Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kathleen Edwards and Stan Rogers on CBC's Top Canadian Singers List

Some great local talent made it onto CBC Music's recent list of Top 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever.  The late, legendary, Stan Rogers and the amazing Kathleen Edwards were listed back to back (21 and 20, respectively).  They joined such luminaries as k.d. lang (who earned the top spot), Burton Cummings, Sarah McLachlan, David Clayton-Thomas, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot and many others.  Congratulations!

Links: Kathleen Edwards, More Kathleen Edwards Stories, Video courtesy of Maple Music Recordings

Links: Stan Rogers, More Stan Rogers Stories, Video courtesy of Linz Miller

Here is the complete list. 
  1. k.d. lang
  2. Maureen Forrester
  3. Burton Cummings (Guess Who)
  4. Joni Mitchell
  5. Feist
  6. Celene Dion
  7. The Weeknd
  8. Sarah McLachlan
  9. Rufus Wainwright
  10. Anne Murray
  11. Katie Stelmanis (Austra)
  12. Ben Heppner
  13. Bryan Adams
  14. Michael Bublé
  15. Shania Twain
  16. Bahamas
  17. Amber Webber (Lightning Dust/Black Mountain)
  18. Robert Charlebois
  19. Paul Anka
  20. Kathleen Edwards
  21. Stan Rogers
  22. Avril Lavigne
  23. David Clayton-Thomas (Blood, Sweat and Tears)
  24. Jully Black
  25. Gordon Lightfoot
Blast from the Past: Daniel Lanois and Luke Doucet on Top Guitarist List

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Paul O'Toole CD: "mistakes included"

Late last year, local singer/songwriter Paul O'Toole released "mistakes included", an astounding sonic journey.

The majority of the album is filled with slow and mid-tempo songs that reveal his vocal power and incredible guitar stylings.  There's a lot of raw emotion to the performances, which are enhanced by Paul's exquisite songwriting.

"mistakes included" is also home to some higher octane numbers like Point of View and the wonderfully-titled Creepy Coated Love Song (great rockabilly tune!).

Paul pulls it all off  with a little help from Russ Wilson (Junkhouse), Guy Westbrook, and others.  The late-great Willie P. Bennett contributed some mandolin to one of the tracks as well.

If your tastes run more to the louder side of things, his rock band Francis recently released an EP entitled Junk.

Both discs are available at his live shows.

Below are a few live version of tracks from the album.

Click here for more videos from the show

Links: Paul O'Toole, More Paul O'Toole StoriesMore CD Releases

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New City and the Sea EP: Action Figures

Hamilton rock band City and the Sea have been through a few lineup changes since their last EP.  Their first release with the brand-spanking new band, Action Figures, brings a fresh, more aggressive sound. With amped up energy and more of an alternative edge, this collection is a great leap forward.

The soulfulness from their previous work is a little understated here but it's still in the mix thanks to Nick Cino's amazing vocals.  He's joined by returning bassist Dave Marini and new members Jon Daly (guitar) and Joe Piccolo (drums). Former member Dano Stajduhar plays drums on one track.

Videos below courtesy of City and the Sea

You can stream the entire album below

Links: City and the Sea, More City and the Sea Stories

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hamilton's Ben Caplan a Rising Star at the East Coast Music Awards

A few months after winning a Nova Scotia Music Award, Hamilton-born Ben Caplan has earned the "Rising Star Recording of the Year" honour at the 2013 East Coast Music Awards.  Thanks for showing the East Coast what a Steeltown boy can do!

Blast From the Past: Ben Caplan Wins Nova Scotia Music Award

Video below courtesy of Martin Hickey

Links: Ben CaplanMore Ben Caplan Stories

Other wins of note:
Video below courtesy of George Canyon

Video below courtesy of Rose Cousins

Click here for the full list of winners


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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Stompin' Tom Connors Passes + Local Reaction

Canadian icon and music legend Stompin' Tom Connors passed away on March 6, 2013 of natural causes at the age of 77.  He was a beloved musician who trancended genres and generations.  Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

The singer/songwriter left a letter to his fans to be released after his death:

Hello friends, I want all my fans, past, present, or future, to know that without you, there would have not been any Stompin' Tom.

