Friday, March 31, 2017

Happy Birthday Lefty Frizzell

Remembering the great Lefty Frizzell on his day with a couple of Porter Wagoner Show appearances.


One For The Weekend: Herb Hardesty

Here's a swank swinger from New Orleans tenor saxophone great Herb Hardesty, a sideman for Fats Domino, Dr. John and Tom Waits.


Introducing: Washington Hebrew

"Bank Holiday Wknd" is by Washington Hebrew, the latest musical project of Michael Kentoff from The Caribbean.
Having performed in The Caribbean since 2000 with no pressing desire to go ‘solo’ or work outside that familiar context, Washington Hebrew acts as both a leap and bridge for Michael Kentoff. Inspired by his use of samples and loops for installations, remixes and soundtrack projects, Kentoff has employed these raw materials to craft new songs akin to the wonderfully skewed and melodic pop of The Caribbean, but with a magic all its own, thanks in part to the contributions of Dave Jones (electric guitar, Moog) and Chad Clark (mixing).

Washington Hebrew‘s self-titled debut will be released on April 20. Read more about Washington Hebrew right here. Listen to Bank Holiday Wknd below.



Thursday, March 30, 2017

Left Lane Cruiser's Claw Machine Wizard album due May 19th

 Fort Wayne's Freddie J. Evans IV and Pete Dio will rip through Claw Machine Wizard in Toronto on June 8. 


Left Lane Cruiser on tour:
April 1 @ Highway Bar — Knightstown, IN
April 4 @ The Brass Rail w/MARK PORKCHOP HOLDER — Fort Wayne, IN
April 22 @ Burn Em Brewing — Michigan City, IN
April 28 @ White Rabbit — Indianapolis, IN
April 29 @ Goat Fest IV Pre-sale Party @ The Basement — Nashville, TN
May 6 @ Monnrunners Music Festival — Chicago, IL
May 11 @ The Brickhause — Stevens Point, WI
May 12 @ Nakato Bar — North Mankato, MN
May 14 @ The Hook and Ladder — Minneapolis, MN
June 2 @ Muddy Roots Spring Weekender — Brown County, IN
June 8 @ tba – Toronto, ON
June 24 @ Choice City Stomp — Fort Collins, CO
July 12 @ Three Rivers Festival — Fort Wayne, IN
September 1 - 4 @ Muddy Roots Music Festival — Cookeville, TN

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Willie Nelson previews new album with "Old Timer" video

The Donnie Fritts-penned "Old Timer" is off Willie Nelson's new album God's Problem Child out April 28th. 

The New Enchanters w/ Dany Laj & The Looks, Ghosted @ The Bovine, Friday

Check out the preview version of "Edge Of Night" by The New Enchanters until Friday. 

New York Night Train's Soul Clap & Dance-Off w/DJ Jonathan Toubin @ Velvet Underground, Saturday

DJ Jonathan Toubin brings his old school R&B dance party from Brooklyn to Toronto for one crazy night of boogaloo madness. 



Whaddya mean you don't know Edmond Mondésir

Check out bèlè boss Edmond Mondésir and his Martinican crew knock out "Ni dé Jou" 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

RIP Arthur Blythe, 1940-2017

Remembering saxophone great Arthur Blythe with his performances alongside Horace Tapscott and Azar Lawrence.



Lee Morgan documentary I Called Him Morgan @ Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, April 7-13

Kasper Collin's acclaimed film about trumpeter Lee Morgan gets a short T.O. run. Watch a Q&A with the director below. 



Coco Hames of The Ettes releases her solo debut

Coco's cover of Bash & Pop's Tiny Pieces is a highlight of her self-titled debut for Merge – have a listen below. 
There’s an old saying about how “you have your whole life to write your first record.” For Coco Hames, the songs on her self-titled debut poured out during a sustained burst of inspiration…but they took more than a decade to live out. A deeply personal record filled with poignant ruminations on love lost and found, dreams dashed then rediscovered, these ten songs manage to pinpoint exquisite light amid life’s darkness.

As the frontwoman and indomitable force behind beloved garage-pop combo The Ettes, Hames blazed a trail across the underground until quietly calling it quits following their 2011 tour. Last summer, Coco began work on her solo album at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville. “It was this massive leap of faith for me,” she admits. “After being in a band for so long, this time I was on my own—no gang to hide behind or fall back on.” Hames co-produced the album with Andrija Tokic, who’d helped record career-making albums for Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and others.

