Leaving Montreal as a youngster for New York displayed his courage. Putting out an album in 2015 with perhaps his best complete track listing shows his resolve. Being inducted into The Canadian Music Hall of Fame – shows the timelessness of his songwriting ability.
Please listen below to my chat with Andy Kim as we discuss the 50th Anniversary of Sugar, Sugar – his induction and his Christmas Show on December 13th.
There is a rise of Canadian Country / Rock / Pop music happening with WAVE 21. This is a group with diverse styles in personality, music, and overall talent. WAVE 21 is also an interesting band since they are new yet very experienced at the same time.
Band leader Mary-Lynn Doroschuck is the daughter of Stefan Doroschuk and niece of Ivan Doroschuk. Both men were / are from the Canadian New Wave Pop sensation Men Without Hats. Mary-Lynn is ready to continue her family’s legacy while expanding into her own musical landscape.
Ron Roxtar sat down and spoke with Mary -Lynn.
Roxtar: Hello, Mary-Lynn.
Mary-Lynn: Hello Ron. Thanks so much for the call and the support.
Roxtar: It’s my pleasure. So let me ask you growing up who were your main influences?
Mary-Lynn: Growing up in a musical family they were my biggest influences. There was always music or instruments being played in and around the house.
Early on I took vocal lessons and sang at church then at school a bit. When I was 12 or 13 I performed in school talent shows. I also learned how to play classical guitar.
Roxtar: What about outside the family?
Mary-Lynn: Oh, outside the family? I’d have to say country music was a big influence on me. It seemed like if I was at a friends house they’d have country music playing and then back at home there would always be country music too. I really began to understand and like the lyrics because there was depth and emotion to it.
Because of my dad being in Men Without Hats, there was an obvious attachment to 80’s synth and new wave I would listen to that kind of music as well.
As far as younger music goes I like Evanescence,Green Day, Simple Plan, and I really like Blink-182.
I loved Billy Talent. I was such a fan of them for years. One of the first songs I learned to play on guitar was Fallen Leaves and I performed it at a summer camp talent show.
Roxtar: What was the first concert you went to?
Mary-Lynn: When I was like seven I went with my family to Mont Tremblant Blues Fest. I saw Johnny Winter and Steve Hill.
The first concert that I went to that I wanted to go to was Billy Talent with Alexisonfire at the Bell Centre. My mom even came with me to make sure I’d be safe.
Roxtar: Your sister Emmy-Lou is also a member of Wave 21 on keyboards. How did that come to be?
Mary-Lynn: Right. Okay so growing up we both learned to play classical guitar. I had no desire at all to learn the piano or keyboards, but she did. So what happened was we learned off of each other. It just grew and grew.
Roxtar: That’s kind of how you decided to form Wave 21?
Mary-Lynn: The thing is for me it was a long time coming. I knew I wanted to be in a band. For my sister, it was very different. She was like “I like writing songs and being in the studio but I have my own life.” She’s always been involved with music and Wave 21 as a band, but she’s involved in so many other areas we have to have a replacement for her on keyboards for now when we do live shows. Presently on keyboards we have John Macomber.
Roxtar: So who else is in the band Wave 21?
Mary-Lynn: We have my dad Stefan Doroschuk on bass. We have a new guitar player whose name is Jimmy Gibson and he’s really good. We have a drummer Tim Van de Ver. He’s also a member of Acid Test.
Roxtar: Speaking of drums you have a major name on your album in Kenny Aranoff ( John Mellencamp, Melissa Etheridge). How did you get Kenny to play drums on the album?
Mary-Lynn: Well we didn’t have a full-time drummer at the time. We wrote the drum parts and through a connection with my dad, Kenny played the tracks in Nashville and then we synced them up with our songs here.
When we record the next album Tim Van de Ver is going to play drums because he’s really experienced and we like what he does. Plus it’s way more convenient.
Roxtar: With the album out what are some of your favorite songs?
Mary-Lynn: The album is very divided. There’s a bit of rock, country and pop in it. I always held onto the first song Ya Ya Ya that opens the album as my go to rock song. It’ll Be One of These Days is my pop song and Here We Go is my killer country song that is the gem of the whole album. It was co-written by my dad and a friend of his Mack Mackenzie like 15 years ago. My absolute favorite song is Set Me Free. It’s a song about a really bad breakup I went through in high school that took me a long time to get over. That song really helped to literally Set Me Free.
