Sunday, May 31, 2015

New Album From Port Dover's Tia McGraff Packed with Excitement and Wonder

Possessing one of the most expressive voices in Country Music, Tia McGraff is at her peak on her newest album, Crazy Beautiful.  With songs that blur the lines between Pop-Folk and Alt-Country, it wonderfully mixes both into a beautiful sound.

It contains a well-balanced collection of rockin' hooks, mid-tempo foot tappers and tender ballads.  The excitement and wonder just oozes out of the speakers.

A few local and international musicians join in. Tommy Parham, Dave Sanger of Asleep At The Wheel, Tommy Harden, Dave Labruyere.Andrew AldridgeAlfonso Spoto of the Acoustics, Mary-Jane Russell and Jonathan Edwards are all out in full force.  It's all engineers by the legendary Nick Blagona.

The CD is available at cdbaby (also as a download) or through her website.

Videos above courtesy of WhisperingBobTV


Some albums escape our radar, so occasionally we'll be catching up with some mini-reviews!

2010's Diversity boats a number of amazing storytelling songs enhanced by her distinct vocals.  Lyrically, it veers from politics, love, motivation and all points in between.  This is a wonderful album!

You can download it via cdbaby, iTunes or through her website.

Video above courtesy of Tia McGraff

Blast from the Past: Tia's Break These Chains Album

Links: Tia McGraff,  More Tia McGraff StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Four More Episodes of Ensemble! Online) - - - Next (New Dana Sipos Album)

Friday, May 29, 2015

CONGRATS! Recipients of the 1st Debbie Clause Recording Fund

Recording an album can be a costly endeavor and the recently founded Debbie Clause Recording Fund wants to help local musicians with creating their art. On Saturday, May 23rd, The Pearl Company hosted the first ever Gracenotes Showcase where three Hamilton performers were awarded funds to assist with their amazing projects.

The $4,000 grand prize winner (picked at random by Debbie's daughter, Hanna) was Soul/R&B artist Jennifer Budd.

Links: More Jennifer Budd StoriesVideo above courtesy of Jennifer Budd

Frank Koren and Josh Lamothe were also awarded $1,000 each.

Links: Frank Koren, More Frank Koren Stories, Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers, Photos from this Doctors Without Borders Fundraiser, Donate to DWB

Video above courtesy of Josh Lamothe


The fund, which is managed by Hamilton singer/songwriter Christopher Clause (it's named after his late, beloved sister) will continue to support local musicians. Application forms for the 2016 awards will be available in August at (website will be up and running in July 2015)

Previous (News Roundup w Steve Sinnicks, HMA Photos, Maureen Brown, Mike Daley) - - - Next (Four More Episodes of Ensemble! Online)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

News Roundup (Steve Sinnicks, HMA Photos, Maureen Brown, Mike Daley)

Hamilton Music Awards Photos: Main GalaIndustry Awards 


Trebleclef was busy for the Hamilton Music Awards weekend at the Theatre Aquarius

First there was the Thursday Kick-Off party.


Click here for more pictures


On Saturday, he was on hand to help accept our Hamilton Music Industry Award and hobnob a little.


Click here for more pictures


Lastly, there was the Sunday night gala event with some more schmoozing!


Click here for more pictures

Recently Added

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hamilton's Will Gillespie Takes You From the Barroom to the Ballroom with 'Chasing Shadows'

Chasing Shadows, the newest EP from Hamilton's Will Gillespie, is not your average Folk recording.  He can go fast and furious on some tunes and then switch gears to sweet, beautiful ballads.  All the while, Will and the gang keeps a European flair in the background.

Elements of jazz, Americana, folk, world music and more intertwine to transport the listener to the country, the barroom and the ballroom.  What a sweet trip it is!

Will enlists some wonderful local music makers to take us along the journey.  There's Dave Gould (Drums, Percussion), Orange McFarland (Bass), Geoff Ball of Euphonic (Cello), Matt Coleman (Violin) and Sarah Beatty (Vocal Harmonies).

You can pick up a physical copy of the CD at the James North General Store or download it using BandcampeMusiciTunes or cdbaby

Videos above courtesy of Will Gilespie


Some albums escape our radar, so occasionally we'll be catching up with some mini-reviews!

Learning How to Let Go, his 2014 album, has more of a singer/songwriter, folky vibe.  Will also gets a little funky and throws in quite a few catchy riffs.

This one can be downloaded through BandcampiTunes or cdbaby.

