Sunday, July 31, 2011

Artist: Corb Lund, Album: Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!, Song: Brother Brigham, Brother Young

"Well I have sinned so gravely, Brother Brigham, Brother Young.  I have sinned so gravely, Brother Young."  Corb Lund is a country artist from Alberta.  Corb's family were ranchers and many of his relatives also worked in the rodeo.  He started his performance career during the late eighties and early nineties in a punk rock band called, The Smalls (see blog 8/6/10).  They were a very inventive group that remained on the western scene for over 10 years and recorded 4 albums.  Corb actually released his debut in 1995 while he was still with the band.  He would gain national attention with his 2006 Juno award winning release, Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer.  To date he has 6 albums.  He is also one of those rare artists that seems to appeal to country and rock fans alike.  His music is very much country but his lyricism is often quirky or witty which likely explains some of his mass appeal.  He has played huge international festivals like Glastonbury in England and SXSW in Texas.  Corb is playing festivals throughout the summer in Canada and he should be making his way through Ontario by the end of August.  You can follow him at  Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier! was another Juno nominated album from 2007.  He was nominated for Roots & Traditional Album Of The Year with Jill Barber, Justin Rutledge and Oh Susanna but lost to David Francey.  Brother Brigham, Brother Young is a rollicking tune that I believe is written about the founder of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.  You can purchase the album on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Brother Brigham, Brother Young, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Artist: Ashley MacIsaac, Album: Hi How Are You Today?, Song: What An Idiot He Is

Ashley MacIsaac is a multi instrumentalist and prominent fiddle player from Cape Breton.  He started touring and playing shows with John McDermott in his early years.  By the time he turned sixteen, he was already recording music.  Ashley's big breakthrough came in 1995 with the release of his double platinum selling debut, Hi How Are You Today? on A&M Records.  That album remains one of our country's most pivotal releases for it's genre bending quality and mass appreciation.  I don't think there has been an artist who has successfully brought the fiddle to the mainstream since the Charlie Daniel's hit, The Devil Went Down To Georgia.  Arguably, the latter was likely an accidental pop hit.  Ashley set out to create an album that drew on his Gaelic traditional background yet applied pop and rock sensibilities.  He enlisted some major rock and roll muscle for this recording as well.  Ian Blurton (see blogs 11/22/10, 6/30/11), Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar and Gordie Sampson (see blog 4/27/11) all take turns on guitar and they let it wail.  The big pop hit on this recording was the song, Sleeping Maggie, which featured the vocals of one, Mary Jane Lamond.  I particularly enjoy his cover of a Bob Snider song called, What An Idiot He Is, featuring Ashley without a fiddle on vocals and backed by the band, Jale.  Ashley would take this idea to a new level in 2005 and release an entire album without the fiddle.  Ashley continues to record, tour and collaborate with many artists today.  He is said to be working with Jack White (White Stripes, Raconteurs, The Dead Weather).  He also has a new album entitled, Crossover, released last month which is supposed to be as experimental as his opus, Hi How Are You Today?  You can follow Ashley at  You can purchase the album, Hi How Are You Today? on Itunes.  You can check out the track, What An Idiot He Is, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Artist: Wednesday, Album: Last Kiss, Song: Last Kiss

"Oh where oh where can my baby be.  The Lord took her away from me.  She's gone to heaven so I got to be good.  So I can see my baby when I leave this world."  Wednesday were a rock group from Ontario that formed in the early seventies.  They made a name for themselves as a cover band before venturing in to the studio and putting their music on wax with the label, Ampex.  Their debut in 1974 was a mix of covers and original songs which included the 60's hit, Last Kiss.  The song had already been covered by Frank J. Wilson and the Cavaliers.  That version peaked in the US Billboard Top 10 at #2 in 1964.  Wednesday's version went #2 in Canada and cracked the US charts at #34.  The band was nominated that same year for the Juno for Most Promising Group but lost to BTO.  The band would release their sophomore album in 1976 with new label, Skyline.  Both of their records achieved gold status.  They would change their name to Wenzday before their final release in 1977.  This last release wasn't as commercially successful as their first two.  The popularity of disco was very strong and that didn't mesh well with the band's style.  I first came upon their cover of Last Kiss on a K-tel compilation called Canadian Gold.  I was very pleased to find that the band's album was re-released by Unidisc and available for sale on Itunes.  There is also a very inventive cover of The Animals' House Of The Rising Sun on this release that is worth a listen.  You can hear their version of Last Kiss on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Artist: Harlequin, Album: Love Crimes, Song: Thinking Of You

