BTW - Begonia, Hard Rubber, Micah Barnes, Plain White T's, Donovan Woods, Skydiggers, RYAN Playground, Blue Goose

Sat Sep 22
Begonia Phone Credit Leeor Wild

So, Winnipeg based Begonia (aka Alexa Dirks) reveals the charmingly haunting video for “The Light”. Directed by Emma Higgins, Dirks says “she felt the emotion and saw my vision for the song right away.” The visual of Begonia singing in a store window surrounded by little dolls wearing white frilly dresses is one that Dirks says “encompassed the pure, ultra-feminine ideals that women are told to take on from a very young age, juxtaposed with me, a woman that does not fit into those stereotypes, sticking out and singing amongst them.” Dirks and Higgins then took that idea a step further, making, sez Begonia “the ‘creepy mother of the dolls’ going out for a night on the town with my pure, frilly, little, babies in tow.”

WATCH AND SHARE “THE LIGHT” HERE

Sheldon Kagan Not In a Shy Way

Fri Sep 21, 2018
DJ Sheldon and his early DJ Gear
DJ Sheldon and his early DJ Gear

If you are a Montrealer, or even just worked in the entertainment business in that glorious city, then the name Sheldon Kagan is one you will instantly recognize.

For 50 years plus, Kagan was known as one of Montreal’s leading event producers and entrepreneurs. From starting out as a 16-year-old kid doing high school DJ gigs to creating a niche for jazz shows to come through the city, to booking the likes of local bands to legendary greats, producing thousands of productions and taking the chances it takes to book live entertainment.

Canadian Indie Pop Folk Duo In The City Remember the “Best Time” in New Single

Fri Sep 21
Canadian Indie Pop Folk Duo In The City Remember the “Best Time” in New Single

Sometimes, bad times help us remember better times. It's a circuitous path to happiness, to be sure. But it's the one taken by Toronto pop-folk duo In the City on their new single and video “Best Time” — available now.

Although it was inspired by the untimely and unexpected death of singer Ashley Jane's mother last year, the song — a preview of the pair's forthcoming concept EP MaryAnn — chooses to celebrate life rather than mourn a loss. "It's really a song that she's singing to my dad," explains Jane, who splits musical duties with multi-instrumentalist and studio whiz Timon Wientzek. "I was really grappling with the idea of grieving for someone you've lost and how you can get really swept up in the tragedy of it. It's really easy for that to become how you remember someone.

“But the storyteller in me was saying, 'No if your mom was still here, I think she'd tell all her friends and loved ones that she had the best time while she was here.’

Gowan Still a Criminal Mind

Fri Sep 14, 2018

At his Caesar’s Palace Coliseum concert on Friday, Sept 7, Larry Gowan was presented with a Certified Canadian Platinum Single award for a combined 80,000 physical, digital and stream equivalent units of his song “A Criminal Mind.”

Gowan was surprised by his label Linus Entertainment with the award, just as his band left the stage leaving him to perform the song solo. While the band and stage managers were in on the plot, Larry was genuinely surprised and delighted at the presentation. “It’s amazing to me because I didn’t think anyone bought records anymore!” he said upon returning for an encore. Linus Entertainment represents several Gowan albums including Strange Animal, Great Dirty World (which includes the song Moonlight Desires), and The Good Catches Up.

BTW Altameda, Tia Brazda, Lindi Ortega, Notifi, Oakland Stroke, nêhiyawak, Bobby Dean Blackburn & Brooke Blackburn

Fri Sep 14
Altameda

Here's a rising crew of rockers hailing from Edmonton you might want to hear. Altameda returns today with a brand new track "Rolling Back To You" - Listen and watch the video here.

This is the first track off their upcoming sophomore full-length Time Hasn't Changed You due early 2019 via Pheromone Recordings.

Paying homage to what came before while remaining very much of the moment, Altameda's "Rolling Back To You" is a blend of classic rock and folk traditions. Reflecting on the writing process, Altameda says, "It was one of the last additions to the batch of songs we had going into the recording sessions. It seemed to form out of an attempt to juxtapose a hopeful beacon of light against some of the more heavy-hearted songs on the album. Though, it may be light-hearted in 'feel', I think the lyrical content reflects the love-laden themes carried throughout the rest of the album."

