Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Local Organist Douglas Haas Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of local organist and music director Douglas Haas. He passed away December 27, 2020 after a brave fight with COVID-19. He was the father of Hamilton musician Annette Haas as well. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

From the online announcement:

December 25, 1936 – December 27, 2020

We are deeply saddened to report the passing of Douglas Haas, one of Canada’s preeminent organists. For 53 years, Doug served as the music director of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Kitchener, Ontario, where, in addition to playing weekly services as an organist and choirmaster, telecast live across Southern Ontario, he founded and hosted a weekly noon-hour concert series (which ran from 1975 to 2020) and an international organists' concert series. He also commissioned and performed many new Canadian choral and organ works.

In addition, Doug was a player on the world stage. Doug performed on tour in Canada, the USA, England, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany, Malta, and Switzerland, and was a guest artist with the Canadian Brass, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Toronto Consort, the London Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra London), the Stuttgart Bach Collegium, and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, among other organizations.

Music was Doug’s life. He was an artist of the highest caliber and a dedicated teacher.

Doug is survived by his wife, Sheryl Loeffler (David’s sister), two children, Annette and Christopher and family, and his brother Dennis.

Doug died from complications of COVID-19.

Facebook Reactions

Trish Walker: "For so many years I always enjoyed listening to Doug play the organ at St Andrew’s.  I would take my mother to listen to all the Christmas and Easter services that Lloyd would record the audio for the TV station to air.  We shall miss you greatly Douglas." 

Sally Kandel (sister-in-law): "He was a world-class musician, a wonderful person, and the love that he and my sister shared was deep and everlasting."

Jonathan Oldengarm: "You were one of my first organ teachers, and had a formative influence on my understanding of the instrument. But your teaching went so much further, as you patiently mentored this somewhat erratic teenager towards a more structured approach to life in general. Over and over, you took chances on young musicians, and supported, encouraged, organized, pushed, and challenged us. And through all of it, you never lost that boyish enthusiasm for new ideas, new technology, new projects, or your zest for life. You were and are a continuing inspiration, may your memory be blessed, and may all of us who have benefited from your life's work go forth and do likewise."

Media Links

Videos above courtesy of arithmecode

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Dundas Bassist Raymond Poirier Passes

Above courtesy of Nicole Noel

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Dundas bassist Raymond Poirier.

His obituary
A life gone too soon. A battle was continually fought, but the Lord had other plans for our dear and caring Raymond Poirier. 
It is with a heavy and saddened heart that we announce the passing of Raymond Joseph Poirier from Dundas, on December 22, 2020 in his 67th year. With his partner, Sandi Stirling by his side, he returned home to be reunited with those who have gone before him, including his parents Ida & Daniel Poirier, and sister Diana Richarz.

Raymond was a loving father to Candace Craven (Dave) and his two grandchildren Jovie and Vincent Craven. Loving partner to Sandi Stirling and step-father to Lynsay (Jordan) and Ken (Erin) Connell. Uncle to Essa Richarz (Carol), JP Richarz (Coretta), Dana Rosiello (Anthony), and a Great Uncle to Zac, Devon, Jenna, Marcus, Madisyn, Robert, Luca, and Domenic.

Raymond had many close friends namely Nicole Noel, Joanne Augustyn, Shannon Beaulieu, John White, Reg and Patti Denis, Rob LaMaines, Mike Almas and Al Falcone and many musicians too many to list. Raymond spent 35 years as a letter carrier with Canada Post, but he was also an exceptionally talented musician playing the bass guitar with bands around Ontario. He had a passion for music, watching live bands, motorsports, go-karts and travelling with his partner Sandi on cruises, bus tours, and a memorable month trip in Kauai. He loved his Beagles as they bought him insurmountable joy. Raymond loved to go camping and even driving in his converted 1964 Blue Bird bus, especially to Racetracks, and being around his friends. Talking about friends and family, Raymond had the biggest heart for all he knew, he was a good man, and you could always trust on him and he was always there for you. The neighbourhood and house will now be quiet, with no band practices in the basement or loud races and Ti-Cat Games on the TV. There will be an emptiness that one is not able to describe, but in spirit he will be with us, continually by our side.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of his life. Thank you to the Doctors who worked endlessly to help him get better. To all of his support team – Medical, friends, and family – you are so appreciated and thank you, you made all the difference and our gratitude overflows to you.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the SPCA