There’s an angrier song called The Fun Times that really inspired me. It was a difficult time I was having and my dad was even asking me “What’s going on?” At the time he was trying to make the song sound like Lou Reed. I started to listen to all of Lou Reed’s albums and got really inspired. So I released all my anger on that song and it has it’s own style and is heavy. It’s so great to hear live and people are really into it when we play it.
Roxtar: What are your top three desert island discs?
Mary-Lynn: I’d have to say, Lou Reed,Blue Mask. I’d go with Abbey Road by The Beatles. I think I listened to that album on over 3,000 repeats when I was younger. I remember thinking this is the best thing ever.
As a last one, I’d go with Enema of the State by Blink-182. It’s a classic. It’s got songs on it that everybody knows.
Roxtar: Growing up with your father and uncle as members of Men Without Hats were you a fan?
Mary-Lynn: Oh Yes! My sister and I listened to Men Without Hats so much that we were banned from playing it in the house by my dad. We know the words to every song even the
weird obscure ones. I abused listening to them. I even had their vinyl albums on my bedroom wall.
My dad has a home studio where we recorded the Wave 21 album. All the equipment that’s there was used on the last Men Without Hats album. When we were really young my sister and I actually provided backing vocals on the last Men Without Hats album which I think might have only been used as effects but we’re on it.
Roxtar: So since your dad was the guitarist of Men Without Hats and now he’s in your band it’s almost like it’s come full circle.
Mary-Lynn: Oh, for sure. I’ve even been offered to go on the road with my uncle Ivan in Men Without Hats. Some of the songs on my album were almost half written by my dad. It’s family and teamwork. I like the influence.
Roxtar: I have to ask you, Mary-Lynn, is there any chance of you twisting your dad’s arm so you guys do a Men Without Hats song in a Wave 21 set. If you think about it I’m sure a lot of people are going there to expect that.
Mary-Lynn: Oh my!! The thing is our style of music is so different. Plus Men Without Hats is so keyboard-oriented that our keyboard player would have to really hone in on it like a lot, but he could totally do it.
Now that you mention it we should do a Men Without Hats song. Maybe we should do Safety Dance.
Roxtar: Another good idea might be for Wave 21 to open for Men Without Hats someday soon.
Mary-Lynn: That would be a really great idea. I wish I heard from my uncle more than I do. If he did let Wave 21 open for him I would be forever grateful.
It would make even more sense because Wave 21 was the original name of the band my dad and uncle were in before they were Men Without Hats.
Roxtar: So it is even more full circle than before.
Mary-Lynn: Absolutely and I love all these ideas you’re putting out. Thanks so much for sharing it. Sometimes artists get caught up in their own ideas and they need to hear an outside idea from someone even if it’s a fan or a journalist like yourself. If it works it works. I think it’s great. Now I’m going to have talk to my dad and get him to do Safety Dance at the next Wave 21 shows.
Make sure to see Wave 21 at their upcoming live events. The first one is August 16th at Smoke Meat Pete. The second is at Piranha Bar on Aug 23rd.
Let’s see if Mary-Lynn was able to convince her dad to get Wave 21 to play a Men Without Hats song?
Best known as Survivorman in the extremely popular TV docu-series, Les Stroud has always had an affinity for music.
His latest release Bittern Lake is an example of how earthy sounds can touch the soul and inspire people to change. Combining poignant lyrics with even more poignant musicianship, Stroud and his mates kidnap listeners into their world.
Please listen below to my chat with Les and discover tunes to expand your education and decrease ignorance.
Writing, playing and producing – not easy to do while keeping an album fluid.
Guitarist / songwriter and producer Will Evankovich juggles all duties while keeping an eye to the future and with the past.
The Guess Who have a catalog of hits dating back to the sixties and Will’s ( and the band’s) job was too keep the new songs current while fitting them into the highly recognizable hits of days gone by.
Please listen below to my chat with Will about many things and hear the first two singles from the upcoming disc; ‘THE FUTURE IS WHAT IT USED TO BE
Who on this planet does not know that opening riff followed by the words in the song ‘Bad To The Bone’? Chances are – aliens circling overhead in their spacecraft hear it every time George Thorogood and his Destroyers play it live.
It has been a long and storied career for Thorogood – starting as a hard working solo act making a name for himself on the club scene. John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, The Rolling Stones and Howlin’ Wolf – just a few of the men who influenced George to pick up a guitar and start playing.
15 million albums sales and more than 8,000 live shows later – George has released his first solo record paying respect to all the Blues guys that influenced hm.
Please listen below to my chat with Lonesome George about the new album and his upcoming show with The Destroyers Aug.23rd at
Following in the true vain of the roots of popular music, Mary-Lynn Doroschuk ( daughter of Stefan Doroschuk of Men Without Hats fame) is bursting on to the music scene with fresh and creative Country / Rockabilly / Pop songs.
