BTW Andrew Bird, Lee Harvey Osmond, Bangerz Brass, Sonny & The Sunsets, Spoons, Allison Lupton, Julian Taylor, Steve Earle, Ex Hex

Fri Mar 29
Andrew Bird Photo Credit Amanda Demme

Andrew Bird
Photo Credit Amanda Demme

Humble internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Andrew Bird’s new album is called My Finest Work Yet. It’s just out and it may just live up to its title.

Along with the new album, Bird is premiering an animated video by Andrea Nakhla for “Manifest”.

His forthcoming My Finest Work Yet Tour will find him on an expansive run of North American dates. Bird will be joined by a variety of guests including Yola, Meshell Ndegeocello, Hiss Golden Messenger, Chicano Batman, MadisonCunningham, Tift Merritt, and a co-headline date in Boston with Calexico and Iron & Wine.

This Industry is 100% or Nothing

Fri Mar 29
Peter Astedt

This industry is 100% or nothing.

Is it possible to have a Skype with you on Saturday?

“The whole band can be on than on other days we work.”

“I can't meet that time because I pick up my kids from school.”

“We can't play there I have a family vacation to attend.”

I have seen so many variations on these sentences as different excuses to not make gigs or having a problem to just set up a meeting. All these excuses tell me is that your career is just not your major focus, something else is occupying your life.

Music Export Canada Presents Canadian Blast in Guimarães, Portugal

Fri Mar 29
Canadian Blast in Guimarães, Portuga

Westway LAB, Portugal’s first showcase festival and professional music conference, will take place for the sixth consecutive year from 10th to 13th of April in Guimarães, Portugal. Founded in 2014 with a clear mission: to operate a cultural, social and economic transformation through music, crossing borders enabling the construction of sustainable internationalization of artists and professionals from Portugal. During the 4 day event, Guimarães becomes a music city, combining in an innovative way the realization of an event based with three dimensions: Process (artist residencies), Thought (PRO Conferences) and Product (showcases and headline concerts).

BTW-Headstones, Don Stevenson, Maestro Fresh Wes, Avatar, Kerri Ough, Tim Bovaconti, Big Groove

Fri Mar 22
Headstones

He’s never been one to chill too far back and once the call was made to revive Headstones, guiding light Hugh Dillon has been busy getting it done. Following on the heels of their successful album Little Army, Headstones have once again been busy recording new music in Kingston, with plans to release a new record later this year. In advance, the band has released their version of the Gordon Lightfoot classic "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Always a song on their radar, circumstances finally clicked into place to give them the right opportunity to share their take with the fans.

This impactful interpretation of the iconic track chronicling the sinking of the bulk carrier SS Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 was a #1 hit for Lightfoot and remains one of his best-loved songs. While showing respect for the past, Headstones have put their unique spin on the song to introduce it to a whole new rock audience. The video was shot on location in Kingston, Ontario.

Ringo Starr Announces New Tour and Book

Fri Mar 22
Ringo Starr Photo Credit Scott Robert Ritchie

Sir Ringo Starr announced tour plans for 2019 with his All Starr Band, featuring Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette and the return of All Starr alum Hamish Stuart.

The first leg begins in March with one US show at Harrah’s Resort Southern California on March 21st before the band head to Japan,starting in Fukuoka on March 27th and ending April 11th in Osaka (full dates listed below). August 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of Ringo and His All Starr Band and they will hit the road for a celebratory tour which will kick off at Harrahs in Windsor on August 1st and then head to Ravinia near Chicago, Illinois to play two shows with the Beach Boys August 3rd and 4th and two shows at Nashville’s historic Ryman in Tennessee on August 7th and 8th. The tour will conclude September 1stat the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, California, nearly 30 years to the day when the inaugural All Starrs completed their first tour on September 3, 1989. (A full itinerary will be announced soon).

If I Can Get Readers, You Can Get Fans

Fri Mar 22
Peter Åstedt

Submitted by Peter Åstedt

All this started with yet another one of the artists I manage who complained how hard it is to get fans.Or rather get them to stay and follow them.

My answer was that I could start a blog and be the old grumpy man I am and still get readers and If I can get readers you can get fans. The thing is it would be easier if you are an attractive artist with good songs to get an audience. I’m exactly the opposite, grumpy old guy from the music industry, nagging about things in the music industry.

