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The Art of Music - A Man Called Wrycraft

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Submitted by Pat Blythe
Photo: Jane Harbury and Michael Wycraft

Michael Wrycraft has truly been lovin' the music since….well…..always. He has been a stalwart supporter of Canadian musicians simply by being Wrycraft. Having produced almost 700 album and CD covers over the years, Wrycraft's distinctive designs stay true to the artist's music, his art paying homage to the musician's art. Every single cover is unique, even if he's produced multiple covers for the same artist. From Moe Kaufman and David Clayton Thomas to Jeff Healy and Bruce Cockburn, Wrycraft's art speaks to the music, not just what he hears but what he feels. You will never see the typical picture of a guitar-swinging musician on the front cover. In a 2017 interview with Jazz FM91 Wrycraft described his process, "I think the artists deserve much more on the outside of their album…..I talk with the artist but it's the music that speaks to me. So what I do is I immerse myself in the music and somehow, through a number of processes, visuals come out the other end."

For almost 20 years, Wrycraft has been living his passion. As he has stated so often, "I love my job!" and it shines through in his work. What begins in his brain works its way through his heart and starts his fingers dancing across the page. With one Juno award and five Juno nominations under his belt, Wrycraft can add emcee, curator, promoter, radio, lecturer and social gadabout to his long list of talents. His tribute events at Hughes Room Live are legendary.

Ry Cooder The Prodigal Son Returns

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The Prodigal Son, Ry Cooder’s first new solo release in six years, is set for release by Fantasy Records on May 11th, 2018.

Recorded in Hollywood, CA, and produced by Ry and his chief collaborator, drummer Joachim Cooder, The Prodigal Son is all America - our spiritual, hopeful voices, our raw cries and our sly provocations, voiced through the songs of the Pilgrim Travelers, The Stanley Brothers, Blind Willie Johnson, and Ry Cooder himself.

The album’s 11 tracks, including three Cooder originals and a carefully selected collection of his favorite spirituals of the last century, share a particular resonance in this time and place, forming an unflinching look at the state of play in modern America.

“I do connect the political/economic dimensions with the inner life of people since people are at risk and oppressed on all sides in our world today,” he stated. “There’s some kind of reverence mood that takes hold when you play and sing these songs. ‘Reverence’ is a word I heard my granddaughter’s nursery school teacher use, a Kashmiri woman. She said, ‘We don’t want to teach religion, but instill reverence.’ I thought that was a good word for the feeling of this music.”

Arizona Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Jim Glass dies at 70

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Story Credit Ed Masley The Republic azcentral.com
Jim Glass Photo Credit Candace Porth

Joshua Glass says he always loved watching his father, Arizona Blues Hall of Famer Jim Glass, play guitar.“I can honestly say those are the times that I could see the pure joy on his face,” he says. “When he was playing.”

Jim Glass died Feb. 26 after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 70.

“He had a heart attack a couple years ago,” his son recalls. “And that pretty much did a number on him. He never quite fully recovered. There were some issues in his lungs, and then he had another massive heart attack on his way to a doctor’s appointment and it was just too much.”

Michele Robins, a jazz announcer at KJZZ, met Glass in 1984.

"When I first heard Jim play,” she says, “I thought he sounded like a cross between Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers, such a pure, sweet tone. He always told me that the sign of a great blues guitarist was less notes, not more. His passion was playing the blues and I'm so happy he was able to share this love with Arizona for such a long time. He truly was the best blues guitarist to have ever graced the Arizona music scene."

Beyond his chops, Glass brought a certain presence to the scene that did not go unnoticed.

"I'll never forget his charm," Robins says, "those beautiful blue eyes, how much he loved cats (he had eight cats at one time living with him!) and that incredible sound coming from his vintage Les Paul."

Ronnie Prophet Gone At 80

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Canadian born country singer/entertainer, comedian and musician Ronnie Prophet has passed away at age 80.

Ronald Lawrence Victor Prophet, who charted 23 singles from 30 albums in a career that spanned 60 years, died with loving family and friends at his side on Friday, March 2 at age 80, following cardiac and kidney failure. Survived by his wife of 32 years, Glory Anne Carriere Prophet, sons Tony (Kitty) Prophet, Vancouver, BC, Jimmy (Emily) Prophet, Nashville, TN, stepchildren Rhonda (Bill) Paisley, Nanaimo, BC, Warren (Lesa) Carriere, Regina, SK, Tamara Greer, Estevan, SK and 12 grandchildren - Justin, Joey, Jake and Patrick Prophet, Josh and Victoria Paisley, Meagan and Stephanie Carriere, and Brooklyn, Ryan and James Greer.

His longtime friend and Agent of 38 years, Paul Mascioli commented “Ronnie was an international star who transcended all boundaries with his big heart and superb showmanship. He was a working man’s entertainer and loved by people of all ages. We’ll truly miss him but will never forget him”.

Prime Boys Take Over The Tundra with Music Video ‘Tinted’

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On March 1, 2018, Toronto trio, Prime Boys, serve up the cinematic music video for their new single, Tinted —produced by Murda Beatz [Drake, Gucci Mane].

In the visual directed by Elliot Clancy Osberg [Roy Woods], the group — Jimmy Prime, Donnie, and Jay Whiss — take over an icy landscape. Cruising on four wheelers through this snowbound expanse, they drop autotuned hooks and rhymes that are as chilly as the climate is. For the uninitiated, it’s the perfect introduction to their ice-cold flows. Complex exclusively premiered the clip, fittingly describing it as “memorable.”