Don McLean ‘Mr American Pie’ in the Botanical Gardens

Fri Sep 07, 2018

Don McLean is one of those rare characters, a true US music icon with a song-writing knack and a melodic thrust few can ever reach, let alone match. With a new album just out, ‘Botanical Gardens,’ he is relaxed, assured and happy to look back at his fifty years on the road, a modern troubadour who still loves the buzz of live performance.

I love being out there, on-stage, never knowing what might happen. I’m flying and I only hope everybody gets it and it goes well and is not a disaster. I don’t wear a harness. I’m like a wild horse,’ he says with evident relish.

BTW Chris Velan, Catalina Shortwave, Anne Bourne, Small Leaks Sink Ships, Great Lake Swimmers, Dilly Dally, Christina Martin

Fri Sep 07
Chris Velan Photo Credit Dan Haber

Amateur Hour is the new album from genre-hopping songwriter Chris Velan and it started out as songs about a relationship and all the emotional baggage that comes with it; desire, love, resentment, pain. But soon he realized that the relationship he was exploring was the one with himself.

Due out September 14, Amateur Hour unfolds like a series of monologues in a one-act play where the characters are locked in a room and forced to respond and react to unexpected news, discovering that what they thought to be true of themselves was in fact not.

First single, “All Time Record”, is a bit of mystery for Velan. “It came in the form of an urgent stream of babble that I had to quickly record into my phone and then later transcribe and translate,” he says. “It wasn’t as much about the meaning of the words as it was their sound. I think that’s why it retains this elusive, joyful quality. It doesn’t want to be pinned down.”

LISTEN AND SHARE “ALL TIME RECORD” HERE

Winnipeg Singer/Songwriter Madeline Roger Releases New Album on October 26

Fri Sep 07
Madeline Roger

Winnipeg singer-songwriter Madeleine Roger is pleased to announce the independent release of her debut solo album Cottonwood on October 26th and today marks the official release of the first single 'Take My Time' which premiered yesterday at Aesthetic Magazine. 'Take My Time' is available today on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes and all other digital retailers/streaming services. Madeleine will embark on an extensive Canadian tour in support of Cottonwood this fall, starting with an early album release show in Winnipeg on September 21st at The West End Cultural Centre. See below for full tour details.

Country/Roots Singer Juliet Simmons Dinallo, Dream Girl, on November 16

Fri Sep 07
Country/Roots Singer Juliet Simmons Dinallo, Dream Girl, on November 16

Country/Roots singer Juliet Simmons Dinallo will release her new CD, Dream Girl, on November 16, with distribution via BFD/Orchard. A digital release of the new CD will be available digitally everywhere online on October 5, 2018. Originally from Boston and now based in East Nashville, Juliet recorded her new disc at Ice Station Zebra in Medford, Mass., with production by Michael Dinallo and Ducky Carlisle. Call it Boston roots and cowgirl boots, if you will. 

Juliet will support Dream Girl with a number of album release shows in the Nashville area, as well as throughout the southeast, with Midwest gigs on tap in the future.

William Bell : Born Under a Bad Sign

Fri Aug 31
William Bell

Veteran blues-soul man William Bell smiles when I suggest he’s been working the music business for half a century, before correcting me with a laugh: “Sixty years now, in fact,” he says. Bell was one of the earliest Stax musicians, signed to the label back in 1961 primarily as a songwriter, he always had the ambition to make his mark as both writer and performer. An ambition he readily achieved and three-score years later, he continues to deliver top-notch material with scarcely a trace of effort.

Currently working on a new album, Bell is studio-bound though he still loves life out on the road: “I never tire of the travel, meeting the fans, working hard,” he confirms. “Right now I’m working on a bunch of new songs, some for other artists, and some for a new release I’m working with.”

Ry Cooder The Return of the Prodigal Son

Fri Aug 31, 2018

When one of the world’s most accomplished, admired and revered guitarists tells you that how he plays is: “………nothing special. It’s just music. All music’s the same, all that folk stuff. You just play what you know. You listen to the other guys and try to compliment them,” you know you’re dealing with a master of understatement. And with Ry Cooder, the humility continues in a similar vein as he looks back over half a century at the absolute peak of musical genius.

