Tuesday, March 31, 2015

'Red' an Evocative and Stirring Album from Hamilton Jazz Queen Diana Panton

Thanks to a Juno win and a Hamilton Music Award nomination this year, Red, the latest magical CD (released through eOne Music) from Hamilton Jazz Lady, Diana Panton is certainly getting noticed.  With one of the best voices in the genre around behind the mic, that's not surprising.

Diana's voice is a truegem: sultry, sweet, evocative and stirring.  Her team is also amazing as they bring in classical, soul, blues and even a little Latin flavour for good measure.  No matter what they throw hwe way, the lady handles it with skill and vigor.

The main behind this incredible sound cohorts are Don Thompson (piano,), Reg Schwager (guitar), Phil Dwyer (sax), and Jim Vivian (bass),  Guest include Hammer Blues legend Harrison Kennedy (vocal), Moshe Hammer/Praise Lam (violins), Diane Leung (viola), Coenraad Bloemendal (cello), and Erica Goodman (harp).

CDs are available at many physical and online shop.  You can also download them using iTunes or

Previous  (New Haolin Munk Album)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hamilton's Haolin Munk Serves up FREE Album That Will Surprise and Astonish

If Jekyll and Hyde needed a soundtrack, HMEP1, the new FREE recording by Hamilton's Haolin Munk would be a great choice.  The band can play amazing, traditional, funky jazz with the best of them.  They can also burst into some unique, crazy improvs.  Both sides of the musical coin blend well.

Listeners will be pleasantly surprised but what you hear from these instrumentals.  You'll never know when frenetic, wonderful noise will break out. Hip Hop beats pop in occasionally too.  It's no wonder is got a nod for Best Jazz in the 2015 Hamilton Music Awards.

Best of all, Haolin Munk is offereing this incredible album for FREE as a download via their Bandcamp page.

Video above courtesy of Soundcave Productions

Video above courtesy of Homegrown Hamilton

Video above courtesy of Cobalt Connections

Links: Haolin Munk, More Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Sammi Morelli, Rick Taylor, Mighty Duck Blues Band, Ian Thomas) - - - Next (New Diana Panton Album)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

News Roundup (Sammi Morelli, Rick Taylor, Mighty Duck Blues Band, Ian Thomas)




The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Hamilton Blues Lovers Monkey

Trebleclef checked out the weekly Mighty Duck Blues Band Saturday matinee.  That week's special guest was Rick Taylor.

Recently Added

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Thursday, April 2

2015 Hamilton Music Award Nominations Announced!

Recently, the 2015 Hamilton Music Award nominations were announced.  Once again, the best musical artists in the Hammer will get a chance to shine.  The hardware will be divvied up on May 24, 2015.

Singer/Songwriter Laura Cole leads the way with 5 nods (Female, Songwriter, Record, New Artist, and Adult Alternative). Jeremy Fischer is next in line with 4The Arkells, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and Elliott Brood all have three nominations apiece.

Click here for the Industry Award nominations - including one for this site!

Nominees for the industry categories will be announced in early April.


Here are a few highlights:

Female Artist
Male Artist
New Artist/Group of the Year
Blues Recording 
Jazz Recording
Alternative/Indie Rock Recording
Rock Recording
Adult Alternative Recording
Pop Recording

Blast from the Past: Last Years; Winners

Previous (3 More Episodes of Ensemble! Now Online) - - - Next (News Roundup w Sammi Morelli, Rick Taylor, Mighty Duck Blues Band, Ian Thomas)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hamilton's Mimi Shaw Delivers Great Rockabilly and Alt-Country

People say they don't make 'em like they used to but Hamilton country gal Mimi Shaw has proven them wrong.  Her debut EP, Niagara, is brimming with good, old-fashioned Americana music injected with modern energy.

With an amazing voice that's just perfect for country, you'll find a lot to love on her EP. Top-notch backing musicians capable of rocking out and tugging at your heart strings doesn't hurt either.

Mimi teamed up with the late, great Brian Griffith, as well as John LewisLisa Winn, Clark Johnston, Sean O’Grady, Tone Valcic, and Thompson Wilson (Harlan Pepper) to make this sensational recording.  Alt-country superstar Lori Yates also co-wrote two of the great tracks.

