Kjell Gustavsson Rhythm & Blues Orchestra Down at the Saloon

Fri Jan 11, 2019

Down at the Saloon is one of those surprise releases that turns up delivering a knock-out blow. Who, what, where? you ask yourself. The answer in order being: Kjell Gustavsson & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra; an album that absolutely boils, full of wonderful blues-edged fun and talent; a band from Sweden recorded and released by Sweden’s, Malmo-based independent label, Rootsy.

This is a truly excellent album. Ten self-penned tracks, bulging at the seams with full-tilt R&B, and a nine-piece band that covers all bases from guitars, drums, Memphis horns to driving squeeze-box and searing vocals. I had the good luck to catch this band live recently and will add that they really can produce the goods. 

Anyone with even a passing interest or love of US band, the Mavericks, will certainly enjoy this one. If anything, this band has a much clearer true-blues and roots grounding than their American counterparts. If there’s a real surprise here, it must be why we’ve never heard of this top-quality outfit before now. It appears they have been around for many years in their native Nordic homeland where they already have an ardent following.

Mr! Mouray releases New Single Sunshine Supermarket

Fri Jan 11, 2019

On the heels of the holiday single The Christmas Belles, Toronto’s Mr! Mouray has released another great single ‘Sunshine Supermarket’ from the upcoming EP “Atlantic”.

Mr! Mouray formed in 2018 from the remnants of three successful Toronto alt-rock acts: singer/guitarist Simon Bedford-James (Swedish/MaDE), Dominic Whelan (The Mahones), and Jaimie Vernon (Moving Targetz/Swindled). They yearned for the days of more classic melodic pop influences and have embraced their AM radio upbringing.

Their first album, 'Bats In Disguise,' and its title track was a refreshing pop-rock debut in Canada in the Fall of 2018 followed immediately by their break-out Christmas hit "Christmas Belles."

‘Sunshine Supermarket’ is garage grunge at its best, reminiscent of the 80/90s music feel, where the delivery was raw on honest, combining clear vocals with thundering guitar riffs. Released on the legendary icon label Bullseye Canada label, the influence of Jaimie Vernon is all over this track. As the man who brought so much to the industry and a founding member of Mr! Mouray, he had this to say:

Allen Finney Salt Breeze With Kites

Fri Jan 11, 2019

This is one of those surprising releases that sort of catches you unaware, pins you to the speaker and delivers loads of straight-forward pleasure and delight.

Finney is a USA-born, bluesman of some stature now long based in Sweden, where he plies his trade as a genuinely gripping guitarist and blues-based performer. Each track here holds elements of both beauty and surprise as Finney moves effortlessly from light jazz flourishes, full-tilt headlong blues, R&B and echoes of funk and soul.

Vocals are smoothly delivered, while the supporting musicians all come together perfectly to create a wholesome sound and vibe that simply works near-perfectly. In reality, this is an album that carries no dead-wood, no fill-ups or filling, instead of providing some deliciously emotive lyrics matched by some on-the-button musical support, melody, and flavour.

Jaimie Vernon and Mr! Mouray Celebrate with Christmas Belles

Fri Dec 21, 2018

For those of you who know Jaimie Vernon, then you know his musical knowledge and passion is beyond measure.

So when he recently announced he was part of a new band it was no surprise to us all because after all, you can’t keep a good music man down. Mr! Mouray was loosely named after a classic song - now think Dean Martin ‘when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie – Mr! Mouray!!

Now with the holiday season upon us Jaimie and musical partners have released a new single ‘Christmas Belles’ and it is truly a great production.

The most striking part of this song is it was written by Jaimie Vernon, and for those of us who know him and musical history, he is a rocker through and through. That is why the song is surprisingly sweet and sentimental with a nostalgic feel, combining great vocals with strong harmonies, the production builds into a great offering with a very positive lyric pattern. Kudos to these guys!

Give it a listen!
https://youtu.be/MQoaeelH658

John Legend A Legendary Christmas

Fri Dec 14, 2018

John Legend is a nine-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, critically-acclaimed concert performer, philanthropist/social activist, and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people. Legend’s debut album, Get Lifted (2004) sold more than three million copies worldwide and earned an astounding eight Grammy nominations with three wins for Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B album.

Legend’s follow-up album, Once Again (2006) earned RIAA platinum certification and a Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. High off the success of his third consecutive Top 10 album, Evolver (2008), Legend embarked on an extensive world tour with an 11 piece band - his largest traveling show to date. Inspired by the monumental 2008 Presidential election, Legend teamed up with The Roots to release the socially conscious album, Wake Up! (2010.)

