Music

When Scotland Ruled….the pop charts

Mull of Kintyre

When Scotland Ruled….the pop charts.
An epic tale of Paul McCartney, the Mull Of Kintyre and the Canadian Connection.

By Lenny Stoute

The Mull of Kintyre (formerly Cantyre) is the most southwesterly section of the long Kintyre Peninsula in southwestern Scotland, about 10 miles from Campbeltown.. The area’s significance as a cultural nexus dates back to Neolithic times. The name is an Anglicisation of the Gaelic ‘maol chinn tire’, the bare headland of Kintyre. Mull is derived from ‘ maol’ meaning bare and refers to a land formation bare of trees, such as a rounded hill, summit, mountain or promontory. It’s mostly in use in the southwest of Scotland, often applied to headlands and the tips of promontorys or peninsulas.

The area’s ancient and rugged geography pounded by the relentless North Sea is the picture book definition of “wild beauty”; travellers familiar with the region say the description is equally applicable to its women. Scotland’s mighty malt whiskies are likewise widely available throughout the region with servings the traditional ‘a full measure and a wee drop more’.

Meghan Morrison-Takes A Walk On The Dark Side

Meghan Morrison 1

By Lenny Stoute

She may look like the poster girl for sensitive indie chicks but Meghan Morrison is all that and a savvy business head. Which means her chances of survival are that much better that if she was a pure artiste and the lady is well aware of how it is.

As she says on her website:” Branded. I am now a commercial commodity; a product. Hard things to come to terms with as an artist whose music, regardless of its form, is meant to be the product, not the person. Today, however, the artists themselves are so salient in this industry (facebook, twitter, youtube, etc.) that the person creating the art also needs to be relate-able outside of their music in order for people to really pay attention”.

And pay attention they should to the work of this refugee from picture postcard St. Margaret’s’ Bay, a hoot’n’holler from Peggy’s Cove, now transplanted to the T.Dot, East Coast sensibilities intact.

Morrison made the traditional trek from the East Coast to Toronto in full dream chaser mode, but with a Masters in Health Sciences, a useful discipline in coping with the rigours of touring and keeping the voice in shape.

The Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart …The Legacy Lives On.

The Boston Pops-Photo Credit Stu Rosner

The Boston Pops, these three words are instantly recognizable words of vintage Americana. And rightfully so! They are celebrating their 125th anniversary this year, 2010.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1881 and founder Henry Lee Higginson wrote at the time of his desire to present to the city of Boston, concerts of a lighter type of music. From 1885 to 1900 a series of concerts, known as “The Promenade Concerts” were performed, combining “lighter’ classical music with the popular theatre tunes of the day. Except for the obvious updating to current songs, not much has changed with the structure of The Boston Pops.

It wasn’t until 1930 that The Boston Pops appointed its first official conductor, Arthur Fiedler. And so would begin incredible 50 year tenure as the ‘Pops’ conductor! With Fiedler at the helm The Boston Pops popularity spread far beyond the city of Boston with the aid of radio, television and recordings. Fiedler was determined to show people that classical music wasn’t just for the well heeled and made good on his efforts to get the music to the everyday man and woman. Under Fiedler’s direction The Boston Pops has sold more recordings than any other orchestra in the world, with sales exceeding $50 million. The first recording was in 1935 for RCA Victor Records and included the first complete recording of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In 1947, they recorded their first hi-fidelity recording, featuring the music of Jacques Offenbach.

Kenny Loggins …… Still Lovin’ His Music !

Kenny Loggins 1

By Don Graham

Very seldom does a duo split and one of the two parts go on to larger success than they had. Even Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel as individuals didn’t reach the level of prominence of Simon and Garfunkel. Although each achieved some level of success the best known songs are still S&G songs, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Mrs. Robinson and Sounds of Silence. Don Everly sans Phil was not a household name. And the list goes on.

Kenny Loggins is the exception to that rule! As half of the hugely successful pop duo Loggins and Messina with Jim Messina of Buffalo Springfield and Poco fame, they had phenomenal hits with ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance’, ‘Danny’s Song’ and ‘House at Pooh Corner’ to name few. Formed in 1972 this group was a mainstay on the pop charts until 1976 when they disbanded to pursue solo careers.

Soul Music’s Silver Lining Bounces Back With New Album

Liberty Silver

By Lenny Stoute

Lock up the boys. Liberty Silver’s back and hot times are on the horizon. After stepping out of the spotlight to deal with a family tragedy stemming from a fatal house fire, the major mama from Mississauga is set to drop her first album in five years, Groove Symphony, later this month.

It’s an extremely significant one for Liberty, not only as a career benchmark but also as musical memorial to her father, gravely ill at the time of interview, who was a bone deep inspiration to the lady. “Essentially I had to step up and take responsibility for raising two of my granddaughters. I felt family was more important than career and I acted on that.

“ To be honest I thought it would be easier, but now I just use more beauty aid. Everything coming into the house is strictly monitored and we do a lot of family things together. I knew that the music could always wait. I’m always family first, because I know when you do work hard, you do get rewarded. And I don’t buy into a lot of fame and bling things. I’ve seen a lot of that, enough to know what the value of that is. Especially compared to the value of other things.”

“Once the kids were on the right track, I was ready to get back to making music. There was such a backlog of emotions and ideas, once I sat down I had all the writing done in a month. I was born to make music and so I knew when the time was right it would all come pouring out.”

Rockit88 Blasts Off In A New Direction

Rockit 88

By Lenny Stoute

It’s been six years since this country’s had “Too Much Fun” and that’s not Rockit88’s fault. Core members Bill King (keyboards, vocals) and Neil Chapman (guitars, vocals) stay busy making music. So busy they’ve not had the time to get back to Rockit88 until now.