It was a long hard bumpy road, but this great country kept me inspired with its beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world.

I must now pass the torch, to all of you, to help keep the Maple Leaf flying high, and be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future.

I humbly thank you all, one last time, for allowing me in your homes, I hope I continue to bring a little bit of cheer into your lives from the work I have done.


Your Friend always,

Stompin' Tom Connors


Ronnie "the Hawk" Hawkins was interviewed  on CHCH about the superstar.  He told a story about worrying about Tom when he played to university kids who don't usually like his style of music.  Tom earned a standing ovation from them.  "I haven't worried about him since." The Hawk exclaimed.

Click here for the CHCH video report

Click here for a photo slideshow from the Spec


Local reaction came quickly on social media.  Here are a few highlights:

David Crossley (Deacons): "You can't really explain to people in other parts of the world who (or how important) Stompin' Tom was, because there really is no equivalent in other cultures"

Dave Gould: "Tom Connors has inspired me more than almost any singer/songwriter in my life. His lyrics got me through elementary school geography. I owe a big part of my appreciation for Canada to him. I am sad he is gone. R.I.P. Tom."

Tia McGraff: "Thank you Stompin' Tom for all your great music, and honoring Canada!
You are in our hearts and music forever."


Hamilton Cartoonists Graeme McKay toon about Stompin' Tom


Here are a few live videos of Tom from Hamilton Place, courtesy of PeterRabbit59

Click here for Stompin' Tom's web site. 


Previous (News Roundup w Clapton, Mike Almas, John M Crawford, more) - - - Next (Ben Caplan Wins East Coast Music Award)

News Roundup (Mike Almas, John M Crawford, Clapton)

Blasts from the Past
Featured Videos

Links: Mike Almas, More Mike Almas Stories, Video courtesy of Stephen Shelton

Links: John M Crawford, More John M Crawford Stories, Video courtesy of Stonecrafter01


Previous (New Ensemble w/James Anthony, Al Lukas, Mary Simon & Barry Mac) - - - Next (Stompin' Tom Connors Passes)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Episode of Ensemble on YouTube (James Anthony, Al Lukas, Mary Simon, Barry Mac)

Links: James Anthony, Al Lukas, Mary Simon, Barry Mac, More Ensemble Episodes, Video courtesy of Cable 14

Since we haven't featured Al Lukas on this blog before, here are two bonus videos from his YouTube page


Previous (Strongman Finalist in International Songwriting Competition) - - - Next (News Roundup w Clapton, Mike Almas, John M Crawford, more)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Steve Strongman Finalist in International Songwriting Competition.

Hamilton's Steve Strongman continues to rack up the kudos for his incredible work.  His duet with Suzie Vinnick, Leaving (co-written by Rob Szabo) has landed him a spot as one of the finalists in the International Songwriting Competition (Blues category).  He will be up against musicians from around the world including Canadian blues performers 24th Street Wailers, Layla Zoe, and Bob Tunnoch.  Good luck Steve!

Links: Steve Strongman, More Steve Strongman stories

Blast From the Past: Steve Strongman plays acoustic@Slainte

Multi-instrumentalist Yiannis Kapoulas from Hamilton is a finalist in the intrumental category as well.  Great job!

Winners will be announced in April.  Judges includes James Cotton, Martina McBride, Tom Waits, Jeff Beck, Bernie Taupin, Bruce Hornsby, and others.

Here are a few highlights of the finalists. Click here for the full list.


