The American Music Awards

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Submitted by Bill King

I rarely watch award shows and invest little interest in the outcome but the other night I decided to give this line-up a fair viewing.

The past decade award shows have been dominated by tuneless rappers and the “bling” scene. Nothing wrong with that, all in step with the times but the night’s set-up resembled the kind of big entertainment shows we used to get courtesy the Grammys or Academy Awards when song and dance brought us a mutually satisfying stopover.

From the downbeat with Jennifer Lopez in full costume and dance troupe in synch the next ten minutes was a riveting high stepping affair reminiscent of those Busby Berkeley extravaganzas nearly a century before to some of the year’s biggest hits, “Where Are U Now, Anaconda, Uptown Funk’ and Hotline Bling.” Musicians for the most part detest dancing. It just gets in the way of a good solo, a bit of technical wizardry, but since the days of vaudeville, dance and music have had some grand dust-ups.

Arianna Grande is most likely Lopez’s heir apparent. As the voice matures so will movement. Grande at twenty-two inhabited the stage as if cast in the movie A Star is Born – a starlet in waiting. The dance sequence to her hit “Focus” was spot on. White gloves, platform heels, cream colored dress – the big dream theatrical showpiece.

The dancing never let up. Justin Bieber rocked the night with a three song finale - a visual mash-up. The dance was precise, every move popped, the singing dead on - even the cloudburst; a bit of Vegas schmaltz, worked.

The Trews Announce 2016 Canadian Acoustic Tour

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The Trews are set to showcase their quieter side with an acoustic tour of western Canada and Ontario this coming February and March (see full schedule below).

To coincide with these dates, the band is re-issuing their 2009 live acoustic album Friends & Total Strangers in a deluxe expanded edition, out November 27, 2015 via Home Music Canada / Entertainment One. The remastered set will include four previously unreleased tracks from The Trews' January 2009 sessions at Glenn Gould Studios in Toronto: "Every Inambition," "Makin' Sunshine," "No Time For Later," and "Not Ready To Go." Friends & Total Strangers will also be available on vinyl for the first time, as a double LP (available on tour in 2016) that can be purchased online or at the shows.

Lead guitarist John-Angus MacDonald produced all tracks on Friends & Total Strangers and recent production credits include JUNO nominated album The Union by The Glorious Sons which spawned the #1 single, "The Contender" at Active Rock Radio (Mediabase) this past month.

Godspeed Ron Hynes

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Submitted by Don Graham

Ron Hynes “The Man of a Thousands Songs” and the voice of Newfoundland and Labrador has died. He was 64 years old. His family confirmed  he died shortly after 6 p.m. on November 20, 2015. while receiving treatment at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland. Hynes wrote many classic tunes but he is best known for his song “Sonny's Dream”,  a beautiful song about a mother losing her son to the sea. Written in 1976, “Sonny’s Dream” has been covered by artists such as Emmy Lou Harris, Stan Rogers, Valdy, Great Big Sea and John McDermott.

In July 2012, Ron Hynes was diagnosed with throat cancer and in August of that same year he performed to a sold-out crowd  at the Mile One Centre in St. John's. That was to be his last performance before undergoing cancer treatment. For this concert he was reunited with his old band, The Wonderful Grand Band. His cancer went into remission the following year and he went  back out on tour.

Musical friends and fans lit up social media with stories and personal memories of the iconic songwriter/ performer, some of them saying it was fitting that the city was plunged into darkness by a power failure as news broke about his death."The lights went out downtown," tweeted comedian Mark Critch, a fellow Newfoundlander. "St. John's is dark tonight and so it should be."

Great Big Sea’s singer-songwriter Alan Doyle described Hynes online as his "musical hero'' and "The greatest songwriter I ever met.''

