Monday, March 31, 2014

Matt Mays, Ron Sexsmith and Downchild Deliver Junos to the Area

Unfortunately, not too many local musicians won Junos on March 30, 2014.  Still, we were well represented by threefabulous acts. Veterans Downchild (with members from the Niagara and Brantford areas) took home the Best Blues Album award.  Hamilton-born Rocker Matt Mays also received the award for Best Rock Album. St. Catharines musician Ron Sexsmith won Best Adult Alternative Album for his CD, Forever Endeavour

Links: Downchild Blues Band, More Downchild Stories, Video above courtesy of Sound of Blues

Links: Matt Mays, More Matt Mays Stories, Video above courtesy of Sonic Records

Pop duo Tegan and Sara were the big winners with three Junos to their name.  Serena Ryder took home two awards as well.

Here are the highlights

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Janice Lee and the Free Radicals Debut Album: Drown the Earth

There's very little repetition on Drown the Earth, the debut album from Kitchener poet and singer/songwriter Janice Lee and her band, the Free Radicals.  Each song is a moving, unique musical statement.

Janice and friends throw jazz, blues, folk, funk, gospel, soul and more at the listener but still manage to have a beautiful, cohesive indie-like and beyond.  The lyrical content is also empowering and has a social consenciense. 

These amazing Free Radicals include AFL, Brockenshire, Daniel MacPherson, Rachel Avery, and Kathryn Wetlauffer.

You can download this fabulous album on cdbaby or iTunes.

Videos below courtesy of Janice Lee.

Links: Janice LeeMore Janice Jo Lee StoriesMore Releases

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Oxford Blue Debut Album: (Introducing) Oxford Blue

Guelph Singer/Songwriter Oxford Blue's first musical volley, (Introducing) Oxford Blue, really hits the mark.  Its genre-blending wonder is the start of something spectacular.

Seamlessly mixing pop, rock, folk and country elements, the debut CD has a wonderful modern edge.  Strong songwriting, stirring vocals and amazing instrumentation enhance the superb experience.

The album was produced by Hamilton's Aaron Goldstein, and Welland's Daniel Romano, who also perform.  Other guests include Ian Romano, Ross Miller, Jack Brenchley, and Wes Martin.

This outstanding album can be downloaded through his Bandcamp page and iTunes.

Videos below courtesy of Oxford Blue.

Links: Oxford Blue, More Oxford Blue StoriesMore Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Celtic Radio Music Awards, Reklaws, Kim Lister) - - - Next (Janice Lee and the Free Radicals Debut Album)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

News Roundup (Celtic Radio Music Awards, Reklaws, Kim Lister)

Joe Lala of Blues Image (Ride Captain Ride) R.I.P.
Click pic for video

Celtic Radio Music Award Winners


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dan Belgue Debut Album: Tall Tales and Dusty Trails

Waterloo singer/songwriter Dan Belgue makes a superb solo debut with his album Tall Tales and Dusty Trails. Its has an old fashioned, banjo-pickin', laid back, live-off-the floor feel.

You'll be tappin' your feet and groovin' to the uptempo tunes and basking in the glow of the lighter songs.  Either way, Dan's vocals will impress and the band's skill will blow you away.

That amazing group includes members of the Ever Lovin' Jug Band as well as Dave Rozell Soehner (mandolin/lap steel),Tim Pike (pump organ) and Laura Ashfield (harmony vocals).  They back up Dan perfectly.

You can download this incredible album at his Bandcamp Page

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

Video above courtesy of Dan Belgue

Links: Dan Belgue, More Dan Belgue StoriesMore Releases

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Tim Hicks and Walk Off the Earth Nominated for Canadian Radio Music Awards

Get By, the kick ass song from St. Catharines Country sensation, Tim Hicks recently earned a nomination from the 17th annual Canadian Radio Music Awards (Country category). Burlington rockers Walk Off The Earth received five nods as well, mainly for their song Red Hands. Congrats and good luck!

Links: Tim HicksMore Tim Hicks Stories, Video above courtesy of Tim Hicks

Links: Walk Off The Earth, More WOTE Stories, Video above courtesy of Walk Off the Earth

The ceremony, which takes place May 7, 2014 at the Mod Club in Toronto is a huge part of the Canadian Music Week (May 6-10, 2014) festivities.

Here's the complete list of nominees:

Mainstream Adult Contemporary
Hot Adult Contemporary
Contemporary Hit Radio
Song Of The Year
Fans’ Choice 
International Single Of The Year

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Joel Johnson CD: Blues Joose Volume II

There's a boat-load o' boogie on Blues Joose Volume II, the latest disc from local blues master, Joel Johnson. He's a real guitar-slinging maestro and the man proves it on this disc.

