Alex Pangman records direct to 78rpm with Hot Three Album

Fri Jul 12, 2019

If you’re recording a new EP — and your session musician suddenly warns “we’ve got one more side left, don't screw it up!” — you know you have an unconventional project underway. This is the exhilarating and creative scenario Canadian jazz and swing songbird (and JUNO Award nominee) Alex Pangman found herself in for her ambitious and unique special project, Hot Three, and its long unprecedented use of blank acetate as a recording medium.

And that is what happens when you go back to recording direct to 78rpm acetate disc. On her 2017 EP for Justin Time "Alex Pangman's Hot Three", she goes further backwards in time to discover why early jazz recordings have the special sound and energy that they do. In this artistic journey, and with 3 minutes to cut a tune while the groove was cut in real-time before the musician's eyes live, the singer came to understand both the inspiration behind the hot recordings of early jazz, and also some of the mindset of early recording pioneers, and the energy it produced.

Tyler Childers’ Country Squire Releases New Album and Headline Tour

Fri Jun 28, 2019

Acclaimed singer/songwriter, Tyler Childers’ new single, All Your’n, premieres alongside a new lyric video today. Watch/share here. The track comes from Childers’ highly anticipated upcoming album, Country Squire, which is out August 2 via Hickman Holler Records/RCA Records. His first release in partnership with RCA Records, the album is now available now for pre-order.

Produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, the record was recorded at The Butcher Shoppe in Nashville and consists of nine new songs written by Childers including the lead track, House Fire. Rolling Stone praises the song, noting that Childers “updates the bluegrass sounds of his native Kentucky with electricity and roots-rock stomp, nodding to past traditions without sacrificing the present,” while Paste declares it “a lusty do-si-do. It’ll have you slapping your knees, stomping your feet and tossing your hair.” Watch the song’s official music video here.

Kelly Hunt A Gem Found at CMW

Thu May 23, 2019

Submitted by Sandy Graham

We recently had the pleasure of seeing Kelly Hunt perform at CMW 2019 and what a treat that was –a gem found at the IMP and she can truly belt it out.

In some ways Roots R&B/Americana singer/songwriter/piano player/guitarist KELLEY HUNT is a rarity and a challenge to the music industry's penchant for easy artist definitions -- a woman who has muscled her way onto the scene on her own terms with an identity steeped in blues/roots/gospel traditions and a refreshing originality. She makes music with it's righteous roots intact that also crosses boundaries, has an open-minded, exploratory attitude and takes on social and political issues. Together with a commanding, passionate stage presence and superior vocal, keyboard and songwriting skills she has earned the respect of critics and fans across North America and Europe.

Joey Landreth "Hindsight"

Thu May 23, 2019

There must be something in the water or ice and snow, in Winnipeg that produces amazing musical talent. Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, Neil Young and Lenny Breau to name a few. And now we can add Joey Landreth to that impressive list.

Joey Landreth has been around the world with his music starting with the JUNO Award winning roots-rockers The Bros. Landreth. The Bros.album ‘Let It Lie’ kept them on the road for about 4 years before they took a hiatus. During this off time, Joey took on a new creative challenge, and in 2017, he released his debut solo album ‘Whiskey’. The music on ‘Whiskey’ was not far from the sound of The Bros. Landreth’s brand of thought provoking, eclectic songs, but the difference being the accent placed on Joey’s unique guitar style. His guitar work has been spotlighted by publications like Premiere Guitar, That Pedal Show, and Guitarist Magazine. To no one’s surprise the album and extensive touring has earned the album excellent reviews around the world, recognizing Joey as a great solo singer songwriter, musician and entertainer.

Meet the James Thomas Band ‘Meet Me On The Corner’

Thu May 23, 2019

Submitted by Don Graham

They say adversity builds strength and nowhere is that more evident than in the life a career of James “Jerry” Thomas.

The son of a military father, James was born in Italy, moved to North Carolina and currently lives in a quiet community of Meadow of Dan, Virginia. “Meadow of Dan is about 60 miles from Roanoke and was formerly known as Mayberry and the model for the Andy Griffith Show, ” James explains.

