Monday, May 31, 2010

Performer of the Week: Chris and Christa

Hamilton 's own Chris and Christa are a duo with a bright future ahead of them. The combination of Chris' incredible acoustic guitar work and Christa's amazing vocal range make for a wonderful musical experience.

Together, these two can handle rockers, ballads, folk tunes, and much more with style. Also, the lyrics behind the couple's originals are very poetic and beautiful, enhancing the quality of their work.

Currently, their only solo recording available is a sweet Christmas song from the latest Design Hope CD. Here's hoping there'll be a full length album release soon!

Links: MySpace - You Tube - More Chris and Christa Stories

Smoke Wagon Blues Band and Sonny Del Rio@Blues With a Feeling (May 29, 2010)

Click here if you can't see the videos.

Click here for one more video from this show

Links: Smoke Wagon Blues Band - Sonny Del Rio - More Smoke Wagon Blues Band Stories - More Sonny Del Rio Stories

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blues With a Feeling @ Leander Boat Club (May 29, 2010)

Later on, we'll be posting individual blog entries with more performances from each band.

Links: Eddie's Club Blues - More Eddie's Club Blues Stories
Unfortunately, this was the only song from Eddie's Club Blues we managed to record. Click here for more videos from them.


Links: Smoke Wagon Blues Band - Sonny Del Rio - More Smoke Wagon Blues Band Stories - More Sonny Del Rio Stories


Link: Monkeyjunk


Link: Blackburn

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Frank Koren and Marco Varella@West End Pub (May 23, 2010)

Marco Varella is a Brazilian student taking a class at McMaster U. He joined Frank and Kim Koren's Open Mic.

Marco is playing a nose flute in the performance below. Links: Frank Koren - More Frank Koren Stories

Monday, May 24, 2010

Performer of the Week: King Biscuit Boy

In celebrate the Blues With a Feeling Fundraiser done in his honour (which runs this weekend), we are making the late, great King Biscuit Boy (Richard Newell) our performer of the week.

According to his Wikipedia entry, KBB reportedly started his career by stealing a harmonica from a Hamilton Mountain store. His love of music led him to play with many bands in the early 60s.

He performed with Ronnie Hawkins who fired the entire band, including KBB. This group came together to form Canadian music legends, Crowbar. After recording just one album, Official Music, he went solo.

His career included deals with Epic records, Juno nominations plus playing with Janis Joplin, Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, and more. KBB was also the first Canadian Blues artist on the Billboard hot 100 charts, Rolling Stone Magazine called him "legendary" and his fans included Keith Richards and Paul McCartney.

Sadly, Richard passed away in January of 2003. Since then, the Friends of King Biscuit Boy organization have held a yearly Blues With a Feeling fundraiser in his honour. Proceeds go to a music scholarship fund at Mohawk College.

This great musician has left a legacy in both local, Canadian and international circles but at heart, he was just a Hamilton boy.

Links: Tribute Site - Wikipedia Entry - More King Biscuit Boy Stories

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Fred Magie CD: Window to the World

Local singer/songwriter, Fred Magie, recently released his latest incredible disc, Window to the World.

Fred's wonderful guitar work and expressive vocals permeate the album. His sound is a beautiful mix of pop, modern folk, and more. Highlights include the catchy More Than One Way, the tender and sweet Cedar Lane, Co-Star, and the title track.

He also enlisted the aid of Hamilton musicians Lisa Winn (vocals), Andrew Aldridge (guitar) and Tone Valcic (drums)- all of whom add a great, unique feel to the recordings.

You can pick up the disc at his shows but they're also available on iTunes

Check out some live performances of the songs from the CD below. Click here if you can't see them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Jesse Lewis Album (Free Download): Still Life

Earlier this year, local singer/songwriter Jesse Lewis (aka Jesse Polk-Lewis) released his latest album, Still Life as a free online download.

Jesse's sound mixes traditional acoustic folk with many modern pop and alternative elements. Each song is a unique creation.

Highlights include the catchy Prison of the Mind, the haunting Worthwhile and amazing acoustic versions of Prince's When Doves Cry and Teenage Head's Something on My Mind.

Click here to download the album

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Ginger St. James and the Grinders CD: Spank, Sparkle and Growl

If you've ever seen Ginger St. James live, you know the sultry songstress does it all: blues, swing, country, rockabilly and more. Her debut CD EP (with the Grinders), Spank Sparkle & Growl is a reflection of her diverse talent.

While most of the six songs in this collection lean toward the lounge/swing sound (Swing About You, Boom Boom Room, Don't Deceive Me), there are elements of rockabilly (Lonely Cryin' Blues, Devil Dance), and pop (Lullaby).

The Grinders - (Snow-heel Slim: guitar, Tyrone Ramsey: upright bass, Greg Brisco: keys, and Andre Tellier: drums) play with a lot of energy and deliver a rockin' beat to back up Ginger's wonderful vocals.

The CD is available at her shows.

Below are some live performances of songs from this CD.

