Cover Story

JOSE FELICIANO: Still Lighting The Fire

Cover Nov 19, 2010

By Don Graham

Often credited with opening la puerta for Latin American singers in North America, Jose Feliciano is still filling rooms with people and great music, four decades later. Jose literally burst onto the scene with his soulful, latinesque version of The Doors mega hit ‘Light  My Fire’. This song got the attention of radio, finally settling at number three on the U.S. pop charts.

When I spoke to Jose from his home in sunny Florida he gave this insight into the recording of  ‘Light My Fire’, “I had been performing the song in coffee houses and when it came time to record my producer Rick Jarrard said I should record ‘Light My Fire’.  I scoffed at the idea saying it’s already a hit by The Doors so what’s the point. Rick said Jose please oblige me, which I did and the rest is history. The song was actually the B side of the single ‘California Dreaming’. Then one day a disc jockey in Seattle flipped it over and ‘Light My Fire’ took off.  “Speaking of  that  record” , Jose added,  “I just saw online that they picked the Top Ten covers of rock tunes and I was #1 with California Dreaming!”

Colin Hunter-Timeless and True

Cover Nov 12, 2010

 Story: Sandy Graham

 

Timeless might be the title of the CD, but it is what truly describes Colin Hunter. His effortless way of performing, soft spoken way of telling you of his passion for singing and thoughtful way of looking at his life. Born in Bombay, India, when Cashbox asked how he ended up in Canada, Hunter explains, “I went to the UK for my parents because my Dad had a heart attack and the family needed another wage earner.

 

“I immigrated to Canada firstly because my brother had preceded me and liked it, secondly because there was a absolutely stunning lady residing in the apartment building he lived in (I later married and am still married to her). Lastly, I had reached a senior level at British Airways and did not see any future advancement that would or could stimulate my dreams. My parents stayed in the UK.  It really sounds like a song title!” 

 

“Additionally, an interesting fact is I landed in Toronto on July 26 1970 and 35 years later on July 26 2005 I recorded my first CD "Come Fly With Me" to coincide with the launch of Sunwing Airlines in Nov 2005” Hunter says in his own subtle way.  

Between The Crosses Row on Row

Cover Nov 5, 2010

Story: Don Graham 


 


Setting aside the U.S. Civil War and WW 1, each of which had their share of songs that told the story of their generations, it wasn’t until WW 11 and the popularity of the old tube radio, that the music of the war reached the masses in great numbers. By 1940 over 95% of households in the northeast section of the U.S. and about 50% of homes in the south, all had radios.


 


Some of the music from WW 11 was obvious in its content and some were songs that expressed the sentiment of the day in such a way that they became classic love songs decades after the war was over. The obvious ones were the likes of Spike Jones’ “In the Furher’s Face” and Johnny Mercer’s “G.I. Blues” and The Andrew Sisters “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. 


 


Conjure up any of those three songs and in your minds eye you will see people dressed in forties style clothing, crisply pressed army dress and a vivid impression of the Sisters Andrew in their WAC uniforms rhythmically snapping their fingers and swaying as they sing “the boogie woogie bugle boy of company B.”


 

Songstress Sings For Polar Awareness

Cover Oct 29, 2010

Canadian Musical Artist First to Perform at the North Pole To Help Raise Awareness of the Ecological Impact of the Melting Polar Ice Caps.

Story: Bill Delingat

 

Parvati, a Canadian musical artist and yoga instructor, took a courageous journey to the North Pole. Parvati’s mission was to bring awareness of the urgent ecological effect of melting polar ice caps.

 

Charged with purity of heart, clear intention, and the willingness to serve, Parvati has become the first artist to ever perform this far North. There, she offered her songs to help raise awareness of just how quickly the ice caps are disappearing and the powerful impact this is having on the entire planet. 

 

Born in Montreal and now living in Toronto, Parvati is an internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter, performer and producer of electronic dance pop. Her music celebrates the gift of life and debut album and multimedia show, ‘Yoga in the Nightclub’, has had people from Toronto to Berlin shaking to its catchy and uplifting rhythms. After a summer of increased signs of environmental distress, Parvati decided to postpone her Canadian tour to trek to the North Pole. She says she simply cannot turn away from the effects the climate change is having.

 

Parvati Q&A

Parvati 2

Canadians may not be able to claim having been the first person on the North Pole as the first man to reach the North Pole was an engineer in the American navy called Robert Edwin Peary, who reached the pole on April 6 1909 along with his employee Matthew Henson.

The claim that Robert Peary was the first to reach The North Pole is still hotly disputed.

How ever we can be proud that the first performance on the North Pole was a Canadian and Cashbox had the opportunity to ask a few questions about that amazing experience with Parvati, now residing in Toronto.

CB: Your performance with “Yoga in the Nightclub” is very unique with the merging of Nature, Yoga and Electro beat music. It is very European in a way. Do you think your early youth in Montréal would have had an impact on your spirit and direction of music that you took?

 

MICHELLE WRIGHT’S STUFF

Cover Oct 22, 2010

Facebook spoke, Michelle Wright listened and now she’s back on the road with a reissue of her ‘lost’ debut album, Do Right By Me


Story: Lenny Stoute


Belleville, ON. 

