October 2017

BTW- Joseph, Metz, Headstones, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Martha Wainwright, Lily Frost, Mark Newman, U.S.Girls

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

All femme trio Joseph returns with a seven-track EP, Stay Awake, released digitally by ATO Records. The collection includes three new songs - "All," which opens the set, a demo of "50, 60, 80" and the closing track, "Stay Awake" plus re-imagined versions of two older songs and stunning covers of Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" and the Rolling Stones' " Moonlight Mile."

Natalie Schepman, who founded Joseph with her two sisters, Allison Closner and Meegan Closner, says, "Stay Awake is a small collection of songs we put together to help ourselves deal with heaviness. It's a bit of telling it like it is. It's a bit of a 'keep going.'"

"When we were recently reminded of Tears for Fears' song 'Everybody Wants to Rule The World,' it hit us how pertinent it is today even though it was written in the 80's. Today, maybe more than ever," explains Natalie, who added a few lines after the bridge that especially speak to the times we live in:

'Make the most of freedom and pleasure.

All I know is take care of each other.

An open door, a seat at the table, there's enough to go around.'

Robert Plant Carry Fire

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Submitted Iain Patience

The world is peppered with musical magpies, musicians who are ever searching, listening out for new, refreshingly interesting rhythms and tones, the next nugget of aural treasure lurking just around the next corner.  For most, there might, if lucky, be a sudden awakening, a new discovery that torches the flame once again and pushes them into a challenging new area or zone. But when you’re Robert Plant your pickings tend to produce pearls.

With Plant’s latest offering, ‘Carry Fire’ on Warner/Nonesuch Records, we have an album that ricochets from area to area, never sitting lazily in any one softly sagging musical zone. From the opening track, with its sparkling, up-beat, up-tempo shades of modern blues and Americana, through the scorching passion of the title track to others that are mesmerising at times and haul indefinably intriguing eastern scales and instrumentation into the forefront, this is an album that is instantly disarming and delicious. Plant includes a take on one of his own personal, life-long favourites, the mid-fifties number, ‘Bluebirds Over the Mountain,’ where he shares the vocals with New Yorker and ex-Pretender, Chrissie Hynde.

In short, this is Plant working his balls off with an evident love, interest and immersion in the changing rhythms of the world around him.

Toby Walker From The Ground Up

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Submitted by Iain Patience

The latest offering from New Jersey, US, acoustic picker, Toby Walker, is nothing short of a complete, masterful tour de force of blues-picking at its very best. Walker is a guy who has been out there many years now, always happy and prepared to push the boundaries with his music and his sheer class act. Here, with ‘From the Ground Up,’ he has glanced over his shoulder, looking back to those remarkable songs and artists that first fuelled his own interest and love for the music as a teenager.

In truth, there’s a track version cover from almost every true, traditional blues giant included within this package: kicking off with Robert Johnson’s ‘Terraplane Blues’, Walker moves effortlessly through Blind Boy Fuller, Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Charley Patton, Fred McDowell, Lead Belly, and just about anyone you care to think of, tackling each style – and these vary enormously – with complete ease and towering skill and talent. And, as Walker explains, these are the tracks, the musicians who first fired him up, lit the spark, and whose work he still adores and returns to time and time again.

As a result, we have a simply stunning collection of traditional blues tracks from the true greats all picked here by Walker, a guy who seems to be easily their equal. This is clearly an album of the year, with twenty-four superb tracks making it an absolute must-have for anyone who loves traditional acoustic blues music.

http://www.littletobywalker.com/

Gord Downie 1964-2017

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Submitted by Don Graham

There are a handful of artists that by name alone are broadstroked with a red and white Canadian brush. Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray and Leonard Cohen to name a few are as Canadian as hockey and maple syrup.

Gord Downie, the lead singer and founder of the Tragically Hip, who passed away last week, also fits into that elite group. A statement released via the band's official Twitter account and posted on its website read as follows "Last night Gord quietly passed away with his beloved children and family close by. Gord knew this day was coming -- his response was to spend this precious time as he always had -- making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss ... on the lips." He was only 53 years old.


Gord was born in Kingston, Ontario with an impassioned love of hockey and with Harry Sinden as his godfather he became a lifelong Boston Bruins fan. But music and songwriting was his calling and first love. The Tragically Hip was formed in 1984 and became one of Canada's most beloved groups with hits such as "Wheat Kings," "Bobcaygeon" and "Ahead by a Century." Downie also released five solo albums from 2001 to 2016 and as much as Canada loved Downie, he loved his country back.

BTW-The Treble, Slow Leaves, The Pack A.D., Skydiggers, Trio Da Kali/ Kronos Quartet, Friendly Rich

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Winnipeg band The Treble has announced their fifth installment of 24 Shows in 24 Hours will take place on October 20 and 21. This year the band has chosen to partner with and raise funds for The National Canadian Mental Health Association.

The Treble will play acoustic sets each hour at a variety of businesses, venues, and historical and recognizable landmarks across Winnipeg, in exchange for donations that will go to support the CMHA. Since its inception, the event has grown significantly, and for its fifth anniversary, this year's iteration promises to be a truly special experience. Since it's inception in 2011, 24 Shows in 24 Hours has raised nearly $20,000 for charity partners including the Canadian Red Cross, Winnipeg Harvest, Free The Children, and Cancer Care Manitoba.

"A band that plays all day and all night for mental health knows the kind of energy it takes to make a difference," says Mark Henick, CMHA National Director of Strategic Initiatives. "The Canadian Mental Health Association thanks The Treble and all its supporters for their commitment and their generosity."