Monday, April 30, 2012

Harrison Kennedy on Shakura S'Aida's Double CD: Time

Time..., the new 2 CD collection from Toronto blues and soul queen, Shakura S'Aida includes the talented vocal and harmonica work of local blues legend, Harrison Kennedy.

He duets with her on Halfway Blues and also brings his harmonica for a few other tunes. Harrison works well with Shakura's hard rockin' boogie woogie soul sound. She can really belt a song out with a ton of power and feeling. The lady is at home with the slinkiest of jazzy numbers, the funkiest of grooves, and everything else the music throws at her.

There are quite a few other musicians joining in on the fun - including Lance Anderson, Donna Grantis, Conor Gains, and many more.

The CD is available through the Electro-Fi website, and as a download on iTunes and eMusic.

Below is a video from the CD courtesy of CBC Music.

Blast from the Past: Harrison Kennedy & Friends@Locke Street Festival

Links: Shakura S'Aida, Harrison Kennedy, More Harrison Kennedy Stories

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dan Scruton You Tube Videos

Videos courtesy of Dan's You Tube page

Click here for Dan's site

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Pete Van Dyk and the Second Hand Band EP: Live at the Casbah

Local musician, Pete Van Dyk and his group, the Second Hand Band, were always masters of hard rocking, punk-like blues. This is even more evident in their recent EP, Live at the Casbah.

The rawness of the sound is amped up in this collection. The guitars scream louder and Pete's vocals match their power. This ain't toe-tappin' play-on-the-front-porch blues - this is pump your fist and shake your butt music.

Pete and the gang offer up live versions of songs from their previous album and a great new tune called Friday Night.

As an added bonus, the download is pay what you can. They are trying to fund a new album so don't be stingy - another disc from these guys will definitely be worth it.

Below is a song from the EP, courtesy of Pete Van Dyk's YouTube Page

Blast from the Past: Review of Pete's Previous CD

Links: Pete Van Dyk, More Pete Van Dyk Stories
, Click here to download EP

Friday, April 20, 2012

Levon Helm Passes + Local Reaction

It is with sadness that we report on the passing of Levon Helm, the drummer and singer for The Band. He passed away on April 19, 2012 after a brave battle with cancer. He will be missed.

Levon had ties to Hamilton and the area. He played here often as part of Ronnie Hawkins' band in his early career. Later on, he'd gain world-wide fame as a founding member of The Band and then move on to a solo career.

As always, online reaction was swift after the news of his death. Here are a few comments from our local musicians:

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings: "Today, we lost our dear Levon Helm. We are deeply saddened and stunned by this loss. His music and spirit embody everything that’s great about music. Everything that’s great about spending your life as a musician, or a music lover. Levon never made you feel anything less than special- whether you were a friend, a fellow musician, a guest at his house or a member of his audience. The honour he felt in the blessing of being a musician was humbling and touching and uncompromising. And the joy and hilarity he found in life and shared in his music will go on and on. Our hearts go out to our great friend and queen, Amy Helm and to Levon’s wife Sandy, and all of the family and close friends who are hurting so much now. We will always do our best bring honour to his memory."

Steve Strongman
: "Levon was one of the greatest ever. A true original. A sad day for music lovers everywhere."

Dock Holliday: "Levon Helm, truly one of the greatest voices not only in Rock and Roll, but the entire world. Thanks for all of the great music and inspiration you gave."

Jacob Moon: "RIP Levon Helm. For me, he was the heartbeat of The Band and a vital force for good music right to the end."

Arkells: "Sad to hear about Levon. He was a huge inspiration for us and so many young musicians. Thank you for all that you offered to us, Levon."

Jesse O'Brien: "Levon-your gift of music to the world will never be forgotten-and what a sweet kind soul...I remember this day from when I was 16 and and we first played music as one of the most incredible days-and to share it with my dad made it all the more many memories... RIP"

We would like to extend our condolences to his friends and family.

Video courtesy of DirtFarmerMusic

More covers and stories by the Band

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Fred Eaglesmith CD: 6 Volts

Local singer/songwriter Fred Eaglesmith recently released 6 Volts, his 19th (!!!!) album.

This time Fred has decided to scale back the sound from his previous discs and made it an old-fashioned, stripped down, lo-fi affair.

