Sinners Choir

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Submitted by Lee Fraser

Three men, three generations, three different vocal styles. The comfortable rhythm draws you in, the lyrics intrigue you and the interaction keeps you hooked.

Sinners Choir is the trio formed by Terry Wilkins, Adam Warner and Adam Beer-Colacino, each with their own fascinating story, each with their own mélange of gigs and bands.  Somehow, the stars aligned and these three talented gentleman have turned what was practically a hobby into a sought after act. Playing together just for fun between gigs and taking it easy from months on the road turned into a long-running residency at the Cameron, and now a sultry, summer show at The Rex, Saturdays from noon to 3 pm.

So who are these Sinners? Terry Wilkins landed in Canada a few decades ago and thanks to his contributions to bands like Big Sugar and Rough Trade, he is the only member of the Choir with his own Wikipedia page.  One of the kindest men you could ever meet, Terry has been playing bass all his life, evident in the ease with which he moves from genre to genre and the sheer pleasure on his face while playing. Adam Warner matches Terry’s expertise playing drums, having played with the likes of Jill Barber and Royal Wood.  He creates a full sound with a stripped down kit, transitioning from full out rock to subtle beats and nuances.  The youngster in the group, Adam Beer-Colacino, a native Torontonian, has become a bluesy rock guitarist in demand with several local bands.

CCMA Announces the Nominees for 2015

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Established in 1976, the CCMA is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization committed to the promotion and recognition of Canadian country music. Built upon the foundation to educate, elevate and celebrate Canadian talent, the CCMA progressively heralds the spirit, community and creativity that country music fosters through year-round initiatives, culminating every fall with Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Association Awards.

This year Country Music Week is scheduled from September 10-13 2015 and will be held in Halifax,Nova Scotia.

This year’s nominees have been announced with the following:

Gord Bamford

Paul Brandt

Dean Brody
Johnny Reid

Dallas Smith 

5:01 - Tim Hicks

County Line - High Valley

Gypsy Road - Dean Brody 

Lifted - Dallas Smith

Light Up The Night - Jess Moskaluke

Terri Clark

Kira Isabella

Beverley Mahood

Jess Moskaluke

MacKenzie Porter

Gord Bamford

Dean Brody

Tim Hicks

Brett Kissel

Dallas Smith

Autumn Hill

The Boom Chucka Boys

High Valley

The Road Hammers

Small Town Pistols

Nashville Bound – in Toronto - at the Free Times Café

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

It seems now that more songwriters and artists are out there now hustling their own gigs and performing together in great  venues. The best part is you can go to one of these events and no matter what appeals to you, you are bound to find something that pleases you.

I have been told by songwriters that they leave these gatherings and head on home, inspired to write new songs. All good for us the public, who gets to enjoy these unique gatherings and sometimes hear the tune played for the first time before a live audience.

Singer/songwriter Glen Hornblast organizes an event on a regular basis, called simply Nashville Bound, and the next one is Tuesday July 21, from 8 pm – 11:30 pm. Hosted by Hornblast this edition features  Laura Robinson, Meg Tennant, Don Graham, Tony Hannick and Debra Alexander. Bob Cohen, guitarist extraordinaire will be keeping the back-up in line for all these fine songwriters.

Get there early, grab a seat in this cozy place, and enjoy! The cover is only $10 or pay what you can.

Free Times Café is located at 320 College, in downtown Toronto and has assorted cool beers and a pretty decent menu. For more visit:


Ernie Maresca – Do Wop Teen Idol and Songwriter Passes On in Florida

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

From the early days of 1958, until its demise in the 1990s, the name of Ernie Maresca was a major part of the story of Laurie Records. The Bronx-born Italian-American songwriter, singer, producer and sometime hitmaker started out hustling his demos to Dion as a teenager and ended up running the company's publishing arm. Ultimately, he brokered the sale of the catalogue to Capitol in 1992 on behalf of Laurie's founders Gene Schwartz, his brother Bob and Eliot Greenberg.

Ernie Maresca died in his South Florida home on Tuesday, July 8, 2015. Confirmation of his passing was not confirmed until Saturday, July 11, 2015. Details of his death are not available at this time.

Rob Durkee of Cashbox Magazine US had this to say,  “While Ernie Maresca was in the Top 40 Disappearing Acts shows that Casey Kasem counted down in 1973 and 1975, he wasn't a One-Hit Wonder as a songwriter. For instance, he co-wrote this #1 hit from 1961, “Runaround Sue” and #2 hit from 1962 “The Wanderer” – both hits for Dion and the Belmonts.Among the other hit songs Ernie co-wrote were "No One Knows" (for Dion and the Belmonts); "Party Girl" for Bernadette Carroll; plus "Lovers Who Wander" and "Donna The Prima Donna" for Dion.”

Ernie Maresca had only one hit record on his own. In 1962 “Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) was a major chart topper for the kid from the Bronx.

Joe Bennett of the Sparkletones Passes On

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Story Credit: Dan Armonaitis

Joe Bennett and The Sparkletones once recorded a song called “Boys Do Cry.”

They sure do. And so do men and women of all ages, as evidenced by the tremendous outpouring of emotion expressed over the loss of a Spartanburg music icon.

Bennett, who co-wrote the early rock 'n' roll classic, “Black Slacks,” which, in the autumn of 1957, propelled him and three fellow Spartanburg County teenagers into national stardom, died Saturday, July 4th at night at the Rainey Hospice House in Anderson. He was 75.

Bennett had been suffering from complications related to Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia, stemming from exposure to Agent Orange while serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.

