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BTW-Starring The Weeknd, Don Graham, Emilia, Buddy Black, Luke & The Apostles, The Heavyweights Brass Band, Royksopp

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Is The Weeknd losing the plot?  Playing his biggest T.Dot venue yet, the Molson Amphitheatre, Abel Tesfaye jumped on the heavy production facilities like a model in a lingerie store to indulge his theatrics to the max. Of which the new look avec huge flak jacket and coiled-up dreads came over more like a cartoon character than the conflicted S&M master he’s going for. Handful of new songs added to the set, of which the strongest was a remix of Beyonce’s ‘Drunk In Love’. Dude does have the falsetto to pull it off and he did. Still, never a good sign when a cover’s the best new thing y’all have. Sound twitched between noise rock and minimalist r’n’b, correctly arranged and executed. Since it’s all about Abel, there’s little interaction between him and the faceless backing three-piece.

The sound was bigger than big and squeaky clean, a nice counterpoint to the dirty soul on offer here. But there’s a sameness creeping in and it’s about the between songs raps, the images of naked women all wrapped up in their work and even the sound itself. Song after song about Abel’s hard life as a sexually adventurous pop star was getting a shade claustrophobic at the end. He closed out with the best of the new ones, Often, which drew the crowd into a sing along.

Maybe it was the setting or the lack of strong new material but somehow this Weeknd didn’t come across as edgy or dangerous as previous. Which leaves us with a show that was good enough but not the best.

Buddy Black’s Back on the Road to Waterloo

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Every day we all wake up to another flood of new music, churned out by insomniac elves while we slumber. Given this musical monsoon, it’s inevitable that some really good stuff will be swept away along with the froth, to exist thereafter only in the memory of the few who experienced them. Such was the fate of The Story on the Road to Waterloo, the vampire-centric punk country opera released by genre mastermind Buddy Black to a climate of, for the most part, chilly indifference. However, the scatterlings who picked up on it were enough in number and enthusiasm that over time, The Story on the Road to Waterloo has achieved a certain cult status.

Which is just not enough for Buddy Black. The cult thing is nice but dude believes his opus deserves a wider hearing. This is about to happen when Buddy Black & the Ghost Umbrellas roll out The Story on the Road to Waterloo Thurs. Oct. 2 at The Cameron House.

“Simply, I think it’s the best thing I’ve done yet. It’s the kind of thing that sticks with you. I know I’m not alone in this; people who’ve heard it say it’s their absolute favourite of everything I’ve ever done. It’s beautiful, tragic and harrowing and both the story and the music have a purity of feeling. The problem with the initial release was poor distribution due to a number of obstacles. I feel I’m now in a position to reach a wider audience, spring boarding from the cult following.”

The timing’s right as there’s also a wider, more appreciative audience for all things vampire, so the project should benefit from this. The EP’s theme derives from the 1988 horror cult classic ‘Chillers’, from the scary mind of Daniel Boyd, a movie very dear to Buddy’s heart.

George Hamilton IV Gone Home

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Submitted by Don Graham

Country music legend George Hamilton IV passed away Wednesday September 17, in Nashville  after suffering a heart attack.  He was 77 years old.

Hamilton was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on July 19, 1937 and while he was a 19-year-old student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he recorded "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" for Chapel Hill Records. The song was written by John D. Loudermilk, and made it all the way to No. 6 on the country charts. By 1960, "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" went gold for ABC-Paramount who had acquired the song. The self-penned B-side, "If You Don't Know", showed Hamilton's rockabilly side. In late 1959, Hamilton moved his family to Nashville to pursue his dream of being  a country musician. In February of 1960, Hamilton officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and later that same year, he began recording for RCA Records, having been signed by Chet Atkins.

Hamilton's breakthrough hit was the 1961 song "Before This Day Ends" while his biggest hit came two years later with "Abilene", another song penned by Loudermilk and Bob Gibson. The song spent four weeks at No. 1 on country singles chart and reached the Top 20 of the Hot 100. The success of "Abilene" was followed with the song "Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston" a Top 5 hit in late 1964.

After his American chart success declined in the early 1970s, Hamilton began touring the world, across the Soviet Union Australia, the Middle East and East Asia. These widely acclaimed international performances earned Hamilton the nickname The International Ambassador of Country Music. He also hosted several successful television programs in the UK and Canada during the 1970s, and in the 1990s he played himself in the West End musical Patsy, based on the life of Patsy Cline.

Hamilton was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

U2 Free Download - Musical Generosity or Aggressive Arrogance?

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Submitted by Don Graham

If you’re a U2 fan with an iPhone you woke up to a nice gift, a free download of the band’s new album automautically downloaded on your iTunes. Yippee!  If you’re NOT a U2 fan and don’t want to listen to their music you got their new album “Songs of Innocence”  downloaded on your account. The company deposited the band's album into the online accounts of half a billion iTunes users.  The unsolicited appearance of the album's 11 songs was viewed by many as an aggressive marketing assault.

