Cover Story

BIENVENUE A MIDEM !

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Canadian Blast was a huge success for CIMA and the 14 Canadian acts who benefitted from the three days of Showcases in Cannes, France, all part of the legendary yearly event, MIDEM, the incredible yearly playground of worldwide music industry associated businesses, all holding court in the prestigious Palais de Congress,  the same red carpet building where the International Film Festival takes place.

The largest contingency of Canadian talent ever showcased at Canadian Blast, this year was combination of known acts and acts you are surely going to know in the very near future.  The actual ‘MIDEM’ is held during the day, with booths for every country situated on two floors of the enormous grand building. At night the tiny town of Cannes comes alive with music and parties throughout the cobblestoned streets that look so much like Old Montreal, with outdoor cafes nestled on small streets and artistes selling their wares along alleyways of ‘magasins’.

Canadian Blast ran for three days, and featured incredible talent. All Showcase acts performed  ironically in an Irish Pub called Morrison’s smack in the middle of Cannes. Cashbox would like to introduce you to the  best of the best, who won the spot to be on the famous Canadian Blast Showcase for MIDEM 2012.

Drake Jensen-Across The Gay Divide

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Story:Lenny Stoute

You know that thing about greatness being thrust on you? And the one about great things coming out of terrible situations? What happens when the two come together in a perfect sick storm of fear and persecution?  Some will go under; some will struggle to the top. At the forefront of the strongest swimmers you’ll find Drake Jensen, survivor, country singer and homosexual.

The son of a Cape Breton hard rock coal town, the kind of which Merle Travis said was “dark as a dungeon way down in the mine”. The kind where the mind shafts are too narrow to allow for light to get in and shadows are looked upon with suspicion.

Imagine how strong and bright a light must be to beam out of a hole like that, especially when you’re thrown down the hole at age 5.

Drake Jensen is a rising star on the Canuck country scene, a good looking husky guy, passionate and genuine, committed to his art and this week making his Coming Out to the world at large.

Whoa. Cojones of steel, you say. Indeed, y’all, dude has all of that and more and he’ll likely have need of all of it sooner rather than later. Ok, how about right now?

“Why now? I had no other choice but to come out now. For my own self-respect number one and for my husband, Sean, the person who nursed me back to health, self-esteem and confidence. I couldn’t deny that any longer."

Stuart Johnston-The Future Face of the Independent Music Industry By Sandy Graham

Cover, Jan 20, 2012

Stuart Johnston is the President of the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), which represents more than 180 company members of the English-language independent Canadian-owned music industry. Johnston leads a small team of dedicated professionals who support the businesses and creative entrepreneurs who work to make Canada’s music production industry unique in the world. He is also a Board member of Re:Sound and the AVLA, two music-licensing agencies, as well as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Policy Priorities for the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Prior to joining CIMA, Stuart was the Vice President of Policy and Government Relations with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. In addition to liaising with members of the provincial government and Ontario business leaders, Stuart was responsible for taking an active role in responding to policy priorities in finance and taxation, transportation and infrastructure, borders and trade, education, and energy issues. He also focused on strategically positioning the OCC as Ontario’s Business Advocate through the development of sound policy positions reflecting the Interests of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and its members. (In 2008 Stuart was honoured with the James Gordon Carnegie Memorial Award for his leadership and mentorship within the Ontario chamber network.)

Grit Grooves and Emotion – David Gogo Soul-Bender

Cover, Jan 13, 2012

Story: Sandy Graham

David Gogo is known for being one of the hardest working blues rock guitarists in the industry and the moniker suits him well. He is a man of his word, and when a recent routing booking issue took place, he fulfilled his commitment to tour Western Canada. After two shows in Holland, Gogo flew back to Canada to finish the tour he had committed to with the legendary Johnny Winter. A gruelling schedule, but he is a man of his word, and committed to his reputation as well as his music, he flew thousands of miles to keep his fans happy.
We recently had the opportunity to talk to this great Canadian treasure, and he gave some refreshing answers to what makes David Gogo who he is in this industry.

CB: When did you get your first guitar?
DG: I actually started out on a toy ukulele, just strumming on it but I was close to 6  years old when I got my first real guitar; it was a Raven, and we bought it at a furniture store. It was kind of a ¾ size and looked like a Gibson Hummingbird. The biggest thrill of my life was getting my first electric guitar, a Les Paul Black Beauty.

Carpet Frogs-The Best Band You Don’t Know

Cover, Jan 6-2012

Story: Michael E. Williams

There are few crack elite live and studio session bands in the country that are bands for hire. They learn new material all the time, translating it with skill, accuracy, and speed, bringing out the originality and authenticity in all the music they play.

One such unit is The Carpet Frogs. I talked to founding members Jeff Jones and Nick Sinopoli.

NS: I was in a tribute band at the time “Just Alice”. We put The Carpet Frogs together for the closing of the Gasworks, Jan. 9th 1993. All the bands came down and played; Saga, Triumph, Helix, Platinum Blonde, and Coney Hatch.

JJ: I joined Red Rider in 1978, left in 1985, joined the Infidels and after that formed The Carpet Frogs. We did the Gasworks closing and Sammy Culpepper’s Tuesday night jam for beers and the band has been going ever since. It has been 19 years.

MW: When did the Carpet Frogs become this crack studio session and live backing band?

JJ: During the 90’s at Lulu’s Roadhouse. They had a house band. We played between the house band and the main acts as an opening act for everyone that came through. Lots of the people that came to Lulu’s wanted us for corporate gigs.

