Canada’s ‘First Lady of the Classical Guitar’ Liona Boyd Wants to Wish You a “Happy New Year”

Fri Dec 18 2020
Liona Boyd

Multi-award winning and Gold- and Platinum-selling Canadian ‘First Lady of the Classical Guitar’ Liona Boyd — and her multi-talented friend, singer/songwriter Amanda Martinez — want to wish you a very special “Happy New Year” with this, their newest single — available now!

“It occurred to me many years ago that, apart from ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ there was no well-known celebratory song that welcomes in the new year while bidding farewell to the previous one,” Boyd recalls. “Even then, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is, in itself, a slow and nostalgic song that mostly looks backwards, so I decided to write an upbeat pop song with joyful lyrics that people could enjoy dancing to…

“Play this happy song, be sure to sing along and dance around, even if you’re on your own,” she continues. “I guarantee it will lift your spirits!

Enjoy “Happy New Year (feat. Amanda Martinez)” here:

Award Winning Classical Guitarist Emma Rush Releases “Wake the Sigh”

Fri Dec 18 2020
Emma Rush

The award-winning Canadian classical guitarist Emma Rush has released her third solo album. It’s called Wake the Sigh and brings to light a plethora of relatively unknown female-written guitar compositions from the 19th century, including works from Emilia Giuliani, Delores de Goñi and Julie Fondard — a professor of guitar in Paris, France.

Putting Wake the Sigh together wasn’t as simple as listening to old recordings, taking inspiration from them and re-recording them… No, Emma spent a couple of years researching these classical composers and uncovering their masterful compositions, which went on to inspire the 43-minute work. 14 of the 17 tracks were never-before recorded, so the Hamilton-based musician is technically the first to ever release them.

During pre-production, the ambitious Canuck did a residency in Lübeck, Germany, where she was able to conduct a lot of her research. Pre-pandemic, she visited libraries all across Europe and eventually managed to piece together tons of information about seven different female composers – many of them also renowned performers — and their works written throughout the 19th century.

Charley Pride Time To Kiss An Angel Good Morning

Fri Dec 18, 2020

Charley Pride has left this earthly plane but his legacy and music will live on forever. A trailblazer, pioneer, role model, superstar and one of only three African American members of the Grand Old Opry the others being DeFord Baily and Darius Rucker. Pride passed away of complications of COVID-19 at the age of 86.

On November 11th, Pride was onstage performing at the 2020 Country Music Association Awards where he received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, an honour given  to “an iconic artist who has attained the highest degree of recognition in Country Music.” Charley performed his first #1 hit “Kiss An Angel Good Morning “ along with another young black artist Jimmie Allen.

Our library statistics in Record World Chart history show Charley Pride had 49 hit records of which 33 reached #1. In 1972 he had a duet hit with Henry Mancini, “All His Children” peaked at # 1.

Cashbox Magazine Charts show he had 67 Hit Songs of which 30 peaked at #1.

Charley Pride’s biggest hit was “Kiss An Angel Good Morning"

BTW - Sultans of String, Matthew Cardinal, Diana Krall, Friggin’ Arab Orchestra Company, Adam Solomon, Christina Martin, Nyssa, Walk Off The Earth, Tom Jackson and The Huron Carole

Fri Dec 11 2020
Sultans of String

‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ said judgemental Santa, as he walked by the three young women at Sherbourne and Dundas.

This week we spotlight Second Harvest Central Food Bank 1450 Lodestar Road Unit 18 Toronto, Ontario
Tel: 416-408-2594
email@secondharvest.ca

The Turkey Drive goal is to provide 8,000 turkeys to our agency network to help nourish people who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Member agencies have been coping with the new realities of providing emergency food relief during COVID, whether it’s changing their community dining programs to take away meals or offering prepared hampers instead of food bank access. Many agencies have closed their doors, which has put further strain on the food resources of agencies that have remained open.

Support your local food bank. The need is dire.

It’s a digital Christmas y’all. The otherworldly Sultans of String is doing a zoom celebration of their Billboard charting festive release Christmas Caravan, featured on the New York Time Hits List.