Former MuchMusic VJ Michael Williams Promoting a Series of Live Music

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: Michael Williams

November 23, 2015: Sunday Nights with Michael Williams @ El Salon is a new series of live events that will feature both international and local entertainers playing an intimate show at El Salon/A Taste of Colombia, 67 Bronte Rd, Oakville. The presenter/curator of this series is former MuchMusic host, music producer, journalist, musician, media personality and educator, Michael Williams

I have always wanted a platform to present intimate shows in Oakville and I’ve found the perfect venue in El Salon. The plan is to bring the best artists I know and pair them with up and coming local artists. I will curate the series, interview the artists and occasionally play with friends.” Adds Williams “El Salon at A Taste of Colombia is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a coffee and hear some great music. The first show was great, featuring Lost and Profound and Gordon Deppe”.

This next band being featured at El Salon was quite the discovery for Williams: “I met Romanyi Rota at a gala for “Culture Link”, I do not speak Hungarian and they do not speak English. Their drummer was late for sound check. I play drums so I sat in for him. The drummer finally arrived, they were great, at the end of the show they asked me to play the last song with them, and I was surprised, honored and said yes!

We have been friends ever since, so come out and meet my new friends on Sunday Nov. 29th.”

Eric Andersen Mingles With The Universe

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Submitted by Don Graham

When we were young in the 1960’s we would go to the many coffee houses in Montreal and listen to all the great artists that were taking part in the great Folk Revival of the day.

It was “intelligent” music, a break from the “ tell Laura I love her after I crash my car in a stock race that I entered to get money to buy her a ring” type of songs. There were songs of substance being sung and written by a small group of people in Greenwich Village in New York and they were fanning out across North America, spreading the word.

At the center of it all was Eric Andersen, a songpoet with a social conscience and a six string guitar. The difference between this young breed of people as opposed to the great Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie types was these kids had grown up listening to Elvis, Buddy and the Everly Brothers so they had a bit of a pop influence.  They didn’t sing much about the olden days, about no more cane on the Brazos, but instead grabbed a hold of the issues of the day and the mindset of the youth growing up in this era and wrote songs that were relatable and current. Unlike the rock ‘n’ roll bands their songs could be played with just a guitar so kids were running out and buying guitars and singing these new “folk” songs.

The Way We Was, The Story of The Kendall Wall Band


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On December 3rd 2016 there will be a documentary screening of The Kendall Wall Band at the Lakeshore Catholic Performing Arts Centre in Port Colborne, Ontario.

The Way We Was: The Story of the Kendall Wall Band covers the 11 year career of a popular group of Canadian musicians during the 80's and early 90's. It begins at Toronto`s Black Swan Tavern where their Saturday Afternoon Blues Matinee became legendary and follows them as they develop as a band a expand their role as a backing band for many preeminent Canadian and American blues artists The last part of the film documents the remixing, editing, mastering and revitalization of the band's "almost lost" 25 year old studio recordings.

The Way We Was, the film, named after the band`s reissued recordings will be shown in it`s entirety featuring interviews with band members Gary Kendall, Teddy Leonard, Jeff Baker and Richard Smyth with their recording sidemen Martin Alex Aucoin, Larry Bodnar and Duncan McBain.

It will also feature cameo appearances by Canadian blues legends, Donnie ”Mr.Downchild” Walsh, Ken & Chris Whiteley, Harrison Kennedy, Chuck Jackson, Jerome Godboo, Danny Marks, Guitar Mikey and many others.

Paul Sanderson at Musideum November 25 for Up Close and Personal Event

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

On Wednesday, November 25 music people will have a unique opportunity like no other if they attend this event at Toronto’s premiere listening venue, Musideum.

If you don’t know Paul who heads up Sanderson Law, here are a few merit points to his legal career.

• Exclusively serving clients in arts and entertainment field for over 30 years
• Consistently names ‘Most Frequently Recommended’ as an entertainment lawyer in the Canadian legal directory “LEXPERT”.
• Listed in the 2011 edition of “The Best Lawyers In Canada” in the practice area of Entertainment Law.
• The leading writer on legal aspects of Canadian music law and visual arts
• Author and editor of “Musicians and the Law in Canada”.
• Co-Author of “Artists’ Contracts: Agreements for Visual and Media Artists”.
• Paul Sanderson has published a new informative handbook for Canada “Music Law Handbook for Canada: 10 Essential Legal Articles (Publisher: Seraphim Editions). It is a first of its kind publication in this field.