From his sideman work with the Rolling Stones – Cooder’s the stinging slide-picker on ‘Sister Morphine’ on the ‘Sticky Fingers’ album – in the 1960s to his remarkable emergence as a movie music score writer twenty years later, Cooder has always been a guy with a passion for music, performance and unexpected twists and turns. Always ready to play out his socio-political beliefs and hopes in musical form, Cooder never shuns controversy when he feels the time is right, or there’s a need to push back against convention or authority.

Carlos Santana Up Close and Personal

Fri Aug 17, 2018

Carlos Santana is, without doubt, one of the finest guitarists modern music has to offer. From his explosive appearance on the Woodstock stage fifty years ago, in 1969, through his work with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and the legendary blues duo of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, Santana has remained a unique, instantly recognizable figure in both the blues and world music camps.

Now, with a new band behind him and an ambition and optimism that he believes is leading him back to his ‘blues roots,’ he is about to hit the road with a promise of Santana at his very best, a bluesman with a purpose and a genuine desire to take the music world by the scruff of its neck and deliver a promise that he believes will push him straight back into the spotlight where many would agree he clearly belongs.

BTW Colour Film, Basement Revolver, Jim Kweskin, Vince Gill, Leo Vance, Annie Bonsignore, Dilly Dally, The Flatliners

Fri Aug 17
Colour Film

Some say this is pop music for your mind’s eye. With songs that play like home movies rich in imagery and characters, Colour Film is the stage name of Hamilton, ON's multitalented Matthew de Zoete. The moniker embodies his idea of songs as little films, where a combination of characters, stories, and emotions create a visual element in the listener's mind. His latest release Super 8 blends pop and folk to set six of these cinematic songs in an atmospheric soundscape conjured with producer Les Cooper (Jill Barber, Good Lovelies). Imagine Nick Drake cheering up a bit and meeting Beck.

Since 2006, de Zoete (pronounced "duh-ZOO-tuh") has released three previous albums under his own name and toured throughout North America and Europe. He has shared the stage with acts such as Serena Ryder, Great Lake Swimmers, and Whitehorse, and he's performed at festivals including North by Northeast, Canadian Music Week, JUNOfest, and Stukafest (Netherlands).

James Leblanc and The Winchesters Still Needing Your Pledge for The Devil Between My Ears

Fri Aug 17
James Leblanc and The Winchesters

James Leblanc and The Winchesters are trying hard to reach their goal on Pledge Music but still need your help. James and The Winchesters are based in the Muscle Shoals area and are hard at work at The Nutthouse Recording Studio recording their album ‘The Devil Between My Ears’. Bandleader James Leblanc, “Thanks for this opportunity to keep getting the word out. The first thing I want y’all to know is I ’m grateful to be able to make records. We have a blast doing it and it’s so much fun. I am pumped for this album, it’s going to a little different from my solo CDs, a little more of a band feel and is gonna be a little more aggressive. We will be exploring some southern rock aspects of ourselves, a little more edge to it musically. Plus my lady, the super talented is gonna be steppin’ out and singin’ some leads, so I’m pumped. And I am happy to tell you that the new album is coming along. We still need your help with pre-orders through our PledgeMusic campaign.”

Elvis Presley The Boy Who Would Be King

Fri Aug 10, 2018
August 13, 2010, Cover Elvis
August 13, 2010, Cover Elvis

January 6, 1935 - August 16, 1977

On August 16, 1977, 41 years ago, we lost one of the most significant artists on human beings the world has ever known.  Elvis Presley. Although the anniversary of his death is not as universally recognized as years past his impact on the world has not diminished. In 2010 we wrote the story “The Boy Who Would Be King” and thought it appropriate to rerun it for your reading enjoyment. Elvis didn’t like being called the King and at one show where they held up a sign saying Elvis Is King. He asked them to take it down saying there is only one King and pointed heavenward. Hope you enjoy the read.

On January 8th, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, was born to Gladys and Vernon Presley, a baby boy. He would be named Elvis Aaron Presley, and one day would be known simply as…..The King.

When Did Casey Kasem Finally Sign Off of the American Top 40?

Fri Aug 10
When Did Casey Kasem Finally Sign Off of the American Top 40?

On August 6, 1988, thirty years ago Monday, August 6, 1988, thousands of "American Top 40" fans tuned in to hear Casey Kasem do what was believed to be his very last AT40 show. Shadoe Stevens would replace him at the mike the following week. Fans particularly wanted to hear how Casey would end the show, fully expecting him to say goodbye.