So, the bet was on. And I started my blog. First thing, where was my audience? I guess my biggest mistake was that I thought I wrote for artists. There are so many blogs online about how the artist struggles. How they don’t understand why people don’t discover them, or why they don’t get this or don’t get that. I thought I could break into that market mainly just pointing out the angle that the industry has. All these questions would find an answer in my blog!

Was I wrong! I didn’t get it in the beginning. I was marketing the blog against the artist community all the time and hoped that people would go in and read it. All I got was silence. I saw that artists would read it but they didn’t comment or come back. I was puzzled. These are the answers on the questions the other was telling in the other blogs or posts I saw online?

Bara Jonson and Free Fairytale Me

Fri Mar 22
Bara Jonson and Free Fairytale Me

How does an act from Sweden take a chance and go to a Live at Heart Festival on a Peninsula named Burin in Canada’s Newfoundland, write a song and end up on the Swedish Independent Music Chart 10 weeks in a row in a # 1 position, thanks to the fans (who are now friends) that they met there?

This is what Bara Jonson and Free did. “We rented a car, drove through torrential rain, landed in the middle of nowhere at the Marystown Hotel and suddenly you feel like you came ‘home’? There is no explaining it, but that is what happened to us.”

So they went back to Sweden and immediately wrote “Hello Newfoundland” and their newly found friends embraced it.

The release of the video included all of the amazing people who forged the road to these lifetime memories and also featured Tale The Rapper.

Watch ‘Hello Newfoundland’ here: https://youtu.be/Lg1FiA8jCZM

Country Music Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

Fri Mar 22
Country Music Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

Submitted by Don Graham

It’s that time of year again when The Country Music Association announces its inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The class of 2019 includes, Brooks and Dunn, Ray Stevens and Jerry Bradley all outstanding contributors to the country music industry. The inductees are from three categories, the modern era, the veteran era and the songwriter/musician/non-performer categories.

Joni Mitchell’s 75th Birthday Celebration CD

Fri Mar 15
Joni Mitchell’s 75th Birthday Celebration CD

Last November, some of Joni Mitchell’s musical friends and 3,000 fans gathered to celebrate and the special night was recorded by Verve/Decca Records. Her friends and fans gathered to pay tribute to the legendary singer, performing a special concert on Mitchell’s birthday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. The star-studded line-up included James Taylor, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan and Rufus Wainwright and a host others.

The release of The Music Center Presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration was 8 March 2019 and also featured performances by Brandi Carlile, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro &Xochi Flores, Graham Nash, Seal and more.

Each performer brought their own interpretation to Mitchell’s iconic catalogue. Brandi Carlile teamed up with Kris Kristofferson for a duet version of ‘A Case of You’, while Diana Krall covered the jazz-leaning ‘Amelia’. Mitchell’s hits were also represented, with Seal taking on ‘Both Sides Now’, and Rufus Wainwright doing a beautiful rendition of ‘Blue’.

Barry Stagg Capturing ‘One Heart At A Time’

Fri Mar 15
Barry Stagg Capturing ‘One Heart At A Time’

Barry Stagg was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where he lived for the first 29 years of his life. Although he resides in the US, he still spends summer months in Nova Scotia and maintains a Canadian address and passport.

He has written and recorded songs for Gamma Records, United Artists, London Records, RCA, and Cashbox Records. Barry is well known for his world hit song "To Love Means To Be Free,” released on his Green and Stagg album in 1969, which earned him the Canadian Business Music Industry’s writing award.

I caught up with Barry at his home and he still has all the enthusiasm of a young artist starting out.

“I just got back off the road doing a US promotional tour for both radio and television for ‘One Heart At a Time”. I was humbled by the reception and accolades we got every stop we made. I feel blessed that after all these years I still get to do what I love most. Write my songs and perform for people. There is nothing better than seeing the reaction to your material.”

Stagg has quite a legendary career behind his name:

Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, George Strait & More to Perform at ACM Awards

Fri Mar 15
Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, George Strait & More to Perform at ACM Awards

Submitted by Sandy Graham

The Academy of Country Music® announced today the first group of performers for the 54th ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS™. Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton and George Strait will take the stage for can’t-miss live performances at Country Music’s Party of the Year®. The awards telecast, hosted by Reba McEntire, will air LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at 8:00 PM ET / delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

As previously announced, ACM Dick Clark Artist of the Decade Award winner Jason Aldean will perform on the telecast. Additional acts and presenters will be announced in the coming weeks.

