BTW This Week- Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, Danny Marks, Royal Tusk, Andrea Ramolo, Alejandra Ribera, Kobo Town, The TUNS

Fri Feb 10 2017
Kim Doolittle

The 15th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, taking place in Toronto February 17-19, 2017, is set to present the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, and will feature returning favourite artists as well as fresh new talent. It’s an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event that emulates a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 100 artists will be performing at five venues and six stages over three days of the long Family Day weekend. For more information on the festival, schedule and for updates, please visit www.winterfolk.com .

 

BTW -DISCOVERIES, Chris Gostling & The Tempo, Denielle Bassels, Jupiter Hollow, Laughed The Boy, Robbie Lane and The Disciples

Fri Feb 03 2017
Chris Gostling

It's time again for DISCOVERIES, a showcase series that brings four artists together, have each one work to bring out as many family members, friends and fans as they are able and then the room fills up to give each of the four artists attention and support. This year's lineup:
Ezra Jordan started piano lessons at five, and drums at nine. He shifted focus to singing and writing songs while studying music at the University of Guelph, and while playing keyboards in Warner Bros. artist Scott Helmans band. He continued his studies at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, where he graduated from the Independent Artist Program. He is now working on writing and recording his first solo project, which is a blend of Alt. Pop and R&B. Ezra can currently be seen playing with his band in clubs around Toronto. 

A Christmas Story in June

Fri Dec 16 2016
Photo: Danforth Greektown Fountain

The little village square in my hood has a small stage at one end, so the sound of live music providing counterpoint to the omnipresent traffic thunder, is often and welcome. 'Twas early summer, the city air still soft , the greenery new and full of promise, a fresh crop of toddlers duking it out with the pigeons for fountain space when I heard the subtly turbulent chromatics and cascading arpeggios of Debussy rushing like a springtime stream from a keyboard.  Behind the keys, an elfin brunette young woman just getting started on a set that referenced Brubeck, Fatha Hines, Oscar Peterson, some delicate etudes from Beethoven, Burton Cummings and Diana Krall, among the stuff I recognised.

Come break time, I'm right over there curious to hear what else she can do. So she played me some show tunes, some Elton John, and when I called out for New Orleans sounds, she dropped some Dr. John, some Professor Longhair and her Fats Domino medley had the rugrats rompin'. All layered with numerous to me, unknown pieces, some of which were gorgeous and celebratory in tone, with a persistent flow of challenge and struggles informing the dynamic.

Proudly Canadian: Jack Scott

Fri Dec 09 2016
Jack Scott

Jack Scott (born Giovanni Domenico Scafone, Jr.), January 24, 1936, Windsor, Ontario, Canada is a Canadian American singer and songwriter. He was the first white rock and roll star to come out of Detroit, Michigan. He was inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011 and has been called "undeniably the greatest Canadian rock and roll singer of all time."

Scott spent his early childhood in Windsor, Ontario (Canada), across the river from Detroit, Michigan (United States). When he was 10, Scott's family moved to Hazel Park, a Detroit suburb. He grew up listening to hillbilly music and was taught to play the guitar by his Mother Laura. As a teenager, he pursued a singing career and recorded as 'Jack Scott.' At the age of 18, he formed the Southern Drifters. After leading the band for three years, he signed to ABC-Paramount Records as a solo artist in 1957.

Ken Tobias Soul Tune

Fri Dec 09, 2016

Ken Tobias, Canadian music legend is at it again. He has just released a brand new single Soul Tune that ranks up there as one of his best to date. And that’s goin’ some cause Ken has had a slew of hits and made some great records.

His most famous song “Stay Awhile” was a monster hit for the Bells in the 70’s but Ken himself recorded a lot of hits on his own. His first album included the title track “Dream #2” and “ I Just Wanna Make Music” , both hits, and was recorded in L.A. featuring Hal Blaine on drums, Joe Osborneon on bass, Larry Carlton on guitar and Larry Knechtel on keyboards.

His second album recorded at George Martin’s Air Studio in London, England and yielded “Good To Be Alive in the Country”, “My My” and “Fly Me High”. These were followed by his first Attic record that featured “Every Bit Of Love”, “Run Away With Me”, “Lay Me Down Again”, “Give A Little Love” and “Lady Luck”. These hits were followed by “New York City” and “My Maria”.