James was working in cover bands around the Durham region of North Carolina when tragedy struck in 2004 when he lost his wife of 25 years. James grew despondent and retreated to his Virginia Mountain home, withdrawing from the world. While visiting friends in Charlotte, James encountered his old friend David Floyd at a gathering and David encouraged James to get back to what he does best, writing music.

And so the strength from adversity symbolism was born. He posted songs from his album “Ocean Song” that garnered over a million and a half plays. This success prompted James to dive head first back into his passion; writing and recording music and live performances.

Willie Nelson, 85, releases a New Solo Album ‘Ride Me Back Home’

Fri May 03, 2019

Willie Nelson, whose latest solo album Ride Me Back Home is due out in June, turned 85 years old today. During his storied career, the Texas native recorded a staggering 98 studio albums and 12 live albums, appeared in more than 30 films, wrestled with the IRS, tours relentlessly and advocated for farmers, bio-fuels and marijuana legalization.

For many years, Nelson's image was marked by his red hair, often divided into two long braids partially concealed under a bandanna. In "I started braiding my hair when it started getting too long, and that was, I don't know, probably in the 70's." On May 26, 2010, it was reported that Nelson had cut his hair, and Nashville music journalist Jimmy Carter published a photograph of the pigtail-free Nelson on his website. Nelson wanted a more maintainable hairstyle, as well helping him stay cool more easily at his Maui home. In October 2014, the braids of Nelson were sold for $37,000 at an auction of the Waylon Jennings estate. In 1983, Nelson cut his braids and gave them to Jennings as a gift during a party celebrating Jennings' sobriety.

Bruce Springsteen Releases New Album ‘Western Stars’ on June 14

Fri May 03, 2019

Bruce Springsteen’s first new studio album in five years takes his music to a new place, drawing inspiration in part from the Southern California pop records of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The album was recorded primarily at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with additional recording in California and New York. Columbia Records will release Springsteen’s 19th studio album on June 14. ‘Western Stars’ will be available for pre-order on Friday, April 26.

“This record is a return to my solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements," says Springsteen. "It's a jewel box of a record."

The 13 tracks of ‘Western Stars’ encompass a sweeping range of American themes, of highways and desert spaces, of isolation and community and the permanence of home and hope.

The song "Hello Sunshine" and a video will be released just after midnight ET tonight.  

It’s A New Day New World for 80s Canadian New Wave Icons the Spoons

Thu Apr 04, 2019

In 1980, Gordon Deppe and Sandy Horne made Spoons a different kind of household word...

They would help define the sound of pop and new wave in the 80s with hits including “Nova Heart”, “Romantic Traffic”, “Old Emotions” and “Tell No Lies." Their album Arias & Symphonies would go on to be named one of the 20 Most Influential Albums of The 80s by The Chart Magazine, and their song “Nova Heart” was recently included in Bob Mersereau's book The Top 100 Canadian Singles.

Not bad for a bunch of kids from Burlington, Ontario.

And now, evoking all the fun of their most notorious ear-gems of hits, their newest 12-track missive lands the band firmly in 2019. 

Starting off strong with the signature Spoons sound fans new and never-waning come for, the opening song “All The Wrong Things (In The Right Places)” is set and ready for instant anthem status. Trivia buffs will want to know: its final mix was a collaborative campaign after an online contest had listeners nation-wide submit chants to be mixed into the song’s chorus.

Meg Tennant Echoed Light

Fri Mar 29, 2019

I have been a Meg Tennant fan for a few years now, catching her live performances when my scheduling permits, so I was eager to hear her latest recording, “Echoed Light”.

The 11 song set was all I hoped it would and more. Co-produced by Tennant and roots rocker Mark Ripp, the album captures the warmth and honesty of Meg’s voice and the production compliments the smooth, articulate writing style that has become the trademark of Meg Tennant’s music.