"I was feeling just a bit frustrated.  Check that watch, smoke another cigarette and waited.  Staring up at the moon."  Harlequin were a rock band from Winnipeg originally that formed in the mid seventies.  They were doing a gig in Toronto when they were discovered by Epic Records.  Epic's reps were in town to check out another Canadian band by the name of Goddo and couldn't get in to see the sold out show.  Harlequin happened to be playing upstairs to an empty room so they caught them live instead.  This led to their signing in 1978 as well as the release of their debut album.  The album was produced by Jack Douglas who had already made a name for himself by producing a slew of early Aerosmith records.  He also worked as the engineer on John Lennon's Imagine album.  The band would release four albums by 1985 before calling it quits.  Their music was and still is, all over Canadian radio.  They had some huge radio hits and toured the world with fellow Canadian artists, Triumph, Saga, April Wine and BTO.  Today, the band is led by original vocalist George Belanger and they continue to tour and release music.  You can follow them at  The track, Thinking Of You, was off their second release, Love Crimes.  Among their first three albums, this one achieved platinum status while the other two records went gold.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  The album, Love Crimes, is a difficult find today.  Used vinyl copies are trading on Ebay between $10 and $15 while limited edition Cd's are trading between $140 and $175 on Amazon.  There were a couple of retrospective releases from the 80's which also included this song.  One is actually available from Itunes.  The band has also reworked a new version of the song on their latest album entitled, On/Q, which is also available from Itunes as well as the band's website.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Artist: Checkmate, Album: Welcome To The Game, Song: These Days And Times

Checkmate is a hip hop artist from Vancouver, B.C..  Already known to many on the west coast of Canada, Checkmate caught the nation's attention in 1998 as a guest MC on one of our country's biggest hip hop tracks ever.  Fellow west coast rappers, Rascalz, released a tune called, Northern Touch which featured Kardinal Offishall, Thrust (see blog 2/15/11), Choclair and Checkmate trading verses with one another.  The song became a huge hit and the video was on heavy rotation within the country.  The song itself was later added to subsequent pressings of the band's Cash Crop album which eventually won a Juno.  I'm sure Checkmate would agree that among all the rappers on that track, he was the least known at the time yet had the most to benefit from the recording.  A lot of people perked up and waited anxiously for more from this talented artist.  Well in 2001, he answered with his debut album, Welcome To The Game.  It was a strong album that benefited from the production of Da Grassroots and the compliment of MC Concise.  Today, both Checkmate and Concise have teamed up and call themselves, Defenders Of The Faith.  You can follow them at  These Days And Times was one of the singles off the album, Welcome To The Game, and you can check out the video on You Tube (  The album, Welcome To The Game, isn't widely available today but you can still purchase new copies from Amazon for $14.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Artist: Derek Miller, Album: The Dirty Looks, Song: Never Gonna Get Enough

Derek Miller is a blues rock guitarist from the Six Nations Mohawk Reserve in Ontario.  He began recording in the early nineties.  He cut his teeth as a member of Buffy Saint Marie's band before venturing out on his own.  He has been nominated for a Juno 3 times and has won twice.  He has toured the country as well as the U.S. and his latest album was recorded with the late Stevie Ray Vaughn's band, Double Trouble and Willie Nelson.  He can count rock legend, Robbie Robertson, as one of his biggest fans.  He also performed at the closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  His music covers the range of early rock and roll to blues, country and even hard rock.  The song, Never Gonna Get Enough, is a cool tune from his Juno award winning album, The Dirty Looks.  You can check out the track on You Tube (  You can also purchase his music on Itunes.  Derek is playing shows across the country currently and you can keep tabs on him at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Artist: David Gogo, Album: Different Views, Song: Gold

"Well my buddy Jim Bass, he's a workin' pumping gas.  He makes eight fifty for an hour.  He's got rhythm in his hands as he's tappin' on the cans.  Sings rock and roll in the shower."  David Gogo is a blues rock musician from British Columbia.  He picked up the guitar at the early age of five and was playing and performing by the age of sixteen.  His early years were spent in a band called the Persuaders who opened for blues greats, Albert Collins and Buddy Guy.  He ventured out on his own during the nineties, releasing his debut album on EMI Records in 1994.  He has won countless awards in his musical genre and has been nominated for a Juno numerous times.  He recently released his 11th studio album.  His albums are a real treat.  He likes to pepper his song list with inventive covers that accompany his originals.  He has recorded songs by artists as diverse as the Doors and Animals to Michael Jackson and Depeche Mode.  His album, Different Views, from 2009, featured a cover of the song, Gold, by American musician, John Stewart.  John had a Top 10 hit with this tune back in 1979.  David's version features the vocal talents of one Carolyn Mark (see blog 11/16/10).  You can check out the track on You Tube (  You can also purchase the album on Itunes.  David is currently supporting Johnny Winter on tour in Canada.  You can keep tabs on him at  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Artist: The Rhinos, Album: Fishing In The Fountain Of Youth, Song: Jackadandy Babbit

"He's a dirty rover, run and get your clover."  The Rhinos were an eclectic rock band from Kitchener, Ontario that formed in the late eighties.  They were Danny Michel (see blog 9/26/10), Darren Iles, Steve Kendall, Robert Carli and Mike Blanchard.  I'm not sure how many releases they had but this particular one was issued in 1993 with Kinetic Records.  Blanchard and Michel handled most of the songwriting as well as vocals.  This strange tune called Jackadandy Babbit was penned by Blanchard.  The album also featured some other notable musicians from the KW area.  Messenjah (see blog 4/22/11) member, Errol Blackwood, lends his vocals to one of the tracks on the album as does the late blues guitarist, Mel Brown.  Danny Michel would leave the band a couple of years after this release and embark on his own solo career.  You can follow him at  You can check out the track, Jackadandy Babbit, on You Tube (  The album, Fishing In The Fountain Of Youth, is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon and Discogs between $20 and $35.  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Artist: Balls Falls, Album: The Crossing Guard, Song: Dumb Dumb Dumb

