It’s A New Day New World for 80s Canadian New Wave Icons the Spoons

Thu Apr 04, 2019

In 1980, Gordon Deppe and Sandy Horne made Spoons a different kind of household word...

They would help define the sound of pop and new wave in the 80s with hits including “Nova Heart”, “Romantic Traffic”, “Old Emotions” and “Tell No Lies." Their album Arias & Symphonies would go on to be named one of the 20 Most Influential Albums of The 80s by The Chart Magazine, and their song “Nova Heart” was recently included in Bob Mersereau's book The Top 100 Canadian Singles.

Not bad for a bunch of kids from Burlington, Ontario.

And now, evoking all the fun of their most notorious ear-gems of hits, their newest 12-track missive lands the band firmly in 2019. 

Starting off strong with the signature Spoons sound fans new and never-waning come for, the opening song “All The Wrong Things (In The Right Places)” is set and ready for instant anthem status. Trivia buffs will want to know: its final mix was a collaborative campaign after an online contest had listeners nation-wide submit chants to be mixed into the song’s chorus.

Meg Tennant Echoed Light

Fri Mar 29, 2019

I have been a Meg Tennant fan for a few years now, catching her live performances when my scheduling permits, so I was eager to hear her latest recording, “Echoed Light”.

The 11 song set was all I hoped it would and more. Co-produced by Tennant and roots rocker Mark Ripp, the album captures the warmth and honesty of Meg’s voice and the production compliments the smooth, articulate writing style that has become the trademark of Meg Tennant’s music.

Originally from the north of Ontario (Sault Ste Marie), Meg now resides in Toronto having spent 25 years out west in British Columbia where she played the coffee house circuit. She shared stages with the likes of Austin legend Eliza Gilykson and the legendary Tom Russell.

Her early influences included Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris and the Beatles.

The Respectables featuring the single 'The Power Of Rock & Roll'

Fri Mar 08, 2019

With more than 25 chart-topping singles in Canada, The Respectables return with a brand new album 'The Power of Rock and Roll', produced by none other than the iconic Rolling Stones’ 30 years long member and vocalist Mr. Bernard Fowler.

With influences of blues, rock and country, ‘The Power of Rock and Roll’ also features Keith Richards' Expensive Winos band member Waddy Wachtel on two tracks ('Power of Rock and Roll' and 'That Girl ') while Grammy-Award winning composer and arranger Jeff Bova performs the symphonic and string arrangements on another two additional songs ('Oasis' and 'As Good As Love Gets ').

John Mayall Nobody Told Me

Fri Feb 22, 2019

There are few musicians who genuinely merit the description ‘legendary,’ maybe a handful at most. But with an octogenarian, UK bluesman, John Mayall, we have the real deal. Nobody could question or disagree that this is a guy who is truly a living legend. Now aged 85, Mayall has been a US West Coast resident for around half his life, and yet he is still often viewed as a UK blues phenomenon. Speaking to the man at home in LA, he is relaxed, warmly welcoming and excited to be again on the brink of a global tour to promote his latest album, ‘ Nobody Told Me.’

Monte Mader Pour Me Whiskey

Fri Feb 22, 2019

To quote an old Timbuk3 song, Monte Mader’s future’s so bright she has to wear shades. This young Wyoming born singer/singer is about to break through with a new album and kickin’ single. A little country and a whole lotta rock “Pour Me Whiskey" from 'The Devil I Know' album will grab your attention and your ears. This is not Monte’s first rodeo, her debut EP with Big Sky, Skydive, brought Monte’s name to people’s attention and the new EP The Devil I Know will solidify her place in the industry.

Folk Alliance International 2019 Wasn’t That A Party!

Fri Feb 22, 2019

Once again a great success, Folk Alliance International’s annual international professional development and networking conference, the world’s largest gathering of the Folk music community and industry with over 2500 delegates has completed yet another great event.

