Blue Tattoo at the Black Swan, October 10, 2009 Toronto

Blue Tattoo

Reviewed by Sandy Graham

When you first see Joe Mavety off stage, you think what a sweet looking man, but rock guitar star? Doubtful.

The second he straps on his Firebird Gibson guitar he is transformed into guitar guru before your very eyes (and ears).

Starting off his concert at the legendary Black Swan, Mavety says “let’s keep it mellow for a little while.” and lulls the audience into a soft jazz instrumental that is comforting to listen to and all about the music. He then plays ‘Broken English’, the song that was a hit for Marianne Faithfull and co written by Mavety in 1979, when Mavety was her guitarist and musical director touring Great Britain.

His choice of material is brilliant, taking his fans to musical heights with Dylan’s wistful ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’, a song my Cashbox colleague Kathy Hahn (in attendance as well) thought should be re-released again immediately for commercial airplay.

Blurred Vision Live in Mel Lastman Square, Toronto

Blurred Vision

By Alistair Kael

Blurred Vision provided the ideal alternative for Toronto International Film Festival crowds who were looking to shake things up outside the regular film fare.  The second day of the festival here was also Quds Day in Persian culture - a time to show support for the oppressed and an ideal time for gathering as the sun dimmed over the glistening parabola of the amphitheatre at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, Ontario.

This concert was aligned with other events occurring in the free world meant to draw attention to the impending arrival of Iran's dictator for a meeting at the United Nations in New York on September 24. The same United Nations that published the first charter on human rights which was drafted by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 B.C. The same building where the entrance to the Hall of Nations is graced by a poem on human rights penned by the Persian Sufi and poet, Sa'adi.

Sass Jordan CD Release Party, Live at Hugh's Room

By Chris and Kathy Hahn

On a busy summer night in the midst of Toronto International Film Festival movie madness, there was no  better place to be for more than 200 fans than Hugh’s Room on Saturday, September 12 – packed into the CD release party for Canada’s rock icon, Sass Jordan celebrating her latest offering “FROM DUSK TIL’ DAWN.”

Choosing an intimate venue for her highly anticipated eighth recording (featuring the debut single, “Why Did You”) a dedicated crowd was entitled to a rare showing from Sass, former Canadian Idol judge and an award-winning singer, performer, composer and platinum-plus recording artist. The up-close and personal setting provided a welcomed alternative to the glitter of big concert stages and TV lights.

Ian Tyson Yellowhead to Yellowstone and Other Love Stories

Ian Tyson

By Don Graham

I have been listening to Ian Tyson since the mid sixties. The steel guitar player in my band, Graham County, the late Ron Dann, played with him in the seventies. He had one of those instantly recognizable voices; a pure, rich tenor that wrapped itself around his well crafted, descriptive lyrics. Songs like Four Strong Winds, Someday Soon, Summer Wages and The Navajo Rug all showcased his vocal ability.

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