Newfoundland’s Tonia Evans Cianciulli Marks “Christmas Time This Year” With New Single

Fri Dec 11 2020
Tonia Evans Cianciulli

Award-winning Canadian soprano, singer/songwriter, and author Tonia Evans Cianciulli has released a poignant and beautiful song for the holiday season in this, “Christmas Time This Year”.

“Christmas 2020 will be a challenging one for the entire world,” Cianciulli considers. “If we can’t be with our families in person, I pray we can be together in spirit and music.

“With that in mind, I hope this song will weave its way through your heart.”

“Christmas Time This Year” is the latest creation from the multi-faceted artist, and lands ahead of her forthcoming album set for release this Spring, 2021.

Watch “Christmas Time This Year” here:

The new release of all-original music will highlight matters of the heart while further heralding her heart’s true home of Newfoundland. To that, “Christmas Time This Year” enjoys two versions of its lyrics, with alternate words fitting for other locations.

Internet Killed The Nerdiness!

Fri Dec 11 2020
Peter Åstedt

If you know me, you know I am the king of nerdiness. I was out in Stockholm and went into a second-hand store that carries used vinyl, CDs, and Comic books. No, I more or less sighed over the CDs. As a collector’s item, they really are dead. Vinyls, no I’m not a vinyl freak. I guess running a distribution service for over twenty years with vinyls I am pretty bored with the format. Still, it’s a collector's item and there were a couple of strange guys going through the boxes of different vinyls. No, I’m collecting comics, only white men in their 40:s are collecting those I guess the kids of today don’t really know what a comic book is they just think that is a merch item that went with the movie.

In front of me in the queue line was an older guy that wanted to sell some old comics. Usually, they are quite expensive. If you had a pretty good copy of Donald Duck from the 50’s it was worth money. The prices have gone down lately. The old man was unhappy with the price, so I overheard the conversation and after he left talked a bit to the owner about why the comics have gone down.

JAMES CULLETON Uses AR Technology to Bring Children’s Concept Album to Life

Fri Dec 11 2020
James Culleton

Winnipeg-based folk musician James Culleton has used AR technology to bring his new children’s concept album, Unusual Friendships, to life.

Unusual Friendships is based on the children’s story Unusual Friendships: A Little Black Cat and a Little White Rat, written by the award-winning Métis author Beatrice Mosionier — who is also Culleton’s aunt; the 71-year-old novelist wrote the rhyme-heavy book as symbolism for difficulties Métis persons experience.

With a collection of 14 original songs, Culleton effectively turned pen; to paper, back to pen; to paper; to ear drums. The 36 minute-spanning record features a mixture of traditional and contemporary roots song while succinctly retelling the symbolic tale of acceptance and equality relayed through a peculiar friendship which blossoms unexpectedly between a black cat and a white rat. Though rats and cats are thought to be enemies, the dynamic duo stick together throughout Unusual Friendships to fight and earn the respect of others.

Learn How James Culleton Brought Unusual Friendships to Live via YouTube here:

Glass Tiger Release “Songs For A Winter’s Night” With Guest Artists

Fri Dec 11, 2020

“We’ve waited 34 years to create an original release for Christmas and this Christmas, is one that most people will never forget.”

Created during the summer of 2020, with the world continuing its fight to recover from the massive impact of a global pandemic, “Songs For A Winter’s Night” is primarily a collection of original Christmas/Holiday songs written by Glass Tiger and joined by guest artists such as Roch Voisine, Natalie MacMaster, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Steve Sidwell Orchestra and of course the legendary Gordon  adds his voice to a very special poem written by Alan Frew, “Ode For A Winter’s Night”.

In doing so, the legendary Mr Lightfoot, is giving his personal thumbs up to the lads, for their covering of his classic hit, “A Song For A Winter’s Night.” With this eclectic mix of holiday music, Songs For A Winter’s Night, stirs the spirit and soul with the central theme focussing on gratitude for the things in life that matter most, like love and kindness; equality & friendship; and of course, family.