Originally from the north of Ontario (Sault Ste Marie), Meg now resides in Toronto having spent 25 years out west in British Columbia where she played the coffee house circuit. She shared stages with the likes of Austin legend Eliza Gilykson and the legendary Tom Russell.

Her early influences included Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Emmy Lou Harris and the Beatles.

The Respectables featuring the single 'The Power Of Rock & Roll'

Fri Mar 08, 2019

With more than 25 chart-topping singles in Canada, The Respectables return with a brand new album 'The Power of Rock and Roll', produced by none other than the iconic Rolling Stones’ 30 years long member and vocalist Mr. Bernard Fowler.

With influences of blues, rock and country, ‘The Power of Rock and Roll’ also features Keith Richards' Expensive Winos band member Waddy Wachtel on two tracks ('Power of Rock and Roll' and 'That Girl ') while Grammy-Award winning composer and arranger Jeff Bova performs the symphonic and string arrangements on another two additional songs ('Oasis' and 'As Good As Love Gets ').

Juke Box Hero The Musical

Fri Mar 01, 2019

A little background... the rock musical for me started in Collinwood High School in Cleveland, Ohio, where we all played music, trying to live up to the lyrics of Juke Box Hero long before it was written -that was the magic of Foreigner.

They captured the universality of rock ‘n’ roll dreams, just like Bruce Springsteen, Meatloaf, Journey, Elton John and so many others of the '70s. We lived the lyrics, the music of Foreigner from the beginning. They gave words to our generation’s collective evolving rock ‘n’ roll dreams as if in the Akashic Records, encoded on our DNA. That alone for any music fan or musician is the ultimate compliment.

To survive the battle of time, music intact, the spirit of the songs resonating upon each listen to the anthem "I want to know what love is". Add the commercial success of 80 million records sold, induction into the all-important prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013 by Billy Joel...Damn, that is great!

Mick Jones and Lou Gramm shared the honors; they have had several reunions over years, now called Foreigner Then and Now.

Winterfolk 2019 Roundup

Fri Mar 01, 2019

“And all the bars were filled to the rafters with tales of narrowly averted disasters and the whiskey was flowing... Like never before”... - Ani DiFranco

OPENING PARTY, MAGGIE AND MR. ROGERS, THE BLACK SWAN

The opening party of Winterfolk XXVII had packed the Black Swan (locally known by an older generation as The Dirty Duck) with a crowd of mostly middle-aged, white jazz folk and blues aficionados. There were a few exceptions to this demographic trend, as evidenced by the presence of a black jazz freak bobbing his head at the table in front of me when I arrived and sat in the side section which was still marked with a bygone era's segregated marker declaring it as exclusively for 'Women and Escorts.'

The staff appears to be mostly young people and on stage, the night's opening act (Maggie and Mr. Rogers) consisted of a very young petite woman and a very old looking bespectacled man playing music that seemed straight out of O Brother, Where Art Thou? As I gazed at the stage, Maggie seemed to make eye contact with me as she sang about a 'Truth In My Eyes' and her love for her sweet city. (maggieandmrrogers.com)

John Mayall Nobody Told Me

Fri Feb 22, 2019

There are few musicians who genuinely merit the description ‘legendary,’ maybe a handful at most. But with an octogenarian, UK bluesman, John Mayall, we have the real deal. Nobody could question or disagree that this is a guy who is truly a living legend. Now aged 85, Mayall has been a US West Coast resident for around half his life, and yet he is still often viewed as a UK blues phenomenon. Speaking to the man at home in LA, he is relaxed, warmly welcoming and excited to be again on the brink of a global tour to promote his latest album, ‘ Nobody Told Me.’

Monte Mader Pour Me Whiskey

Fri Feb 22, 2019

To quote an old Timbuk3 song, Monte Mader’s future’s so bright she has to wear shades. This young Wyoming born singer/singer is about to break through with a new album and kickin’ single. A little country and a whole lotta rock “Pour Me Whiskey" from 'The Devil I Know' album will grab your attention and your ears. This is not Monte’s first rodeo, her debut EP with Big Sky, Skydive, brought Monte’s name to people’s attention and the new EP The Devil I Know will solidify her place in the industry.

