Sunday, November 30, 2014

Checkerboard Floors Let Loose With Multi-Layered, Rockin' Debut

Local Rock band Checkerboard Floors have let loose their debut CD, Art Project.  It's a multi-layerd, dynamic album packed full of powerful riffs with an alt-rock touch.

The band features two members of the Corduroys: Hamilton's Derek Palango (vocals, guitar), Brantford's Matt Outerson (vocals, bass) along with with Brantford 's Tyler Wilson (vocals, guitar) and Kitchener's Rob Shorney (vocals, drums)

With four vocalists and extraordinary playing from all involved, things never get stale.  Roots, funk, alternative rock, classic rock are all mixed in with panache. You never know what to expect from one song to another.

Go ahead and pick up a copy using Paypal through their site or visit Dr. Disc to purchase it.  You can also download the album through iTunes.

Videos above courtesy of Checkerboard Floors

Blast from the Past: Video of Tyler Wilson's Band and More

Links: Checkerboard FloorsMore Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Brian Griffith, John Atlee, Retro Party Groove) - - - Next (New Dinner Belles CD)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wonderful New CD from Kitchener's Shannon Lyon

With The Lights Behind, the wonderful new album from Kitchener's Shannon Lyon you'll get something old and something new.  This Busted Flat Records release features four brand new tracks and re-recordings of his earlier songs.  Either way, there's a ton of amazing music to be heard.

Call it Roots Country or Americana -  this CD has a sweet roughness to it both lyrically and musically.  Shannon's expressive voice will send chills down your spine.  The Lights Behind will definitely affect you emotionally.

He's enlisted the help of some amazing musicians such as Elly Kellner, Mike Roelofs, Kitchener's Steve Wood, Adam Warner, Alex McMaster, Jill Daley, and Hamilton's Rob Szabo, who produced the disc.

You can purchase or download this incredible album at the Busted Flat online store.  It can also be downloaded through many services such as BandcampiTuneseMusic and cdbaby.

Videos above courtesy of Shannon Lyon

Links: Shannon LyonMore Releases

Previous (My Flying Machine Debut EP) - - - Next (News Roundup w Brian Griffith, John Atlee, Retro Party Groove)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hamilton's My Flying Machine Debut is Stunning

My Flying Machine, the fascinating new musical project featuring Hamilton boy Brandon General defies categorization.  The genre blending debut EP Happiness is a Learned Behavior has synthesized both modern and traditional elements perfectly.

It has a stunning 60's wall of sound feel with lush harmonies (sometimes even choir-like) and catchy hooks.  Many songs also blend in a modern alt-pop folk sound which works surprisingly well. A little bit of swing and soul make their way into the mix to add some bounce.  This is most evident in the infectious version of Blind Willie McTell's Pal O' Mine.  Brandon's beautiful, poetic lyrics tie everything together nicely.

The core of My Flying Machine consists of Brandon (guitar, piano, bass, vocals) with James Prasek of Dunnville's Cover Story (drums) and Hamilton gal Brennagh Burns (harmonies/choir).  Other musicians on the EP include  Kyle Rowe of Cover Story (electric guitar), Wes Martin of Ol' CD (bass), Justin McCabe (bass), Ben Pierson (sax), Brad Gaudreau (trombone), Eric McIntyre (trumpet) and Port Dover's Cindy Dell (violin) and Roxanne Rendle (choir).

You can download this wondrous EP at My Flying Machine's Bandcamp Page.

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

Video above courtesy of Brandon General

Blast from the Past: Brandon General, Brennagh Burns and other on an episode of Ensemble!

Links: My Flying Machine, More Brandon General StoriesMore Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Boogie Infection, Daryl Gray, Steven Branchaud) - - - Next (New Shannon Lyon CD)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

News Roundup (Boogie Infection, Daryl Gray, Steven Branchaud)




Blasts From the Past 

Saturday, November 22
Sunday, November 23
Monday, November 24
Tuesday, November 25
Wednesday, November 27

Previous (Jokela/Vogan Christmas CD) - - - Next (My Flying Machine Debut EP)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Celebrate the Season with the Jazzy Jokela Vogan CD: Wintersday

Last year, Jazz duo Jokela/Vogan (with Guelph's Ben Jokela on piano and Garth Vogan from Waterdown playing bass) released Wintersday. It's a bewitching collection of 13 mostly instrumental yuletide favourites guaranteed to warm you on those cold winter nights.

Classics like Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Silver Bells, The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting) and Winter Wonderland are given a spectacular jazzy makeover by Ben and Garth.  You'll either want to sing with to the music or just curl by the fireplace and enjoy. Melanie Caissie's angelic voice graces two superb numbers (My Favourite Things and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas).

So pick up a CD for yourself (or as a gift) by contacting the duo or going to one of their intimate live shows.

