Elvis Costello and The Imposters – Steve Nieve (keyboards), Davey Faragher (bass), Pete Thomas (drums) – have made a sensational new album that ranks alongside the best work this singularly great artist has ever produced.
Recorded in Hollywood, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia, Look Now is beautiful in its simplicity, reflective in its lyrical vision, surrounded by melodies and orchestrations that are nothing short of heavenly. It’s the first album Costello has made with The Imposters since the 2008 release of Momofuku and his first new album since the acclaimed 2013 Roots collaboration, Wise Up Ghost.
Anyone anywhere in the world who has seen Elvis Costello and The Imposters live can testify to their unmitigated swagger. Costello’s suspicion that it was time to return to the studio was confirmed while on the Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers tour of the USA, last summer and he realized the power and sheer musicality of The Imposters had never really been fully captured on one record.
Alternative pop duo Lightning Echoes is taking listeners on a spherical journey of sound with their newest release, “In Circles”, available now from the usual suspects.
The Vancouver-based pairing is equal parts singer/songwriter Kaitlin Deavy and producer Alejandro Zarazúa. Having teamed up in February 2018 amidst their respective studies on music and production, the multi-instrumentalists were driven by their shared vision of music and human connection. On “In Circles” you’ll hear seemingly simple melodies swirling among complex layers of indie, folk, and what the two call “smart pop” elements.
The Guess Who are responsible for countless rock classics, which still retain a major presence on rock radio - “American Woman,” “No Time,” “These Eyes,” etc. The band is set to return on September 14th with their latest album, ‘The Future IS What It Used To Be’, released via Cleopatra Records (available in CD, Vinyl, and Digital formats).
The band is Garry Peterson (Drums, Vocals), D# (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano), Will E. (Guitar, Harp, Vocals), Leonard Shaw (Keyboards, Flute, Sax, Vocals), and Rudy Sarzo (Bass, Vocals). The album’s first single,‘Playin’ on the Radio’, will be released on July 17th. It can be heard on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. Also featured on the album are several special guests including, Tommy Shaw (Styx) on vocals, Brent Fitz (Slash, Gene Simmons) percussion, Jim Kale (Guess Who founding member) and Michael Devin (Whitesnake) on bass guitar.
They’re back! Sylvia Tyson and Scarlet Rivera will once again light up Hugh’s Room stage on August 7th. They last appeared there together in 2016 where they put on a show for the ages and there’s no reason to believe that this upcoming night won’t be just as epic Canada’s living legend and a huge part of the fabric of Canadiana and our roots, Sylvia Tyson is a joy to watch and I’m pretty sure she will perform some staples from the Ian and Sylvia days including “Someday Soon” and “Four Strong Winds” And her big hit as a songwriter that she performed two years ago where she said “the first song I ever wrote in 1962,” which was “You Were On My Mind” a big hit for We Five”. Sylvia said tongue in cheek, “My accountant asked me if I could write another one of these.”
Violin legend Scarlet Rivera is the perfect compliment to Sylvia spellbinding presentation. Scarlet is a legend in her own right having performed with Bob Dylan in The Rolling Thunder Review among a host of others greats.
As a young teenager Rory Block — her full name is Aurora — grew up in New York’s Greenwich Village at the height of the “folk revival.” At 14, already an accomplished guitarist, she discovered the Delta blues — then part of the wide world of folk music. She vividly remembers hearing Mississippi John Hurt in 1963, and spending time with Son House, Fred McDowell and the Reverend Gary Davis.
Her first recordings (under the pseudonym Sunshine Kate) were made for Elektra Records, but she didn’t return to the studio until 1975 when she recorded for RCA Victor and Chrysalis before signing to Rounder Records, for whom she cut more than a dozen albums. She has also recorded for a number of other labels, in between endless tour schedules.
