Reviews

Do Make Say Think Danforth Music Hall Toronto

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Submitted by Sam Jay Copeland
Photo Credits : Ryland Tomlinson

If you were looking for a mosh pit last Saturday, you probably didn't find it at the Danforth Music Hall. But the self-described 'old farts' of Toronto's own Do Make Say Think definitely delivered excitement for the crowd, even if it was more in the form of a mesmerized audience swaying back and forth, bathed in purple light.

Originally an art project which practised in the basement of the CIUT radio building, Do Make Say Think is now over 20 years deep into a career that is as innovative as it is referential. Their music lacks lyrics, but is packed with emotion and energy. The average track length is maybe 9 minutes, and when I first heard it long ago as an artsy 14 year old, it reminded me of Godspeed You! Black Emperor complete with emotional rollercoaster, the jazz drum beat which is reminiscent of a train chugging forward into eternity but without the despair or obvious political messaging of Godspeed.

Do Make Say Think seems to let the audience draw their own conclusions, but each song has a distinct mood to it. But what genre are they anyway? Long-time front man Ohad Benchetrit explained between songs:

Kim Doolittle Hugh's Room Live Toronto

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Last winter I walked into a Kim Doolittle show just as she was wrapping up a song called "Snowballs Day In Hell." It's a droll little narrative about why she no longer takes requests at shows and I wished I'd heard more. Got my wish on a muggy summer's eve when I entered HRL just as the lady was getting started on, yeah, "Snowballs Day In Hell." so finally heard the whole thing and it was worth it.

Also, very much in the spirit of the event because Kim Doolittle showed up at Hugh's Room Live to do a celebratory concert for the release of album number 9, Into The Blue, and a good ol' East Coast kitchen party broke out. Backed by the stellar combo of guitaristsKen Whiteley and Rob Quail, Tom Leighton on piano and accordion and one of town's best backlines, drummer Bucky Berger and bassist Victor Bateman on bass, Doolittle went to work on Into The Blue and its infusions of blues, folk, roots rock, country and roof raisin' Gospel. Hair-raising actually, as her close to 7 minute take on "Amazing Grace" was a mesmerising and transporting experience that went from acacpella to the joyous foot stompin' end of Gospel, leaving not a soul in the house unmoved.

Cat Clyde Chimes in the Night

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

In anticipation of her debut album release,Ivory Castanets, due this Friday May 5th, Cat Clyde shares a new song, Chimes In The Night , which premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 Radio Show, as well as online via The FADER . The song follows her track Mama Said , which was the first piece of music to quickly grow on streaming platforms, along with Like A Wave and The Meadow .

Cat Clyde, is a brand-new artist out of Stratford, ON. A fresh take on the classic sounds of yesteryear; breathing new life into the velvety vocal, tack-piano, slide-guitar-style that can instantly walk you through the swinging doors of a packed saloon. With influences ranging from Etta James to Janis Joplin to Lead Belly, hers is a mix that goes down smoother than a neat glass of mellow Kentucky bourbon. No longer do you need to reach for your trusty sifting pan and river boots to find gold. You just need to know one name.

Boris Garcia Releases Around Some Corner

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On July 14, 2017, Philadelphia’s own Boris Garcia will release Around Some Corner on Porchwerk Music label for fans everywhere. The band called on their secret weapon, Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth fame to take the role of producing the album. Carbone moves Boris Garcia’s songs of whimsy and emotion and molds them into complex compositions, making it look effortless.

Tim Carbone on Boris Garcia’s songwriters Jeff Otto and Bob Stirner – “As Lennon and McCartney did for The Beatles - they add just the right shadings to each other’s compositions to make the picture complete.”

Boris Garcia on Tim Carbone - “He visualized the music we had in our heads and made it appear on the disc. His experience and ridiculous musicality made it seem like we had George Martin in our midst, constantly pushing, screaming, laughing….stoking the embers and fluffing the froth. Boris Garcia’s journey to a great extent is about the relationship that we have maintained with Tim, both musically and in personal bond.”

Boris Garcia is seven very talented musicians: Jeff Otto on vocals and ukulele, Bob Stirner on vocals and guitars, Tim Kelly drums, percussion, Bud Burroughs mandolin, bouzouki, and accordion, Tom Hampton lap steel, Chip Denoyers on pedal steel and EJ Simpson on bass. The group unknowingly created a new genre, which someone called “Outlaw Mystic – An Intoxicating Blend Of Americana, Bluegrass, and Pop.”

Linda Carone - The Jazz Bistro Toronto - Live

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

The chestnut haired jazz singer finished Kitty White's "So Many Beautiful Men" with a knowing grin and a vocal swagger and as the place erupted in applause murmured, "Story of my life in my younger days. Now I'm focused on my big bad handsome man," beaming at the lucky gent in a scrum of well wishers as she launched into Imelda Mays "Big Bad Handsome Man."

So yeah, Linda Carone is a damn fine singer but she also brings da show. Abetted by a stellar crew of George Koller ( upright bass) Johnny Johnson (saxes, bass clarinet) Michael Shand ( piano) and Mark Kelso( drums), LC did that thing where she sets up a time trip by telling a little bit about the origin of a tune, applies her own vocal interpretation, then hands it over to the personna who takes it all the way home to the Thirties or so with a sense she fits the period like a kidskin glove and with nary a break in character.

