Saturday, February 28, 2015

Jazz Trio 'Jokela Vogan Cooley' Swing, Bounce and Funk It Up on Momentous Debut Album

When three of the best Jazz musicians in the area get together, there's bound to be some awesome music going on.  That's the case with Jokela Vogan Cooley, who've recently released their momentous instrumental, self-titled debut album.

The trio boasts Guelph's Ben Jokela on piano, Waterdown's Garth Vogan on bass and Orangeville's Charlie Cooley on drums.  All three have put their best foot forward with this recording and it definitely shows.

This album has some incredible kinetic energy as the boys bounce, swing, and funk up their way through a few numbers (many recorded live at Manhattans in Guelph).  They also prove their artistry with the slower tracks too.

Grab a copy of the CD at their cool live shows or order it (download too) through their website.

Blast from the Past: Jokela Vogan Christmas CD

Links:Jokela Vogan Cooley, More Ben Jokela StoriesMore Releases, Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

Previous  (Mississippi Bends Debut EP) - - - Next (New Bryan Sorensen Groove Trio EP)

Hamilton's Mississippi Bends Kick Things Off with an Amazing, Rockin' Americana EP

Newly minted Steeltown band, Mississippi Bends have unleashed their fury with an amazing self-titled EP.  This is rockin' Americana made by some of the best musicians around.

The group features incredible singer/songwriter, Mary Simon (vocals, acoustic guitar), in-demand electric guitarist Andrew Aldridge with talented veterans Carrie Ashworth (bass) and Robin Pirson (drums), Each one has an amazing musical resume on their own but together they've forged a high-energy, kickin' Country sound with soul.

Also adding a little twist to the album is Hamilton legend Tom Wilson, who co-wrote the fabulous Go Boy Go with Simon.

You can purchase a physical CD at the band's stunning performances or at Dr. Disc in Hamilton.  It can also be download it via their Bandcamp page.

Videos above courtesy of Mississippi Bends

Blast from the Past: Mississippi Bends on Barber Shop Podcast

Links: Mississippi BendsMore Mississippi Bends StoriesMore Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Zilis, Juliana LaChance, Big Rude Jake) - - - Next (Jokela Vogan Cooley Debut Album)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Oakville's Paula Gardin Gets Soulful, Smooth and Bluesy on 'Two of Cups'

Two of Cups, the new album from Oakville songstress Paula Gardin is one of the most exciting Jazz recordings out now.  Funky, soulful and bluesy, this mix of covers and originals will get your groove going!

The lady's powerful, smooth voice will lure you into a world filled with traditional jazz and poppy melodies.  With a song in Italian and another in French, you can even get a little global feel at no extra charge.

Two of cups features amazing piano work by Nancy Walker as well as incredible performances by  Kieran Overs on bass, Steve Heathcote on drums and Kirk Macdonald on sax.

You can pick up a copy of the marvelous CD at her live shows or through cdbaby.  It can also be downloaded using iTunes or cdbaby.

Links: Paula GardinMore Releases, , Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

Previous (New Jordan Haller EP) - - - Next (News Roundup w Zilis, Juliana LaChance, Big Rude Jake)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Burlington Singer/Songwriter Jordan Haller Crafts a Soulful, Poppy EP with Substance

If you love, soulful, poppy music with substance, you should check out Drifting, the newest EP from Burlington singer/songwriter Jordan Haller.  Catchy, infectious music isn't usually crafted this well but the recording's indie folk roots and the superb lyricism create an amazing sound.

Jordan's vivid voice is the main selling point.  He fills these songs with real emotion and character.  The instrumentation does a wonderful job of accentuating his impressive vocal performances.

Joining Jordan are Nicholas Valerio (drums) and Andrew Marshall (bass).  Other guests include Samantha Kadet and Kate Leanne Fullerton (background vocals), Mikey Molnar of Quails in the Nest (trumpet), and Kaitlyn Raitz (Cello)

CD's are available exclusively at Dr. Disc.  You can also download this EP at his Bandcamp page or purchase it through iTunes.

Links: Jordan HallerMore ReleasesVideo above courtesy of Jordan Haller

Previous (Daddy Long Legs Bassist Steve Toms Passes) - - - Next (New Paula Gardin Album)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daddy Long Legs Bassist Steve Toms Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Steve Toms, the bassist for Kitchener Blues band Daddy Long Legs and the Two-Timers.  He died on February 21, 2015 of an accident at home. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Click here for the obituary.

Here are a few online reactions:

From the Daddy Long Legs Facebook page: It is with great sadness that Chris, Jeff and I write this….as many now know, our friend and band-mate Steve Toms has passed away. We are at a loss for words. It is impossible for us to properly put into words how singular Steve was as a person. He was truly one of a kind. As Daddy Long Legs was a family, we are now minus one of our brothers. We couldn’t miss him more. He was the stuff of LEGEND. Good-bye Steve. We love you.