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

Blast from the Past: Garth plays with James Anthony on a Christmas tune + other holiday videos

Links: Jokela/Vogan, More Garth Vogan Stories, More Christmas PostsMore Releases

Previous (New Matt Paxton EP) - - - Next (News Roundup w Boogie Infection, Daryl Gray, Steven Branchaud)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beautiful Grittiness on Mountain Eyes, the New EP from Hamilton's Matt Paxton

Hamilton singer/songwriter Matt Paxton is successfully going the bare bones route with his stunning new EP, Mountain Eyes (from Other Songs Music).  With a raw, live-off-the-floor feel, this collection has a beautiful grittiness to it.

The intimacy really stands out here thanks to the minimalist approach of Matt and his co-producer Scott Orr.  Matt's character-filled voice wrings the emotion from every enticing lyric. The EP has everything it needs.

This amazing recording is available as a Limited edition CD available at the Other Songs Music Shop.  It can be downloaded though the same site and through iTuneseMusic, or cdbaby

Blast from the Past: Matt Paxton CD-How the Land Lies

Links: Matt PaxtonMore Matt Paxton StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Brian Griffith Passes) - - - Next (Jokela/Vogan Christmas CD)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hamilton Loses Brian Griffith, One of Its Guitar Giants

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of the super-talented Hamilton guitarist Brian Griffith.  He passed away in his sleep on Friday, November 14, 2014.  Condolences to his family, friends and fans.

In a city full of amazing guitarists, he was one of the most in demand and sought after players.  The man could play country, soul, blues, rock, reggae and anything that was thrown at him - he was a true professional.  His amazing work led him to team up with such international stars as Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Daniel Lanois and more.

Brian was also one of the most beloved figures in the Steeltown musical scene. His good nature and generosity as a musician will always be remembered.

A word from Lou, our blogger: "I'm sad to hear of the passing of my friend Brian.  I had seen him numerous times with different musicians and he always knocked it out of the park.  On top of that, he always had a smile and a laugh to share with me.  Brian's good nature was infectious.  I'll truly miss him"

The outpouring of love on social media was incredible.

Harrison Kennedy: " I am heartbroken deeply. He played anything and everything well on any guitar."

Shawn Brush: "Brian was a fine human being and will be missed by many. He would often greet me with a hug or a kiss on the forehead. He was a friend and a fan who admired and encouraged me with my music. I will miss him, but will endeavor to keep his presence alive and felt through my performances. I know there are many people that will miss him."

Paul Langille: "A kind gentle man with a wicked sense of humour, and one of the most talented musicians I have ever had the honour of working with."

Robin Benedict: "There is a dark cloud that is overwhelming my city tonight and forever!! Brian Griffith, you have been such a light in this Musically electric place and you have made your mark all over the world!"

Tomi Swick: "We lost one of the most amazing beautiful people and players any of us will ever know, I have your words on my skin brother. No matter where we go no matter what we do we will always be brothers of the wind."

Michael Hickey: "If one could hear could certainly hear it in every note Brian played."

Paul Panchezak (Trickbag): "His phenomenal talent was surpassed by his beautiful soul. He was always an encouraging friend. A gentle man. And a gentleman. We loved sharing the latest boxing news when our paths crossed. I can't believe he's gone."

Justin Sawicki: "Brian Griffith was a pillar in the Hamilton music scene. He was was the first act I saw when I moved to Hamilton just over a decade ago. I can remember seeing him play for the first time and thinking it was impossible to do what he did with a guitar, yet somehow those impossible notes were flowing mightily out of his fingers. You will be missed dearly in this Steel Town. Your town."

Video above courtesy of Stellablu477

Links: Lori YatesMore Lori Yates StoriesVideo above courtesy of Michael Hickey

Blast from the Past: Brian Griffith Performs With Friends at Pine Street Gardens

Links: Brian Griffith, More Brian Griffith Stories

Previous (News Roundup w Jesse Elliot Band, Finis Tasby, Khea, Mike Gravitis) - - - Next (New Matt Paxton EP)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

News Roundup (Jesse Elliot Band, Finis Tasby, Khea, Mike Gravitis)

Finis Tasby Passes
Click pic for video of Finis Tasby with Mel Brown (gtr), Enrico Crivellaro (gtr), Alec Fraser (bass) and Jimmy Boudreau (drums)




New Phenomenal Acoustic CD from Kitchener's Lynn Jackson and Chris Boyne

Kitchener Duo Lynne Jackson and Chris Boyne (Sex Dwarf) have teamed up to build an incredible stripped down, rootsy album, The Acoustic Sessions (through Busted Flat Records).  Lynne's phenomenal songs are reconstructed into pure and simple forms filled with beauty and grace.

Her magical voice and the duo's wonderful harmonies will carry you away through the realms of country, folk and a little soul.  The discs live-off-the-floor feel creates a wonderful, inviting atmosphere.

Guest musicians include Joe Dunn (also of Sex Dwarf), Scott Fitzpatrick, Nick Storring, Steve Wood (Stony Lonesome), Wendy Wright on violin and Norman Blake from Teenage Fanclub.

You can pick up the disc at her unforgettable live shows or buy (and download) through the Busted Flat Online Store.  It can also be downloaded through iTunes and eMusic.

