2011 Juno Nominees Announced As the Big Show Returns to Toronto After A Decade On The Road.

Fri Feb 04, 2011

With the requisite pomp and circumstance, it was announced that Broken Social Scene, Hedley, Down With Webster and Johnny Reid will all be performing on the Drake-hosted 40th Juno Award show in the city on March 27.

Shania Twain is confirmed to be on hand for induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and Neil Young has confirmed that he will be here to accept his Humanitarian Award. CARAS president/CEO Melanie Berry described this year’s event as “pretty exciting and pretty star-studded” following the announcement of nominees at a well-attended media scrum at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel yesterday.

Catl-Prodding the Blues

Fri Jan 28, 2011

The term’ original' gets hurled around a lot and in most cases, it's totally undeserved. Then there's Catl, who went so far back into the roots of the blues they've come out the other side with something quite different.

How many bands can you name who mine the roots traditions of the Twenties, that point in American history when Afro-centric Delta blues was meeting up with Euro-centric Appalachian folk music to create this mutant wild child named country blues that would one day go all rock'n'roll on us? And who else is so elastic in their approach that one member showed up for some random guest shots and was asked to stay the night, every night.

Jamie 'catl' Fleming is the band's guiding light and beneath the laid-back stage persona is a man with a righteous plan. That it was sparked in a used records store sounds perfect for a band steeped in tradition.

"I was always in Rotate This, and I asked Pierre (Hallett) for a good springboard to country-blues-type stuff. He suggested Mississippi Fred McDowell, who just blew my mind. I just got right into that sound, Fred and guys like Furry Lewis, the kind of sound their recordings had, the way they played.

The Worthy Dozen 2

Fri Dec 31, 2010

Here we go with The Worthy Dozen Part Two. In no particular order, except that they all deserve the attention, here’s the second  six pack of twelve hearing-worthy Canadian albums whose release may have flown under your personal radar. Happy New Year 2011.

Kate & Anna McGarrigleKate & Anna McGarrigle
Oddities
Outside Music

This collection of rarities and B-sides offers a dozen songs Kate and Anna recorded between 1973 and 1990 but never previously released or released in alternate versions. Arriving shortly after Kate passed on, this recording stands as fitting testimony to the sterling contributions the McGarrigles have made to Canadian music.

The Worthy Dozen-Twelve Albums You May Have Missed But Shouldn’t

Wed Dec 22, 2010

The Worthy Dozen-Twelve Albums You May Have Missed But Shouldn’t

Even with all the gloom and doom emanating from the major and minor record companies, new music continues to be released in greater number than ever. Which means as sure as God made minor keys that much worthwhile music gets buried under the torrent. Even with social networking and all, media attention and career breakthroughs come soonest to those allied with the major labels.

In no particular order except that they all deserve the attention, here’s the first six pack of twelve hearing-worthy Canadian albums whose release may have flown under your personal radar.  The other six-pack arrives next week.

DON GRAHAMDon Graham
A Willing Heart
Breakin’ Records

CASHBOX CANADA’S EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE COLE

Fri Dec 17, 2010

With all the energy building around the upcoming 40th Anniversary of the JUNOS, Cashbox had a chance to ask legendary Rock photographer Bruce Cole a few questions on his experiences as a photographer in the Juno years, his start in the industry and few tips for the fans on their next concert shots.

C.B: You started in photography as a teenager? What drew you to it when your friends were probably into sports and girls, teen stuff etc. and what was your first camera?

Cole: My first camera was my dad’s, it was a rangefinder style model made by Iloca of Germany with a Zeiss Lens. The first time I saw a print develop in a darkroom tray, I saw the magic of how a simple sheet of white paper became an image. I was hooked!

C.B: Once you decided to make a career out of it, how did you branch off into the music scene vs. weddings, portraits and news, which would be a normal route for a young photographer?

John Winston Ono Lennon, (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)

Fri Dec 10, 2010

Thirty Years Later

It is often said that special days in our lives are always remembered, from first love, to the birth of one’s children and then there are those days we wish we could forget but never will as we say “I know exactly where I was when that happened.

This past Wednesday marked the 30th anniversary of one of those sad days when the man who taught the band to play was gunned down at around 10:50 pm on December 8th 1980, as he and his wife Yoko returned to their New York apartment in the Dakotas.

