Monday, April 29, 2013

Ghosts of Memphis Debut CD: The Devil and the Details

Local veteran musicians Trevor Howard and guitarist Gerry Finn (Helix, Killer Dwarves) have teamed up to form Ghosts of Memphis.  With this cool name, comes a really cool debut album, The Devil and the Details.

The group has created a great singer/songwriter sound with an alt-country attitude.  There's also a lot of roots rock blended in for good measure.

Every song is a lyrical story sung with Trevor's passionate voice and backed up by Gerry's stunning guitar work.  You can also hear banjos, slide guitar, piano, and much more.

The album is available as a download on iTunes and eMusic.

Above video courtesy of MissIstra

Above video courtesy of Ken Corke

Links: Ghosts of Memphis, More Ghosts of Memphis StoriesMore CD Releases

Previous (News Roundup w/Richie Havens, Dan Scruton, Buddy Love) - - - Next (Videos: Diamond Drapes@Jordan House)

Monday, April 22, 2013

New Dave Rave and Mark Mark McCarron CD: Memphis Midnight

Hamilton rocker Dave Rave has once again united with Canadian/NYC guitarist Mark McCarron for another great, smooth and soulful album. Memphis Midnight, like its predecessor In the Blue of my Dreams, is filled with stunning jazz-pop.

This time around though, they've amped up the energy quite a bit.  Catchy melodies are intermingled with funk, rock, swing (great use of horns!), and even a touch of the psychedelic.

It's great to see this side of Dave Rave.  Though you know he can rock it out with the best of them, the man can definitely be soulful when he needs to be.

The album is available as a download on iTunes and eMusic.

Blast from the Past: Dave Rave CD: Live With What You Know 

Videos below (of songs from the album) courtesy of Lauren Agnelli 

Links: Dave Rave and Mark McCarron, More Dave Rave Stories, More CD Releases

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Local Talent Bring Junos to the Hammer

Long time Hamiltonian Steve Strongman and new Hammertown residents Elliott Brood have brought home the Junos!  Steve won for best Blues album and Elliott Brood was awarded for Roots Recording (Group). Area band, The City Harmonic also won for Contemporary Christian/gospel album.  On top of that, Steel City rockers, Monster Truck received the nod for Breakthough Group.

Congratulations guys!  You make us proud!

Click here for the Spectator story.

Click here for Hamilton Musix Biz Bites story  

Links: Steve StrongmanMore Steve Strongman stories, Video courtesy of Kincardine Times

Links: Elliott Brood , Video courtesy of AxleGrinder

Below are a few highlightsClick here for the full list of winners

Blues Album: Steve Strongman: A Natural Fact

Roots & Traditional Album (Solo): Rose Cousins, We Have Made A Spark

Roots & Traditional Album (Group): Elliott Brood: Days Into Years

Songwriter: Leonard Cohen

Country Album: Johnny Reid, Fire It Up

International Album: Mumford & Sons, Babel

Adult Alternative Album: Serena Ryder, Harmony

Artist: Leonard Cohen

Vocal Jazz Album: Emilie-Claire Barlow, Seule ce Soir

Aboriginal Album: Crystal Shawanda, Just Like You

Music DVD: Bobcaygeon (Tragically Hip)

Allan Waters Humanitarian Award: Tom Cochrane

Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee:  k.d. lang

Link: More about the Junos

Previous (News Roundup w/Harrison Kennedy Benefit video, Jimmy Dawkins, more) - - - Next (New Dave Rave CD)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rita MacNeil Passes + Reactions

Shortly after losing the legendary Stompin' Tom, Canada has lost another musical icon.  The incredible Rita MacNeil passed away April 16, 2013 after complications from surgery.  Our condolences to her family, friends, and fans.  She will be missed.

Click here for the CBC story.

Click here for the Hamilton Spectator story.

As always, reaction was swift on social media.  Here are a few highlights.

John M Crawford: "I am so devistated that Rita McNeil is gone. What a voice and an entertainer we lost. God bless her family and thank you Rita for giving us such wonderfull music."

Tia McGraff: "OH I am so sad to hear about the passing of Rita MacNeil. She was one of Canada's most amazing voices and songwriters."

Stephen Fearing: "So long Rita MacNeil. You were a sweet soul with a voice to match it. RIP."

