Someone once said; “Rock n Roll is a vicious game …”
The music business is, in general, a very vicious game. More people are used and tossed aside than dishrags at a cheap restaurant. The good die young and the bad fade away unless their souls are sold to the devil.
Enter Mr. Jerry Mercer.
Some people have witnessed so much stuff in their lives – they forget what it is they have learned. Jerry Mercer is that guy. So much has gone in and stays, yet so much must be questioned to loosen the web surrounding the knowledge. From The Festival Express with Janis Joplin to Roy Buchanan. From April Wine to the rhythms of Cuba. Jerry Mercer has learned a lot and continues to grow.
Please listen below to a Birthday Tribute To Mr. Jerry Mercer
Nothing like a live show to add energy and realness to music.
Following two studio efforts and a rise in popularity, The Justin Saladino Band have released their first live album. Something that will allow the band to grow and produce more interesting material in the future.
Please listen below to my chat with Justin Saladino about recording the new album, the live experience and his first time playing with a six piece band. Hear how he and fellow musicians are coping with the Covid -19 pandemic.
*Correction Audio Glitch: Justin Saladino Band – first LIVE album not first album.
Finding time to write and record music is no longer easy for Natalie MacMaster. Seven kids and a husband give her the joy she needs and wants yet as any musician knows; time is essential in delivering quality.
Sketches is Natalie’s first solo record in eight years. Much to her surprise and delight, the album is nominated at this year’s Juno Awards for Traditional Roots Album of the Year. A bonus for an album rich in lessons and feelings. Rich in love for family.
The word legendary gets tossed around without merit.
Liona Boyd, Canada’s (and the world’s) First Lady of Guitar would be the first to agree. Humble and creatively unsatisfied is what propels the classical guitarist to not rest on her own legendary status.
Instrumentalist, soloist and band member – Liona has done it all with remarkable flair. Kings,Queens, Princes and Princesses, the audiences which Boyd has enjoyed. The punters – who, in turn enjoy Liona more.
Please listen below to my chat with Liona about a recent Hall of Fame induction, stories from the past and what is coming in the near future.
The founders of music know how to set things straight.
April Wine co-founder Jim Henman is a busy man. House concerts, internet concerts and touring around with April Wine front-man Myles Goodwyn. Just a few of Jim’s recent endeavors.
Right now, Jim has released his latest CD titled; Before You Go. A collection of songs that are pure at heart. The way music is meant to be played. No bells, no whistles – just a bunch of guys enjoying their souls.
Please listen below to my chat with Jim about the new disc and some stories?
Nat King Colewas so talented – everything he did appeared simple. For that reason, Cole is often overlooked when the topic of legendary musicians and singers comes up over dinner.
ORI DAGAN is attempting to change how people perceive Nat King Cole on his latest offering; ‘Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole’. A centennial celebration of Cole’s birthday, the proper time for a tribute, in Ori’s particular way.
Please listen below to some tracks from the album, Ori Dagan’s words about Nat King Cole and Toronto’s 18th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival .
Guitar great Rob Lutes knows that first hand through playing and reading. A well versed songwriter can be dangerous in the best way possible.
Somethings are meant to be. This is the case as Rob has recently hooked back up with a childhood friend, former band mate and ‘Glimmer Twin’ Michael Emenau. The pair’s chemistry – the majestic absorption of two magical souls shines through on their second collaboration as Sussex.
Please listen below to my chat with Rob Lutes about the album The Ocean Wide and hear some tracks.
If aliens came from space and had to choose musicians from each Country that best represented the core and values of the land they come from, hands down – The Jim Cuddy Band would be headed to the stars.
The band, led by Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo fame, get the job done. All efforts go into playing music. No bells, no whistles and no dancing girls. Add the simple fact these people on stage with Jim are some of the finest this Country has to offer and the songs are a lesson in songwriting – The Jim Cuddy Band may be the largest ‘Roots’ outfit touring around.
Colin Cripps (guitar), Anne Lindsay (fiddle), Joel Anderson (drums), Bazil Donovan (bass) and Steve Cooper (keyboards). Five headliners on their own dazzled Place des Arts last evening with lessons in working as a unit and individually reaching profound depths of sound. The band delivering an array of Country-inspired Canadiana Folk Rock to a crowd ‘caught in the headlights’ of a powerful musical train.
Tunes from the new album CountryWide Soul were trotted out as pure as they were meant to be. Rarely do studio tracks obtain their form live and vice versa. The Jim Cuddy band manage to parlay both versions on a level whose only difference is the audience ‘noise’ and the energy an audience adds to the musicians. Cripps especially charged by the live interaction and his solos are monstrous. Cuddy in obvious awe of his guitar player’s talent.
Married Again, Countrywide Soul, Constellations, Roses at Your Feet along with Blue Rodeo classics Try, After the Rain and 5 days in May fit together like pieces of a winter puzzle. No damns in a concert as fluid as a stream winding through a thawing Canadian forest. The only shadows were the proper placements of light and dark within the highly crafted songs.
The new album contains one song that could be a Jim Cuddy original. One song that pays homage to the late Glen Campbell. Rhinestone Cowboy is Jim Cuddy. A feel good tune built wearing comfortable shoes and delivered from the heart. A celebration of music as the chorus is sung and known by almost everyone around the world. Live, a sing-a-long – an appreciation , allowing the sum of all parts of the evening’s show to come into fruition. A collective thank you to the band and to the punters. A chance for everyone in attendance to say; The Jim Cuddy Band. Period.
Whenever Martha Wainright delivers a performance, safe to say; you never know what you will get. There is a good chance that Martha herself has no clue.
Body and Soul is the new tour and parts of the disc Martha delivered / introduced last night at the Outremont Theater was Goodnight City. Following an interesting set by La Force, Martha somewhat dashingly and with self depreciating humor in tow – explained and dissected the thoughts behind the new disc. An outward look at things rather than the inner observations that (by her own admission) got her into ‘trouble’ on past records.
Around the Bend set the tone for a whimsical evening. Part melancholy – part introspective and mostly just good songs. Alone on acoustic or accompanied by piano; Martha nervously had the sold out theater eating out of her hand. Martha is not often in Montreal so when she is – the punters flock like locusts.
Goodnight City, the record, was a family affair with additions by brother Rufus and Aunt Anna ( among others). Most of the family was on stage last night (except Rufus) leading to the best part of the evening as the energy provided by one of Canada’s most musical families lit up the theater. Martha’s son Archangelo – trying to steal the spotlight on violin and vocals. Prompting Mom several times to speak / whisper into her son’s ear to ‘calm him down”? Rehearsed or not – it was comedic relief in what was a fairly musical show with a nod towards seriousness. Yes Martha was mostly serious.
Joined by the Barr Brothers ( who are known mostly for melancholia) – Martha performed as if to say; “Please take me serious”. An about turn from many of her recent shows where comedy appeared to be the flag which brought attention to the messages in the songs.
Whenever Martha Wainright delivers a performance, safe to say; you never know what you will get.