Poignant lyrics with crisp riffs and energetic upbeat tempos are balanced nicely with the touching tones of melancholy within the album’s balladry.
Please listen below to my chat with Mary-Lynn and hear some great tunes from
Cutting edge songs in the prog Rock vein was what made Genesis into one of the biggest selling commercial bands of all time. Lyricist and singer Peter Gabriel and guitar player Steve Hackett were a huge part of that equation. Upon their departure – something was missing ..
Please have a listen below to one of their best albums and hear some of the behind the scenes nuances which took place.
Sometimes, artists do not get their just due. Instead of rolling over and crying into their old Blues records, craftsmen must think outside the box. They look for avenues to not only make money – to also earn the respect they deserve for quality art
Mike Goudreau is one of those guys.
Inadvertently stumbling into a lucrative licensing career which has seen his songs played in many TV shows and Hollywood films. CSI Los Angeles and Netflix’ Bloodline to name two.
Please have a listen below to my chat with Mike about licensing music for visual media South of the Border and other tales related to his career. Listen to some great tunes which are being released for the first time commercially on Alternate Takes Volume One.
On paper – Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge look great as a double bill. In reality – they are greater than the sum of two parts …
When Joss Stone was in her Mother’s tummy, she attended one of her Mom’s favorite artists in concert. When Joss was seventeen – she sang as part of a duet with one of her Mom’s favorite artists. Last night at Places des Arts – Joss , once again, performed with one of her Mom’s favorite artists.
Melissa Etheridge remains constant in Joss Stone’s life.
Stone arrived on stage softly and that was about right for what was to transpire throughout most of the evening.
‘The Look of Love’, ‘Landlord’, ‘Stuck on You’ and ‘Victim of A Foolish Heart’ allowed Stone’s voice to shine through. In past performances at the Jazz festival – too much ‘screaming’ took place which took away from the sheer talent of Joss’ vocals. There is a time and place for everything and sometimes at a Joss Stone show – the lines are blurred.
Not last night at Salle Wilfred Pelletier.
The band maybe were caught by surprise as well.
Joss swerving from set-list and improvising like a bird on a wire. Reading the crowd and judging reactions, just one part of Joss’ seemingly arrival at professionalism.
Comfortable in her skin and comfortable with charming banter. Her British humor and accent disarming critics, the audience and her band. The latter injected life into what can be ( at times) a monotonous trip while the former – a very good idea.
‘Put A Spell on You’ and ‘Son of A Preacher Man’ ended things on a high note. Joss and her mates raising the energy and injecting history into the night. Passing the baton to …
If Melissa Etheridge was loved before last night’s show in Montreal, this morning – the city must be erecting a statue of her atop Mont Royal.
What’s with all these artists pre – dating 1995? Was water different in the old days or has political correctness taken all the creativity and passion out of life ?
Etheridge arrived in town on the heels of her new album; Memphis Rock and Soul. Its an album paying homage to Stax Records and all the great tunes which inspired generations of musicians and fans. Horn heavy with R&B and Country music as the ground wiring. In short – the elements which were the beginnings of Rock n Roll.
Etheridge is one of ‘those’ artists. A woman who has climbed, conquered, descended and now sits revered at the music clubhouse. Take away the battle with breast cancer and the same adulation and love is thrown her way for her music and activism on behalf of the ‘small folks’ in this world.
She doesn’t have to give a damn on stage yet she does – more than ever.
Melissa’s new (old) songs from the new disc were solid. ‘Memphis Train’, ‘Respect Yourself’ and ‘Rock You Baby’. Three tunes which enveloped the show in a torn up stained envelope. Countless cigarette burns, whiskey stains and sweat were duplicated admirably by Etheridge and her posse. After all – growing up listening to Soul, Country and Rock n Roll in Kansas will leave a definitive impression.
Melissa’s energy was alarming. Anyone under the age of fifty who huffs and puffs while eating Mae Wests at their desk should be ashamed.
Non – stop talking between songs, non – stop guitar playing, non-stop walking from side to side. Toss in some impressive harmonica work and a mini drum solo near show’s end – everyone in attendance needed a nap from watching . Just the power vocally in classics such as ‘Somebody Bring Me Some Water’, ‘I’m the Only One’, ‘Like the Way I Do’ and ‘Come to my Window’ enough to light up the Jacques Cartier Bridge’s pretty blue lights.
