Features

BTW-Headstones, Don Stevenson, Maestro Fresh Wes, Avatar, Kerri Ough, Tim Bovaconti, Big Groove

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

He’s never been one to chill too far back and once the call was made to revive Headstones, guiding light Hugh Dillon has been busy getting it done. Following on the heels of their successful album Little Army, Headstones have once again been busy recording new music in Kingston, with plans to release a new record later this year. In advance, the band has released their version of the Gordon Lightfoot classic "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Always a song on their radar, circumstances finally clicked into place to give them the right opportunity to share their take with the fans.

This impactful interpretation of the iconic track chronicling the sinking of the bulk carrier SS Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975 was a #1 hit for Lightfoot and remains one of his best-loved songs. While showing respect for the past, Headstones have put their unique spin on the song to introduce it to a whole new rock audience. The video was shot on location in Kingston, Ontario.

About the track the band says, "We've always loved this song. It's profoundly meaningful. We started to play it during our tour VIP soundchecks, and our fans really responded to it.... The feedback was exceptional."

Ringo Starr Announces New Tour and Book

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
Photo Credit Scott Robert Ritchie

Sir Ringo Starr announced tour plans for 2019 with his All Starr Band, featuring Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette and the return of All Starr alum Hamish Stuart.

The first leg begins in March with one US show at Harrah’s Resort Southern California on March 21st before the band head to Japan,starting in Fukuoka on March 27th and ending April 11th in Osaka (full dates listed below). August 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary of Ringo and His All Starr Band and they will hit the road for a celebratory tour which will kick off at Harrahs in Windsor on August 1st and then head to Ravinia near Chicago, Illinois to play two shows with the Beach Boys August 3rd and 4th and two shows at Nashville’s historic Ryman in Tennessee on August 7th and 8th. The tour will conclude September 1stat the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, California, nearly 30 years to the day when the inaugural All Starrs completed their first tour on September 3, 1989. (A full itinerary will be announced soon).

If I Can Get Readers, You Can Get Fans

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Submitted by Peter Åstedt

All this started with yet another one of the artists I manage who complained how hard it is to get fans.Or rather get them to stay and follow them.

My answer was that I could start a blog and be the old grumpy man I am and still get readers and If I can get readers you can get fans. The thing is it would be easier if you are an attractive artist with good songs to get an audience. I’m exactly the opposite, grumpy old guy from the music industry, nagging about things in the music industry.

So, the bet was on. And I started my blog. First thing, where was my audience? I guess my biggest mistake was that I thought I wrote for artists. There are so many blogs online about how the artist struggles. How they don’t understand why people don’t discover them, or why they don’t get this or don’t get that. I thought I could break into that market mainly just pointing out the angle that the industry has. All these questions would find an answer in my blog!

Was I wrong! I didn’t get it in the beginning. I was marketing the blog against the artist community all the time and hoped that people would go in and read it. All I got was silence. I saw that artists would read it but they didn’t comment or come back. I was puzzled. These are the answers on the questions the other was telling in the other blogs or posts I saw online?

Bara Jonson and Free Fairytale Me

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

How does an act from Sweden take a chance and go to a Live at Heart Festival on a Peninsula named Burin in Canada’s Newfoundland, write a song and end up on the Swedish Independent Music Chart 10 weeks in a row in a # 1 position, thanks to the fans (who are now friends) that they met there?

This is what Bara Jonson and Free did. “We rented a car, drove through torrential rain, landed in the middle of nowhere at the Marystown Hotel and suddenly you feel like you came ‘home’? There is no explaining it, but that is what happened to us.”

So they went back to Sweden and immediately wrote “Hello Newfoundland” and their newly found friends embraced it.

The release of the video included all of the amazing people who forged the road to these lifetime memories and also featured Tale The Rapper.

Watch ‘Hello Newfoundland’ here: https://youtu.be/Lg1FiA8jCZM

So next up this creative and talented team tackled producing a video for an existing song, “Fairytale Me”. Why the name ‘Fairytale Me’?

Country Music Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Inductees

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Submitted by Don Graham

It’s that time of year again when The Country Music Association announces its inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The class of 2019 includes, Brooks and Dunn, Ray Stevens and Jerry Bradley all outstanding contributors to the country music industry. The inductees are from three categories, the modern era, the veteran era and the songwriter/musician/non-performer categories.

In the modern era category is Brooks and Dunn. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn form Brooks & Dunn are the best-selling duo in country music history with 27.5 million U.S. units sold, according to the RIAA. With one of the best live shows of the time, the excited crowds right from the start and had four No. 1 singles in a row starting with “Brand New Man” in 1991. They stayed in the Top 10 right up until their final release as a duo in 2009 and on April 5, Brooks & Dunn will release a brand new album, Reboot, featuring a star studded list of guest artists includingKacey Musgraves, Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, Lanco, Ashley McBryde, Midland, Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi and Tyler Booth. Brooks and Dunn have 11 platinum albums, more than 80 industry awards, including two Grammy, 20 CMAs and 29 ACMs. They have been named Entertainer of the Year four times collectively by the ACM and CMA.