Due to the Covid 19 restrictions, details of Raymond’s service, interment and celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Comments from his obituary page:

Reg Denis (Crackers)
Ray always thanked me for giving him his first job playing in a band in 1968, it was great performing with him and I got to know him Mom n Dad and sister very well. I will always remember our times together, we were very close friends and kept in touch all our lives, he will be very missed, gone but NEVER forgotten.

David Cross and Deanna Cross

Ray played in our band for quite a few years. He loved music, and he was so talented! More than that, he was a kind soul. He only wanted the best for others. We had such good times in that band, owing to his great sense of humour.

Ray is going to be so missed, by his friends, his family, and the Hamilton Music Community.

Rest in Peace, Ray. 

His friend Colin Smith, wrote this song for him

Video above courtesy of Colin Smith

Links: IN2U, More IN2U Stories, More Eagles Covers/Stories, Video above courtesy of David Cross

Video above courtesy of Sandra Spanks

More Raymond Poirier stories

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Crowbar's Roly Greenway Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Crowbar bassist/vocalist Roly Greenway (from Guelph) who died on December 22, 2020 after a brave battle with cancer. Out condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Roly was an integral part of the legendary Hamilton group Crowbar. He is even in the Canadian Songwriter Hall of Fame for his work on the band's massive hit, Oh What a Feeling.


Media Links
From Lou, our blogger:
I had the privilege of meeting Roly on a number of occasions and he was friendly as well as talented. I'll miss him greatly.

Social Media Reaction

Sonny Bernardi (Crowbar)

Yes indeed, Roly was one of a kind. I first met and saw Roly performing with the Ascots at the Concord Tavern ( presently the home of Toronto's largest Long and McQuade outlet) I was 13 or 14 working for my parents in the cloakroom, hanging up customers coats and glued to the band every moment I could.

Roly and Rheal were together back then and what a performer Roly was.  I recall during our recent "Storm the Munk" visit where we converged on him at his home in Guelph and took him from a painful afternoon to a barrage of laughs, jokes and great memories that we had all shared over the years together. We knew he was declining and was awaiting placement in one of two local hospice locations, so along with some now legal influences and some toasting with some well aged double malt scotch, we proceeded to redirect his pains and finished with an early birthday celebration because we were unsure as to what visiting restrictions might be in place at the hospice, so we gave Roly a well deserved send off.

He bravely fought a long battle and chose to face up to the obvious results of declining any further treatments. We are so glad we made the visit and we know he felt the love.

Thankfully the suffering has now stopped for him.

Duane Rutter

Roly came to see Mo Kauffey and I at one of  our many shows at the Wooly in Guelph several years back. We had met a few times, but he still kinda freaked me out because he was like royalty to me. When on our break, Roly treated me like an old friend and gave me some extremely kind words (which I will not share) that meant so much to me. 

My deepest condolences to his dear ones.

Dianne Fontaine (ex-Trailblazers)

I had the pleasure of working with Roly years ago. He was a brilliant writer, player and always had a fresh idea.  You are loved and will be missed. 