In 2005 – Joss Stone and Melissa Ethgeridge paid tribute to Janis Joplin at the Grammy Awards. Fast forward to Place des Arts last evening and the pair did it once again. The first time the talented duo have performed together since that emotional evening twelve years ago.
“Cry Baby’ and ‘ Piece of my Heart’ were meant for these two ladies of song. Stone’s range picking up the tenderness and the toughness while Etheridge’s emotion and vocals as raw as the spirit behind Joplin’s original impact. Rarely does a moment take place at The Festival these days that leave people talking for a few weeks or months. Ella Fitzgerald did it near the end of her life as she battled diabetes and last night, the combination of Etheridge’s survival status and Stone’s tutelage to one day be the grand lady of Soul – a perfect marriage on the alter of The Montreal International Jazz Festival’s legacy.
A piece of everyone’s heart was left at Place des Arts.
You can decipher the title if you want to but if your friends can’t decipher the title – they are no friends of mine …
Men without Hats energized Club Soda on July 2nd as part of Le Festival International de Jazz even though the beginning was short circuited.
As the familiar sounds and moves of the 1982 smash hit ‘Safety Dance‘ grabbed anyone within earshot of Blvd St Laurent by the tuque, the technological gremlins stopped the show around the letter ‘F’ or … maybe it was ‘E’?
Sometimes mistakes, human or not- can be a blessing in disguise. As if the great ‘promoter’ in the sky ventured down Sunday night ‘ a la friendly giant’ and rearranged the furniture. The stoppage created magic.
Acoustic guitar on stage with brother Colin – ‘Close to the Sun’ bonded performer and audience sooner than later. Given that some in attendance not born when the group were all the rage, an introduction of sorts was called for and delivered. Once-in-a-decade kinda stuff with both band and punter responding professionally to the unkind fickle hand of fate.
Electrifying is the opposite of powerless. If it wasn’t before – it is now. That adjective precisely explains what Men without Hats did last night to the folks with or without head ware. Led by singer Ivan Doroschuk who , along with the likes of Jagger and Tyler; seems to have found the fountain of youth. The sixty year old front man writhed , danced and writhed some more as he prodded duplicate responses from a more than enthusiastic fan base and crowd.
Pulsating and pounding through the MWH catalog – the band only increasing the energy at Club Soda. Start to finish as the band served tunes such as ‘ I Got the Message ‘, ‘Antarctica’ and ‘ Head Above Water ‘ to the hungry tables, the MWH ‘Cafe Canadienne’ was ‘ in the juice ‘. Ivan – the head waiter , as much a contrast in color as a black and white television in a corporate – named stadium.
Political views ( for most of the tunes), in the forefront with a profound Punk attitude. Rebellious. Anti – establishment codes. Enigmas deciphered by true fans of a movement with a fist in the air. Enigmas defined by the song Safety Dance. Ivan himself- almost a caricature. A Cheshire Cat grinning in true cartoon form.
‘Living in China’and ‘Pop Goes the World ‘saved the show from becoming one long song. Perfect choices to break up the dangers of monotony. The ailments which have inflicted every original act since ‘that’ caveman hit ‘that’ rock with another rock. MWH have managed to sustain freshness in their lunchboxes even though it’s been in the trunk for thirty odd years.
Along with Safety Dance , the other bookend which held all the ‘ books ‘ together was ‘ Where the Boys Go’.
That tune live , from the album Folk of the 80’s ( Part lll ) released in 1984, as powerful as any Clash or Ramones’ tune. Anthem – kinda ingredients. Dangerous rallying chords and calls to action. The men in attendance – thrashing their heads, hands and hearts violently in every direction. Lou Dawson ( keys, vocals), Rachel Ashmore (keys, vocals ), Sho Murray ( guitar ) and Colin Doroschuk soaking it in and ejecting higher frequencies boomerang style. Club Soda was set afire.
MWH are smart.
Their biggest hit ( Safety Dance ) was played as the first song to presumably attract the crowd and to also force the crowd to pay attention to everything after. Their biggest hit was also played last to ‘end the story ‘. For those who arrived late and came for that tune; bliss ! Planned or not – a brilliant move by the band.
Following the inevitable outburst for a return to the stage, MWH returned the favor with ‘No Security ‘and the pleasant ‘ On Tuesday ‘. The latter, a duet performed with Ivan’s niece Sahara Sloan. A delightful dessert to a fulfilling meal at ‘MWH’s Cafe Canadienne’.
At the end of the shift, the head waiter Ivan, standing with satisfaction. A hefty tip in hand, a smile on his face and not a hat on his head …