Lennon was shot four times in the back by a cowardly, delusional young man named Mark David Chapman at the entrance to the building. Lennon staggered up the five steps to the reception area and fell to the floor, scattering cassette recordings he had been carrying as the Concierge of the Dakota, Jay Hastings ran over to attempt to stop the profuse bleeding.

Andy Kim Celebrates Christmas with his 6th Annual Christmas Show

Fri Dec 03, 2010

The sting in the tale of early success is that from there on, the road is guaranteed to be rough and on a gradual down slope. Sorry Justin Beiber but keeping thinking of the money. Andy Kim was kind of a Justin Beiber figure in his day, a 16-year-old dreamer turned darkly handsome dude with a wicked knack for crafting nuggets of pop perfection.

On the eve of his 6th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show, the man some folks call ‘Canada’s Neil Diamond’ talks about its genesis and being back in the spotlight once again.

“ In 2005, I hooked up with Ron Sexsmith to write a Christmas song"What Ever Happened To Christmas’. Out of that came the idea of the show and so The Andy Kim Christmas Show was born.” It was meant to be a one time thing when some friends would come up and play. Then I thought if it was going to be an event, it should be of benefit.  When I put it out to other people, the response was gratifying. The first to come on board were Sexsmith and the late, lamented Haydain Neale. With the help and encouragement of so many people, the show went on at the Mod Club in Toronto and that’s where it has lived ever since.”

ANDRÉ- PHILIPPE GAGNON Bringing His 401 Down the 401

Fri Nov 26, 2010

Quebec born impressionist André- Philippe Gagnon is bringing his 401 voices down the 401 to treat the province of Ontario to his extraordinary talent. His press release bills him as The Man of 400 Voices, so counting his own voice it brings the total number of voices to 401. Perfect for traveling down the 401 Highway from Quebec to Ontario.

When asked how he started doing impressions Gagnon explains, ” As babies we start speaking by imitating the sounds we hear around us and then at a certain age we outgrow that habit. I never did outgrow it!”  He goes on to say “My idol, as a kid, was Mel Blanc who did Bugs Bunny and all those great cartoon voices. I started by doing Tweety Bird and when I did it my brother praised me instead of punching me. That’s when I knew I was on to something!” A shy kid who didn’t enjoy speaking in public, Gagnon found his talent to be a great ice breaker and it put him at ease in those awkward  situations.

Colin Hunter-Timeless and True

Fri Nov 12, 2010

Timeless might be the title of the CD, but it is what truly describes Colin Hunter. His effortless way of performing, soft spoken way of telling you of his passion for singing and thoughtful way of looking at his life. Born in Bombay, India, when Cashbox asked how he ended up in Canada, Hunter explains, “I went to the UK for my parents because my Dad had a heart attack and the family needed another wage earner.

“ I immigrated to Canada firstly because my brother had preceded me and liked it, secondly because there was a absolutely stunning lady residing in the apartment building he lived in (I later married and am still married to her). Lastly, I had reached a senior level at British Airways and did not see any future advancement that would or could stimulate my dreams. My parents stayed in the UK.  It really sounds like a song title!”

“Additionally, an interesting fact is I landed in Toronto on July 26 1970 and 35 years later on July 26 2005 I recorded my first CD "Come Fly With Me" to coincide with the launch of Sunwing Airlines in Nov 2005” Hunter says in his own subtle way.  

Between The Crosses Row on Row

Fri Nov 05, 2010

Setting aside the U.S. Civil War and World War One, each of which had their share of songs that told the story of their generations, it wasn’t until World War Two and the popularity of the old tube radio, that the music of the war reached the masses in great numbers. By 1940 over 95% of households in the northeast section of the U.S. and about 50% of homes in the south, all had radios.

Some of the music from WW 11 was obvious in its content and some were songs that expressed the sentiment of the day in such a way that they became classic love songs decades after the war was over. The obvious ones were the likes of Spike Jones’ “In the Furher’s Face” and Johnny Mercer’s “G.I. Blues” and The Andrew Sisters “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.

Conjure up any of those three songs and in your minds eye you will see people dressed in forties style clothing, crisply pressed army dress and a vivid impression of the Sisters Andrew in their WAC uniforms rhythmically snapping their fingers and swaying as they sing “the boogie woogie bugle boy of company B.”