Balls Falls were a 4pc rock band from London, Ontario.  I believe some or all of the members attended Fanshawe College which likely explains the Jack Richardson connection.  The late, award winning producer; most notable for his work with the Guess Who, was an educator at that school.  He isn't listed in the credits for this album but he apparently worked with the band.  The band members were Dean Watson, Depravity Brown, Christiaan Anderson and Corwin Fox.  It appears the band had some early success as a result of a publishing contest with EMI Records for one of the songs on this recording.  This would lead to the eventual release of their one and only album, The Crossing Guard, in 2002 with Coqi Records.  The band toured the country and did some shows in Australia before disbanding.  Today, all of the members are still working in music or music production.  Guitarist, Corwin Fox, has relocated to Vancouver Island and records as a solo artist for the same label, Coqi Records.  You can follow him at  Drummer, Depravity Brown has also released music under his own name.  You can follow him at  Dumb Dumb Dumb is a standout track from this release that is really worth a listen.  You can check it out on You Tube (  The album, The Crossing Guard, is available for download on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Artist: The Dears, Album: Degeneration Street, Song: Yesteryear

The Dears are a six piece band from Montreal.  They were formed in 1995 by members Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak.  Their most recent line up also includes former Thrush Hermit (see blog 9/5/10) Rob Benvie along with Patrick Krief, Roberto Arquilla and Jeff Luciani.  They released their debut album in 1998 and to date, have 5 albums.  Their latest is Degeneration Street which was released in 2011 on indie label, Pheromone Recordings.  The band has received a lot of critical acclaim since their debut back in 1998.  They've since toured the globe and played with everyone from Morrissey to the Tragically Hip.  Coincidentally, a lot of their earlier music is very similar to Morrissey.  The band apparently almost broke up following their third release in 2006.  As a result, many of the members have been involved in other musical projects during the band's tenure.  However, they are back and stronger than ever with an absolutely fabulous new album highlighted by this soulful track, Yesteryear.  You can check it out on You Tube (  Invisible Publishing has just released a book about the band which you can read about at  The band is playing the Hillside Festival in Guelph this weekend.  You can purchase the album, Degeneration Street, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Artist: Crowcuss, Album: Crowcuss (Anthology), Song: Fat City/Everyone Loves A Parade

Crowcuss were a Winnipeg band with ties to bands like the Guess Who and Mood Jga Jga.  Originally, the band included members Greg Leskiw and Bill Wallace who both played with the Guess Who.  After Greg left the Guess Who, he formed a band called Mood Jga Jga.  Some of the members of that band were recruited by Burton Cummings when he decided to go solo.  As a result, Greg scrambled to find musicians to fill the spots in Mood Jga Jga and soon the line up became Crowcuss.  Greg would eventually tire of touring and leave this band before they released their debut in 1979.  The members were Bill Wallace, Larry Pink, Marc LaFrance, Hermann Fruhm and Bob Deutscher.  They released their self titled debut in 1979 and toured the country opening for Burton Cummings and Prism.  They would relocate to Vancouver and release one more album in 1980 before calling it quits.  It is from this latter album in 1980 entitled, Starting To Show, that this track, Fat City/Everyone Loves A Parade is taken from.  Fat City is a song written about being stranded in the Winnipeg airport and not about the 1972 cult classic movie, Fat City, starring Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges.  The song ends with an instrumental called, Everyone Loves A Parade.  The band picked up a few brass instruments and simulated a marching band for the track.  They actually recorded themselves marching through the studio and out in to the parking lot.  Following this album, the band broke up.  Bill Wallace returned to Winnipeg and would join Greg Leskiw in a band called Kilowatt.  A cool label out of Duluth, Minnesota has taken on the task of remastering some of these long lost Canadian tracks.  Super Oldies ( released a limited pressing of the Crowcuss discography in an anthology format recently.  Beyond that, the original albums are very difficult to find today.  At the time of this blog, the album, Starting To Show, was trading between $10 and $50 on Ebay and Amazon.  You can hear the song, Fat City/Everyone Loves A Parade, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Artist: The Sympathy, Album: Long Way Down, Song: Distress

