BTW – Tragedy Ann, Jesse Munro, The Lytics, Robert Connely Farr & the Rebeltone Boys, Skerryvore, John Young/Astrid Young, Blackburn Band

Fri Sep 28
Tragedy Ann The Last Thing

Here’s an act with that cozy fall sound just right for the season. Guelph-based award-winning duo Tragedy Ann, (Braden Phelan and Liv Cazzola), release a new video on August 17th, for their first single “The Last Thing,” from their upcoming debut full-length album Matches. The beloved alt/folk duo will support the new album with a tour in Canada (ON, QC, BC, NS, NB), and with stops in Toronto (release concert at Burdock Oct 13), Hamilton, London, Oakville, Montreal, Vancouver and others.

The video for “The Last Thing,” (audio and video by Sam Boer), is a simple but totally effective idea: Two people, two voices, two instruments, and one continuous shot to capture their heartfelt performance of an excellent song they wrote about the push and pull of a romantic relationship that may or may not be imminently ending. These days, that’s practically revolutionary.

A WILD Halloween Ball with the Greasemarks & The Desperados

Fri Sep 28
Greasemarks

Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Toronto's Greasemarks

Toronto’s rockabilly punks GREASEMARKS have had a hell of a year for a bunch of supposed ner' do wells- signing to L.A. Rockin’ label WILD Records, putting out a hot self-titled album to both controversy & critical acclaim, and stepping up from burnin’ local barns to the biggest international stages - Vegas, Nashville, L.A., Brockville, they've hit them all this year... Like Spicoli hiring Van Halen for his birthday party, Greasemarks aren’t going to do anything sensible with the spoils of moderate rockabilly success - like paying off debt - they’re throwing the biggest ROCKIN’ HALLOWEEN Party this town has seen! Bringing one of the absolute WILDEST bands on the international rockabilly the scene up from Santa Ana, California - THE DESPERADOS - & gettin’ the biggest local dogs to make sure the party goes all night!

Meet Royal Prospect - Sweden's Spotlight Sensation

Fri Sep 28
Royal Prospect Photo Credit Peter Astedt

Fresh off their blistering set of performances at LiveAtHeart Festival, the rapid-rising Swedish arena-rock sensation, Royal Prospect, have everything aligning for them to close the year out with a bang. Their fresh new single "Soldier" injects upbeat electro-pop into an energetic piano-driven hand clapper, with quick & catchy transitions fronted by the smooth vocals of lead singer Oscar Reingsdahl; it's no wonder Royal Prospect are making waves at industry spotlights around the globe. I caught up with Oscar who had this to say about their new single:

Abby Zotz - Singer, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist Shows the Human Side of Music

Fri Sep 28
Abby Zotz - Singer, Songwriter, Multi-Instrumentalist Shows the Human Side of Music

Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Sharing her personal journey with an enchanting voice, soul-touching lyrics and a range of musical styles, Abby Zotz weaves tendrils of hope together with strands of humour, resilience and, ultimately, joy.

A gifted musician and vocal artist, Abby’s message is an uplifting and often poignant expression of the human experience. She explores tiny fragments of life, both the lighter side and the struggle of finding hope in a troubled world. Her songs are at once intimate and relatable.

From classical and world music to country and traditional folk, Abby’s exposure to a medley of styles in her childhood set the tone for a life-long thirst to explore new musical avenues and expand her range. Her multi-faceted career has taken her from the Royal Conservatory of Music Concert Hall to tavern stages to trios and (almost) everywhere in between.

Live at Heart Newfoundland

Fri Sep 28, 2018

Following in the musical footsteps of the recent success of Live at Heart Sweden, Canada is about the embrace another version of this successful festival, with the inaugural event, Live at Heart Newfoundland.

Live at Heart Sweden began in 2010 when founders Anders Damberg and Johannes Nilsson wanted to create a space for local, unsigned bands to play for larger audiences. In its first year, Live at Heart featured 102 different acts and hosted gigs on 10 different venues around Örebro, Sweden. Over the years, Live at Heart has evolved into a creative industry conference and showcase festival – attended by hundreds of artists, filmmakers and creative professionals from all over the world. The event has grown into one of the biggest of its kind in all of Scandinavia and is considered one of the best festivals in the world. The 2018 version showcased more than 200 music acts and independent film screenings in the heart of Örebro.

