Canadian Music Royalty Honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


Story: Don Graham
Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Ontario, was the scene of a unique gathering on Monday June 18th, 2012.

Commemorative medals were presented to distinguished Ontario residents who have already been invested with the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario. All living Order of Canada and Order of Ontario recipients were invited.  It is unusual for these recipients to come together in one place said The Honourable Ontario Lt. Governor David Onley.

Lt. Governor Onley, Governor General David Johnson and other prominent Canadians presented the prestigious awards. CBC Anchor Peter Mansbridge hosted the gala and also received a medal.

Susan Aglukark, Molly Johnson, Ben Heppner and Gordon Lightfoot took the stage at Roy Thomson Hall Monday evening. The four musicians, all members of the Order of Canada, performed at a presentation of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals to more than 600 people. The special medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

Orillia’s Lightfoot was one of several who gave Lt. Governor Onley the idea for the gala. Lt. Governor Onley said he put the event together hastily, after presenting the first 25 Diamond Jubilee Medals on Feb. 6, at a gathering that brought together a remarkable group of people, including Gordon Lightfoot and actor Gorden Pinsent.

Lt. Governor Onley commented “So many people felt it in the room. It was a totally unique experience; these 25 people. It was almost an emotional experience and people were very touched by it. At the end of the day it was decided this had to be done on a larger scale.”

BTW-Starring badbadnotgood, Rich Aucoin, Gang of Four, Sleater Kinney, Vusi Mahlasela and Hugh Masakela


Submitted by Lenny Stoute
photo: Ghostface

Badbadnotgood, Toronto’s jazz-funk instigators stir it up strong with Sour Soul, their-long buzzed about collab with the legendary Ghostface Killah. For the most part, it’s a good fit. The voice and cadences are unmistakable as is the film noir gangsta rhymes and badbadnotgood do a righteous job of not only matching the beats but getting the emotional connections just so. While Ghostface DNA is all over the project, the guys manage to get in some guest shots from young comers DOOM (“Ray Gun”), Elzhi(“Gunshowers”), Tree(“Street Knowledge”) and a sizzling drop from Danny Brown on "Six Degrees" giving it all a very much in the moment vibe. Very cool considering the bulk of the material was written in 2012 durng an NY session with producer Frank Dukes. This is muscular, sinewy music tapping Stax soul, nodding at Jazzmatazz, touching on RZA and arranged so that a song’s true intentions often creep in from side stage rather than pushing to the front, all boombastic. Beats and production values are outstanding, bright touches like guitar reverb and string passages are never out of place and as per the badbadnotgood aesthetic, all this happens to you in 34 minutes flat, thank you ma’am.

Folks Happily Brave the Winter for Winterfolk

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Submitted by Lee Fraser
Photo: Ben Sures

This is a tale of bitter cold and welcoming warmth. Somehow, here in Toronto, the right light bulb went on over the right head.  Winterfolk is the creation of Brian Gladstone. Having spent most of his life in the corporate world, it seems that Brian chose to explore his creative side when others were embarking on mid-life crises.  With almost five decades behind him, he decided to record an album.  Through hard work and self-promotion, he got radio play and record label distribution in Europe.  But when he tried out for the home-town holy grail, Mariposa, Brian didn’t make the cut. Out of defeat comes innovation: the idea of a folk music festival in the dead of winter.  Winterfolk was born.

Winterfolk plays out over five stages within close proximity on the Danforth, just east of Broadview.  If the weather hadn’t been in the neighbourhood of minus twenty all weekend, you could have darted between shows without your jacket.  Given the fact that it was bitterly cold, with the wind only making things worse, it was easy enough to settle into one warm room and spend hours of your time there.  Winterfolk has two aspects to it: ticketed shows and a wristband.  This year, there were five ticketed shows offering line-ups of 4 to 6 artists following a theme per show, while the $10 wristband gets you in and out of all the other shows.

BTW-Starring Astral Swans, Swans, Michael Feuerstack, Dave Rave, Emilia, Bob Dylan


Submiited by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right: Astral Swans

This week, it’s all about the Swansy. First up, Astral Swans, which is mostly just Matthew Swann. Astral Swans just laid down All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson, a collection of stark psychedelic folk from the mindsets of Calgary’s Matthew Swann. Songs steeped in universal anguish, marveling at the world’s knack for enterprise and cannibalism, come across instead as subtle, reassuring lullabies.

Chart Attack premieres the latest single from Astral Swan’s debut LP, “What Calms You Down, Freaks Me Out”. Steeped in serene 60’s folk, 80’s no-wave alienation, and the insouciance of 90’s grunge, the track bears the ominous pleasance of Syd Barrett, Arthur Russell, Nick Drake, and fellow Calgarian Chad Van Gaalen.

Set for release on Dan Mangan’s Madic Records on February 24, these twelve songs come wrapped in taco shells of sardonic reflections, in his own words, “confronting our strange ways of experiencing personhood, in the moral gorge between ideals and inadequacies”. Tracked live in Swann’s living room, and later embellished in an old Calgary warehouse with local experimental/improv mainstay Brad Hawkins (Ghostkeeper), All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson is flawed if not for its air of accidental perfection, normalizing existential struggle with rhythm and harmony, a natural marriage of the sweet to the acrid. Y’all can catch the dude live all over the country as he’s currently on the never-ending tour with Dan Mangan + Blacksmith.

Grammy Award Winners 2015

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 8 2015 and the winners are: (drum roll!)

