Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Artist: The Bop Cats, Album: The Bop Cats, Song: Kiss Goodbye

The Bop Cats were a country rockabilly group from Toronto that formed in 1979.  Their sound was similar to that of the Stray Cats yet they did predate that band...slightly.  Both bands actually released their full length debuts in 1981 and both would find immediate success in the U.K. as opposed to in their homelands of Canada and the U.S..  The Bop Cats first single actually hit #2 in England, charting higher than any Stray Cat single.  However, in 1982, the Stray Cats would have a Top Five U.S. hit of their own as a result of the re-release of their song, Stray Cat Strut.  The Bop Cats toured both the U.S. and Canada and were known for their energetic live shows.  The success abroad helped them land a record deal with Attic which led to the first of two releases.  The song, Kiss Goodbye, was actually released on an EP just prior to the band's debut where it was included again.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  The band would release their sophomore album in 1982 before changing their name and sound to Rock Angels.  That band would have one EP that same year before breaking up.  There were a number of member changes within the band over the years but the four mainstays during their recording years were Sonny Baker, Teddy Fury, Jack DeKeyzer (see blog 3/15/11) and Zeke Rivers.  Jack, of course, would go on to become one of our country's most prominent blues guitarists.  You can purchase the debut album from the Bop Cats on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Artist: Armen at the Bazaar, Album: Noor, Song: Fire

Armen at the Bazaar is a man by the name of Armen Bazarian.  He is from Toronto but now based in Montreal.  If you are looking for an example of the term "One Man Band", you need not look further than this guy.  After playing years in band settings and finding the full potential of his artistic expression unfulfilled.  He figured out a way to become a multi-instrumentalist in the studio and began composing and producing his own work.  He released his debut EP in 2010 and followed it up this year with his second EP, Noor.  To raise the bar a step further, he took his act live.  You can check out some live footage of his recent CD release party at the Silver Dollar in Toronto where he is performing the song, Fire (  Both of his releases are worth seeking out and should appeal to the pop sensible listener.  He is currently playing shows in Vermont and should be making his way back into Canada in the next week or so.  You can follow him at  You can purchase Noor on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Artist: Oakley, Album: Oakley, Song: Rock 'N' Roll Gypsies

Oakley were a hard rocking band from Nova Scotia that released their one and only self titled album in 1980.  They were Ritchie Oakley, Wayne Nicholson, Bruce Dixon, Bill McCauley and Doug MacKay. Ritchie Oakley was actually in a popular Maritime band called Soma prior to this band.  Soma had opened Eastern tour gigs for Santana, Sly & The Family Stone and Chicago during their run.  Oakley toured the country with April Wine and also opened for the Doobie Brothers.  They had a number of singles off this record.  I personally love the album opener, Rock 'N' Roll Gypsies.  It's a hard chugging tune with some Boston-like psychedelic keyboards.  Great tune.  The band would release a follow up single in 1982 but a sophomore release would not materialize before the band members decided to go their separate ways.  All of the members in the band have remained in the Maritime music community working as session players or producers.  The band has reformed a number of times in recent years to play the odd show but mainly in Eastern Canada.  The band has also released their one and only album on CD but it has only been available for purchase at shows.  It remains a rarity today.  At the time of this blog, there was one copy trading on Ebay for $10.  You can hear the song, Rock 'N' Roll Gypsies, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Artist: The Bookroom, Album: The Bookroom, Song: Living In A Real World

The Bookroom were a new wave band from Toronto that formed during the eighties.  They were multi instrumentalist brothers, Steve and Mark Goodall.  They were born in England and Steve actually had some success in a band called, Strange Days, before immigrating to Canada.  Once in Canada, he and his brother set up a studio and independently released their self titled debut in 1988.  The album received some strong radio and video support in Canada which attracted the interest of Intrepid Records.  The brothers would get a major label push for their sophomore release in 1991.  They toured in support of the album and went back into the studio to begin recording again before eventually disbanding. Today, Steve Goodall continues to write and record music and you can follow him at  Living In A Real World is a great tune that brings side one to a close off their debut album.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  The album is a difficult find today. At the time of this blog, there was one copy trading on Amazon for $10.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Artist: Brendan Canning, Album: Something For All Of Us, Song: Hit The Wall