Christmas and Cashbox Canada

Cover, Dec 30, 2011

Story:Sandy Graham

Three years ago, Bill Delingat bumped into me at a Canadian Tire Store, and handed me his cell phone to talk to Bruce Elrod of the flagship Cashbox Magazine in the U.S.A.  We made a deal between the three of us to launch the online franchise here in Toronto, standing between the check out counter and the cookware section. How Canadian is that?

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the staff that makes Canada’s Premier Online Magazine appear every week for you our readers, both the music fans and the folks who make up our music industry.

The indefatigable Lenny Stoute, the Editor who patiently streams through endless words every week, explaining to enthusiastic writers that 3,000 words is not industry standard, and could we please fact check, and try to learn to use our spell check and grammar aides as well? 

Anyone who has the pleasure of being interviewed by Lenny knows he has a style like none other. Personally, Lenny is my right arm in this venture and I couldn’t do it without him.

Sheldon Kagan: 45 Years in Music and counting

Cover, Dec 16, 2011

Story: Michael E. Williams

Montreal has always been fertile ground for DJ’s, but Sheldon Kagan took it to the next level of business and entrepreneurship. As a testament to this I caught up with the 61 year old DJ/promoter/producer between gigs to talk about his forty-five years in the music business and his dreams for the future.

SK: I am in between parties. This is my 5th day straight of events.
MW: Sheldon when did the music hit you?
SK: I was 15 years old living with my parents in the Snowdon, Cote des Niege area, listening to radio and at that time there was a radio announcer named Dave Boxer on the air.

I was fascinated by him and the music he was playing. I spent all my free time, when not in school, listening to his radio shows Monday to Friday 7-11pm. I became infatuated. He had this contest to win records, shirts and tickets to meet the Beatles and Rolling Stones. I entered and, for all those years, I was the number one contest winner. Even all these years later I can tell you that the contest line number was 279 4568, 276-261.

Tonya Kennedy – Making All The Right Moves

Cover, Dec 09, 2011

Story: Don Graham


The journey of any recording artist is filled with potholes, pitfalls, dead ends, unmarked exits and dangerous turns. The secret to any successful journey is making wise choices and looking at Tonya Kennedy’s steadily rising career, you can see she’s making all the right moves. A native of Newfoundland, now living just north of Toronto in Barrie, Ontario, Tonya Kennedy is poised to take her rightful place in the fabric of the Canadian Country music scene.


Originally making a splash in the pop music market, Kennedy found her true calling in 2005. That was the year she was entered in a competition at KX96 Country Music Radio in Durham, Ontario and was awarded the title of KX96 Super Star Search winner. The grand prize was a chance to record and release a song to Canadian radio. This was the kick-start the dedicated young performer needed and things started falling into place.


In 2010 Tonya made her first video with a country version of rocker Bryan Adams song When You’re Gone.  Current single Fallin’ For You is doing very well at Canadian radio and as Kennedy explained; “ This song is probably the lightest of my current material.”
The new CD will be a little more cutting edge, showing her versatility. Kennedy was just recently approved by FACTOR to complete her next CD, a ten song effort, which the City of Barrie is also helping fund.

Garland Jeffreys - The Return of the King of In Between

Cover, Dec 1, 2011

Story: Michael Williams
 


According to Bernard Perusse (The Montreal Gazette) it was the 2nd coming of a legend whose time has come. The first surprise came in 1978 as Garland Jeffreys played the Montreal Forum and “Ghost Writer” became a CHOM-FM and Montreal classic album. Next the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2002 and again in 2004 with 50,000 people in the streets. Now in 2011 in support of a new CD,”The King of In Between”, he burned down Rubin Fogel’s Club Soda!
 But It took Garland Jeffreys to remind us what in we all know is true:
 “Hail Hail Rock n Roll” (Garland Jeffreys)   
Pockets of hate, rockets of love
It’s never too late, the change in the color of
The color of her, the color of him
It really doesn’t matter what skin you’re in
Big yellow taxicab passed me by
Stopped on the next corner to pick up a white guy
The color of you, the color of me
You can’t judge a man by looking at the marquee
Hail hail rock ‘n’ roll comes from r ‘n’ b and soul
Don’t leave me standing in the cold
I used to fake ‘I never grow old’
Hail hail rock ‘n’ roll, don’t leave me standing on the bleak
Don’t leave me stranded on the street
I see the light, I feel the heat

Michael Williams recently had the opportunity to speak with Garland Jeffreys:



It’s the 7th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show

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Story:Sandy Graham

The season is upon us, not just Christmas but the Andy Kim Christmas Show 2011. Now in it’s 7th year, this show has become a tradition in Toronto, and the man behind it all is none other than Andy Kim.

Andy Kim found fame in New York City at just 16 years old when he wrote “How'd We Ever Get This Way?” the first of nine Billboard Top 40 hits, including #1 songs “Rock Me Gently” and “Sugar, Sugar”, names as one of Billboard's ‘Greatest Songs of All Time.’ A true Canadian son, Andy has been awarded the country's top industry honor twice; the JUNO Award for outstanding achievements in the record industry, as well as the "Indie Award" for Favorite Solo Artist in 2005.

Over his epic career, Andy has sold over 30 million records, with songs covered by music history's greats, including Wilson Pickett, Tom Jones, Michelle Wright, Ike & Tina Turner, and Bob Marley and has even been said to influence 80’s metal band Def Leppard. He has recently performed and co-wrote songs with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and Ron Sexsmith.

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