Six years later, the boys are back in town with new members, a new sound and a whole new persona, several steps away from the deep-dish blues of the debut album. The new album’s Sweet Sugar Cane, the new backline’s Lionel Williams on bass and groove merchant Jim Casson working the skins and our host is the smooth-talking Bill King.

“ The first album, being that it was all covers, was more about the playing, with emphasis on the piano and guitar. This one is more focused on the songs and maintaining a consistency of style across 12 tracks”.

That style would be swampy country blues rock, cut with essence of the Rolling Stones and Little Feat at their most down home. Those are tough sailin’ shoes to fill, but Chapman and King found themselves well up to the task. Another daunt about this style of music, it can be a tough row to handle the vocals credibly. The vocals on Sweet Sugar Cane get their authority from King’s uncanny ability to locate the appropriate period nuances for each song. Vocal output is further boosted by the recent addition of Stacey Bulmer.

What is Old is New again…..The New York Dolls

New York Dolls

What is Old is New again…..

"The New York Dolls created punk rock before there was a term for it. Building on the Rolling Stones' dirty rock & roll, Mick Jagger's androgyny, girl group pop, the glam rock of David Bowie and T. Rex, and the Stooges' anarchic noise, the New York Dolls created a new form of hard rock that presaged both punk rock and heavy metal. Their drug-fueled, shambolic performances influenced a generation of musicians in New York and London, who all went on to form punk bands. And although they self-destructed quickly, the band's two albums remained two of the most popular cult records in rock & roll history. All of the members of the New York Dolls played in New York bands before they formed in late 1971. Guitarists Sylvain Sylvain (who named the band), Johnny Thunders and Rick Rivets, bassist Arthur Kane, and drummer Billy Murcia were joined by vocalist David Johansen. Early in 1972. The group began playing regularly in lower Manhattan, particularly at the Mercer Arts Center. 

Now in 2010 the Dolls are back embarking on the road one more time with the help of the new media “the internet” that has brought their sound and story to new listeners and old fans alike inspiring a cross country tour to bring the show back “live on stage”.


Fans corner: New York dolls Burlington songfest June 19 2010

SLOW MOTION VICTORY

Slow Motion Victory

By: Morgan Lovsin

Slow Motion Victory, or “SMV” is a young Canadian, up and coming alternative rock band from Brantford, Ontario. They were formed in 2009 by vocalist Toby Bey, 23, and guitarist Quentin “Q” Carter, 20. They later teamed up with guitarist Henry Dowling, 18, bassist Kyle Bowlby, 21, and drummer Nathan Bolla, 22.

The band is currently playing a Toyota Corolla tour across different locations in Ontario, promoting songs from their upcoming debut LP Life in Motion, which is also the title of their newest single. The track ‘Life in Motion’ is a captivating tune that could also be considered an anthem for the band. Extremely motivating, and unbelievably emotional, this powerful song will have you banging your head, dancing, and singing the lyrics for days.

The band has also taken pro-active stances in regards to tragedies taking place in the World. In March they played a live show for the event, “Shelterbox Fundraiser for Haiti”, in which they helped raise proceeds for the Earthquake ravaged country. The event was a success and the lyrics of the track ‘Life in Motion’ could have had you believing they were made specifically for the awful tragedy in Haiti.

As Toby Bey, Quentin Carter, Henry Dowling, and Kyle Bowlby hammer out the lyrics “We Won’t Back Down…Not For Anyone!” in sync during ‘Life in Motion’, it is hard to avoid goose bumps, and to not shout along. The passion they express in those 7 words describes their journey from where they have been, to where they have come, and for where they plan to go.

Kensington Sound Studios

Kensington Sound

On Sunday May 16, 2010, Kensington Sound celebrated 38 years in the Canadian music scene, producing some of Canada’s top artists records, jingles and voice overs and continues to offer the opportunity to make young musicians dreams come true. This also marked the new partnership with tread FIRE Music that has lead to a funky new upgrade and renovation of the studio bringing it down from the second level to the ground floor. Vezi, a seasoned musician himself and one of the original founders of the studio, hosted the event, held next door at the Graffitis Bar, 170 Baldwin St., Toronto, with an open stage for entertainment. The street was packed, as friends and the curious stopped by to be part of the great music and food while Vezi offered tours of the new studio, located next door through the lane that brings you back to a part of Toronto’s music history. Vezi is in the process of writing a book on the years of events that crossed the doors of the studio, recounting many favorite Kensington Sound memories. If you have some of your own stories, experiences or pictures from those days be sure to let him Vezi know.

CASHBOX CANADA’S NXNE LIVE FIVE

by Lenny Stoute

Intro: Amid the hustle’n’hype of NXNE, check this handful of acts rarely seen in Toronto and tres deserving of attention.

WHITEBOY SLIM

The artist known as Whiteboy Slim (Maurice Richard Libby), started life as the band known as Automatic Slim, the transformation occurring when the group blew up and the Toronto native took off out West.

Automatic Slim was an immediate force on the Toronto blues scene, getting attention for its quirky take on the genre, the quirk courtesy of Slam’s time at Berkelee College of Music in Boston, where his classmates included pianist Al Copley (co-founder of Roomful of Blues) and go-to soul bassist Ron McClure.

The hard-gigging unit played all the notable clubs in the city and for a time Automatic Slim was the house band at four different clubs on different nights of the week. Burned out with the T.Dot and armed with a growing national reputation, Whiteboy Slim had no probs impacting on the Western blues scene, playing all the major fests including Sasktel Jazz Festival, The Mid-Winter Blues Festival, The Prairie Arts Festival and the Flatland Music Festival.
Through all that, what didn’t change and hasn’t still, is Slim’s dedication to his very own brand of the blues; a blend of experimentalism and strict traditionalism that’s never boring.

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