Sunday, April 24, 2022

Entertaining and Insightful Bob Lanois Documentary on YouTube

On April 20, 2022, filmmaker Dave Conlon posted Bob Lanois: Snake Road, an entertaining and insightful documentary about the late music legend Bob Lanois on YouTube. 

It blossomed from what was meant to be an episode of Dave's YouTube series on abandoned properties. He had heard about a cabin in the woods near Burlington. It turns out to have belonged to Hamilton native Bob Lanois. Intrigued, Dave expanded it to be his first full-length documentary, this time focusing on Bob's life.

The in-depth look includes interviews with many luminaries of the music scene, including.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Juno-Winning Superstar Jerry Doucette Passes

It's with sadness that we announce that superstar Jerry Doucette passed away on April 18, 2022 after a brave battle with cancer. The Juno-wining music legend was best known for his smash hit 1977 Mama Let Him Play. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Jerry was born in Montreal but moved to Hamilton when he was 4 and spent some of his childhood there. Later he moved to Toronto then Vancouver and BC.

Media Stories

Social Media Reaction

Jeff Neil (Streetheart)
A brilliant singer/songwriter/ player.
Personally I feel Jerry never received the accolades his talent deserved.
We used to play his amazing debut album constantly back when bands played music over their systems when they took a break.
Another great Canadian artist gone far too soon. 
My sincere condolences go out to all of Jerry's family and loved ones.
Live you life fully friends and don't forget to tell the people you love that you do.

David Gogo

I’m sorry to hear that Jerry Doucette has passed. Tremendously talented musician and Canadian legend. The first time I met him, he shook my soft hand and said “You must be a good guitar player, because it doesn’t feel like you’ve worked a day in your life!’. Sending love to his family. 

Bill Dillon (The Boomers)

And now Jerry Doucette!! Gone at 70 yrs young I've known him since the 60s, along with so many of us here. I was just 16 yrs when I'd first met and heard him. Rest In Peace Jerry 

Russell McAllister (former bandmate) 

Heart with a hole tonight. I've lost a wonderful friend and the memories both good and some bad in our musical treasure hunt way back. At twelve years of age, Jerry was turning heads. I was called upon to listen to the Reefers in a home out in Winona and I drove to the address given. There with the usual start up gear of the day learning Pretty Woman. Jerry was struggling to syncopate the pattern to compliment the drummer, Al Rees, I believe. I was asked to show Jerry the Riff. He was embarrassed, I think. I followed Al into the intro and shared the fingering with Jerry two or three times. Within fifteen minutes he nailed it. In that era, to play Pretty Woman was very cool.

Jerry turned out to be the standout in the band. The ladies were gushing and really turning Jerry crimson at all of The Reefers gigs.  He pissed off many of his older peers because of his quick rise to local fame. That started the search for knowledge. One-upmanship was the order of the day. When any of the local bands would play at a High School all of the other groups not working would be on scene to watch the crowd reaction. Jerry would step out front and wail away and stun all of the other Slingers on hand. F%#k Me, did you hear that. One of many phrases used to describe Jerry.

In 1969 I finally had a chance to work in a band with Jerry. Buxton Kastle proved to be a battle ground for Jerry and I. Initially we both tried to be ALPHA AXE. Finally, we helped each other with some personal issues and formed a bond that to this day is sacred. We started encouraging each other during solos and finding perfect harmonies in some brilliant lush fat sounding passages. It was a thing of beauty. From then on we were each other's Wing Man.

As we know Jerry's Momma let him take off to the west coast, where magic took place. His Mama Let Him Play all over North America to packed arenas and festivals. Hamilton had their own 6ft 3inch Guitar God. Jerry had some demons but he also had charisma and attitude. He worked at El Macombo and Budweiser Stage in Toronto. Many of us went to see him kick ass as only he could. Jerry Doucette will always be Our Jerry. Hamilton's own. I loved you, Amigo. As did others. However, no one will remember you or miss you in this arena more than I. Keep Bendin' em my friend. God Bless you.