Dianne Reeves Better Than Christmas!

Fri Dec 07, 2018

Dianne Reeves performance at the George Weston Recital Hall was perfection, a wonderful new take on Holiday Music and her excellent catalogue anchored this astounding show.

Like Aretha Franklin, a song could not have a better friend than, Dianne Reeves, one of the most awarded singers on the planet. The National Endowments for the Arts Jazz Masters Award, three consecutive years of Grammys with a total of five Grammys. Her music is the stories of her life in music and songs like "Better Days".

Her live performance and band are flawless, warm friendly and fun.

Her musical catalogue has no boundaries, Jazz to Dance Hall.

To my surprise every time I check her website there is a new award posted!

It's a just music to us old hippies, no boundaries, genres or categories.

Breathing new life into the classics, while bringing contemporary music in the realm of Jazz on her latest Grammy Award Winning, "Beautiful Life".

The last sessions of Dianne's mentor, cousin, producer, musical genius at large, the late great George Duke... a favorite of Frank Zappa and mine.

Sandra Bouza Releases Introductory EP - Three Years

Fri Nov 30, 2018

Toronto’s Sandra Bouza has just released Three Years — three songs in a nod to her sobriety that crystallize her journey can help others open up to healing and confidence, or simply draw you into her story and struggles.

Sandra says, “for years I’ve been hiding behind other people’s songs. With Three Years, I’m grateful to have the confidence to step out with songs I am immensely proud of and so emotionally connected to. I’m committed to continuing this journey because I have so much more to say, and I’m finally at a place where I’m not afraid to say it.”

Having spent three years in Morocco where music and healing were very much on the forefront of Sandra’s priorities, she’s a fascinating and insightful artist. Canadian R&B/pop singer Sandra Bouza has a lot to offer through her music and life experience.

On her introductory EP, Three Years, produced by Hill Kourkoutis (Jules, SATE, Eh440), the Toronto native who has lived, studied or worked all over the world, let her stories breathe in songs that are deeply personal.

Lucinda Williams And Buick 6

Fri Nov 23, 2018

The crowd awaiting the entry of Miss Rootlessness was much like the songs on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. There were rockers, roots gals, country fans, lovers of Americana, soulpatched blues dudes and guitar slingers everywhere you looked. All giving it up for Lucinda from the moment she strolled onstage to the final ringing chords. Backed by Buick 6,that being guitar player Stuart Mathis, equal parts sizzling solos and nuanced picking on the downtempo numbers, bassist David Sutton, who alternated between electric and stand-up, and drummer Butch Norton, a former member of Eels and a man with a Jason Bonham style touchon the skins, Williams launched into the tour of the Southlands that’s at the spine of Car Wheels…, this night celebrating its 25 anniversary.

Long Range Hustle Welcomes You to Town

Fri Nov 16, 2018

Long Range Hustle have been treating our ears to tastes of new music, with the summer release of their driving lead single, Morning Clover, and the anthemic, Crush You – which dropped on Friday and landed on Spotify’s New Music Friday Canada playlist. Today, the Toronto rockers are thrilled to share the details of their forthcoming full-length release – Town. Set for release on February 15, 2019, the album brings about a refined and evolved sound for the group, reflective of their persistent drive to push themselves as songwriters and performers. Pre-order Town here.

Midnight Shine: I Need Angels

Fri Nov 16, 2018

“I wrote I Need Angels because there are a lot of people struggling in Canada’s Indigenous far North communities. We’ve had a lot of loss, a lot of tragedies, and I think it’s important for me as an artist to shed light on these issues,” says Midnight Shine frontman Adrian Sutherland, who hails from the Cree community of Attawapiskat in remote Northern Ontario. 

“Being isolated in the North can be very tough, and I know a lot of people who suffer from depression. The song is about that inner struggle to keep positive and not give up, and to hang on to hope and faith despite the darkness.”

Attawapiskat is no stranger to media attention. The community of roughly 2000 has been associated with many distressing issues over the years, including suicide. Adrian has had family members take their own lives, and he sometimes struggles with his own mental health. 

ABOUT THE SONG
I Need Angels was written by Adrian Sutherland, with Midnight Shine bandmates Zach Tomatuk and Stanley Louttit as co-writers, and John-Angus MacDonald (The Trews) producing. It’s from Midnight Shine’s third album, High Road, which came out in spring 2018. 