Songstress Sings For Polar Awareness

Fri Oct 29, 2010

Canadian Musical Artist First to Perform at the North Pole To Help Raise Awareness of the Ecological Impact of the Melting Polar Ice Caps.

Parvati, a Canadian musical artist and yoga instructor, took a courageous journey to the North Pole. Parvati’s mission was to bring awareness of the urgent ecological effect of melting polar ice caps.

ParvatiCharged with purity of heart, clear intention, and the willingness to serve, Parvati has become the first artist to ever perform this far North. There, she offered her songs to help raise awareness of just how quickly the ice caps are disappearing and the powerful impact this is having on the entire planet.

MICHELLE WRIGHT’S STUFF

Fri Oct 22, 2010

Facebook spoke, Michelle Wright listened and now she’s back on the road with a reissue of her ‘lost’ debut album, Do Right By Me

Belleville, ON.  Inspiration, of both the positive and horrific varieties, can come from the most unexpected of sources. Country singer Michele Wright’s just rolled into Belleville for the next gig on her Do Right By Me Tour and the vibe in town’s got her a little sideways. For this is day two of the sentencing hearing for Col. Russell Williams, the sex killer whose deviant behaviour put on display in the courthouse was making strong men hurl.

“ We went by the courthouse and it just felt weird. I can’t imagine what would make someone do that…goes to show there’s no end to how weird people can be” she ends with a shudder in her voice.

It was a chorus of anonymous voices on Facebook, which led Wright to be in Belleville on this particular day contemplating the evil that men do.

Dan Hill – Getting Back On The Long Road?

Fri Oct 15, 2010

Little by little, it seems that Canadian icon and trailblazing singer/songwriter Dan Hill is heading back on that long road again. He stepped out recently by adding author to his list of accomplishments with ‘I Am My Father’s Son : A Memoir Of Love And  Forgiveness’ The recounting of his early years and his father/son relationship wasn’t that much of a stretch for a man who’s spun million selling tales for a living. As well, writing runs in the family, brother Lawrence Hill recently charting with his acclaimed novel, ‘The Book of Negroes.’

Next, Hill found humself thrust into dealing with the death of lifelong pal and fellow songwriter Paul Quarrington. The two had on occasion performed as a folk duo, billed as Quarrington/Hill. The pair's final collaboration, a song about death called "Are You Ready", was completed just ten days before Quarrington's passing in early 2010, and will be featured in an upcoming TV documentary, Paul Quarrington: Life in Music

ERIC SOLOMON: The Man Who Would Be Prince

Fri Oct 01, 2010

Vancouver-Except for the one genre, Canadian music of all stripes, from Celine Dion to Alexisonfire has proved successful on the world stage. Homegrown soul is the one style that’s yet to cough up a genuine international star.

Montreal-born, globally raised Eric Solomon wants to change all that and he’s not kidding. He’s just dropped his calling card, an EP Antarctica, made his acting debut for MTV and is putting the finishing touches on a full-length album. It’s Eric Solomon all the time, on all fronts and on the line from his Vancouver home, he sounds like the right man for the gig.

The first single from the album, ‘ALL.’ hit radio like a hurricane, with KISS and Virgin Radio adding it immediately on serious rotation. So how does hearing his tune on the radio make the twentysomething Solomon feel?

“It was like walking on a cloud, I wanted to walk in the streets blessing people. Yeah”.

“Get Invited” Does Events With Gusto!

Fri Oct 01 2010
Joel Gusto and DJ Mario

Fall has just arrived with the first ‘Full Harvest Moon” in over 20 years; this tops off a record breaking heatwave that occurred across Canada and a summer with lots of events and excitement for locals and tourists alike in Toronto, Ontario. One of the jewels of our city is our Harbourfront, the Islands and the boating, from sailboats, tall ships to the ever popular day tours: Toronto has them all. One of the most popular is the Mariposa Cruises, the jewels of our harbourfront. Mariposa Cruises (Lines) was incorporated in 1987,with the purchase of The Mariposa Belle, adding it to the beginning fleet of The Rosemary. Canadian owned and operated, Mariposa Cruises next acquired the spectacular Captain Matthew Flinders and sailed her from Australia to Toronto in 1989. In the early 90’s- The Showboat,Tthe Northern Spirit and The Oriole were all added to Mariposa’s current fleet of six uniquely styled and well maintained vessels. Stability, quality, customer service and excellence are the foundations of Mariposa Cruises - the leader in the hospitality cruise industry.