Thanks to the bare basics sonic landscape, the songwriting really shines in this collection. One of the singer's biggest strengths is weaving amazing stories and every tune has a wonderful tale to tell.

That's not to say that the instrumentals are neglected here. On the contrary - everything serves the story and the rhythms and melodies are there to draw you in.

This CD is avilable with a limited edition package (and regular verison) through Fred's site. It can also be downloaded through eMusic and iTunes.

Below are a few videos from the CD.

Video courtesy of Pasalaqcua

Video courtesy of SoddyFlash

Video courtesy of JayHawk011

Blast from the Past: Fred Eaglesmith@The Brantford Gunners Club

Links: Fred Eaglesmith, More Fred Eaglesmith Stories

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Tomi Swick CD

Local singer/songwriter Tomi Swick has released his long-awaited second album and it's definitely worth the wait.

This self-titled CD (available through Warner Music Canada) continues his magnificent melodic rock sound. There's a lot of power here mixed in with quieter moments. Every song is infused with Tomi's well-crafted lyrics.

Highlights include the energetic Ready, the sweet Mine All Mine and a wonderful collaboration with Julian Lennon, December Sky.

The CD is available at his shows, in stores, online and can be downloaded through iTunes.

Below are a few videos from the album, courtesy of Tomi Swick's YouTube page

Blast from the Past: Tomi Swick at the Festival of Friends

Links: Tomi Swick, More Tomi Swick Stories

Monday, April 2, 2012

Arkells and David Braid Win at the Junos

Hamilton rockers the Arkells (Group of the Year) and local jazz musician David Braid (Traditional Jazz) walked away with Juno Awards this past weekend, making Hamilton proud. Also, St. Catharines born Dallas Green (City and Colour) won as Songwriter of the Year.

Other awards of note include:

Dan Managan - New Artist of the Year & Alternative Album

Bruce Cockburn - Roots Solo

The Wailin' Jennys - Roots Group

MonkeyJunk - Blues

Click here for the full list of Winners

Click here for the Spectator story

Blasts From the Pasts: This year's nominations, 2009 Juno Award Winners, Jack DeKeyzer Wins 2010 Juno, Daniel Lanois Wins 2011 Juno, All of our Juno Stories

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vote for the Canadian Music Party

HBL (Hamilton Blues Lovers) Inc doesn’t usually get involved in politics but we’ve decided to help spread the good word about the newly formed Canadian Music Party. A few local musicians were tired of the current political climate and decided to take matters into their own hands.

Our very own blogger, Lou, was put in charge of propaganda. “We think it’s about time musicians had a say in how this country is run,” he explained.

“At our last meeting, we chose singer/songwriter/artist Tom Wilson as our leader and hopefully, the next Prime Minister,” Lou added, “There were many worthy candidates. In the end, it was hard to ignore Mr. Wilson’s passion and commitment (not to mention his height) when the final tally was counted.”

Mr. Wilson and the party have already outlined the main points of their future election campaign:
  • Immediate decriminalization of marijuana
  • All government business will only start after 2 pm.
  • Groupies can now be listed as dependents on income tax
  • Instruments can now be listed as dependents on income tax
  • Requesting “Mustang Sally” or “Freebird” is punishable by life in prison
  • Stealing musical instruments will be punishable by death
  • Musicians to get LCBO tax discounts
  • Hamilton will become the Canadian capital
  • "Oh Canada" to be replaced by "Oh What a Feeling" as the national anthem
  • The Queen will be replaced by King Biscuit Boy on all money
  • Frankie Venom will be put on the $50 bill.
  • Jackie Washington will now be on the $100 bill
Even though the next election is still far away, the party have already started hiring for various positions:
With this many musicians in one place, Lou says they were going to advertise a groupie wrangler position but luckily, local music fan and videographer Jill Johnson graciously accepted the job as an unpaid volunteer. “We’d like to thank Jill for her selfless act and for saving us some money. I’m sure she’ll take real good care of those groupies!”

So please remember to vote for your local CMP candidate when the next election rolls around. We need to put some more groove into Canadian parliament.

If you’d like to volunteer, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Ms. Luigi at 905-555-5555. For all other information, please call our secretary April Fulcilli at the same number.