Brendan Canning is a singer songwriter from Toronto who is likely better known as one of the co-founders of the hugely popular band, Broken Social Scene.  However, prior to the formation of that band, he was part of a grunge band called hHead.  While alternative rock stations all over the world were filled with the sounds of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins, Torontonians may have caught hHead's infectious tune, Collide, on heavy rotation.  The band would attract the interest of I.R.S. Records; home to R.E.M., General Public, English Beat and many other cool bands.  hHead would last until 1997 before breaking up and Brendan went on to play with a number of other bands like By Divine Right (see blog 2/19/11) in 1999.  Two years later, he would re-surface with the Broken Social Scene and soon international eyes would begin to recognize Toronto as having a new unique rock and roll swagger.  In 2008, amidst the heavy touring and recording schedules of the Broken Social Scene, he released a solo album called, Something For All Of Us.  Hit The Wall is a great track off this release and you can check out the video on You Tube (  You can follow Brendan at  You can purchase the album, Something For All Of Us, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Artist: Lori Cullen, Album: Garden Path, Song: Never Could Run Fast

Lori Cullen is a singer songwriter from Toronto.  She released her debut, Garden Path, in 2000 and to date, has six albums.  Her most recent album was released this year and is a collection of cover songs.  Her sound was more folk based for this debut and that is certainly evident on this wonderful song, Never Could Run Fast.  Lori has a very strong voice and her sound has become more jazz influenced since her debut.  In 2007, she received a Juno nomination for Vocal Jazz Album Of The Year with fellow songstress Molly Johnson (see blogs 6/27/10, 2/28/11) but lost out to Diana Krall.  She is playing shows currently in Ontario and you can follow her at  Unfortunately, her debut album is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon as high as $100.  You can hear the song, Never Could Run Fast, on You Tube ( Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Artist: Luke Doucet And The White Falcon, Album: Steel City Trawler, Song: Sundown

Luke Doucet is a musician born in Nova Scotia, raised in Winnipeg and now resides in Hamilton, Ontario.  This almost nomadic upbringing led to a very early performance career.  He was playing close to 200 shows per year before he hit the legal age to drink.  At the age of nineteen, he moved to Vancouver and joined Sarah McLachlan's band.  Following this apprenticeship of sorts, he would form his first band Veal (see blog 4/24/11) yet would also begin writing and recording as a solo artist during that time. His solo debut was released in 2001 and he was already compiling a list of production credits by working with artists such as Captain Tractor (see blog 1/27/11) and NQ Arbuckle (see blog 11/16/10).  Steel City Trawler is his 5th album released in 2010.  Among many of the great original compositions on this release is his take on an old Gordon Lightfoot classic, Sundown.  You can check out the track on You Tube (  Luke has also released an album under the moniker, Whitehorse, with his wife, Melissa McClelland.  You can keep tabs on him at  You can purchase the album, Steel City Trawler, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Artist: The Novaks, Album: Things Fall Apart, Song: Destroyer

The Novaks are a three piece rock band from St. John's, Newfoundland.  They formed in 2002 and are Mick Davis, Elliot Dicks and Mark Neary.  They released their debut in 2005 and it caught the attention of one, Little Steven, from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Sopranos and Underground Garage Radio Show fame.  He gave one of the tracks off their debut a big time endorsement and decided to distribute the band's album in the U.S. on his Wicked Cool Records label.  The band followed up their debut with this album, Things Fall Apart, in 2009.  The band has won a few regional awards for their releases to date and have toured the country.  They even opened for Kiss in Halifax!  Coincidentally, this track, Destroyer, always makes me think of Kiss.  They have a real throwback rock n' roll sound yet this song adds a bit more beef to the plate.  You can check it out on You Tube (  The band is signed to Sonic Records which is home to other great Canadian artists like Hey Rosetta!, Nathan Wiley (see blog 5/15/11) and Matt Mays.  They have a new EP out and you can follow them at  You can purchase the album, Things Fall Apart, on Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Artist: Amy Campbell, Album: Architecture:Live At The Opera House, Song: Satellite