The single release is Happy Holiday (Joyeux Noel Mes Amis) Glass Tiger & Roch Voisine – check it out here:

Taking The Measure of Countermeasure

Fri Dec 04 2020
Countermeasure

Carry Away CountermeasureAcapella is the high wire act of vocalizing, You’re out there all alone, just you and your voice and a tonne of expectations; you will rekindle old emotions, awaken the sleeping dogs of memory and bring fresh dynamics to songs your audience thought they knew inside out. That tall order is tough for most acapella crews. For Countermeasure, it’s their specialty, made possible by voices that replicate the sounds of guitar, bass, percussion, trombone and more.

Here’s why there’s not another like this 13 member Toronto-based group. They’re fearless. Their live sets and album are primarily original material, an act bordering on heresy in a genre where idiosyncratic arrangements of popular standards is the norm.

“Countermeasure has sung original music from day one, but the ratio of originals to covers has gone up considerably over the past five years. I'd estimate that 80% of our live show is made up of original songs at this point.”

Which Artists Will Survive COVID-19?

Fri Dec 04 2020
Peter Åstedt

I have been talking to many festivals organizers over the past weeks. Mainly I wanted to ask if they are going to try to do them in the summer of 2021 or push them to 2022 or just close altogether. That has been the debate the whole time which bars, gig venues and festivals will survive. The other discussion is which artists will survive has not been covered much in the media but has been discussed behind the scenes activelu in the industry.

Many festivals are taking the same line-up with them from 2020 until 2021. Now of course if they move to 2022, that line-up is not that current. Even if you have the line-up from last year who knows which artists will still be active.

Janelle Monae’s Guitarist & Collaborator Kellindo Steps into His Own with New Single, “Long Gone”

Fri Dec 04 2020
Kellindo Photo Credit Scott Murry

Kellindo is best known as energetic side-man and collaborator to Janelle Monae, playing guitar on her four GRAMMY Award-nominated records and touring the world on some of the biggest stages — including the Oscars and GRAMMYs, and for everyone from David Letterman to Karl Largerfeld to The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Not only is he currently putting the final touches to his epic rock-opera album debut, Shattered Rhapsody, but he can also be heard on Janelle’s new single, “Turntables.”

His musical story however, starts way before that...

Born from a gifted bloodline that includes James Brown band members Melvin and Maceo Parker, and the first black law professor at Columbia University — his father, Kellis Parker — Kellindo was just eight years old when he first picked up guitar.

Now, after over a decade of performing with geniuses like Prince and Stevie Wonder, he’s ready to strike out on his own with his own distinctive brand of soul inflected rock ’n’ roll.

Check out his New Single Release , “Long Gone” here:

The Guess Who's Leonard Shaw with Sandy Chochinov Release Self-Titled Album as Displaced Pieces

Fri Dec 04 2020
Leonard Shaw and Sandy Chochinov

“Be Strong” is the newest single by Displaced Pieces — Leonard Shaw and Sandy Chochinov — from their album, Displaced Pieces. Available now on streaming services Spotify, Amazon Music, and available as a music video on YouTube, this new rock/jazz single was written to remind everyone to not give up in the face of adversity.

Check out “Be Strong” here:

“The music has been developed over the past few years, but not without its challenges. Sandy and I thought it appropriate - even in this difficult time of social distancing - to celebrate what we have accomplished, and some of our shared history,” says Shaw about the new single.

Andy Kim Christmas Special Presented By The Air Miles® Reward Program

Fri Dec 04, 2020

The 16th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Special, presented by AIR MILES will make its national television debut on Citytv and Citytv.com as well as streamed globally at LiveNation.com. The two-hour music special will broadcast from Toronto’s one and only, El Mocambo on December 19 at 8 p.m

The Television Special in support of Crew Nation, CAMH Gifts of Light and Food Banks Canada airs Saturday, December 19 at 8 p.m. on Citytv and Citytv.com

BTW-The Wilderness, Universal Honey, Taylor Abrahamse, Colleen Brown, Keith Richards, Duke Robillard, Unison

Fri Nov 27 2020
Thw Wilderne3ss1_Credit-BobbiShewchuck

This week we highlight North York Harvest Food Bank, 116 Industry Street, Toronto, ON, Telephone: 416-635-7771.
Email: info@northyorkharvest.com
Main Office Hours: Monday to Friday – 9 am to 5 pm
Food Drop off Hours: Monday to Friday – 9:30 am to 3 pm
Support your local food bank. The need is dire.