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Juno-Winning Canadian Music Legend Bill Bourne Passes, R.I.P.

It's with sadness that we announce that Juno-winning Canadian music legend Bill Bourne passed away on April 16, 2022 after a brave battle with kidney cancer. Our codelences to his family, friends and fans.

Born in Alberta to a musical family, his career would lead him to forming Bourne and MacLeod (with whom he won his first Juno), Tri-Continental and having a successful solo career. He played often in our region.

Media Stories

A comment from Lou, our blogger
Bill was an amazing musician I've met quite a few times over the years. He was always full of positivity and light. Bill was definitely a world-class musician who skillfully blended styles from around the globe. His sound was incredible and unique.

Social Media Reaction

Bill's Facebook Page
On behalf of Bill's family, to Bill's music family around the world, it is with sadness and relief, that we announce that Bill passed on this morning.  He was surrounded by family and love and went peacefully and gratefully into whatever is next.  The family requests privacy at this time to mourn his death.  Kind thoughts and good wishes to you all, at this sad time.  He will live on in his beautiful music - Dance and Celebrate!
Linda Luigi (Hamilton Blues Lovers, Ensemble!)
I was so sad to hear that Bill Bourne passed away!  I first met Bill at the Festival of Friends in Hamilton ON, many yeas ago. He was in a band called Bourne and MacLeod at that time.  I was blown away by his lyrics and musical talent! His music helped me get though some tough times at that point in my life. I came out to his shows whenever he performed in my area. The last time I saw him was at a small blues festival in Westdale with Tri-Continental I will forever be grateful for the beautiful gifts of music he shared with everyone that had the privilege to hear him. RIP Bill!

Scott Cook (Musician)

Been thinking about what a huge influence and inspiration he was for me, how valuable his friendship and perspective were, how generous he always was with his time and talents, how many lives he touched in ways he never even knew, and what an honour and a gift it is to live a life in music. He gave us so much. He made us want to be better people. I'm relieved that he's free from pain. Love to all who loved him. Let's dance while we can.

Links: Bourne and MacLeod, More Bourne and MacLeod StoriesVideo above courtesy of Bourne and MacLeod - Topic

Links: Tri-ContinentalMore Tri-Continental StoriesVideo above courtesy of Tri-Continental - Topic

Links: Bill BourneMore Bill Bourne storiesVideo above courtesy of Folk Roots and Blues

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Hamilton's Brad Hill Was Always Positive and a Great Musician, R.I.P.

It's with sadness that we announce that Hamilton bassist/singer Brad Hill after a brave battle with cancer on April 15, 2022. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. He performed with many bands inclusing IN2ULone Star Oasis and the Lakeshore Boys

His obituary
Bradley George Edward Hill, 28 FEBRUARY, 1957 – 15 APRIL, 2022
Passed away at home on April 15, 2022 after a heroic battle with cancer. Brad is now reunited with his father George, mother Gwen and brother Barry. He will be greatly missed by his children Matthew, Shannon and Amber (Matt), grandchildren Hazel and Scarlett, partner Mary Ann and her daughter Heather (Liam). Brad was truly a kind and generous man, loved by all who have met him. He was a passionate member of the Hamilton music community since the 60's, playing in countless bands over the years. Brad was also a past master of the Hugh Murray Masonic Lodge and found great joy in the charity work that his lodge performed over the years. Brad has touched the hearts of so many, and the world will miss his shining light. Cremation has taken place. Family will receive friends at CRESMOUNT FUNERAL HOME, 322 Fennell Ave. E., on Thursday, April 21st from 2-4 and 7-9pm. A service to celebrate Brad's life will be held on Friday, April 22nd at 1pm in the chapel. Interment to follow at Hamilton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or Canadian Mental Health Association are appreciated. Due to COVID, there will be no reception at this time.

Social Media Reaction

Matt Hill (son)

It is with a heavy heart I must announce the passing of my father (Brad Hill) on the early morning of April 15th

He had a long battle with pancreatic cancer and fought strong until the end, the whole time never complaing or losing faith.   

