Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hamilton's Gerry McGhee, the Voice of Brighton Rock, Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Gerald "Gerry"McGhee, lead vocalist of hard rock, international superstars Brighton Rock. Gerald grew up in Hamilton and helped form the Niagara band and launched them to world renown. He died August 25, 2020.

Media Links:

Here are some social media reactions

Corey Macfadyen (Producer)
Very sad to hear of the passing of Gerald McGhee. Far too young. I was fortunate to work with him live and in the studio with Brighton Rock. He was a great guy. My heart goes out to his family and bandmates. RIP. Gerry.
Mike Beattie
I remember first hearing his voice and as usual, going on and on way too much about it to my musical friends. My favorite memory of him was when my buddies took me to the Misty Moon to see them for my birthday and making so much noise from the upper level that the band was smiling at us and nodding to us the whole show. 
Jamie Vernon
Canadian rockers knew him as the singer for Brighton Rock. I got to work with him in business when his import/export business Isotope was just taking off from a small industrial unit in Mississauga. He and I cut a deal to distribute my Bullseye catalog overseas. It got us into Australia, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. He was always up front and walked me through the landmines with retail in other territories. He was also fair and paid on time and let me know if our product was sub-par for those markets. A true gentleman in a business full of snakes. My deepest condolences to his wife and daughters, his bandmates, and the many industry people he was loved by. 

Blast from the Past: Gerald Open New Vinyl Pressing Plant in Burlington + more stories

Links: Brighton RockMore Brighton Rock Stories, Videos above courtesy of Brighton Rock

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cootes Paradise Brings Funky, Bluesy Soul to New Album

You can shake off the COVID-19 Blues by listening to Downstream, the fabulous sophomore album from local supergroup, Cootes Paradise.

Cootes lays down some funky, bluesy soul that'll shake off your woes and get your body movin'. The band can boogie it up better than any other band out there and they have the skills to show them how it's done.

Speaking of the band, members include:
The album will be available via the band's website and through Bancamp,  Spotify and more.

Videos above courtesy of Cootes Paradise

Monday, August 17, 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020

Local Artist Gravely James Debuts with Magnificent, Stripped-Down Album

From Steve's Shed is a stunning debut album from Hamilton-born, Port Colbourne raised singer/songwriter Gravely James. This live-off-the-floor recording from Snareguy Records is a magnificent collection of acoustic, folky blues tunes (with a bit of soul).

Emotion courses through every note as the lyrics suck the listener into stories of relationship, insomnia, violence, mythology, and more. It's a wonderful example of raw, stripped down, ragged musical storytelling.

Though mostly a one-main affair, Niagara music vet Steve Goldberger lends a hand with upright bass, spoons and production. He also lent Gravely the titular shed to record in. Also Ji Sharp of Road Waves plays lead guitar on Shoot'Em Down.

The album is available through Bandcamp, Spotify and more.

You can stream the album below.

Blast from the Past: Gravely is a finalist in the TBS Talent Search and other news

Links: Gravely James, More Gravely James Stories

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Percy Mayfield's 100th Birthday

Today (August 12, 2020) would have been American RnB legend Percy Mayfield's 100th birthday.

Biography Highlights (from Wikipedia)
Here are a few local covers

Links: Suzie VinnickMore Suzie Vinnick Stories, Tony D, Video above courtesy of James Dean

Links: Small Town Girls, Video above courtesy of Small Town Girls Music

And now some videos from the man himself . . .

Links: Percy Mayfield, Videos above courtesy of Percy Mayfield - TopicMore 100th Birthdays

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Monday, August 10, 2020

Canada's 'First Lady of the Blues' Salome Bey Passes

It is with sadness that we report on the passing of Canadian Blues/Jazz/Soul legend Salome Bey, know as 'Canada's first lady of the Blues' who died on Saturday, August 8, 2020.

Bey was born in Newark, New Jersey but moved to Toronto in 1964. She's appeared on TV/radio, performed in musicals, was nominated for a Grammy and received a Martin Luther King Jr. Award.

