June 05, 2013
Where Was The Compassion?
We recently sat down with Randy Caine the proud owner of a chain of hemp stores in the Lower Mainland. Most recently HEMPYZ opened on the White Rock waterfront. In addition to operating the successful chain of stores, Caine also successfully operated a medical marijuana compassion club in Langley. The city of White Rock and the Langley RCMP raided the shop and arrested Caine. The matter went before the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Monday. After two years of legal limbo the courts finally dealt with the matter of Caine and his supposed illlegal operation of a medical marijuana dispensary.
The crown gave a glowing review of the dispensary. And at the end the presiding justice accepted the crowns recommendation for an absolute discharge on the regulatory violations and a stay of proceedings on the trafficking charges.
Caine looks back, and forward.
Randy tell us about how and when you started your compassion club in Langley.
The dispensary wasn't something that started, it was simply a part of what developed in response to the needs of the community.
What I mean is, as the identified need grew in Langley so did the need for improved safe, secure, private access. That is what the dispensary accomplished, it improved both access and safety in that access as well as addressing the need for privacy.
For the uninitiated what exactly is a compassion club? How does it work? Is/was it necessary for your customers to produce a medical marijuana certificate?
A "compassion club" or dispensary, as we were called, serves several roles. We bridge the many gaps between the medical user, their physician and med mj access. Our role is seen as, in support and conjunction of a physician and their patient. It is not our role to make medical diagnoses but rather to assist in understanding marijuana as a medicine. Quite often, given the many taboos surrounding marijuana, we needed to help med mj users "come to terms" with their use of marijuana as a medicine before they are comfortable enough to discuss this with family, friends or their physician.
This was critical in terms of access through our dispensary. All members were required to have authorization forms filled out, signed and faxed from their physicians office to our dispensary before we would supply any medical mj.
As available in most industries, we adopted a "best practises model" developed by Phillipe Lucas and Rielle Capler, two prominent med mj spokespersons. A search of the internet would give a better outline than I can in a few paragraphs.
Suffice to say, we operated very transparently, openly and honestly through the almost 3 years of service to the community.
There is so much confusion in a lot of people's minds regarding hemp and marijuana. Could you give us the Coles Notes differences?
The hemp plant is best know as an agricultural crop. It's by-products include cloth, food and oils. For any that are familiar with macrame, hemp cord is widely used due to it's strenght and resilent qualities.
The marijuana plant is best know for it's mood altering effects. That view is being broadened with it's most recent re-introduction into the medical pharmacopia.
How and why after allowing your Langley compassion club to operate for a period of time did the RCMP conduct a raid and charge you?
That is the million dollar question. I intend to push for an inquiry into this very matter now that the court has had its say. As many of those that had prior knowledge were to be subpeoned and evidence was not presented, I have not been in a position to seeks answers on a wide array of questions from these individuals. But be certain, once the trial wraps up I will be looking towards civil action if there is any questions left surrounding this case. And for those that chose to speak of my character or criminality before the courts could make their findings, I would advise them to "lawyer up" as I will be looking to vindicate myself in the eyes of my community.
What were the charges laid against you?
I was charged under the Criminal Code of Canada with "possession with the intent to traffic".
Through all this mess you ran for a city councillor in Langley. Peter Fassbender who in the recent Provincial election was selected as an MLA for Fleetwood. Forcing a by-election. Will you seek the mayoral seat in Langley?
Although I had considered seeking the mayors seat at that time, given the legal challenges I was facing it was very clear I would not have been able to give the community the attention that I would wish to as mayor This time however, once it is called, I will run in the by-election for mayor.
What are the major problems Langley is facing and what will your leadership bring to city hall?
While my focus has been and will remain on the needs of the people of the community my main concern is in regards to development in Langley City. While I hear the claims that development will preserve Langley I don't believe that tearing down the old and replacing it with the new is the only option. I am not opposed to development, rather I support a sustainable development model that ensures the interests of both those that have invested themselves and their lives into our community so they won't be priced out of it and developers that want to invest in our community.
With the most recent spike in condo development and new rental units the impact on older established low income housing has already been seen with rises in those rentals of $40-50 per month. For many of these families, that can equate to food for a week. We cannot continue to develop a community without keeping issues like this front and center.
The original charges filed against you following the raid on your compassion club were changed. From what to what?
Originally I was charged with "drug trafficking" but after a lengthy investigation (over 2 years) the RCMP and the Federal Crown prosecutor contacted my lawyer, Kirk Tousaw, seeking to drop those charges in favour of something that more closely reflected truth. I have now been cited for 2 regulatory violations under the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). While I was legally authorized by Health Canada to help med mj users I had been helping more than the two clients I was authorized to help. It was simply, a "quota" issue.