They’ve recently been making waves by dropping the music video and single for Come Wit It, starring in the Viceland documentary 6ix Rising, and garnering widespread support from Drake’s OVO Sound Radio.

Bill Burkette of The Vogues Dies of Cancer

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Bill Burkette, the original lead singer of The Vogues passed away on March 1, 2018.

According to his wife of 54 years Elaine, Burke was 75 and had lymphoma, according to his wife of 54 years, Elaine. "He was always singing," his wife said. "The singing was a great part of his life. That's what he loved to do."

The Vogues, were known for the hit songs "Five O'Clock World," "You're the One" and "Turn Around, Look at Me."

"You're the One" reached No. 4 on Billboard's Top 100.

The original lineup comprised of Burkette, the lead singer, Don Miller, Hugh Geyer and Chuck Blasko. They were together as a musical act for about eight years, Elaine Burkette said.

"It was a lot of fun," she said. "We traveled and we saw quite a bit of the entire country. We took the kids with us. It certainly was interesting."

When the group formed in high school, it was known as the Val-Aires. Members briefly split up after high school as they joined the military or attended college. They reformed in 1965 as The Vogues.

"Things took off from there," Elaine Burkette said.

We Were Sharks Release New Album Lost Touch

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Six piece punkers WE WERE SHARKS have released their new album Lost Touch on February 23, 2018. “We’re super excited that Lost Touch is finally out!” exclaims Randy Frobel, who has been handling lead vocals since the Canadian group’s inception.

Direct from the nation’s capital city of Ottawa, WE WERE SHARKS are set to continue wielding their full-force of punk and alternative music. In addition to Frobel, WE WERE SHARKS is rounded out by drummer Will Plummer, bassist Steve Creaturo, and the hat trick attack of guitarists Jason Mooney, Josh King and Colin Jacques.

Frobel expands on one of the bands favorite songs “Drop The Act.“ Walking the line between different generations of WE WERE SHARKS, “We wanted to include some of the old-style mixed in with some newer pop sensibilities. It definitely has some modern pop sass to it as well. Its heavy and groovy, it's really just mashup of everything we love about WE WERE SHARKS. Make sure to check that one out!

Sigala Announces New Single Lullaby with Paloma Faith

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Adding to his accolade of smash singles, British DJ, Producer and songwriter, Sigala teams up with Brit Award winner, Paloma Faith, to kick-start 2018 with their collaborative track, Lullaby, released on February 23, 2018, via Ministry of Sound.

2017 was an incredible year for both artists - DJ and Producer, Bruce Fielder, AKA Sigala, remains one of the UK’s most respected and influential electronic music producers, who isn’t shy of collaborating with a diverse range of both emerging and established talent to create worldwide, dance-floor smashes. Previous guest vocalists on singles such as Ain’t Giving Up, Give Me Your Love and Came Here For Love include Craig David, John Newman and Ella Eyre.

On Lullaby, Sigala explains: “This was a track I initially wrote a while ago and I loved it immediately but knew I needed to find the right person to collaborate on it with. I love to find unique voices, so it was a perfect match when Paloma got involved! I’m so excited to release this one, and it’s a great track to preview the sound of my upcoming album”.

With 6 platinum singles, 8 million worldwide sales and over 800 million Spotify streams under his belt, Sigala has spent the last 12 months performing in front of some of his biggest audiences to date. Returning with Lullaby, he continues to prove that he’s impossible to pigeon-hole, turning his creative hand to multiple genres whilst maintaining his familiar, signature sound.

Sule Love Me

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Submitted by Michael Saulman

Quebec’s Sule has reached this pivotal moment in a musical career after collaborating with some of the biggest names in pop music – among them, Celine Dion, Kool and the Gang, and Lionel Richie, among others. Sule pronounced Sou-Lay, has obvious talents from the first for any newcomers to his music and his single “Love Me” has immediate charm. The music’s effortless swing is framed with a first-class production that pays equal attention to both the vocals and instrumental work while still managing to bring them all together in a seamless, fluid package. The song’s roots are in American music, but this Canadian artist owns the song like he’s been singing this sort of material all of his life – it’s another marker of his talents to consider how effortlessly Sule handles a variety of forms. His command of “Love Me” is absolute and never heavy-handed.

Rhye Releases Music Video of Song For You

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Rhye has released a music video for the track, Song For You, off their critically acclaimed new album, BLOOD. Directed and produced by Rhye frontman, Milosh, and Geneviève Medow Jenkins, the stunning clip stars Nathalie Kelley alongside Christopher Brochu. Watch the video here.

“Song for You explores the moments of our lives, the cycles we all experience,” shared Milosh. “We hope these moments resonate with you, both the joy and the pain, in the same way, they did with us while making this piece.”

BLOOD is available digitally and physically now via Last Gang Records. Limited edition vinyl bundles are available exclusively via the RHYE Shop. This Friday, Rhye will share two official remixes of the album track, Taste. Stay tuned for more information.

Earlier this month, Rhye kicked off a tour that will visit cities across North America, with stops in Montreal and Toronto in March, Europe going into the spring, and Vancouver in September for Westward Music Festival. Tickets for all dates are available for purchase now. See below for a complete schedule and ticket links.

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