Our first new release is by Dan Mangan. The album name is Oh Fortune and was released today. Born in Smithers, BC and now living in Vancouver, Dan is an indie-folk-rock singer songwriter. This album is his third as he steadily grows in popularity. The video is the song “Rows of Houses” from the new album.
The second new release is by Canadian alternative band “Cuff the Duke” and is titled “Morning Comes”. Hailing from Oshawa, their sound is kind of country folk mix in the style of Blue Rodeo. The video is a cut from the album “Count On Me”
The Barr Brothers, are a Montreal based rock band and just released their self titled album. They are not an in your face band and their music is very lyrical and though out. The video is a lve version of “Beggar in the Morning” off the album. As you will see, it is very laid back, but nicely done.
Our 4th entry is from Juno nominated artists, The New Cities. Their latest album is called “Kill the Lights” and the attached video is “Heatwave” off the album. This Trois-Rivieres pop band is riding a wave of popularity with the release of this, their second album. Their music has been featured on “Gossip Girl” and “So You Think You Can Dance”.
Our final entry is a new release by Pickering, Ontario’s favourite songstress, Sarah Slean. This is Sarah’s 11th album (6th studio). Her first album was released in 1997. She has cultivated a large following in Canada. The video attached is titled “Set It Free” and is a catchy number that will continue to win new fans for her work.
Harry Muskee, lead vocalist for renowned Dutch blues band, Cuby & The Blizzards, passed away today. Who you say? A bit of history. Cuby & The Blizzards was formed in 1964 by Harry Muskee and Eelco Gelling. Eelco Gelling went on to form another Dutch group, this one you may have heard of, Golden Earring, famous for Radar Love. The video attached is from 1968 and is a live recording, with Harry on vocals and Gelling on guitar. If you are a Led Zepplin fan, you will love this tune.
Through the vagaries of Canadian content regulations, the band Blood Sweat and Tears became Canadian, although the only member (and not an original member) of the band who is Canadian (born in the UK) was David Clayton Thomas, the singer on most of their hits. The band was originally led by Al Kooper (not Alice Cooper) and was formed in the 1960’s. Harry Nilsson sang on their album “Child is Father to the Man“, which contained such classics as “Without Her’ (Nillson) and “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”, by Al Kooper.
After this album, the band underwent a radical line up change as Al Kooper left the band. Original members Bobby Colomby and Steve Katz began a search for a new singer and based on a recommendation by Judy Collins, who had seen him sing, hired David Clayton Thomas. Thus, Blood Sweat and Tears began their career as a Canadian icon. Their first album as the reformed group, “Blood Sweat and Tears” was a major hit, even beating “Abbey Road” out as album of the year at the 1969 Grammys. The album contained the hits “You Made Me So Very Happy”, “Spinning Wheel”, and “And When I Die”.
The band has undergone many changes in its lifetime and still maintain a heavy touring schedule. David Clayton Thomas had 3 stints with the band, 1968 to 1972, 1974 to 1981 and 1984 to 2004. The band spawned a new genre of rock, outside the acid rock and anti-establishment types of the era. The bands in this grouping included Chicago, Ides of March and Atlanta Rhythm Section to name a few.
The video is a live version of Spinning Wheel, recorded in 1969.
Michael Kaeshammer, German born, he moved to Canada at age 19. In Germany, he studied classical piano, and the discovered boogie woogie in his early teens. He toured extensively on his arrival in Canada in 1996, playing jazz an blues festivals across the country. My personal experiences with him consist of a discovery on CBC2 and a concert Lori and I went to a few years back. The concert was in a 400 seat theatre in Calgary and was phenomenal. Good story. We heard he was coming and checked out ticket availability. There were a handful of single seats still available, so we figured it was a lost cause. Lori tried once more, 2 days before the concert and, unbelievably, the person on the other end of the phone says, yes, of course, we just had 2 seats open up in the FRONT row. Lori scooped them right then and sure enough, we were in the front row, about 6 feet from the drummer, the same drummer as in the video.
Michael puts on a great concert, very personable guy with a great feel for the audience. The back and forth with the other band members was excellent. A thoroughly enjoyable experience. If you have the chance to see him play, do it.
I am adding a new weekly posting, usually on Tuesday, that will highlight new releases by Canadian artists.
First up is Elliott BROOD and their new album “Days Into Years”, released on September 20, 2011. This 3 piece band is out of Toronto, Ontario. Mark Sasso plays harmonica, string instruments an handles the lead vocals. Casey Laforet handles backup vocals, guitars and bass pedals. Stephen Pitkin plays drums and does some backup vocals as well. their music is self described as “death country”. I would call it more of alt-country with pieces reminiscent of Blue Rodeo. This release marks their 4th album, their first “Tin Type” was released in 2004. The cut featured is called “Northern Air”.
Next up, The Midway State released a single this week, a remake of Bryan Adams classic, “Run To You”. An interesting and very well done version of one of Adams best songs. Another band out of Toronto, they have released 2 albums and an EP since 2007. The band was nominated for 2 Junos in 2009.
Other notable releases this week are
Rock and Roll Romance by “State of Shock” Alternative rock.
Unpersons by “The Pack A.D.” Fusion of garage rock and blues, with tones of Jack White.
Fire/Water and EP released by “Yukon Blonde”. Great band, just couldn’t find a video.