Were there any offers put on the table by the crown to try to get you to avoid a trial? Do you think they were worried about you exposing flaws in their system?
The offer by the crown to drop the trafficking charges wasn't something we had asked for. Never had I advised my lawyer to seek a plea bargain. I had always wanted this trial to be as public as the dispensary and I had been. It would appear however that once subpeonas were filed to bring my accusers before the court the focus shifted from me, to their interests. At that point a revisiting of facts brought the intended trial to a very rapid conclusion.
As to the flaws in the MMAR I think those have been exposed many times prior to this trial.
I would like to add, after a lenghty investigation I'm pleased with the findings of the crown and the acknowledgement that our intent and actions was clearly of support and compassion for those in need. It also confirms for the community and those that had doubts about the LMMD, that our actions were honest and sincere.
What is next for Randy Caine?
I won't want to guess that. But I'm certain time will reveal all.
Visit the White Rock and Langley locations of HEMPYZ to learn more about the bountiful plant known as hemp.
May 08, 2013
GEORGE JONES Part II
Modern day King & Queen Of Country Music
George Jones was a major country music star when he married by his standards a newcomer to Nashville, Tammy Wynette. During their 7 year tumultuous marriage (1969-75) the pair produced a number of albums and top 10 hits together. Shortly after their divorce Tammy had one of her last #1 songs titled “’Til I Can Make It On My Own” which obviously many believed referred to her personal life.
George had well documented bouts with alcohol prior to and during his marriage to Tammy Wynette. Things really came off the track following the divorce. George hit the booze hard and now was taking to a deadly mixture of pills and cocaine. The entire musical community in Nashville expressed deep concern by reaching out to George to no avail. In the early 80’s it appeared George’s rough and rowdy days had slowed down a bit. Promoters had been asking Tammy to consider a reunion tour with George for years. After all George was a Living Legend and Tammy had now earned the title of The First Lady of Country Music.
Tammy and her new husband one time singer George Richey succumbed to the large money offer for a reunion tour, and in all honesty I believe they felt they could help George get his career back on track. That road of best intentions was paved in gold and platinum. The tour started in Texas and began the trek towards the scheduled concert date in Vancouver at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
As the representative for Epic records in Vancouver I was charged with setting up advance interviews, directing advertising and creating promotional activity around the concert. On a personal level I was beside myself. I had not had the pleasure of meeting or working with either artist. They were musical giants in my world.
Let me digress for just a moment. As the CBS Records rep I was afforded access to hundreds of artists and their performances over the years. The one thing that surprised me was when I would turn up at country artists concerts they were always blown away anyone from “the label” had bothered to turn up. I was welcomed with open arms as I was replacing the usual Fruit basket from the label they normally found in their dressing room. The fact I knew my country music always put me in good stead with the Nashville visitors.
The afternoon of the scheduled George and Tammy concert I drove down to the Queen Elizabeth theatre for the soundcheck and some last minute arrangements. I walked right into the middle of a complete meltdown. George had performed the night before in Seattle but now he was missing and husband George Richey was consoling a distraught Tammy Wynette backstage. They had to fire George and quickly find a replacement for the final few shows on the tour. A panic call went out and Don Everly (Everly Brothers) was on his way to Vancouver and would be there for the show. The MC that night made the announcement George Jones would not be performing with Tammy Wynette and if anyone wished a refund they would be available at the box office. Not a soul in the sold out QE Theatre made a move for the exit. Tammy that evening toughed it out and soldiered on, I am sure everyone in the audience that night knew we were witnessing a rather historic concert, all be it for a sad reason. Tammy referred to George personally and musically a number of times during the concert.
George and Tammy would re-unite on rare occasions for one off television concerts but never toured publicly again.
(Next week the final installment in our personal George Jones recollections. They called him “No Show Jones.” Too bad Stan Grozina the owner of the Cave Supper Club in Vancouver didn’t know that when he booked The Possum)
APRIL 30, 2014
Who’s Gonna Fill George’s Shoes
Though I grew up in a home filled with the sounds of country music, I don’t believe George Jone’s held a special place in my father’s personal top 10. That could have been a result of George’s womanizing boozing reputation. Uncle Joe didn’t roll that way.
In the late 70’s I was hired by CBS records to be their representative for British Columbia. Artist liaison, radio promotion concert promoter, you name it – in those days we did it all.