Jann Arden: "Love you Rita MacNeil! Such an honor to do your show many times in the 90ties!! Brilliant writer, wonderful singer! Safe travels!"

Eric Alper: "There was no finer, kinder, authentic woman I have ever worked with than Cape Breton's Rita MacNeil."

Videos below courtesy of SirRusselOtt

Click here for Rita's site.

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Bill Poss/Tif Ginn and Friends@Brantford Gunners Club (March 29, 2013)

Left to right: Matt Simpson, Kori Heppner (drums), Bill Poss (first two songs)/Tif Ginn (last two songs), Justine Fischer, Mike Zinger

Blast From the Past: Ginn Sisters@Brantford Gunner's Club (2011)

They were opening up for Fred Eaglesmith.  We'll have his videos up soon. 

Links: Bill Poss, Ginn Sisters, More Ginn Sisters Stories

Previous (New Lindy Vopnfjord CD) - - - Next (Rita MacNeil Passes)

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Lindy Vopnfjord CD: Young Waverer

Young Waverer, the latest CD from local singer/songwriter Lindy Vopnfjord (aka "Lindy") has many beautiful layers.

Underneath it all is an unmistakable folk and singer/songwriter vibe.  Lindy has crafted some impressive tunes with a stunning storytelling touch.

Built on top of that sonic foundation is a modern, quasi-alternative pop sound that meshes well with his expressive vocals.  Most of the songs are wonderfully infectious (especially Warsaw's Blinking Lights and On My Way Back Home). There are some remarkable slower numbers as well (Lover Sister and May Not be Right).

Lindy enlisted a few of his bandmates from Major Maker and Luke Doucet (Whitehorse) to help create his unique vision.

The CD can be downloaded through his web site or iTunes.

Below are a few videos from the recordign courtesy of  Stellablu477.

Links: Lindy Vopnfjord, More CD Releases

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Daniel Lanois Earns Governor General Lifetime Achievement Award

Hamilton-born Daniel Lanois will receive a well-deserved Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards for Lifetime Achievement.  His stellar career includes his own amazing recordings as well as producing U2, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and other luminaries. Congratulations!

Other recipients for this year include actress/director Sarah Polley and Eric Peterson from TV's Corner Gas. Those honoured receive a a commemorative medallion and $25,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Click here for the CBC story, which includes an interview with Daniel.

Click here for Daniel's page on the awards web site.

Video below courtesy of House of Grouse

Blast From the Past: Daniel Lanois Wins 2011 Juno

Daniel LanoisMore Daniel Lanois Stories

Previous (2 New Episodes of Ensemble Online) - - - Next (New Lindy Vopnfjord CD)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Acoustics CD: Erie Long

Talented local band the Acoustics have made a giant leap forward with Erie Long, their latest CD.  Known as a top-notch instrumental group with a world-music sound, they've challenged themselves to explore new territory.

By far, the biggest change has to be the addition of vocals on 8 of the 14 tracks.  Guitarist Enzo Spoto stepped up to the mic and proved he possesses an incredible voice and some major songwriting skills. There's also new elements of folk, rock, pop and more added to the proceedings.

Don't worry, the Mediterranean-style music you know and love is still here, especially on the instrumental tracks. The high-energy, danceable, party vibe still lingers too!

The CD can be purchased at their live shows and cdBaby, it can also be downloaded through cdBaby and iTunes.

Below is a video from the CD.

Blast from the Past: Acoustics@Artword Artbar

Links: AcousticsMore Acoustics Stories, More CD Releases

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rita Chiarelli to Receive Italian Heritage Award

Canada's Goddess of the Blues Rita Chiarelli will soon be increasing her list of accolades (which already include Juno nominations).  The Hamilton singer/songwriter will receive the Festitalia Italian Heritage Award of Distinction for Arts, Culture and Entertainment on June 6, 2013 at Michelangelo’s.

Click here for the full story on the 2013 awards.

According to the organization's web site, the honour "recognizes the leadership of men, women and youth of Italian ancestry or Italian affiliation who contribute to the development and well-being of others and the overall improvement of the community."

Rita has definitely made many outstanding achievements in her field.  Complimenti (congratulations).

In a related story, the veteran blues queen was recently featured in a story about "Italian Folk Music Today" from PRIMO magazineClick here to view the article.