BTW - Begonia, Hard Rubber, Micah Barnes, Plain White T's, Donovan Woods, Skydiggers, RYAN Playground, Blue Goose

Sat Sep 22
Begonia Phone Credit Leeor Wild

So, Winnipeg based Begonia (aka Alexa Dirks) reveals the charmingly haunting video for “The Light”. Directed by Emma Higgins, Dirks says “she felt the emotion and saw my vision for the song right away.” The visual of Begonia singing in a store window surrounded by little dolls wearing white frilly dresses is one that Dirks says “encompassed the pure, ultra-feminine ideals that women are told to take on from a very young age, juxtaposed with me, a woman that does not fit into those stereotypes, sticking out and singing amongst them.” Dirks and Higgins then took that idea a step further, making, sez Begonia “the ‘creepy mother of the dolls’ going out for a night on the town with my pure, frilly, little, babies in tow.”

WATCH AND SHARE “THE LIGHT” HERE

Sheldon Kagan Not In a Shy Way

Fri Sep 21, 2018
DJ Sheldon and his early DJ Gear
DJ Sheldon and his early DJ Gear

If you are a Montrealer, or even just worked in the entertainment business in that glorious city, then the name Sheldon Kagan is one you will instantly recognize.

For 50 years plus, Kagan was known as one of Montreal’s leading event producers and entrepreneurs. From starting out as a 16-year-old kid doing high school DJ gigs to creating a niche for jazz shows to come through the city, to booking the likes of local bands to legendary greats, producing thousands of productions and taking the chances it takes to book live entertainment.

Canadian Indie Pop Folk Duo In The City Remember the “Best Time” in New Single

Fri Sep 21
Canadian Indie Pop Folk Duo In The City Remember the “Best Time” in New Single

Sometimes, bad times help us remember better times. It's a circuitous path to happiness, to be sure. But it's the one taken by Toronto pop-folk duo In the City on their new single and video “Best Time” — available now.

Although it was inspired by the untimely and unexpected death of singer Ashley Jane's mother last year, the song — a preview of the pair's forthcoming concept EP MaryAnn — chooses to celebrate life rather than mourn a loss. "It's really a song that she's singing to my dad," explains Jane, who splits musical duties with multi-instrumentalist and studio whiz Timon Wientzek. "I was really grappling with the idea of grieving for someone you've lost and how you can get really swept up in the tragedy of it. It's really easy for that to become how you remember someone.

“But the storyteller in me was saying, 'No if your mom was still here, I think she'd tell all her friends and loved ones that she had the best time while she was here.’

Gowan Still a Criminal Mind

Fri Sep 14, 2018

At his Caesar’s Palace Coliseum concert on Friday, Sept 7, Larry Gowan was presented with a Certified Canadian Platinum Single award for a combined 80,000 physical, digital and stream equivalent units of his song “A Criminal Mind.”

Gowan was surprised by his label Linus Entertainment with the award, just as his band left the stage leaving him to perform the song solo. While the band and stage managers were in on the plot, Larry was genuinely surprised and delighted at the presentation. “It’s amazing to me because I didn’t think anyone bought records anymore!” he said upon returning for an encore. Linus Entertainment represents several Gowan albums including Strange Animal, Great Dirty World (which includes the song Moonlight Desires), and The Good Catches Up.

BTW Altameda, Tia Brazda, Lindi Ortega, Notifi, Oakland Stroke, nêhiyawak, Bobby Dean Blackburn & Brooke Blackburn

Fri Sep 14
Altameda

Here's a rising crew of rockers hailing from Edmonton you might want to hear. Altameda returns today with a brand new track "Rolling Back To You" - Listen and watch the video here.

This is the first track off their upcoming sophomore full-length Time Hasn't Changed You due early 2019 via Pheromone Recordings.

Paying homage to what came before while remaining very much of the moment, Altameda's "Rolling Back To You" is a blend of classic rock and folk traditions. Reflecting on the writing process, Altameda says, "It was one of the last additions to the batch of songs we had going into the recording sessions. It seemed to form out of an attempt to juxtapose a hopeful beacon of light against some of the more heavy-hearted songs on the album. Though, it may be light-hearted in 'feel', I think the lyrical content reflects the love-laden themes carried throughout the rest of the album."