I particularly enjoyed my interactions with the Music Directors of the day. Having cut my teeth in the music business in that position I had a special kind of empathy for them. One of the true characters was a gentleman by the name of “Weird” Harold Kendall who was the music director at CKWX, the country music outlet in Vancouver prior to switching to the All News format. I distinctly remember receiving a radio only promo single from George Jones called “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” As I sat in my office listening to the single I immediately began to dial the number of CKWX. The receptionist at my urging transferred my call to the library. When “Weird” answered the phone I told him I had something special for him and I was on my way down to the station. Clear the deck I told him. WEIRD had a nickname for virtually every country singer, Johnny Cash was THE MAN IN BLACK, Tammy Wynette was MRS. PEACOCK( due to the program director of the radio station Tom Peacock's love for Tammy) Willie Nelson was THE RED HEADED STRANGER. You get the idea. George Jones was THE POSSUM. A nickname he earned for his nocturnal ways.
"WEIRD" living up to his name
Now you have to remember in those days you were allowed to smoke in most workplaces. WEIRD was well known for firing up a cigar on special occasions. When I walked into the library shortly after my phone call, as I produced the aforementioned single, Weird reached up on top of the shelf above his desk and pulled down what he referred to as “the coffin.” The coffin was a bottle of Alberta Springs Sippng Whiskey which came in a wooden box when you purchased it at the "dairy" as WEIRD would refer to the liquor store. Weird produced a couple of glasses and lit up a stogie. Despite it only being about 10 a.m. we stood there sipping whiskey as George's smooth as whiskey voice filled the air. As soon as the song ended, Weird played it again without saying a word. He then picked the record off the turntable and marched straight into the control room and gave the record to the disc jockey on the air - Bob Bye who was on the air that morning. Within minutes the greater Vancouver area was hearing “He Sopped Loving Her Today” perhaps one of the first radio stations in North America to play the song.
"He Stopped Loving Her Today" went on to be the defining song associated with “The Possum” George Jones. He Stopped Loving Her Today became the first #1 single for George after a 6 year dry spell. He rightfully so was always referred to as a Living Legend. The man had #1 hits in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. A feat not equaled by anyone in popular music.
Years later WEIRD HAROLD and I cooked up a promotion to send a couple lucky winners to George Jones Country Music Park in "big thicket country" in NE Texas. Of course the lucky winners would have to be accompanied by a pair of chaperones, enter WEIRD and I. Every weekend George would perform along with a special guest. The weekend we were there Willie Nelson was the special guest. George Jones country music park was a beautiful location with a giant stage erected amongst the tall pine trees down in the bottom of a natural amphitheater.
Upon our arrival up in Tyler Texas home to the entertainment park, I went over to see George and his wife/manager Nancy at their home which was located on the multi acre piece of property. I pulled up to the massive gates and read the sign George had erected which read, something to the effect "Hello My name is George Jones and I appreciate and love all my fans. I give myself without reserve to my fans night after night in live performances. I ask that you respect my privacy and honour this my own personal residence. Please limit your enjoyment to the park to the public area." I buzzed the buzzer and George let me in. As I drove down the long paved driveway I tried to guess how much it would cost to pave a driveway this long. The roadway wound through the many pine trees on the property. Soon I came to another sign that said BEWARE OF DOG. I proceeded along for another couple hundred yards and just as I rounded the last turn and spotted what could only be described as a log mansion, nailed to a big tree was a sign that bore the outline of a hand holding a handgun and under it the words - FORGET THE DOG!.
Friday morning George at the age of 81 passed away in a hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. George had been in hospital for a couple of weeks battling some heart and infection problems, but he still had plans to continue his Grand Tour his final live concert tour that was to take place over this summer. The plans were for the tour to culminate in a grand final concert in Nashville.
I can only imagine the lineup of artists that will come forward in tribute to George Jones this week at the memorial in Nashville. In all my years of working with hundreds of superstar artists, I can honestly say the only performer I was in awe of when I met them was George. After working with him a number of times over the years I developed very high respect for the man as well the living legend..
When Stevie Ray Vaughan passed away a number of years back, I surprised myself when I cried at the news we had lost him. A flood of memorable times spent with Stevie here in Vancouver and in Texas came flooding back. I surprised myself again last Friday morning when I shed some tears for George Jones. The music of these two greats is indelibly burned into my DNA.
The Gospel According To Jones - Click Here
Vince Gill and Patti Loveless Thursday at George's Memorial Service (Click Here)
+ Next week NO SHOW JONES comes to Vancouver, sort of.
April 18, 2013
YOU KNOW, JUNO.