Playing guitar, piano, and electric harpsichord, Hames was aided in her effort by bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs, Dead Weather), drummer Julian Dorio (The Whigs, Eagles Of Death Metal), and lead guitarist Adam Meisterhans (The Weight, JP5). Other contributors include veteran keyboard/organ wizard Dave Amels of Reigning Sound and vocalists Carey Kotsionis (Clem Snide, Bobby Bare, Jr.) and Lillie Mae Rische (Jack White's band). 

“I grew up listening to ’60s pop like Dusty Springfield, but also classic country music, like Patsy Cline, and things that bridged both worlds, like Bobbie Gentry,” notes Hames. “With this record, the end result doesn’t fit into any one category. Which is an exciting thing to me.”  Along with the album's nine original compositions, Coco covers Tommy Stinson's Bash & Pop gem Tiny Pieces as a duet with Deer Tick's John McCauley. Have a listen to Coco's take on Tiny Pieces followed by Bash & Pop's original from 1993's Friday Night Is Killing Me.  

Coco Hames plays a free in-store at Grimey's (1604 8th Ave. South) in Nashville on Friday (March 31) at 6 pm. 




Monday, March 27, 2017

Oz whumpers feedtime return with "gas"

Get your limited green vinyl copy of feedtime's gas album right here

Lambchop presents FLOTUS @ The Great Hall, Monday

Watch Kurt Wagner chat about his neighbour-inspired FLOTUS album and play a couple of tunes – one by Prince.  



Happy Birthday Robert Lockwood Jr.

Remembering Arkansas-born guitar great Robert Lockwood Jr. with a couple of stellar studio performances.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Knife In The Water ends 14-year hiatus with new album Reproduction and overdue vinyl release of their 1998 debut

The slow-moving Austinites return with the decidedly chill Reproduction. Check three low-key tracks below.



Sonic Surgery has pressed up 500 copies of Knife In The Water's classic "Plays One Sound and Others" available here.

One For The Weekend: Julea Thomerson

Listen to WFMU DJ Julea Thomerson perform her new song "The Lovin' Light" with pedal steel great Lloyd Green. 



Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Rizdales @ Cadillac Lounge, Saturday

Count on hearing a couple of Ray Price classics at The Rizdales' honky tonk matinee over at The Cadillac Lounge. 



The Sonics w/ The Tailbreakers, The Discarded @ Danforth Music Hall, Saturday

Watch former Kingsmen bassist Freddie Dennis scream Cinderella.


Watch Palle Mikkelborg blow fire with Placebo in 1972

The Palle Mikkelborg 5 features the Placebo rhythm section of Freddy Rottier, Nick Kletchkovsky and Philip Catherine.

Friday, March 24, 2017

That time Dolly Parton sang at a pub in Ireland

Folks across County Kerry still talk about the night Dolly Parton sang "Coat Of Many Colors" at Paídi Ó Sé's Pub.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Saddle Up's 10th Anniversary w/ Col. Tom Parker & The American Pour @ Owl's Club, Friday

Col. Tom and crew heat up Toronto's top C&W dance party Friday. Check out the timely "Queen St. Lost" below.

Whaddya mean you don't know Vincent Ahehehinnou

Analog Africa is reissuing Vincent Ahehehinnou's sought-after 1978 solo debut Best Woman on April 20. 

In early 1978, Vincent Ahehehinnou left the Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou without explanation. He had been one of their principal vocalist since 1968 and had helped transform them from a hard-charging nightclub band into a musical powerhouse and Africa-wide sensation. By the end of 1977, after an explosive performance at the pan-African arts and culture festival (Festac77) in Lagos, the band had reached the very pinnacle of their success.

For nearly forty years, the reasons behind Vincent's sudden departure have remained a mystery. Until now. In an interview included with Analog Africa's new reissue of Best Woman – Vincent's first post-Poly-Rythmo album, which has been out-of-print for close to four decades and nearly impossible to find outside West Africa – the great singer finally breaks his silence. He didn't leave... he was pushed.

Poly-Rythmo were already popular in their native Benin but, in the aftermath of Festac '77, the band were poised for break-out success throughout Africa. One of the people who stood to benefit most was the band's manager Adissa Seidou, whose label Albarika Store had released most of the band's recordings. However Adissa's vision for Poly-Rythmo didn't always line up with that of the musicians and, more often than not, it was Vincent who spoke up for the band.