Toronto Breakout Indie-Pop Artist Jules ‘Before You Picked Her’

Fri Nov 09, 2018

Toronto indie-pop artist, Jules has been making waves with her hit single "Before You Picked Her", and today she's excited to reveal her debut full-length album People Watching will be out on November 16th.

People Watching features nine cool, and edgy songs ranging from "Fool's Gold," about her Instagram generation's preoccupation with fake lives over the human touch to the I-had-him-first destined hit "Before You Picked Her," and don't-mess-with-me "Prey." Headstrong, articulate and uncommonly self-assured for a teenager, the 17-year-old singer-songwriter co-wrote almost the entirety of People Watching with various songwriters, but mostly alongside the album's guiding producer Hill Kourkoutis (The Launch, Serena Ryder, The Weeknd)

The single "Before You Picked Her" has been dominating the alternative radio charts receiving regular airplay on Toronto's Indie88, SiriusXM's The Verge, CBC Music hitting #1 on their Top 20, along with spins at Live 88.5 in Ottawa, x92 in Calgary and more!

Hunter Brothers Drop Anticipated New Single & Video for “Lost”

Fri Nov 02, 2018

Four-time CCMA nominated, multitalented Hunter BrBrothers have released their brand new single, “Lost”, on November 2, 2018. The must-see band of five brothers will hit the road this January for The Journey Tour 2019, a nation-wide tour alongside country superstars Paul Brandt, Jess Moskaluke and High Valley.

“Lost” comes on the heels of their debut album, Getaway, which featured five singles at country radio, including two that went Top-10, Born and Raised and Those Were The Nights. The new single is an upbeat, addictive track that captivates the listener from the get-go, with the brothers’ brilliantly-synched harmonies, capturing the unanticipated excitement of being caught off guard, or ‘lost’ in someone’s presence.

In The 'Golden Hour' with Quote The Raven

Fri Oct 26, 2018

Like a breath of fresh air, stirring the soul while soothing the heart; hauntingly beautiful melodies wrapped in harmonies as warm as a mid-winter fire- there's a telling familiarity to the themes explored in 'Golden Hour'- the debut release from powerhouse Newfoundland folk duo Quote The Raven. Comprised of the pairing of emotive vocalist Jordan Coaker and haunting songstress Kirsten Rodden-Clarke, "aptly titled 'Golden Hour' is the physical embodiment of right place, right time, right people." Crafted alongside virtuoso producer Chris Kirby, and featuring an embarrassingly high caliber of Canada’s songwriting elite – Gabrielle Papillon, Ian Janes, Charlie A’Court, Keith Mullins, Chris Kirby, Stephen Green, Aaron Green, and Dwight D’eon"Golden Hour is as much a statement piece of a pair of hungry musicians ready to hit the stratosphere as it is a tremendous artistic achievement."

Eleonor Leone Bye Boy Bye

Fri Oct 26, 2018

Creativity, style and power. Those are just a few of the elements that Sweden-based artist Eleonor Léone brought to the table during Newfoundland’s first edition of the international music festival Live At Heart. Together with her DJ and best friend Alexandra, the duo set off for Canada in a major step towards bringing their music to the world stage.

At the age of 5 Eleonor joined a musical group that toured all over Scandinavia and since then she hasn’t looked back. Making appearances in all kinds of shows from musicals to dance productions, (‘FAME’, ‘Me and my girl’, and ‘Moderskärlek’ to name a few) Eleonore has always had a love for performing. In fact, she has gone above and beyond performance to take on other roles in the industry such as choreographer for productions in De Geerhallen, collaborations with various fashion shows as well as working with the Symphony Orchestra in Norrköping. It’s safe to say that Eleonor Léone is fearless and has decided early on to make a life out of doing what she loves.

Lindsay Ell – Canada’s Country Music Superstar

Fri Oct 19, 2018

Canada’s Lindsay Ell is burning up the worldwide country music charts and earning many new fans - including some of country music’s biggest performers.

You could say that Worth the Wait, the title of Lindsay Ell’s 2017 EP, sums up her life quite well. Hailed as a 'Top Country Artist to Watch' by the Huffington Post in 2015, Ell has since rocketed to country music stardom.

Ell spoke to The Herald from her home in Nashville about her rise to the top of the country music charts, touring with country’s biggest acts, her recent chart-topping albums and about being nominated for a Canadian Country Music Award in the same category as one of her idols, Shania Twain.

