Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Laura Cole is an Amazing Singer Unleashed on Debut CD: Dirty Cheat


Ancaster resident Laura Cole's debut CD, Dirty Cheat (released through Porcelain Records) is a jazzy, sensual, soulful, energetic musical explosion!  She sounds like a lounge singer who's finally been allowed to rock out. This ain't dull smooth Jazz - It's high powered, funky, guitar and piano driven boogie.

Poppy at times, it isn't over-produced and has a ton of live energy.  It was mainly recorded in one day so the raw spirit is there.

Laura is backed up by Producer Steve Bigas on guitar, her dad Ron Cole (Banned From Heaven) on keyboards, Chris Chiarcos on bass and Mark McLean on drums.  The legendary Daniel Lanois executive produced the whole affair.

You can pick up the disc at her amazing live shows or download it through her Bandcamp page, eMusic or iTunes.

Video above courtesy of Porcelain Records

Video above courtesy of Dean Hunt

Video above courtesy of Stellablu477

Blast from the Past: Laura Cole Story in Ancaster News and more

Links: Laura Cole, More Laura Cole Stories, More Releases

Previous (Local Artists Win Toronto Independent Music Awards) - - - Next (2014 Niagara Music Award Winners)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Great Local Musicans win Toronto Independant Music Awards


As part of their 10th year celebration, the Toronto Independant Music Awards chose three of our amazing local musicians to win their song competitions!  The names was announced on September 25, 2014.

Dundas's Maggie Szabo took home Best Pop as Jane Baker from Grimsby won for Best Young Songwriter.  The only multiple winner of the night was Waterloo's JoJo Worthington who received both the Best Folk and Best Song Awards. CONGRATULATIONS!

Links: JoJo Worthington, More JoJo Worthington Stories, Video above courtesy of 106.9 the X

Links: Jane Baker, More Jane Baker Stories, Video above courtesy of Jane Baker

Links: Maggie Szabo, Video above courtesy of Balcony TV

Here is a complete list of the winners
Blast from the Past: Jane Baker Finalist in Emerging Artist Prize

Previous (Canadian Folk Music Award Nominations) - - - Next (Laura Cole's Debut CD)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominate Many Local Artists

Musicians throughout our area were honoured with nominations from the 2014 Canadian Folk Music Awards.  Gathering, the latest CD from Hamilton's Poor Angus is up for Traditional Album of the Year.  Former Hamiltonian Matthew Barber is in the running for both Solo Artist and Contemporary Singer. Another former resident of Hammertown, Luke Doucet received a Producer nod for his work with his duo, Whitehorse.

Links: Poor Angus, More Poor Angus Stories, Video above courtesy of Larry Steeves

Links: Matthew Barber, More Matthew Barber StoriesVideo above courtesy of Outside Music

Gathering Sparks, which features Guelphites Sam Turton and Jane Lewis along with Eve Goldberg from Toronto were nominated for Best Vocal Group.

Links: Gathering Sparks, More Gathering Sparks StoriesVideo above courtesy of Gathering Sparks

To top things off, Matt Andersen's Weightless (an album featuring writing contributions from Hamilton's Tom Wilson and Niagara's Suzie Vinnick) is up for Best Contemporary Album.

The awards ceremony will take place November 27-29, 2014 in Ottawa.


Here is the complete list of nominees.