Only he didn't. After promoting his TV show, Casey said, "Til then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

No farewell from Casey...but that was because it really WASN'T "farewell" for him. He would be back. The ABC network would actually PAY Casey to NOT count 'em down for the rest of 1988 and the first two weekends of 1989. But that's when Casey's contract with ABC expired. On the weekend of January 21, 1989, Casey sounded like he'd never been away when he debuted with "Casey's Top 40" on the Westwood One radio network. He was just starting a then-unheard-of radio contract for a disc jockey....five years, $15 million.

Norbert Putnam Walking In Memphis

Fri Aug 10
Norbert Putnam Walking In Memphis

Musician, Producer, Arranger, Publisher, Studio Owner, best-selling Author; Norbert Putnam has had a lot of awards and accolades thrust upon him in his long illustrious career and is about to have another to add to his collection. On August 13th, 2018, three days after his birthday and three days prior to the anniversary of the death of one of Norbert’s favorite artists to have played on sessions with his true, close friend, Elvis Presley, he will be honored in Memphis Tennessee with a Brass Note on Beale Street. Known as the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame it was started to offer a tangible embodiment of the many talented people who had put Memphis music and Beale Street on the world map and includes musicians, composers, disc jockeys, promoters and music supporters with celebrating them on the concrete sidewalks along Beale Street.

David Byrne: American Utopia Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Toronto ON

Fri Aug 10
David Byrne: American Utopia Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Toronto ON

Just about the time, David Byrne was stagger dancing around a grey stage to "Blind", bulldozers were leveling the Beijing studio of dissident artist Ai Wei Wei, as arts programs across North America were getting the shiv in the ribs and Riot Pussy are again doing time. Once again, subversive art is under attack everywhere. So layered with the joyous and uplifting, especially as in bodies out of seats. David was a laying out a to-do list for the resistance. Ah, but we were there for the music and that never flagged nor disappointed. The set covered material from Talking Heads, Byrne solo albums from all periods, some collabs, a Love The Giant and some from the newbie, most given redos to fit a fun and funky vibe.

BTW Honyock, Dead Soft, Hosannas, June West, Carmen Toth, Tragedy Ann

Fri Aug 03
Honyock

Listening to Honyock feels like walking through a post-war home that hasn’t been redecorated since 1975. Here, smoke-stained curtains obscure a hazy sun and a floral couch faces a stern stone fireplace. And, here, a dusty electric organ rests against a wood-paneled wall where, in any other house, a flat screen might sit. But while sitting at the Formica table beside a rattling, honey-colored Frigidaire, this home feels familiar, comfortable. This transportive power of Honyock’s music, though, is no serendipitous accident. Indeed, their first full-length El Castillo, produced by David Vandervelde (Father John Misty, Jay Bennett), seems like the outcome of some cosmic strategy—of fate, or something similar.

Like the best bands that take cues from the past—Wilco and Dr. Dog, Whitney and Kevin Morby, The Sacramento four piece combines the aesthetic of this era with songwriting that’s as distinctive as it is memorable. “Patron” features a dusty, retro aesthetic—a sun-faded roadside hotel, a cactus’s long shadow. It’s hard not to hear Elvis Costello or Roy Orbison in this opening track.

David Vaters Asks Us to ‘Forgive’

Fri Aug 03
David Vaters Asks Us to ‘Forgive’

In these current times, with all the political tensions, climate issues, racism and unrest, the message from this Canadian-born artist couldn’t be more timely.

Forgive.

David Vaters has released a moving video with the song ‘Forgive’. The video is a heart-rendering addition to a well-written, moving song, taken from the album entitled “Volume 2 – A Voice in the Wilderness, and to date has over 10 million streams and views on digital music platforms.

Forgive. A very small word but such a huge undertaking for many of us to do.  But yet, many of us would hope for people to forgive us for things we might have done, maybe not intentionally and sometimes done by just being careless about others.

With Vaters’ ‘pay it forward’ take in the video, a simple gesture of a crumpled piece of paper handed to strangers really hits home to the viewer. Take that and combine it with a great song and you have a hit with a great message.

To date ‘Forgive’ has had over 1.2 million streams on Soundcloud and over 130,000 views on YouTube prior to its official release. And we are pretty sure those numbers have risen since this story was published.

Cashbox Canada Features Archive