"I know you like a book, but I can't read you.  It's plain to see you're hungry but it's not my place to feed you."  Amy Campbell is a singer songwriter originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia but now residing in Toronto.  She broke out on to the Canadian indie scene in 2003 with her debut album, Architecture: Live At The Opera House.  It was a live recording taken from one night at the Lunenburg Opera House.  Amy fills the air of this sparse acoustic performance with her strong vocals and captivating lyricism.  The song, Satellite, is one of the highlights on this release that really shows a maturity beyond her years.  She received some strong support from college radio and toured parts of Canada and the U.S..  Unfortunately though, she didn't record again until 2008.  Little did we all know she was in the process of planning her latest opus, Oh Heart, Oh Highway.  A project three years in the making that involved a 2 volume musical release that was composed like a literary work.  Amy's vision was to create a work that brought together visual, melodic and lyrical elements in one single narrative.  She is currently playing shows in Toronto and you can follow her at  You can purchase her debut album on Itunes or directly from her website.  You can check out the track, Satellite, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Artist: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Album: She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina, Song: Helpless

Buffy Sainte-Marie is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan.  However, much like her famous song, Universal Soldier, she has become a woman of the world.  You could make the statement that because she began touring internationally at such an early point in her career, that she may be more well known outside the borders of Canada than within.  She started her career way back in 1962 and released her debut album in 1964.  Maybe it is my ignorance or once again, another example of how aboriginal music is ignored, but she may have been the first Native American artist to penetrate mainstream audiences.  At one point, she was even blacklisted by the U.S. government for her social and political views.  If that isn't a sign that people were taking notice of her work then I don't know what is.  Her music has been re-recorded by such artists as Elvis, Cher, Joe Cocker, Donovan and Neil Diamond. She has a PhD and has been the recipient of an Oscar, Golden Globe and multiple Juno awards.  She continues to teach and perform in Canada and released her 18th album in 2009.  A couple of interesting facts about Buffy.  During the seventies when she was being shunned by the U.S. media, she decided to join the cast of Sesame Street for a 6 year run.  As well, although she is credited with founding the Juno award for Best Aboriginal Music Of Canada; an award she later won in 1997.  Her first actual Juno nomination didn't occur until that point, after 16 releases and 33 years of performing!  She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina was her album from 1971 and although I'm not doing the body of her work any justice by picking a cover song here.  I just can't get over how much I love her version of this Neil Young classic, Helpless.  The original was recorded a year earlier on CSNY's album, Deja Vu.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, She Used To Wanna Be A Ballerina, on Itunes.  You can also follow Buffy at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Artist: DJ Champion, Album: I Put A Spell On You Single, Song: I Put A Spell On You

DJ Champion is a man by the name of Maxime Morin, originating from Montreal.  Maxime was a musician first before he ever decided to become a DJ.  In fact, the DJ prefix may be a bit of a misnomer. He certainly uses all the tools of a DJ in his production but he is also a multi-instrumentalist who began his musical education with the guitar.  His interest in dance music led to a commercial venture with composer Benoit Charest.  The two artists would also collaborate on the score for the animated film, Les Triplettes de Bellville.  Morin would release his debut, Chill 'Em All, in 2005, and tour internationally in support of the album.  His performances live would include a full band called the G-Strings.  A follow up Remix album the next year would garner him a Juno nomination for Dance Recording Of The Year in 2007 which he lost to fellow Montreal native, Tiga.  His cover version of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins hit, I Put A Spell On You, was released as a single only in 2008 and was included in the indie film, Truffe.  It also features Beast member, Betty Bonifassi, on vocals, who also collaborated with him on his debut.  You can purchase the single on Itunes and you can hear the song on You Tube (  DJ Champion released his sophomore album in 2009 and you can follow him at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Artist: Jr. Gone Wild, Album: Simple Little Wish, Song: Rain Or Shine