Along the way, she has won five W.C. Handy Awards (now known simply as Blues Awards) from the Blues Foundation, two for “Traditional Blues Female Artist,” and three for “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year.” She’s earned a gold record in Holland, and toured from one end of the United States to the other end of Canada, not to mention Poland and Norway and Italy and a half a dozen more European countries.
The Beaches International Jazz Festival is a 10-day music festival held each year in the lakeside Beaches community of Toronto in the month of July. Originally started in 1988, it is now one of Canada's largest free music festivals with nearly 800,000 attendees, throughout its 10-day span. The Festival takes place across a number of venues; stage concerts are held in several different parks within the area and also along a two-kilometre stretch of the Beach main street - Queen Street East.
Every year, the Festival brings in internationally acclaimed performers while also showcasing local talent, including “new generation” jazz musicians. The Festival now hires around 1000 artists per annum, including 50 bands for its “StreetFest” event along Queen Street East.
Alt-country/Americana artist Rayland Baxter has offered a new song from the Butch Walker-produced project, Wide Awake.. "79 Shiny Revolvers" was the first song Rayland wrote during his three-month-long isolation quest at Franklin, Kentucky's secluded Thunder Sound Studios. He composed fifty songs there, ten of which eventually became Wide Awake.
"79 Shiny Revolvers" is, in Rayland's own estimation, one of the most important songs he's ever written. Its lyrics burst with irony and cutting humour to interrogate our nation's fixation on guns: "You really wanna save the world, man / well, I wanna save it too / we can blow em away / the American way."
“This was the hardest song for me to sing on the album,” says Amos Lee of Hang On, Hang On – the cathartic and soulful ballad at the center of his upcoming My New Moon (August 31 / Dualtone Records). While the record is largely focused on Amos finding strength in the courage of others – from relationships he built through Musicians on Call and the Wounded Warrior Project to inspiration he took from the Parkland survivors - Hang On, Hang On sees Amos use these experiences to work through profound loss in his own life. Written after Amos lost his grandmother, the song is set around the last night he spent with her: “I would’ve stayed forever,” he sings, “but it didn’t work out that way.”
Listen to Hang On, Hang On, here.
Ori Dagan has much to be proud of in his ever-changing musical journey in this crazy business we call music.“A Tribute to Nat King Cole” (Dagan's 3rd recording and the first visual album in jazz history) recently debuted at #1 on the iTunes Canada Jazz Chart, and its corresponding 12 music videos have screened at over 35 Music and Film Festivals worldwide, garnering over 300,000 views on YouTube, Winner of the Best Album, Silver Medal – Global Music Award, Nominated for Best Jazz Vocals- Toronto Independent Music Awards along with a list a mile long of reviews.
Dagan also teaches what he preaches by giving scat lessons and workshops to learn the “Shoe-bee-do’s” and “Shoe-bee-don’ts,” to anyone who wants to learn either professionally or just for the love of the musical era and greats who paved the way for so many in the jazz world.
True that storytelling through song has never been a weak point for JUNO Award-winning Barney Bentall. He continues to prove this with a rare excursion into single land on “Don’t Wait For Me Marie” and its cinematic, century-swapping video, available on YouTube now!
Between frames of fire and wild horses comes the tale of languished lust and Western greed, woven in a way only Bentall can deliver.
The song, of note, is one of many on The Drifter & The Preacher that Bentall says “ultimately wrote itself.
“There are times I look back and think, ‘well, that’s not where I thought this one was going to go,’” says Bentall. “With ‘Don’t Wait For Me Marie’ I thought, ‘I’m going to write a song about a guy leaving the Fraser Valley near Vancouver in the 1800s to look for gold in the Cariboo.’ I wanted it to be an uptempo bluegrass song because we were starting The High Bar Gang… I was very immersed in that style of music.
Six-time Blues Music Award nominee Trudy Lynn will release her new CD, Blues Keep Knockin’ from Connor Ray Music on July 27. Backing Trudy’s vocals on the new disc are musicians Steve Krase – harmonica; David Carter – guitar; Terry Dry – bass; Matt Johnson – drums; Jim Brady – trumpet; and Dan Carpenter – sax; with special guests Bob Lanza and Carolyn Wonderland on guitar.
