Country Artist Veronica Ballestrini and Davy Crockett’s Cookies & Cream Whiskey

Artist Veronica Ballestrini at the distillery with Matt Lane, a rep for Davy Crockett’s distillery..jpg

Submitted to Cashbox Canada

In conjunction with the release of her current single, “Cookies and Cream,” country recording artist Veronica Ballestrini has been named brand ambassador for Davy Crockett’s Cookies & Cream Whiskey. Based in Gatlinburg, Tenn., the distillery chose to partner with her as she continues her travels across the country visiting radio in support of her single.

“I’m so thrilled to be entering into this partnership with Davy Crockett’s distillery,” said Ballestrini.  “I not only have a single that I’m proud to be delivering to my friends at radio, but I also have some great whiskey that I’m packin’. My friends at radio better watch out – they haven’t tasted any whiskey like this!”

Chuck Edwards of Davy Crockett’s Whiskey added, “Davy Crockett’s Cookies and Cream Whiskey is proud to be partnering with Veronica. Her strong social media presence and her ability to connect with her fans, along with the release of her single 'Cookies and Cream,' made a partnership with her just seem natural."

Ballestrini released her sophomore album, Flip Side on June 17th and it is available through iTunes and other major digital retailers. Ballestrini co-wrote all eleven tracks on the album and is the writer of her current single “Cookies and Cream.” Destiny Nashville’s Brandon Metcalf produced the album.

The catchy, upbeat track, “Cookies and Cream” showcases her growth as a more mature singer and seasoned songwriter. This high-spirited anthem is reminiscent of the “can’t eat, can’t sleep” feeling of falling in love and being in a “love spell” where life seems to only be filled with love, laughter and magic.

To listen to the song and view the lyric video for “Cookies and Cream,” visit Ballestrini’s YouTube page at

BTW- Starring Keram, Julian Taylor, Buddy Black, Royksopp and Robyn, Rusty Ford, the return of Current Records, Emilia and the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame 2014

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right:
Keram howls at The Supermarket

Keram came back to the T.Dot with a bang and a hot new album. Unfortunately, he dropped in from El Lay just long enough to light up The Supermarket with a killer performance of tracks off current cookie Come to Life. The movie actor/singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist and conceptual artist brought all of that and more to the gig. The album’s lush and sprawling conceptual art-rock was brought to sparkling life in all its multi-layered glory with the able assistance of some of the 30 players on the album.

The acting thing is a big plus here, as the songs are written from a wide variety of viewpoints and Keram inhabits the different personae with conviction. From the haunted lover of “Killing Days, Living Nights” through the defiant swagger of “The Devil Knows Me Well,” which includes the classic Keram humoresque lyric: “I’m coming back like William Shatner” and including a guest spot from “Mary Magdalene,” he brought them all to vivid life.

At about the midpoint, Alex ‘Rush’ Lifeson, who’s credited as executive producer on the album, got up to rip some of the wicked guitar lines he plays on the album, especially on “The Devil Knows Me Well,” and “Moving Dark Circles.” And the crowd went even wilder. Afterwards, looking around at the sweat soaked and emotionally drained looking survivors, it comes to mind Keram just doesn’t play our town often enough.

Diana Krall Goes the Standard Route

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Diana Krall’s new studio album Wallflower is slated for release this October 21, 2014 on the legendary Verve label. Wallflower is a collection of songs from the late 60’s to present day that inspired Krall in her early years.  Produced by 16-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster, the album finds Krall breaking new ground with her interpretations of some of the greatest pop songs of all time.

On Wallflower, Diana Krall showcases her considerable gifts as a vocalist in a bold and beautiful way. Krall sings a set of songs that include familiar popular classics like The Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreaming” and the Eagles’ “Desperado,” favorite vintage songs by Krall’s musical heroes Bob Dylan (he inspired the album’s title track “Wallflower”) and Elton John (“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word”). The album also features more recent gems like Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”.

A special highlight will be a new composition from none other than Sir Paul McCartney, entitled “If I Take You Home Tonight”.  McCartney connected with Krall two years ago when she and her band assisted in the recording if “Kisses From the Bottom’, a recording of jazz classics.

The producer is none other than Canadian icon David Foster. A much anticipated release, Krall has not had a new offering since 2012 with the Glad Rag Doll CD, produced by American T Bone Burnett.