You can pick up a CD at one of her incredible live shows or download it via her online shop.  There are also copies available at Pick N Sticks.

Video above courtesy of Mimi Shaw

Blast from the Past: Barber Shop Podcast With Mimi Shaw

Links: Mimi ShawMore Mimi Shaw StoriesMore Releases

Previous (New Robbie Hancock EP) - - -  Next (3 More Episodes of Ensemble! Now Online)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kitchener's Robbie Hancock Releases Haunting, Well-Crafted EP

Robbie Hancock's haunting, husky voice will entice you on his new EP, Better Than It Ever Was.  The Kitchener singer/songwriter's poignant vocals and sparse, beautiful guitar sound give the recording a wonderful, welcoming feel.

His lyrics are also packed with emotional heft and grace.  One of the tracks on the EP was even chosen as part of the International Songwriting Competition.  All the songs here are exquisite and well-crafted.

You can download this superb recording from his online store.

Videos above courtesy of Robbie Hancock

Blast from the Past: Robbie's Song Into the Bright Chosen as Semi-Finalist in International Songwriting Competition

Links: Robbie Hancock, More Robbie Hancock StoriesMore Releases

Previous  (News Roundup w Ginger St. James, Footbridge Road, Jace Martin, Tom Wilson and Duane Rutter) - - - Next (New Mimi Shaw EP)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

News Roundup (Ginger St. James, Footbridge Road, Jace Martin)

Andy Fraser of 'Free' Passes
Click pick for video


We will now be posting pictures of our cute new mascot as he explores the local music scene!

Last week, he and some friends hung out with Matty Buzanko of the Overplayers/The Rest


Thursday, March 19
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Wednesday, March 25
Thursday, March 26

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

GOOD LUCK! Local Musicians Up For International Songwriting Competition

We all know there's world-class music in our own backyard but now the world is aware too thanks to the prestigious International Songwriting Competition.  After thousands of submissions, many deserving local musicians were chosen as semi-finalists.

Kitchener's Alysha Brilla has her song Immigrant in two categories: Unsigned and Lyrics. JD Yanik, also from Kitchener, is up for best Latin tune with Ganas De Tí

Brantford's Benjamin Rogers was listed for three tracks: Pendulum (Instrumental), Move Ben Move (Teen) and Wayfarer (Teen).

Links: Benjamin Dakota RogersMore Benjamin Dakota Rogers StoriesVideo above courtesy of Benjamin Rogers

Cambridge boy (who now resides in Kitchener) Robbie Hancock has his song, Into The Bright (co-written by Andy Gabrys) in the running for the folk category.

Links: More Robbie Hancock StoriesVideo above courtesy of Robbie Hancock

Dundas songstress, Maggie Szabo has two songs in the Pop/Top 40 category: Tragedy (co-written by w Lee Miles) plus Tidal Waves And Hurricanes (co-written by Andrew Allen)

Links: More Maggie Szabo StoriesVideo above courtesy of All About Maggie

Lastly, we have Oakville's Natalie TomYew, for the tune Take .e. (Dance category).

Other semi-finalists of note include Raoul and The Big Time, Al Lerman of FatheadAli Matthews and Brock Zeman.

Judges for the competition include Pat Metheny, Sarah McLachlan, John Hiatt, Robben Ford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jon Secada, Bela Fleck, James Cotton and more.

Click here for the complete list of semi-finalists

Blast from the Past: Steve Strongman Becomes Finalist in 2013

Links: International Songwriting Competition, More ISC Stories

Previous (St. Patrick's Day Videos) - - - Next (News Roundup w Ginger St. James, Footbridge Road, Jace Martin, Tom Wilson and Duane Rutter)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

2015 Juno Hardware Comes Home to the Hammer!

Hamilton hosted the 2015 Junos and three of its talented residents took home top honours.  Jazz lady Diana Panton (Vocal Jazz Album), the Arkells (Best Group and Best Rock Album) and Caribou (Electronic Album) made the Hammer proud by bringing home the hardware.