The Sympathy were a Toronto rock band fronted by Scott F. Bradshaw or as he is more commonly known, Scott B. Sympathy.  Scott didn't originally intend to adopt that name.  He actually intended it to be the name of his band.  However, it was misunderstood by the media and soon, everyone was referring to him as Scott B.  He tried to correct that in 1996 by changing the name of his act to The Sympathy, for this particular album, Long Way Down.  It didn't seem to change anything though.  Scott started out with his debut album in 1990, entitled, Neil Yonge Street.  The album featured Ian Blurton (see blogs 11/22/10, 6/30/11) on guitar.  He would gain some regional notoriety with his next release in 1993 called, Drinking With The Poet.  That's where I believe he hit my musical radar.  I was heavy in to the indie rock scene at that time and just wished I had the foresight to pick up a copy of the album back then.  His music is not widely accessible today and very difficult to find.  I find Scott's vocals similar to American artist, Webb Wilder at times.  He has a dark Americana sound and it shows through on this track, Distress.  Scott released a follow up album in 1999 before joining the band, Srato-chief (see blog 8/9/10) for a couple of releases.  You can follow him at  You can hear the song, Distress, on You Tube (  The album, Long Way Down, is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $5 and $50.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Artist: King Apparatus, Album: King Apparatus, Song: Made For TV

"Anything you wanna do, just show me how and I'll do it too."  King Apparatus were a ska band from Toronto, Ontario.  They formed in the late eighties and dropped their first self-titled full length album in 1991.  They got some very good radio support on alternative stations like CFNY in Toronto as well as college radio.  The band toured the country and were often included on festival bills like Molson Park's Canada Day Festivities in Barrie, Ontario.  Their songs were catchy and memorable much like this track from their debut, Made For TV.  I always thought that lead singer, Chris Murray, sounded a bit like Doug & The Slugs as well.  They would release a total of 2 EP's and 2 albums before breaking up in 1994.  Chris Murray moved to California where he has continued to perform and record as a solo artist among other things.  In 2000, the King Apparatus discography was re-released by Asian Man Records and you can purchase it on Itunes.  The band also reformed briefly and apparently recorded some new material that remains unreleased.  You can follow Chris at  You can hear the song, Made For TV on Vimeo (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Artist: Lexington Avenue, Album: The Gaiety Records Story II, Song: Farmer John

Lexington Avenue were a band from Thunder Bay, Ontario.  I discovered them on a Gaiety Records compilation that was released by Pacemaker Entertainment.  It is a two volume set that  chronicles the releases of a small independent label formed in Thunder Bay during the sixties.  Winnipeg is likely more well known for it's rich rock and roll history, yet due to geographic proximity, Thunder Bay was producing a lot of great artists that were heavily influenced by what was going on in Britain and linked to the scene in Winnipeg.  Lexington Avenue was one such band.  There isn't a lot written in the liner notes about them but it appears that they recorded under the name The Plague initially and then with a few line up changes, became Lexington Avenue.  The label didn't release many recordings themselves but rather leased the artist's music out to other labels like RCA, Quality, Epic and Decca.  The owners of the label actually operated from California for a while despite having an artist roster entirely from the Canadian prairies.  They would eventually relocate to Thunder Bay and set up a recording studio there.  One notable artist on this label was a man named Dan Lowe and his band 49th Parallel.  He would go on to form bands like Painter (see blog 4/13/11), Hammersmith and Prototype (see blog 8/11/10).  As for Lexington Avenue, they have a few singles that are covered in this two volume set but none better than this trippy tune called, Farmer John.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  You can purchase the Gaiety Record compilations from Pacemaker Entertainment (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Artist: Controller.Controller, Album: X-Amounts, Song: PF

"Let's work a fine science and pay attention to signs.  Let me try your patience over a telephone line."  Controller.Controller were a Toronto band that formed in 2002.  They were Nirmala Basnayake, Scott Kaija, Colwyn Liewellyn-Thomas, Ronnie Morris and Jeff Scheven.  They formed in 2002 and released their first EP called, History, with Paperbag Records, in 2004.  The band's sound was disco punk.  They had a certain darkness about them yet their music was very rhythmic.  They also created quite a buzz and were quickly being touted as the next big thing in Toronto.  They toured nationally as well as internationally and played shows with Death From Above 1979, TV On The Radio and Franz Ferdinand.  They would release their debut full length, entitled, X-Amounts, in 2006 before calling it quits.  You can read about the band at  The song PF was the lead single from the album, X-Amounts.  You can check out the original video on You Tube (  You can purchase X-Amounts on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Artist: Just Ducky, Album: Don't Worry Bowta Theng Mister - Compilation of 11 Winnipeg Bands, Song: To And Fro

This is the second of two blogs that introduces a song from a Winnipeg band featured on this 1987 compilation, entitled, Don't Worry Bowta Theng Mister.  The first blog was about a rock n' roll band called, Sinner's Parade (see blog 2/8/11).  This time around, we move to the opposite end of the musical spectrum and feature a band with a sound reminiscent of early new wave, perhaps even electronica.  The band was Just Ducky and their song, To And Fro, was the album opener on this compilation by Cheese Cannon Records.  Their sound is dark and edgy and reminds me a lot of early new wave artists like Shriekback.  You could classify it as dance rock or alternative dance.  Unfortunately, there isn't anything written about the bands on this compilation which makes it difficult to track them or any information about them down.  As mentioned in the earlier blog about Sinner's Parade.  This album was recorded at two different studios in Winnipeg.  Just Ducky's track was produced at Video Pool and engineered by a man named Ken Gregory.  Ken is a well known media artist today and still runs Video Pool.  His work is on display in the U.S. and in Canada.  You can follow him at  This compilation of work is a very difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were no copies available for sale online.  You can hear the song, To And Fro, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Artist: Abigail, Album: Let's Communicate (single) Song: Let's Communicate (Sounds So Sweet Club Mix)