BTW - Lenny,We Got Your Back! Jaymz Bee, Tim Bovaconti, Kim Doolittle, Don Graham, Fergus Hambleton, Hotcha!, Laura Hubert, Big Rude Jake, Look People, Danny Marks, Joanne Powell, Audra Santa, The Essentials

Fri Mar 15
Look People

BTW is given over to saluting the musicians who have so graciously and generously donated their time and energies on my behalf by performing at Lenny, We Got Your Back! This benefit concert for yours truly takes place at the Horseshoe Tavern, Mar.28 with an 8PM showtime. My heartfelt thanks to everyone, and there have been many of you, who have had a hand in making this happen. I am humbled and grateful. Gonna be a hot show, tell your friends.

Jaymz Bee is an artist, musician, philanthropist and broadcaster who has produced countless events, over a dozen albums and been a member of several bands including The Tiki Collective, Tuk, The Royal Jelly Orchestra, Bonzai Suzuki and Look People. He's hosted and/or produced charity events for JAZZ.FM91 (over 16 years), Unison Benevolent Fund, Covenant House and the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (amongst others).

The New Sound of Linus Jackson

Fri Mar 15, 2019

Linus Jackson is a Swedish artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, he was the lead singer and guitarist in Swedish grunge band The Sludge, and he has been touring with a lot of artists in different roles. For example, you can hear him sing backup vocals with Ane Brun on her live album “Songs Tour 2013 (Live)”.

The same year Linus Jackson released his debut solo album “Said and done” (Album) where he was joined by 13 guest musicians such as Vindla String Quartet, Linnea Olsson, Conny Bloom (Electric Boys) and more.

His latest EP "I Want More” was released in Scandinavia on all platforms in September 2017 and worldwide in Sept 2018.

Cashbox Magazine caught up with Linus at his home in Sweden to talk about his future plans, his solo career and what brought him to the new sound.

“Although there were not a lot of musicians in the family (my Dad’s cousin Gunilla von Bahr was a flutist) I was surrounded by music all my life. I listened to all the Beatles songs as a kid. My parents also sang and influenced me by all the music they listened to as well. To this day they still perform in a choir.”

Dervish The Great Irish Songbook

Fri Mar 08, 2019

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day! As one of the world’s most renowned and imaginative interpreters of Irish folk music, Dervish has devoted the last three decades to gently reinventing the traditional songs of their homeland. On their debut release for Rounder Records, the Sligo-based band join up with over a dozen luminaries across an eclectic range of genres.

Featuring guests Steve Earle, Rhiannon Giddens, Vince Gill, Brendan Gleeson, Jamey Johnson, Kate Rusby, The SteelDrivers, Abigail Washburn, and others, The Great Irish Songbook both preserves the spirit of each song and brings a new vitality to iconic traditional songs of their homeland.

BTW-Tomato Tomato, Bobby Long, Chelsea Stewart, Don Brownrigg, Madison Violet, Julian Taylor, James Taylor Tribute, Audra Santa, Danny Marks

Fri Mar 08
Tomato Tomato

Very representative of how New Brunswick-based roots rock outfit led by Lisa and John McLaggan, Tomato Tomato do their thing is Canary In A Coal Mine. The new album by Tomato Tomato, is now on all digital platforms, and through their website tomatotomato.ca. The latest collection marks a significant creative step forward, having been recorded at Nashville studio The Bomb Shelter (Alabama Shakes, Margo Price) with producers Jon Estes and Andrija Tokic, along with some of Music City’s finest musicians.

Bruce Cockburn Back on Tour – States I’m In

Fri Mar 08
Bruce Cockburn Photo Credit Daniel Keebler

Few recording artists are as creative and prolific as Bruce Cockburn. Since his self-titled debut in 1970, the Canadian singer-songwriter has issued a steady stream of acclaimed albums every couple of years. But that output suddenly ran dry in 2011 following the release of Small Source of Comfort. There were good reasons for the drought. For one thing, Cockburn became a father again with the birth of his daughter Iona. Then there was the publication of his 2014 memoir Rumours of Glory.