Media Links:

Here are a few local social media reactions:

This is a bit heartbreaking - in a previous life as an entertainment PR person, I got to work with Salome Bey a number of times in the 80s and 90s. A very real talent, but more than that, a very warm person and a great positive influence for so many, including me. There won't be another like her.
Eric Alper
Canada’s first lady of blues, Salome Bey, has died. She was honoured with a Toronto Arts Award and an honourary Member of the Order of Canada.
She mixed between sorrowful & uplifting euphoria with forthright vocals always on top form, and one the nicest, kindest people in music. 
Jace Martin
It is so sad to hear of the passing of my greatest mentor in music, Salome Bey...I was 11 years old the first day I met her, I was so nervous at my audition for "Rainboworld" among 40 of Toronto's finest young singers, actors, dancers and musicians that included Grammy Winner, Deborah Cox. I sang my favourite song, "Amazing Grace" but I didn't do it well cause I was so shy...I was about to leave and she stopped me, and told me to come over to her. She asked me to just take a breath. Everything was calm and I sang again, this time I nailed it! Then she told me I got the part and that I had something special to share with the world
She then mentored me for 4 summers and beyond while I lived with her and her family in Toronto during rehearsals and performances of "Rainboworld". That light has been in my heart since then and so has my passion for music...I last seen Salome when I performed at her benefit at LuLu's Lounge a few years back and I hugged her and told her I loved her! She is reunited in heaven with her husband & the coolest guy I ever met, Howard! I am currently recording my new album "Rainboworld" dedicated to her and am so sad, she won't get to hear it! But I hope God pulls back the clouds while I record the song I wrote for her called, "Rainboworld"! Rainboworld to me meant everyone is loved...we are all special...we are all created equal...she helped me realize that at a young age and I thank you Salome! I love you and your family with all my heart! 
Micah Barnes
Salome. The mother of us all! A voice truly blessed from heaven. Who came to inspire us. Travel easy Momma Bey. xo just one of your many children... 

Here are a few videos from the lady herself.

Links: Salome Bey, Videos above courtesy of Salome Bey - Topic

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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Jimmy Witherspoon's 100th Birthday

Today (August 8, 2020) would have been the late American Blues legend Jimmy Witherspoon's 100th birthday.

Biography highlights (from Wikipedia)
Corey Lueck of the Smoke Wagon Blues Band had this to say about the incredible musician:
I've always thought Jimmy Witherspoon was the quintessential war time blues singer. He had that great big band timeless shout blues style that could also get low down and soulful with the jazz cats. Hope he's belting it out for his 100th in that big ol' gig in the sky....
Jimmy recorded the song below with the late Kitchener Blues legend Mel Brown on guitar.

Links: Mel BrownMore Mel Brown Stories, Earl HookerVideo above courtesy of Pig's Vinyl Emporium

More songs from the man himself.

Links: Jimmy Witherspoon, Videos above courtesy of Jimmy Witherspoon - Topic, More 100th Birthdays

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Kitchener's Lynn Jackson Shows Many Sides on New Album

From a snarl to a roar, a purr and beyond, Kitchener songstress, Lynn Jackson can do it all. The talented lady shows us many sides on her latest incredible album, Lionheart from Busted Flat Records.

Here you'll find Lynn, the acoustic troubadour, the hard-edge punk princess, the jazzy chanteuse and many others all in one package. Her vocals leave a unique stamp on every track and beautifully played pianos, violins and more accentuate the songs.

Joining Lynn is a team of extraordinary talents, including Rob Deyman & Silvia DiDonato of the Waterstreet Blues BandScott FitzpatrickJonny Sauder, Chris Boyne, Chris Colvin, Don Featherstone, John Stuart, Alison Corbett and Wendy Wright.

You can pick up this wonderful album at her web siteBandcamp, the Busted Flat page, iTunes, Spotify and more.

You can stream the album below.

Blast from the Past: Lynn's 2015 album, Songs of Rain, Snow and Remembering

Links: Lynn JacksonMore Lynn Jackson StoriesMore Releases

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Live Music Returns to Stonewalls in Hamilton!

Live music is slowly coming back to our area and Hamilton restaurant, Stonewalls will have many talented local artists hitting the stage.

Please note that all events are 6:30-9:30pm. Cover is $10. Reservations required.

Here's what's coming up.

Friday August 7 - Steve Oros

Links: Steve Oros, Video above courtesy of Steve Oros


Saturday August 8 - Mary Simon

Links: Mary SimonMore Mary Simon StoriesVideo above courtesy of Mississippi Bends


Friday, August 14 - Ray Maurice (Hammersmiths)

Links: Hammersmiths,  Video above courtesy of 20K Summer Song


Saturday, August 14 - Jamie Shea

Links: Jamie SheaMore Jamie Shea Stories, Video above courtesy of Jamie Shea


Friday, August 21 - Robin Benedict

Links: Robin BenedictMore Robin Benedict StoriesVideo above courtesy of Fighting Hate 101


Saturday, August 22 - Riley Michaels

Links: Riley Michaels, Video above courtesy of Canal Bank Shuffle

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