Shane Guse (Western Swing Authority): Shocked and sad to hear about Steve Toms passing. It is tragic. Condolences to his family and friends and especially to my friends in Daddy Long Legs.

Lynn Jackson: So sad to hear about my friend Steve Toms - we had some great times - I'm really gonna miss you....

Kevin Doyle (Boathouse in Kitchener): Loved this guy, everything about him.  Thanks for the many great memories, your music.

Previous (New Pip Album) - - - Next (New Jordan Haller EP)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dragon Ear by Hamilton's Pip is an Artful and Beautiful Album

All Hamilton singer/songwriter Pip needs to make artful, amazing music is his unique voice and an acoustic guitar. His latest album, Dragon Ear is filled with sparse, beautiful, well-crafted songs.  Jazzy and folky at the same time, the recording is extremely expressive and lyrically strong.

With 15 original tracks, the collection is brimming with organic, live off the floor tunes.  This is definitely for people who love savouring their music.

This incredible album can be downloaded through his Bandcamp page.

Videos above courtesy of Pip

Blast from the Past: Video of Pip at Winking Judge

Links: Pip, More Pip StoriesMore Releases

Previous (New Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian Album)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hamilton's Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian Team Up For a Stunning Album

With Come On In My Kitchen, their first album as a duo, Hamilton couple Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian prove they mesh extremely well as a musical team.  This Busted Flat release is a must-have for any folk blues aficionados.

Alfie's gritty blues growl and Nicole's sweet voice give the disc a wonderful contrast, especially when the two sing in harmony. They even switch it up with Nicole adding an edge to her vocals on a few tracks and Alfie showing his softer side on others.  Of course, this is on top of the stunning guitar and flute work from the talented pair. The only other performer on the album is Nick Burson, who contributes some tasty percussion.

Listeners get the best of both worlds with this mix of classics (the title track, Cakewalk into Town, You Are My Sunchsine, Hound Dog, Iko Iko) and marvelous original songs.

You can pick up a physical CD at their outstanding live shows or through the Busted Flat website (it can be downloaded here too).  Downloads can also be purchased via cdbaby or iTunes.

Links: More Robert Johnson Covers/Stories, Video above courtesy of Twisted Wood Guitars

Video above courtesy of Paul Bottos

Links: Alfie Smith and Nicole ChristianMore Alfie Smith StoriesMore Nicole Christian StoriesMore Releases

Previous (New Sisters Euclid Live Album) - - - Next (New Pip Album)

Sisters Euclid Show Off Their Spectacular, Explosive Shows with Moonshine Run!


A while back, patrons of the Moonshine Cafe in Oakville were treated to quite a few explosive shows from the fabulous instrumental progressive jazz band, Sisters Euclid. The band's now packaged their best performances from those dates in their new wonderful new album, Moonshine Run.

Sisters Euclid is a supergroup of some of the finest musicians from Southwestern Ontario, The talented quartet includes Elora's Kevin Breit (guitar, mandolin), Welland's Mark Lalama (keyboards, accordion), Toronto's Ian DeSouza (bass) and Hamilton's Gary Taylor (drums)

What these four guys have created is truly spectacular.  Shifting to experimental jazz to blues to funk and more, the band keep the groove going and throw in some brilliant musical surprises.

If you've looking for a physical CD, you can pick it up at their live shows or buy one at the Moonshine Cafe.  It can also be downloaded through cdbaby and iTunes.

Links: Sisters EuclidMore ReleasesVideo above courtesy of Tyler Plante

Previous (News Roundup w Drew Leith, Fred Eaglesmith, White Zaltz and Dodge, Tom Wilson) - - - Next (New Alfie Smith and Nicole Christian Album)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

CONGRATS! Waterloo's JoJo Worthington Wins International Acoustic Music Award

The 11th Annual International Acoustic Music Awards were handed out recently and Waterloo songstress JoJo Worthington took home the Acoustic Open Genre prize for her amazing song Hearts. CONGRATULATIONS!

Links: JoJo WorthingtonMore JoJo Worthington StoriesVideo above courtesy of JoJo Worthington

According to their website, the IAMA "promotes excellence in Acoustic Music Performance and Artistry. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition. Win a Top Prize of US$11,000 worth of Prizes!"