Traditional Album
  • Poor Angus: Gathering 
  • Moustafa Kouyaté and Romain Malagnoux: Les frontières imaginaires 
  • The High Bar Gang: Lost and Undone: A Gospel Bluegrass Companion 
  • Sarah Jane Scouten: The Cape
Solo Artist 
  • Matthew Barber
  • Shari Ulrich
  • James Keelaghan
  • Lennie Gallant
  • Del Barber
Contemporary Singer
  • Matthew Barber
  • Jadea Kelly
  • James Keelaghan
  • Del Barber
  • Matt Andersen
  • Marc Maziade: Chasse-Galerie by MAZ
  • Tom Terrell and Karl Falkenham: City Ghosts by The Modern Grass
  • Luke Doucet: Éphémère sans repère by Whitehorse
  • The Fretless with Joby Baker: The Fretless by The Fretless
  • Steve Dawson: St. Louis Times by Jim Byrnes          
Vocal Group
  • Gathering Sparks
  • The Fugitives
  • The High Bar Gang
  • The Marrieds
  • Sweet Alibi
Contemporary Album
  • Matt Andersen: Weightless (featuring writing by Tom Wilson and Suzie Vinnick)
  • The Bros. Landreth: Let it Lie
  • Colleen Rennison: See The Sky About To Rain
  • Jill Zmud: Small Matters of Life and Death
  • The Strumbellas: We Still Move On Dance Floors
Children’s Album
  • Helen Austin: Colour It
  • Rattle and Strum: Rattle and Strum
  • Alex Mahé: Réveillons les bonnes chansons
  • Kathy Reid-Naiman: When It’s Autumn
  • Fred Penner: Where In The World
Instrumental Group
  • The Andrew Collins Trio
  • MAZ
  • Còig
  • Brishen
  • The Fretless
Instrumental Solo Artist
  • Maxim Cormier
  • Gillian Boucher
  • Steve Dawson
  • Jayme Stone
  • Robert Michaels
  • The High Bar Gang
  • Brishen
  • Notre Dame de Grass
  • The Fretless
  • Ventanas
The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award
  • Tanya Tagaq
  • MAZ
  • Mark Berube
  • The Fretless
  • West My Friend
French Songwriter
  • Klô Pelgag: L’Alchimie des monstres by Klô Pelgag
  • Alexandre Poulin: Le mouvement des marées by Alexandre Poulin
  • Antoine Corriveau: Les Ombres Longues by Antoine Corriveau
  • Julie Aubé, Viviane Roy, Katrine Noël: Mon Homesick Heart by Les Hay
  • Babies
Aboriginal Songwriter
  • Tanya Tagaq: Animism by Tanya Tagaq
  • Vince Fontaine: Colors by Indian City
  • Amanda Rheaume: Keep a Fire by Amanda Rheaume
  • Buffy MacNeil and Larry Boutilier: Surrounded by Buffy and Larry
  • Jasmine Netsena: Take You With Me by Jasmine Netsena
World Solo Artist
  • Quique Escamilla
  • Jorge Martinez
  • Susan Aglukark
  • Amanda Martinez
  • Robert Michaels
English Songwriter
  • Shari Ulrich: Everywhere I Go by Shari Ulrich
  • James Keelaghan: History by James Keelaghan
  • Lennie Gallant: Live Acoustic at The Carleton by Lennie Gallant
  • Del Barber: Prairieography by Del Barber
  • Chris Ronald: Timeline by Chris Ronald
Young Performer
  • Keiffer Mclean
  • Rebecca Lappa
  • Quinn Bachand (Brishen)
  • Kacy and Clayton
  • Benjamin Rogers
Traditional Singer
  • Kim Beggs
  • Joël Fafard
  • Mélisande
  • Sarah Jane Scouten
  • Tamar Ilana (Ventanas)
New/Emerging Artist
  • The Bros. Landreth
  • Robyn Dell’Unto
  • Scott Cook
  • Quinn Bachand (Brishen)
  • Kacy and Clayton
World Group Artist
  • MAZ
  • Shtreiml
  • Moustafa Kouyaté and Romain Malagnoux
  • Brishen
Unsung Hero Award (Not announced)

Blast from the Past: The 2013 Winners

Previous (News Roundup w Polaris Prize, Tom Finochio, Steve Goldberger, Kori Pop) - - - Next (Local Artists Win Toronto Independent Music Awards)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

News Roundup (Polaris Prize, Tom Finochio, Steve Goldberger, Kori Pop)


Blasts From the Past 

Recently Added

Main List of Sites

Our Performer List
Our Venue List

Upcoming Birthdays

Saturday, September 27
Sunday, September 28
Tuesday September 30
Wednesday, October 1
Thursday, October 2

Featured Video

Links: Kori PopMore Kori Pop StoriesVideo above courtesy of Kori Pop

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vote for Your Favourite Local Musician and More in the Spec's Readers' Choice Awards!