The 2013 Juno Awards eminate Sunday night from Regina, Saskatchewan. One of the highlights of the evening of Canadian music will be the induction of kd lang into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Knowing kd’s dislike for “the music business” as a whole, I fully expect her to acknowledge the passing of Stompin’ Tom Connors and this week’s passing of Rita MacNeil. I am sure kd is still somewhat surprised at her own induction into this fictionary Hall of Fame. At the very least one would expect a more detailed and celebratory web portal than the present Hall of Fame website (click here). It will be interesting to observe the banter and electricity between kd and ANNE MURRAY who will help induct the big boned girl from Alberta into the hall of fame.
Many years ago Stompin Tom Connors returned all his Juno Awards, stating the Canadian music industry had sunk to nothing much more than a cheap version of its American brethren. I applaud Tom Connors family for rebuffing the Junos attempt to include honouring Tom this year in some “little too late celebration.” Connors rep when contacted by the Junos told them if Tom was still alive he would tell them to shove it. Bravo
Rita MacNeil was one of the most unlikely Northern stars we have seen. Painfully bashful, a cleft palate, a constant weight battle and a personal love life the media avoided at all costs. Yet there she was, making all of our hearts swell with pride as she lifted the rafters of the roof wherever she played. The Mother of the Maritimes Rita MacNeil came to national prominence rather ironically at Vancouver's EXPO 86. Then Vancouver Sun reporter DENNY BOYD ranted and raved about how MacNeil was a highlight of the world's fair. The rest as they say is history.
The Juno awards seem to have lost their luster. The star power is there with Michael Buble hosting but really have you heard much about who is performing or who is nominated? Do you care?
Ontario's JUSTIN BIEBER is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Mission B.C’s CARLEY RAE JEPSEN had the smash hit of summer “Call Me Maybe” and Toronto’s DRAKE one of the biggest rap stars these days are all nominated. Host MICHAEL BUBLE is ready to release his latest collection of recordings right after he hosts this year’s Junos.
With performances by kd lang, host of the awards show MICHAEL BUBLE and JEPSEN one would have to think there would be a bit more buzz about the Junos.
For the past decade or so here on the pages of THE SUN and prior to that in THE NOW I tried to handicap who would win in the various categories. Not this year. I don’t care. Move over let me sit down, I have to get off this soapbox.
Thursday evening n Los Angele our very own RUSH was inducted into the rock n' roll hall of fame. Bravo. (watch here)
White Rock/Surrey/Langley Rewind
Let's kick off this tour down memory lane in White Rock on the waterfront. If you look closely you can see the Dolphin restaurant on the pier (dark coloured). The front of the restaurant on the breakwater side housed a somewhat fine dining and dance emporium. The side closest to the railway tracks had a big old deck with picnic tables and take out windows where you could get a side of fries for 25 cents and jump into the water after you finished your lunch. Waiting 1 hour after eating before going swimming be damned.
Quick who knows what this is?
In the 60's and into the 70's the landscape of the Lower Mainland was dotted with air raid sirens. On rare occasions they would be tested and we would have to dutifully parade outside our elementary school Harold Bishop and stand in line until the horn in our playground was turned off. We didn't think much of it at the time but I suppose it was our own little local aspect of the cold war.
British Columbia's Largest Outdoor Skating Rink
Sorry for the poor quality of the picture but this will give you an idea of what Fry's Corner (Fraser Highway and 176th) looked like back in the winter months when the area north of Cloverdale would flood and freeze in the winter. Thousands of skaters flocked to the many frozen lakes in the area. Giant bon fires were built on the banks/dykes of the farmland and we skated the night away. You literally could skate for a mile in one direction. Sometimes chasing an errant hockey puck.
The Dell Cabaret at the Dell Hotel in downtown Whalley opened in 1973. In its later life it was a country club called The Longhorn Cabaret. The Dell Hotel was levelled a few months ago. Interestingly enough SPARKING APPLE soldiers on and recently released a new CD.
Speaking of the Dell, here is Santa arriving by helicopter back in the 60's at the Dell Shopping Centre. He may have even bowled a few frames at the Dell Lanes while Mrs. Claus had her hair done at Rogendorf's.
There was a time when Whalley was home to no less than two 24 hour restaurants. The Silver Grill (long gone) and the venerable Round Up which still serves a damn fine home cooked meal. The other historical restaurant was the Rickshaw. Here is a picture of the original prior to the new Rickshaw was built in the early 60's Still in its same location on King George Highway. I had dinner there a couple of months ago and their 3 item dinners is still a great deal.
Tolls on bridges? That's nothing new. Here is a photo of the toll booths on the Patullo Bridge back in 1937.