From hard rockin' rhythms, swinging sounds to funky beats and even some softer moments, Joel can do it all with ease.  To spice things up there are two amazing instrumentals and exceptional covers of the Robert Johnson blues classic Crossroads and Jimi Hendrix's Little Wing.

His main band boasts Hamilton's Steve Pelletier (bass), Mike Fitzpatrick of  Downchild (drums), and  Wayne "Shakey" Dagenais (keys).  Guests on the album include Brantford's Dwayne LaForme (rhythm and lead guitar) plus local boys Troy Dowding (trumpet) and Ritch Thoman of Backroom 11 (sax).

The whole shebang was recorded right here at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton.

You can pick up a copy of this incredible album at his excellent live shows or buy/download through his online shop.

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

Video above courtesy of Rob B, More Jimi Hendrix Covers/Stories

Video above courtesy of Michele KingMore Robert Johnson Covers/Stories

Links: Joel Johnson, More Joel Johnson StoriesMore Releases

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

News Roundup (Rita Chiarelli, Evermile, Bob Sheilds, Cartoons)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Dan McKinnon CD: As Sharp As Possible
Guelph hometown boy and bluesman Dan McKinnon delivers a bit of wicked soul and a lot of amazing, hard driving and hard rockin' with his latest offering: As Sharp As Possible (ASAP).  It's no nonsense blues rock of the best calibre.

Adding to the ruckus is Aaron Carter (bass) and Jon Foster (drums). Hamilton's Juno winning sensation Jack de Keyzer also performs on one of the tracks (Recipe) and produced and mixed it the whole album as well.

Together, the guys produce some of the best straight ahead rocking blues around.  Listeners will be dancing and shakin' it with all the funk and energy the band's infused into ASAP.

You can pick up this bad boy of a disc at Dan's explosive shows or download it through cdbaby and iTunes.

Above two videos courtesy of Dan McKinnon

Links: Dan McKinnon, More Dan McKinnon StoriesMore Releases

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

New Ash and Bloom Debut EP

Hamilton alt-folk duo Ash and Bloom's self-titled debut EP is filled with lush harmonies and beautiful guitar work.  In only four songs, they've made quite an amazing musical statement.

Matt McKenna and James Bloemendal (both were previously part of local band Garner and are now the core of the Toronto Party Band) work extremely well together and their voices mesh perfectly.  Their lyrics are wonderful and show a great sense of humour as well.

A full album is in the works so hopefully we'll be hearing more from them in the future.

Copies of this this marvelous EP can be purchased at the band's shows or through the web at their online shop or cdbaby.  It can also be downloaded via cdbaby or iTunes

Videos below courtesy of Ash and Bloom's YouTube page

Links: Ash and Bloom, More Ash and Bloom Stories, More Releases

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

News Roundup (Mississippi Bends, Harlan Pepper, Bry Webb)
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Anthology: Stan Rogers - The Collection

Borealis recently released Stan Rogers: The Collection, an amazing packaging of old and new material from the late, Hamilton-born folk legend.

The meat of this offering includes five complete, classic remastered original albums, Fogarty’s Cove, Turnaround, Between the Breaks… Live!, Northwest Passage and From Fresh Water.

For the sixth disc, there's a wonderful,  recently unearthed, five song EP of live recordings where Stan covers the songs of his contemporaries.  These superb tracks have never been released.

To top everything off, there's a Special Edition DVD with the newly enhanced film, One Warm Line – The Legacy of Stan Rogers. It includes  never-before-seen special features.

You can pick up this important collection at many music stores and online vendors (including the Borealis Shop).

Blast from the Past: Stan Rogers on CBC's top singer list

Video above courtesy of MoonFireSpamAM

Video above courtesy of bytor21122112


Video above courtesy of Peasncarots001

Links: Stan Rogers, More Stan Rogers Stories, More Releases

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Videos: Curt Heckaman@Rolly Rockets (December 1, 2013)

Click above for photos

Click here if you can't see the videos



The videos above were from the Hamilton Blues Lovers 5th Anniversary Jam. More videos from this show:

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New Vaudevillian Album: Beedle Am Bam
If you love pre-war blues,  you should definitely check out Beedle Am Bam the latest album from Kitchener's The Vaudevillian (aka Brendan J Stephens).  He and his co-horts have created amazing original tunes in the 1920s era style with a bit of a modern spin.