Video below courtesy of Rita Chiarelli

 Blast from the Past: Rita Chiarelli CD: Sweet Paradise

Links: Rita Chiarelli, More Rita Chiarelli Stories

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Monday, April 8, 2013

New Marie Avery EP: The Fire

The Fire, the latest EP from local singer/songwriter Marie Avery is ignited by the artist's striking voice. Her accomplished piano work also adds fuel to the flame.

Though this blazing EP has an indie-pop ambiance, Marie still grounds it with solid, poetic songwriting and classic structure.  You can also hear a lot of jazz and a bit of broadway in the mix  What comes through is a beautiful, honest recording full of surprises.

Backing her up is a great team of area musicians, including Bill Majoros (Foreign Films) and Carl Jennings (Freedom Train) - both of whom produced the EP.  Kori Pop, Amber Edgar and Loretta Hale  (Loretta Hale Big Band, J-Tones) join in as well.

This collection is available as a download on her Bandcamp page.

Below is video from the EP courtesy of Marie Avery

You can also stream the EP here

Links: Marie AveryMore Marie Avery Stories, More CD Releases 

Previous (News Roundup w Tom Wilson, Eric Burdon, Frank Cosentino) - - - Next (Rita Chiarelli to Receive Italian Heritage Award)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New Whitehorse Covers EP: The Road to Massey Hall

Local Singer/Songwriter duo Whitehorse (Luke Doucet and Mellisa McClelland) wanted to do something special to celebrate their current tour.  Since their travels would take them to Massey Hall for the first time, celebrating the legendary venue seemed appropriate.

As a result, Whitehorse's fans are being treated to The Road to Massey Hall EP.   Luke and Mellisa put their own unique stamp on classic songs from performers that have played the fabled Toronto landmark.

Songs include Neil Young's Winterlong, Gordon Lightfoot's If You Could Read My Mind, Dark Angel by Blue Rodeo, Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, Strawberry Blonde by Ron Sexsmith and Un Canadien Errant, a french-language song written in the mid 1800s.

The amazing EP is availble as a download on iTunes or Six Shooter Records.

Below are videos courtesy of Six Shooter Records

Blast From The Past: Our Review of Whitehorse's The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss

Links: Whitehorse, More Whitehorse Stories, More CD Releases

Previous (Ex-Pope to Rock the Hammer) - - - Next (Ensemble TV Show w/Wax Mannequin, Dave Pomfret, Mark Lotterman, Dave Gould)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ex-Pope to Rock the Hammer

When Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement, reports came out that he wanted to concentrate on music.  Everyone probably assumed it would be writing church hymns.  Boy were they wrong! The ex-pontiff has decided to start playing some good ol' rockin' blues. In a wonderful turn of events, he'll be using local musicians to back him up and will be touring the hammer as well.

Since beloved Hamilton Blues Lovers Inc. C.E.O. and blogger, Lou is also the music consultant for the Vatican, Benedict approached him for help.

"Benny, as I call him, told me he wanted to use only the most wholesome and virtuous musicians available " Lou explained, "That's not too hard to find in our little home town so I managed to finagle quite a respectable band for him."

Pope Benedict himself will be handling the lead singing and rhythm guitar duties. The rest of the band includes Brian Griffith (lead guitar), Jack Pedler of Teenage Head (drums), Matty Buzanko of the Rest/Overplayers (bass) and Corey Lueck of the Smoke Wagon Blues Band (harmonica/backing vocals).

The gang worked hard before his holiness's retirement to unleash his debut blues CD, Abstinence Blues (through Luigi Records). They recorded such amazing hard-rockin' songs as Soul Man, No Nookie Tonight and a reworked version of a Teenage Head classic entitled Teenage Rosary Praying Party.

Lucky for Hamilton, Benedict has decided to start the tour in our fair city.  It kicks off with a CD release party at Our Lady of Muddy Waters parish on Calloway Drive .  Opening the show will be the amazing Banned From Heaven. Festivities start at 5pm and as the ex-pope said, "If we're feeling frisky we'll be playing really late, maybe even 'til 9pm. It's OK - After all, we're on a mission from God!"

Other stops of the tour include St. Jake's, St. Elwood's, and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Banjo. Please contact the band's manager April Fulcilli at for tickets.

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