Jr. Gone Wild were a country rock band with a punk rock attitude from Edmonton, Alberta.  They were equal parts classic rock, country and punk.  Their early gigs were often punk shows and their name is by definition, a description of those times.  This scene was also home to musician, Moe Berg, and his first band, The Modern Minds.  Moe would become very popular to most Canadians years later, as the front man for the band, The Pursuit Of Happiness.  It was a very tight knit community of artists with many members collaborating with one another.  For Jr. Gone Wild, the founder was a man named Mike McDonald and he formed the band in 1983.  They wouldn't actually record their first album until 1986 and through numerous line up changes, carved out a discography of 6 albums over a 12 year period.  Simple Little Wish was their final album in 1995.  I actually featured a cover of a song from this album by Carolyn Mark and NQ Arbuckle in a previous blog (see blog 11/16/10).  Carolyn also played on this particular Jr. Gone Wild album.  The song, Rain Or Shine, is another great track from this release.  You can check out the song on You Tube (  You can read about Jr. Gone Wild as well as Mike McDonald at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Artist: Mandala, Album: Soul Crusade, Song: World Of Love

"You, me and all of us are looking for the key that will open the door to the world of love, yeah."  Mandala were a R&B band from Toronto that formed in the mid sixties.  The founder of the band was the late Domenic Troiano (see blog 11/10/10) along with original members Whitey Glan and Don Elliot.  The band was later rounded out with the additions of Roy Kenner and Hugh Sullivan.  The band had flirted with fame very early in their career, attracting the attention of legendary R&B/Blues label, Chess Records, out of Chicago.  The band would actually record some singles and tour parts of the U.S. while with them.  However, with some personnel changes, the band would land a new deal with Atlantic and release their debut, Soul Crusade, in 1968.  Led by this funky barn burner, World Of Love, this album is an absolute classic.  Unfortunately, despite having a top ten single from this release (Love-itis), the sales didn't meet expectations and the band called it quits shortly thereafter.  Troiano, Glan and Kenner would go on to form the band, Bush, for one album.  They would all play roles in some legendary bands like Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, James Gang and the Guess Who.  In 1986, a retrospective release was issued by Warner covering this release as well as some of the early singles that were released with Chess Records.  The debut Soul Crusade was also re-mastered by Wounded Bird Records and re-released by Pacemaker Entertainment as well.  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  You can hear the track, World Of Love, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Artist: Constantines, Album: Tournament Of Hearts, Song: Working Full Time

The Constantines are a rock band originally from Guelph, Ontario.  They formed in 1999 and released their self-titled debut that same year.  It garnered the band their first of two Juno nominations for Best Alternative Album.  However, their debut fell short of the award and lost out to Rufus Wainwright's Poses.  Their next release in 2003, would benefit from U.S. distribution via the Sub Pop label in Seattle, and would also be nominated for Best Alternative Album at the Junos.  Once again though, the band lost that year to Buck 65.  Tournament Of Hearts was their third release in 2005.  Working Full Time is a standout track from that release.  I'm not a singer but I have to think that the manner in which lead vocalist, Bryan Webb, sings cannot be good for the long term health of his voice.  He has a killer rock and roll howl.  It is certainly something to behold.  The band celebrated their 10 year anniversary in 2009 and accompanied the occasion with a tour of Southwestern Ontario.  They are signed to the Arts & Crafts label and have 4 albums to date.  They've also collaborated recently with label mate, Feist, on a very dark rendition of the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton classic, Islands In The Stream.  You can follow them at  You can check out the very cool video for the song, Working Full Time, on You Tube (  You can purchase the album, Tournament Of Hearts, from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Artist: Body Electric, Album: Body Electric, Song: All Through The Night

