Saturday, December 31, 2022

Remembering Music Legend Ian Tyson

Sadly, Canadian music legend Ian Tyson passed away on December 29, 2022. He had many unforgettable hits as a solo artists as well as with his now ex-wife Sylvia Tyson. Ian was also currently signed to Waterdown's Stony Plain Records.

From the news release (edited):

Canadian Music Legend Ian Tyson Has Died at 89

The family of the late Canadian country legend Ian Tyson, has confirmed the singer-songwriter died from on-going health complications on December 29th, 2022 at his ranch in southern Alberta, Canada at age 89.

Tyson was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, with his former wife and singing partner, Sylvia, in 1992. Tyson became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1994 and in 2003, he received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award, and inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2006.  

Tyson was born to British immigrants in Victoria, and grew up in Duncan B.C. A rough stock rider in his late teens and early twenties, he took up the guitar while recovering from an injury he sustained in a bad fall in the rodeo.

He upped stakes from Vancouver Island and hitchhiked to Toronto, where he met a young singer from small-town Ontario called Sylvia Fricker. As Ian & Sylvia, they were the Canadian stars of the early ’60s folk boom.

Married in 1964, the pair made almost a dozen albums — and wrote some of Canada’s best-loved songs, including Ian’s “Four Strong Winds” and “Someday Soon,” and Sylvia’s “You Were on My Mind”.

After hosting a national Canadian television music show from 1970 to 1975, Tyson realized his dream of returning to the Canadian West. The music and marriage of Ian and Sylvia had ended. 

Life has not been without its difficulties, however. In 2006, he seriously damaged his voice after a particularly tough performance at an outdoor country music festival.

“I fought the sound system and I lost,” he said afterwards. With a virus that took months to pass, his smooth voice was now hoarse, grainy, and had lost much of its resonant bottom end. After briefly entertaining thoughts that he would never sing again, he began relearning and reworking his songs to accommodate his “new voice.” To his surprise, audiences now paid rapt attention as he half-spoke, half-sung familiar words, which seemed to reveal new depths for his listeners.

Tyson released his most recent single “You Should Have Known” in September 2017 on Stony Plain Records, the label that Tyson’s released fifteen albums with since the ‘80s. The song unapologetically celebrated the hard living, hard drinking, hard loving cowboy life.

Donations in Ian’s memory can be made to The Ian Tyson Legacy Fund -

Social Media Reaction

Bill Dillon (guitarist)

Saw Ian and Sylvia live at a school concert in Collingwood, late 60s,I just happened to be in the area 

I did a brief stint with Sylvia in the mid 70s, but that's another story.

But all thru my Yorkville teens they were high on the list of Canadian success stories 

Thru their many TV appearances then finally their own show, whenever my folks would be watching it I did too .

But I was soo focused on Ian's right hand, his wrist, anytime they were performing, I remember remarking to my dad, wow look at the way he does that, supple, smooth, loose wrist, the way he strummed and the easy feel, I was deeply inspired to make that a learning curve for myself, if I could.

Then one day while traveling across Canada with the Hawk, we wound up visiting Ian somewhere out west, I was beside myself in hopes I could tell him, and it came to be, I shook his hand as firmly as I could looking into his eyes and told him, I know everybody knows and loves you for your song writing but you're probably the best rhythm player I'd ever known, I've studied you a lot and thanked him for his huge influence upon my learning guitar, I said you and John Lennon are it for me. 

I'll always remember that joy in meeting him and the opportunity to tell him in person. 

Mostly though, it's the surprise on his face, that kinda "what??" smile on his face and especially in his eyes, when he said well thank you so much son.

Rest In Peace Ian Tyson

Richard Flohil (Publicist)

The death of Ian Tyson, while not unexpected, hit hard. 

In the decades I did publicity for Stony Plain, the label which rejuvenated his career, I suppose I was a gatekeeper — and I turned down lots of media requests, without even consulting his manager, or Ian himself. No, he would not do a two minute interview between the news and the sports on Radio Country Crap Lethbridge — he'd done more interviews than you could count, from the very early 60s until a couple of years ago. 

Yes, Ian was one of the grumpiest people I've ever met and he didn't suffer fools for more than 60 seconds (although in more than 15 years he and I never had an argument). I defended him often — underneath his crusty exterior lurked a songwriter of enormous warmth and sensitivity; if you had been offended by his attitude, just listen to his songs. 

From his early folk days to his cowboy stories of a disappearing lifestyle, Ian Tyson was one of the best songwriters this country ever had. Safe home, old friend. 

Here's a cover from Hamilton artists Matthew and Jill Barber

Links: Matthew Barber and Jill BarberMore Jill Barber MusicMore Matthew Barber StoriesVideo above courtesy of Jill Barber

Here's a tune from the man himself.