West Whalley Secondary west of Whalley on 104th avenue (thus the name) had quite the reputation as a tough school. Here is an example of a home made crest someone made to mirror the Harley Davidson logo. Enough said.
Who remembers car clubs popular in the 50's and 60's. Can't say I remember an actual organized car club in Surrey but obviously there was a group called The Whalley Wheelers. I do remember though The Langley Loafers who actually still exist and are involved in operating the Langley Cruise In every year
Roaring Down Memory Lane
Through the mid 60's and up to the mid 80's toe roar of stock cars shattered the tranquil countryside of South Langley. Langley Speedway at the very southern end of 208th street hosted stock car races on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. The facility long overgrown at its height accommodated up to 10,000 race enthusiasts. All these years there has been a Langley Speedway Historical society keeping the memories alive. It actually hosted NASCAR sanctioned events.
There is now a move afoot to revive the track to its 3/8 oval glory.
There was a time when Surrey was home to two drive in move theatres. The Surrey Drive In Theatre was located on King George Highway in the area of about 78th avenue. At the bottom of Peterson Hill on the Surrey side of the Patullo Bridge the Westminster Drive In and up in Clayton on the Fraser Highway east of 184th you had the Hillcrest Drive In rounding out the local passion pits. The only remaining drive in is the Twilight on Fraser Highway in East Langley near 256th street.
Outlaw Biker Clubhouse In Surrey
In the 70's the Vancouver based Satan's Angels who's president Dave Black who lived in Surrey, set up shop for their clubhouse at the corner of Johnston (152nd & Fraser Highway). A much celebrated kidnapping culminated at the clubhouse. The resulting book Devil's Butler written by Vancouver Sun columnist SIMMA HOLT documented the sordid incident.
...this was fun. We'll do it again soon. If you have any old photos and memories you would like to share I would love to see and hear them.
Email - email@example.com
Goodbye Stompin' Tom Connors
This week the passing of legendary Canadian performer Stompin’ Tom Connors sent all sectors of the media scurrying in search of someone that could speak intelligently about The Stomper.
With the exception of CBC radio you never hear Stompin’ Tom’s music on the radio. The Good Old Hockey Game though has almost become the second official anthem of Canada. When played at hockey arenas big and small across Canada everyone joins in singing and clapping their hands. Tom’s music had a way of doing that.
In the early 70’s my father’s radio station CJJC in Langley (British Columbia’s first 24 hour country music station) became the official outlet for all things Stompin Tom Connors. As I have identified here on numerous occasions “Uncle Joe” Chesney was all about all things Canadian. Stompin’ Tom writing songs about Sudbury, Ontario, the Maritimes, the Second Narrows Bridge collapse was exactly what my father felt all Canadian singers should be singing about, instead of trying their damndest to be Nashville wannabes. CJJC proudly presented Stompin Tom Connors in concert on many occasion throughout the Fraser Valley. I believe the nearest Tom got to Vancouver in those days (early 70’s) was the many sold out performances at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster.
What I found particularly disturbing this week was the way the media fawned over Stompin’ Tom endlessly proclaiming their respect and love for the man and his music. I actually received word from a friend proudly stating the chain of radio stations across the country he directs was going to play a Stompin Tom Connors song on every radio station in their chain, irregardless of its format at precisely 7 p.m. the night after his passing.
I couldn’t help but smile. Stompin’ Tom must have been sitting back up in heaven looking down and smiling thinking “Gee that’s all it took for Canadian radio stations to play me. I just had to die.”
Nothing will change,. Here we are just 5 days after his passing and all the attention and honours being directed to Tom have passed. It must have been like a root canal for most sectors of Canadian media.
In particular the Canadian Music Hall of Fame which has been inducting members since back in the 70’s failed to honour Stompin Tom while he was alive. Shame shame.
I wish I could tell you things will change. That Canadian radio stations, Canadian newspapers and Canadian television stations will see the error of their ways, and start to celebrate our homegrown talent. But alas I fear that will not be the case. Until an artist goes somewhere else to make it in the world we as a nation tend to sit back waiting for certification to come from elsewhere before we celebrate those wonderful artists here in their home country.
This is a condition that runs deep through our psyche. Maybe it is not a bad thing. At the end of the day I doubt Tom gave a rat’s ass. You see he knew how much the people loved him. Despite very little radio airplay in his career he toured across this great dominion packing the concert halls wherever he traveled. The audience members would wait for hours in line to shake the man’s hand and tell him how proud their were of him and how proud they were to be Canadian. His long career began in tavern in Timmins, Ontario where he wrote songs on the spot about the characters in the bar. People were enamoured with hearing their names and their town immortalized in song. His songs became so popular the local radio station invited him in to the studio to record a couple of songs. When they played the songs on the radio the phones went crazy, people could not get enough of Stompin’ Tom.
