Features

The Road Hammers The Squeeze

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Submitted by Don Graham

The Hammers are back ! A new album and a new single from The Road Hammers, Canada’s premiere country rock band is about to explode onto the airwaves.

On May 12th, The Road Hammers, Jason McCoy, Clayton Bellamy and Chris Byrne, the highest selling Canadian country band in history released their fifth studio album The Squeeze. The new album is a huge step in the evolution of the band and the lead single “ Crazy About You” leads the charge with it’s mix of sentiment and grit. Strong vocals are a trademark of the Hammers and it’s never more evident than this track. “Crazy About You” should put the band back on the airwaves in a big way. A great blend of pop, classic rock and country with its theme of falling in love and staying in love. We caught up with Jason McCoy at his home to discuss the new reord and touring plans for the summer. “ We’re are really happy with how this record turned. The band keeps growing and getting better. This record is little bit different but we still have the edge the makes the Hammers sound what it is. And we had some great production work on it as well. We had Gavin Brown who produced Metric, Tragically Hip and Barenaked Ladies as well as Scott Baggett who worked with Alison Krauss, Buddy Guy, and Bonnie Raitt so there is some diversity there and definitely some pedigree there.”

Norbert Putnam Music Lessons Vol. 1

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Submitted by Don Graham

Norbert Putnam, bass player, arranger and record producer can now add author to his list of occupations. Actually more of a raconteur. The talented and well respected Putnam has a new book, Music Lessons Vol. 1, that just hit the shelves this month And oh the stories he can tell ! We asked Norbert from his home in Florence, Alabama, what prompted the writing of his memoirs? “My wife Sheryl and I were living in Hilton Head, North Carolina and going to these get togethers and parties with these moneyed people, non music folks, and they all wanted to talk about the music business and what I’d seen and done. They funny thing is most of them seemed more interested in the lesser known artists I had worked for and with. One night at an architect’s house they asked me about working with Jerry Jeff Walker. I explained that with Jerry Jeff we set up an actual bar in my studio. Then we’d sit around and drink and talk and then we’d record some. It was the atmosphere that Jerry Jeff was comfortable with. Well they loved the story and driving home Sheryl said ‘You need to write all these stories down, people enjoy hearing them.’ It took awhile to commit to it but we finally got there with volume 1 of the book.”

CMW2017 ROUNDUP - Quivers, Eliza & The Delusionals, Bad Pony, Silver Love Club, Tasseomancy, Amelia Curran, Sebadoh, Tim Darcy, The Barberettes, Tangina Stone, K.Forest

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
photo at right: Elisa and the Delusionals

It was a year of many grassfires, upon occasion a decent brush fire or three but there weren't any roaring, all consuming forest fires at CMW this year.

The Aussie showcase came close to an all out blaze, especially as the night wore on at The Hideout's new home on College and the outdoors temp on the rise. Ducked in to catch Quivers, making their Canadian debut with a fistful of brisk pop songs, cheeky clever lyrics, lotsa chiming guitars and likeable frontman Sam J. Nicholson. The hard candy-coated Eliza & The Delusionals brought shades of The GoGos and flavours of KPop to their indie poprock with a skittery edge. There are decent hooks and the stirrings of something here but it didn't really get across to the room.

Marquee Canadian Stars Gather To Support Care Through Music

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

A dazzling roster of musical, literary and stage talent is set to host an uplifting evening while raising funds for a dementia support program.

A marquee Canadian line-up – iconic folk singer/songwriter Murray McLauchlan, best-selling author Margaret Atwood, East Coast fiddle sensation Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, Soulpepper Theatre Company founder, actor/director Albert Schultz, acclaimed Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, dancer Travis Knights and blues singer/guitarist Matt Andersen, will appear at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio on Friday, May 5, 2017 for Voices That Care, a concert benefiting the Room 217 Foundation.

Proceeds from Voices That Care support Room 217’s dementia singing program, which vastly enriches the lives of Canadians suffering with dementia, while providing education to caregivers wishing to integrate music into their care practice. Click here to watch a video of the program in action.

Music touches all of us and is increasingly becoming a valued dimension of healthcare. Voices That Care – to be hosted by TV personality and author Denise Donlon – underscores the healing power of music while raising funds for the essential ongoing efforts of the Room 217 Foundation.

Come And Sing A Simple Song of Freedom

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

“ Come and sing a simple song of freedom, sing like you’ve never sung before. Let it fill the air, tell the people everywhere, that we the people here don’t want a war.”

Those lyrics written by Bobby Darin are as relevant and true today as they were 48 years ago when Darin wrote them.

It’s true we’ve had wars since, the Gulf War and the Persian War and unrest in the Middle East but somehow, although we had military involved, it was never a threat in our own backyard. It always seemed far away. It’s a little different now. Now you have two unstable leaders with access to nuclear codes and  we can feel the breath of the threat on our necks. Nuclear war never seemed a possibility to me because level heads on both sides know that with each having the deadly weapons, nobody wins. But these are not level headed times.

While thinking about this situation my mind drifted to music and how we get messages to the world through song. I remembered a few years ago Don Graham had recorded the old Bobby Darin classic Simple Song of Freedom with former Burrito Brother and Rick Nelson guitarist, John Beland near Austin, Texas. It was a moving rendition at the time but the threat of war at home was distant. I gave it another listen and lines popped out that sounded like they were written today. “most of what you read is made of lies.”

