Cover Story

Denis Element I’m Where a Memory (Can Die For a Night)

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Submitted by Don Graham

Cover Photo Credit Ash Photography Services

The recipe for this country music feel-good story includes; Nashville legend, Vern Gosdin aka The Voice, Beverly Gosdin, Vern’s widow, Dana Hudson, singer/songwriter and Denis Element, Canadian country singer/songwriter.

Together this combination of people all came together to create this great story. “This is what I’ve wanted to do all my life. I grew up with my Dad listening to George Jones, Hank Sr. and Merle. And of course, Vern Gosdin. It was three years ago that my wife, Pauline, began posting my videos on social media. Not long after I began to build a fan base that loved traditional country music and the loved my vocals. I posted a song by Vern Gosdin and shortly after Beverly Gosdin (Vern's widow), who is in Nashville, started messaging me." In the words of Beverly Gosdin,"I had connected with Canadian singer/songwriter Denis Element out of Hamilton, Ontario. I had seen Denis doing a version of Vern's song, I'm Where a Memory (Can Die for a Night). I invited Denis to record his version in Nashville, Tennessee. Dana Hudson sang so much that he invited him to also record "Check My Memory" (a song written years before by Hudson). Denis cut it with some of Nashville's greats on the session, including Scotty Sanders, Buddy Hyatt from Toto and the man himself, Brent Mason. This will be the follow-up single after "I'm Where a Memory (Can Die for a Night). I'm excited to see where this goes from here."

Rory Block A Woman’s Soul: A Tribute to Bessie Smith

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Cover Photo Credit: Sergio Kurhajec
Submitted by Sandy Graham

As a young teenager Rory Block — her full name is Aurora — grew up in New York’s Greenwich Village at the height of the “folk revival.” At 14, already an accomplished guitarist, she discovered the Delta blues — then part of the wide world of folk music. She vividly remembers hearing Mississippi John Hurt in 1963, and spending time with Son House, Fred McDowell and the Reverend Gary Davis.

Her first recordings (under the pseudonym Sunshine Kate) were made for Elektra Records, but she didn’t return to the studio until 1975 when she recorded for RCA Victor and Chrysalis before signing to Rounder Records, for whom she cut more than a dozen albums. She has also recorded for a number of other labels, in between endless tour schedules.

Along the way, she has won five W.C. Handy Awards (now known simply as Blues Awards) from the Blues Foundation, two for “Traditional Blues Female Artist,” and three for “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year.” She’s earned a gold record in Holland, and toured from one end of the United States to the other end of Canada, not to mention Poland and Norway and Italy and a half a dozen more European countries.

The Beaches Jazz Festival Celebrates 30 Years!

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Beaches International Jazz Festival is a 10-day music festival held each year in the lakeside Beaches community of Toronto in the month of July. Originally started in 1988, it is now one of Canada's largest free music festivals with nearly 800,000 attendees, throughout its 10-day span. The Festival takes place across a number of venues; stage concerts are held in several different parks within the area and also along a two-kilometre stretch of the Beach main street - Queen Street East.

Every year, the Festival brings in internationally acclaimed performers while also showcasing local talent, including “new generation” jazz musicians. The Festival now hires around 1000 artists per annum, including 50 bands for its “StreetFest” event along Queen Street East.

Now celebrating the 30th year of this amazing event, there is something for everyone visit www.beachesjazz.com to see the full schedule of events.

One of the most popular highlights of this event is the Streetfest, an incredible Mardi Gras feel where live music is booked on alternate sides of the street and the talent has become so eclectic it isn’t just limited to jazz anymore. It is truly a music festival and there is something for everyone.

Ori Dagan The Music Plays On

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Submitted by Sandy Graham
Photo Credits: Elijah Shark

Ori Dagan has much to be proud of in his ever-changing musical journey in this crazy business we call music.“A Tribute to Nat King Cole” (Dagan's 3rd recording and the first visual album in jazz history) recently debuted at #1 on the iTunes Canada Jazz Chart, and its corresponding 12 music videos have screened at over 35 Music and Film Festivals worldwide, garnering over 300,000 views on YouTube, Winner of the Best Album, Silver Medal – Global Music Award, Nominated for Best Jazz Vocals- Toronto Independent Music Awards along with a list a mile long of reviews.

Dagan also teaches what he preaches by giving scat lessons and workshops to learn the “Shoe-bee-do’s” and “Shoe-bee-don’ts,” to anyone who wants to learn either professionally or just for the love of the musical era and greats who paved the way for so many in the jazz world.

Tribe Royal The Road to Muscle Shoals

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Submitted by Don Graham

In November of 2017, I had the good fortune to record in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with the uber-talented and esteemed producer Norbert Putnam. Norbert gained his accolades for his productions, Jimmy Buffett, Dan Fogleberg and Joan Baez to name a few as well as voluminous sessions as a bass player and owning and operating one of the first independent recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee, Quadrefonic Sound Studio. We recorded at The Nutthouse Recording Studio and the experience was amazing.