25 Places - Tim Lothar (Denmark)
Devil In Me - Oli Brown (England)
Don't Blow My Cover - William Troiani, Haykon Haye, Ian F. Johannessen, Alexander Pettersen(Norway)
High Gas Prices - William Morganfield - Big Bill Morganfield (Stone Mountain, GA,)
How Long To Heal - Nicolas Toussaint (France)
I'm So Shallow - Darren Watson (New Zealand)
Leaving - Steve Strongman, Rob Szabo (Hamilton, ON)
Let's Get Crazy - Layla Zoe, Henrik Freischlader (Montreal, QC)
Longtime - Ash Grunwald (Australia)
Love Spell - Teeny Tucker, Robert Hughes (Columbus, OH)
Nothin' In Your House - Gina DeLuca (Baltimore, MD)
On A Mission - Lindsay Beaver (24th Street Wailers) (Toronto, ON)
She's Trouble - Bob Tunnoch (Toronto, ON)



Be Kind To Boston - Thomas Smith - An Atlas to Follow (Knoxville, TN)
Before My Time - J. Ralph (New York, NY)
Blood And Bone - Wes Carr (Buffalo Tales), Eric Silver (Australia)
Burning Daylight - Sam Eliot (England)
Dreams And Country Lanes - Russell Joslin (England)
Festival Song - Tim Easton (Nashville, TN)
Fire Escape - Matthew Mayfield, John Paul White (Birmingham, AL)
Golden Hearts - Teejay Terblanche (Black Handed Kites) (South Africa)
Happiness Comes In A Box - Joshua Hanson (Yellow Red Sparks) (Yellow Pine, ID)
Hell And Back - J. Ralph (New York, NY)
Hit Me With Your Heart - Sam Buckingham (Australia)
Jesus Was A Rollin' Stone - Tony Villiers (Ireland)
Mercy - Ben Kyle (Minneapolis, MN)
Monsters With Misdemeanors - Joshua Hanson (Yellow Red Sparks) (Yellow Pine, ID)
One Little River - Clare Bowditch (Australia)
The Calendar - Kara Francavillo (Nola Wren) (New York, NY)
Tinman - Andy Brown (Fredericton, NB)



All I Recall -  Catherine Britt (Australia)
Audrey's Song - Harry Hookey (Australia)
Circus Comes To Town - Sara Petite (San Diego)
Collide With Me - Rebecca Haviland (Mamaroneck, NY)
Dangers Of The Night - Matt Ellis (Australia)
I Can't Stop Thinking About You - Marshall Chapman (Spartanburg, SC)
La La Blues - Pokey LaFarge (St. Louis, MO)
Learn Those Lessons - Kieran Glasgow (Australia)
Love Inside A Jar - David Garnham - (Australia)
Not In Kansas Anymore - Jokull Jonsson (Iceland)
Pieces Of My Mind - Philip Beach (Southbury, CT)
Roots - Brandon Clark (Cumming, GA,)
Sally Bones - Catherine Britt (Australia)
The Devil Drives - Stuart Earl (England)
When You're Dreamin' - Ed Romanoff, Josh Ritter (Brooklyn, NY)
You Might Come Around - Dale Boyle (Dorval, QC, Canada)



Anonymous - Rachel Honza (Nederland, TX)
Bone Dry - Marc Christian and J.C. Andersen (Brother Slade), Victoria Shaw (Franklin, TN)
Car That Runs - Lisa Torres, Karleen Watt (Nashville, TN)
Classic Rock And Jesus - Jon D'Agostino, Jason Eustice, Adam Searan (Holmdel, NJ)
Cold October - Savannah Berry, Zac Maloy, Kevin Griffin (Houston, TX)
Coming Home - Paul Cowderoy, David Carter, Jane E Robertson (Australia)
Find A Way To Fly - Bill DiLuigi, Mark Carson (Nashville, TN)
He Said - Tiffany Kuenzi, Liz Rose, Keith Follese, Adrian Follese (Silverton, OR)
Home - Troy Cassar-Daley (Australia)
I Wish I Could Hate You - Jaylene Johnson, Heather Longstaffe, Wendy Wills (Winnipeg, MB)
I'm A Dreamer - Lee Bowman, Paula Bowman, Julian Sammut, Simon Ross, Jason McCoy - Jetty Road (Australia)
It Gets To Me - Kirsty Akers (Australia)
Prove You Wrong - Chelsea Gill (Grand Ledge, MI)
The Suitcase - Liz Hengber, James Dean Hicks, Anthony Smith (Franklin, TN)
This Ain't A Love Song - Denis Dufresne and Lynae Dufresne (Pear), Bryan Wayne (Calgary, AB)
Wings - Brad Cunningham (Columbia, MO)


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