Features

Eric Andersen: The Beat Goes On

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Submitted by Don Graham

Photo Credit: Pål M. Smørvik

Eric Andersen, singer/songwriter, poet, philosopher, renaissance man and Americana ambassador is on the road again. That in itself is not newsworthy, Eric Andersen NOT on the road would be more newsworthy, but it’s how he goes on the road that is always unique. Eric goes out in different configurations, as a single, duo, or a band which sometimes includes his beautiful and talented wife, Inge.

Julian Taylor Band: Desert Star

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Cover Photo Credit: Mike Ford
Submitted by Pat Blythe

Give me a minute....a paragraph to gush. Desert Star is, by a country mile, one of my favourite albums of all time. This is music I will be listening to for years to come. Why? Because it speaks to me both musically and lyrically. It's insightful (House Is A Garden), honest (Glass House), romantic (Take Me (Stay), Say Goodnight), playful (Hot Heels, Coke Bottle Candy) loving (One Time), a touch nostalgic (Chemical Low) and of course, has my favourite summer dance song, Just A Little Bit, as part of this marvelous collection of songs. It touches all my senses. Many of the songs are simple, every day observances or comparisons (back to House Is a Garden)....beautiful songwriting that connects. I absolutely love every beat, every note, every nuance....Julian Taylor's voice just soars, penetrates and washes over you. Jeremy Elliott's drumming is superb....solid, tight, kicking ass one minute, subtle the next. You can sometimes feel him almost caressing them. The keyboards and horns fill you up in all the right places. Full on where required and filling tiny pockets that, without them, the song would feel somewhat empty. The guitar "solos" easily segue in and out of each piece without being over the top. Every song is unique but together on the album they intermingle, weaving in and around each other to complete the whole. I'm in love. Gushing done.

Bobby Curtola – Always, In My Heart

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

We have not published for a few months now and the story needs to be told.

For those of you close to Cashbox Canada as well as me personally, you know we have lost our mentor, our friend our Canadian Legend, Bobby Curtola. I am not one to write anything personal but this story needs to be told.

My history with Bobby started in 1990, when I was a dancer/choreographer in the Route 66 Dancers. We were booked to open for Chubby Checker at a fundraiser for the March of Dimes called ‘Back to the Five & Dime’. My youngest boy, Graham, was a few months old and my babysitter cancelled at the last minute and I had to take him to the show. I was standing backstage, in a white skirt, holding Graham a foot away from me, hoping I could stay ‘intact’ long enough to perform my segment of the show. There was a man rolling wires and helping organize the performers so I asked him to hold my son for 15 minutes while I went on stage. He did – and when I came back he handed Graham back to me and said with that big dimpled smile ‘You are welcome. I'm Bobby Curtola and I'm on next.’

This was the beginning of close to a thirty year friendship.

Roll Out The Carpet – The Carpet Frogs

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Submitted by Pat Blythe
Photo Credits: Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera "The Picture Taker"
Photo at right: Jeff Jones and Michael Zweig

The Canadian music industry's best kept secret. A famous? unknown? band. I first heard mention of The Carpet Frogs about a year ago. I just nodded, figuring they were a new band I should know about and then whispered to someone at the table, "who the hell are The Carpet Frogs". A very odd name for a band (I thought). ....and so it began.

During the ensuing months The Carpet Frogs name was tossed around in many, many conversations. Why is it when you hear a new word or phrase or song or, in this case, a new name, suddenly it seems to be everywhere? Almost like an earworm (but not quite). However, it was during all those discussions I began to learn more about this popular, high-low profile band. Of course the names Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman would catch anybody's attention so that certainly piqued my interest. But....still not a band I was driven to see and, quite frankly, I never seemed to hear or read about any concerts or shows they were performing at....and they did "covers". I eventually found out their primary gigs were private, or corporate, events (both of which are really private right?) so that pretty much dropped them from my radar of "go see" bands at local clubs and concerts. That was until I met their bass player at a show I work on. But I digress..... 

....a little history

Proudly (Francophone) Canadian: Luc Plamondon

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Controversial as it has been for decades, the ‘great divide’ between Quebec and Canada still continues to this day, but music has no borders. Although a well-known passionate Francophone, Luc Plamondon has accepted awards from Canadian institutions, so this week we honour Proudly Canadian by also including Francophone to our title.
Luc Plamondon, OC, CQ (born 2 March 1942 in Saint-Raymond, Quebec) is a French Canadian lyricist, well-known in the Francophone Quebecois market.

Plamondon has written for many artists, notably the Québécois singers Bruno Pelletier, Diane Dufresne, Robert Charlebois, Céline Dion, Ginette Reno, Fabienne Thibeault, Martine St. Clair, and Garou, as well as the French singers Julien Clerc, Nicole Croisille and Johnny Hallyday. He is the co-author of a number of musicals. The two most successful are Starmania (music composed by Michel Berger) and Notre-Dame de Paris (music composed byRiccardo Cocciante). Also of note is Cindy: Cendrillon 2000.

