Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CONGRATS! Niagara Music Award Winners

The Niagara region's best musical talent were celebrate on September 29, 2015 at Taps Brewery.   The 8th Niagara Music Awards were handed out the area's favourite artists.  The big winners were Roots performer Steve Goldberger and Folk group Odds and Ends, who took home 3 awards that night.

Links: Steve GoldbergerMore Steve Goldberger StoriesVideo above courtesy of Steve Goldberger

Links: Odds and Ends, More Odds and Ends StoriesVideo above courtesy of Odds and Ends


Here are the highlights:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

CONGRATS! Oakville's Jules Collarile Wins Unsigned Only Music Competition

Oakville pop sensation Jules Collarile earned second place in the Teen category for the 2015 Unsigned Only Music Competition.  CONGRATS!

Links: Jules Collarile, More Jules StoriesVideo above courtesy of Jules Collarile

Local semi-finalists included: 

According to their website: Unsigned Only is a unique annual international music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding, talented performer: a band, singer, or solo artist...a newcomer or veteran...raw or polished - the “gem” that needs to be discovered. Unsigned Only is looking for the total package.

The grand prize went to Jared Porter And Kaylee Bell (Australia/New Zealand) who've won mentoring from industry pros.

Links: Jared PorterKaylee Bell,  Video above courtesy of Fairfax Rural Events

Here are few highlights of the contest)

Adult Contemporary
Adult Album Alternative
Canadian Honourable Mentions

Previous (News Roundup: Awards, Ian Andrews, The Dukes, Nonie Thompson) - - - Next (Niagara Music Award Winners)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

News Roundup (Awards, Ian Andrews, The Dukes, Nonie Thompson)



The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Hamilton Blues Lovers Monkey

Trebleclef went to the Saturday Sermon Blues Matinee featuring the James Anthony  Band w special guest Andre Bisson

Andre's always willing to sign a CD for a fan
James Anthony

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Links: Nonie ThompsonMore Nonie Thompson StoriesVideo above courtesy of SimVid

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GOOD LUCK! Local Artists Earn 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominations

A number of talented local artists have earned 2015 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominations. Hopefully, some of them will be bringing home the hardware on November 6-8, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta after the ceremony.

Hamilton's Whitehorse duo is up for the English Songwriter, Pushing the Boundaries and Ensemble categories. Two more area musicians were nominated for Pushing the Boundaries: Hamilton singer/songwriter Dana Sipos and Elora's Kevin Breit.

Links: Dana SiposMore Dana Sipos StoriesVideo above courtesy of Jacob Frese

Links: Kevin BreitMore Kevin Breit StoriesVideo above courtesy of Richard Sugarman

Brantford's Benjamin Dakota Rogers and Oakville songstress  Mira Meikle earned nods for Young Performer of the Year as well.  The Lucky Sisters, a trio featuring Guelph's Tannis Slimmon, Cambridge's Allison Lupton, and Toronto's Rosemary Philan) is also up for Vocal Group of the Year. Lastly Dundas native Les Cooper was recognized for his producing work on the new Good Lovelies CD, Burn the Plan.

Links: Mira MeikleVideo above courtesy of StarWorld617

Here is the complete list:

Pushing the Boundaries
English Songwriter
Young Performer
Traditional Album
Contemporary Album
Children’s Album
Traditional Singer
Contemporary Singer
Instrumental Solo Artist
Instrumental Group
French Songwriter
Aboriginal Songwriter
Solo Artist
World Solo Artist 
World Group
New/Emerging Artist
Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Links: CFMAMore CFMA Stories

Previous  (Smoke Wagon Blues Band and Jay Pollmann Going to 2015 International Blues Challenge) - - - Next (News Roundup: Awards, Ian Andrews, The Dukes, Nonie Thompson)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

CONGRATS! The Smoke Wagon Blues Band and Jay Pollmann Heading to the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis

Hamilton's Smoke Wagon Blues Band and Cayuga Bluesman Jay Pollmann (of Gruve) will be representing the area in the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.  They'll be vying for the top of the group and solo categories respectively on January 26-30, 2016. CONGRATS!

The talented musicians won a local competition organized by our friends at the Grand River Blues Society.  After a hard fought battle on Sunday, September 20th at Bobby O'Brien's in Kitchener, they were chosen to represent us.


Links: GruveVideo above courtesy of Gruve

Links: Smoke Wagon Blues BandMore Smoke Wagon Blues Band StoriesVideo above courtesy of Corey Lueck

Click here for the results

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Reps

Links: International Blues Challenge , More IBC Stories

Previous (Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Award Nominations) - - - Next (Local Canadian Folk Music Award Nominations)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

GOOD LUCK! 2015 Niagara Music Award Nominations

Nominations were recently announced for the 2015 Niagara Music Awards.

Roots musician Steve Goldberger was nominated for a whopping 8 nominations.  New band Odds and Ends
 follow closely behind with 7.

Awards will be handed out soon on Tuesday, September 29 at Taps Brewery.  GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Here are some highlights:

Original Song
Female Vocalist
Male Vocalist
New Artist
Original Group
New Group
Rising Star
Instrumental Artist

Thursday, September 17, 2015

News Roundup (Remembering Billy Berman, Busker Al, Krista Earle, Laura Cole)

We recently found out that former Rick and the Krickets bassist Billy Berman passed away August 9, 2015.  Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Click here for his obituary.

A word from Lou, our Blogger:
"Going to a Krickets show always meant sharing laughs with Billy and hearing his mastery of the bass.  I will miss him dearly."