Folk Alliance International 2019 Wasn’t That A Party!

Fri Feb 22, 2019

Once again a great success, Folk Alliance International’s annual international professional development and networking conference, the world’s largest gathering of the Folk music community and industry with over 2500 delegates has completed yet another great event.

This year, it took place this year in Montreal, Quebec, Canada between February 13th to 17th at the iconic Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel. This hotel, of course, is the location where John Lennon and Yoko staged their bed in for peace in 1969 and in suite #1742 recorded Give Peace a Chance. And the location is on land that was the territories of the Kanien’keha-ka and Kahnawa-ke people. The Folk Alliance International’s mission is to serve, strengthen, and engage the global folk music community through preservation, presentation, and promotion.

Kathryn Grimm’s Blues Tools

Fri Feb 15, 2019

Musician/singer/songwriter Kathryn Grimm’s new CD “BLUES TOOLS” is a twelve-song collection of mostly original material in the Electric Blues/Rock genre. The first song of the CD was born in Los Angeles just over a year ago where Kathryn was gigging as a bassist for another artist. In the spare room of a kind couple’s home who put her up “The Best of Me,” her self-proclaimed anthem for domestic violence, was spontaneously penned. “I’d been wracking my brain for some time trying to find a way to write a song with a subliminal message for victims of abuse. Using simple language my hope was for them to see themselves and be inspired to find help. I truly believe that’s what I've accomplished with this song. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I was writing about my own situation.”

Pretty Woman: The Musical

Fri Feb 15, 2019

One of the most beloved romances of all time is now on Broadway! Pretty Woman: The Musical, features direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray), an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams (“Summer of ’69,” “Everything I Do”) and his longtime songwriting partner Jim Vallance, and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton. Starring Samantha Barks and Andy Karl.

Once upon a time in the late ’80s, unlikely soul mates Vivian and Edward overcame all odds to find each other… and themselves. Experience the moments you love from the movie — and get to know these iconic characters in a whole new way — in this dazzlingly theatrical take on a love story for the ages. Brought to life by a powerhouse creative team representing the best of music, Hollywood and Broadway, Pretty Woman: The Musical will lift your spirits and light up your heart.

Fall In Love All Over Again with Pretty Woman: The Musical.

Western Swing Authority Live and Swingin’!

Fri Feb 08, 2019

On this Toronto February night, the 25 degrees below zero temperature was bone chilling and teeth chattering but inside the city’s iconic venue Hugh’s Room Live it was Texas hot. From the moment the band hit the stage toes were tapping, hands were clapping and bodies were swaying in swing time. The seven-piece group featuring twin fiddles, Shane Guse and Dan Howlett, guitar whiz Paul Chapman, upright bassist, Matthew Lima, drummer Gary Craig, who did a remarkable job subbing for regular drummer Jimmy Boudreau, steel guitar legend Ed (Pee Wee Charles) Ringwald and vocalist extraordinaire Stacey Lee Guse are in stratosphere all their own.

Orit Shimoni Lost On The Road To Nowhere

Fri Feb 08, 2019

The great thing about following the career of an artist for a long time is watching said artist evolve and grow. Such is the case with singer/songwriter Orit Shimoni, a true troubadour in every sense of the word. I have watched her grow musically and have had the pleasure of reviewing and enjoying her albums through the years. Her latest effort Lost On the Road to Nowhere, a 13 song collection, is in my humble opinion her best to date. Orit is a modern-day gypsy, really not having a fixed address, but with homes all over the world, literally. Orit was born Isreal, lived in Montreal and recorded this last CD in the home studio of Martin van de Vrught in the Netherlands. The work was produced by the multitalented de Vrught who lent his skills on guitar, lap and pedal steel, banjo and percussion to the tracks and blended in perfectly with Orit’s guitar and allowed the songs and the sincere and gripping vocals be the stars.