The Hamilton Spectator is once again offering the public a chance to vote in their Reader's Choice Awards.  Of course, the main category our readers will be interested in is Local Musician.

The talented nominees are:

Other categories of interest are: Music Instructor, Music School, Radio Station, Recording Studio, Festival, Live Entertainment Facility, Live Jazz Club, Live Music Bar/Lounge, Music Instrument Store, and Record Store (New and Used).

The voting deadline is Thursday October 2, 2014 so get out and vote! Click here to get started.

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Previous  (Joel Johnson and the Vaudevillian Going to International Blues Challenge in Memphis) - - - Next (News Roundup w Polaris Prize, Tom Finochio, Steve Goldberger, Kori Pop)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CONGRATS! Joel Johnson, Vaudevillian and Johanna Pavia Going to International Blues Challenge in Memphis!

After an amazing contest held at Bobby O'Brien's in Kitchener, the International Blues Challenge reps of the Grand River Blues Society have been chosen.  Oshweken's Joel Johnson BandHamilton (formerly from Kitchener) duo, the Vaudevillian, and Kitchener's Johanna Pavia and Souldrive will be headed to the world-famous contest in Memphis.  They'll be competing January 20-24, 2015 against performers from around the world.


Links: Joel Johnson, More Joel Johnson StoriesVideo above courtesy of Daragent2

Links: The Vaudevillian, More Vaudevillian Stories, Video above courtesy of Brendan J Stephens

Links: Johanna Pavia, More Johanna Pavia Stories, Video above courtesy of Johanna Pavia

Blast from the Past: Matt Weidinger and Pappy Johns Band Go to IBC 2014

Previous (New Justin Dunlop Album) - - - Next (Vote For Your Fave Musician in Spec's Readers' Choice Awards)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Haunting Vocals Stand Out on New Album from Hamilton's Justin Dunlop: Black Bay Nocturnes


Justin Dunlop's haunting, soulful voice is the first thing you'll notice on the Hamilton singer/songwriter's first full-length album, Black Bay Nocturnes. His voice is beautiful and full of expression.

A subtle funkiness permeates the recording as it grooves and slides through soul, folk, and rock.  All the while, the high quality of the lyrics is wonderfully maintained.

Justin is backed up by some talented musicians such as his brother Matt Dunlop, Maarten De Boer, Nick Doneff (from Fort Erie), Jill Harris, Alan Zemaitis, Andrew Kesler, Andrew Mullin, and Mike Ardagh.  They add to the fantastic feel of the album.

You can download this collection through his Bandcamp page or iTunes.

Videos above courtesy of Justin Dunlop

Links: Justin Dunlop, More Justin Dunlop StoriesMore Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Kirby, Black Flies, Loralee McGuirl) - - - Next (Joel Johnson and the Vaudevillian Going to International Blues Challenge in Memphis)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

News Roundup (Kirby, Black Flies, Loralee McGuirl)


Blasts From the Past 

Recently Added

Main List of Sites
Our Performer List
Our Venue List

Upcoming Birthdays

Thursday, September 18
Friday, September 19
Saturday, September 20
Sunday, September 21
Monday, September 22
Tuesday September 23

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hamilton's Blue River Man Releases an Impressive 3 Albums in a Few Weeks

Hamilton's Blue River Man has been working on his amazing music for years but he's now unveiled 3 separate albums for us to download and enjoy.  In just a few weeks, he's released some wonderful, diverse, mostly instrumental collections.

The first album, Constant Change mixes rock, soul, blues, electronic beats and more with a progressive twist. Each song has its own incredible spirit.

Video above courtesy of BlueRiverMan

Kaleidoscope, on the other hand, has more of an electric Prog Rock feel. It sounds very spacey and cool.

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers


Last but not least, Another Summer Day has many elements of the other albums but contains a lot more acoustic and soulful sounds.  There are even some incredible alternate version of songs from the previous albums.

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers 

If you're looking for music that has a lot to offer, you can't go wrong with any of these great offerings!  They can be downloaded through his Bandcamp page.