Johnny Reid-The Return of Wheatfield Soul

Fri Sep 24, 2010

There’s nobody quite like Johnny Reid on the Canadian music scene right now. Ain’t no one else rocking the nation with a soulful country groove, equal parts Jim Reeves and Otis Redding, and driving all manner of country fans wild. For Reid, this volatile, some would say, unlikely mix has been a passport to the top, In a landscape where established artists are struggling with album sales, this country gent moves units like bullets in Baghdad.

His breakout album went gold, the two albums that followed went double platinum and his current collection, A Place Called Love is just about to turn the double platinum trick. At the recent CCMA show in Edmonton, he added to the weight of his award-burdened mantelpiece with wins for both the Fans’ Choice Award and Single of the Year.

TERRY SUMSION: Surviving For Another Encore – “You Gotta Believe”

Fri Sep 17, 2010

(Editor’s Note- Every so often Cashbox Canada takes the time and space to salute an individual whose accomplishments in the music industry stand the test of time. One such is Terry Sumsion, a pioneering Canadian music figure. On this occasion Nashville radio personality and DJ RB Renegade salutes Terry Sumsion.   Sandy Graham)

Terry Sumsion is a true Canadian music legend.  Period.  His music has stood the test of time as the size and response of his audiences proves time and again.

Terry Sumsion is also a survivor and an inspiration.  He has faced and continues to win a battle with esophageal cancer, his music being his own inspiration – his desire to continue to connect with his fan base the foundation of his strength.

Paris Black Promises Rockier Days Ahead

Fri Sep 10, 2010

Paris Black was well known in the 80’s as a teen heartthrob and poster boy. Black had instant success with his debut pop dance LP “Secret Seduction”, that went gold with singles like “Better get Ready”, “Lover” and “Buried Alive’. In 1989 Black released his self titled LP “Paris Black” on I.S.B.A. records and started national tours and graced the pages of teen mags across the country.

Along the way the affable Black met many friends on the road including the late Kenny MacLean who not only became a great friend but would also be influential in Black’s musical direction later in his career.

With stardom in sight and a blossoming modeling career, Black abruptly dropped out of the limelight and out of sight. Most fans felt he’d gone to the US for better things and so did we. Years later we find him still rocking the stages but as one of the world’s best tribute artists doing “Billy Idol” and in a more interesting profession of “Live Art Modeling” which is utilized in his live stage show.

Jo Hikk Ain’t Looking For Kicks

Fri Jul 30, 2010

“If this is the highest level the band ever gets to and if this is the happiest I’ll ever be, then I’m real good with that” As Granny might say, “Now there stands a man happy in his skin” and if she’s talking about Kelly Sitter, the ol’ dame’s right on the money.

The defining voice of Alberta country band Jo Hikk is at home with the kids in his small-town hometown the day Cashbox Canada called up. Sitter describes a leisurely paced life, with lots of time between rehearsals to check out the local baseball games and play a few gigs. In the background is the knowledge that all this could change big time after August 10, the release date for Jo Hikk’s much-anticipated sophomore album, ‘The Game’.

The Two Countries of Country – Keith Bradford Cashbox Nashville talks to Canadian Don Graham

Fri Jul 09, 2010

Recently I interviewed Don Graham by telephone and he was gracious enough to answer the following questions and many more that I have edited from this article. The Toronto Tunesmith Graham is leaving at the end of July to tour with Texas Troubadour Larry Patton in Norway, Ireland, and Austria.

KB:  Tell me a little bit about yourself – how does a guy from Montreal, Quebec end up in country music?

DG:  "I could only get one Country Music radio station in the 60's and even then it was only on a clear night.  It was WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia.  I loved the commercials.  You could order 500 baby chicks for $3.99 or something like that; that fascinated me.  I really enjoyed hearing the music of Marty Robbins, and Hank Williams."

KB: You had a pick hit in Cashbox Magazine in the late -70’s – how does it feel to be on the cover now?