Led by Bennett, the eldest of the group, on guitar, The Sparkletones included Wayne Arthur on bass, Howard “Sparky” Childress on guitar and Jimmy Denton on drums. The band is enshrined in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

“He was a dear friend. He was like a brother to me, and it hurts,” Childress said. “We'll miss him bad.”

A Spartanburg native, Bennett grew up in the Cannon's Campground community and, like all of his bandmates in The Sparkletones, attended Cowpens High School. Growing up, he immersed himself in music, taking private guitar lessons from the late Jerome Fowler, a Clifton-based music instructor who had previously taught the legendary Hank Garland.

As a child, Bennett started a band called The Jamborettes, which later morphed into The Sparkletones.

Mimi O’Bonsawin – Pedalin’ into Summer !

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

There is beautiful land and water that embrace you in Northern Ontario, add that with the family warmth of a French Canadian/Native heritage and you will find the core of Mimi and the songs that are inspired by her love of Mother Earth and mankind.

Mimi O’Bonsawin is recently back from Cannes, France where she had a much coveted spot in the Showcase at Morrisons with Canada Blast and the CIMA Folks.  Mimi and Friends, her very talented band are about to start the summer rounds of performances, first in her stomping grounds both in Sudbury for July 4 at the Northern Lights Festival as well as  Manitoulin Island on July 10. Then the gang heads out to the Maritimes, stopping at one nighters with the final result at the first Neely G Festival July 19th in New Brunswick.

If you are staying in TDot for the summer month of July, you can also catch her at the Beaches Jazz Festival Street Festival July 23, 24 and 25 in front of the Beaches Wellness Centre.

Michael Williams Starts Old School Soul in the City Dances

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Remember the original Vee Jays of MuchMusic and how they were instrumental in turning us on to great music? Well Michael Williams was there and did just that.

So he wants to bring that magic back and play to the Old School fans with his special Soul in the City dances and he is starting with his first one in Hamilton, Ontario.

Friday, July 10th is the first one and will be held at Bay City Music Hall in Hamilton, Ontario. Michael Williams will be joined by Team Sunshine DJ’s JC & PC (formerly the Sunshine Crew).

Michael Williams gave us great shows like Rap City, The Power Hour and Soul in the City, and he knows there is a need for people to go out and dance to their favourite retro hits from Motown, Soul, Rock n Reggae, Ska, House, Calypso and then more Soul.

All this for only $10.00 – seems the ticket price is retro too. Where else can you get this much talent and fun for a price like that?

Soul Godfather Michael WilliamsSoul Godfather Michael WilliamsTickets at the Door
Bay City Music Hall
50 Leander Avenue
Hamilton, Ontario

Telephone: 289.389.9900 Website:

Never too cool for Old School ! Don’t miss out a great dance night out.

Failure to Release New Record & Announce Summer Tour


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Failure have announced the first round of dates supporting their forthcoming 18-track album 'The Heart Is A Monster' which will be released on June 30 via Fontana North.

Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards explain that their approach to writing and recording their last record 'Fantastic Planet' and 'The Heart Is A Monster' have been similar, saying "The songs on 'Fantastic Planet' appear more or less in the order that we wrote them... when, we do a song now, we write it and record it soup-to-nuts without moving to another song... It takes longer, but it makes more sense for us artistically to explore a song completely before moving on."

The trio's headlining dates are interspersed with festival performances including outings at Atlanta's The Wrecking Ball, Ottawa Bluesfest and Milwaukee's Summerfest. Failure joinsJane's Addiction for a pair of dates (July 7 in Columbus and July 10 in Pittsburgh).

CIMA Launches Road Gold Certification


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) is excited to announce the launch of a new music industry certification program called Road Gold, and is celebrating today by presenting it to three great Canadian artists and bands. The new program will celebrate Canada’s touring artists.

In honour of CIMA's 40th year as the voice of the independent music industry in Canada, CIMA is pleased to continue charting new territory by launching the first certification in Canada that recognizes the arduous road of 'making it' as a touring band.

CIMA's first Road Gold artists are truly Canada's rising stars and through great artistry, dedication and hard work have carved out their niche by hitting the road and filling venues from coast to coast. CIMA is proud to announce that USS (Coalition Music), Big Wreck (SRO-Anthem) and Matt Andersen (True North) are the first recipients of this new Road Gold certification.

"CIMA is excited to be driving an innovative way to recognize the deep talented pool of Canada's music community who've been able to grow their fan bases through successful touring," says CIMA President Stuart Johnston. "These road warriors who are being awarded the inaugural Road Gold certification are a testament to our industry's ability to hit the road and achieve high levels of success."

CIMA Celebrates 40 Years With Awards Gala

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

CIMA (Canadian Independent Music Association) is a not-for-profit national trade association. CIMA represents and acts as an advocate for Canadian music industry companies with a membership consisting of Canadian-owned companies and representatives of Canadian-owned companies involved in every aspect of the music, sound recording and music-related industries. They are exclusively small businesses which include: record producers, record labels, recording studios, managers, agents, licensors, music video producers and directors, creative content owners, artists and others professionally involved in the sound recording and music video industries.

CIMA’s mandate is to develop and advocate policies and services that serve to support a strong and economically stable Canadian independent music and sound recording industry, ensuring the long-term development of the sector and to raise the profile of Canadian independent music both in Canada and around the world.

This year CIMA is celebrating 40 years of advocacy, lobbying, exporting and education.

To celebrate this landmark and to inaugurate their first annual Gala and Awards, CIMA honoured their founding members, who over four decades ago had the vision, leadership and tenacity to form CIMA which was originally called then called CIRPA, Canadian Independent Record Producers Association.

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