Trudy was recently honored with three nominations for the Living Blues Magazine Awards, with voting currently underway at the magazine’s website: www.livingblues.com.
“I want to thank all my blues fans new and old, or should I say ‘mature,’ for being with me through my journey with the blues, both near and far,” Trudy says in the album liner notes. “My name is Trudy Lynn and I sing the blues for you, some old some new and some borrowed too. I love singing the blues! The blues knocks on my door, on my window and my heart. I must sing and I sing only what I feel and I sing to make you feel exactly what I feel!”
What do you get when you cross 3 amazing saxophonists dressed in wacky clothes, a crazy dancing drummer and a killer upright bass player and have them sing songs about Buses, Roaches and Hockey that spend 1/2 their time playing in the audience? The Shuffle Demons, that’s what!!!
The Shuffle Demons are a high-energy Canadian band that blends virtuosic jazz and funk playing with eye-catching costumes and over the top stage antics to produce a kinetic show. A hit at festivals all over the world, the Shuffle Demons are a crowd-pleasing, full-on musical group that backs up wild stage antics with phenomenal playing by some of Canada’s most talented musicians. Therefore, in the teeth of the summer's heat, the contrarian Demons are checking into Hugh's Room Live to go mano a mano with the club's AC system Fri. Jul. 6, showtime 8.30 pm.
In November of 2017, I had the good fortune to record in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with the uber-talented and esteemed producer Norbert Putnam. Norbert gained his accolades for his productions, Jimmy Buffett, Dan Fogleberg and Joan Baez to name a few as well as voluminous sessions as a bass player and owning and operating one of the first independent recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee, Quadrefonic Sound Studio. We recorded at The Nutthouse Recording Studio and the experience was amazing.
The oft enigmatic Wax Mannequin (aka Hamilton, Ontario's Christopher Adeney) dropped his seventh album, Have A New Name, on June 22 through Coax Records/Outside Music The album was launched with Wax Mannequin's June 23 show at This Ain't Hollywood in Hamilton, followed by a full Canadian tour that kicks off July 14 at The Rivoli in Toronto.
As Wax Mannequin, Adeney has established himself as a profound lyricist and songsmith, as well as a self-effacing showman. His music also reveals him to be a student of the human psyche, constantly finding fresh and interesting ways to frame the people we are and the things we encounter. All of that is gloriously displayed on Have A New Name, the result of Adeney reuniting with producer Edwin Burnett, with whom he made some of the first Wax Mannequin recordings in the early 2000s.
When it comes to video games in their various forms, we often discuss how they look in terms of the graphics and animations; or we talk about the gameplay. One thing that often gets overlooked is the music that is contained within the game, and just how important it is in helping to create an enjoyable and immersive gaming experience. So just how does music influence gameplay and how important is it for players?
The first thing to consider is the game itself and it's setting. It’s hugely important for the player to be immersed completely in the game, and music helps to do this by creating the atmosphere. Taking a first-person shooter game as an example, there’s no way a player would feel in the slightest involved; if the background music was the type you would find in a Super Mario game.
In order to attract new audiences, casino operators are always keeping an eyes-out for recent trends and CHANGING THE WAY GAMES ARE BEING PLAYED or changing the games itself. This is especially true for slot machine games which are designed around new themes such as music to appeal to a new genre of fans.
‘The King of Pop – Michael Jackson’
It’s no surprise that the King of Pop has been immortalized in a slot machine game. The first of two slot machine games, it offers two bonus games based on Michael Jackson’s music videos for “Beat It” and “Smooth Criminal”. Clips from the video are incorporated into the game’s design including Michael making his famous moonwalk across the screen leaving wilds behind. With the background music also including Michael’s hits, this slot machine will appeal to his fans as well as pop music enthusiasts.
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