Album Reviews

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.

Eric Bibb Migration Blues

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Submitted by Iain Patience

There are some musicians who seem to achieve the near impossible by imprinting themselves in a memory with a flash of sheer individuality, a signature sound or something similar that makes them instantly recognisable. We can think of Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones – all musicians that have captured that remarkable essence over the years. I’m not trying to say that New York-born bluesman Eric Bibb is the new Lennon, McCartney or Dylan but he does have that extraordinary quality of a voice and musical style that renders him immediately recognisable, a rare familiarity bound up in his very being.

By my reckoning this is about his third release in the past twelve months, following hot on the heels of The Happiest Man In The World and Lead Belly’s Gold. Migration Blues takes as its theme the seldom more relevant subject of often necessary movement of the underprivileged and disadvantaged and the struggle for survival in a harsh world. Bibb has the evident ability to write songs with depth and meaning that also retain memorable melodic hooks and soulful purpose.

Anyone who has caught Bibb at his sound-check before a live gig will know just how much effort he puts into the search for aural perfection, a trait that he carries into the studio; he recently told me he loved touring but was comfortable and relaxed in the studio where he can hear what’s going down in an optimum setting.

Linda Carone – Black Moonlight

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

An early passion for jazz and blues developed upon first hearing the raw and emotive melancholy of Billie Holiday. This inspiration laid the foundation for growth as a vocalist and as an artist. Linda’s musical journey was further influenced by jazz and blues vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Mildred Bailey, Helen Humes, Valaida Snow and Lil Armstrong.

Linda’s eclectic repertoire includes rare and sometimes risque vintage songs of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, classic jazz and swing standards, cocktail lounge and torch ballads, to boogie woogie & roots blues.

Most recently, Linda has been found thrilling audiences at venues such as 70Down in Yorkville, Relish Bar & Grill, SpiritHouse/Foundry GastroPub, RasaBar, 120 Diner, Salutè Piano Bar, Gate 403, White Elephant Restaurant & Bar and Rasputin Vodka Lounge, and as well as various other venues and private functions.

Linda Carone’s debut recording, “Black Moonlight” is a must for any vintage blues/jazz lover and a worthy purchase for anyone’s music library.

‘Guilty’ sets the stage for the sultry, romantic vocal offerings of this talented singer, with the standard torch song about love and lost. A classic horn solo rounds out with just the right sound, soft percussions and mellow piano – a perfect combo.

‘Big Bad Handsome Man’ is reminiscent of Keely Smith, lovin’ her man, ready to sing and tell the world about him.

Singer/Songwriter Ian Janes Releases New Album ‘Yes Man’

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On February 24th, 2017, Ian Janes released his latest solo album, Yes Man, to critical praise and acclaim from some of Canada’s most prestigious press.

A confident and soulful record, Yes Man creatively mixes Ian’s deepest influences and experiences. It is a combination of singularly written songs, as well as collaborations with other great writers from across North America. The album includes co-writes with Andy Stochansky (Goo Goo Dolls, Ani DiFranco, Shannon Noll), Jamie Hartman (Joss Stone, James Bay, Christina Aguilera) Lee Ann and Daryl Burgess (Irma Thomas, Colin James, Patty Loveless) and iconic Canadian songwriter, Joel Plaskett.

Earlier in February the first single from the album, “Broken Record”, was released and has been receiving regular play from CBC, Clic Franco, Sirius XM, and Stingray radio, and has kept Ian busy with interviews and in-studio performances.

Check out the lyric video for “Broken Record” here: http://bit.ly/2luXYbj

Last week, Janes’ song, “Can’t Remember Never Loving You”, co-written with Byron Hill (George Strait, Ray Charles, Alabama), was prominently featured in the groundbreaking music-based TV drama, Nashville. The song was performed as a posthumous duet by lead characters Deacon (Charles Esten) and Rayna (Connie Britton) as a dramatic conclusion of the show’s mid-season finale.

Michael Kaeshammer – No Filter

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Submitted by Gary Richardson
Biography by Sarah French Publicity

No Filter is the eleventh album from MICHAEL KAESHAMMER. This is the sound of an artist following his muse completely unhindered by thoughts of commercial imperatives or genre constraints.

The prolific Vancouver Island-based singer/songwriter/pianist/producer has earned a loyal international following as a triple threat. He’s a piano virtuoso with a technical mastery of many different styles, an eloquent singer/songwriter, and a charming and engaging performer.

On No Filter, Michael mixes his well-crafted and melodic original songs with a couple of evocative piano instrumentals, and the result is a delightfully varied collection.

Kaeshammer has completely come to terms with his eclectic taste in music, something showcased on the record.“The songs here are just things I wanted to write,” he explains. “If they sound as if they have been influenced by a lot of different things, then that is just the way it is. To me, it just sounds like my music.”

On No Filter, Michael takes the listener on a highly entertaining journey through refreshingly diverse musical terrain.

The opening track “Letter From the Road” is reminiscent of early Manhattan Transfer mixed with a Broadway influence, taking you back and forth from boogie woogie to classic show tune styles.

“Nothing Seems to Reach You” shows this artist’s funky side, with classic organ licks and R&B horn effects.

Windsor Rockers The Silence Factory Release Video For New Single High

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Silence Factory Photo Credit Anthony Sheardown

Windsor rockers The Silence Factory are excited to announce the release of the video for their latest single'High'with an Exclusive Premiere today onLive in Limbo. The Silence Factory will also be touring in support of their new music, and have selecttour dates in February and March with a full Cross-Canada Tour throughout April and May, to be announced soon.See below for the latest tour listings.

The Silence Factory’s new track‘High’was produced by Juno award winning and Grammy nominated producerGavin Brown(3 Days Grace, Billy Talent) and is the second single from a new EP that will be released later this year. The song is currently going for adds at Canadian Rock Radio and is already getting spins97.7 Hits FM,FM 96,The Fox 105.3,Rock 106.7,The Wolf 104.9and more! The first single from their upcoming EP release, a cover of Harvey Danger’s‘Flagpole Sitta’,gained considerable spins at radio last year, charting at #51 on the Canadian active rock charts.

The video for‘High’was directed by Jendo Shabo from Moonjump Productions and in keeping with the lyrics of the song, the video has a dark, moody vibe.

Al Muirhead Northern Adventures - The Canada Sessions Vol. 1

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Submitted by Gary Richardson

2016 JUNO-Nominated trumpeter Al Muirhead’s most ambitious project to date, Northern Adventures - The Canada Sessions Vol. 1 is a collection of standards pairing him with many of Canadas jazz greats!

A western Canadian jazz icon, Al recently came to wider prominence in North America with the release of his debut album Its About Time. Now at the age of 81 years old, Al is making up for lost time with his third release in just two years.

Featuring five different small ensembles of both old friends and new, Al harkens back to his youth, calling standards from the great American songbook live in the studio. Northern Adventures features jazz performed with spontaneity and joy, and with a command of the music that only players of the caliber of Al and his guests can.

“Love Me Or Leave Me” became the title of a 1955 film “Makin' Whoopee” a jazz standard and a huge hit for Billie Holiday. Guido Basso on flugelhorn is reminiscent of Kay Winding and J.J. Johnson trombone styles while guitar solos are played effortlessly in synch with smooth piano.

“They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, the George and Ira Gershwin song, was made famous by Fred Astaire in the 1937 film Shall We Dance, and recorded by Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart and many others. Proof that a good song is a good song and can withstand the test of time. Muirhead’s offering is a classic 60’s style of trumpet, a trait well known in that era of jazz standards.

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