On another hand, it was a lovingly curated shoutot to the huge contributions made to the blues by female artists, with Carone introducing the likes of Une Mae Carlisle (Oh I'm Evil), Lane Leighton(The Spring Don't Mean A Thing To Me) and Helen Humes ( Livin' My Life My Way) with such rapport that she surely made fans for herself as well as the artists she drew from.

Monica Chapman Small World

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Submitted by Gary Richardson

Monica Chapman has a love for the classic movies but it was the musical selections that stole her heart. As a young girl, she watched the movies and Broadway songs captured her.

This is her third CD offering and this one covers a span of over five decades, from the 1930’s, adding jazz classics and For her third album, she has gathered a number of tunes from motion pictures and put her own spin on them. They cover nearly five decades and go as far back as the 1930’s and up to the 1960’s.

With the extremely talented hand of producer/arranger/pianist Bill King and some of the best jazz players on the scene and you have her new CD Small World.  The song choices are exquisite and the production is smooth and tasteful.

The opening track, ‘A Shine on Your Shoes’ takes your right back to the time of Broadway show tunes. The band really cooks on this one and Monica Chapman belts it out with all her heart.

‘Goldfinger’ at the best of times is a tough one to tackle, but the sultry vocal and breathy deliver does this James Bond classic justice. The title track ‘Small World’ encompasses the whole concept of this classic CD, and the production is clear and clean.

The Duke Ellington tune ‘Caravan’ has an interesting arrangement, with driving horns and drums, with a passionate vocal. The holiday classic ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ is a sweet duet featuring Mark Kelso and is always great to hear a new version of it.

The Inimitable Miz Linda Carone

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

"There are songs and lyrics that are timeless and that deserve to be heard. I think of music as timeless, an old song can sound new. If you haven't heard a song before, it's new to you. It's all about finding these songs I love and doing them my way. People who hear me sing say I seem to find just the right songs from an era that suit my voice, but that I don’t necessarily sound like any other singers in particular."

Introducing Linda Carone, vintage jazz and blues vocalist, a niche song stylist and interpreter of popular music from the 1930’s and beyond. A late bloomer currently making a name for herself around Toronto, an interpreter who goes way, way back and deep for her songs and then reimagines them. Delivers them with a voice that can do beautiful, rich, sultry and provocative, often in the same song. Ms. Carone’s natural and diverse approach to music has shaped her vocal style in a way that is playful, intimate, and unpretentious. An equal opportunity music appreciator, she's equally at home at a Jackie Richardson gig as at a concert by The Damned.

She played piano as a kid but but only started singing in her thirties. It took hold immediately.

Stony Plain Records and Duke Robillard Remember Jay Geils

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

When guitarist Jay Geils passed away at age 71, he left behind a legacy of wonderful music, not only for the blues-rock sounds he created within his namesake J. Geils Band, but also on several albums he recorded for Stony Plain Records that explored the music of his formative years – jazz and swing – instilled in him by his father.

“Stony Plain was honored to release several swing jazz recordings by Jay Geils including two projects by New Guitar Summit (Jay Geils, Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin),” said Stony Plain Records founder Holger Petersen. “It was a joy to be in the studio with them and to witness Jay's ability to arrange big band songs for three great swing guitar players. Jazz and blues were his first love and he had a deep understanding of their roots. I admired him for turning his back on rock stardom to play the music he loved.”

“I am truly saddened by the loss of Jay Geils,” said Duke Robillard. “He was a wonderful human being; intelligent, talented, charming and a good friend. His in-depth knowledge of blues, jazz, guitars and Italian cars was remarkable and he was always enthusiastic and fun to be around. Jay was a down to earth guy in spite of his rock legend status. He will be missed by his legions of friends and fans.”

Blackjack Billy Team Up with Madeline Merlo on New Single, “How to Get the Girl”

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Blackjack Billy, good-time group, known for getting the party started, has a brand new single titled “How to Get the Girl” featuring Canadian country act, Madeline Merlo. The single, set for release to Country radio May 3 and available everywhere May 5, was written by Noll Billings, Jeff Coplan and Tim Hicks. It showcases the powerful vocals of both Blackjack Billy lead vocalist Noll Billings and Merlo, while playfully breaking down the right way to ‘read the signs’ and win over a girl in up-tempo, high-energy, Blackjack Billy style.

Born as a result of discussing failed attempts at winning the admiration of women as Billings, Hicks and Coplan were songwriting in Nashville, Coplan notes, “it became clear that some crazy things had been done and said to try to get girls. Tim said that maybe there’s actually some good advice from all our failures, and that’s how ‘How to Get the Girl’ was born. We thought it would be great to get the female perspective on it so we immediately thought of Madeline. We are all fans of her and not just for her killer voice. She’s a sweetheart and tons of fun,” said Jeff Coplan.

The group garnered international attention with the independent release of their party hit “Booze Cruise”, becoming an overnight success. With minimal promotion, the summertime anthem nonetheless won frequent rotation by SiriusXM’s “The Highway,” achieved Platinum certification in Canada, charted #1 in Australia, and became the hottest-selling iTunes song in America by any act without a label deal that year.

Matt Andersen Live and Spellbinding

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Submitted by Don Graham
Photo Credit: Fiona Lawson Studio 22 Photography

Listening to a Matt Andersen CD is an exciting audio experience, seeing Matt Andersen with a full band is awesome, but seeing Matt Andersen solo takes it to a whole other level. 

The man and his guitar is something I wasn’t really prepared for. Andersen was over the top on all levels, his hold on the audience, his powerful and controlled vocals with acres of dynamics and guitar mastery that made his acoustic guitar sound like an entire band.

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