Features

Jen and John Tour Ontario & Quebec

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Submitted by Lee Fraser

Jen Lane and John Antoniuk are coming back to Eastern Canada for a fall tour and it looks like a lot of audiences are going to get to enjoy this heart-warming, down-to-earth couple right in their own hometown.

In celebration of Jen Lane’s latest record being released on vinyl, the Saskatoon couple has almost back-to-back-to-back dates all over Ontario and Quebec starting from November 1 and continuing right through to November 29.  There are shows booked in Guelph, Orillia, Gravenhurst, Oakville, Wakefield, Montreal and the town of Durham in Grey-Bruce.

They are also continuing their twice-yearly residency at the Cameron House, the warm and cozy venue in downtown Toronto that just celebrated its 35th Anniversary.  You’ll find John opening things up at 8 pm every Tuesday in November, followed by a long and lovely set by Jen Lane and her band.

Jen’s latest video is for the title track of her latest album, “This Life of Mine”. It’s a glimpse into the recording process and the studio where it was recorded, complete with very adorable alpacas. Here is the link to that video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTMzaS4MbdA

For details on the full eastern Canada tour, as well as more videos and streaming songs, visit Jen’s web page at jenlane.com

Lest We Forget

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Submitted by Don Graham

When we heard the words “lest we forget” years ago it really meant “we’re not going to forget”. How could we? There were reminders of the wars everywhere, veterans, freedoms we gained and kept because of our brave defenders and peace, glorious, hard earned peace. But honestly times have changed. For this generation born in the 90’s there hasn’t really been world peace. From the Gulf War of the 90’s, 9/11 and the continuing terrorist threats, it’s a volatile world we live in. With the passage of time there are fewer veterans still living to remind us of the past and fewer stories being told of the brave men and women who gave their lives for us.

War is a terrible thing. It is an organized conflict that is carried out by different countries against each other as a way of resolving differences.  It is usually characterized by extreme violence, and economic destruction and multiple deaths. The way it is carried out is called warfare. An absence of war is usually called peace. War has been waged from the beginning of time and continues to this day, and every year on November the 11th, we here in Canada honour the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the rights and liberties of their homeland and its people. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 o’clock a moment of silence, often two minutes is observed across the country and a well-deserved respect is paid to armed forces past and present, dead, alive and wounded.

BTW with Lenny Stoute Megan Bonnell, Botany, Moby, Andy Shauf , Songsbury, Sean McCann, Future States, Divine Brown

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Singer-songwriter Megan Bonnell is currently on a cross Canada tour this fall with Great Lake Swimmers. Hitting up five of the provinces, the tour will see Megan perform solo for crowds from Sudbury, Winnipeg, Calgary, Nelson, Saskatoon, and Sault Ste. Marie, to name a few. The tour kicked off Monday, October 24th and to get her fans pumped for the show Bonnell`s released a stunning acoustic video performance of her song, Broken Hearted Avenue, off her current release Magnolia, a lush instropective discourse of an album.

"I love that this tour takes us winding around Lake Superior, across the prairies, and into the mountains. Everything seems to fit perfectly together on this run. The Great Lake Swimmers every night; in churches and small towns. I feel very lucky." Megan continues, "Fall is such a reflective time of year, and to witness the way it takes hold differently in each province, is really poetic to me. It makes me feel inspired to be playing each night under these wonderful circumstances."

Eric Andersen The Shadow and the Light

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Submitted by Don Graham

Eric Andersen, one of the founding fathers of the great American Folk Family, continues to evolve and reinvent himself.  It’s as though he has an unquenchable thirst to create new works and adapt the works of other literary icons of the past. For me that is the mark of a true artist, constantly moving the finish line and looking for new ways to express himself and not fearful of taking the great works of others and translating them into song in his own undeniable fashion.

And that is just what he has done with Albert Camus, the great French-Algerian 20th Century philosopher. The paintings of Oliver Jordan were what first inspired Eric to reinvestigate the works of Albert Camus which in turn  inspired him  to write the songs for The Shadow and the Light album.  Camus, whose productivity was from 1935 until his tragic demise  in  a car wreck in 1960, was similar to Eric  in that they both sought the truth in their words.

Andersen managed to take the text of Camus and expertly transform them into four songs; The Plague,( Song of Denial) The Stranger, (Song of Revenge) The Rebel (Song of Revolt)  and The Fall (Song of  Gravity).  Kind of like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Each song is haunting in its content and production with the sincere, honest vocals that have become Eric’s stock in trade.

Bobby Vee 1943-2016

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Submitted Courtesy of Rob Durkee
Cashbox Magazine USA

There’s one very special plaque on display in my Mediabase 24/7 office. It was awarded to me April 7, 1989 to commemorate my final day as an on-air DJ. It was given to me at a send-off party that evening. It was a gold record with my signoff slogan as the title: “I Know It’s Only Rock And Roll—But I Like It.” The artist on that gold record was my airname, “Rockin’ Robin Scott.” Underneath, in a beautifully engraved box, it said “From Your Friends at WAYY Radio and Bobby Vee.” Bobby couldn’t make it that night but his thoughtfulness and popularity as one of the upper midwest’s most revered singers for many years has never been forgotten by me.

That’s why it’s so very difficult for me to report that Robert Velline, a/k/a Bobby Vee, died Monday (October 24, 2016) at the age of 73. He’d been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in recent years.

Bobby Vee got his big break as a fill-in singer in the wake of the tragic “Day The Music Died” plane crash of February 3, 1959, that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper and the pilot, Roger Peterson. Bobby performed with his two-week old band, the Shadows, at the Moorhead (Minnesota) National Armory, not far from his hometown of Fargo, North Dakota. That big break was the first chapter of a career that landed him over 40 hits, mostly in the 60’s.