Blast from the Past: Videos of Blue River Man's Improv Jams

Links: Blue River Man, More Blue River Man StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Ghost Town Orchestra Wins Best Rock CD at APCMA Gala) - - - Next (News Roundup w Kirby, Black Flies, Loralee McGuirl)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Brantford's Ghost Town Orchestra Wins Best Rock CD at Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards

Ghost Town Orchestra, the amazing rock project of Brantford singer/songwriter Logan Staats, recently won for Best Rock CD at the Aboriginal People's Choice Music AwardsThe hardware was handed out September 12, 2014 during a wonderful televised ceremony. Congratulations!

Links: Ghost Town Orchestra, More Logan Staats StoriesVideo above courtesy of Ghost Town Orchestra

Here are some highlights from the ceremony: 

Rock CD:  Ghost Town Orchestra: Dead Wait

Blues CD: Young Medicine: Be Your Own Person

Video above Courtesy of ThatConradGuy
Folk/Acoustic CD: Jasmine Netsena: Take You With Me

Video above courtesy of CFU Radio

Country CD: Shy-Anne: Bones
Fiddle CD:  Jason Lepine: Driving Force

New Artist: Leonard Sumner
    Single: Shy-Anne: Be Your Girl

    Songwriter:  Indian City

    Aboriginal Entertainer: Shy-Anne

    Click here for a full list of winners

    Blast from the Past: Derek Miller Wins APCMA in 2012

    Previous (Tim Hicks Wins Top Country Awards) - - - Next (3 New Blue River Man Albums)

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    St. Catharines' Tim Hicks Wins Two Top Country Awards

    Country fans have spoken and they voted St. Catharines musical sensation Tim Hicks as Best Tour and Best Tweeter.  TopCountry.ca asked their readers to choose their favourites and Tim reached the top! Congratulations!

    Links: Tim HicksMore Tim Hicks Stories, Video above courtesy of CATtodd1971

    Here is the complete winners list:

    Favourite Tour: Tim Hicks: Throwdown Club Tour
    Best Tweeter: Tim Hicks

    Best New Act: Me and Mae

    Video above courtesy of Me and Mae

    Most Talented Family: Small Town Pistols

    Favourite Album or EP: Tristan Horncastle: A Little Bit of Alright

    Video above courtesy of Royalty Records Music
      Blast from the Past: Tim Hicks Wins Canadian Music Radio Awards

      Previous  (News Roundup w Tim Gibbons, Raphael Smith Keelan, Martin Verall and More) - - - Next (Ghost Town Orchestra Wins Best Rock CD at APCMA Gala)

      Thursday, September 11, 2014

      News Roundup (Tim Gibbons, Raphael Smith Keelan, Martin Verall)

      Jimi Jameson of Survivor Passes


      Blasts From the Past 

      Upcoming Birthdays

      Thursday, September 11
      Friday, September 12
      Saturday, September 13
      Monday, September 15
      Tuesday, September 16
       Thursday, September 18

      Featured Video

      Links: Martin Verrall, More Martin Verall Stories, Video above courtesy of Steinberg321

      Tuesday, September 9, 2014

      Congrats! Area Stars Win Canadian Country Music Awards

      A few Canadian Country Music Awards will be headed our way thanks to our talented local musicians.  The winners were announced on September 6, 2014 during an amazing televised ceremony in Alberta.

      St. Catharines' own Tim Hicks added more to his award shelf by winning for Best Rising Star.

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

      Two members of Waterloo's Western Swing Authority also took home some hardware.  Shane Guse won for Best Fiddle and Ed (Peewee Charles) Ringwald won Best Steel Guitar.

      Links: Western Swing Authority , More WSA Stories Video above courtesy of the Western Swing Authority

      Toff and Melissa from Hamilton radio station KX 94.7 FM were awarded Best On-Air Personalities of the Year (Major Market).

      Congratulations to everyone!