The gripes on Twitter were along the lines of "I'd rather have food poisoning on Christmas" and "Why and how did a random U2 album download onto my phone?" Not everyone saw the songs automatically download to their devices. User settings determined whether the songs would download or simply remain in the "cloud" on a list of albums purchased through iTunes.

The band hasn't had a new album in five years, and lead singer Bono wants to get U2’s  music to as many people as possible. He is quoted as saying. "And for the people out there who have no interest in checking us out, look at it this way . . . the blood, sweat and tears of some Irish guys are in your junk mail," he added.

But it wasn't that simple for iTunes users. There is no easy way to remove what some people were calling the "U2 virus." You can delete the songs from your device, but in the cloud the most you can do is hide the album in your online library.

Songs of Innocence will still be displayed as an “iTunes in the Cloud” purchase. That means it will still be shown as part of your music library, even if you delete all the tracks. The only way to make the U2 album disappear is to go to your Mac or PC and hide all of your iTunes in the “Cloud” purchases, or use iTunes to manually hide each track from your purchased items list.

Elyse Saunders Warm Coats Warm Hearts

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Submitted by Don Graham

Rising country singing star Elyse Saunders is a busy young lady.  She has just returned from the Canadian Country Music Week awards celebrations where she completed a successful set at the Diamonds in the Rough Showcase and is working on completing her new 10 song CD.  In addition to performing live with regularity in and around the Toronto area she is planning and promoting her annual benefit event.

The event, Elyse Saunders "Warm Coats Warm Hearts" Coat Drive&Concert is taking place Saturday October 11th from 4-8pm at Lake Affect Comfort Foods & Music Lounge in Port Credit, Ontario.

Elyse will be hosting the event with the Justin Time Band backing her up . The band will play some material on their own throughout the night and there will be performances by  some of Port Credit's celebrities and other surprise guests. The price of admission will be a new or gently used coat of any gender or size or a cash donation, with all proceeds going to the coat drive.

Bob Crewe Hitmaker Passes On

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Submitted Courtesy of Rob Durkee

Bob Crewe, who at least co-wrote and/or produced over 60 Top 40 hits, including the vast majority of the Four Seasons' hits, died Thursday in Scarborough, Maine. According to writer Paul Cashmere, Crewe was 82. At press time, the cause of death wasn't known.

Crewe's career dates back to the 1950's, when he co-wrote the top tenner "Silhouettes" for the Rays in 1957. He co-wrote and produced "La Dee Dah" and "Lucky Ladybug" for the duo Billie and Lillie in 1958. In 1959, he did the same thing for Freddy (Boom Boom) Cannon's breakthrough hit, "Tallahassee Lassie."

Crewe's career took off in 1960, when he started working with a struggling group that began as the Four Lovers. That was about the time the Four Lovers decided to rename themselves after a bowling alley...and the Four Seasons were born. Crewe was behind the Four Seasons' #1 hits "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like A Man" and "Rag Doll." The only Four Seasons chart-topper that he didn't write or produce was "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)."

Crewe was also behind back-to-back #1's from 1975: "My Eyes Adored You" (Frankie Valli) and "Lady Marmalade" (LaBelle). The latter would become a #1 remake in 2001 for the four-act combination of Christina Aguillera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink. Among the other acts he helped manufacture hits with were Michael Jackson, Lesley Gore, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Diane Renay, the Walker Brothers, Herman's Hermits, the Tremeloes, Oliver, the Osmonds and Disco Tex And The Sex-O-Lettes.

Writer Ryan McPhee reported that Bob Crewe's work has been heard in the Broadway Musical "Jersey Boys," which became a movie of the same name. Peter Gregus, who portrayed Crewe in the play, pointed out, "What you see in 'Jersey Boys' is the tip of the iceberg of what he contributed to the Four Seasons and the music industry. If we told his part of the story, we'd be there until four in the morning."

The CCMA Awards From Edmonton, Alberta Giddy Up!

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Submitted by Don Graham

Every year in September the world of Canadian Country music meets to network, perform and honour their own at the CCMA Awards Gala, a televised event that presents the winners their Awards. It also allows the public to have access to their heroes and heroines  by green carpet and live television.  The week leading up o big night is chock full of live music via concerts and showcases for the rising star talent that country music has to offer.

It’s the one time of the year where you can see legends, established stars, rising stars, singers, songwriters, radio personalities, record execs, promoters, radio trackers , publicists and everyone involved in country music in Canada in one place. For one week business is conducted, songs shared and friendships made, face to face , in person without the use of the internet or mp3s. Old school.

This year’s events were held in Edmonton, Alberta and the big televised show was held at Rexall Place, home of  the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers.  During the week there were big parties and gatherings scattered all over the town. The Royalty Records 40th Anniversary party was held at Cook County and featured Royalty artists from yesteryear and today.

There were showcases at West Edmonton Mall and Diamonds in the Rough at the Marriott Hotel. Lunch time shows in The Westin Lobby. A Silver Bullet Showcase at The Sherlock Holmes Pub, The Jiffy Lube Fanfest in the massive mall. There was music everywhere.