Ault Sisters Return to Jazz Bistro

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Last month the Ault Sisters performed for eager and very receptive audiences at Blue Mountain Village during Jazz On The Mountain At Blue, The Beaches International Jazz Festival Mainstage and the T&T Waterfront Night Market on Cherry Street. The youthful trio brought their sweet harmonies, which went straight into the ears and hearts of all present.

It may seem strange to call The Ault Sisters veterans, given that Amanda, Alicia and Alanna Ault are, respectively, just 22, 20 and 18. They have left novice status long behind, though, given that they released an acclaimed debut album, Christmas Feelings, back in 2006.They have studied music and performed extensively since then, diligently honing their craft and employing their prodigious vocal skills in a wide range of musical styles, with great distinction.The Ault Sisters are now turning to jazz, a genre in which their signature and sublimely seamless vocal harmonies can really shine.

The girls have learned so much over the last little while and you’ll hear vocal jazz at its best.  The Ault Sisters is a talented trio of siblings who put their trademark sweet sound and stunning tight vocal harmonies to good effect on a dazzling selection of jazz standards and other classic tunes. For this date the sisters are joined by four of Toronto’s finest jazz musicians – Robi Botos on piano, Justin Gray on bass, Ben Riley on drums and Nathan Hiltz on guitar.

Tommy Hunter Gets His Postage Due

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Submitted by Don Graham

Canada Post has issued five new stamps featuring  Canadian country music artists, including National treasure Tommy Hunter. Canada Post has had some rough press lately and they don’t always get it right. But this time they did. No one is more deserving of a stamp than Canadian country music’s ambassador, the Country Gentleman himself, London, Ontario’s Tommy Hunter. Tommy Hunter is to country music what Jean Beliveau is to hockey, pure class.  And the list of new stamp honourees includes two artists with ties to Hunter. Hank Snow was a singer/songwriter that a young Tommy admired and Shania Twain admired Tommy and appeared on his hit TV show long before her career got started.  The list is rounded out with k.d. Lang and Renee Martell. “All but one of the folks on the list, Renee Martell, appeared on my TV show. Shania wanted to be here for the unveiling but has commitments.”

The stamp with a picture of Tommy Hunter and his  black Martin guitar was unveiled at a ceremony in London Ontario  on July 31st. Tommy commented, “that Martin guitar was made for me, one of two, a black one and a kind of maroon one in Nazareth  by C.f. Martin,”

Canada Post says on its website “Our Canadian Country Artists series salutes five of this nation’s legendary country music stars,” adding “The Tommy Hunter Show ran for 27 years, making it the longest-running network country music show in the world.” The Hunter stamp was designed by Roy White of Subplot Design.

MuchMusic Suffers Major Job Cuts Due to Financial Strain

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Bell Media had plans to axe up to 120 jobs in advertising and subscription TV Services. They have started the downsizing by cutting 91 employees from its in-house production division, with channels such as MuchMusic suffering substantial layoffs.

A notice of layoff from Bell Media’s director of Human Resources, Catherine Foti, appears to show at least 32 positions linked to MuchMusic being eliminated. The Channels M3 (formerly MuchMoreMusic) and MTV suffered substantial losses, while CTV, Space and E! were also affected. A spokesperson for Bell Media confirmed that 72 unionized and 19 non-unionized positions were eliminated on Wednesday. According to a bulletin from Unifor, the union representing many of the staff who were “declared surplus,” MuchMusic (now known as Much) has lost “almost all of their original programming.” Among the positions cut are a director, a floor director, three camera operators, a dozen associate producers and a senior technical director.

In an interview last month, Bell Media president Kevin Crull said MuchMusic has been hamstrung by the fact that it is forced “to air 12 hours of music videos as a condition of license,” and he is hoping for some “flexibility” in those conditions. “Kids do not watch music videos on television. You're not going to wait for somebody to program a music video when you have a million available on Vevo,” Mr. Crull said on June 5. “And so that has hurt the channel.”

Legendary Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dead at 70

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

John Dawson Winter III, the guitarist, songwriter and producer has passed away on July 16, 2014 at the age of 70.