Video above courtesy of Will Gilespie

Links: Will Gillespie, More Will Gillespie Stories, More Releases

Previous (Country Music Association of Ontario Award Winners) - - - Next (News Roundup w Steve Sinnicks, HMA Photos, Maureen Brown, Mike Daley)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

CONGRATS! Local Country Artists Bring Some CMAO Awards Home!

Our area country boys (and gals) brought some Country Music Association of Ontario Awards home on Monday, May 25th during the The Markham Theatre ceremony.

Tim Hicks from St. Catharines and Waterloo's The Western Swing Authority took home two trophies that night.  WSA Producer, Jason Barry, also won for his work with the band.

Links: Tim HicksMore Tim Hicks StoriesVideo above courtesy of Robert Clements

Links: Western Swing Authority , More WSA StoriesVideo above courtesy of Western swing Authority

Hamilton radio station CHKX – KX 94.7 FM got the top prize for the Major Market category as well.

The biggest winner of the night was the song,  I Only Smoke When I Drink by Trenton's Small Town Pistols.  It won for Best Songwriters, Single and Video.


Links: Small Town Pistols, Video above courtesy of Small Town Pistols

Here is a full list of winners
Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Previous (Hamilton Music Award Winners) - - - Next (New Will Gillespie Album)

Monday, May 25, 2015

CONGRATS! 2015 Hamilton Music Award Winners

The 2015 Hamilton Music Awards ceremony on May 24, 2015 at Theatre Aquarius was amazing! Host Ian Thomas did a wonderful job and had everybody laughing.  There were heartfelt tributes to Tava TunesBrian Griffith and Cpl. Nathan Cirrilo, a visit from mayor Fred Eisenberger and a ton of amazing area music.

As always, the local scene was in the spotlight the whole show and the award winners were announced. Rockers the The Arkells and songstress Laura Cole took home three trophies each that night.  Blues veteran Harrison Kennedy also won a pair well-deserved awards.

Links: Laura ColeMore Laura Cole StoriesVideo above courtesy of Richard Crawford

Links:  ArkellsMore Arkells StoriesVideo above courtesy of Oskar Covers

Links: Harrison KennedyMore Harrison Kennedy StoriesVideo above courtesy of RandallStaffordCook

Click here for the Spectator story.

Congrats everyone.

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Previous (Hamilton Music Industry Award Winners) - - - Next (Country Music Association of Ontario Award Winners)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

CONGRATS! 2015 Hamilton Music Industry Award Winners (Including Us!)

The Hamilton Blues Lovers website was only one of the many winners in the 2015 Hamilton Music Industry Awards.  Many deserving members of the local music community were recognized on May 23, 2015 at the Dofasco Centre for the Arts.

Lou, our blogger had this to say: "Thank you to all my fellow nominees who help get the word out about the amazing Hamilton music scene and thanks to all the amazing musicians.  It is an honour to receive this award."

The big winner of the day was classical musician Strat Andriotis, who earned three awards.

Video above courtesy of Dekatria Records

The night was also special because of the late, great Brian Griffith, who won the Guitarist of the Year Award.  His son accepted the award on his behalf.  Many of the speakers paid tribute to this amazing musician.  There were many touching moments.

Links: More Brian Griffith StoriesVideo above courtesy of Doug Smith 

Click here for the CBC Hamilton story

Click here for pictures of the event

Click here for picture of our Mascot at the awards


Here is a complete list of winners.

Previous (Harrison Kennedy on New Eric Bibb Album)

Hamilton's Harrison Kennedy Adds Extra Soul to Eric Bibb's 'Blues People'

Blues superstar Eric Bibb's latest project, Blues People, is more than just a sensational album.  It's a brilliant tribute to the great Dr. Martin Luther King and a historical document of Black History.  This Stony Plain Records release chronicles the struggles of race relations throughout the years.

Eric mobilizes a who's who of the current blues community for this marvelous musical manifesto.  Hamilton Blues Legend Harrison Kennedy teams up with him and Ruthie Foster for the funky, soulful Dream Catchers.  The song is inspiring, powerful and uplifting.

The rest of the guest list is equally impressive: Taj MahalBlind Boys of AlabamaPopa ChubbyGuy DavisJJ Milteau, Glenn Scott, Linda TilleryAndre De Lange, and Leyla McCalla.

Packed with some of the best acoustic folk blues, moving soul and incredible world music around, the album is a wondrous musical feast.  You can tell all those involved wanted the message to be heard.