Ell, who was born and grew up in Calgary, started playing piano at six-years-old and then, the guitar at eight. “Playing the guitar become part of my blood,” Ell told us. “I just fell in love with it so much.” These days, she usually performs with her custom Les Paul Goddess and Martin acoustic guitars.

Patrik Drops Two Releases for Preview for EP Spadina

Fri Sep 28, 2018

Toronto x Montreal rapper, Patrik, drops two releases to preview his forthcoming EP, Spadina, including the bright new track, Diamonds, and visuals for his single, StayLone (prod. By Retro). Diamonds will appear on Spadina, set for release on November 9. The song launches Patrik into album mode, as he makes his rounds in the city to share insight on the process, recently appearing in an interview segment on YTV’s The Zone. Check it out here, and stream Diamonds for a sample of the new record.

“Diamonds is about the way we marvel at materialism. We always believe that having more makes us happy. So, Diamonds is to talk about how we can have so much material belongings & still be dead inside,” Patrik says of the single.

Oh Pep! Release New Video, New Album and Get Set to Tour

Fri Sep 28, 2018

Melbourne, Australia's Oh Pep! are back with their sophomore effort, I Wasn't Only Thinking About You..., out October 26th on ATO Records. Today, the duo share the second single and accompanying video - "Hurt Nobody." 20-year-old director Emily Dynes led an all-female team in the production of the video saying, "'Hurt Nobody' touched me from the very first time I heard it. The song encapsulates a very guttural, raw and female type of pain, so it felt like the natural fit to bring together a young female-led team of creatives for the project. It was an absolute privilege to work on such a beautiful song for a band I deeply admire, and a complete joy to spend three days shooting and dancing across the mountains in the alpine region of Victoria, Australia." The video features performer Cecilia Low.

Radiant Baby Shares New Single and Video ‘Do It’

Fri Sep 21, 2018

Montreal electro-pop artist, Radiant Baby, announced his debut album, Restless, and shares the lead single, Do It, along with a stunning new music video. Both premiered today on The 405, which raves, "Felix Mongeon collaborated on the loving and heartfelt video for Do It with director Laurence Philomène, who Mongeon credits with creating the video's ‘purple queer love romance’ aesthetic. But the music? That earworm track that begs for repeat listens? That is all Mongeon. And the song's poignancy seems to extend from some universal feelings that Mongeon taps into with precision and ease." Restless is set for release on February 8, 2019, on Lisbon Lux Records. Listen to Do It on all streaming platforms now, and watch the video here.

Every Soul’s a Star on New Dave Keller CD, Due from Catfood Records on October 19

Fri Sep 14, 2018

Catfood Records announces the October 19 release of Every Soul’s a Star, the label debut from acclaimed soul/blues singer and guitarist Dave Keller. Produced by Grammy-winner Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Luther Allison) and recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, Every Soul’s a Star showcases 10 original songs, plus a scintillating cover of the Aretha Franklin classic, “Baby, I Love You.”

Keller’s soulful vocals are beautifully supported by The Rays, which includes not only legendary Motown guitarist Johnny McGee, but also Bob Trenchard – bass; Dan Ferguson - Hammond B3, Wurlitzer, keyboards; Richy Puga – drums; Mike Middleton – trumpet; Nick Flood - tenor and baritone sax, plus the heavenly voices of Janelle Thompson and Shakara Weston - background vocals; and Christopher Serrano – percussion.

Catfood label head Bob Trenchard calls Dave Keller, “The most-talented songwriter I've ever worked with,” and it was he who suggested Jim Gaines to produce the new project.

Lost Cousins Release Soaring New Single ‘City Escape’

Fri Aug 31, 2018

Psych-rock outfit Lost Cousins are no strangers to places of deep unfamiliarity. The group's journey to pursue music thus far has re-directed their inspirations, allowing them to examine grappling life transitions and the domino effects of choice. You can stream and share the band's new single "City Escape" below - officially out on all DSPs this Friday, August 31.

"STREAM / SHARE "CITY ESCAPE" @ SOUNDCLOUD"

Growing up, moving on, and pushing forward into change isn't always as easy as it looks - but consistently reaps big rewards. This is none more apparent than on the track "City Escape" with a steady, pulsing riff before the drums kick in and you feel swept away before the vocals cue up.

"City Escape is about a relationship that spans two different cities," the band explained. "It speaks to feeling trapped within a certain space and routine, and finding solace in another person's day-to-day. The lyrics reminisce on time spent in unfamiliar new places, and how this experience can feel like an escape from reality."