The two men grew increasingly estranged until one day – at the funeral for Adissa's father no less – Adissa gave Vincent an ultimatum of sorts. In Vincent's own words: ‘I asked him if there is a way we could sort out our differences to which he replied that the only solution was for me to leave the band, adding, "If not I will kill you"'.

And so Vincent found himself forced out of the band he had helped build. He tried his hand at various business ventures, but soon realised that the pull of music was too strong. On a business trip to Nigeria, Vincent met with Ignace de Souza of Benin's Black Santiago band, who agreed to arrange Vincent's songs, assemble musicians, and book a session at the legendary Decca Studios in Lagos.

With everything in place Vincent returned to Cotonou, gathered together all the money he had saved over the years and set out again for Lagos. But the simple bus journey to Nigeria turned into a nightmarish odyssey of military corruption ... and had it not been for the random kindness of an unknown woman on the bus, this album – along with Vincent's subsequent solo career – might never have existed. Vincent tells the full story in the liner notes to this LP.

But Vincent did make it to Lagos and the sessions went ahead. The nine-piece band, handpicked by de Souza, learned the songs and set them to tape in the span of only a week ... but the results are as timeless and essential as anything to emerge from West Africa in the late 1970s.

Vincent's afrobeat credentials are in full evidence on opening track ‘Best Woman' (English) whose driving beat, focussed horns and intricate vocal melody recall the raucous intensity of Poly-Rythmo. But the deep funk of the title track turns out to be only a warm-up for album-highlight ‘Maimouna Cherie' (French), a moving expression of love and longing which kicks off with a hi-hat and wah-wah guitar workout but shifts gears mid-way into a more concentrated and contemplative groove.

The funk and afrobeat gems on Best Woman are balanced by songs that draw upon Sato, one of the many Vodoun rhythms of Vincent's native Benin. Side one concludes with "Vi Deka" (Mina), an epic slow-burner propelled by some of the record's most soulful vocals, while album closer "Wa Do Verite Ton Noumi" (Fon) all but dares you not to lose yourself in its sublime hypnotic trance.

Best Woman was released on Nigeria's Hasbunalau Records in 1978, and original pressings are now highly-prized collector's items. With this reissue on Analog Africa's Dance Edition imprint – newly mastered by Nick Robbins, cut by to vinyl by Frank Merritt at the Carvery, and approved by Vincent himself – Best Woman makes a welcome and long-overdue return to turntables around the world. You can pre-order a vinyl or digital copy directly from Analog Africa right here after checking the two bangin' tracks below.




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Toronto's Surfrajettes rock Norman's Rare Guitars

Shermy & Nicole stopped by the famed Tarzana guitar shop to show Norm how The Surfrajettes put reverb to good use.

The Surfrajettes will be joining Los Straitjackets, Los Fathoms and others at the Asbury Park Surf Fest – get yer tickets right here.  

Midweek Mixdown: Cut Chemist & Edan remember James Brown's funky drummer Clyde Stubblefield

Episode 12 of Cut Chemist's A Stable Sound podcast features hip hop tracks which sample Clyde's funky beats. 


Afrobeat icon Tony Allen salutes Art Blakey

Tony Allen's forthcoming Tribute to Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers is out on Blue Note May 22. Watch him play it below. 


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express @ The Horseshoe, tonight

We all know it's been a bad year for rock 'n' roll, it just took Chuck Prophet to write a decent tune about it. RIP Chuck Berry.




The Obsessed's new album Sacred out April 7

Scott "Wino" Weinrich and crew return with Sacred available on double vinyl from Relapse on April 7th. 




Monday, March 20, 2017

Allah-Las @ The Mod Club, Monday

Allah-Las are back in Toronto for a Mod Club show tonight. Watch a recent performance on KEXP below. 




Ethiopian legend Girma Bèyènè strikes back!

Ethiopian Golden Age great Girma Bèyènè returns in Swingin' Addis form with Mistakes On Purpose backed by Akalé Wubé.




Ethiopiques RSD 6x7" box out April 22

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Happy Birthday Mike Longo

Raising a glass to keyboardist Mike Longo on his day with a couple of memorable performances alongside Dizzy Gillespie. 