Rick Prinsthal (leader of the Krickets) had this to say on Facebook:
"Billy and I met 25 years ago. He was always the kind of character I liked being around - lot's of charisma and plenty of laughs. He was also a pretty sharp dresser in those days!. Billy and I worked in a band for about 8 years..recorded a CD, did a lot of driving from one town to the next, and shared a lot of laughs!. I know that Billy is in a good place now, where he is free from his suffering. In fact, he's probably cracking a few good dirty jokes to the angels right now! RIP BILL"

Links: Rick and the KricketsMore Rick and the Krickets StoriesVideo above courtesy of SimVid



The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Hamilton Blues Lovers Monkey

Trebleclef had a busy weekend

He was at Supercrawl on Friday and Sunday.

At the Dine Alone Records Booth - Home of Monster Truck , the Arkells and more 
Trebleclef w Tiny Bill Cody at the Not Psychic booth
At the CHCH TV Booth
More pics of the event: Friday, Sunday


Our little monkey spent part of his Saturday at the Locke Street Festival, checking out  a number of great bands!

Left to right: Jack Pedler, Judi Rideout and Mark Foley
Click here for more pictures from the event


He also popped by the Roots and Rails Festival at the Brantford Station Gallery
Kim Koren and Frank Koren
Sue Leonard, Cindy Dell and Brennagh Burns

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

CONGRATS! Ed Ringwald of Western Swing Authority and KX 94.7FM Bring Canadian Country Music Awards Home

On September 13, 2015, there was a little local flavour to the Canadian Country Music Awards.  Ed (Peewee Charles) Ringwald of Waterloo's Western Swing Authority took home the trophy for Best Steel Guitar and Hamilton Radio station KX 94.7 FM won for Best Large Market Station. 

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

The big winner of the night was Alberta's Gord Bamford who received hardware for Male Artist, Songwriter and Single of the Year.

Links: Gord Bamford, More Gord Bamford Stories , Video above courtesy of Gord Bamford


Here are the main highlights:

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Links: Canadian Country Music AssociationMore CCMA Stories

Previous (Festival of Friends Founder Bill Powell Passes) - - - Next (International Country Music Day Videos)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Festival of Friends Founder Bill Powell Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Festival of Friends founder, Bill Powell.  For over two and a half decades, he was the driving force behind the prestigious Hamilton event.  Our condolences to his family and friends.

His wife, Lynne, posted the following on her Facebook page: "It is with a heavy heart that I let all our Facebook friends know of Bill's passing today at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton. His death was unexpected, but peaceful."

Bill was a major part of the local arts community .  Along with organizing festivals, he was a painter and also managed the music venues Ebony Knight and Knight II Coffee House.  Other career highlights include running an indie music label, publishing art magazines plus working in the TV and film business.

There will be a celebration of his life at the Pearl Company on Sunday, September 27 from 1 to 4pm.

Click here for the Spectator story

A word from Lou, our blogger: "I had the honour of working for him at the Festival of Friends one summer.  I still talk about the wonderful experiences I had there.  I saw first-hand the passion and dedication he had to his work."

There have been many social media comments.  Here are a few quotes:

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger: Bill Powell. You have done much to promote festivals, music and events in Hamilton. You inspired me!

Festival of Friends Twitter: The Festival is heartbroken to announce the passing of Bill Powell, our event's founder and Hamilton icon.

Loren Lieberman (current FoF President): ""Sun down, sun down, they've taken all the tents down. Where have you gone, my handsome Billy? Sun down, sun down, the carnival train has left town. Where ya been, my darlin' Billy? Sun down, sun down, they empty out the Fairgrounds. Where are you gone now, my handsome Billy?" The Last Carnival - goodbye Mr. Powell, the City of Hamilton and I will remember all that you did for us."

Click here for the CHCH TV Report
Here is a video of Bill at Jackie Washington's memorial.  He was a close friend of the blues legend.

Video above courtesy of Michael Hampson

Previous (News Roundup w Killin' Time Band, DRFTR, Ryan Langdon, Wax Mannequin) - - - Next (Local Wins for the 2015 Canadian Country Music Awards)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Brantford's Bad Reed Debut with Psychedelic, Progressive and Lush EP

Brantford rock band Bad Reed have put quite a bit into their 3-song self-titled, debut EP.  Equal parts indie and psychedelic, progressive rock they also mix in some jazzy vibes and a touch of roots.

So if you desire something with some kick to it and also off the beaten path, this is what you're looking for.  The lush vocals and complex instrumentation will have you coming back for more.

If you want to download it through Bandcamp, you can name your own price.  Physical CD's are also available there.

Links: Bad ReedMore Releases, Video above courtesy of Bad Reed

Previous (New Steve Rivers Album) - - - Next (News Roundup w Killin' Time Band, DRFTR, Ryan Langdon, Wax Mannequin)

Monday, September 7, 2015

'No Boundaries" by Milton's Steve Rivers is Dripping With Energy

No Boundaries, the sophomore release from Milton singer/songwriter Steve Rivers is just dripping over with energy.  This is a modern country album with some major power behind it.

The current Nashville resident knows how to hook you into a song and then get your adrenaline going.  Catchy choruses and infectious guitars riffs attack from all sides and it's glorious.  Steve can also handle the occasional slow number with grace.

This high octane album is available for download on iTunes.

Blast from the Past: Steve Rivers Video and More

Links: Steve RiversMore Steve Rivers Stories, Videos above courtesy of Steve Rivers

Previous (News Roundup: James Ferris Band, Michael Moses Band, Ryan Van Sickle, Kathleen Edwards) - - - Next (Bad Reed Debut EP)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

News Roundup (James Ferris Band, Michael Moses Band, Ryan Van Sickle, Kathleen Edwards)


The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Hamilton Blues Lovers Monkey

Trebleclef  is resting up.  There'll be more next week

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