Here is a lost r'n'b treasure from 1999.  I had my ear to the ground for the better part of the nineties as a result of the improving mainstream acceptance of r'n'b and rap music in Toronto.  Not that it was a new genre or anything like that but, strangely enough, our city took forever to embrace it and dedicate a radio station to it's format.  Toronto had a young core of talented and determined artists along with a few dedicated independent labels, that were making it their mission to get this music in as many people's ears as possible.  Beat Factory was one of the pioneering labels in the city to begin showcasing our local hip hop and r'n'b talent, but as the years progressed, more labels were popping up.  Although I don't know much about this recording, it does appear to have been released on Toronto label, V.I.B.E.S. Records.  It appears to be a "one-off" single release that received some decent radio play but never spawned a full length release.  The song was written and arranged by a man named Ray Walker who also produced two of the mixes on this single.  My interest in urban music really grew out of the samples that were being used but as well, I've always been a fool for beats.  However, around the time of this single, there were some interesting covers being released of popular 80's tracks.  Examples from this period were INOJ's Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper) or her cover of Love You Down (Ready For The World) as well as Shaune Ann's Tender Love (Force MD's).  The beats were thick and I found this track by Abigail to be quite similar.  There was another Canadian artist that was releasing material around the same time called, Jully Black.  One of her first singles, Rally 'n' was included on a Dance Hits compilation by Popular Records which also included this Abigail hit in 1999.  Jully has become one of our country's most celebrated r'n'b artists.  As for Abigail, this great song remains her only single to date.  She did record an entire album as well to accompany the single but it remains unreleased.  Abigail and her husband would go on to create a motion media company called B.Side (  Not only have they worked in the fields of film and television but most would likely recognize their imprint on famous brands like Ford, Disney, Lexus and Bell Canada to name a few.  Abigail is in the process of launching a sister company called B.Heard in the coming year and it may coincide with her much anticipated return to music.  You can hear the song, Let's Communicate, on You Tube (  The single, Let's Communicate, is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy trading on for $65.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Artist: Jenica Rayne, Album: Hall Of Memories, Song: The Door

"Oh you lost that precious thought, the one you carried, the one I married.  'Cause we've been holding on to what would happen if the door opened and we walked out of this.  Breaks my heart to feel this change, the truth is what remains.  Warmer days and sunshine, they fill the air with our regrets.  The door sits wide open, I'll walk through first I guess."  Jenica Rayne is a singer songwriter from Kingston, Ontario.  She left Ontario at one point and went to school in Vancouver.  It was there, in 1999, that she hooked up with former Doug & The Slugs keyboardist, Simon Kendall, who produced her debut album, Hall Of Memories.  Since this album, Jenica has returned to Ontario and continues to play as a solo artist or as a member of the Calamity Janes.  She has released three albums to date, her most recent in 2007.  She is a wonderful lyricist and the lead off track, The Door, from her debut, is a good example of that.  It is a very powerful song about love and leaving.  You can hear this song on You Tube (  You can purchase, Hall Of Memories, on Itunes. Jenica continues to play and tour in the Kingston area.  You can follow her at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Artist: Teknicolor Raincoats, Album: Where You're Going, Song: Cheap Thrill

Teknicolor Raincoats were a band from Toronto who began recording in the late eighties and early nineties.  I first discovered them through a CFNY New Music Search Contest in 1992.  They had a track called, Dark Ages, that was an alternative dance hybrid similar in sound to bands like Pop Will Eat Itself or the more mainstream, Jesus Jones.  It was a really cool track and the band released it as part of an EP called, Dive Right In, in 1992.  They received tremendous radio support from college radio and of course, CFNY.  Where You're Going, was their sophomore EP release which included this dark, Jesus and Mary Chain-like tune called, Cheap Thrill.  The album also includes a very unique cover of Jimi Hendrix's, Crosstown Traffic.  It was released with indie label, Echosphere Music.  According to the liner notes, there were plans for a forthcoming LP entitled, Happy Pointy Shiny.  However, I can't seem to find anything written about that release or any copies available.  The members were Shaun Bowring, Derrol Flynn, Gary Stinson and Mike Duemo.  Bowring would go on to book music at clubs in Toronto like Sneaky Dee's and I believe he is the co-owner and booker at The Garrison currently.  This particular EP is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon for $15.  You can hear the song, Cheap Thrill, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Artist: The Kingpins, Album: Watch Your Back, Song: Watch Your Back