This year, it took place this year in Montreal, Quebec, Canada between February 13th to 17th at the iconic Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel. This hotel, of course, is the location where John Lennon and Yoko staged their bed in for peace in 1969 and in suite #1742 recorded Give Peace a Chance. And the location is on land that was the territories of the Kanien’keha-ka and Kahnawa-ke people. The Folk Alliance International’s mission is to serve, strengthen, and engage the global folk music community through preservation, presentation, and promotion.

Kathryn Grimm’s Blues Tools

Fri Feb 15, 2019

Musician/singer/songwriter Kathryn Grimm’s new CD “BLUES TOOLS” is a twelve-song collection of mostly original material in the Electric Blues/Rock genre. The first song of the CD was born in Los Angeles just over a year ago where Kathryn was gigging as a bassist for another artist. In the spare room of a kind couple’s home who put her up “The Best of Me,” her self-proclaimed anthem for domestic violence, was spontaneously penned. “I’d been wracking my brain for some time trying to find a way to write a song with a subliminal message for victims of abuse. Using simple language my hope was for them to see themselves and be inspired to find help. I truly believe that’s what I've accomplished with this song. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was writing about my own situation.”

Western Swing Authority Live and Swingin’!

Fri Feb 08, 2019

On this Toronto February night, the 25 degrees below zero temperature was bone chilling and teeth chattering but inside the city’s iconic venue Hugh’s Room Live it was Texas hot. From the moment the band hit the stage toes were tapping, hands were clapping and bodies were swaying in swing time. The seven-piece group featuring twin fiddles, Shane Guse and Dan Howlett, guitar whiz Paul Chapman, upright bassist, Matthew Lima, drummer Gary Craig, who did a remarkable job subbing for regular drummer Jimmy Boudreau, steel guitar legend Ed (Pee Wee Charles) Ringwald and vocalist extraordinaire Stacey Lee Guse are in stratosphere all their own.

Orit Shimoni Lost On The Road To Nowhere

Fri Feb 08, 2019

The great thing about following the career of an artist for a long time is watching said artist evolve and grow. Such is the case with singer/songwriter Orit Shimoni, a true troubadour in every sense of the word. I have watched her grow musically and have had the pleasure of reviewing and enjoying her albums through the years. Her latest effort Lost On the Road to Nowhere, a 13 song collection, is in my humble opinion her best to date. Orit is a modern-day gypsy, really not having a fixed address, but with homes all over the world, literally. Orit was born Isreal, lived in Montreal and recorded this last CD in the home studio of Martin van de Vrught in the Netherlands. The work was produced by the multitalented de Vrught who lent his skills on guitar, lap and pedal steel, banjo and percussion to the tracks and blended in perfectly with Orit’s guitar and allowed the songs and the sincere and gripping vocals be the stars.

Weird Omen Release A Place I Want to Know

Fri Jan 25, 2019

Weird Omen is a garage rock trio from France and on February 1st they will release their infectious 7′′ single “A Place I Want To Know/Girls Are Dancing On The Highway” via Dirty Water Records. The band’s unique sound is bolstered by baritone sax player Fred Rollercoaster, and it features Sister Ray on guitar and Remi Pablo on drums. Look for the 7′′ to come out in anticipation of the band’s upcoming full-length Surrealistic Feast, due out in mid-March via the UK label.

The Strumbellas Announce New Album and Spring Tour Dates

Fri Jan 25, 2019

The Strumbellas are thrilled to announce their fourth album, Rattlesnake, is set for release on March 29th, 2019, out in Canada via the band’s own imprint, Underneath A Mountain Records, under exclusive license to eOne Music Canada; and internationally with Glassnote Records. The band recently released the video for Salvation, the first single from the new album, which is currently sitting at #12 on the Alt-Rock chart in Canada and has surpassed two million streams worldwide. Pre-order/pre-save Rattlesnake here.