The Invictus/Open Road  party was held at the Ranch put on  by Jim Cressman and company that featured live bands playing to a full house and hosted by the Dragon Den’s Brett Wilson. It rocked.

John Mann Frontman of Spirit of the West Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

John Mann, frontman and songwriter of the energetic and popular Spirit of the West has come forward to announce he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. At only 51 years of age, this is a devastating declaration for a talented and energetic entertainer.

Late this summer, John Mann performed at Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition, singing the famous line from Spirit of the West’s tune Home For a Rest “You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best.” The song would have a double meaning as soon after Mann and his family would announce the fact he is now in the early onset of this terrible disease.

When Mann was in his forties, he went to his family doctor with concerns he might have the beginning of dementia. At the time they thought the symptoms were being caused by colorectal cancer and the stress of that disease. He went into remission, but after a year his brain was still not functioning properly and it was clear there was more to the problems than the cancer and something was very wrong.

“He started having trouble with the chords or the lyrics to songs we’ve been playing for a really long time, songs like Home for a Rest, songs that we played every single night,” bandmate Geoffrey Kelly said.. “At first you’d kind of be mad at him, like how can he keep screwing that up, none of us aware that he had what he has.” Words Mann had song thousands of time were lost to him on stage and they all knew there was something more going on.

“I just want people to know now, because we’ve been holding this in as a band, waiting for the right time, and I was getting a bit antsy,” Mr. Mann said during a lengthy interview at his Vancouver home, conducted with his wife Jill Daum, who fills in many of the blanks. “I’m John’s brain,” she says.

Joey Cee Music Industry Icon Honoured with Mississauga Walk of Fame

Joey Cee and Mayor Hazel McCallion

Submitted by Sandy Graham
Photo Credits John Robert Rowlands
Photo at right: Joey Cee Mississauga Walk of Fame with Mayor Hazel McCallion

It is not often that the ‘behind the scenes’ people get honoured but this time they got it right.

The path near the southern end of Port Credit Memorial Park is forming quite the collection of stars with this year's class of Mississauga Music Walk of Fame inductees.

Country music legend Tommy Hunter, punk rockers Billy Talent, Grammy-nominated composer Ron Harrison and one of our music industry own, songwriter, journalist, editor, promoter, publisher and disc jockey are among the few things Joey has taken on through the 50 years he has been in the business.

Joey Cee received a star for their musical contributions – and Mississauga connections – during Sunday's (September 7 2014 induction ceremony. And no matter how big a star you may be in country music or punk rock or in pulling the strings behind the music business, if you are added to the Walk of Fame in Port Credit Memorial Park, it turns the you don't think it's actually official until you get a handshake from the mayor — and someone takes a photo of the two of you together.

Joey Cee Mayor Hazel and Mom VictoriaJoey Cee Mayor Hazel and Mom VictoriaJoey Cee recalled the numerous times the mayor of Mississauga had good-naturedly posed for ridiculous set-up photos for his various publications. He thanked his 94-year-old mother Victoria, who was present. He also recalled how he accidentally took the mayor's parking spot one time and got the royal riot act read to him.

One Bad Son Set to Release Black Buffalo

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

2014 marks the 10th consecutive year that Canadian rockers One Bad Son (604 Records) will capture audiences with their intense live-energy performances and powerful vocals. Their fourth full-length album, Black Buffalo, available September 2, explores new territories in lyrics and tone and will be brought to life through their upcoming Canadian tour this fall. Produced by Eric Ratz (Monster Truck and Billy Talent), Black Buffalo features their current single "Satellite Hotel" which has cracked the Top 10 on the Mediabase Active Rock chart and was the #1 Most Added for two consecutive weeks following its debut.

One Bad Son saw great radio support from their 2012 self-titled debut, with their single "Retribution Blues" reaching #6 on the Mediabase Active Rock chart and their hit single "Scarecrows" taking a Top 5 spot on the Canadian Rock radio charts. Since 2004, One Bad Son has made a name for themselves playing alongside bands like Three Days Grace, Monster Truck, Theory of A Deadman, Default, Buckcherry and Crash Karma. Last November, they were crowned the victors of SiriusXM's Rock The Grey Cup, where they represented the Saskatchewan Roughriders and played during the festivities at the 101st Grey Cup.

The new CD set for release on September 2, will be supported by an extensive tour that will take the band through Ontario to Quebec and then landing in Nova Scotia.

Monday Oct 6, 2014 | The Casbah | Hamilton, ON
Wednesday Oct 8, 2014 | Dallas Night Club | Kitchener, ON
Thursday Oct 9, 2014 | Danforth Music Hall | Toronto, ON
Friday Oct 10, 2014 | Norma Jeans | London, ON
Saturday Oct 11, 2014 | Mavericks | Ottawa, ON
Wednesday Oct 15, 2014 | The Alehouse | Kingston, ON
Thursday Oct 16, 2014 | Corona | Montreal, QC
Friday Oct 17, 2014 | Cabaret du Capitole | Quebec City, QC
Tuesday Oct 21, 2014 | The Marquee | Halifax, NS

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