Links: Ian Tyson, More Ian Tyson StoriesVideo above courtesy of Ian Tyson - Topic

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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Monday, December 19, 2022

November and December 2022 Episodes of 'Sold on Hamilton With Judy Marsales

The last two tremendous episodes of the 'Sold On Hamilton with Judy Marsales' radio show were broadcast on November 5 and December, 2022 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 November 5, 2022 show featured Tom Oliver of the Hamilton Music Festival, Peggy Chapman of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Marie Sison from Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.

Links: Show above courtesy of Global NewsSold on HamiltonMore 'Sold on Hamilton' Stories

The December 10, 2022 show featured Liam McGlashon aka the Urban Fiddler, Keith Green (Mastermind Data) + Andy David (CIA Computing) and Sales Representative, Richard MacLean from Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.

Links: Show above courtesy of Global NewsSold on HamiltonMore 'Sold on Hamilton' Stories

Links: Marion ShynalUrban Fiddler, More Liam McGlashon Stories, Video above courtesy of Hamilton Public Library

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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Doug Feaver Will Get You in the Holiday Spirit with Folky, Rocking Christmas CD

In 2016, veteran Hamilton musician, Doug Feaver released, First Light Song of Christmas, an incredible collection of holiday songs. This mostly one man show will get you in the yuletide spirit in no time. Folky and rockin', this is not your usually schmaltzy seasonal tunes.

This is a fabulous mix of classics (Santa Claus is Coming to Town, We Wish you a Merry Christmas), traditional Celtic + French tunes and catchy original holiday singalongs. Sew Sew (The So-So Sewing Elf) definitely deserves an animated special ala Rudolph and Frost. Top top things off, his son Doug Feaver Jr. joins him on We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

If you need some more holiday cheer, you can pick up the CD at any of Doug's unforgettable live shows or contact him.

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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sue Foley (signed to Waterdown's Stony Plain) Wins 2022 Blues Blast Music Award

The 2022 Blue Blast Awards winners were recently announced. After more than 10,000 votes Ottawa's Sue Foley was the only Canadian winner. Her latest album was released on Waterdown's Stony Plain Records.

Below is a complete list of winners. 

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Carnegie Concerts Are Back! Tia McGraff/Tommy Parnham, Dave Gunning/JP Cormier, Nathan Rogers

After a COVID-forced break, the Carnegie Concerts are back in 2023.

Saturday, January 21, 2023 - Tia McGraff with Tommy Parham

Friday, February 24 , 2023 - Dave Gunning and JP Cormier

Saturday, April 1, 2023 - Nathan Rogers 

Until December 31, 2022, only a subscription for all three shows (only $89 +HST) will be sold. After the new year, they can be purchased individually.

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Sunday, December 4, 2022

2022 St. Catharines Arts Award Winners

From the website:

The City of St. Catharines recognizes and celebrates the arts through our annual arts awards. The awards seek to increase the visibility of St. Catharines' artists and cultural industries, honour cultural leaders and their achievements, and cultivate financial and volunteer support for the arts sector.

2022 Arts Awards

We are very pleased to announce the 2022 City of St. Catharines Arts Awards recipients: 

Other music related nominees included: Jonathan MooreSarah JerromJoe Lavoie

Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients.


This year’s event was held on November 29, 2022 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, hosted by Deanna Jones. A past Arts Awards recipient, Deanna is co-founder and Artistic Director of Suitcase in Point with whom she has created and performed in over 15 original plays. She directed Niagara Artists Centre’s STRUTT Wearable Art Runway Show (2011-2014) and is Artistic Director of In the Soil Arts Festival.

Performers included:

Friday, December 2, 2022

'Side Streets' the Incredible Debut Album from Hamilton's Ray Materick, Turns 50

Side Streets the incredible debut album from Hamilton music legend Ray Materick turns 50 years old this year (2022).

We asked Ray about his journey and he had this to say:
I had been working for many years on learning how to play the guitar, write songs, sing, and attain my own identity within that framework. I was living in Hamilton on Locke Street and as I was going to university and didn't have a car at the time,  I would take the bus into Toronto and hit the bricks with my demo tape which I had made in my brother's basement.

When I did secure a recording contract, it was pretty amazing. The record was rehearsed for a week and then recorded live off the floor for the most part at Thunder Sound in Toronto. David Bird produced the record and the main players were fairly legendary Canadian musicians. Paul Mills on acoustic lead, Terry Clarke on drums and Don Thompson on bass. I played rhythm guitar and sang of course. The album got great reviews, tons of airplay and set the stage for the rest of my career.

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