Video above courtesy of  Stephen Shelton

Video above courtesy of ThirstyThursdayShow

Links: More Guess Who Covers/Stories, Video above courtesy of Manxcatstales

Links: CrowbarMore Crowbar StoriesVideo above courtesy of Anita Levesque

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Saturday, December 12, 2020

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Band's 'Stage Fright' Turns 50

This year (2020), the incredible album, Stage Fright from The Band turns 50. This legendary group of world renown features members from Norfolk and Six Nations. It includes the smash hits The Shape I'm In and Stage Fright


Guest mini-review by musician Duane Rutter
As far as the album goes, it’s one of my favourites. Shape I’m In an Stage Fright !! C’mon! But I think it’s Ah La Glory that really gives me the chicken skin! “Ah la glory, I’m second story, feel so tall like a prison wall.” Like “if I’m not on top of the world at least I’m upstairs”.

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Monday, December 7, 2020

Canadian Bassist and Music Industry Veteran Doug Chappell Passes

It is with sadness that we report on the passing of Canadian bassist and music industry veteran Doug Chappell. He died on December 3, 2020 in Niagara Falls. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Career highlights:
Media Links:
Social Media Reaction

I was so sad today to hear that we lost our good friend Doug Chappell last night who signed The Pikes to Virgin Records on December 18, 1986.
Our lives changed after we met Doug, he truly believed in our music & he left us to record our songs the way we wanted. 
He was one of us, a musician & a true lover of music.  
I remember picking Doug up at the Boston airport in August of 1992 when he came to visit while we were recording Neptune at Blue Jay Studio in Carlisle, MA. The first thing he did once he got settled at the studio was grab the rough mixes from a DAT tape, plugged in his headphones & immediately began to smile, a moment I will always remember.
He will surely be missed by his family & the many friends he had in the music business.
R.I.P. Doug

Lori Yates

Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Doug Chappell - VIP Virgin Music Canada (on the right ) a true class act - loved working and knowing you!
Seen here with my last manager the late great Gary Pring - two of the good guys💔💔

Duane Steele

Doug signed me to Mercury Records in 1995. Without a doubt one of the most forthright and down to earth guys I ever met in the business. I heard today that he passed away last night. Very sorry I didn't get to see him again. What a loss. R.I.P Doug . Thanks for believing in me and my crew way back when.

Video above courtesy of Rocking Speedo

Links: This video features Richard Newell (later named King Biscuit Boy) on vocals, More KBB StoriesVideo above courtesy of mewrth

Video above courtesy of mewrth

Previous (King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar's Official Music Turns 50) - - - Next (The Band's 'Stage Fright' Turns 50)

Sunday, December 6, 2020

King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar's Official Music Turns 50!

This year (2020), Official Music, the legendary album by King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar turns 50 years old. It was the explosive debut for both Crowbar and King Biscuit Boy, who sang lead on all the tracks. The recording featured the late, great Biscuit's biggest hit - his definitive cover of Corrina, Corrina as its first single.


Local Musician Comments

Original Crowbar Guitarist John Gibbard
There was little, if any pre-production work done before recording Official Music. Most of the material had been worked up while we were performing as "And Many Others", Ronnie Hawkins backup band.
It was a pretty loose session. I remember there was a galvanized metal tub filled with ice and beer on the floor of the studio.
The Dr. Music players joined in at one point, and audibly arranged horn parts etc. 'on the fly'. Their input made a huge difference!
It was a rare air experience for me, as it was my first recording session.

Paul Panchezak (Trickbag drummer, played in a touring version of Crowbar as well as King Biscuit Boy's solo band)

I first heard this record when it received an exclusive preview by Nevin Grant on CKOC

Bob Bryden (singer, guitarist for the Canadian band, Christmas)

(Official Music is) still a knock-out. It was the success of this album which led Daffodil to also sign Christmas. We opened for Richard several times. 

Peter Temple

I had this album as a kid. (I still have the vinyl copy). I was dabbling in both guitar and harp. It was this album that turned me toward playing Harp as my primary instrument. Richard was as important to me as Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, and Charlie Musselwhite were.

I remember woodshedding to 'Biscuit Boogie', 'Hoy, Hoy Hoy', 'Corrina, Corrina' to name a few. That was no easy task, to sit in the basement, picking up the stylus and putting it down over and over again to figure out what he was doing. It was may fav band, & album for a couple of years till Biscuit left.