BTW- Bernice, Melanie Peterson, Jen Lane, Ault Sisters, Saxsyndrum, Tasseomancy, Susan Aglukark, Psychic Mind, Donkey

Fri Dec 09 2016
Bernice

Not at all Christmassy but bright fun all the same is “St Lucia”, newest video from artpop crew Bernice, pairs soulful vocal melodies with playful sonic tripouts. Bernice vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann says artist Sonia Beckwith-Cole, who directed the “St Lucia” video, was the clear choice – “Her animation felt completely right to me, and I knew she would make something so beautiful for the song's world.”

“When I first heard the song I imagined pinks and blues, a lot of textures and water, water, water,” director/animator Sonia Beckwith-Cole says of her inspiration for the video. “The song talks about how as a woman you are connected to a lineage of women that are a part of you, and contribute to who you are, while somehow still being distant. The verses bring up these complicated feelings and the chorus brings us escape from these worries to be present in a moment of joy. The woman in my story starts out in a confused wandering state surrounded by dark, obscured imagery. When she finally dives off the edge of a waterfall the imagery becomes bright, colourful and full of movement and she finds solace with friends in the water.”

BTW-Your Boy Tony Braxton, The Funk Hunters, Zoe Sky Jordan, Liam Titcomb, Royal Canoe, Dylan Shay, Lily Frost, Melanie Peterson, Sharon Jones

Fri Dec 02 2016
Your Boy Tony Braxton

Earlier this year, rapper, radio host, and now soft rock singer, Shad released a surprise album, Adult Contempt, under the name Your Boy Tony Braxton. He is preparing to hit the stage with Tokyo Police Club for three nights at The Mod Club on December 8, 9 and 10 in support.

Recently Your Boy Tony Braxton shared the music video for album track “Good (Enough).” The video, directed by Justin Broadbent, takes us on a trip back to the 90s and features Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning trying to rent a copy of Speed 2 on VHS.

"So, this is a song about a man who's just beginning to understand what's behind his loneliness, insecurity, and rage," explains Shad. While Broadbent added "I wanted to make a video that affirmed it was ok to like things like Speed 2. We often get in our heads about our futures or art making and need to take a step back and truly enjoy things for what they are."

Veteran Canadian Radio Host Holger Petersen Releases Second Book of Musical Conversations

Sun Dec 04 2016
Holger Petersen

While Holger Petersen’s best known for his blues-based radio programs, he’s just as interested in artists who work in other roots music genres — Cajun musicians Zachary Richard and Bobby Charles, Allen Toussaint, Sam The Sham, Van Dyke Parks, Rory Block, Mose Allison, Billy Boy Arnold, UK singers Maggie Bell and Maddy Prior (together), guitarists James Burton and Albert Lee (together) and songwriters Chip Taylor, Dan Penn/Spooner Oldham (together) and Tony Joe White are among those whose interviews are included.

Each of the conversations is introduced by Petersen’s personal recollections of the artists he’s meeting, and the book’s foreword is contributed by Grammy-winning musicologist Rob Bowman. As Bowman explains, “Talking Music 2 is an important collection, as interviews with the majority of the artists included are not common and certainly do not get included in question- and-answer format interview anthologies such as this.

“The strength of these interviews is Petersen’s conversational tone and the ease he has with the artists he is talking to.”

BTW- Scott Earl Hardy, Floating Room, Divine Brown, Frigs, Ann Vriend, CoCo Love Alcorn, Sean Jones, Peter Jackson, Danny Marks

Fri Nov 18 2016
Scott Earl Hardy

Like a real-life character out of Bruce McDonald’s classic film Hard Core Logo, Scott Earl Hardy has played the same dives across Canada more times than he’d care to mention, been on the wrong end of too many bad deals, and survived his share of near-death experiences. Yet, through it all, he never lost his passion for writing and performing rock and roll in its most dangerous form.

Hearing Hardy’s new album, Love Kills Slow, without knowing any of this, one could easily assume that its go-for-broke arrangements and no-holds-barred lyrics were the work of an artist at least half Hardy’s age. But deep within these grooves lies punk rock’s original promise, fulfilled by music only someone with Hardy’s credentials could create.

Love Kills Slow is a collection of the best tracks Hardy has recorded over the past few years at producer John Dinsmore’s Toronto studio, Lincoln County Social Club. Dinsmore also contributed scorching lead guitar, after laying the foundation on bass with his NQ Arbuckle rhythm section mate Mark Kesper on drums.