He was inspired to write a hymn in Huguette Gaulin Bergeron’s honour, after her self-immolation. The hymn, entitled "Hymne à la beauté du monde", has since been sung by numerous famous French-Canadian artists such as Diane Dufresne, Isabelle Boulay, Garou, and Éric Lapointe.

Holger Petersen and Forty Years of Stony Plain

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Submitted by Don Graham

Stony Plain Records, one of Canada’s longest standing independent record labels, is celebrating 40 years in business with a classic 3 disc collection of amazing music, 40 Years of Stony Plain. This three volume set celebrates with some of the label's favourite tracks, including one full CD of rarities and previously unreleased music by artists like Eric Bibb, Maria Muldaur, Duke Robillard and Sam Chatmon. Stony Plain was named "2014 Record Label of the Year" by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. Add to that 6 Grammy nominations, 11 Juno Awards and dozens of Blues Awards and Maple Blues Awards.

Stony Plain Records has been recognized worldwide for its consistent, high quality roots and blues releases.

We caught up with founder Holger Petersen at his office in Alberta as he readies for his annual trip to France for MIDEM. “I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished in the 40 years we’ve been in business and have seen a lot of changes in the business during that time. But one thing that has stayed consistent is our commitment to quality with artists on our roster and the music we put out to the world and our reputation for integrity.” Holger and team have seen it all in the last 40 years, have stayed the course and kept it all about good music. “We’ve been very selective about are product and kept the quality high. Ian Tyson is a big part of our success. Ian made it possible for us to go from working at our kitchen table to having an office and becoming a legitimate record label.”

BTW- Entire Cities, Victoria + Jean, Braids, Crystal Shawanda, Andy Shauf, CMW Roundup, Danny Marks

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute

Just out from Entire Cities, a Toronto-based musician/art collective, a visual accompaniment for their EP Rock Chapel . The video clocks in just under 20 minutes and showcases all six tracks from the EP with plenty of visual elements to keep your drawn to the melodies and affecting songs. It's a self-described "visual journey through the six-song release that stars Aragoza dancing by fires, through forests and in fields. Animated illustrations are superimposed atop the performance footage, adding an additional layer of motion to the already movement-filled clip."

Entire Cities are a Canadian indie art party that's been going on for ten years. Formed as a loose collective in Toronto a decade ago, the band has included or collaborated with 50+ dancers, singers, musicians and artists, putting on live concerts that explode with confetti, streamers, feathers & light shows whether playing big stages like Lee’s Palace, or a house party in St. John.

Proudly Canadian: BTO

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Bachman–Turner Overdrive is a Canadian rock group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, that had a series of hit albums and singles in the 1970s, selling over 7 million albums in that decade alone. Their 1970s catalogue included five Top 40 albums and six US Top 40 singles (ten in Canada). The band has sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide, and has fans affectionately known as "gearheads" (derived from the band's gear-shaped logo). Many of their songs, including "Let It Ride", "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", "Takin' Care of Business", "Hey You" and "Roll On Down the Highway", still receive play on classic-rock stations.

After the band went into a hiatus in 2005, Randy Bachman andFred Turner reunited in 2009 to tour and collaborate on a new album. In 2010, they played the halftime show at the Grey Cup inEdmonton, AB and continue to tour as of summer 2014.

On March 29, 2014, the classic Not Fragile line-up reunited for the first time since 1991 to mark Bachman–Turner Overdrive's induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, and participated in performing in a tribute version of "Takin' Care of Business".

Tom Paley

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Submitted by Iain Patience

When Veteran musician Tom Paley took to the stage at New York's Carnegie Hall in February 2016, he was in reality completing an extraordinary musical circle, a journey that has taken him from his native New York to London via Scandinavia and Sweden but which in a way was significantly symbolized by his return to that New York stage as a leading part of the Lead Belly Festival.

Also on the New York bill in February was Eric Burden, a guy with a firm footing in the music; likewise another elder statesman of the blues, Buddy Guy. Both musicians with a blues pedigree and impressive history to match.

But with Paley, you had the real deal. Now eighty-eight years old, Paley actually played with Lead Belly himself, and was the sole performer who had such a claim to fame, being the last remaining musician alive to have actually played with the legendary, towering twelve-string bluesman,Huddie Ledbetter. Few, if any, could stake a greater claim to take the stage given this remarkable fact.

Echo Montgomery Garrett A Resounding Echo: From House of Gold to Orange Duffel Bag

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Submitted by Don Graham

Cover Photo Credit: Kevin Garrett

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