The first time I heard him live, was when I was 16. It was at the Sauble Beach Pavillion. The 'King' title was very appropriate at the time. He was among the best. I recall meeting Richard at 'The Station Hotel' in Kitchener. This was approx around 1990, and he was in his final few years. He had declined a little bit, but was excellent in the 2nd set. We sat and talked between sets, and it was a wonderful time, sitting with one of my harmonica hero/mentors. 

Its too bad he had some demons that he could not overcome, however, I remember all the positives, and how great he was, and basically what a nice guy he was. And yes he could also sing really well. RIP Richard Newell AKA King Biscuit Boy, 

Our mini-review:

This album is arguably the best Canadian Blues album of all time. Biscuit and the boys were firing on all cylinders and helped make a musical statement that Hamilton was the Great White North's home of the Blues. A must for all serious Blues fans.


Links: King Biscuit BoyMore KBB StoriesCrowbarMore Crowbar StoriesVideos above courtesy of King Biscuit Boy, Crowbar - TopicMore Album 50th Anniversaries

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Thursday, December 3, 2020

GOOD LUCK! 2021 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominees

For details on the event, please scroll down.

Here is a complete list of nominees (local acts are bolded)

Contemporary Album

  • Are You in Love? by Basia Bulat 
  • At the Edge of the World by Mike McKenna Jr. 
  • Drifters by Joe Nolan  
  • Reliever by William Prince
  • Sugar & Joy by The Dead South 
  • Yours To Break by The East Pointers 

Contemporary Singer

  • Catherine MacLellan for Coyote (Burlington)
  • Coco Love Alcorn for Rebirth 
  • Basia Bulat for Are You in Love? 
  • Tim Chaisson for Yours To Break
  • William Prince for Reliever 

Solo Artist 

  • Coyote by Catherine MacLellan (Burlington)
  • Lynn Miles for We'll Look For Stars 
  • William Prince for Reliever 
  • Riit for ataataga 
  • Julian Taylor for The Ridge 


  • K'eintah Natse Ju by Leela Gilday (Producer: Hill Kourkoutis)
  • Some Kind of Hell by Burnstick (Producers: Jason & Nadia Burnstick)
  • The Spark by William Prince (Producers: Scott Nolan, Dave Cobb)
  • Wintergreen by The East Pointers (Producer: Gordie Sampson)

Traditional Album 

Indigenous Songwriter(s) 

Instrumental Group

  • Beòlach for All Hands 
  • Gordon Grdina’s The Marrow for Safar-E-Daroon
  • Jessica Deutsch and Ozere for Traces 
  • Rhizome for Double Capture 

Children’s Album

English Songwriter(s)

  • Coco Love Alcorn for Rebirth
  • Basia Bulat for Are You in Love? 
  • William Prince for Reliever 
  • Pharis and Jason Romero for Bet On Love 
  • Sarah Jane Scouten for Confessions 
  • Julian Taylor for The Ridge  


  • OKAN for Sombras
  • Pharis and  Jason Romero for Bet On Love 
  • Sultans of String for Refuge
  • Sussex for The Ocean Wide
  • The Dead South for Sugar and Joy 

French Songwriter(s) 

  • Guillaume Arsenault for La partie de moi qui tremble 
  • Raphaël Delahaye for Le sens de la dérive
  • Marie-Ève Lapierre-Lemoyne for Onze
  • Flavie Léger-Roy for Ce chapeau est trop grand pour moi 
  • Alexandre Poulin for Nature humaine

Instrumental Solo Artist 

  • Marc Atkinson for Solo 
  • Benjamin Barrile for Esperando el Alba 
  • Gordon Grdina for Prior Street 
  • Nick Hornbuckle for 13 or So
  • Natalie MacMaster for Sketches 

New/Emerging Artist(s) 