Links: Diana PantonMore Diana Panton Stories, Video above courtesy of Sense Music Store

Links: Arkells: More Arkells Stories, Video above courtesy of Arkells

Links: CaribouMore Caribou StoriesVideo above courtesy of  Caribou

Here are a few highlights:
    Click here for the full list of winners

    Blast from the Past: Last Years' Winners

    Links: Juno AwardsMore Juno Stories

    Previous (Best Hamilton Song Contest) - - - Next (St. Patrick's Day Videos)

    Friday, March 13, 2015

    CBC's Best Hamilton Song Contest Showcases the Hammer''s Greatest Tunes!

    In honour of the Junos coming to the Hammer, CBC created an interesting battle of classic local songs.  After three rounds of public voting, it came down between Junkhouse's big hit Shine and Blues queen Rita Chiarelli's These Four Walls.  

    Unfortunately, due to problems with the online poll, the the final round was cancelled.  Click here for more information.  The contest did shine a light on just how many classics have called Hamilton home.

    Junkhouse defeated popster Jessy Lanza, punk stalwarts Forgotten Rebels and hip hop group Warsawpack.

    Links: Junkhouse, More Junkhouse StoriesVideo above courtesy of CANADA ROCKS!

    Rita beat out supergroup Blackie and the Rodeo Kings (featuring Tom Wilson of Junkhouse), punk legends Teenage Head (by only ONE VOTE!), and veterans Crowbar.

    Links: Rita ChiarelliMore Rita Chiarelli StoriesVideo above courtesy of Q on CBC

    Below is the history of the contest with the number of votes in brackets.  Click the link for details.

    Round 1
    Round 2
    Round 3
    Blast From the Past: CBC's Top Canadian Songs List

    Previous (News Roundup w Deeps, Ash and Bloom, James Anthony & Jake Chisholm, Blake Halladay) - - - Next (2015 Juno Winners)

    Thursday, March 12, 2015

    News Roundup (Deeps, Ash and Bloom, James Anthony & Jake Chisholm, Blake Halladay)




    NEW! The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Hamilton Blues Lovers Monkey

    We will now be posting pictures of our cute new mascot as he explores the local music scene!

    Last week, he checked out the James Anthony Band with Jake Chisholm at the Black Swan in Burlington


    Recently Added

    Nothing this week.  Check in next time!


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    Tuesday, March 17
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    Thursday, March 19

    Featured Video

    Links: Ash and Bloom,  More Ash and Bloom Stories, Video above courtesy of Ash and Bloom

    Previous (New Dan Walsh Album) - - - Next (Best Hamilton Song Contest)

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    Dan Walsh's 'Lewp' Full of Heart and Electricity

    On his last album, Outta the Jam, local guitar slinger Dan Walsh tried his hand at doing lead vocals.  He did an amazing job then and he does an even better one on Lewp, his newest recording.  The singer/songwriter's already sizable guitar prowess is back too.

    Dan handles everything from country, southern rock, funk and more.  Including a wonderful cover of former bandmate Willie P, Bennett's One Vessel is a nice touch as well.  The songs are full of heart, electricity and tons of guitar acrobatics and effects.

    So pick up a copy at his great live shows or order it through his online storecdbaby or iTunes.

    Videos above courtesy of Dan Walsh

    Video above courtesy of Andrew Golden

    Blast from the Past: Dan's Outta The Jam CD

    Links: Dan WalshMore Dan Walsh StoriesMore Releases

    Previous (New Western Swing Authority Album) - - - Next (News Roundup w Deeps, Ash and Bloom, James Anthony & Jake Chisholm, Blake Halladay)

    Waterloo's Western Swing Authority Will Show You a Great Time With 'Now Playing'

    The name Western Swing Authority says everything you need to know about this wonderful Waterloo group.  With its new album, Now Playing (through eOne Music Canada), they once again show the world they can mix country and swing with the best of 'em.

    Listeners are guaranteed to have a great time when they put the album on.  Hips will be swaying and the urge to dance will overtake them.  The slower tunes offer heartbreak and romance to touch the soul.

    With a mix of covers and classics, you'll find a few familiar faces and a couple of new friends to enjoy for years to come,

    CDs are available at their kickin' live shows and through their online store.  It can also be downloaded using iTunes or eMusic.