This week I got more than enough of Tom, for all the wrong reasons. I am thankful the “Johnny come latelys” have disappeared. It is a lot quieter here now. Just a faint stomping in the far off distance.
Thank you Tom.
*The memorial service for Stompin Tom will be Wednesday in Peterborough. To get a personal insight into the man Stompin tom, read this insightful story by an artist who will perform at the service and who toured with Tom for years.
March 14, 2013
We are visiting today with local resident RAY FYNES. FYNES has been selected as the spokesperson for Semiahmoo Artst month long celebration in March of all things Irish. Let's start at the beginning RAY, how long have you lived in White Rock?
Wife Mary and I retired here 5 years ago. We emigrated from Belfast to Toronto in 1970 to escape the unrest and violence at that time. Ontario became our new home for almost 30 years until I got a job posting overseas in 1999. After experiencing tropical climates, we decided we could never survive Ontario winters again, so we started planning our retirement here. The smarter members of my family had already moved to the West coast years ago -- including my parents -- so retiring in White Rock was a no-brainer.
Enlighten us please with your personal White Rock history.
I had heard there was an Irish Club in White Rock and we sought it out a few days after we hit town. They meet at the Elks on George Street. When we came to Canada, we resolved to leave Ireland behind. Given the violence and animosity, we were almost ashamed to say we were Irish. Back then, an Irish club was the last thing we would have wanted to join, but over time we have come to appreciate our Irish roots and having an Irish Club here has been a great opportunity to socialize, make new friends, and feel at home faster. There is an Irish saying that a stranger is a friend you have not met yet. In the Irish Club the strangers we met quickly became friends and then we discovered that we had friends in common.
Tell us a bit about your personal "Irish" history if you would.
Ironically, living overseas made us feel Irish again. We started to appreciate our culture when we saw how foreigners regarded Ireland: for example, a Singaporean standing ovation when Riverdance came to town, or a crowded Shanghai Bloomsday with readings from Ulysses translated into Mandarin, or the commemoration in Shanghai of George Bernard Shaw’s visit with Sun Yat Sen. Wherever we worked abroad, there was always an Irish pub and Irish music. One great memory is an Irish music festival in Sweden where all the musicians were Swedish or German. The musicianship was on a par with the best you might hear in a pub in Ireland.
I understand you are one of the driving forces behind IRISH HERITAGE MONTH in White Rock. In addition to the one month celebration of all things Irish, you will also be helping to organize monthly events highlighting the poetry of Irish poets.
Let's start with the monthly events.
Can I start with Bloomsday? When we retired, we thought it would be fun to organize a Bloomsday in White Rock, and we finally got around to doing that last year. In addition to encouragement from the Irish Club, we got support from Semiahmoo Arts plus local institutions such as the Library, Museum and local businesses. It was a fun day and I was impressed at how the written words from James Joyce’s Ulysses came alive when spoken with Dublin accents. That prompted the idea for members of the Irish Club to read works by Irish poets, featuring a different poet every month. Again, Semiahmoo Arts has been on board to help plan and promote these. There are enough Irish poets to keep the readings going for years to come!
Before we go into the month long celebrations please shed some light on how this celebration came to be. I think I heard there are a disproportionate number of people with Irish heritage in White Rock and South Surrey.
The idea for an Irish Heritage Month – or a White Rock Irish Festival, as it has come to be known – was hatched together with Barbara Cooper, president of Semiahmoo Arts. The challenge was to find ways in which arts could synergize the local economy. March is an obvious month to celebrate all things Irish – not just St Patrick’s Day -- so between the Irish Club and Semiahmoo Arts, we started to shop ideas around institutions and businesses and before we knew it we had a list of over 30 events, ranging from classes, to concerts, film showings, poetry, music, literature, crafts, dancing, genealogy, dining, whiskey tasting, vacation planning, contests, etc. As we shopped the ideas around, we noted how many times someone would say “You know, my grandmother, was Irish – or my grandfather”. That helped us realize that the events were not necessarily for those of us who are Irish-born, but for the first, second, or third generation Irish, or their spouses, or even someone who has enjoyed an Irish vacation and wants to rekindle memories. In the 2006 census, over 3,000 White Rock residents, and over 11,000 South Surrey residents checked off Irish ancestry. In Washington State, “Irish” are the second biggest ethnic demographic after “Germans”.
What is BLOOMSDAY? Describe last year's events and how it has grown this year?
