Bay Ceilidh, a celebration of local music as part of the Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton.. There will also be a free concert two days earlier on  Friday, October 9th, at 5:30pm, at the Bras d'Or Yacht Club in Baddeck.

Carmine Appice Stick It!

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

As drummer for Vanilla Fudge, Carmine Appice set the grooves for the groundbreaking band’s 1967 psychedelic debut, inadvertently inventing Stoner Rock in the process. The Fudge had no precedent. The band was totally unique. No rock group, up until that point, had ever so lugubriously s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out well-known pop tunes like the Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” and “Ticket To Ride,” Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” Sonny & Cher’s “Bang Bang” Rod Argent’s “She’s Not There” and, most famously, The Supremes’ Motown classic “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” to such hippie heights. With Mark Stein’s mysterioso wash of Grand Guignol keyboard theatrics, Tim Bogert’s amazing and trippy bass runs, and guitarist Vince Martell’s era-happy soloing, Appice boomed like no other drummer in rock history. Their debut album still stands today as a Hard Rock classic. Vanilla Fudge went on to tour with Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and even had Led Zeppelin as an opening act.

Post-Fudge, Bogert and Appice formed Cactus (seen as an influence on King’s X and Van Halen). Post-Cactus, the rhythm section found Grammy-winning Guitar Hero Jeff Beck to form the first supergroup: Beck, Bogert & Appice (BBA).

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