Saturday, March 18, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Eero Koivistoinen plays John Coltrane w/ Tetsuya Tatsumi Big Band

Check out the stellar arrangements of Afro Blue, Equinox and Naima by Finnish tenor titan Eero Koivistoinen.  



39th Annual Martian Awareness Ball w/ Mary Margaret O'Hara @ The Garrison, Friday

Join Toronto's fab Mary Margaret O'Hara & The Rusty Nails Allstar band for a full-tilt St. Patrick's Day bash at The Garrison.
Here's the tentative list of performers: Mary Margaret O'Hara with The Rusty Nails Allstar band featuring Rusty McCarthy, Russ Boswell, Matt Horner and Great Bob Scott
along with special guest singers:
Mike Schram, Laura Hubert, June Garber, Jeff Farquarson, David Newberry, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Johnny Spence, Jaymz Bee, Ori Dagan, Bradley Harder, Maya Bannerman, Heather Morgan, Chris Powell, Taylor Abrahamse, Bryn Scott Grimes, John Alcorn, Kirsten Johnson, Genevieve Gigi Marentette, Michael Patrick O'Hara, Michelle Rumball, Andyboy Broccoli and Jamie Lawliss.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Celebrating Ray Benson's birthday with Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson joined members of the Avett Brothers at Ray Benson's annual Birthday Bash.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Joan Shelley's new album out May 5

Be sure to arrive at Massey Hall before Wilco appears to see Louisville's delightful Joan Shelley preview her new album.  

The new self-titled album from the Kentucky singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joan Shelley began, with the sound of a fiddle. In the summer of 2014, Shelley fell for the tune “Hog of the Forsaken,” a bowed rollick near the end of Michael Hurley’s wayward 1976 folk gem, Long Journey (Rounder). Hurley’s voice, it seemed to Shelley, clung to the fiddle's melody, dipping where it dipped and climbing where it climbed.

This was a small, significant revelation, prompting the guitarist to trade temporarily six strings for four and, as she puts it, “try to play like Michael.” That is, she wanted to sing what she played, to play what she sang. She tried it, for a spell, with the fiddle. “Turns out, I wasn’t very good at fiddle,” remembers Shelley, chuckling. “But I took that idea back to the guitar and tried that same method. I did it as a game to make these songs, a way to find another access point.” But that wasn’t the end of the trials.

After collaborating and touring with ace guitarist Nathan Salsburg for so many years, Shelley decided to put her entire guitar approach to the test, too. Each day, she would twist and turn into a different tuning, letting her fingers fumble along the strings until the start of a tune began to emerge. After playing the songs of her critically acclaimed third album, Over and Even, so many nights during so many shows, the trick pushed her hands out of her habits and into a short, productive span that yielded most of Joan Shelley. It’s fitting that the new recording is self-titled. These are, after all, Shelley’s most assured and complete thoughts to date.

Joan Shelley's s/t album is out May 5th on No Quarter. Get it here
In eleven songs, this is the sound of Joan Shelley emerging. To get there, she had a little more help than usual. In December 2016, she headed a few hours north to Chicago, where she and Salsburg joined Jeff Tweedy in Wilco’s studio aka The Loft for five days. Spencer Tweedy sat in on drums, while James Elkington shifted between piano and resonator guitar. Jeff added electric accents and some bass, but mostly, he helped the band stay out of its own way. “He was protecting the songs. He was stopping us before we went too far.” she says.

The Loft proved essential for that approach, as it was wired to capture every musical moment, so no take was lost. If, for instance, some magic happened while Spencer Tweedy added drums to a tune he’d never heard, or while Elkington tinkered behind a piano, the tape was rolling. Half of these songs are first takes. “The first time is always the best. That’s when everyone’s on the edge of their seats, listening to not mess it up,” Shelley says. “They’re depending on each other to get through it.”

Shelley’s music has never been experimental, at least in some bleeding-edge sense of the word. And she’s comfortable with that, proud of the fact that her simple songs are attempts to express complex emotion and address difficult question about life, love, lust, and existence itself. During “The Push and Pull,” for instance, she precisely captures the emotional tug of war as two people struggle to codify a relationship, her voice perking up and slinking down to illustrate the idea.