Don McLean ‘Mr American Pie’ in the Botanical Gardens

Fri Sep 07, 2018

Don McLean is one of those rare characters, a true US music icon with a song-writing knack and a melodic thrust few can ever reach, let alone match. With a new album just out, ‘Botanical Gardens,’ he is relaxed, assured and happy to look back at his fifty years on the road, a modern troubadour who still loves the buzz of live performance.

I love being out there, on-stage, never knowing what might happen. I’m flying and I only hope everybody gets it and it goes well and is not a disaster. I don’t wear a harness. I’m like a wild horse,’ he says with evident relish.

BTW Chris Velan, Catalina Shortwave, Anne Bourne, Small Leaks Sink Ships, Great Lake Swimmers, Dilly Dally, Christina Martin

Fri Sep 07
Chris Velan Photo Credit Dan Haber

Amateur Hour is the new album from genre-hopping songwriter Chris Velan and it started out as songs about a relationship and all the emotional baggage that comes with it; desire, love, resentment, pain. But soon he realized that the relationship he was exploring was the one with himself.

Due out September 14, Amateur Hour unfolds like a series of monologues in a one-act play where the characters are locked in a room and forced to respond and react to unexpected news, discovering that what they thought to be true of themselves was in fact not.

First single, “All Time Record”, is a bit of mystery for Velan. “It came in the form of an urgent stream of babble that I had to quickly record into my phone and then later transcribe and translate,” he says. “It wasn’t as much about the meaning of the words as it was their sound. I think that’s why it retains this elusive, joyful quality. It doesn’t want to be pinned down.”

LISTEN AND SHARE “ALL TIME RECORD” HERE

Winnipeg Singer/Songwriter Madeline Roger Releases New Album on October 26

Fri Sep 07
Madeline Roger

Winnipeg singer-songwriter Madeleine Roger is pleased to announce the independent release of her debut solo album Cottonwood on October 26th and today marks the official release of the first single 'Take My Time' which premiered yesterday at Aesthetic Magazine. 'Take My Time' is available today on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes and all other digital retailers/streaming services. Madeleine will embark on an extensive Canadian tour in support of Cottonwood this fall, starting with an early album release show in Winnipeg on September 21st at The West End Cultural Centre. See below for full tour details.

Country/Roots Singer Juliet Simmons Dinallo, Dream Girl, on November 16

Fri Sep 07
Country/Roots Singer Juliet Simmons Dinallo, Dream Girl, on November 16

Country/Roots singer Juliet Simmons Dinallo will release her new CD, Dream Girl, on November 16, with distribution via BFD/Orchard. A digital release of the new CD will be available digitally everywhere online on October 5, 2018. Originally from Boston and now based in East Nashville, Juliet recorded her new disc at Ice Station Zebra in Medford, Mass., with production by Michael Dinallo and Ducky Carlisle. Call it Boston roots and cowgirl boots, if you will. 

Juliet will support Dream Girl with a number of album release shows in the Nashville area, as well as throughout the southeast, with Midwest gigs on tap in the future.

BTW - Kalle Mattson, Idles, Jimmy Rankin, Mike Edel, Melodic Yoza, Slamboni, Mitski

Fri Aug 31
Kalle Mattson Photo Credit Colin Medley

Alt folkie Kalle Mattson is coming round with a new album, Youth .a coming-of-age record about innocence lost, promises denied, and the purgatory of one’s mid-20s. When Mattson began writing the album, his motto was “folk is dead”, but he still demoed all the songs, “just me and an acoustic guitar in my bedroom ...unique, I know,” he says. While the songs may begin on the ol’ six-string, the final tracks on Youth. see Mattson shifting the focus to keyboards and drum machines with help from producer Colin Munroe (Drake, Sky Ferreira).

WATCH AND SHARE THE ALBUM TEASER VIDEO HERE

William Bell : Born Under a Bad Sign

Fri Aug 31
William Bell

Veteran blues-soul man William Bell smiles when I suggest he’s been working the music business for half a century, before correcting me with a laugh: “Sixty years now, in fact,” he says. Bell was one of the earliest Stax musicians, signed to the label back in 1961 primarily as a songwriter, he always had the ambition to make his mark as both writer and performer. An ambition he readily achieved and three-score years later, he continues to deliver top-notch material with scarcely a trace of effort.