Son of John and Edwina,Winter was born in Leland, Mississippi, but the family moved to Beaumont, Texas, while he was still an infant. Both Johnny and his younger brother Edgar were born with albinism. The pair began playing music before they went to school, Johnny initially trying the clarinet before switching to the ukulele and guitar while Edgar played keyboards. In 1959 the Winter Brothers, already known from local talent and TV shows, cut the singles School Day Blues and You Know I Love You for the Houston label Dart Records. In 1962 Johnny formed Johnny and the Jammers, with Edgar on keyboards. In the early 60s Johnny recorded numerous singles for such local labels as Frolic, Diamond and Goldband, and scored a local hit with Eternally, distributed by Atlantic. Between 1965 and 1967 he played regularly across the deep south with Black Plague (featuring Edgar) and his own band It and Them (also known as The Crystaliers). In 1966 Johnny hit the Billboard Hot 100 with a version of Harlem Shuffle, which he recorded with the Traits.

Stony Plain Records Reissues Tiger in Your Tank – Monkeyjunk

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Stony Plain Records announces a July 29 release date for Tiger in Your Tank, a reissue with two bonus tracks of the first album from multi-award winning Ottawa-based group, MonkeyJunk. Originally released in 2009 on the band’s own Beefy label imprint, Tiger in Your Tank went on to capture the blues world’s imagination, kick-starting the band’s international career and winning both the Blues Music Award as “Best Artist Debut” and the Canadian Indie Award for “Blues Album of the Year.”

The reissue version of Tiger in Your Tank has been remasteredand includes two new tracks especially recorded for it: “Lucky One” and “Pueblo,” both written by MonkeyJunk band members Steve Marriner, Tony D and Matt Sobb. MonkeyJunk is Canada’s most-acclaimed blues/roots music band and the trio tours regularly throughout Canada and at major festivals in North America and Europe.

Tiger in Your Tank follows last year’s critically-acclaimed CD, All Frequencies, and their 2011 label debut, To Behold, both of which garnered rave reviews and extensive radio airplay around the world. Comprised of Steve Marriner (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, baritone guitar), Tony D (lead guitar, background vocals) and Matt Sobb (drums, percussion, background vocals), MonkeyJunk plays a mix of swamp blues and funky roots rock ‘n’ roll. For the uninitiated, the band takes its name from a chance remark by legendary bluesman Son House: “I’m talkin’ ‘bout the blues. I ain’t talkin’ about monkey junk.”

Budweiser New Music Fest Barrie 2014

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Festival headliner Classified is set to perform live at Heritage Park on Saturday July 19th, with July Talk, One Bad Son, illScarlett, Indian Handcrafts, Peter Jackson and Golden Gate Graves as part of the Budweiser New Music Fest Barrie 2014, powered by Mady.

The 7th annual New Music Fest Barrie, will host over 40 live regional and national acts of various genres performing at multiple live music venues. Participating venues will each host three-four established and developing touring artists, collectively sharing multiple festival stages.  Festival venues include Heritage Park, The Fox, The Mansion Nightclub, Wild Wing Downtown, The British Arms & Sticky Fingers.

Limited Advance Tickets to the Saturday July 19th Headliner Concert featuring Classified, July Talk, One Bad Son, illScarlett and others are available at Tropical North Surf Shop downtown Barrie or online at   Interested attendees should note that last years’ headliner concert at Heritage Park had sold out and Classified’s last stop in Barrie (2013) had also sold out.

Festival Headliner Concert  
Artists: Classified, July Talk, One Bad Son, illScarlett, Indian Handcrafts, Peter Jackson and Golden Gate Graves.
Date: Saturday July 19, 2014
Event: All Ages/Licensed  
Venue: Heritage Park, Barrie, ON

Michael Williams Receives Harbourfront Legacy Award

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario presented Legacy Awards on June 27 & June 19, 2014 to artists for their outstanding contribution to music in Canada and around the world.

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Harbourfront Centre recognized individuals who embody the idea of Legacy. Harbourfront Centre presented Legacy Awards to two of the original members of the Sugarhill Gang, Wonder Mike & Master Gee, MuchMusic’s Michael Williams, Maestro Fresh Wes, saxophonist Jim Galloway and folk-hero Gordon Lightfoot.

On Friday June 27th, Michael Williams was given a Legacy Award at the Studio Theatre, a much deserved accolade for his devotion and love of music.

Michael Williams is a Canadian television personality who may be best known for his work as a VJ at MuchMusic from 1984 to 1993. Born in Cleveland, Ohio,Williams moved to Montreal in the 70's to attend the Communications Arts School at Loyola (now Concordia University). Williams was part of MuchMusic's core opening team of VJ's alongside J.D. (John) Roberts, Erica Ehm and Christopher Ward At MuchMusic, Williams hosted various shows including Soul in the City, RapCity, Electric Circus, Pepsi Power Hour and The NewMusic.

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