Videos above courtesy of Busted Flat Records

Links: Lynne Jackson, More Lynn Jackson StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Remembrance Day Songs) - - - Next (News Roundup w Jesse Elliot Band, Finis Tasby, Khea, Mike Gravitis)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Take a Musical Trip with Kitchener's Alysha Brilla on Her Stunning New CD: Womyn

Can't afford a trip this year?  Get a copy of Kitchener singer/songwriter Alysha Brilla's new disc, Womyn and she'll transport you around the globe.  There's even some time travel at no extra cost - The lady can kick it old school or go modern.

She really knows how to fuse different musical elements into one interesting gumbo of sound.  You'll hear jazz pop, soul, reggae and ska along with African and Cajun beats. Her unique voice blends in well with this vibrant cultural intermingling!

Done with assistance from some great musicians such as Eon Sinclair (Bedouin Soundclash) and Mic Dainjah, the disc's infectious rhythms will capture your attention and lift your spirits.  Now that'll be a fun trip!

You can pick up this phenomenal album from her website or download it using iTunes or eMusic.

Videos above courtesy of Alysha Brilla

Click here for more releases

Previous (News Roundup w Philip Bast, Dinner Belles, Darcy Feaver, Aaron Goldstein, Ian Thomas)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

News Roundup (Philip Bast, Dinner Belles, Darcy Feaver, Aaron Goldstein)

Kitchener Music Scene Booster Philip Bast Passes

Our condolences to his family and friends.  The Kitchener music scene has lost an important figure.

Here are a few social media comments:

Amber McLean: "I am so deeply saddened. I have just learned of the loss of our wonderful and so genuine and kind Philip Bast. He was a friend and a fan but most important of all, he was a gentle, thoughtful and beautiful human being. Philip was a devoted supporter of the local KW music scene but his passion for the arts reached so many communities. I feel so much gratitude when I think of all he did for me, so generously, throughout my career. Rest well Philip. My heart is with you and your family."

Shane Guse (Western Swing Authority): Shocked and sad to hear about Philip Bast's passing. He was a real supporter of the arts in our community, a great guy and always eager to help. And that could never mistake that voice that started countless videos promoting the work of endless artists. Condolences to all his family and friends.

Brenda Lewis: This is such a shock and so heartbreaking. Deep gratitude to Philip for his unending support to those of us in the arts in the Waterloo region. I'll miss running into you with your trusty video cam at so many music events, too, since you retired.




Blasts From the Past 
Thursday, November 6
Friday, November 7
Sunday, November 9
Wednesday, November 12
Thursday, November 13

Featured Video
Previous (Local Musicians Up for Maple Blues Awards) - - - Next (New Alysha Brilla CD)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

GOOD LUCK! Local Musicians Up for the 2015 Maple Blues Awards

Once again, the Maple Blues Awards have nominated a lot of local artists for their prestigious awards ceremony.

Hamilton boy Steve Strongman is up for a trio of awards (Entertainer, Electric Act, Guitar Player) as is Steeltown Blues Legend Harrison Kennedy. (Acoustic Act, Male Vocalist, Songwriter).  Former Hammertown Bluesman Jack de Keyzer will be in the running for Electric Act too.

Links:  Harrison KennedyMore Harrison Kennedy StoriesVideo above courtesy of David Stephen

Other area nominees include Niagara's Suzie Vinnick (Female Vocalist), Brantford's Chuck Jackson (Male Vocalist + his band, Downchild is up for Electric Act and Recording), Kitchener's Jon Knight of Soulstack (Male Vocalist) and  Oshweken's Joel Johnson (New Artist).

Links: Suzie VinnickMore Suzie Vinnick Stories, Video above courtesy of Quimiqua

Links: SoulStackMore Soulstack StoriesVideo above courtesy of Soulstack

On Monday, January 20, 2014 in Toronto, prizes will go to the top Canadian Blues talent.  You can vote for your favourite starting on November 5, 2014.  Deadline is December 5, 2014.  Click here to vote!

Electric Act
Acoustic Act
Male Vocalist
Female Vocalist
New Artist or Group
Guitar Player
Harmonica Player
Horn Player
Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)
International Artist

Previous (Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Award Winners) - - - Next (News Roundup w Philip Bast, Dinner Belles, Darcy Feaver, Aaron Goldstein, Ian Thomas)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

2014 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Award Winners

The Hamilton Spectator has tallied all of their 2014 Readers' Choice votes and the people of Steeltown have chosen the best of their city.

This year, they included a Local Musician category.  Popular cover band, Freedom Train won the Platinum Award followed by Ginger St. James with Diamond and Shanya Lynn Dawson with Gold. Congratulations!

Links: Freedom TrainMore Freedom Train Stories,  More Louis Armstrong covers/stories,, Video above courtesy of Freedom Train

Links: Ginger St. James, More Ginger St. James StoriesVideo above courtesy of Bill Griffin

Links: Shanya Lynn Dawson, More Shanya Lynn Dawson Stories, Video above Courtesy of Janice Pinch

Here are the results of the music related categories.

Local Musician
Concert Venue
Live Entertainment
Record/CD Store - NEW
Record/CD Store - USED
Musical Instrument Store
Music School

Previous (Halloween Videos) - - - Next (Local Musicians Up for Maple Blues Awards)