BTW-MONA, Diamond Mind, Lowlands, Laura Rain and the Caesars, Laughed The Boy, Lori Cullen, Little Scream, Piper Hayes

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Good to hear from this crew again. It's been a few years since MONA (Nick Brown, Zach Lindsay, Alex Lindsay, Jordan Young & Justin Wilson) released anything so there\s a palpable excitement around the band and its fans regarding the Oct. 28 unveiling of the six song EP, "In The Middle"

The five piece has seen rejigging and creative tensions since their last release and has come with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh and vibrant set of newly penned songs that may very well be the best of their career. MONA recently gave fans a sneak peak of what they've been working on.

"We have always been a tight knit group, but the vibe is the best it's been and we are looking forward to bringing these songs to the public," says front man Nick Brown. The band is currently preparing to join fellow label mates - The Wombats - as special guests on the second leg of their North American Tour for a handful of exclusive shows that will run until the first week of October. The first show kicks off on Tuesday, September 27th in Denver. In addition to the series of dates with The Wombats, Mona will be opening for July Talk on their North American Tour later this fall. The tour will run through mid-December. 

The Golden Voice of Bonnie Dobson

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Submitted by Iain Patience
Photo: L-R Jim Cuddy, Bonnie Dobson, Gordon Lightfoot

With a hand cupped to an ear the echoing whisper can almost be heard: '……Who?.... Bonnie who?…..Bonnie Dobson….who?,' as it filters through the hall. A strange state of affairs indeed, because Bonnie Dobson is one of music's true survivors, a lady with a gorgeous, glorious voice that over half a century since her emergence in New York's nascent folk-music scene, still glints like gold.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Dobson worked the incipient US folk scene alongside Judy Collins and Joan Baez, and was ranked by Time Magazine as one of the top three folk-musicians and singers in 1960s USA alongside them.

She played all the famed haunts, now steeped in legend and musical myth and folklore, hanging out in Gerde's Folk City, The Gaslight, The Bitter End. The lady toured extensively with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Mississippi John Hurt, and worked with Pete Seeger, Reverend Gary Davis, Lightnin' Hopkins, Artie and Happy Traum - always working her way and looking astutely around the world surrounding her as she wrote songs of love and loss and prescient, at times disturbing, thought.

David Bromberg Band - The Blues, The Whole Blues And Nothing But The Blues

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Submitted By Iain Patience

Any new release from US roots master guitarist David Bromberg is bound to whip up a fair music feeding frenzy. For around fifty years, I personally have been an unashamed, outright huge fan of this guy and his spectacularly significant, genre-crossing musical magic. When I first heard him back around 1970, I became an avowed fan, chasing up releases as and when and where I could find them. With this latest release, Bromberg has again shown just how wonderfully versatile and untamed he really is. This is Delaware-based Bromberg returning to his blues roots with complete ease and startling control.

Kicking off with “Walking Blues,” he goes on through the old traditional number “900 Miles”, a simply superb take on “Delia” and a wonderful version of “Bulldog Blues” mixed together with his own material always brimming with his trademark Jewish humor and laconic, lyrical delivery. It hardly need be said it features some exceptional fretwork with the iconic Bromberg switching effortlessly between, electric, acoustic and slide styles at the drop of the proverbial hat.

Asked about the release, he says he considers it the best thing he’s done to date, heaping praise on producer Larry Campbell for his understanding of what Bromberg was aiming to produce and Justin Guip who engineered the project with minimal fuss or difficulty in the studio.  ‘What do I hope to get from this album,’ he muses briefly before chuckling, ‘Worldwide domination!’

Bob Dylan The Rhymes They Are A-Changin’

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Submitted by Don Graham

In 1965, at the height of his appointment as the voice of a generation, Bob Dylan was asked if he thought of himself primarily as a singer or a poet. He replied, “Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y’know?”

And now 51 years later, he has been given the highest possible accolade in literature, the Nobel Prize.He is the first American to win the prize in more than twenty years . Novelist Toni Morrison last won in 1993.

Dylan was given the award "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize.

According to the Swedish Academy, "He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition, and he is a wonderful sampler - a very original sampler. For 54 years now he has been at it and reinventing himself, constantly creating a new identity." Which is so true for although he is revered for his “Blowin’ In The Wind” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’ ” epics he is also responsible for the more modern “To Make You Feel My Love” and “Wagon Wheel”.

Dylan has won Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S. Now to add to his honors Dylan has captured the Nobel Prize.

BTW- Jadea Kelly, Moon Tan, Royal Canoe, Adam Baldwin, Anna Atkinson, Jimmy Bowsill & Carlos Del Junco

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Dividing her time between Toronto, ON and Nashville, TN, Canadian Songstress Jadea Kelly is very familiar with life on the road. This fall she'll embark on a tour with Winnipeg's Sweet Alibi and share songs from her compelling and intimate third studio record, Love & Lust. The album was released to rave reviews on June 3, 2016 via her own label Darth Jadea Music (distributed by Fontana North). The new record includes the CBC Radio 2 lauded track Make It Easy and Exclaim declares it to be "Kelly's finest work yet." Check out the brand new LIVE video of her track Good Girl (co-written w/ Robyn Dell'Unto and Stew Crookes), captured at her sold-out Toronto show at The Drake.

Love & Lust features 11 lovingly crafted and thoughtfully executed songs. "Beauty" in particular is perhaps the most delicate and forgiving of songs on this album, co-written with Canadian artist Peter Katz. The song was chosen to accompany a tribute video to celebrate Terry Fox, Day 11 of the Paralympics opening montage and has amassed on Facebook. Prior to the release of Love & Lust, Kelly headed into Union Sound Company to capture a collection of live performances for the new material.

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