Saturday, October 28, 2017

CONGRATS! 2017 Spectator Readers' Choice Award Winners

The votes have been tallied in the 2017 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards. Hammertown has chosen their favourite things in the city.

We'd like to make a special shout out to one of our sponsors, Picks and Sticks Music, who won in three categories (see details below). Also, our blogger's workplace, the St. Charles Adult Education Centre won Gold in the Adult Education category and reached the top ten in the Learning Centre list.

Here are the music related categories and the winners. Click here for a complete list.

Local Musician or Band
Local Musician or Band (Rest of the Top 10)

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Links: Readers' Choice AwardsMore Spec Readers' Choice Awards Stories

Previous (News Roundup: Tia McGraff, Paul James, Passings, Treble Visits Locke Street) - - - Next (Devil's Night Videos: Big Rude Jake, David Rotundo, Stones)

Friday, October 27, 2017

News Roundup (Tia McGraff, Paul James, Passings, Treble Visits Locke Street)

The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Music Loving Monkey

Trebleclef travelled on Locke Street last week! Click the pictures to view more from these events

First, he grabbed a bite to east at the new amazing restaurant CIMA Entoca.


Then he popped by Epic Books and bumped into the wonderful local musician Low Country Hill.


After that, he checked out the grand opening for a vintage, cool record/clothing store, Into the Abyss.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Legendary Fats Domino Passes + Local Reaction

Doug Parker/Associated Press
Rock 'N' Roll has lost another of its main architects. The legendary Fats Domino passed away on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Local stories: The Spectator, CHMLCBC

Local Reaction

We asked a number of local musicians for their comments on this amazing musician. We'll add more as the responses come in.

Sonny Del-Rio
His great sax-man, Lee Allan was my greatest influence in starting to play the sax in 1957.  There will never be another like Fats Domino. His music will live forever.  R.I.P. Fats
Dave Rave
Fats Domino was the soul of Rock and Roll. The Heartbeat of New Orleans. I loved his music. The Shakers performed I'm Ready. And one of the greatest performers I ever saw. Fats Domino RIP. Irreplaceable
Jesse O'Brien
RIP Fats Domino - he helped pave the way for all New Orleans style piano players and I hope he rests in peace on top of that Blueberry Hill.
Lily Sazz (Cootes Paradise)
Fats Domino was a pioneer of that distinctive New Orleans R&B sound, and he was one of the classic R&B musicians to contribute to the birth of 1950s rock 'n' roll. I think that all piano players in the blues or jazz genres have been influenced by him, whether they know it or not, through those that Fats, in turn, influenced. That's a legacy for us all to be grateful for. RIP Fats. Another great one gone.
 Rick Prinsthal (Rick and the 3D's)
I saw him @ Lulu's in Kitchener in the late 80's - opened for Jerry Lee Lewis - spectacular show!!
Greg Brisco
Incredibly sad with the passing of the greats. He was one of them. How boring life may have been without his music. I hate to think of the butterfly effect if Blueberry Hill or Ain't That a Shame were never recorded by him.

New CD from Hamilton's Andre Bisson Explodes with Soul and Energy

Whether you're a believer or not, you'll be screaming AMEN after listening to Break, the unbelievable new album from Hamilton's Andre Bisson. With the urgency of a gospel preacher, the talented Bluesman sings his heart out and brings his skills to a whole other level!

It all kicks off with the amazing title track that starts mid-tempo then becomes a musical kick in the teeth exploding with soul and energy. What follows is Andre swinging, roaring, rocking and wailing with emotion. He and the band also have no trouble handling the delicate and beautiful numbers as well.

As always, Andre picks some of the best players around to back him up:
So perk up your life by getting this incredibe CD at his unforgettable live shows (including the CD Release show at the Spice Factory in Hamilton on Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 2:30pm). You can also  purchase/download it using cdbaby or iTunes.

Blast from the Past: Andre's Last CD

Links: Andre BissonMore Andre Bisson stories, Videos above courtesy of Andre BissonMore Releases

Previous (2017 View Readers' Choice Award Winners) - - - Next (Fats Domino Passes)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

CONGRATS! View Magazine's 2017 Readers' Choice Award Winners!