Sun K Release New Video High In the City

Fri Jan 18, 2019

Following the release of their sophomore album, Bleeding Hearts, Toronto-based rock band, Sun K, have shared the fun visual for the track, High In The City. Have a look at the video for High In The City, which premiered today with Indie88. They have also announced upcoming tour dates taking the band across Ontario and Quebec with Huttch, as well as a string of shows in the Maritimes. See below for the tour details and don’t miss the band’s energetic live show when they come through your town!

The High In The City music video is all about the quintessential summer day in Toronto with friends,” says lead singer and guitarist, Kristian Montano. “We met up with Laura-Lynn Petrick and hopped on a boat to the island to drink beers, take a dip, have a rip, light some fireworks (among other things) and in general get a little weird with friends. We hope this video serves as a reminder that the days are getting longer and summer is on its way!

Kjell Gustavsson Rhythm & Blues Orchestra Down at the Saloon

Fri Jan 11, 2019

Down at the Saloon is one of those surprise releases that turns up delivering a knock-out blow. Who, what, where? you ask yourself. The answer in order being: Kjell Gustavsson & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra; an album that absolutely boils, full of wonderful blues-edged fun and talent; a band from Sweden recorded and released by Sweden’s, Malmo-based independent label, Rootsy.

This is a truly excellent album. Ten self-penned tracks, bulging at the seams with full-tilt R&B, and a nine-piece band that covers all bases from guitars, drums, Memphis horns to driving squeeze-box and searing vocals. I had the good luck to catch this band live recently and will add that they really can produce the goods. 

Anyone with even a passing interest or love of US band, the Mavericks, will certainly enjoy this one. If anything, this band has a much clearer true-blues and roots grounding than their American counterparts. If there’s a real surprise here, it must be why we’ve never heard of this top-quality outfit before now. It appears they have been around for many years in their native Nordic homeland where they already have an ardent following.

Mr! Mouray releases New Single Sunshine Supermarket

Fri Jan 11, 2019

On the heels of the holiday single The Christmas Belles, Toronto’s Mr! Mouray has released another great single ‘Sunshine Supermarket’ from the upcoming EP “Atlantic”.

Mr! Mouray formed in 2018 from the remnants of three successful Toronto alt-rock acts: singer/guitarist Simon Bedford-James (Swedish/MaDE), Dominic Whelan (The Mahones), and Jaimie Vernon (Moving Targetz/Swindled). They yearned for the days of more classic melodic pop influences and have embraced their AM radio upbringing.

Their first album, 'Bats In Disguise,' and its title track was a refreshing pop-rock debut in Canada in the Fall of 2018 followed immediately by their break-out Christmas hit "Christmas Belles."

‘Sunshine Supermarket’ is garage grunge at its best, reminiscent of the 80/90s music feel, where the delivery was raw on honest, combining clear vocals with thundering guitar riffs. Released on the legendary icon label Bullseye Canada label, the influence of Jaimie Vernon is all over this track. As the man who brought so much to the industry and a founding member of Mr! Mouray, he had this to say:

Allen Finney Salt Breeze With Kites

Fri Jan 11, 2019

This is one of those surprising releases that sort of catches you unaware, pins you to the speaker and delivers loads of straight-forward pleasure and delight.

Finney is a USA-born, bluesman of some stature now long based in Sweden, where he plies his trade as a genuinely gripping guitarist and blues-based performer. Each track here holds elements of both beauty and surprise as Finney moves effortlessly from light jazz flourishes, full-tilt headlong blues, R&B and echoes of funk and soul.

Vocals are smoothly delivered, while the supporting musicians all come together perfectly to create a wholesome sound and vibe that simply works near-perfectly. In reality, this is an album that carries no dead-wood, no fill-ups or filling, instead of providing some deliciously emotive lyrics matched by some on-the-button musical support, melody, and flavour.

Jaimie Vernon and Mr! Mouray Celebrate with Christmas Belles

Fri Dec 21, 2018

For those of you who know Jaimie Vernon, then you know his musical knowledge and passion is beyond measure.