The articles cover subjects such as musical copyrights, copyright registrations in Canada, publishing, legal aspects of independent recordings, contract basics, trademarks, information that artists, songwriters, managers should have handy as a compact business resource guide.

P.F. Sloan Songwriter Gone At 70

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Submitted by Don Graham

Songwriter P.F. Sloan has passed away in his Los Angeles home after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old. Sloan was never a household name but his songs were played in households around the world. “Secret Agent Man” by Johnny Rivers and the anthem that propelled Barry MacGuire to eternal fame “ Eve Of Destruction”. It is still relevant especially today with the insanity in Paris. Sloan is also responsible for hits by The Turtles "You Baby" and "Let Me Be", Herman’s Hermits "A Must to Avoid" and "Hold On!" and “Take Me For What I'm Worth" by The Searchers. With musical partner Steve Barri he also had hits like “Where Were You When I Needed You?” by The Grassroots.

It has been said that because of the line "You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'", "Eve of Destruction" was instrumental in the changing of the twenty-sixth amendment to the United States Constitution, changing the voting age from 21 to 18 in 1971.

Sloan was also a session guitarist, working with such well-known backing musicians as drummer Hal Blaine, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, bassist Joe Osborn, and bassist/keyboardist Larry Knechtel, among others. While working on a song with Barry McGuire, Sloan created and played a guitar intro for a new song by John Phillip scalled "California Dreamin'". The track was used for the hit version by Phillips' group the Mamas & the Papas. Sloan played the lead guitar tracks on most of the songs he wrote, including the famous riff in "Secret Agent Man."

Klaatu Re-Release Debut Album as 40th Anniversary Deluxe


Submitted to Cashbox Canada

One of Canada's best-known contributions to the progressive rock canon, Klaatu's 1976 debut album, 3:47 EST, will be reissued on Nov. 27 through Conveyor Canada/Universal Music Canada, in a 40th anniversary deluxe re-mastered edition.

The album contains Klaatu's radio staple "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft," as well as other signature tracks including "California Jam" and "Sub-Rosa Subway." Released under the title Klaatu in the U.S., it remains an important milestone in Canadian music, and for fans of classic rock worldwide.

The album's allure was heightened by the Toronto trio, comprised of John Woloschuk, Dee Long and Terry Draper, along with producer Terry Brown, choosing not to provide any information about themselves on the original release, leading to a rumour concocted by an American journalist that Klaatu was actually The Beatles performing under a pseudonym.

The deluxe reissue was remastered by award-winning Toronto producer/engineer Peter J. Moore, and comes in a collector's Digipak, complete with a full-colour booklet and liner notes by noted music journalist Nick Krewen. A deluxe vinyl version will follow in 2016.

Watch the official video for "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" here.

The Beach Boys' Mike Love Debuts New Holiday Single

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and Grammy®-award-winning singer and songwriter, Mike Love has released "(You'll Never Be) Alone on Christmas Day." The upbeat holiday track was written by Love, best known as the lead singer and co-founder of The Beach Boys, and is produced by multiple Grammy® award winning producer, Michael Lloyd (Dirty Dancing). The track, which hits radio this week, is released on Love's own Meleco Records and will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and other digital distributors starting November 6, 2015 - to kick off the holiday season.

"(You'll Never Be) Alone on Christmas Day" was originally written by Love with the help of classical pianist, Ron Altbach, in 1979 as part of a potential Beach Boys Christmas album. Love and Altbach are long time friends and occasional collaborators. The Beach Boys created a rough demo of Love's track, but never completed the song or officially released it.

Earlier this year, the band Phoenix approached Love for permission to cover the song for an upcoming Netflix original holiday special, A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS, set to debut on December 4th in all territories where Netflix is available. A Very Murray Christmas is an homage to the classic variety show featuring Bill Murray playing himself.

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