Joni Mitchell’s 75th Birthday Celebration CD

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Submitted by Don Graham

Last November, some of Joni Mitchell’s musical friends and 3,000 fans gathered to celebrate and the special night was recorded by Verve/Decca Records. Her friends and fans gathered to pay tribute to the legendary singer, performing a special concert on Mitchell’s birthday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. The star-studded line-up included James Taylor, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan and Rufus Wainwright and a host others.

The release of The Music Center Presents Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration was 8 March 2019 and also featured performances by Brandi Carlile, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro &Xochi Flores, Graham Nash, Seal and more.

Each performer brought their own interpretation to Mitchell’s iconic catalogue. Brandi Carlile teamed up with Kris Kristofferson for a duet version of ‘A Case of You’, while Diana Krall covered the jazz-leaning ‘Amelia’. Mitchell’s hits were also represented, with Seal taking on ‘Both Sides Now’, and Rufus Wainwright doing a beautiful rendition of ‘Blue’.

Barry Stagg Capturing ‘One Heart At A Time’

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Barry Stagg was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where he lived for the first 29 years of his life. Although he resides in the US, he still spends summer months in Nova Scotia and maintains a Canadian address and passport.

He has written and recorded songs for Gamma Records, United Artists, London Records, RCA, and Cashbox Records. Barry is well known for his world hit song "To Love Means To Be Free,” released on his Green and Stagg album in 1969, which earned him the Canadian Business Music Industry’s writing award.

I caught up with Barry at his home and he still has all the enthusiasm of a young artist starting out.

“I just got back off the road doing a US promotional tour for both radio and television for ‘One Heart At a Time”. I was humbled by the reception and accolades we got every stop we made. I feel blessed that after all these years I still get to do what I love most. Write my songs and perform for people. There is nothing better than seeing the reaction to your material.”

The New Sound of Linus Jackson

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Linus Jackson is a Swedish artist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Early in his career, he was the lead singer and guitarist in Swedish grunge band The Sludge, and he has been touring with a lot of artists in different roles. For example, you can hear him sing backup vocals with Ane Brun on her live album “Songs Tour 2013 (Live)”.

The same year Linus Jackson released his debut solo album “Said and done” (Album) where he was joined by 13 guest musicians such as Vindla String Quartet, Linnea Olsson, Conny Bloom (Electric Boys) and more.

His latest EP "I Want More” was released in Scandinavia on all platforms in September 2017 and worldwide in Sept 2018.

Cashbox Magazine caught up with Linus at his home in Sweden to talk about his future plans, his solo career and what brought him to the new sound.

“Although there were not a lot of musicians in the family (my Dad’s cousin Gunilla von Bahr was a flutist) I was surrounded by music all my life. I listened to all the Beatles songs as a kid. My parents also sang and influenced me by all the music they listened to as well. To this day they still perform in a choir.”

“When I was around 12 years old I heard Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5” and I was completely taken over by the drummer. I actually thought Brubeck was the drummer until later years when I discovered he was on the piano.” An interesting choice for a young boy but his diversified taste led to his own eclectic style.

BTW - Lenny,We Got Your Back! Jaymz Bee, Tim Bovaconti, Kim Doolittle, Don Graham, Fergus Hambleton, Hotcha!, Laura Hubert, Big Rude Jake, Look People, Danny Marks, Joanne Powell, Audra Santa, The Essentials

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right: Look People

BTW is given over to saluting the musicians who have so graciously and generously donated their time and energies on my behalf by performing at Lenny, We Got Your Back! This benefit concert for yours truly takes place at the Horseshoe Tavern, Mar.28 with an 8PM showtime. My heartfelt thanks to everyone, and there have been many of you, who have had a hand in making this happen. I am humbled and grateful. Gonna be a hot show, tell your friends.

Jaymz Bee is an artist, musician, philanthropist and broadcaster who has produced countless events, over a dozen albums and been a member of several bands including The Tiki Collective, Tuk, The Royal Jelly Orchestra, Bonzai Suzuki and Look People. He's hosted and/or produced charity events for JAZZ.FM91 (over 16 years), Unison Benevolent Fund, Covenant House and the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation (amongst others).

BTW-Tomato Tomato, Bobby Long, Chelsea Stewart, Don Brownrigg, Madison Violet, Julian Taylor, James Taylor Tribute, Audra Santa, Danny Marks

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Very representative of how New Brunswick-based roots rock outfit led by Lisa and John McLaggan, Tomato Tomato do their thing is Canary In A Coal Mine. The new album by Tomato Tomato, is now on all digital platforms, and through their website tomatotomato.ca. The latest collection marks a significant creative step forward, having been recorded at Nashville studio The Bomb Shelter (Alabama Shakes, Margo Price) with producers Jon Estes and Andrija Tokic, along with some of Music City’s finest musicians.

The result is a potent display of everything that’s made Tomato Tomato one of the most beloved groups on the Canadian folk music scene in recent years, from John’s inventive songwriting to Lisa’s unforgettable Neko Case-esque vocals. “Kite Song” is only one example of the duo’s intimate connection, following in the wake of the album's stomping first single “Take It On The Road.” Their range is further displayed on the album tracks “You Don’t Know Anything,” an instant roadhouse classic, and the quietly powerful closer “Nothing Left."

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