      Here are some highlights:

      Rising Star: Tim Hicks

      Steel Guitar: Ed (Peewee Charles) Ringwald
      Fiddle: Shane Guse (Western Swing Authority)

      On-Air Personalities of the Year – Major Market: Toff and Melissa – KX 94.7 FM (Hamilton) 

      Video: Brett Kissel3-2-1

      Album: Dean Brody: Crop Circles
      Special Instrument: Tyler Vollrath (Mandolin)

      Fans’ Choice Award:
      Johnny Reid
      Single: Gord Bamford: When Your Lips Are So Close

      Female Artist: Jess Moskaluke 

      Male Artist: Gord Bamford

      Interactive Artist: Brett Kissel
      Drums: Chad Melchert

      Bass: Travis Switzer

      Guitar: Darren Savard 

      Keyboards: Bart McKay  

      Hall of Fame Artist Inductee: Wendell Ferguson

      Hall of Fame Stan Klees Builder Award – Builder Inductee: Ron Sakamoto

      Top Selling Album: Here’s to the Good Times by Florida Georgia Line

      Top Selling Canadian Album: A Christmas Gift to You by Johnny Reid

      Links: Canadian Country Music Association, Full Winner ListMore CCMA Stories,

      Blast from the Past:  The 2013 CCMA Winners

      Previous (New Evan Champagne EP) - - - Next (News Roundup w Tim Gibbons, Raphael Smith Keelan, Martin Verall and More)

      Sunday, September 7, 2014

      Brantford Boy Evan Champagne's New EP is High Octane Power


      Brantford multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter Evan Champagne recently unveiled a self-titled EP packed with amazing music.  The first thing you'll notice is the high-octane power behind many of the  songs.

      Most every tune will have you banging your head and dancing along to astonishing heavy beats and catchy riffs.  There's also a delightful, slower track, Love You All My Life for wonderful contrast.  This isn't just loud noise -  it's a powerful musical statement with heart and amazing songwriting to boot.

      This phenominal EP can be downloaded through iTunes or eMusic.

      Videos above courtesy of Champagne Artistic

      Links: Evan ChampagneMore Evan Champagne StoriesMore Releases

      Previous (News Roundup w Vaudevillian, Mark Vanderheyden, Angela Siracusa) - - - Next (Area Stars Win Canadian Country Music Awards)

      Wednesday, September 3, 2014

      Guelph's Sarah J Felker Wins $25,000 Emerging Artist Prize + Grimsby's Jane Baker is a Finalist


      The amazing Guelph singer/singwriter Sarah J Felker recently took home the $25,000 RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize.  After receiveing over 200 submissions, Sarah was chosen as the grand prize winner.  Along with the money she also gets studio time and other industry help.  CONGRATULATIONS!

      Videos above courtesy of Sarah J Felker

      Grimsby's Jane Baker was also one of the finalists. GREAT JOB!

      Links: More Jane Baker StoriesMore Jane Baker Stories, More City and Colour Covers/Stories, Video above couretsy of Jane Baker

      The Second Prize winner was Angelique Francis and the other finalists were Alessandra Longshaw, The Command Sisters, Luka Mihajlovic and Quinn Bachand.

      Click here for the full story from SOCAN.

      Previous (New Kaizen.xyz Recording) - - - Next (News Roundup w Vaudevillian, Mark Vanderheyden, Angela Siracusa)

      Monday, September 1, 2014

      Kaizen.xyz's Sophomore CD, Closer-to-Earth, is Pure Instrumental Bliss

      Kaizen (now re-named Kaizen.xyz) have released their incredible sophomore recording, Closer-to-Earth.  Once again, they've crafted a collection of pure instrumental bliss (one song does have some vocals though). 

      Wayne Janus, Shane Lannigan and David Carillo continue their wonderful flow of funk, blues, jazz, rock and more.  This time, the boys have added a little more ambience with some middle eastern sounds as well.

      The trio are ably joined by Alex Bovkis's Sanskrit Chanting on Shivaya. Producer Christopher T. Wilson (of Perennials) adds a little synthesizer too.

      Download this amazing recording through cdbaby - you won't regret it!

      Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

      Blast from the Past: Kaizen's First Album

      Links: Kaizen.xyz, More Kaizen Stories, More Releases

      Previous (News Roundup w Dan Medakovic, HellBent Rockers, Tyler Schwende) - - - Next (Sarah J Felker Wins Emerging Artist Prize)