With a gritty, raw, almost punk-like approach, Brendan shouts and growls with gusto while backed by great old-time sounds such as kazoo, a resonator guitar, washboard (courtesy of Willow Walker) and much more.

There's also a team of fabulous banjo players such as Dan Belgue, Willie Ames, Joey Bell, Minnie Hart (also fiddle), Michelle Horel, Buck Thompson, and Bill Howard (also piano).

Together, they have created some wonderful ragtime music with some muscle and dirt in its soul.  The kind that sounds like it came from the speakeasies from the wrong side of the tracks.

You can download this must-have album from his Bandcamp page.

Videos above courtesy of Brendan J. Stephens

Links: The Vaudevillian, More Vaudevillian Stories, More CD Releases

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

New Molly Babin EPs: Telling Times and Ghost of a Chance

Late last year, Hamilton singer/songwriter Molly Babin released her fabulous EP, Telling Times.  Recently this year, she also dropped her latest great EP, Ghost of a Chance. Both recordings feature some incredible music from the songstress and her friendss.
Telling Times is Molly's debut EP and what a great way to start.  The vibe goes from country, jazz, folk and more.  Well produced and filled with great hooks, this is a band effort filled with energy and drive.

Along with her wonderful vocals, Molly deftly handles pianet and organ.  Dave Nardi (Dirty Nil) plays a mean electric guitar. Ross Miller thumps the bass with pinache and Dan Empringham offers up some amazing drum work.

The EP was engineered and mixed by Michael Keire at Threshold Recording Studio, and mastered by Ben Somer.

This stunning EP can be downloaded at Molly's Bandcamp page.

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers
Ghost of a Chance is more of a stripped down project with a folky, singer/songwriter feel.  There's tons of emotion and an organic, live off the floor sound.  It wonderfully showcases the other side of Molly.

Along with pianet and organ, she takes up acoustic guitar on the EP.  David Nardi returns to do a fabulous job on multiple instruments (bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar).  Last (but not least) is the great minimalist drum work from Joseph Csontos.

The EP was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mario Pietrangeli at Downtown Sound Recording Studios

This remarkable EP can be also downloaded at Molly's Bandcamp

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

Links: Moly Babin, More CD Releases

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

News Roundup (Monarch Project, Gatorbait, Shelley Adams)



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      Tuesday, March 4, 2014

      New Good for Naughts CD: No Great War
      Guelph/Kitchener/Toronto alt-folk rock band, The Good For Naughts recently delivered their incredible sophomore album, No Great War.  It's genre-defying, edgy, unique, and vastly entertaining.

      Part country, party swampy blues, part rock and a whole lotta other things things thrown in - it all adds up to some amazing music.  There's dazzling harmonica, great cigar box guitar, and rootsy rhythms amped up to 11.

      Every track tells a story and the songwriting is tight here.  Even the track titles themselves seem to be well though out (Til The Mighty Have Fallen and The Great Guns Go Dead, I'll Be the Lost and more).

      You can download this wonderful album through the band's Bandcamp Page.

      Videos below courtesy of the Good for Naughts

      Links: The Good For Naughts, More CD Releases

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      Saturday, March 1, 2014

      New Carol Greene with Wayne Krawchuk CD: The Crazy Love Recordings

      The Crazy Love Recordings, the amazing new CD from Carol Greene with Wayne Krawchuk is a fabulous trip through the musical landscape. It's packed with remarkable cover songs.  Recorded by Jay Burr, the CD is a live off the floor affair with a ton of warmth.

      You can hear great versions of timeless tunes such as the McCoy's Hang on Sloopy, Van Morrison's Crazy Love, Neil Young's Comes a Time, and John Prine's Angel from Montgomery.  Also, the band do a stupendous job on works by Hamilton's Daniel Lanois, Jonathan Byrd, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Jayhawks, Steve Earle, and Gillian Welch

      Carol's beautiful voice definitely offers something new to these classic tracks.  She handles rhythm guitar and ukulele too.  Wayne offers up his vocal talents (they harmonize extremely well) and tremendous guitar skills. The duo, along with the talented Ron Cole on accordion and the skilled Joe Gravina on drums, forge everything with a fantastic country/roots sound and a bit of Cajun style.

      If you're interested in a copy of this wonderful disc, please email

      Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

      Blast from the Past: Videos - Carol sings with Banned from Heaven (featuring Wayne)

      Links: Carol Greene, More Carol Greene Stories, Wayne Krawchuk, More Wayne Krawchuk StoriesMore CD Releases

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