The Body Electric wasn't just the name of a great Rush tune from their album, Grace Under Pressure, but as well, the name of a rock band from Vancouver.  They were formed by musicians, Bob Buckley and David Sinclair, during the early eighties after their previous band, Straight Lines, disbanded.  The duo was nominated for Single Of The Year at the Junos in 1983 as members of the band, Straight Lines, along with peers, Toronto (see blog 9/22/10), Rush and Loverboy.  They lost out to the Payolas and their monster hit, Eyes Of A Stranger.  Undeterred, they enlisted the aid of ex-Trooper keyboardist, Frank Ludwig, and shopped their tunes around until they got a deal with Attic Records.  That led to Body Electric's self-titled debut in 1984.  The album got some major radio play in Canada and spawned numerous singles including this track, All Through The Night.  The band would release an EP as well as one last full length before disbanding in 1987.  Their debut was re-released by Unidisc in later years and is available for download on Itunes.  You can hear the song, All Through The Night, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!   

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Artist: Saukrates, Album: The Underground Tapes, Song: Can't Touch Us

Saukrates is a hip hop artist from Toronto who cut his first single at the tender age of 16.  It led to his first of two Juno nominations for Best Rap Recording.  He lost out to Ghetto Concept (see blog 11/12/10) in 1994 and then, Choclair, in 2000, when a track from this particular album was nominated as well.  However, it did land him a deal with Warner Brothers which led to the recording of tracks for his debut, The Underground Tapes, in 1999.  The album featured him trading rhymes with some major names in the business like Common, Xzibit, Heltah Skeltah, Pharoh Monch, O.C. and Masta Ace.  Sadly though, the label dropped him before it could be released, forcing him to release it himself on his own label, Capital Hill.  Bad luck would strike again when he decided to sign with Def Jam only to be dropped by that label as they focused on the up and coming career of Jay Z.  However, he did maintain a crucial relationship with Redman's label, Gilla Records, and since, has collaborated and produced tracks with Redman and Method Man.  Recently, he has appeared with Nelly Furtado on the Amercian Music Awards.  He is probably one of the most talented artists to ever emerge from Canada's hip hop scene and has appeared on tracks and in videos with all of his Canadian peers like Kardinal Offishal, K-OS, Choclair, Ghetto Concept, Da Grassroots and The Rascalz.  Despite the bad luck and lack of attention, he is still producing and recording and has just released singles from his upcoming sophomore release.  His debut though, remains a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Ebay and Amazon for $30.  You can follow him at  You can hear the lead off track, Can't Touch Us, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Artist: Sons Of Maxwell, Album: The Neighbourhood, Song: And We Danced

"And we danced, like a wave on the ocean, romanced.  We were liars in love and we danced.  Swept away for a moment by chance.  And we danced and danced and danced."  Sons of Maxwell were two brothers, Dave and Don Carroll from Timmins, Ontario.  They relocated to Halifax and began singing and performing.  They released their self titled debut in 1994 and have released 7 albums to date.  The Neighbourhood was released in 1998 and featured a cover of the Hooters' hit, And We Danced.  The original song was a top 20 hit for the American band back in 1985, on their platinum selling debut, Nervous Night.  The brothers gave it a Celtic folk feel and I believe it was likely their only charting country single here in Canada.  The band has been both a nominee and recipient of numerous East Coast Music awards.  One of the brothers, Dave Carroll, would get a career boost from an incident involving his guitar while travelling on United Airlines.  He voiced his displeasure through song and accompanying video on You Tube, about how he was being treated by the airline and became a web sensation.  He even appeared on ABC's The View.  You can read about the band at  The album can be purchased from Dave Carroll's website at  You can hear the song, And We Danced, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Artist: Luke Gibson (Luke & The Apostles), Album: Another Perfect Day, Song: You Make Me High