Results from the 2017 View Magazine Readers' Choice were unveiled in their Oct 19th issue.  Their fans helped vote for the best of everything Hamilton (and the surrounding areas) has to offer.

A special shout-out to one of our sponsors, Judy Marsales Real Estate for winning Gold in the Real Estate Office category

Here are the music-related winners:

Please not that it goes from Gold (top) to Silver (middle or bottom if only two winners) and Bronze (third).

Female Artist
Free Event
Coolest Instrument to Play 
  • Drums
  • Guitar
Independent Music Label
Recording Studio 
Rehearsal Space
Radio Personality
Local Show Promotor
Music School
Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Previous (DJ Shub Wins Native American Music Award) - - - Next (New Andre Bisson Album)

Monday, October 23, 2017

CONGRATS! Fort Erie's DJ Shub Earns Native American Music Award + 2 More Canadian Winners

Fort Erie's DJ Shub took home the Best Music Video (for Indomitable a song he performed with the Northern Cree Singers) at the 17th annual Native American Music Awards. The fabulous ceremony was held on Saturday, October 14th at Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York

Links: DJ ShubMore DJ Shub StoriesVideo above courtesy of DJ Shub

Two more Canadians earned awards that night: BC Country artist, Kelly Derrickson (Best Female Artist) and Alberta group Northern Cree (Best Pow Wow Recording)

Links: Kelly Derrickson, More Kelly Derrickson StoriesVideo above courtesy of  Kelly Derrickson

Links: Northern Cree, More Northern Cree Stories, Video above courtesy of Northern Cree


Here's a complete list of winners. Canadians are bolded:

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dizzy Gillespie's 100th Birthday

Pic courtesy of
Saturday, October 21, 2017 would have been Jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie's 100th bithday.

Here are a few video to celebrate the birthday of this musical icon!

Links: Louis Armstrong, More Louis Armstrong Stories, Video above courtesy of mytox

Video above courtesy of Erik Boyd

Video above courtesy of Louis Rodrigues

Links: Muppets, More Muppets Stories, Video above courtesy of scandura2007

Links: Dizzy Gillespie, More 100th Birthday Celebrations

Previous (News Roundup: Gord Downie, Trout Lily, Bat Out of Hell Musical) - - - Next (DJ Shub Wins Native American Music Award)

Friday, October 20, 2017

News Roundup (Gord Downie, Trout Lily, Bat Out of Hell Musical)

Click here for more pics from the event

Lou's mini-review:

Whether you're a fan of the album or not, you'll love the show. It has amazing music, powerful singers and  an interesting sci-fi type story different from the classic recordings. It was a joy to experience.

Links: Bat Out of Hell - The Musical, Video above courtesy of Bat Out of Hell - The Musical

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip Passes

The world is still reeling from the loss of one of Canada's most distinctive voices.  Gord Downie, the lead singer of the legendary Tragically Hip passed away on October 18, 2017 after a brave battle with cancer.  He left behind an unforgettable legacy.  Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Local media stories: Hamilton Spectator, CHMLSt. Catharines Standard

Here is the official statement from his family.
Last night Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by.
Gord knew this day was coming — his response was to spend this precious time as he always had — making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss on the lips.
Gord said he had lived many lives. As a musician, he lived “the life” for over 30 years, lucky to do most of it with his high school buddies. At home, he worked just as tirelessly at being a good father, son, brother, husband and friend. No one worked harder on every part of their life than Gord. No one.
We would like to thank all the kind folks at KGH and Sunnybrook, Gord’s bandmates, management team, friends and fans. Thank you for all the help and support over the past two years.
Thank you everyone for all the respect, admiration and love you have given Gord throughout the years — those tender offerings touched his heart and he takes them with him now as he walks among the stars.
Love you forever Gord.
The Downie Family
Local reaction from social media.