The Kingpins were a ska band from Montreal.  They were Jordan Swift, Eric Boulanger, Ian Hodkinson and Lorraine Muller.  They burst on to the scene in 1994 and released their first full length, entitled, Watch Your Back, in 1997.  They were signed to indie label, Stomp Records, which was started by Swift and Matt Collyer of the Planet Smashers (another Montreal ska band).  The band released 3 full lengths before breaking up in 2004.  By that time, Lorraine Muller was the only remaining original member and she had taken over lead vocal duties.  At their peak, the band toured internationally and appeared to be attracting larger audiences to their genre and music.  Stomp Records also released a number of compilations, entitled, The All-Skanadian Club Series, which featured the band's music.  That's actually where I heard the title track to their debut album, Watch Your Back.  It was included on Vol.2.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  You can read about their legacy at  Today, Lorraine has changed the name of the band to Lo & The Magnetics and continues to tour and record.  You can follow them at  You can purchase the album, Watch Your Back, from Stomp Records (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Artist: Michael Zee, Album: Five Seven, Maybe Five Eight, Song: I've Got News For You

Michael Zee (aka Michael Zweig) was a singer songwriter from Ontario.  He cut his teeth during the seventies touring circuit which included time with artists like Ray Materick (see blog 4/16/11) and Segarini (see blog 1/8/11).  In 1984, he joined indie label, Ready Records, out of London, Ontario and cut his debut EP, Five Seven, Maybe Five Eight.  It was produced by Segarini and spawned the regional hit, I've Got News For You.  Michael would release a full length following this album and then began touring with a band called, The Fabulous Knockouts.  The members in that band all played on his debut EP and they still tour today, playing covers mainly.  Michael also started a successful jingle company called Candyland.  If you have ever found yourself singing along to the Home Hardware theme or the "This Place Will Be Rockin' On Saturday Night" song from Hockey Night In Canada, you can thank him for it.  Michael has also played with Bachman and Cummings, Tom Cochrane as well as the Carpet Frogs.  You can follow his band, The Fabulous Knockouts, at  Michael's solo discography is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy of his debut EP trading on Ebay for $10.  However, you can download this particular track from Itunes as it is featured on a compilation entitled, 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection: The Best Of Ready Records Vol.2.  You can hear the song, I've Got News For You, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Artist: Said The Whale, Album: Islands Disappear, Song: Camilo (The Magician)

"Camilo, that's where you come in my friend."  Said the Whale are a Vancouver rock band that formed in 2007.  The two founding members of the band are Ben Worchester and Tyler Bancroft.  They released their debut EP, entitled, Taking Abalonia and then added 7 new tracks for re-release in 2008 as Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia.  They have toured Canada and have endured some line up changes in recent years as well.   The band now includes members, Nathan Shaw, Spencer Schoening and Jaycelyn Brown.  They released their sophomore album, Islands Disappear, in 2009 and are signed to Hidden Pony Records.  That album includes this great track, Camilo (The Magician).  The band continues to tour the country and has just recently returned from their first tour of the U.K..  They also played some shows in the U.S. this year.  The band also won the Juno for New Group Of The Year in 2011.  They are currently back in the studio recording their third release and seem to be playing shows locally for the time being.  You can follow them at  You can purchase the album, Islands Disappear, on Itunes.  You can watch the video for the song, Camilo (The Magician), on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Artist: Rock And Hyde, Album: Under The Volcano, Song: I Will

"You can be a warrior or you can be a slave.  'Cus people they will carry you to the mountain or the grave."  Rock and Hyde were Bob Rock and Paul Hyde.  They formed a well known Canadian band called The Payola$, as high school friends in the late seventies.  The band had some very early success with massive hits for A&M Records like, Eyes Of A Stranger.  However, as their subsequent releases began to fall short of their earlier successes, their label began to meddle with the band's image and sound.  They actually forced them to change their name to Paul Hyde & The Payolas, before disbanding in 1986.  However, the two principle members, Rock and Hyde, returned a year later with this wonderful album, Under A Volcano, with EMI Records.  The album spawned a few singles, but the first two, Dirty Water and this track, I Will, were some of the duo's best work.  The two men would go their own separate ways following this release.  Bob Rock would make a name for himself on the production end of the business.  Notably producing Metallica's widely popular "black" album.  Paul Hyde (see blog 8/18/10) has also remained in music and has released albums as a solo artist.  Under The Volcano is available for purchase on Itunes.  You can watch the video for the song, I Will, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Artist: Redlife, Album: Exodus Prt.II, Song: Yagga Yaw Yaw

Redlife were a hip hop duo from Toronto.  Redlife is an acronym for "Revealed Experiences with Life in Elevation".  They were rappers, Action and Remey.  Action also went by the name Kryp2nite.  They emerged from the hip hop hotbed of Rexdale in Toronto during the nineties.  Like many of their peers, namely, Kardinal Offishall, Ghetto Concept (see blog 11/12/10), Da Grassroots, Citizen Kane and K-OS, they had some of their early singles released on Beat Factory Music compilations.  They also used the medium of video to their advantage.  Much Music had a daily video show called Rap City which featured one of their earliest releases, Who's Talking Weight.  That national exposure certainly helped the band get their music out beyond Toronto.  In 1999, they released their one and only full length, Exodus Prt.II on Black Employed Records.  The album featured local acts like the Ghetto Concept, Da Grassroots and on this explosive single, Yagga Yaw Yaw, rapper Saukrates.  The album, Exodus Prt.II is not widely available today but you can purchase a new copy from Amazon for $10 currently.  You can watch the video for the song, Yagga Yaw Yaw, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Artist: The Doughboys, Album: Crush, Song: Shine