Cashbox Canada Announces the Newest Legacy Award Recipient Lori Yates

Mon Nov 14 2016
Lori Yates

Cashbox Magazine Canada is proud to announce the lastest recipient of its legacy award. The honour is awarded to a Canadian music personality who has paved roads and through dedication and hard work earned a spot in Canadian music history. Previous honourees have been entertainers Teen Idol Bobby Curtola, Legendary Singer/Radio Personality Robbie Lane, Record Store owner pioneer Fred Ramsperger (International Music-Montreal) and the well-loved blues performer/radio/TV personality Danny Marks.

The decision of choosing the person is done carefully by committee with contributions weighed and then voted upon. Not surprisingly Lori Yates was a unanimous choice.

BTW-Phish, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Piper Hayes, Raine Hamilton, Brendan Canning, The Pack A.D.

Fri Oct 07 2016
Phish

Jam meisters Phish is dropping new studio album, Big Boat  Friday, October 7th and everywhere bongs are being loaded to the hilt. Big Boat was announced last week with an exclusive album trailer, viewable now at phish.com. The album was produced by Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS), his second collaboration with Phish following 2014's Fuego.

BTW-The Peptides, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, The Darcys, Kenny Brown, Brendan Canning, Kiosk

Fri Sep 30 2016
The Peptides

Fall is here and the time is right for finding new music strewn like acorns in the street. Ottawans The Peptides is a nine-member band with a larger-than-life pop sound. Five vocalists and four instrumentalists draw on funk, electronic and disco influences. Described by the Ottawa Citizen as “the B52’s crossed with The Manhattan Transfer backed by Arcade Fire.” They claim to be a  snapshot of Canadian diversity, The PepTides is made up of  English, French, Ukrainian, Mexican,Guyanese, Cree, Acadian, Armenian, Scottish and LGBTQ players. The group is noted for its extravagant live performances featuring thick vocal harmonies, theatrical choreography and colourful visuals. The PepTides’ songs juxtapose upbeat music with lyrics commenting on deep themes like love, hate, revenge, sex, religion, war and getting ready for dates.

In 2013, The PepTides garnered national attention by producing a full-length album in collaboration with Stuart McLean of CBC Radio’s Vinyl Cafe. A 2014 release Love Question Mark was lauded by Exclaim! as “an ambitious collection of fun, daring, unadulterated, true blue art.” 

Julian Taylor Band: Desert Star

Fri Sep 16, 2016

Give me a minute....a paragraph to gush. Desert Star is, by a country mile, one of my favourite albums of all time. This is music I will be listening to for years to come. Why? Because it speaks to me both musically and lyrically. It's insightful (House Is A Garden), honest (Glass House), romantic (Take Me (Stay), Say Goodnight), playful (Hot Heels, Coke Bottle Candy) loving (One Time), a touch nostalgic (Chemical Low) and of course, has my favourite summer dance song, Just A Little Bit, as part of this marvelous collection of songs. It touches all my senses. Many of the songs are simple, every day observances or comparisons (back to House Is a Garden)....beautiful songwriting that connects. I absolutely love every beat, every note, every nuance....Julian Taylor's voice just soars, penetrates and washes over you. Jeremy Elliott's drumming is superb....solid, tight, kicking ass one minute, subtle the next. You can sometimes feel him almost caressing them. The keyboards and horns fill you up in all the right places. Full on where required and filling tiny pockets that, without them, the song would feel somewhat empty.

Proudly Canadian: Ron Nigrini

Fri Apr 22 2016
Ron Nigrini

Ron Nigrini started playing as a teenager in 1965 with a duo called The Coachmen from Toronto. Two years later, Ron was a member of Dan’s Heard. In 1970, Nigrini went solo, touring the coffee house circuit through the American Midwest,Texas, Mexico, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

In 1972, back in Canada, he wrote commercials for TV and radio with Michael Hasek, a singer on A&M Records.  In 1974, Nigrini signed a contract with Attic Records and recorded his first single,  Letters.

Two years later, he recorded his own version of the Oscar-winning song,  I’m Easy, from the movie Nashville.

Ron Chapman – From the Police, B.B. Gabor to the Forbidden Shore of Cuba

Fri Apr 01 2016
Telmary Diaz and Ron Chapman Miami Film Festival

To know more about who Ron Chapman is and what he’s currently up to – here’s is a bit of bio about the producer/director, musician. Chapman recently appeared as a guest on my CIUT 89.5 interview show, The Bill King Show and we dug back into his history and talked about his passion for film making and affection for Cuba.