Luke Gibson is a blues rock performer from Toronto.  He is a founder of one of Canada's pioneering rock acts called, Luke & The Apostles.  Strangely enough though, that band had a rather short recording history.  They rose from the underground via the coffeehouse circuit in Yorkville.  They were one of the first bands to popularize the blues rock sound in the early to mid sixties.  The other notable member in the band was Mike McKenna who would go on to play in other influential bands like Mainline, Diamondback (see blog 5/8/11) and The Ugly Ducklings (see blog 6/26/11).  The band attracted the attention of Elektra Records and one, Paul Rothchild, which led to the release of their first single in 1967.  Paul would go on to have great success as the producer for The Doors in later years.  In this instance, he got pinched for possession and a full length recording never materialized.  The band would also attract the interest of promoter Bill Graham and Bob Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman, following some opening gigs for the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane in Toronto.  By that time, the members were starting to move in different directions.  McKenna went off to join the Ugly Ducklings and Gibson joined Kensington Market (see blog 2/23/11).  However, they did reform in 1970 and cut this single, You Make Me High, on True North Records.  The band would go through some line up changes while touring in support of this single.  As a result, Walter Rossi (see blog 6/19/11) became a member of the band for a short time when McKenna decided to return to Mainline.  Luke Gibson, however, went solo and released two albums for True North that have been recently re-released.  On his 1971 album, entitled, Another Perfect Day, this Luke & The Apostles' track was included which is fantastic because the vinyl is virtually non-existent today.  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  You can hear the song, You Make Me High, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Artist: Beef Terminal, Album: Anger Do Not Enter, Song: About To Rain (Or Not)

Beef Terminal is the musical alter ego of one, MD Matheson.  His music is electronic and he uses guitars and drum machines to create wonderful ambient soundscapes.  His name is derived from a building in the old meat packing district of Toronto.  He released his indie debut in 1995 and to date, has 8 releases. Anger Do Not Enter was his sixth album from 2005.  He would focus his efforts on another musical project called, The Sales Department, following this release.  That project featured music created by a laptop which he has released 4 albums to date.  However, he has returned in 2011 under the moniker, The Beef Terminal, with a new release entitled, Humidex.  You can follow him at  About To Rain (Or Not) is a cool track from his 2005 release, Anger Do Not Enter.  You can hear the song on You Tube (  You can purchase this album from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Artist: Vehicle, Album: Vehicle, Song: Mr. Skin

Vehicle were a rock band from Hamilton, Ontario.  They released their self-titled debut in 1977 with the Skyline record label.  The album was distributed by Quality Records and featured a cover song as the lead off track.  The song was called, Mr. Skin, and it was originally recorded by American band, Spirit, on their 1970 release, Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus.  Interesting fact about this song.  It wasn't released as a single by Spirit upon the album's initial release but rather three years later when their record company issued a Best Of Spirit compilation.  So this song was likely still fresh in every one's ears when Vehicle recorded it in 1977.  In hindsight, with the band's trumpet and keyboard elements, it was a perfect fit for this 6 piece band.  The members were Carlo Dibattista, Bert Garfield, Martin Wall, Owen Thomas Smith, Rick Llewellyn Hawksby and Robert Scott Wilson.  This album was re-released by Unidisc in later years and is available for download on Itunes.  You can check out the song, Mr. Skin, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Artist: Sue Medley, Album: Sue Medley, Song: Dangerous Times

Sue Medley is a singer songwriter from Vancouver Island.  She started performing at a very young age and by 1989, was signed to Polygram Records.  She released her self-titled debut album the following year and skyrocketed to the top of the Canadian charts with multiple singles and heavy radio and video rotation throughout the country.  The album would also achieve gold status in Canada and garner her a Juno for Most Promising Female Vocalist.  The album was recorded in Indiana with John Mellencamp's producer, Michael Wanchic, and featured members of John Hiatt's backing band, The Goners.  Sue would go on to play some very big gigs in the U.S. like Farm Aid as well as the Bob Dylan Tribute Concert at Madison Square Garden where she performed a duet with John Mellencamp.  She would release her sophomore album in 1992 before a falling out with the label occurred.  This would lead to her third release in 2000 on her own label, Egg Records.  While not as commercially successful as her debut, a number of her songs were used in the television series, Dawson's Creek.  In later years, Sue has focused her efforts on teaching music.  She has recently moved back to Canada and you can follow her at  Her debut album is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog there were copies trading on Amazon between $5 and $40.  You can check out the terrific lead single from her debut, entitled, Dangerous Times, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Artist: Maureen Brown, Album: Be Close, Song: Down To The Quarter