You can buy this stirring recording at many physical or Internet stores.  It can be purchased through Eric's  online shop or downloaded using iTunes.

Video above courtesy of Ekkentronbar

2 videos above courtesy of Jez Prance

Blast from the Past: Harrison Guests on the Skakura S'aida Album

Links: Eric Bibb, More Eric Bibb StoriesHarrison KennedyMore Harrison Kennedy StoriesMore Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Human Orchestra, Lauren Agnelli, Chad Pilon, Ronnie Hawkins, Blue Rodeo) - - - Next (Hamilton Music Industry Award Winners)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pete Van Dyk and the Second Hand Band Go Wild With Raw Abandon on New Album

Somewhere in between Blues and Punk lies Pete Van Dyk and the Second Hand Band.  These kick-ass Hamilton have journeyed to the heavier side with their recent self-titled album.  There's still a lot of blues but they've amped up their attack!

With raw abandon and rock solid riffs the gang throttle and blast there way through 7 incredible songs that will shake your house.  These are the Blues your mama warned you about! No wonder they're so much fun!

If you're looking for something high-powered and edgy, download a copy of this killer album from their Bandcamp page.

Video above courtesy of Pete Van Dyk

Video above courtesy of Laura Fox


The Second Hand Band band have had a couple of mini-releases the past few years.

There was an extra funky three song EP Shake Me/PlanB (available in limited edition vinyl)

Then there's a wonderful single, Rise the Falling Sun

Video above courtesy *of Pete Van Dyk

Blast from the Past: Pete Van Dyk EP: Telephone

Links: Pete Van DykMore Pete Van Dyk StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Luke Doucet on new Bachman Album) - - - Next (News Roundup w Human Orchestra, Lauren Agnelli, Chad Pilon, Ronnie Hawkins, Blue Rodeo)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hamilton's Luke Doucet Rocks Out on Bachman's 'Heavy Blues'

Guess Who/BTO legend Randy Bachman has enlisted quite an impressive array of talent for his latest solo album, Heavy Blues (from Burlington's True North Records).  Guitar master Luke Doucet (of Whitehorse fame) lends his axe skills to the amazing track, Please Come to Paris.  The Hamilton musician more than hold his own with the other top shelf guests like Neil Young, Joe Bonamassa, Peter Frampton and the late, great Jeff Healey.

The majority of this wicked collection consists of hard driving, fast blues rock that'll get your juices pumping -   This is major riff heaven.  There are a few well-done mellower tracks as well.  Bachman's distinctive voice and world-class guitar work (from himself and his guests) make this a must have.

To help promote this incredible album, Randy held a guitar solo contest open to all musicians.  Hamilton's Troy Harmer was the lucky winner.  Click here for the story.

You can buy this CD at many physical and online shops.  It can also be downloaded though the True North ShopeMusic and iTunes.

Videos above courtesy of Solid Gold Channel

Blast from the Past: Troy Harmer Wins Bachman Guitar Solo Contest

Links: Randy Bachman, More Randy Bachman StoriesMore Releases

Previous  (New Kevin Breit Album) - - - Next (New Pete Van Dyk Album)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

'Ernesto and Delilah' by Elora's Kevin Breit is Exotic and Rootsy

Elora's Kevin Breit has created an unbelievable musical epic with his latest recording: Ernesto and Delilah.  It's actually two wondrous albums in one.

Ernesto, the first 11 songs, is filled with a sensational, instrumental fusion of jazz, folk, world music and more.  With the help of members from the Upper York Mandolin OrchestraCyro BaptistaGregoire Maret, and more, listeners will be transported to exotic locales.

The remainder of the album (Delilah) continues with a folkier, rootsier sound and includes Kevin in duets with the amazing, Rebecca Jenkins.  Her gorgeous vocals work works well with Kevin's expressive voice.

This album can be downloaded using BandcampeMusic or iTunes


Some albums escape our radar, so occasionally we'll be catching up with some mini-reviews!

Kevin also teamed up with the Upper York Mandolin Orchestra for 2013's Field Recording.  A beautiful blend of world music and roots, the album has a real, organic spirit to it.

This cool disc is available through Bandcamp and iTunes.