For “Go Wild,” she wrestles with principles of independence and dependence, forgiveness and freedom, her tone luxuriating inside the waltz as though this were a permanent state of being. These are classic ideas, rendered brilliantly anew. But in their own personal way, these songs are experimental and risky, built with methods that pushed Shelley out of the comfort zone she’s established on a string of records defined by a mesmerizing sort of grace and clarity. The shifts are not so much major as they are marked, suggestive of the same curiosity and rumination that you find in the pastoral pining of “If the Storms Never Came” or the subtle romance of “Even Though.”

From genesis through gestation and on to execution, these songs document transitions to destinations unknown. “I don’t have a concept, and I don’t know the meaning until much later. Whatever I am soaking up or absorbing from the world, there will be songs that reflect all those thoughts,” Shelley says. “I keep my songwriting alive and sustainable by trying to be honest about how it came out—these are all its jagged edges, and that’s what it is to be human.” Watch a couple of Joan's recent performances followed by a list of upcoming tour dates.




Joan Shelley on Tour
Mar 18 – Beacon Theater – New York, NY #
Mar 19 – Beacon Theater – New York, NY #
Mar 22 – Lincoln Center – New York, NY %
Mar 23-26 – Big Ears Festival – Knoxville, TN
Apr 4 – Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN  !
Apr 7 – Memorial Hall – Cincinnati, OH  !
Apr 9 – Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL !
Apr 10 – Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL !
Apr 12 – Kent Stage – Kent, OH !
Apr 13 – Strand-Capitol Performing Arts – York, PA !
Apr 14 – Tarrytown Music Hall – Tarrytown, NY !
Apr 16 – The Colonial Theatre – Bethlehem, PA !
Apr 18 – Sanders Theatre – Cambridge, MA !
Apr 19 – Landmark – Port Washington, NY !
Apr 27 – Debarras – Clonakilty, IE
Apr 28 – Kilkenny Roots Festival – Kilkenny, IE
Apr 29 – Kilkenny Roots Festival – Kilkenny, IE
Apr 30 – Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival – Belfast, UK
May 3 – The Greyhound – Kilkee, IE
May 4 – Whelan’s Upstairs – Dublin, IE
May 5 – The Glad Café – Glasgow, UK
May 6 – The Eagle Inn – Manchester, UK
May 7 – The Wardrobe – Bristol, UK
May 8 – The Lexington – London, UK
May 31 – The Bishop – Bloomington, IN *
June 1 – Colectivo – Milwaukee, WI *
June 2 – Bryant Lake Bowl – Minneapolis, MN *
June 3 – Old Town School of Folk Music – Chicago, IL *
June 4 – CSPH Hall – Cedar Rapids, IA *
June 6 – Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA *
June 7 – Knuckleheads – Kansas City, MO *
June 8 – KDHX Stage – St. Louis, MO *
June 9 – Maiden Alley Cinema – Paducah, KY *
June 10 – Headliners – Louisville, KY *
June 11 – The Basement – Nashville, TN *
June 13 – Eddies Attic – Decatur, GA *
June 14 – Cat’s Cradle Backroom – Carrboro, NC *
June 15 – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA *
June 16 – Concerts in the Studio – Freehold, NJ *
June 17 – Brighton Music Hall – Boston, MA *
June 18 – Parlor Room – Northampton, MA *
June 20 – Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA *
June 23-24 – Solid Sound Festival – North Adams, MA
# – w/ Wilco
% – as part of the American Songbook series
! – w/ Richard Thompson
* – w/ Jake Xerxes Fussell

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Whaddya mean you don't know Smokescreens

The just-released Smokescreens debut album sounds like a lost Flying Nun artefact cut in Dunedin circa 1985!  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Birthday Timmy Vulgar!

Celebrating Timmy's birthday with "Lick Up Your Town" off the new Timmy's Organism single for Total Punk. 



Snoop Dogg throws down with BADBADNOTGOOD & Kaytranada

Snoop Dogg put his own spin on "Lavender" (feat. Kaytranada) off BADBADNOTGOOD's album IV. Check the crazy clown clip.
The collaboration is said to have come about after Snoop Dogg heard BBNG's instrumental "Lavender" when an engineer was playing it before a studio session. Enamoured with the track, Snoop quickly cut a verse to it. "I love what they do, shit feels so real," says Snoop about the Humber College alums. "When I heard the instrumental on their album I had to do it." Watch the surreal video for the updated version of Lavender (below) directed by PrankvsPrank's Jesse Wellens and starring Michael Rapaport in clown makeup.