Kingston indie rockers The Wilderness did a slick version of turning lemons into lemonade this past summer. Instead of being upset that they can't play live shows and tour, they decided to take it to the studio and record a live EP.

The result is Live at the Bathouse, featuring live versions of select songs from their recently released album, Until Tomorrow. The EP is set for release on December 4th with the first official single 'Fire and the Wolves' out today on all digital platforms.

Watch the video here.

The Biggest Destroyer Of Careers Are Artists Themselves!

Fri Nov 27 2020
Peter Åstedt

It just comes in waves. Suddenly you have a couple of artists just destroying their careers. The methods are quite varied and there is not a shortage of intriguing ways that they do it. The funny thing is these mistakes are always blamed on the industry itself. Also many times the artist totally ignores advice and does things anyways, blames the industry, and then just does exactly as the advice says and then acts like they invented sliced bread. I guess my list could be be very long. I just will take the ones that happened in the past two weeks have been discussed in different managers forums around the internet.

BTW - Stewart Goodyear, Cat and The Queen, Micah Barnes, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Kayla Diamond, Justine Tyrell, Dolly Parton

Fri Nov 20 2020
Stewart Goodyear

This week we spotlight Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank 784 1/2 Crawford St, Toronto. Please phone ahead as hours may vary: 647-878-6516,

Usually, Toronto born virtuoso pianist Stewart Goodyear would be busy blitzing the world and performing at some of the most prestigious venues around the globe. However, not happening, so Goodyear is using this opportunity to get his daring, distinctive sound out to as wide an audience as possible. He’s released a new single “Congotay” with his quintet, which includes masterful musicians Michael Occhipinti (electric guitar), Joy Lapps-Lewis (steel drums), Larnell Lewis (drums) and Roberto Occhipinti (electric bass).

I Need Some Action!

Fri Nov 20 2020
Peter Åstedt

Last story I wrote was about numbers. I said there that numbers are different than statistics. I have a problem also with statistics in one way. You can get things out of statistics so don’t discard them, use all the tools to collect whatever facts are out there. Still have one thing in your mind. Statistics are only available on action taken.

There won’t be any statistics if you don’t do anything. More or less no action, zero statistics. Or even just a small bit of action the data that comes in will be too little to draw any conclusions. And of course, if you cheat then your data will be not correct either.

I think many people today are not using the data that is actually out there. You should monitor a release and see what is getting any tractions. Most of the time I mainly see artists just count interviews or anything where they can pose and be a star counting. They never check if that interview is read or even lead to some new people getting to the music. That is so easy today, but yes vanity and ego is still big in many ways.

Indie Week Canada’s 2020 Online Conference Huge Success!

Fri Nov 20 2020
Indie Week

The annual Indie Week Canada conference has come to a close and attendees showed their support by rating the sessions with 5 star reviews giving approval of the new, fully virtual approach.

Indie Week 2020 (Virtual) brought together music industry, artists in globe-spanning fashion, garnering a 5-star review and created a new way of offering all the ways of communicating in a stellar way.

Indie Week Canada began in 2003, founded by industry icon Darryl Hurs who created an event that had Showcases that invited artists to travel from around the world to perform in front of industry professionals. Indie Week has been known as the premiere emerging artist festival in Canada where it had a schedule of five days and nights of music, showcases, the Indie 101 conference, Official VIP Launch Party, Indie Week Awards show and more.

Actor, Singer & Philanthropist TOM JACKSON Announces 33rd Season Of Huron Carole – The Light Inside

Fri Nov 20, 2020

For 32 Christmases Tom Jackson’s Huron Carole has been a staple in Canada, touring the country bringing cheer and hope to the nation. But with the current pandemic, what will happen to Year 33? The need to social distance and travel limitations made for a huge obstacle in continuing this tradition.

Festivals and live events were being cancelled and postponed across the board but this was Tom Jackson we are talking about here. Tom is no stranger to stones in the road and fallen trees in his path. We caught up with him at his home in Calgary and the calmness and sense of resolve in his voice is something that soothes the nerves and gives a sense that every problem has a solution.