Saturday, February 27, 2021

CONGRATS! 2020 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Award Winners

The 2020 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards were recently unveiled. The special supplemental section featured the best that Hammertown has to offer, including our wonderful music community. 

Here's a list of all the music-related winners.

D = Diamond (1st place)
P = Platinum (2nd place)
G = Gold
Everything else is in the top ten.

Local Musician or Band
A special congrats to our sponsors
Our blogger's workplace, St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centres, won gold for Best Adult Education


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

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Winners of Maple Blues Awards, Final Day, Including Hamilton's Smoke Wagon Blues Band

This year, the Maple Blues Awards are online and divided between four Mondays in February.

The last day - day four (February 22) was streamed from Vancouver.

Below is a video of the final ceremony:

Blast from the Past: Last Years' Winners

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Crowbar's Bad Manors Turns 50!

In 2021, Bad Manors, the classic album from the legendary Crowbar, turns 50 years old! This was the unforgettable Hamilton band's second offering and the first just under just its own name (their debut was technically King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar). This was, of course, the album that would feature their biggest hit, the ever-eternal Oh, What a Feeling.


We asked a few local musicians to give their thoughts on this incredible album.

Paul Panchezak (Trickbag, King Biscuit Boy and touring member of Crowbar)
In Melody Maker, Paul McCartney called "Oh What A Feeling" the "party record of the year". I read it with my own eyes as a young high school student. It made me very proud of my home town.

Corey Lueck (Smoke Wagon Blues Band

When I first dove into the world of classic rock and album hunting  my aunt told me stories of this glorious  band that lived and partied together in this old mansion. That sounded like the life to me! I ran out and picked up a used copy at Cactus Records in Oakville which I still own and play today!

I got such a kick out of how fun this band sounded with the cool train imitations on Train Keep Rolling to the hoots, hollering and yodeling on Baby Let's Play House and of course, the iconic shouts on Oh What What a Feeling.

The album was just jammed packed with Blues, Rocking boogies, boogie woogie piano, whaling harp, and screaming guitar! I'd stare at the picture on the center fold of these wild and crazy Canuck hippies out in the snow! This album was a masterpiece that makes you proud to be a Canadian musician

For me it was one of the heaviest sounds I had heard up to that time! It proved that Canadian musicians could hold they're own with the best in the world! And in most cases surpassing!

Links: CrowbarMore Crowbar Stories, Videos above courtesy of UnidiscMusicMore 50th Anniversary Albums

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Winners of Maple Blues Awards, Day Three including Hamilton's Jesse O'Brien

This year, the Maple Blues Awards are online and divided between four Mondays in February.

Day three (February 15) was streamed from Montreal.

Below is a video of the third ceremony:

Here's a complete list of winners
Blast from the Past: Last Years' Winners

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Carole King's Tapestry w Burlington's Suzanne O

Today (February 10, 2021), Carole King's classic album, Tapestry turns 50 years old.

To celebrate, here are a few videos of Burlington's Suzanne O, who has performed a tribute to Carole on many occasions.

Links: Suzanne OMore Suzanne O Stories, Videos above courtesy of Suzanne O

We asked Suzanne to give her thought about the classic album. Here is what she had to say: 

For me, every song on Tapestry is a brilliant display of great song writing that is delivered with simplicity, heart, and the perfect mix of musicians. It is an album that universally touched people’s souls the instant the needle hit the vinyl.  

The title track, ‘Tapestry’ is one that can make me cry, so I must be careful in approaching it during live performances.  The message of life’s journey is instilled here so aptly, and hits home - more so during these times.  

Lou Adler intuitively produced these songs in such a natural surrounding with all musicians together in Studio B at A&M; and that was part of the secret.  This album holds the magic that was created not only by the outstanding songs written by Carole King (w/ G Goffin and T Stern), but the ambience of the studio space, and the sign of the times in 1971 when it was recorded. 

Each song seems to carry its own vibe and meaning for me, especially playing it live, so I embrace every track on the album with open arms and full heart.  I think this recording affects people on such an emotional level that it cannot really be described by most.  

My feeling is that it transports them to a place of peace and a feeling of pure joy in hearing musical excellence.  I love performing the entire album during our shows, because of the effect it has on the listener.  We take a little trip together that seems to make time and space evaporate. That’s the magic!


Here are a few videos from the lady herself.

Links: Carole King, More Carole King Stories/Covers, Videos above courtesy of Carole King, More 50th Anniversary Albums

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Winners of Maple Blues Awards, Day Two

This year, the Maple Blues Awards are online and divided between four Mondays in February.

Day two (February 8) was streamed from Ottawa.

Below is a video of the second ceremony:

Below is a complete list of winners

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Hamilton's Brandon P General Honours Buddy Holly with a Stunning Covers Album

Brandon P General has taken his considerable talents to honour the legendary Buddy Holly in his latest offering, The Apartment Tapes. The Hamilton singer/songwriter released the album on February 3rd 2021, the anniversary of Holly's death. This wonderful collection is a tribute to the early rocker's final recording, also titled The Apartment Tapes.

While keeping true to Holly's spirit, Brandon does an incredible job of maintaining his own unique style and sound. This is a stripped down affair which focuses on the emotional heft of these classic tunes.

You can stream or downlaod this fabulous album through Brandon's Soundcloud page. The recording is embedded below too.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Honouring the Day the Music Died w Videos by Hwy 24 Band, Sonny Boy Mick, The Big Bopper

Click pic to learn about 'The Day The Music Died"


Links: Hwy 24 Band, Video above courtesy of HWY 24 Band

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Local Artists Win on Day 1 of 2021 Maple Blues Blues Awards

This year, the Maple Blues Awards are Online and divided between four Mondays in February.

Day one (February 1) was streamed from Toronto and a number of local artists won some of the first batch of awards.

Below is a video of the first ceremony:

Below is a complete list of winners. Locals are bolded.