Our relationship together over the years became a truly close friendship.  We have played countless hours of music together over the years and his passing will leave behind a wealth of memories. I feel so blessed to have had the father I did and to have spent the amount of quality time together. 

He will be missed by many and loved by all 

We are all thankful He is finally at peace.  

David Cross (IN2U)

It is difficult for me to put into words, about Brad Hill's passing. I can say that he was a wonderful human being, and also, an amazing musician, partner, and father. 

Tony, Brad, Dee and I, we all played together, hung out together, and those times are my best memories. This last year, in particular, Brad showed us how strong he was. So many setbacks for him, and he never complained at all. 

Brad always had these sayings, that would make you laugh. At the end of the gig "Straight home guys, ok?" Or "The pleasure is all yours". 

When I would ask if he could do a gig, he would never say no, he always used to say "Sure, I just wanna play, man".  And he did. He played right up until he could not. 

I am  really going to miss him. 

RIP Brad 

Big Johnny Blue

It is with much tears and sadness that my pal, Brad Hill passed away today. Brad had played with me on several gigs and he was just a great friend and great musician. R.I.P Brad. 

Stephen Shelton (Lakeshore Boys)

Such sad news about my band mate Brad Hill he was alway positive and a great musician. I played in two bands with Brad and many jams. My condolences to his family and Mary Ann Chamberlain. RIP my brother. 

Links: IN2UMore IN2U StoriesVideo above courtesy of David Cross / IN2U

Links: Sal IndigoVideo above courtesy of Vesna Trkulja-Stevens

Links:  Shades of Blue Revue, More SOBR StoriesVideo above courtesy of Vesna Trkulja-Stevens

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Friday, April 15, 2022

March and April Episodes of 'Sold on Hamilton' with Judy Marsales ft Hamilton Children's Choir and Paul "Johnny Cash" Anthony

On March 5 and April 2, 2022 more incredible episodes of the 'Sold On Hamilton with Judy Marsales' radio show aired on CHML 900AM in Hamilton. 

This wonderful show is generally broadcast on the first Saturday on the month between 11am and 12pm. It is hosted by Judy Marsales, owner of Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd (a proud HBL sponsor) and an amazing local music supporter. The program showcases the best and brightest citizens of the Hammer, including many musicians. Judy also discusses the Hamilton housing market.

The March 2022 show featured organizers of Hamilton Children's Choir and realtors from Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.

Links: Hamilton Children's ChoirMore Hamilton Children's Choir StoriesShow above courtesy of Global NewsSold on HamiltonMore 'Sold on Hamilton' Stories

Video above courtesy of Hamilton Children's Choir


The April 2022 show featured Paul Anthony, an incredible Johnny Cash tribute artist and realtors from Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.

Links: Paul AnthonyMore Paul Anthony StoriesShow above courtesy of Global NewsSold on HamiltonMore 'Sold on Hamilton' Stories

Video above courtesy of CMiTV Country Music Internet Television

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Monday, April 11, 2022

Paul RK Wheeler Jr., a Performer of Boundless Energy, Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Hamilton/Niagara musician, Paul RK Wheeler Jr. He passed away on April 11, 2022 due to cancer complications. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Paul grew up in a talented musical family and started drumming at the age of 4 but skillfully picked up many other instruments along the way. He played with many bands in multiple genres throughout the years.  In his incredible career, he opened for Alice Cooper, Trooper, Big Wreck, Foo Fighters, Alannah Myles, Nazareth, April Wine and Pete Best (Beatles). Most recently, Paul played for AC/DC tribute band Squeeler and The Rockets.

A word from Lou, our blogger:
I had the pleasure of meeting Paul a number of times over the years. He always had a smile on his face and was filled with boundless energy both on-stage and off. His wonderful attitude was infectious and his talent was immense. I will miss him dearly.

Media stories

Social Media Reactions

Bill Dillon (Rockets bandmate)

Sometimes all we have left are photographs and memories. Until such time it is all we too have left behind us .