 

Inspiration, of both the positive and horrific varieties, can come from the most unexpected of sources. Country singer Michele Wright’s just rolled into Belleville for the next gig on her Do Right By Me Tour and the vibe in town’s got her a little sideways. For this is day two of the sentencing hearing for Col. Russell Williams, the sex killer whose deviant behaviour put on display in the courthouse was making strong men hurl. 

Dan Hill – Getting Back On The Long Road?

Cover Oct 15, 2010

Story: Lenny Stoute


Little by little, it seems that Canadian icon and trailblazing singer/songwriter Dan Hill is heading back on that long road again. He stepped out recently by adding author to his list of accomplishments with ‘I Am My Father’s Son : A Memoir Of Love And  Forgiveness’ The recounting of his early years and his father/son relationship wasn’t that much of a stretch for a man who’s spun million selling tales for a living. As well, writing runs in the family, brother Lawrence Hill recently charting with his acclaimed novel, ‘The Book of Negroes.’


Next, Hill found humself thrust into dealing with the death of lifelong pal and fellow songwriter Paul Quarrington. The two had on occasion performed as a folk duo, billed as Quarrington/Hill. The pair's final collaboration, a song about death called "Are You Ready", was completed just ten days before Quarrington's passing in early 2010, and will be featured in an upcoming TV documentary, Paul Quarrington: Life in Music

 

Now, as the stately oaks of his Beach neighborhood turn golden with autumn’s first kiss and after nearly a decade of focusing his efforts backstage, Dan Hill is back in the spotlight. He’s stepping back in with Intimate, his first album with new material since 1996’s ‘I’m Doing Fine’. 

The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Opens Its Doors

Cover Oct 8, 2010

You’re In For A Big Night Out!
The Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Opens Its Doors

Story and Photographs: Natasha Slinko

Just when you thought something couldn’t get any better, it does. The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts unveiled its swank all new look in celebration of the 50th Anniversary Season on Friday, October 1st, 2010. The press was invited for a sneak peep earlier in the week.

The Centre has gone through many shows and many changes. Torontonians first fell in love with it as The O’Keefe Centre and brought their families to experience the arts from its opening on October 1st 1960. At one point it was briefly re-branded as The Hummingbird Centre, but in truth most Torontonians still called it the “O’Keefe”.

Dan Brambilla, CEO of The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, says that it has been “an incredible undertaking” but that they are “eager to welcome Torontonians into the venue to see the exciting new technologies integrated with the magnificent architectural beauty of this historic building”.

The Surround Sound WallThe Surround Sound WallA huge undertaking of renovations, design, new technologies and innovations, this wonderful theatre is now being re-launched in its 50th season of celebrating the Arts as The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

ERIC SOLOMON: The Man Who Would Be Prince

Cover Oct 1, 2010

Story: Lenny Stoute

Vancouver-Except for the one genre, Canadian music of all stripes, from Celine Dion to Alexisonfire has proved successful on the world stage. Homegrown soul is the one style that’s yet to cough up a genuine international star.

Montreal-born, globally raised Eric Solomon wants to change all that and he’s not kidding. He’s just dropped his calling card, an EP Antarctica, made his acting debut for MTV and is putting the finishing touches on a full-length album. It’s Eric Solomon all the time, on all fronts and on the line from his Vancouver home, he sounds like the right man for the gig.

The first single from the album, ‘ALL.’ hit radio like a hurricane, with and adding it immediately on serious rotation. So how does hearing his tune on the radio make the twentysomething Solomon feel?

“It was like walking on a cloud, I wanted to walk in the streets blessing people. Yeah”.

Sounds like something the artist frequently known as Prince would say and Solomon’s not shy about naming the Minneapolis mojo man as his primary source of inspiration.

Johnny Reid-The Return of Wheatfield Soul

Cover Sept 24, 2010

Story: Lenny Stoute

There’s nobody quite like Johnny Reid on the Canadian music scene right now. Ain’t no one else rocking the nation with a soulful country groove, equal parts Jim Reeves and Otis Redding, and driving all manner of country fans wild. For Reid, this volatile, some would say, unlikely mix has been a passport to the top, In a landscape where established artists are struggling with album sales, this country gent moves units like bullets in Baghdad.

His breakout album went gold, the two albums that followed went double platinum and his current collection, A Place Called Love is just about to turn the double platinum trick. At the recent CCMA show in Edmonton, he added to the weight of his award-burdened mantelpiece with wins for both the Fans’ Choice Award and Single of the Year.

Not too shabby for a guy who up until 2005, was toiling away as one of the song writing elves at DreamWorks. Reid, who emigrated to Canada in 1988 as a 15 year old from Lanark, Scotland, decided upon graduation to give the singer/songwriter thing a full shot, dropped down to Nashville and hooked up with DreamWorks, a perfect place to hone his song writing skills. When the chance came to cut an album for Open Road in ’05, Reid was primed to make the most of his opportunity, and promptly parked his ball, Born To Roll, outside the park and into gold status.

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