    Above two video courtesy of Miguel Western Swing

    Video above courtesy of Ranch Radio

    Blast from the Past: WSA Win Canadian Country Music Award

    Links: Western Swing AuthorityMore WSA StoriesMore Releases

    Previous (New Whitehorse Album) - - - Next (New Dan Walsh Album)

    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Hamilton Duo Whitehorse Get Fiery with Leave No Bridge Unburned!

    Hamilton duo, Whitehorse (Luke Doucet and Mellisa McClelland) have decided to amp things up with Leave No Bridge Unburned, their latest fiery album. This Six Shooter Records release transports them well into the rocker realm.

    Luckily, the couple haven't given up their wonderful songwriting prowess.  Each song is well-crafted lyrically and falls within the Americana tradition of storytelling.

    For the first time, Whitehorse are joined by other talent musicians. Gus Van Go (who produces) and Werner F, who add some great guitars and bass. Collectively, they catapult the music to new, amazing heights.

    You can purchase the CD through the Six Shooter Records online store or you can download it via iTunes.

    Blast from the Past: Whitehorse Covers EP

    Links: WhitehorseMore Whitehorse StoriesMore Releases, Videos above courtesy of Six Shooter Records

    Previous (New JoJo Worthington Album) - - - Next (New Western Swing Authority Album)

    Saturday, March 7, 2015

    Waterloo Songstress JoJo Worthington's 7 is A Full Musical Experience!

    There are two things you'll be thinking about right away when you listen to 7, the latest album from Waterloo songstress JoJo Worthington: What a voice and she can really rock the ukulele!  The lady's gotten a lot of notice lately thanks to her recent Acoustic Music and Toronto Indie Awards.  This recording will certainly help give her some more well-deserved recognition.

    From enchanting, sparse vocals and uke numbers to fully produced multi-instrumental epics, you'll get a full musical experience from JoJo.  Folk, funk, soul, and pop are all handled with skill and creativity.

    The singer/songwriter has enlisted quite a few local luminaries to back her up.  These include Shane Parker (drums), Rusty Carriere (bass), Tom Meikle (guitar, vocals), Jonny Cottrill (organ, piano), Tim Moher (sax), Trevor Bowan (trumpet), Adam Courts (trombone), Rick Guzik (accordion), Caesar (cello), Doug Johnson (pedal steel guitar), Dave Neigh of Steel City Rovers (violin), Rebekah Hawker (vocals), Liam Bristow (bass), Ian Koiter (keys) and The Vaudevillian.

    Physical CDs are available at her splendid live shows and through her website.  It can also be downloaded via her Bandcamp page.

    Blast from the Past: JoJo Worthington Win International Acoustic Award

    Links: JoJo WorthingtonMore JoJo Worthington Stories, More Releases, Videos above courtesy of JoJo Worthington

    Previous (News Roundup w Paul Anthony, Nathan Day Project, Lynn Jackson, Kim Koren)

    Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    CONGRATS! JUNOS Turn It On Songwriter Contest Winners

    In honour of the Junos coming to Hamilton in 2015, Tourism Hamilton held the Turn It On Songwriter Contest.  Musicians throughout the Hammer were asked to submit their amazing songs (with the theme of Turn it On).

    February 18, 2015 on Cable 14, six finalists competed and the contest committee (consisting of Boris Brott, Terra Lightfoot, and Steve Strongman) chose the winner. Turn It On! by Kirby with Hachey the MouthPEACE and Ace Bailey received the main prize.

    Links: KirbyMore Kirby StoriesHachey the MouthPEACEClick here if you can't see the player above

    Later on, the fans had their say and they voted for Turn It On (JUNO 2015 Theme Song) by Anthony DiDomenico Ft Joanna Bis, Dre Pao and Don Carlo

    Click here if you can't see the player above

    Below is a list of finalists (click link to hear their submissions):
    Congratulations everyone!

    Previous  (Dreamers Release 2 EPs) - - - Next (News Roundup w Paul Anthony, Nathan Day Project, Lynn Jackson, Kim Koren)