Thank you Paul Wheeler for all you have blessed us with of yourself  and may you rest eternally in peace.

Dave Rave (Teenage Head)

Very sad news - we lost a true gentleman and inspiration to all of us .  RIP  Paul R K Wheeler Jr. We will all miss your talent and generous spirit. 

Coleen Drinkwalter-Plate (local music fan and friend of Paul)

My heart hurts knowing that this amazing person has left us. Paul R K Wheeler Jr. was an amazing friend and a super talented performer.  

Joanne Muroff Smale (Planet3 Communications)

You taught me the history of music out of the Niagara region - heck, going back to the early days of your family's talents.   As you shared, acts use to perform in the northern part of USA, crossed the border to perform in the region -  only to turn around to continue gigging in the States & onwards to Montreal.   Loved your Tuesday (I believe) nights at Tapp's Bar and Grill - the older crowd on Queen Street Downtown - lol. Big Texas Niagara great stuff.  You are a force to be reckoned with.   You 'bluprinted' musical memories of days gone by - thanks for the notes, thanks for the peace & love kiddo 

Mike Markarian (musician)

So saddened to hear of Paul R K Wheeler Jr.'s passing. Our association dates back to him producing the first Slang CD "Resilience". We had a ton of laughs together, "Uncle Paulie", for anyone who knew him, was a total cut up, just a great fun guy to be around, not to mention his many diverse musical talents. Paul has been a constant on the Niagara music scene for 5 decades.  He will be missed. F*ck cancer. RIP Paulie, thoughts are with his family and close friends at this time, condolences to you all. 

Kevin Richard Hotte (drummer)

My memory of the Wheeler Brothers.

Back in "the day" I was playing at Uncle Sam's in Niagara Falls. Between sets, I went next door to The Sundowner which, at that time also had bands. I sat down and watched Paul and Jon performing with a band called The Criminals. I thought they were a very good band. Jon was an outstanding guitar player and Paul equally as good playing bass. They had their show nice and polished, wardrobe, posing etc. They left a really strong impression on me. 

Sometime later, I get a phone call from Jon asking me If I would be interested in joining their band. Apparently, some agent they were working with at the time wanted to book them on a tour of Quebec and parts of Northern Ontario. I said sure. So we got together in the basement of their house and pounded out the set list. I remember the very first song we jammed on was Crazy Train. It was just new on the charts. While we were jamming you could feel the electricity as well as the uncanny, almost telepathic synergy that Paul and Jon had between them. I thought "we're gonna go over awesome".

A week or two later, I get a call from Jon. He's very pissed off and he tells me that the tour fell through. I don't remember the reason or circumstances. But anyway, I took an offer with another band and we kind of lost touch with one another after that until FB became a thing and I reached out to Paul after Jon's passing. It was obvious that we had mutual respect for each other because in that short period of time that we were a band, we left enough of an impression on each other to remember each other many years down the road. We re-connected through Facebook and spoke occasionally. 

That's it. That's my story of working with Paul and Jon. Godspeed and RIP my friend. No are with Jon now. I hope we can jam again one day!

Cartoonist/Musican Bob Sherwood

I lost an old friend of mine to cancer last week. He was a great musician from the "old school" Southern Ontario live music scene. This caricature is my tribute to him.

Videos above courtesy of Paul R K Wheeler Jr

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Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Hamilton's Boris Brott Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Hamilton conductor, artistic director and motivational speaker Boris Brott. He passed away on April 5, 2022 as a result of a hit and run accident. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. 

Social Media Reaction

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the sudden and tragic passing of the one and only musical genius and Canadian artistic visionary Boris Brott. He will be sorely missed by all who appreciated his unsurpassed talent and by those who loved him. More details will be released later. As family and staff process this unthinkable news, we ask for privacy at this time.
Steve Paikin (Journalist) 
I saw him literally two days ago at a concert in Hamilton. We had a great chat about how he was still so engaged in his work, his music, and his family, and showed no interest in slowing down.  I've known Boris my whole life. The music world in general and Hamiltonians in particular mourn his loss

Lianne Cranfield 

My heart aches with profound sadness to hear this tragic news.  "Stay strong and optimistic..." were some of the last words written to me from Boris Brott just a few weeks ago, a man who has impacted my life and been connected to my family in many beautiful ways since I was young.