Lou Molinaro (This Ain't Hollywood)
The very first time I met Gord Downie was in Ottawa at Barrymore's. I think The Hip's first album just came out. We started chatting about music. I asked him what some of his fave bands were. Within the first 3 names, TEENAGE HEAD was mentioned. Not a bad way to meet a singer in a rock n roll band. RIP Gord Downie.
Brandon P. General (My Flying Machine
Gord Downie wasn't just the Hip. He was a spokesman for the country. Whenever he had the chance, he spoke for us. 
As an indigenous person, I felt the things he said on a personal level. He spoke for the rights of all of us and spent his last days fighting for us.
We all knew it was coming, but we all hoped he would fight it. He can't be cut down so needlessly. We all hoped that he would beat this.
As a Canadian, it's a huge loss. He was the benchmark for what someone in his position should do with their fame. I will be listening to The Hip today with the rest of you and mourning the loss. RIP Gord Downie

Sarah Smith
Gord Downie. Thank you for being such a beautiful example of what it is like to be Canadian. We are blessed to have shared this lifetime with your music and your stories. You have created new folklore to pass through the generations and have left a powerful legacy of pride, hope, love and togetherness.
In his honour, here are a few area performers covering Gord's amazing work.

Links: Sarah Harmer, More Sarah Harmer Stories, Barenaked Ladies (Jim's Band), More Barenaked Ladies Stories, Video above courtesy of q on CBC

Links: Selective Soul, Video above courtesy of Selective Soul Band

Here are two songs from the man himself

Video above courtesy of nbowen76

Links: Sadies, More Sadies Stories, Video above courtesy of wesleync

Blast from the Past: The Hip on CBC Top Canadian Songs List

Links: Tragically Hip, More Tragically Hip Covers/Stories

Previous (Juneyt Wins Toronto Independent Music Award) - - - Next (News Roundup: More Gord Downie, Trout Lily, Bat Out of Hell Musical)

CONGRATS! Waterloo's Juneyt Wins Toronto Independent Music Award

Picture courtesy of Juneyt's Facebook page
On Friday, October 13 at Revival in Toronto, talented Waterloo musician, Juneyt won in the Best Instrumental or Classical  category of the 2017 Toronto Independent Music Awards

Links: JuneytMore Juneyt StoriesVideo above courtesy of Canadian Tesla Technical Museum

He had the following to say on his Facebook page:
It’s an amazing feeling and I'm so blessed to share this news with all of you.

I am incredibly proud & lucky to call this beautiful region, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge & Guelph, my home...
I love each and every one of you, you all mean so much to me. I can’t thank you enough for your support, I have so much to look forward to, stay tuned

Here's a complete list of winners. Local artists are bolded.

Previous  (Paul James Band Videos) - - - Next (Gord Downie Passes)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Kitchener's Michael "Mudfoot" McDonald Debut Hooks You With Dazzling Guitar Work

Play This, the debut album from Kitchener Blues veteran, Michael "Mudfoot" McDonald will hook you instantly with its dazzling guitar work.  Once it has you, it won't let go until you're finished this amazing wild musical ride.

Michael and his friends have got the chops and this recording proves it without a doubt. They can get funky, do an incredible shuffle and rock out with the best of them.  There's a "let's just get together and jam" spontaneous feel to the music that adds that extra energy.

The talented Bluesman has assembled quite the team, including: Cory Turnbull, Pat Rush, John Lee (Pappy Johns Band), Mike Branton, Al Richardson, Chris Latta (Soulstack) , Randall Coryell, Jordan Patterson and more.  No wonder the album sound so good!

So if you need a great musical pick-me-up, head over to one of Mike's live shows (including a rockin' bi-weekly Sunday afternoon jam at the Boathouse in Kitchener) or download it through iTunes.

Links: Michael "Mudfoot" McDonaldVideo above courtesy of Blues & Jazz Ilija CapkoMore Releases

Previous (New Hamilton Musicians' Guild Nominees) - - - Next (Paul James Band Videos)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

News Roundup (1st SOCAN CEO Passes, Juno Master Class, Mary Simon, Gathering Sparks)

Social media reaction:

Christopher Gonda (Pure Grain Audio CEO): In large, the Canadian Music Industry is what it is today thanks to Jan Matejcek's tireless work. Much of who I am and what I do is also thanks to him.

