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Blakk Turns Traumatic Childhood Experience Into Moving Emotional Vignettes

Blakk Turns Traumatic Childhood Experience Into Moving Emotional Vignettes
By Keith Sharp Considering Forest Blakk’s traumatic childhood upbringing, it would have come as no surprise if his musical influences had been Thrash Metal or Gangsta Rap. Yet his third EP, ‘Every Little Detail’ contains eight emotional introspective compositions which rank highly on wedding musical theme lists, an image which belies his gruff, tattooed physique. Blakk grew up in Montreal,... Read More

Workaholic Hugh Dillon Balances New Album And Tour With High Profile TV Roles

Workaholic Hugh Dillon Balances New Album And Tour With High Profile TV Roles
Sound Of Music 2019 – Photo by Corey Kelly By Keith Sharp The big question is where the Headstones’ Hugh Dillon finds the time to record a new album,`Flight Risk,’ and plan a 17-date Canadian tour (with two dates in Buffalo) while at the same time completing the second season of The Mayor Of Kingstown TV series with season five... Read More

Steve Norman Keeping Spandau Ballet’s Legacy Alive

Steve Norman Keeping Spandau Ballet’s Legacy Alive
By Keith Sharp When you are the co-founder of a supergroup, it’s hard to let the project go, especially when there have been serious reformation attempts throughout the years. So, Spandau Ballet tenor saxophonist Steve Norman continues the band’s legacy, performing band classics like “True,” “Gold,” and “Through The Barricades” which were staple hits during the band’s peak popularity in... Read More

Love Of Spaghetti Westerns Spawn Novel Single

Love Of Spaghetti Westerns Spawn Novel Single
By Keith Sharp On Saturday November 26th at Toronto’s El Mocambo Tavern and on Sunday November 27th at Mississauga’s Classic Bowl venue, Boys Don’t Cry will open for Spandau Ballet saxophonist Steve Norman. Most musicologists may not recognize the name Boys Don’t Cry or its principal member, Nick Richards but possibly the band’s debut 1986 single; “I Wanna Be A... Read More

Barney Bentall’s Cariboo Express Puts A New Twist On Fundraising

Barney Bentall’s Cariboo Express Puts A New Twist On Fundraising
By Keith Sharp It was one of those eureka moments. Barney Bentall and his son Dustin were watching a YouTube episode of The Grand Ole Opry when they heard the MC say, “and the next song by Mel Tillis is sponsored by Gillette.” Songs sponsored by corporations, what a novel concept! “It was 2006, we were planning on doing a... Read More

33rd SOCAN Awards: Canada’s Music Creators and Publishers’ Road to Gold

33rd SOCAN Awards: Canada’s Music Creators and Publishers’ Road to Gold
SOCAN Cultural Impact Award winner Tom Cochrane celebrated with a star-studded tribute performance. Lighthouse members were inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Drake, OZ, Boi-1da, Allison Russell, Murda Beatz, Keith Power, La Zarra, and High Valley were also honoured. – More than 500 of Canada’s most accomplished songwriters, composers, music publishers and industry leaders gathered tonight for... Read More

Monster Truck’s Warriors Spearhead Arena Rock Revival

Monster Truck’s Warriors Spearhead Arena Rock Revival
Photo by James Heaslip Interview By Keith Sharp Suggest to Monster Truck bassist/guitarist Jon Harvey that classic arena rock music is virtually extinct, and he’ll invite you to listen to his band’s latest release titled `Warriors.’ At a time when Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Patient Number 9’ sits atop Billboard’s North American album charts and even Nickleback has released an incendiary new... Read More

MONOWHALES’ First Headline Tour Kicks Off September 21st!

MONOWHALES’ First Headline Tour Kicks Off September 21st!
By Keith Sharp While other bands sat on their thumbs waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto’s MONOWHALES couldn’t have been more industrious. Releasing their debut album `Daytona Bleach’ just as the pandemic took effect, group members Sally Shaar (lead vocals), Zach Zanardo (guitars/bass) and Jordan Circosta (percussion) also channelled their pandemic experiences into a recently released second album, `Tunnel Vision,’... Read More

“I Melt With You” Is Modern English’s Calling Card

“I Melt With You” Is Modern English’s Calling Card
By Keith Sharp Think of England’s Modern English band, and you inevitably get drawn to one song, “I Melt With You,” which is the featured track off their 1982 second album, ‘After The Snow.’ Band bassist Gary Conroy is well aware of that fact, and phoning in from New Jersey confirms that track has been a constant calling card for... Read More