Here is a complete list of the winners:

Previous (New Peter Tigchelaar Album) - - - Next (News Roundup w Drew Leith, Fred Eaglesmith, White Zaltz and Dodge, Tom Wilson)

Hamilton's Peter Tigchelaar Releases Melodic, Enriching Album

Hamilton singer/songwriter, Peter Tigchelaar's latest album, Better Things boasts phenomenal melodic folk with an enriching sound.  Poetic, descriptive lyrics are intertwined with a crisp, emotive soundscape.

Peter's amazing voice and great multi-instrumental talents are showcased here.  He's very adept at mandolin, ukulele, organ an more.  This creates a dynamic CD filled with new musical discoveries for the lucky listener,

The artist's family also helps out with Cheryl Tigchelaar  on vocals and Andrew Tigchelaar on bass.  They're joined by  Tone Valcic (drums), Brielle Goheen of the Blazing Fiddles (violin, vocals), John Lewis (guitars) and Ron Cole from Banned From Heaven (accordion and keys).

You can pick up a copy of the CD at Peter's inspirational live shows or purchase it through his website.  It can also be downloaded through cdbaby.

Blast from the Past: Peter Tigchelaar's More like Lightning

Links, Pete TigchelaarMore Pete Tigchelaar StoriesMore Releases, Videos above Courtesy of John Farr

Previous (Introducing our New Monkey Mascot)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Introducing Trebleclef the Monkey, the New HBL Mascot

We would like to welcome our new monkey mascot to the Hamilton Blues Lovers family.  We asked our readers for name suggestions and you've given us quite a few great ones; Bobo Diddley, Bluezilla, Bongo, Bobalamadingdong, JimBob, Reese, Buffin, Rio, and many more.  Our choice was Trebleclef.  Welcome to the fold buddy!

Trebleclef will be popping up at a few locations soon and we'll keep you posted of his antics.  There'll be a link up soon that you can check out.

Links: BB King, More BB King Stories/Covers,  Video above courtesy of Clark Stooksbury

Links: Willie Dixon, More Willie Dixon Stories/Covers, Video above courtesy of Classic Mood Experience

Links: Grateful DeadVideo above courtesy of Music Vault

Previous (Valentine's Day Videos) - - - Next (New Pete Tigchelaar Album)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

jacksoul's Greatest Hits A Wonderful Tribute to Hamilton's Haydain Neale

Sony Music Canada recently unveiled a Greatest Hits compilation for jacksoul, the fabulous band with the late Hamilton soulman Haydain Neale on vocals  The entire compilation is a wonderful testament to the talent and brilliance of Haydain.

The boys in jacksoul always blended old fashioned soul with modern pop R&B (and a dash of hip-hop) to create a smooth, catchy, sound.  The highlight was Haydain's unique, expressive voice that could handle anything.  These remastered tracks exemplify the band's storied career.

Longtime fans will be interested in the three excellent unreleased tracks, Got to Have ItWhole Day and Spiralling.  They're all welcome additions to the group's canon of superb songs.

This incredible CD should be available at many physical and online music stores.  It can be downloaded through iTunes as well.

Blast from the Past: jacksoul on Greatest Canadian Albums List

Links: jacksoul, More jacksoul StoriesMore ReleasesVideos above courtesy of jacksoul

Previous (New Harrison Kennedy Album)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hamilton Blues Legend Harrison Kennedy Goes All Out on 'This is From Here'

Steeltown music veteran Harrison Kennedy has kicked things up a notch with This Is From Here (thru Electro-Fi).  The legendary Bluesman and his electric backing band are highly energized and ready to rock.

You can hear him showing off the power of his vocals.  Harrison can really go all out and show the younger musicians how it's done.  When the man needs to be slow and soulful though, his pipes are more than up to the task.  While the music is still rooted in country Blues, the sound has been kick-started and revved up.

Joining Harrison on this dynamic album are the late, great Brian Griffith, Jesse O'Brien (who also co-produces), Colin LindenChris CaddellGary CraigJohn DymondTerry Wilkins, and Nick Blagona.  Keeping up with Mr. Harrison can't be easy but these boys do an amazing job!

The robust CD can be purchased at Picks N SticksDr. Disc or via the Electro-Fi Records website.  It can also be downloaded using iTunes.

Previous (Jack de Keyzer and Chris Strei Videos) - - - Next (jacksoul Greatest Hits Compilation)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Elliott BROOD's 'Work and Love' a Strong, Dark Album

Elliott BROOD, an amazing alt-folk rock group whose members recently moved to Hamilton, garnered a Juno nomination for their latest album, Work and Love (through Paper Bag Records).  This kudo was richly deserved as the disc is brimming with rocking, catchy tunes.

They have expanded and improved their alternative folk sound to be stronger and darker than the groups previous efforts.  New producer Ian Blurton helped the boys evolve and grow into a tighter musical unit.