"Dull and dark is how I feel and to shine would be unreal but it's really no big deal."  The Doughboys were a rock band from Montreal.  They formed in 1987 by John Kastner, following his departure from another punk band called, The Asexuals (see blog 11/18/10).  The band toiled through the indie ranks in Canada releasing 3 full lengths and 2 EPs before their major label breakthrough in 1993.  The band received a lot of critical acclaim for their earlier releases and toured the U.S. and Canada during those years.  However, they were signed to a small label out of Los Angeles called, Restless Records, and their albums were very hard to find.  In 1993, they blasted onto the scene with their major label debut, Crush, with A&M Records.  To most Canadians, this was the first time they had heard the Doughboys and their new polished power pop sound.  Their lead single, Shine, was huge and it propelled the album to gold status in Canada.  They were nominated for Best Hard Rock Album Of The Year at the Junos, alongside Rush, Wild T (see blog 4/18/11) and the Tea Party but lost out to I Mother Earth that year.  They would go on to release one more album in 1996 before calling it quits.  The line up for this album was John Kastner, John Cummins, Paul Newman and Peter Arsenault.  Kastner would go on to record a solo album as well as form a new band called, All Systems Go! with Arsenault.  Cummins would form the band Bionic which included Ian Blurton (see blogs 11/22/10, 6/30/11).  One sad fact about this pivotal album is how rare it has become.  They've restored all their indie releases for download on Itunes but Crush remains absent.  At the time of this blog, there were copies of the album trading on Amazon and Ebay between $5 and $50.  A bit of good news is that the band has decided to reform to play some shows in Toronto and Montreal as the supporting act for the Foo Fighters.  You can hear the song, Shine, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Artist: The Inbreds, Album: Hilario, Song: Granpa's Heater

"It's three in the morning, I believe I'm the only one awake.  In the town the winds are blowing, rolling in straight off the lake.  It's getting kinda cold, gonna step inside.  Gonna crank up the heater that my Grandfather left when he died."  The Inbreds were a rock duo from Halifax by way of Kingston, Ontario.  They were Mike O'Neill and Dave Ullrich.  Mike was the bassist and singer and Dave played drums.  They decided to relocate to Halifax and become part of the "New Seattle" rock explosion that was happening there thanks to the success of bands like Sloan and Eric's Trip.  They released their debut album, Hilario, in 1993.  It was a collection of songs from their previous indie releases.  It caught the attention of Toronto band, The Rheostatics, who invited the band to tour with them.  The band would release four albums before calling it quits in 1998.  They were also signed to a division of Atlantic Records for one of those releases and toured Canada, the U.S. and Europe.  They've shared stages with everyone from the Tragically Hip and Buffalo Tom to the Foo Fighters.  In Canada, they had strong support from college radio and produced videos for their singles which helped their national exposure.  Both guys have gone on to other musical projects in later years.  Ullrich actually started the Canadian Online Music Site,  They continue to play one off shows from time to time and did record recently for a Rheostatics tribute album.  You can keep tabs on them at  Granpa's Heater is one of many cool tunes off their debut, Hilario.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  You can purchase Hilario on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Artist: David Wall, Album: The Spell I Was Under, Song: Yonder Come Day

David Wall is a composer, multi instrumentalist and songwriter from Toronto.  He started out as a member of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir (see blog 11/3/10) during the eighties.  They were a hard working indie band that played across the country until about 1995.  It was around the same time that David started experimenting with his own solo recordings.  With the help of some friends like Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar) and Keith Whiteley (see Jenny Whiteley blog 7/1/11), he released his debut album in 1993.  It featured members of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir as well as Molly Johnson (see blog 6/27/10).  Following the break up of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, David would involve himself in a few projects that have carried on until this day.  He started composing music for t.v. and film and wrote some songs for other artists.  One notable tune was Big Sugar's hit, The Scene.  He also started a group called The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band which focused on traditional Jewish music.  Finally in 2006, he focused his efforts on a sophomore album, The Spell I Was Under.  Once again, it featured the talents of Ken Whiteley as well as vocalist Rebecca Campbell (see blog 6/4/11).  One of my favourite tracks on this album is his rendition of a traditional song called, Yonder Come Day.  You can hear it on You Tube (  You can follow David at  You can purchase the album, The Spell I Was Under, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Artist: Otis Haynes, Album: ...Not If I Smell You First!, Song: Gimme The Keys