Maureen Brown is a drummer from Toronto, Ontario who has been performing for the last 3 decades.  She is one of our country's most accomplished percussionists in the blues genre yet is also classically trained.  She was once a member of the Edmonton Philharmonic Orchestra.  She has won numerous awards in the blues category and has shared the stage with artists like Kenny Wayne, Big Mama Thornton, Jeff Healey (see blog 10/6/10) and Otis Rush.  She released an album called, Be Close, in 1997 on her own Pug Productions label.  It was produced by Ian Thomas and featured the talents of Richie Hayward (Little Feat) and Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds).  The recording was spread out over a six year period from 1990 to 1996 and it is a rare find today.  Down To The Quarter, is a N'awlins flavoured track from this release.  You can check out some really cool video footage of her performances on her You Tube channel (  Today, Maureen is still actively involved in music.  She has various musical projects on the go including session work and acting.  She has also entered an artistic competition entitled, Design For Paul McCartney, and you can vote for her submission at  You can keep tabs on her at  The album, Be Close, is a rare find today but there were used copies trading on Amazon between $5 and $70.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Artist: Mark Korven, Album: Passengers, Song: Clock On The Wall

Mark Korven is a musician originally from Western Canada.  He was born in Edmonton but raised in Winnipeg.  During the late seventies he was studying jazz music by day and playing in rock bands at night.  In 1984, he released his debut album, Passengers, on indie label, Rave Records.  It was a progressive sounding rock record led by this lead off track, Clock On The Wall.  Coincidentally, this track would go on to win a local homegrown radio contest and lead to a brief deal with Stony Plain Records which in turn, led to it's release as a single.  Mark would then relocate to Toronto and sign a deal with Duke Street Records.  The home of Jane Siberry, FM and Scott Merritt (see blog 3/1/11) to name a few.  He would release his sophomore album with them which garnered him a Juno nomination for Most Promising Male Vocalist which he lost to Tim Feehan.  However, around this time, he also began composing music for film and television which he has become very successful at.  He is both a Gemini and Genie award recipient.  You can follow Mark at  His debut album is a very difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were no copies available online.  His more recent releases, including his sophomore release with Duke Street, is available on Itunes.  You can check out the song, Clock On The Wall, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Artist: Gramercy Riffs, Album: It's Heartbreak, Song: The Freezedown

Gramercy Riffs are a rock band from Newfoundland originally, but now residing in Toronto.  They formed in 2008 and include members, Mara Pellerin, Lee Hanlon, Daniel Banoub, Jimmy Rose and Brad Kilpatrick.  It's Heartbreak is their debut full length released in 2010.  The band recently completed a cross Canada tour with another band from their native province called, Hey Rosetta!.  They have since shared stages with Elliot Brood and Julie Doiron (Eric's Trip).  The Freezedown is a very cool track from their debut.  They also have a very entertaining video for the song on You Tube worth checking out (  The band doesn't have very many live dates at the moment to report.  They are currently spending the summer writing and recording their sophomore release.  You can keep tabs on the band at  Their debut album, It's Heartbreak, is available for download on Itunes. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Artist: The Bird Sisters, Album: She & She & She, Song: Am I

The Bird Sisters were a folk trio from Guelph that formed in 1990.  They were Tannis Slimmon, Jude Vadala and Sue Smith.  They recorded their indie debut entitled, FLO, in 1990 and by 1995, had three albums to their credit.  She & She & She was their final album released in 1995.  It featured the talents of Willie P. Bennett (see blog 1/29/11), Vicki Fraser (see blog 12/20/10), Katherine Wheatley (see blog 12/24/10) and Scott Merritt (see blog 3/1/11) to name a few.  The band had a ten year run before the members split off to pursue other projects.  All three have remained in Guelph and have continued to pursue music.  Tannis and Jude have teamed up with Katherine Wheatley to form a trio called, Wintersong.  Tannis has also contributed musically to recordings by everyone from The Barenaked Ladies to The Rheostatics.  Am I is a track that I first discovered on a compilation called, Taking Back The Night.  The album She & She & She is a difficult find today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon between $5 and $20. You can hear the song, Am I, on You Tube (  You can keep tabs on Tannis at, Jude at and Sue at  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Artist: Sedona Bane, Album: Sedona Bane, Song: Blueshade