Bloomsday is an annual commemoration of the date, June 16, 1904, which James Joyce immortalized in his masterpiece “Ulysses”. It was first held in Dublin in 1954 to commemorate the 50th anniversary, and named after the book’s hero, Leopold Bloom. Leading literary figures embarked on a pilgrimage following Bloom’s route, as he went about his business (and pleasure) in Dublin on that fictitious day, June 16, 1904. The party assigned themselves roles from the book and readings were held at various stops. Bloomsday became an annual event in Dublin, and has since become international. Toronto has an annual Bloomsday and on this coast, Seattle has one. Last year was our first White Rock Bloomsday, and we are already working on our Bloomsday 2013. If you really want to get into the spirit, dress up in Edwardian clothes! Enjoy a gorgonzola sandwich and glass of burgundy for lunch, just a Bloom did.
It would appear if you and your cohorts have your way, we will all be wearing green, drinking green beer and searching for four leaf clovers before this is all over.
Nothing wrong with the wearing of the green – thankfully it is no longer treasonous-- but I think the favoured drink of true Irishman would be black with a cream top! Green beer is the invention of American university students to celebrate Spring Break. Seriously, our hope it to show that there is more to Irish culture than the St Patrick’s Day stereotype of wearing a green hat and getting drunk. Our White Rock Irish Festival will provide opportunities to learn or enjoy all the other facets of our culture.
February 06, 2013
New Year - New Music
It was hard to turn the radio on in the past 3 years and not hear MUMFORD & SONS. With a new CD titled "Babel" that tradition is likely to continue.
Saltspring Island's HARRY MANX returns with OM a new CD which once again cooks up Western and Eastern music arriving with a fusion sound unparrallelled. Music from the new CD due next week is not yet out, but this will give you an idea of what you can expect.
His debut CD made this Los Angeles popster the new torch bearer for sweet soul music.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE seemingly out of nowhere a couple of months back roared to #1 on the coutnry music charts now their single is burning up the pop charts.
JIM BYRNES performed to a sold out crowd last weekend at the casino in Langley. His latest CD is a collection of great old country music standards. Not a big reach for the bluesman who does justice to the great American songbook.
The #1 selling CD in North America this week. Yes people still buy CDS. GARY ALLAN a man that is no stranger to heartache sends a sonic love letter from Nashville.
Hippy twin sister act TEGAN and SARA break their folk image wide apart with a brand new CD. They just want to get CLOSER.
January 06, 2013
The Boss Is #2
Pop and rock music legends bested their younger chart-topping competition on the concert trail in 2012, according to data released on Friday by trade publication Pollstar.
Pop matriarch Madonna, 54, led all competition, grossing some $296.1 million in ticket sales in her 88-show world tour. She topped Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band ($210.2 million) and Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters ($186.4 million).
The elder statesmen of the music world, while no longer topping the charts or scoring radio hits, are doing well because their older audiences can afford to pay higher ticket prices, Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar editor, told Reuters.
“Certainly the older acts charge more because they can get away with it,” he said.
The Rolling Stones were able to command an eye-popping $529.51 average ticket price. Their five-show tour in November and December grossed $35.5 million, good enough for No. 33 on the list.
British rockers Coldplay were No. 4 on the list, taking in $171.3 million. Lady Gaga placed fifth grossing $161.4 million while at No. 6 Cirque Du Soleil’s tribute to late King of Pop Michael Jackson grossed $140.2 million during a 172-show tour.
Teen sensation Justin Bieber, who played a 35-show tour, failed to crack the top 20, taking in $40.2 million, at No. 23.
Acts that cemented their reputations decades ago dominated the top-grossing tours even while playing fewer shows.
Country stars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw placed seventh grossing $96.5 million in 23 shows, while heavy metal pioneers Metallica were one spot lower at $86.1 million over 30 shows.
Some artists have been enticed to jack-up their own ticket prices after seeing how much more re-sellers were able to command, Bongiovanni explained.
“Now it’s a matter of how much money can I make,” he said. “Some artists like Springsteen are very popular but if you look at their average ticket price it’s nowhere near Roger Waters, Madonna and Lady Gaga.”
The average face-value ticket price for a Springsteen concert was $91.95, which was well below the $140.38 average for Madonna and $110.96 for Roger Waters.
Eight separate Cirque Du Soleil shows appeared in the top 50, which did not include the circus company’s non-traveling shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere. All told, the Canadian company may have earned close to $1 billion in gross ticket sales, Bongiovanni said.
Elton John ($69.9 million) and Red Hot Chili Peppers ($57.8 million) rounded out the top 10.