If you were a kid in the 80s, you would be sure to have gone to Hamilton Place to see this incredible man conduct the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.  My family also went regularly throughout my childhood to the children's series he put on at Hamilton Place-- it was my absolute favourite. 

Boris made the stories come fully alive with the music as he spoke to the children in the audience with such tenderness and love. It was so memorable.  I then shared the stage with Boris at Hamilton Place for a Hamilton fundraiser event during the years I had played Annie. 

In my teens, I worked as a waitress at Cleveland's house resort and for 2 weeks had the honour of being the daily server for Boris and his family.  I would get so caught up at the table chatting with him and his wife Ardyth, his beloved wife whom I absolutely admired.  During their stay at Cleveland's House, Boris took me out fishing for the day with his son when a storm came up quickly and at that moment, Boris' boat stalled and we were quickly drifting into the rocks.  Boris so calmly and stoically called out to shore, "Ahoy! ...... Ahoy!" ...   It was an incredibly joyful day as we were soon towed to shore and had such a good laugh. 

I stayed in touch with Boris for some time and my family continued to know him and connect with him in Muskoka.  Most recently, I felt so honoured when he reached out with a phone call after hearing my father had passed away.  Our conversation covered so much ground.   He wanted to know everything about my life and his compassionate eye for my losses warmed heart so much as he wished me true happiness and love in my life.  He told me how he had such a tender spot for my parents in his heart too and we promised we would keep in touch.  We had such a good laugh again that day. 

Since then we have emailed several times and he has helped me navigate some of my musical endeavours.  I was hoping to play with him one day, and even had a dream of playing at the Arts Centre in the Yukon with him.  His kindness was so natural and genuine.  His interest in the well-being of others so honest and true.  I felt so incredibly honoured to be back in touch with you, Boris Brott. 

Thank you for the music, for the genuine human connection and as you said about your own father just days ago on Facebook, you were also "the embodiment of kindness".  My heart goes out to Ardyth and the family, friends and colleagues and everyone who was impacted by such a gifted man, Boris Brott.  RIP Boris Brott.  Keep a watchful eye on us down here... Always in my heart. Ahoy! 

Sara Moody Veldhuis (Event Promoter)

I am very shocked and extremely saddened to hear the news of the tragic and senseless hit-and-run death of Canadian musical icon Boris Brott!  I have so many fond memories of working with him in the various roles we shared with each other. He was larger than life…so full of life and living…a true visionary!  He put the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra on the map, internationally, and did things with them that no other orchestra had done before.  

I am so glad to have been able to perform under his baton as a student, and to work with him through various projects as an adult.  My heart goes out to his family, his friends and the many musicians who have been touched by his artistry over his career.  May he RIP! 

Media Links

Links: Boris BrottMore Boris Brott Stories, Videos above courtesy of Boris Music Festival

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Saturday, April 2, 2022

Doris Day's 100th Birthday! Covers by Kitchener's Mary-Catherine Pazzano

Today (April 3, 2022) would have been American singer/actress Doris Day's 100th birthday.

Biography highlights
Below are covers by Kitchener songstress Mary-Catherine Pazzano, who recently performed an amazing show dedicated to Doris Day.

Mary's Thoughts on Doris Day:
Doris Day's intimacy with a lyric knows no peer. I was first introduced to her as a comedic actress in Pillow Talk, but my ventures into her musical films and recordings reveal one of the finest singers of her time, and a stellar interpreter of the Great American Songbook. It's a true privilege to get to honour her on the eve of her 100th birthday.
Links: Mary-Catherine Pazzano, Videos above courtesy of Mary-Catherine Pazzano

Now a song from the lady herself . . . 

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