Sedona Bane were a six piece band from Toronto that released their indie self titled debut in 1995.  They were led by singer songwriter, Lynn Bishop.  The band also included musicians, Bill Hermans, Ted Peacock, Kevin Fox, Tim Hadley and Lisa Patterson.  The album was produced by Hermans and recorded in Toronto.  I'm not sure what happened to the band following this release but I do know a couple of the names have continued to work within the Toronto music scene.  Bill Hermans has engineered albums for bands like Rush, Lighthouse, Acid Test and Gregory Hoskins (see blog 11/25/10).  Lisa Patterson runs her own studio called Imaginit Music (  Cello player, Kevin Fox, has released his own albums and has toured and collaborated with just about everyone in the business.  I believe I saw him live in Danny Michel's band once.  He is apparently composing arrangements for artists as diverse as Justin Bieber and Kathleen Edwards currently.  You can follow him at  As for Lynn, I think she is a mixed media artist now and you can check out her work at  If you like the artwork on this particular release, it was actually the work of another Canadian artist, Christian McLeod (  The album is a difficult find today but you can still purchase copies from  You can hear the song, Blueshade, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Artist: Danny Brooks, Album: ...After The Storm, Song: Keep It In Line

Danny Brooks is a guitarist from Toronto who released his debut album, After The Storm, in 1990.  After reading his biography, I now understand the literal weight of the album title.  This man went through hell and back before he recorded his debut.  He came from a very religious family and had to leave home to experience the excess of rock and roll.  And that he did before landing himself in jail during the eighties.  A life trajectory similar to his father's strangely enough, before he got clean and found the Lord.  Since then, Danny takes both life and music very seriously.  He has been described as having a tireless work ethic and a model citizen.  His music is very positive and his lyrics usually carry a message.  He has produced numerous albums to date and has won his fair share of accolades and awards, mainly in the blues genre.  The release of this album prompted a Juno nomination in 1991 for Most Promising Male Vocalist which he lost to Andy Curran (see  blogs 12/2/10, 6/7/11).  The album was released on Duke Street Records and also featured the talents of former Triumph guitarist, Rik Emmett, who contributed the arrangements and co-wrote this track, Keep It In Line.  The album got some decent airplay on regional radio upon it's release and there were at least two singles from the album that I can recall.  Danny is now an ordained Reverend who currently has his own ministry in Texas.  He still performs and records, using music as his message and you can follow him at  You can purchase this album on Itunes.  You can hear the song, Keep It In Line, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Artist: Well Charged, Album: Rukkus, Song: Rukkus

Well Charged are a reggae band from Guelph, Ontario.  The band is led by a Jamaican man named, Winston Cole, who decided to open a music store in Guelph called, Well Charged Records.  Winston played in a number of bands in his native Jamaica before emigrating and actually played at Expo 67 here in Canada as a Jamaican artist.  As a resident in Guelph, he quickly attracted the attention of some young musicians and soon formed a band.  They released some early EP's in the late nineties before their full length indie debut in 2002 called, Rukkus.  The band landed a spot on the main stage at the well-known, Hillside Festival, in Guelph, Ontario as a result.  The band recently released a new album in 2008.  You can read about them at  The band doesn't appear to be playing any shows currently so I'm not sure if they are still together.  Their most recent releases from 2006 and 2008 are available on Itunes, however, this debut album is a difficult find.  At the time of this blog, I couldn't find any copies available.  You can hear the title track, Rukkus, on You Tube (  Thanks for reading and enjoy!