Music Export Canada Presents: Canada Stand and Canadian Blast at MIDEM 2015

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June 5-8, 2015 in Cannes, France

On February 11, 2015 CIMA announced the line-up for the seventh annual Canadian Blast showcase series at MIDEM in Cannes, France. Seven Canadian artists are confirmed for nighttime showcases at Morrisons (10 rue Teisseire) in the heart of Cannes.
Canadian Blast showcases confirmed for:
Saturday, June 6 include Mario Peluso & les Hobos Hurleurs(Artic Records);
Mimi O’Bonsawin (EMG); The Jonny Debt Band (Sugar Moon Music) and Virginia to Vegas featuring Alyssa Reid (Wax Records)

On Sunday, June 7, showcases include Ambre McLean (Letting Artists Make Art (LAMA); Claire Mortifee (Bombay Records); The Walkervilles featuring Glenn Lewis and Dru (Fullcc Music Group – Full Capacity Concerts)

For the past forty years, CIMA has dedicated itself to strengthening the Canadian independent music industry.

WinterFolk Tickets At a Glance

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The WinterFolk Festival hits Toronto again next week and as always there are some great acts to catch. Here is a basic line-up of ticketed events you can get to support live entertainment.

Friday Feb 13, 2015 – Doors open at 7:00 – $10 Advance, $15 Door Globe Bistro
Suzie Vinnick, John Brooks, Laura Bird, Meg Tennant, Kelli Trottier,  Clela Errington, Jocelyn Barth 

Friday Feb 13, 2015 – Doors open at 7:00 $15 Advance, $20 Door
Alfie Smith, The Heavy Weights Brass Band, David Essig , Jack DeKeyzer, Gary Kendall, Al Lerman, and more
Black Swan Tavern (2nd Floor) 154 Danforth Ave

LILITH COMES TO WINTERFOLK –  A Celebration of Women in Song
Saturday February 14, 2015 – $15 Advance, $20 Door
Lynn Miles, Linda McRae, Rae Billing,  Shawna Caspi, Lynn Harrison, Soozi Schlanger
Black Swan Tavern (2nd Floor) 154 Danforth Ave 

Saturday February 14, 2015 – Doors open at 7:00 $15 Advance, $20 Door
Laura Fernandez, HOTCHA!, The Trio of Fun (Ken Whiteley, Wendell Ferguson, Tony Quarrington), Swamperella
Black Swan Tavern (2nd Floor) 154 Danforth Ave 

Someone In That Something - Meet Victoria Talent

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Submitted by Shelley L. Buffitt

This past summer I was introduced to a young lady named Victoria Talent via YouTube.  I was beyond impressed with what I heard and saw. Miss Victoria Talent is a young musician. Her instrument of choice? The piano.

After watching her videos, I emailed Victoria to offer words of encouragement. In my role as a mentor to young entrepreneurs, I have learned that the best wisdom we can impart on our youth is validation through the recognition of effort.  Professionally and personally, I believe we should allbe validating our peers and youth, particularly when it comes to the arts.If I hadn’t taken 15 minutes out of my day to hear Victoria on YouTube, I would have lost the opportunity to introduce you to this special young lady.

Victoria’s reply to my initial email was nothing short of mind-boggling. The email was like reading something from a University Professor. All I could think was, “How old is this kid?”  I checked again for her age….yep, she’s 11 years old. Impossible…then again, maybe possible if she has an IQ of 190 and has already obtained her Doctorate in Communications, Literature and Music. Oh yes, and has a degree in Marketing and Public Relations. But she doesn’t. Victoria is just a girl who loves her family, friends, school, learning about computer programming and learning in general, reading Highlights Magazine, tobogganing, anything that involves Disney or Star Wars, drawing cartoons and all things to do with music and creating.

Sly Stone Wins $5 Million In Unpaid Royalties Lawsuit Against Manager, Lawyer

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Story Courtesy of The Huffington Post

A jury has awarded Sly Stone, iconic lead singer of Sly and the Family Stone, $5 million in unpaid royalties concluding a lawsuit that began almost exactly five years ago.
The Guardian reports that Stone (real name Sylvester Stewart) was urged to sign an employment and shareholder agreement with Even St Productions. The singer claimed his manager Gerald Goldstein and attorney Glenn Stone then used the agreement to divert royalties to themselves instead of the musician.
The defendants responded by stating the musician knew the terms of the contract but broke an agreement to record new music.
"It was a classic case of Hollywood accounting, but I guess it would have to be called record industry accounting," the singer's attorney Nick Hornberger said following the decision.
The singer, now 71, has become known for his reclusive and enigmatic behavior in recent years, as well as a longstanding battle with drugs. The New York Post famously reported in 2011 that Stone was homeless and living in a camper van.

Poor Nameless Boy Joins Chronograph Records Roster

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Calgary-based Chronograph Records is pleased to welcome Regina-based indie folk artist Joel Henderson, known by his stage name Poor Nameless Boy, to their roster. Following the acclaimed release of his introspective album “The Activity Book” in 2013, Joel returns to the studio in Spring 2015 to record brand new music for a Fall release.
"From the first time I talked with Chronograph, it was clear to me how much time and care they put into their artists. I know they have been branching out a little bit with genres in the last few years and I'm happy to be a part of that. It was apparent how passionate they were about my music and that is the most important thing. I'm thrilled to see what kind of music will be made with them, " said Joel.

Music is in Joel’s blood – his dad toured for 18 years and his brother maintains an active presence in the Canadian country music scene, so it comes naturally to him. He has performed on CTV and Global TV, and showcased at Folk Alliance International and Canadian Country Music Week. Large stage appearances include Ness Cress Music Festival and the Cathedral Arts Festival in Regina.

“From the first time I saw the video for his song “Rush Me An Ambulance,” I was hooked on his voice, his melodies, his writing. I couldn’t be more excited to work with such an exceptional talent, and look forward to sharing his music with the world!” explains Chronograph VP Stephanie Hutchinson.

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