You'll also find a number of brilliant bonus tracks (as a bonus CD) that are stripped down versions of songs on the main album.  These offer an interesting new dimension to the listeners.

The album is available through their website - including a vinyl LP (with a download card) or using iTunes (the bonus tracks are offered there too)

Blast from the Past: Elliott BROOD and other Nominated for Junos

Links: Elliott BROODMore Elliott BROOD Stories, Videos above courtesy of Paper Bag RecordsMore Releases

Previous (City and Colour and P!nk Team Up for You+Me Project) - - - Next (Jack de Keyzer and Chris Strei Videos)

St. Catharines' City and Colour Teams Up with P!nk on Stripped Down 'You+Me' Project

With recent Juno nominationsYou+Me, the folk duo consisting of St. Catharines' Dallas Green (aka City and Colour) and Alecia Moore (better known as the international pop superstar P!nk) are back in the spotlight.  Their debut album Rose Ave (released through RCA) is surprisingly stripped down and organic.

The way their voices sound wonderful together, you'd think they have been performing for years.  Each song is a truly duet as  Dallas and Alecia trade vocals on and off within each tune.  When they harmonize, it's pure magic.  The sparse instrumentation adds to the raw atmosphere of the project.

It can sometimes be a little jarring when artists try out new sounds but both P!nk and City and Colour prove that they have the chops to go bare bones and excel.  Hopefully, they'll have more for us in the future.

This CD is available at many physical and online shops.  It can also be downloaded through iTunes.

Blast from the Past: You+Me and Others Nominated for Junos

Links: You+Me, More You+Me Stories, Videos above courtesy of You+MeMore Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Jessica Blake, Robin Benedict, Ambre McLean, Country Awards) - - - Next (New Elliott BROOD Album)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Flesh and Machine: An Adventurous, Daring Project From Daniel Lanois

Daniel Lanois latest musical adventure Flesh and Machine (released through Red Floor Records) is a challenging album and people looking for the same old same old should move along.  Those who stay for the journey will find themselves rewarded with a unique experience.

Daniel creates ambient sonic instrumental landscapes that defy categorization and pigeonholing.  Both traditional and modern electronic musical tools are used to paint with sound.  This is an album to savour - not just put on as background music.

There are a few people lending a hand with this daring experiment.  Rocco Deluca adds some chanting, drummer Brian Blade offers up a few beats and bassist Jim Wilson pitches in as well.

This bold album can be purchased through Red Floor Records (LP available) or downloaded via iTunes.

Blast from the Past: Daniel Lanois' Black Dub Project

Links: Daniel LanoisMore Daniel Lanois Stories, Videos above courtesy of Anti RecordsMore Releases

Previous (Folk Sinners Debut Album) - - - Next ( (News Roundup w Jessica Blake, Robin Benedict, Ambre McLean, Country Awards)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Hamilton's The Folk Sinners Debut Serves Up Kickin' Country Gumbo

Hamilton band The Folk Sinners have cooked quite a musical gumbo with Move That Rock, their kickin' debut album.  When their music's playing you'll be guaranteed a good ol' time.

The gang takes some old-fashioned Country goodness and spice it up with some Zydeco, latin rhythms and a dashes o' funk n' soul.  You'll find some songs of love, heartache and salvation to strike your fancy.

You'll find the Harlan Pepper boys hangin' around the Sinners on the disc as well. Dave Rave, Tom Wilson, Tim GibbonsEd Rothand Mimi Shaw also join in the jamboree.  Everything is superbly co-produced by Michael J Birthelmer and Dan Edmonds (Harlan Pepper).

Pick up a copy at one of their rockin' shows or head on down to Picks N Sticks.  You can also download it through iTunes.

Previous (New Russ Burns CD) - - - Next (New Daniel Lanois CD)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dundas' Russ Burns Forges Feel-Good Folk on Latest CD

Feel Good Folk is best way to describe Beyond, the newest CD from Dundas' Russ Burns.  You can't help but want to tap your feet and sing along.

His guitar chops are definitely evident here thanks to some beautifully executed instrumentals and well-crafted, infections songs.  His cool voice will certainly put a smile on your face.

This magnificent disc is also a family affair as his son Geoff mans the bass and his wife Janice supplies vocals for a track (as well s the beautiful painting for the cover).

You can purchase a CD by contacting Russ through his Reverbnation Page or by attending his live shows (he's a frequent guest of the Hamilton Folk Club).

Blast from the Past: Video of Russ Burns and Others at the Hamilton Folk Club

Links: Russ Burns More Russ Burns Stories, Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues LoversMore Releases

Previous (Steve Strongman and Jordan John on Roly Platt CD)- - - Next (Folk Sinners Debut Album)