Otis Haynes was either a pseudonym for two guys from Sloan or an actual band that featured Chris Murphy and Patrick Pentland from Sloan as guests.  Whoever Otis Haynes was, the fact remains that this song could very easily pass for anything in Sloan's long list of hit songs.  The song is called, Gimme The Keys, and it was featured on a compilation released in 1994 by indie label, Sonic Unyon, from Hamilton, Ontario.  There are a few interesting things about this release.  One, is how this small label that was responsible for breaking bands like Treble Charger and Hayden at one point, had now established a working relationship with bands across Canada like Eric's Trip, hHead (Brendan Canning from Broken Social Scene) and By Divine Right (see blog 2/19/11).  Throw in this one off by some of the members of Sloan and you can see how this label was slowly building some serious musical clout.  The other interesting thing about this compilation and the Otis Haynes track specifically, is the liner note, "Otis Haynes recruits Patrick Pentland and Chris Murphy of Sloan without the consent of the David Geffen Company."  Sloan was signed to Geffen Records at the time and Geffen decided not to promote the release of their second album due to artistic differences.  The album was called, Twice Removed, and it turned out to be another very strong release for the band.  So perhaps this was a subtle f@#k you to their label and a precursor of what was to come.  The band would release their next album on their own label.  Whatever the reason, this track is a beauty yet very difficult to find.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon for $15.  You can hear the song, Gimme The Keys, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Artist: The Dudes (1975), Album: We're No Angels, Song: Saturday Night

This is the second of two blogs that feature a Canadian band named, The Dudes (see blog 1/2/11).  They were Kootch Trochim, Ritchie and Dave Henman, Bob Segarini, Wayne Cullen and Brian Greenway.  The Dudes formed in 1974 and were from Montreal.  Their members were from previous bands like The Wackers, April Wine and Mashmakan.  Their manager, Fred Heller, also represented Mott The Hoople, who had a very recent hit entitled, All The Young Dudes, at the time.  After meeting Ian Hunter, they decided to call themselves, The Dudes.  The band featured three guitarists and two drummers.  They were signed to CBS records and released their one and only album, We're No Angels, in 1975.  The band wasn't happy with their debut despite the fact that it sold well in Canada.  CBS had the final mixes done in New York without the band's input.  Nonetheless, they toured constantly for the next two years and even opened for the Bee Gees.  In 1977, they returned to the studio to start work on their follow up release.  The band had a number of songs lined up but CBS rejected them all.  As a result, the members went off to work on other projects and never recorded together again.  Many of the demos from the last recording sessions were released by Segarini (see blog 1/8/11) as a solo artist.  Pacemaker Entertainment would acquire the rights to those demo recordings and release an album entitled, All The Young Dudes - All The Old Demos, in 1997.  The album, We're No Angels, is likely only available on vinyl and very hard to find.  At the time of this blog, there were a few copies trading on Amazon between $10 and $25.  You can hear the very hip lead off track, Saturday Night, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!     

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Artist: Kelly Partland And Alter Ego, Album: Interrupted Journey, Song: You And I

Kelly Partland And Alter Ego were a rock band from Ontario.  They were brothers, Kelly and Robin Partland, Dan L'Heureux, Dan Scipione and David Carlino.  They released Interrupted Journey in 1993 with A&M Records.  Kelly and Robin's brothers made the Partland name famous during the late eighties with their mega selling debut, Electric Honey, as well as the hit single, Soul City.  Kelly and Robin have now joined their brothers G.P. and Chris as part of the Partland Brothers (see blog 11/6/10) band.  They have a new release entitled, Every Now....And Again on EMI Records and continue to tour.  You can follow them at  Kelly was also in a group called The Spare Parts Band that you can check out at  The Partlands were certainly blessed with golden voices and I think most will find the sound of this particular track very reminiscent of the Partland Brothers' sound.  You And I is a great tune from Interrupted Journey and you can hear it on You Tube (  This particular release is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there was one used copy trading on Amazon for $180.  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Artist: Jenny Whiteley, Album: Jenny Whiteley, Song: '75

"In the summer of '75, she was standing at the bottom of her daddy's drive.  Fifteen years old and running wild."  Jenny Whiteley is a singer songwriter from Toronto, Ontario.  Her father is blues and jazz musician, Chris Whiteley.  She started out in a bluegrass band called Heartbreak Hill with fellow singer songwriter, Dottie Cormier (see blog 1/26/11).  Their one and only recording in 1998 was actually nominated for a Juno.  Just before the band broke up, Jenny released her self titled debut in 2000.  It won Best Roots and Traditional Album Of The Year at the Junos the following year.  It also featured a little known back up singer named Amy Millan.  Amy would make a name for herself in later years as part of the band, Stars.  She would also release a solo album in 2006 called, Honey From The Tombs, which featured the Whiteley song, Baby I, from this same album.  This is one beautiful album that was recorded in Toronto with her brother Dan, father Chris and uncle Ken all contributing.  '75 is a song that closes out the disc and was penned in collaboration with Fred Eaglesmith (see blog 8/3/10) and Dottie Cormier.  Jenny would go on to win another Juno in 2005 for her sophomore release and has four albums to date.  She is signed to indie label, Black Hen Music, and you can follow her at  You can hear the song, '75, on You Tube (  This one particular release is very difficult to find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $65 and $125.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!