“I didn’t write any songs until after the book was published because all my creative energy had gone into three years of writing it,” Cockburn explains, from his home in San Francisco. “There was simply nothing left to write songs with. As soon as the book was put to bed, I started asking myself whether I was ever going to be a songwriter again.”

Suzi Kory Her Time Has Come

Fri Mar 08
Suzi Kory

Suzi Kory has waited patiently for her time to come to live out her dream of performing under the bright lights and showing her talent to the world. And now the time has come. Born in Beirut Lebanon where the idea of being a performer was not looked upon in the brightest light she and her family relocated to Canada and she discovered the music Guns n Roses and was fascinated by frontman Axl Rose.

“Watching his raw and no inhibitions style and his charisma stirred something in me and it still does” Suzi decided to park her dream and raise a family and having now done that has reignited the spark. “ A few years ago I made the trip to Malibu and looked up where Axl Rose lived. I drove up there and there he was walking down the road in his sweats. I approached and he was amazing. We talked for a while, took a photo and we went our separate ways. But a part of me was so determined to pursue my dream after that encounter’” Her music doesn’t sound like Axl Rose but his determination and showmanship is evident when you see a Suzi Kory show

The Zombies Complete Studio Recordings On Vinyl

Fri Mar 08
The Zombies Complete Studio Recordings On Vinyl

For the first time ever, the essential studio recordings of Britain’s legendary Zombies and 2019 Inductees into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame are assembled in one place on vinyl via Varese Sarabande, Feb 22nd, 2019. This is a 5 Box Vinyl Set which includes two original US albums: She’s Not There/Tell Her No and Odessey & Oracle; Two important compilations: R.I.P which was compiled by CBS Records and intended to be a follow -up to Odessey and Oracle, but then cancelled and never pieced together until now, with only a few tracks appearing on various collections and some originally released as singles, and I Love You, which was only released in the UK and Japan. Also included, a bespoke collection of rare singles and UK-only album tracks: Oddities & Extras. This LP includes new notes from the historical producer/engineer Andrew Sandoval known for multi-artist presentations such as the British Invasion Tour. There are new photos for the album cover and slipcover. This is the most comprehensive vinyl collection of The Zombies’ work ever constructed.

62 Tracks of Pure Psychedelic Jazz-tinged Pop and hours of fascination for the determined diehard fans.

Gangstagrass! A Sound All Their Own

Fri Mar 01, 2019

Although the real break-through for Gangstagrass happened on July 8, 2010, Gangstagrass producer Rench and rapper T.O.N.E.Z were nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for "Long Hard Times to Come”, they initially formed in 2006 and have been evolving and changing ever since. The band's song "Long Hard Times to Come", was selected to be the opening theme song of the acclaimed television show Justified on FX in early 2010.

There is no distinct category or genre to put this band into; how do you define hip-hop/rap meets bluegrass. Truly a trailblazer, I had the opportunity to catch up with Rench, the producer as well as vocalist/guitarist in Gangstagrass at his home in New York.

BTW Lief Hall, Donna Grantis, Getaway Van, Donovan Woods, The Blue Stones, Mark Morton, Joni Mitchell Tribute, Jaymz Bee, The Peptides

Fri Mar 01
Lief Hall

With all the grey clouds and freezing rain, thought we’d start with music bright, warm and of curious intent. Victoria pop experimentalist Lief Hall (a former member of MYTHS/The Mutators) is large in Japan, with a nice fan base and two record labels, Moorworks and Fennelly, which are joint-releasing her entrancing new album Roses For Ruins in Japan. The album, released in North America in April 2018, will be available on CD in Japan on March 6, 2019.

Just out is 'Glass & Obsidian', the second music video from Roses for Ruins. With its minimalist beats, distant reverberating squeals and low hushed vocal choruses, the song uses imagery of the earth's elements colliding and transforming to explore forms of renewal and radical change. Earth, metal, crystal and air emerge throughout this video as themes which bring to life the song’s lyrics through sparse, surreal and fantasy-like environments. Dramatic lighting shimmers reflect and flares accentuate the hypnotic and dream-like quality of the music while dancers explore the sound through austere and sensual movement.