Link: Ginger's Site - More Ginger St. James Stories

Monday, May 17, 2010

Performer of the Week: Max Wray

Hamilton singer/songwriter, Max Wray is an incredible performer who can add many modern elements to his folky music but still has one foot firmly planted in traditional sounds. His amazing voice, guitar work, and wonderful lyrics create a unique musical experience.

He studied as a jazz drummer at Mohawk College. After graduating, Max performed with numerous bands to gain experience and then began writing his own songs. His tunes are now front and centre at his great solo shows (which can also include cool cover tunes as well).

Max also follows more pop/rock path with his band, Follow the Fleet.

Links: MySpace - Facebook Fan Page - More Max Wray Stories

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Caretakers and Friends @ Vibewrangler Studio (May 8, 2010)

Click here if you can't see the videos.

The Caretakers are (left to right): Norman Van Bergan, Jeffrey C. Martin & Lena Montecalvo

They're joined by Paully Vas (harmonica), Mike Vertimiglia (guitar-left), Dan Stadjuhar (drums), Nick Cino (guitar-centre, lead vocals on You Can't Always Get What You Want), Dave Marini (bass), John Daly (guitar-right), Barry Mac (slide guitar)

More Bob Dylan Covers/Stories

More Rolling Stones covers/stories

This was a CD release party: Click here for our review of the CD (and more footage from this show).

Barry Mac and the One Eyed Jacks were one of the opening acts: Click here for that performance

Caretakers Site - More Caretakers Stories

Barry Mac and the One-Eyed Jacks @ Vibewrangler Studio (May 8, 2010)

Click here if you can't see the videos.

Left to right: Spider Costello (drums), Barry Mac (guitar, vocals), Carrie Ashworth (bass) and Lena Montecalvo (vocals)

They were opening for the Caretakers CD Release Party. Click here to view that performance.

Links: Barry Mac Site - More Barry Mac Stories

Monday, May 10, 2010

Perfomer of the Week: Lisa Winn

Hamilton born singer/songwriter Lisa Winn has one of the most beautiful voices around.

Her haunting vocals and incredible guitar work blend to make an amazing musical experience that encompasses folk, a little country, pop and rock.

Not only does she have a few CD's of great solo stuff but she's in high demand as a backup vocalist. Lisa has worked with local musicians such as Jacob Moon, Melissa McClelland, Jamie Oakes, Mike Trebilcock, Mary Simon and more. She has even recorded with the legendary Gordon Lightfoot.

Lisa and Melissa McClelland are also part of the Ladybird Sideshow, a group of four talented woman who released their debut CD, Live at the Orange Lounge in 2004. They currently tour across North America.

Links: Main Site - MySpace - Her CDs on CDBaby - More Lisa Winn Stories

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Caretakers CD: Unfinished Thoughts

With a core of three distinctive vocalists and a talented team of musicians to back them up, the Caretakers have created an incredibly diverse new CD, Unfinished Thoughts (and Other Stories from the Songwriter's Den)

The Caretakers are Jeffrey C. Martin (guitar, vocals, main songwriter), Lena Montecalvo (vocals), and Norm Van Bergen (vocals, guitar). Though they each have a distinctive voice, the trio also work really well together when the song calls for harmonies.

The band takes the CSNY/Buffalo Springfield/Byrds style folk rock sound and updates it. Elements of southern rock, pop, country, and more can be heard throughout the disc. Lyrically, the songs also explore a number of political themes.

Standout tracks include the epic sounding Seven Monkeys On My Back, the sweet, soulful Daddy Laughed, and the incredibly catchy opening number, It's Thinking Time.

Helping the trio with this great CD is an amazing array of local talent. They include members of the Mississippi Kings and Freedom Train along with Barry Mac, and Mike Trebilcock, and others.

The disc is available at their shows and Picks N Sticks. It call also be downloaded by clicking here. A dollar from each CD goes to War Child Canada.

Below are videos from their CD Release Party at Vibewranger Studio on May 8, 2010.

The Caretakers are behind the mics (left to right): Norman Van Bergan, Jeffrey C. Martin & Lena Montecalvo

They're joined by Mike Trebilcock (Mandolin on Daddy Laughed), Paully Vas (harmonica), Mike Vertimiglia (guitar-left), Dan Stadjuhar (drums), Nick Cino (guitar-centre), Dave Marini (bass), John Daly (guitar-right), Barry Mac (slide guitar)

Click here for more video from this show.

Links: Caretakers Site - More Caretakers Stories

Monday, May 3, 2010

Performer of the Week: Chris Chambers

Singer/Guitarist Chris Chambers is a young, energetic Hamilton performer with a lot of musical power.

He's opened for and played with Steve Earle, Crowbar, Trooper, Jack deKeyzer and more. Chris is also a festival mainstay in the Ontario area.

His sound is incredibly diverse. He can get funky, rock out, play great acoustic tunes, and sing soulfully when needed. On top of that, the guy even incorporates bits of jazz, delta blues and more.

According to Chris' web site, a new CD is in the works for this year. His 2007 self-titled release was incredible so this one should be amazing as well.

Links: Chris Chambers - More Chris Chambers Stories

Saturday, May 1, 2010