When I returned to Canada, Sandy Graham of Entertainment Music Group introduced me to a new band who were about to sign on as my label and stablemates, Tribe Royal from Ottawa, Ontario. A young band with vintage sounds and a whole lot of originality. They have a great vocal, create awesome harmonies and creative parts with background vocals as well as a high energy stage show. Sandy had sent Norbert their debut CD and Norbert agreed to produce a couple of sides for this new, refreshing talent.

David Clayton-Thomas Mobius

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

David Clayton-Thomas and Blood Sweat & Tears – two names that will always be in a musical marriage. A group that were trailblazers in the sixties, with their combination of rock and jazz arrangements that went on to sell almost six million records in three years. The first album has sold over 10 million records worldwide.

But there is so much more to the name, the man and the music of David Clayton-Thomas.

The passion about his singing and his own journey are still a major part of his personality, and he talks about how and where he came from and where he is right now in his career.

The son of a Canadian soldier and an English music student who became a War Bride, Clayton-Thomas was born in England and moved with his family to the Toronto suburb of Willowdale when he was four years old. A troubled relationship with his abusive father led him to run away at age 15. He spent his teen years living on the street and in various reformatories, eventually doing time as a serial offender for vagrancy, petty theft and street fighting.

Glass Tiger ‘31’

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

It all began in the summer of 1984 when a band from Newmarket, Ontario called Tokyo spent two evenings opening for Boy George and Culture Club at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Their dynamic, original sound captured the moment of the mid 80’s and they soon became a major force in suburban high schools and the Ontario club circuit. When a record deal was finally signed with Capitol Records, Tokyo officially became Glass Tiger.

With Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams; Aerosmith; Ozzy Osbourne) behind the boards, Glass Tiger was immediately introduced to the recording studio to work on their first album. ‘The Thin Red Line’ set a record for being the fastest selling debut recording in Canadian history, going gold within weeks of its release. As well as a Grammy nod for ‘Best New Artist’ in 1986. To date, this album has received four Platinum records in Canada and went Gold in the United States. One of Glass Tiger’s many hit singles “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” yielded a #2 spot on Billboard, followed by “Someday” reaching #5. Both songs made Canadian history with Glass Tiger winning successive Juno’s a year apart for Single of the Year, from the same album.

Audra Santa The Power And The Pain

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

From Thunder Bay to Melbourne, Toronto to Cannes, Audra Santa's a happening thing. Started happening in Australia, where she spent ten happy years exploring the Aussie badlands and goodlands, playing in various musical projects, including progressive rock band, The Wandering, and Indie-folk duo, Amon and Audra. Her powerful, expressive vocals and talent for instaconnections with people were simply too evident for Audra not to go solo. Recording commenced at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne over Easter 2016 with high enthusiasm on all sides. For Audra though, it was a being put in a blender kind of thing, high on getting her songs down, low down inside with the certain knowledge that the marriage she had cherished with all her being, had put aside her music for at one point, was going off the cliff.

David Vaters A Voice in the Wilderness

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Submitted by Don Graham

David Vaters is making the music he was meant to make and the world is taking notice. And with the state of affairs on the planet these days the world needs David Vaters’ uplifting and inspirational songs to bring a positive balance to life. There have been some detours on the road to David’s destiny but patience and laser focus helped get him to this point in his life and career.

“I started writing songs at age 15 and at 16 I was offered a record contract, an 8 single deal, but it would have involved leaving school and that wasn’t going to happen. So I put it on hold for a while.” But David’s passion and talent as a singer/songwriter was not to be denied. He spent many years honing and fine-tuning his songwriting skills and working with great musicians in North America and the U.K. and began work on ‘A Voice in the Wilderness Volume 1.’ “I was fortunate to start a business with my brother making merchandise and branding T-shirts and the like. We were responsible for Brooks Running shoes among other things. I ended up moving back to Canada from Tennessee to a home in the wilderness which was strange because I had titled my work ‘A Voice In The Wilderness’ before I knew I’d be living there.”

The Ultimate Dance Party with Michael Williams at the Duke Live

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Michael Williams is a Canadian television personality who may be best known for his work as a VJ at MuchMusic from 1984 to 1993. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Williams moved to Montreal in the 1970s to attend the Communications Arts School at Loyola (now Concordia University). While attending the school, he started a DJ service in the receptive musical city of Montreal and started
Williams was part of MuchMusic's core opening team of VJ's alongside J. D. Roberts, Erica Ehm, and Christopher Ward. Williams hosted various shows including Soul in the City, RapCity, Electric Circus, Pepsi Power Hour and The NewMusic. To this day people stop Michael in the street and ask for his autograph, or tell him what an influence he had on them during this Much days. Some thank him for being an inspiration to them.

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