Orchestras Canada: Orchestras Canada was saddened to learn of the death of one of our founders, Jan Matejcek, on September 23. A musicologist and lawyer, he came to Canada in 1969. He believed in collective action, in the power that artists and arts organizations could wield by working together towards common goals, and helped to start such organizations as the Association of Canadian Orchestras, the Ontario Choral Federation, and SOCAN. He was also integrally involved in the Canadian Music Centre. Indeed, a mighty tree has fallen. We are grateful for his life and work.
Juno Master Class Winners Announced

The Adventures of Trebleclef, the Music Loving Monkey

Trebleclef went to the The Gary DePodesta Celebration of Life @ Pearl Company in Hamilton

Treble with host Christopher Clause
Click here for more pictures from the event

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    CONGRATS! Local Artists on CBC's Best Cover Song List

    Sometimes, a cover song can be a unique take on an existing tune and can have a spirit all it's own.

    Recently, CBC Music asked it's listeners and readers what the best cover song of all time was. After tallying the results they unveiled a list of the 20 most popular answers.

    Not surprisingly, there were a few local musicians in the bunch.

    Hamilton Folk Rockers Whitehorse's amazing version of Bruce Springsteen's I'm on Fire made the list.

    Links: WhitehorseMore Whitehorse Stories, More Springsteen Covers/StoriesVideo above courtesy of Six Shooter Records

    Also included was a cover Adele's Hometown Glory by St. Catharines superstar City and Colour.

    Links: City and ColourMore City and Colour Stories, More Adele Covers/StoriesVideo above courtesy of Dan Rawkt

    The only local artist to be covered on this list is The Band  (a few members are from the Norfolk/Six Nations area).  The legendary Aretha Franklin covers their biggest hit, The Weight.

    Links: Aretha Franklin, More Aretha Franklin Stories,  The BandMore Covers/Stories of The Band, Video above courtesy of king689soulclassics

    Here's the rest of the list:
    Click here for the complete story

    Blast from the Past: CBC's Best Canadian Songwriters List

    Links: CBC MusicMore CBC Lists

    Previous (Thelonious Monk 100th Birthday) - - - Next (News Roundup: 1st SOCAN CEO Passes, Juno Master Class, Mary Simon, Gathering Sparks)

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Thelonious Monk's 100th Birthday

    Today (October 10, 2017) would have been jazz legend Theolonious Monk's 100th birthday.

    Links: Theolonious Monk, More 100th Birthday Celebrations

    Previous (Thanksgiving Videos w Julian, Taylor, Johnny Cash & More) - - - Next (Local Musicians on CBC's Best Cover Songs List)

    Sunday, October 8, 2017

    CONGRATS! Guelph's Dan McKinnon Wins 2017 Amy Louie Grossmans Music Scholarship

    We are happy to announce that former Guelphite, Dan McKinnon has won this year's Amy Louie Grossmans Music Scholarship!

    From the Bluestime Productions press release:
    Toronto blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Dan McKinnon received the $ 2,000 ALGMS bursary at the 6th annual fundraiser on Tuesday, September 26, 2017. His winning proposal outlined plans to support a new recording that will be released in 2018. The presentation was made by Grossman's owner Christina Louie and 2016 ALGMS recipient Raha Javinfar (Bad Luck Woman and Her Misfortunes). McKinnon also won The Toronto Blues Society’s Talent Search in June. 
    Dan had this to say on his Facebook page
    I would like to take the time to thank Grossman's Tavern and the Louie Family for awarding me with this year's Amy Louie Grossmans Music Scholarship.
    Back in 2008, I got my start playing blues by attending their legendary Sunday Night Jam, hosted by the great Brian Cober. While I was greener than a blade of grass at the time, both Brian and Bill Hedefine were more than generous when it came to giving me opportunities to play. Even if there were moments in those early years when I sounded like a "pet store on fire", they both always encouraged me to keep going and to keep working hard. I'm glad I chose to listen.

    The scholarship funds will go towards the making of my next record, which will be released in the spring of 2018. 
    A special thank you goes to all of the musicians who performed at last night's fundraiser, as well as to Bad Luck Woman and Her Misfortunes for hosting the event.

    Video above courtesy of Twentyfive Musical

    2 videos above courtesy of randallstaffordcook

    Blast from the Past: Dan Wins 2017 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search

    Links: Dan McKinnonMore Dan McKinnon Stories

    Previous (Mighty Duck Blues Band Debut Album) - - - Next (Thanksgiving Videos w Julian, Taylor, Johnny Cash & More)