November 2017

Top Music Star Inspired Slot Machines with Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Madonna

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

In order to attract new audiences, casino operators are always keeping an eyes-out for recent trends and CHANGING THE WAY GAMES ARE BEING PLAYED or changing the games itself. This is especially true for slot machine games which are designed around new themes such as music to appeal to a new genre of fans.

‘The King of Pop – Michael Jackson’
It’s no surprise that the King of Pop has been immortalized in a slot machine game. The first of two slot machine games, it offers two bonus games based on Michael Jackson’s music videos for “Beat It” and “Smooth Criminal”. Clips from the video are incorporated into the game’s design including Michael making his famous moonwalk across the screen leaving wilds behind. With the background music also including Michael’s hits, this slot machine will appeal to his fans as well as pop music enthusiasts.

Cameron Blake Fear Not

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Submitted by Laura Dodero

Fear Not, the second studio platter from Cameron Blake, will likely end up being one of the defining releases in Blake's musical career. You can't accuse him of aiming low. Blake's dozen songs on Fear Not make use of a supporting cast numbering nearly fifty musicians to take on the theme of fear. The songs, in a variety of contexts, explore the subject without any sentimentality or straining for effect. They succeed in a major way, thanks to his focus on the reality of this subject rather than just some grab bag of tropes and easy drama. It's autobiographical, or at least that suggestion is there, but Blake has a sharp interest in the lives of others outside his sphere that's reflected in his personal journey. The greatest artists often bring those things that drive their daily lives into their art and it's, invariably, a beautiful experience. Blake brings that experience to its near zenith with Fear Not.

Tribe Royal Colours of the Sun

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Submitted by Don Graham

‘Wasting Time’ is the title of the current single by Tribe Royal, not a description of the band. If anything it’s the exact opposite.  This Ottawa based band is anything but wasting time.

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a new band that has a sound so unique that it’s hard to label them. The sound is retro but blended with a rawness and originality that stamps them with a current sounding musical offering. You know you want to listen to more of the tracks.

On their sophomore CD, “Colours of the Sun”,  there are shades of The Beatles, a little Lovin’ Spoonful and on the current single ‘Wasting Time’ some Green Day. Add some Everly Brothers-type harmonies spiced with some Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar sounds and you get the idea.

The band consists of Terry O’Brien, voice and guitar, Chris Kerwin, voice and guitar, bassist and vocalist Bram Al-Najjar and drummer Mike Giamberardino.  

In O’Brien’s words, “I love playing 60s-style pop songs that are done in under two minutes but I also love longer, jammier deep-feel stuff. With us, it really is a balance trying to get everything in there without compromise.”

The highlight for the band to date was a live performance was a billing on The Ottawa Bluesfest getting to share a stage with Canadian stalwart Sam Roberts. : That was definitely a fun gig for us!’, said Kerwin recently over lunch in Toronto. 

Mel Tillis, Singer-Songwriter and Country Music Hall of Famer, Dies at 85

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By Erin Nyren and Chris Willman
Courtesy of Variety
Photo Credit Steve C. Mitchell

Mel Tillis, country music singer and songwriter, has died, the Country Music Hall of Fame confirmed in a statement. He was 85.

According to the Tennessean, Tillis died early Sunday morning at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fla. after almost two years of ill health stemming from a bout of diverticulitis, for which he received surgery. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure.

Tillis began recording in the late 1950s and continued to perform through 2015, but remained best known for a string of No. 1 country hits in the late ’70s, along with a succession of appearances in Hollywood movies alongside Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood that helped make him a household name even outside the country music sphere.

“Mel Tillis spent a lifetime giving us joy and laughter and music, which is why his death brings such sadness,” said Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young. “Had he never stepped on a stage, he would still have been one of the funniest and most genuine people on the planet.”

“But his whimsy and warmth were only a part of his appeal. He wrote some of country music’s most compelling and consequential songs, he fronted a remarkable band, and he sang with power and emotion. He also shone as an inspiration, revealing what others called an impediment as a vehicle for humor and hope.”

Robert Plant Carry Fire

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Submitted by Iain Patience/Cashbox International Journalist

There are stars, superstars and even megastars. Then there is Robert Plant, a guy who is, or has been, all three of them together, and who remains at the very top of the universal musical tree. Refreshingly, speaking with a relaxed Plant, on the near-eve of the release of his latest album, ‘Carry Fire’ on Warner, the man himself is a genuine delight, a man with no axe to grind, no self-obsessed front to maintain, no precious barriers that all too often seem to come with the fame. Much to my relief, Mr. Plant is an instantly likable, friendly, chatty sort-of guy next door. Exactly the kind of guy you feel you’ve known most of your life. Which, if you’ve been listening to music for much of it, is pretty much the case.

Catching up with the man himself, he is enjoying the beauty of the misty Welsh Mountain hill country, an area he is constantly drawn towards and where he clearly feels completely both at home and at ease. We joke about local highlights, having both lived in the area off and on for many years, about his love for a local tipple (a brand of organic Herefordshire cider) and then move on to the music and his love of life, travel, discovery and musical experiment and excitement.