Video above courtesy of Grafische

Blast from the Past: Live Album from Breit's Band, Sisters Euclid

Links: Kevin BreitMore Kevin Breit StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Local Reaction to B.B. King's Passing) - - - Next (Luke Doucet on new Bachman Album)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Local Reaction to the Legendary B.B. King's Passing

Picture courtesy of Ivan Sorensen

The music would is still mourning the loss of the legendary B.B. King, who passed away Thursday, May 14, 2015. He certainly earned his nickname as King of the Blues with his amazing, soulful voice and ground breaking guitar work.  Our condolences to his family, friends and fans,

Local reaction on Facebook was swift - here are a few quotes:

Jordan John: "A sad day for the Blues and the world of music. R.I.P. B.B. King! A legend, a hero, a pioneer and a gentleman. Not to mention, the undisputed King of the Blues! What an inspiration to generations of musicians and music lovers. We will all miss him and the positive impact and influence he made on all of us. Thank you for your incredible legacy and service B.B. Long live the King!"

Harrison Kennedy: "Rest in peace Mr King, I will always follow the advice you gave to me as we drink wine in a house behind the outdoor stage in Boston 1970.The fans, the music .... Before the ego!!"

Video above (From CHCH TV in 1983) courtesy of MrCanalegal

Video above courtesy of Alfred Cycle

Video above courtesy of RandallStaffordCook

Blast from the Past: B.B. King's Sell My Monkey and Other Videos

Links: B.B. King, More B.B. King Stories

Previous (News Roundup w Barber Shop Podcast, Awards, Strada Armonia, Dennis Napper) - - - Next (New Kevin Breit Album)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

News Roundup (Barber Shop Podcast, Awards, Strada Armonia, Dennis Napper)

Local winners:




The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Hamilton Blues Lovers Monkey

Recently Added

New Album by Waterdown's Terra Lightfoot is Stunning and Kinetic

With Every Time My Mind Runs Wild, Waterdown's Terra Lightfoot has taken her sound to the next level.  There's a dynamic, vibrant feel to her new stunning album (available through Sonic Unyon).

Her unmistakable voice is united with a kinetic  vigorous sound that is equal parts blues soul and country rock.  This is Terra's most radio-friendly work yet she doesn't sacrifice songwriting, depth or artistry.

The singer/songwriter is extremely adept at this fuller sound but also has help from Joel Haynes on drums, Matt Fleming on bass, and Liam O'Neil (The Stills) on keys.  This is a a wonderful team.

So go ahead and pick a copy up at any of her shows.  LPs, CDs and digital downloads are also available through the Sonic Unyon store.  iTunes carries the album as well.

Video above courtesy of Within Space

Video above courtesy of Exclaim TV


Some albums escape our radar, so occasionally we'll be catching up with some mini-reviews!

Her 2011 self-titled album has a more laid-back, delicate feel.  The sound has sweet, earthier tones and sparser arrangements.  if your in a mellower mood, this is definitely the perfect musical companion.

You can download it via iTunes.

Video above courtesy of meejoebee

Blast from the Past: Review of Terra Lightfoot's Band, the Dinner Belles - The River and the Willow

Links: Terra LightfootMore Terra Lightfoot StoriesMore Releases

Previous (New Adam Cooke Album) - - - Next (News Roundup w Barber Shop Podcast, Awards, Strada Armonia, Dennis Napper)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Burlington's Adam Cooke Does Some Amazing Musical Exploration on 'Bring the Spring'

Burlington singer/songwriter, Adam Cooke is a musical explorer on his latest album, Bring the Spring.  From hard rockers to reggae-tinged soul to smooth funk, the man can do justice to every cool tune.

Right out of the gate, you'll be head-banging to the title track then wiggling your butt to the ultra-funky Something Special.  What follows is a little bit of everything - you definitely won't be bored!

Adam's band consists of the wonderful Mike Scime (drums) and the amazing Steve Pelletier (bass). Talented  guests include Adam Ostrosser (guitars also co-wrote a track), Cory Barnes (guitar) and Joel Parisien (keys)

Cd's are available at his superb live shows or can be downloaded through iTunes.

Video above courtesy of Toddlaz


Some albums escape our radar, so occasionally we'll be catching up with some mini-reviews!

2011's Rock You Down also has a whole whack o' soul with some heavy rockers thrown in for good measure.  Adam knows how to create a catchy, soulful song that will stick in your head and get ya moving!

It can also be downloaded via iTunes.

Video above courtesy of Adam Cooke

Blast from the Past: Adam Cooke Video and More

Links: Adam CookeMore Adam Cooke StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Indie Award Winners) - - - Next (New Terra Lightfoot Album)