  • Noah Derksen for America, Dreaming
  • Marie-Ève Laure for Onze 
  • Maya Rae for Can You See Me? 
  • Emily Rockarts for Little Flower
  • Rum Ragged for The Thing About Fish
  • Emily Triggs for Middletown 


  • Dave Clarke and  Bill Garrett for Coming Home (Steel Rail) 
  • Roy Forbes for Edge of Blue (Roy Forbes) 
  • Marc Jenkins for Bet On Love (Pharis and Jason Romero) 
  • Dayna Manning for Morning Light (Dayna Manning) 
  • Chris McKhool & John 'Beetle' Bailey for Refuge (Sultans of String)  

Pushing the Boundaries Award 

  • Aerialists for Dear Sienna 
  • Mélisande [Électrotrad] for Les myriades 
  • Riit for ataataga 
  • The East Pointers for Yours To Break 
  • The Henrys for Paydirt 

Traditional Singer 

  • Mike Bravener for Depends Upon The Pay
  • Kevin Harvey for Hand Me Down Blues 
  • Mark Manning for The Thing About Fish 
  • Lou Natale for Workin' the Mystery 
  • Pharis Romero for Bet On Love 

Vocal Group

  • Beauséjour for Beauséjour 
  • Big Little Lions for Inside Voice 
  • Kennedy Road for A Little Fight Left Yet
  • Pharis and Jason Romero for Bet On Love 
  • The Barrel Boys for Mainline 

World Album 

  • Africa Without Borders by Okavango African Orchestra 
  • Kora flamenca by Zal Sissokho 
  • La Serena by Aviva Chernick 
  • Patria by Mazacote 
  • Sombras by OKAN 

Young Performer(s)

  • Maya Rae for Can You See Me? 
  • Moscow Apartment for Better Daughter 
  • Paige Penney for Watch Out For Your Step
  • Quin With One N for Out of the Blue 
  • The Gilberts for The Gilberts: One  

From the newsletter:

(December 1, 2020 - HALIFAX) The Canadian Folk Music Awards celebrates its 16th edition, with a roster of nominations that celebrates the breadth and depth of Canadian folk music.  This year’s nominees span the country from Baie-Egmont, Prince Edward Island to Pangnirtung, Nunavut, and from Horsefly, British Columbia to St. John's, Newfoundland — celebrating the diversity and talent of artists and musicians across Canada.

Established by Canada’s vibrant and internationally-recognized folk music community, the awards currently boasts 19 categories. Nominees are chosen for each category through a two-stage jury process. More than 100 jurors, located across Canada, representing all official provinces, territories and languages, determine the official recipients in each category.

CFMAs are pleased to present two NEW Award categories for 2021. A new award for “Single of the Year” recognizes an artist or group, and their producer(s) for a single release recording, or a track from an album that was released as a single, open to all folk genres, songs and instrumentals.  Another award has been added, “World Music Album Of The Year,” which replaces the former awards for “World Solo Artist of the Year,” and “World Group of the Year.”

The 16th edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards Celebration will take place online again this year, and will present all 19 Awards, plus the Unsung Hero Award bringing the total to 20 Awards, virtually, over the weekend of April 9-10, 2021. The Awards were originally scheduled in-person over this weekend in Charlottetown, PEI, however, the CFMAs have made the difficult decision to cancel the live shows and weekend celebrations due to COVID-19. The health and safety of our patrons, artists, staff and the general public remains paramount, more information will be shared in early 2021. 

The Awards Weekend online presentations will capture the true heart of the folk community, while celebrating the 2021 nominees and the category recipients. The virtual CFMA Awards show will announce the recipients of the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Our bilingual hosts will review all the CFMA categories, nominees, and announce recipients, including the Unsung Hero Award Presentation, along with announcing where our 2022 event will take place. Please be sure to “like” our facebook page here for easier access to the live stream → https://www.facebook.com/prixfolkawards/