Heart’s Ann Wilson Forges Her Own Legacy

Heart’s Ann Wilson Forges Her Own Legacy
By Keith Sharp The legacy of Heart may be well documented since the release of their classic debut album Dreamboat Annie in 1975, but lead vocalist Ann Wilson is now determined to establish her own legacy. With the album release of `Fierce Bliss’ earlier this year, Wilson has assembled a band of top-notch Muscle Shoals Studio musicians and has launched... Read More

Harlow’s PRiSM Quest To Keep Their Legacy Alive

Harlow’s PRiSM Quest To Keep Their Legacy Alive
Al Harlow of PRiSM – Photo by Debbie Albrough By Keith Sharp An examination of PRiSM’s personnel timeline on Wikipedia reveals that no less than 24 musicians have featured in the band since two other Vancouver-based bands; Seeds Of Time and Sunshyne, merged together in the early 1970s as a studio project producer Bruce Fairbairn was assembling, eventually developing into... Read More

Revitalized Streetheart Launches Eastern Invasion

Revitalized Streetheart Launches Eastern Invasion
By Keith Sharp Since Streetheart last played at Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo Tavern, much has happened. You need to go back in time by 43 years to 1979. The Winnipeg-based band had just released their second album, ‘Heaven Over Hell,’ John Hannah had just replaced Paul Dean on guitar (who moved on to help form Loverboy), and they were about... Read More

NEW FACES: Fracassi New Face Of Coalition Music

NEW FACES: Fracassi New Face Of Coalition Music
Sophia Fracassi releases her debut six-song EP ‘Marathon’ – Photo by Wendy Wei By Keith Sharp Think of Coalition Music, and you would think of the Toronto-based music incubator operation, which has successfully nurtured careers by the likes of Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan, The Tea Party and, more recently, Scott Helman. So, when Rob Lanni’s company starts to promote... Read More

Lee Aaron Revisits The El Mocambo And Her Metal Queen Roots

Lee Aaron Revisits The El Mocambo And Her Metal Queen Roots
By Keith Sharp Lee Aaron has vivid memories of her first and only concert appearance at Toronto’s legendary El Mocambo Tavern. March 31st, 1984, with a performance which debuted her Metal Queen album. On Friday, July 22nd, Aaron and her band, comprising of husband/drummer John Cody, guitarist Sean Kelly and bassist Dave Reimer will return to the newly revamped facility... Read More

Country Thunder Bounces Back From Pandemic Disruption

Country Thunder Bounces Back From Pandemic Disruption
By Keith Sharp Thursday, July 14, sees the return of Country Thunder – Craven, Saskatchewan, with the likes of Morgan Wallen, Lee Brice and the legendary Tanya Tucker joining forces with domestic talent Chad Brownlee, Washboard Union and Lindsay Ell for the first of three Canadian festivals that will also feature the official début of Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose... Read More

The Return Of Small Festivals Provide Economic Lifeline

The Return Of Small Festivals Provide Economic Lifeline
Lucknow’s Music In The Fields – Summer 22 By Keith Sharp As COVID restrictions are lowered sufficiently enough to allow for concert festivals to be re-introduced this year, many smaller communities can once again benefit from the influx of spectators to attend these events and, in doing so, provide a much-needed injection into local economies and the charity foundations which... Read More

The Sheepdogs Find Favourable European Response To New Release

The Sheepdogs Find Favourable European Response To New Release
By Keith Sharp When the pandemic ground the entire global music scene to a screeching halt, Saskatoon’s The Sheepdogs were in advance preparation for another major European tour. So, according to the band’s lead vocalist/guitarist Ewan Currie, the band did what comes naturally to them, record another album! Now amid a major makeup tour of Western Europe which is responding... Read More

High Valley – Way Back & Way Cool.

High Valley – Way Back & Way Cool.
Have a little faith. This may well be the signature catchphrase of High Valley, the country band which originated in a small Mennonite community in Alberta and is now based in Nashville. Family values have always been an integral part of the band’s music and this remains an important underlying theme on their latest album ‘Way Back’.  Lead singer Brad... Read More

Stampeders Continue To Roll

Stampeders Continue To Roll
By Keith Sharp One thing you cannot say is that The Stampeders take themselves seriously. On stage on April 8th at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre, guitarist, vocalist Rich Dodson, drummer, vocalist Kim Berly, and bassist/vocalist Ronnie King cheerily announced themselves as being “Seventy From The Seventies” about their ages. During their entire 90-minute set, the former Calgary trio poked fun at... Read More