So when he recently announced he was part of a new band it was no surprise to us all because after all, you can’t keep a good music man down. Mr! Mouray was loosely named after a classic song - now think Dean Martin ‘when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie – Mr! Mouray!!

Now with the holiday season upon us Jaimie and musical partners have released a new single ‘Christmas Belles’ and it is truly a great production.

The most striking part of this song is it was written by Jaimie Vernon, and for those of us who know him and musical history, he is a rocker through and through. That is why the song is surprisingly sweet and sentimental with a nostalgic feel, combining great vocals with strong harmonies, the production builds into a great offering with a very positive lyric pattern. Kudos to these guys!

Give it a listen!
https://youtu.be/MQoaeelH658

John Legend A Legendary Christmas

Fri Dec 14, 2018

John Legend is a nine-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, critically-acclaimed concert performer, philanthropist/social activist, and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Legend’s debut album, Get Lifted (2004) sold more than three million copies worldwide and earned an astounding eight Grammy nominations with three wins for Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B album.

Legend’s follow-up album, Once Again (2006) earned RIAA platinum certification and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. High off the success of his third consecutive Top 10 album, Evolver (2008), Legend embarked on an extensive world tour with an 11 piece band - his largest traveling show to date. Inspired by the monumental 2008 Presidential election, Legend teamed up with The Roots to release the socially conscious album, Wake Up! (2010.)

Dianne Reeves Better Than Christmas!

Fri Dec 07, 2018

Dianne Reeves performance at the George Weston Recital Hall was perfection, a wonderful new take on Holiday Music and her excellent catalogue anchored this astounding show.

Like Aretha Franklin, a song could not have a better friend than, Dianne Reeves, one of the most awarded singers on the planet. The National Endowments for the Arts Jazz Masters Award, three consecutive years of Grammys with a total of five Grammys. Her music is the stories of her life in music and songs like "Better Days".

Her live performance and band are flawless, warm friendly and fun.

Her musical catalogue has no boundaries, Jazz to Dance Hall.

To my surprise every time I check her website there is a new award posted!

It's a just music to us old hippies, no boundaries, genres or categories.

Breathing new life into the classics, while bringing contemporary music in the realm of Jazz on her latest Grammy Award Winning, "Beautiful Life".

The last sessions of Dianne's mentor, cousin, producer, musical genius at large, the late great George Duke... a favorite of Frank Zappa and mine.

Sandra Bouza Releases Introductory EP - Three Years

Fri Nov 30, 2018

Toronto’s Sandra Bouza has just released Three Years — three songs in a nod to her sobriety that crystallize her journey can help others open up to healing and confidence, or simply draw you into her story and struggles.

Sandra says, “for years I’ve been hiding behind other people’s songs. With Three Years, I’m grateful to have the confidence to step out with songs I am immensely proud of and so emotionally connected to. I’m committed to continuing this journey because I have so much more to say, and I’m finally at a place where I’m not afraid to say it.”

Having spent three years in Morocco where music and healing were very much on the forefront of Sandra’s priorities, she’s a fascinating and insightful artist. Canadian R&B/pop singer Sandra Bouza has a lot to offer through her music and life experience.

On her introductory EP, Three Years, produced by Hill Kourkoutis (Jules, SATE, Eh440), the Toronto native who has lived, studied or worked all over the world, let her stories breathe in songs that are deeply personal.

Long Range Hustle Welcomes You to Town

Fri Nov 16, 2018

Long Range Hustle have been treating our ears to tastes of new music, with the summer release of their driving lead single, Morning Clover, and the anthemic, Crush You – which dropped on Friday and landed on Spotify’s New Music Friday Canada playlist. Today, the Toronto rockers are thrilled to share the details of their forthcoming full-length release – Town. Set for release on February 15, 2019, the album brings about a refined and evolved sound for the group, reflective of their persistent drive to push themselves as songwriters and performers. Pre-order Town here.