Currently working on a new album, Bell is studio-bound though he still loves life out on the road: “I never tire of the travel, meeting the fans, working hard,” he confirms. “Right now I’m working on a bunch of new songs, some for other artists, and some for a new release I’m working with.”

Ry Cooder The Return of the Prodigal Son

Fri Aug 31, 2018

When one of the world’s most accomplished, admired and revered guitarists tells you that how he plays is: “………nothing special. It’s just music. All music’s the same, all that folk stuff. You just play what you know. You listen to the other guys and try to compliment them,” you know you’re dealing with a master of understatement. And with Ry Cooder, the humility continues in a similar vein as he looks back over half a century at the absolute peak of musical genius.

From his sideman work with the Rolling Stones – Cooder’s the stinging slide-picker on ‘Sister Morphine’ on the ‘Sticky Fingers’ album – in the 1960s to his remarkable emergence as a movie music score writer twenty years later, Cooder has always been a guy with a passion for music, performance and unexpected twists and turns. Always ready to play out his socio-political beliefs and hopes in musical form, Cooder never shuns controversy when he feels the time is right, or there’s a need to push back against convention or authority.

BTW Velvet Code, Dale Boyle, Sam Weber, Tia Brazda, Haerts, Tri-Continental

Fri Aug 24
Velvet Code

Here's another Canuck star in the making, this time in the field of electropop. Award-winning electropop artist Velvet Code has announced the August 22, 2018 release of his highly-anticipated first single “Break The Silence”, from his upcoming sophomore album. Collaborating with industry legend Wendy Starland (the woman responsible for developing and discovering Lady Gaga), “Break The Silence” is being billed as a confident follow-up to Code’s previously acclaimed work, which has been featured on hit television shows such as Jersey Shore and The Hills.

Deriving musical influences from the likes of Freddy Mercury, Depeche Mode and Imagine Dragons, Velvet’s new single aims to shine the light on the pressing issue of mental health. Throughout his career, the openly gay musician has dealt with varying degrees of depression and anxiety and is hoping that messages in his music will help listeners going through difficult times

7th Annual Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship Fundraiser Announces Line-Up

Fri Aug 24
7th Annual Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship Fundraiser Announces Line-Up

2018 ALGMS Winner to be Announced Amongst  Performances from Previous Recipients, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 @ Grossman’s Tavern, 379 Spadina Avenue in Toronto.

 

The Amy Louie / Grossman’s Music Scholarship continues to accept submissions ahead of its annual ALGMS Fundraiser at Grossman’s Tavern this September 25th. The submission window closes September 14th.

The ALGMS is an artist development bursary created in honour of the late Amy Louie, whose family has been a mainstay in the local music community and owned Grossman’s Tavern since 1975.

Since the scholarship’s inception in 2013, it has grown to a disbursement of $2,000. The prize is awarded annually to a group or individual artist from the Greater Toronto Area whose winning project proposal demonstrates how the bursary would advance their music career.

Meet The New Swedish POP/Indie/Folk Maestro Simon Alexander!

Fri Aug 24
Simon Alexander Photo Credit Ian Moloney

LABEL: REHN MUSIC GROUP

Last single “Slide” was added to Spotify New Music Friday lists in Germany, Switzerland,Norway, Denmark & Iceland as well as native Spotify-playlisting on lists as "Hangover Friendly" and "New Talent" Slide was also featured in various blogs as museek.de - altitude - dansendeberen - popmuzik.se and more.

Simon Alexander is announced for Sweden’s biggest Showcase Festival LIVE AT HEART in September 2018. http://liveatheart.se. Then in October, it is on to the Oxjam Camden Festival - London UK - German Tour spring 2019.

With a sound influenced by greats like Jeff Buckley and Neil Young to more modern songwriters like Hozier and Matt Corby, Simon Alexander is taking on the Singer/Songwriter - Folk/Indie scene bringing his profound lyrics and heartfelt melodies.

Simon Alexander was born and raised on the west coast of Sweden. From early years the interest for music was immense, and Simon spends the majority of his time as a drummer in various constellations while writing on his own material behind closed doors.

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