Ron Chapman is a lifelong musician, producer, director and entrepreneur. Early in his career he was a musician, managed musical artists, produced albums, and produced and directed rock videos. He owned and operated the legendary, ground-breaking Toronto music club “The Edge”, bringing an eclectic mix of some of the day’s most exciting international acts and artists to the scene. For decades, he has been producing and directing television commercials, working with some of the world’s leading brands.

As a filmmaker, Chapman’s first documentary, “Who the F**K is Arthur Fogel” - CEO of the Global Touring division of Live Nation Entertainment and long time Canadian music promoter – Arthur Fogel – Chapman follows the impresario behind the scenes.

Concerts, Class and a Closing

Fri Mar 25 2016
Tim Tamashiro, Reg Schwager, Don Thompson, Ben Heppner

Photo Credits: Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera "The Picture Taker"
Photo at right: Tim Tamashiro, Reg Schwager, Don Thompson, Ben Heppner

It's been a rather exceptional week for music....jazz, folk, blues, touch of rock....an absolutely stellar week and it puts me right over the top. To say I'm delighted is a gross understatement. So let's begin....

Saturday night found me at the Glenn Gould Studio as the guest of Jane Harbury. The show....well, it was not what I expected.....at all. What a wonderfully entertaining evening. Full of music, stories and laughter, host Tim Tamashiro and tenor Ben Heppner kept us all in stitches and our ears full of beautiful, toe tapping, finger  snapping music. Sam Taylor, you would have been right at home!

BTW with Lenny Stoute with Jane Siberry, Rae Spoon, Ra Ra Riot, The Crooked Brothers, Bearmouth, Ill vibe, Junior Boys

Fri Feb 12 2016
Jane Siberry

You hear a lot of loose talk about stepping away from success and getting back to the roots of it all. Of the few who actually walk that walk, put T.Dot's enduringly hot folk eminence Jane Siberry at the top of the list. Early in 2006, Siberry closed her music label and sold or gave away nearly all of her possessions, including her Toronto home and her musical instruments. She changed her name to “Issa” and retained one traveling guitar. “I felt I had to change or die.”Three years of spartan living later, she began using the name “Jane Siberry” again and resumed international touring and recording in 2009.

A disinclination to follow fads, trends and fashions has been Siberry’s signature from the earliest days of her musical career. An unending desire to find and describe the essence of human experience has led her through numerous musical inventions in a multitude of forms, earning her the passionate loyalty of music-lovers world-wide. Siberry is known for her original, adventurous musical vision and her independent journey has contributed to new models for operating as a musician.

BTW with The Wainwright Sisters, Ritual, Geographer, Autopilot, Concealer, Rita Chiarelli, Cecile Doo-Kingue, Terra Lightfoot, Crystal Shawanda, Suzie Vinnick

Fri Nov 06 2015
The Wainwright Sisters

Fall is prime time for sweater-folk music and the perfect time to release the mucho anticipated debut album 'Songs In The Dark' from The Wainwright Sisters, out Nov. 13, 2015.

Although they're sisters, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche didn't grow up together.

Aside from genetics, their true bond was a musical one, both growing up in families steeped in songwriting. Both their mothers would sing them lullabies (Kate McGarrigle to Martha and Suzzy Roche to Lucy). Now to honour that, 30 years later, Martha and Lucy are singing many of these same songs, some penned by their mothers and father (Loudon Wainwright III) on 'Songs In The Dark.'

The record also includes songs that shaped their childhoods, made famous by the likes of Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rogers. When Martha and Lucy grew up and become songwriters of their own, they discovered their physical separation was trumped by their shared musical DNA. On 'Songs In The Dark,' this is captured in its elemental essence: dark, mysterious, and beautiful.

Jason Blaine In The Spotlight

Fri Oct 30, 2015

The pride of Pembroke, Ontario, Canada, Jason Blaine, is about to break new ground with a new album (his 6th) and it is arguably his best to date. The album, Country Side, was released last week in conjunction with a new single, Spotlight. We caught up with Jason, who has been living in Nashville, Tennessee for nine years now. “I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love, in a town that I love surrounded by people I love, my wife and three kids.”

The road to success has been a long one for Jason but he has stayed the course, remaining true to himself and his music and he couldn’t have done it alone and lovingly acknowledges the support of his wife. “I remember when we first moved to Nashville 9 years ago , my wife held down the fort in our little apartment with our baby girl while I pounded the streets of town trying to get a deal. It took about a year but it finally came together. I couldn’t have done it without her.”