Reviews

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.

King Wizard and the Lizard Gizzard Danforth Music Hall (Toronto)

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

"Please don't be smoking anything in the entrance. Please move away from the entrance." The security was addressing a large fogbank of high-grade resin hanging over the sidewalk directly in front of the venue as fans of the Aussie septet got their weed on. The vibe out front was all love and brotherly hugs as the fans of the neopsychedelic outfit adhere strongly to the hippie ethic and inside, it was thus also with the addition of genre touches like wizard hats and an excellent Lizard Gizzard mask.

Opener Orb stormed through the bottom half of their set to a two-thirds full room. When the left the stage it was full and by the time King Wizard and the Lizard Gizzard came on we were jammed up against the walls and the bars and if the woman in front of me stepped back just another millimeter I was gonna have to buy her dinner. Not bad for an act that gets zero airplay, whose albums are hard to find and whose music fits no genre. Someone noted that this was their third time in Toronto and each time, they play a larger venue, then turned to cheer for the roadies moving stuff around. That was how pumped the crowd was and the band did not disappoint.

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.

One Night Two Hearts Love Was In the Air

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: Lisa Hartt

Photo Credit: Fiona Lawson Studio 22 Photography

With the dwindling number of live music venues in Toronto and GTA, the Taste of Colombia El Salon Room in Oakville, Ontario is a beacon of light on the darkening landscape. Much Music VeeJay and celebrity icon Michael Williams and his Michael Williams Presents shows are providing a listening room atmosphere for new acts and established artists to stage mini concerts. The venue serves coffee, some of the best coffee on the planet by the way, to a seated audience of around 50 music lovers.

On the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, two veterans of the Montreal music scene now living in Ontario, Lisa Hartt and Don Graham celebrated the night of love with a concert aptly called ‘One Night, Two Hearts’.  Both artists performed solo shows of love songs to celebrate the  occasion with Hartt adding bagpipes to her set on a couple of songs.

Don GrahamDon GrahamThe night started with Don Graham and the title track of his album “ A Willing Heart”and his set contained some new tunes he’d written including “ Everything About Her Feels like Home” as well as a  version of the old standard “ The Glory of Love” to end his set.

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.

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