Tom Russell Honours Canadian Icons with Play One More: The Songs of Ian and Sylvia

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

The rich musical legacy of Ian and Sylvia continues to entertain millions of fans across the globe, and today singer songwriter, painter, and essayist Tom Russell announced a project honouring their music with new interpretations of classic songs with his May 19th release of “Play One More: The Songs Of Ian And Sylvia.”

Russell has recorded 35 highly acclaimed records, & published five books - including a book on his art and a book of his songs. Russell and Ian and Sylvia share similar values and cultural traditions – both deeply rooted in the depth of the song and story. Russell says, "The music of Ian and Sylvia has stood up over a half of a century and is still recognized as deeply Canadian, it was an honour to pay tribute to them.”

In 1992, Ian and Sylvia were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame during the Juno Awards ceremony. In 1994 they were both made Members of the Order of Canada.

"In 2005 an extensive CBC poll determined Ian Tyson's song, recorded by Ian and Sylvia, "Four Strong Winds," to be the "most essential" piece of Canadian music, and is no doubt the most popular Canadian song ever written. But don’t look for it on "Play One More: The Songs of Ian and Sylvia." Russell says, “I wanted to mine the deep, neglected, album tracks that I've listened to for over forty years. Works that I could never get out of my mind. Classic songwriting.”

Headstones Announce New Studio Album Little Army

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Headstones, one of Canada's most enduring and hardest rocking bands, announced earlierthis year that they were heading to the studio to record their forthcomingalbum Little Army. Today they are thrilled toreveal it will be unleashed to the world on June 2nd via Cadence Music and have given fans a first taste of thealbum with first single "Devil's On Fire."

A smart, addictive, dirty rock 'n' roll track, "Devil's On Fire" is acontagious, aggressive rock anthem. Fans have been getting an exclusiveinside look at the making of Little Army on the band's socialchannels since February, in real time. With tours of the Bathhouse,adventures around NYC, and a little inside look at the recording process,Headstones once again kept the fans close and a part of the process.Headstones frontman Hugh Dillon couldn't be more excitedto share this with the world, saying "We set out to write the best rockalbum of our career, and I think that's what we've done."

Hugh’s Room Playing the Blues Again with David Rotundo

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Toronto blues harpist David Rotundo heard James Cotton perform at the El Mocambo in 1991. “He blew one note on the harmonica that hypnotized me...” The next day, Rotundo went out and bought a harmonica. “...and I’ve been playing the blues ever since.” Obsession with the blues led Rotundo on a diesel-fuelled roots tour of blues epicentres of the United States including – New Orleans, Clarksdale, Austin, Memphis and Chicago with little more than his wits and a bag full of harmonicas. “I wanted to hear and experience the real thing.” He returned to Canada with a visceral perception of the blues and a deep knowledge of blues history. After making the stories his own, he earned the right to tell them. Rotundo has developed his own language of the blues, honing the technique that gives the voice power and authenticity. Proof of his impact shows in the fact that he has been nominated for a Maple Blues Award for 11 consecutive years!

BTW- Steph Cameron, Overcoats, Andrew Waines, Luke Nicholson, Nagata Shachu, CMW French Showcase live, CMW picks

Steph Cameron Credit Mark Maryanovich

Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo at right: Steph Cameron Credit Mark Maryanovich

Saskatoon-based roots singer / songwriter Steph Cameron is sharing “Winterwood,” the latest track from her upcoming album Daybreak Over Jackson Street. “Winterwood” is about “being at the mercy of uncertain forces,” says Cameron. “Of a moment where time is frozen and clear and our own vulnerability is stark and beautiful.”

Cameron supported Daybreak Over Jackson Street with a hometown release show on April 15 in Saskatoon before making her way to Toronto for Canadian Music Week.

In 2014, Steph Cameron arrived on the scene like a bracing gust of fresh musical air with her debut record Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady, receiving unanimously enthusiastic reviews. “This is a monumental, brilliant album… heralds the crowning of a bright new talent,” declared PopMatters in calling it the #1 Canadian album of 2014. No Depression termed it “a stunning debut,” while Exclaim! noted that “ Sad-Eyed Lonesome Lady delights from start to finish. Steph Cameron is the real deal.” The record also made the coveted longlist for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2015.

Miss The 90s? New Toronto band Iduna plays Adelaide Hall May 12

Iduna

Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Toronto-based alt rock band and Craigslist success story Iduna commands the attention of their listeners through exhilarating rhythms and powerfully rich harmonies and melodies, and I wanted to work with them from the very first time I heard their music. Iduna is heavily inspired by 90's alt-rock, and their debut album COUNTERPART is produced by Mark Makoway (known for his work with David Usher and Moist)! The album is being released at Iduna's May 12th show at Adelaide Hall and wanted to know if you can cover the show.

Iduna is a band bent on bringing back an edgy and mindful brand of alternative rock. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, this quartet spent their formative years playing Toronto-area festivals and the city’s many venues.

Heavily inspired by 90’s alt. rock, their music ranges from heavy and soulful to high energy rock and roll exploring a wide range of melodic flourishes and dynamic flux. With introspective lyrics in tow, sometimes wistful, sometimes fierce, Iduna delivers a unique flavour of rich harmonies, stirring melodies, and rhythms that compel you to move.

Iduna’s music explores themes of betrayal, injury, optimism and compassion. Relatable and concise without sacrificing their values, they are a band about creativity and companionship.

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