November 30, 2012
BLUE VOODOO - Live in The Rock
It has been some time since we caught up with THE BLUE VOODOO. This Friday night the duo of Ted Tosoff and Rick Dalgarno return to the sandy shores of White Rock for a show.
Ted since we last talked Blue Voodoo has released their fourth CD "Outside Looking In"
Tell us about the writing and recording process for the latest CD.
Well we write all the time so we have a back catalog of songs; and only a couple of the songs from last years Outside Looking in CD were fairly new ones...most of the songs we had from 2007 till 2010. We started recording in Jan. 2011 11 Tracks of drums started @ Blue Frog...and the rest of the the tracking vocals guitars etc we did at Rain Song and my studio with a few guests that emailed parts to us we finished it up August of 2011
Have you been working at spreading the Blue Voodoo voodoo through live shows and radio airplay?
Yes both live and some airplay....alot of internet word of mouth....These days radio spins you for about 6 weeks and the last CD Charted on Roots Radio in the top ten (whatever that means these days).we still get a few spins on Shore 104 locally
You and Rick see to do a fair number of acoustic duo shows as opposed to the full band. How much is this due to the changing climate of the live music scene out there?
Ted Tosoff & Rick Delgarno
Most of the live places are duo based...and a lot of place can't afford full bands so we play based on what they can pay. And yes the live scene has changed...but we'll save that road for another day. lol
Are you starting the process of writing and getting ready for CD #5?
Well as i stated before we write all the time so we have a lot of songs to choose from...but i'm not sure the world needs another Blue Voodoo CD ....Four CDS is quite a good number 50 songs; people can check them out at on i tunes and buy them...as far as cds go we don't sell many hard copies anymore....So we'll see if we'll do another set of songs or not.
White Rock is now often referred to as "The Blues Capital of Canada" given we have more blues musicians per capita than anywhere else in the country. When you are not on stage performing yourself who do you like to see live.
Well most of the guys i know; so we did a showcase at the Firefighters club from Mar till Oct of 2012 and had a lot of the cream of the crop of the blues guys.( Hope to start it up again in 2013)But i check out the odd cover band or solo artist...way too many to name.
What are you listening to on the ipod, in the CD player or on cassette these days ha ha.
Well my i pod etc has everything from Country...to Metal on airboat i love Steve Earle and Todd Rundgren. Ricks big on Hank Williams and Bob Dylan....and the Beatles and Stones we love....I do a lot of YOUTUBE surfing to checkout new bands...lots out there.
Friday you will be performing at Westbeach Bar & Grill on the White Rock waterfront. It must see like a bit of a homecoming having played for so many years down on the waterfront at gone but not forgotten honky tonks like Iguana's. Any favourite White Rock gig memories and do you have anything special up your sleeve for Friday's gig?
Yes to many good memories playing...But a few highlights Playing for Joni Mitchells 60 th birthday ...Being in Bo Diddleys band in 06 before he pasted...Having Ra Mcguire(Trooper) sit in with us at Iguanas was a White Rock highlight. Just gonna play the best we can and have few laughs hopefully see a lot of smiling faces.
November 17, 2012
l-r Brian Smith & Ra McGuire
Ronnie Dunn Gets Vocal on the Music Business & the Digital Age
A CNET article titled ‘What Happens When the CD Factory Closes?’ got Ronnie Dunn fired up. He took to Facebook to post his thoughts on the digital age of music. He called out his age group as a demographic that complains about the demise of ‘real’ country music and urged them to get on board with the digital revolution.
Yes…baby boomers and beyond have been left behind by the music business !
It’s not that you have AGED OUT. Statistics show that you do not download. Record labels live by research and statistics.
Guess who hasn’t shown up IN MASS as a buying group on the download / digital front…….YOU.
I’ve said for years that the final straw needed to complete the final transformation to an all digital playing field for music will be the day that automobile (PICKUP TRUCK) manufacturers stop putting cd players in cars. Well, it’s happened. Ford announced, in July that it is phasing out cd players in it’s vehicles.
If you’re a baby boomer and feeling like YOUR kind (genre) of music …”country music”, etc. has been tossed by the wayside and you have been left in the dust, this is your opportunity to take your COUNTRY back. Do yourself a favor. Learn to download asap.
The music business has, most definitely placed it’s focus and energy on developing a MUCH YOUNGER than normal demographic because the market has become digital.
Baby boomers and beyond do not download music like Generation X.
The music industry, especially the “COUNTRY” music business….in, “do or die” fashion, leap frogged over your age group to get to that very young demographic.
I cannot remember the last time that I listened to an entire cd in one sitting. I have downloaded my music and made my own playlists for years. So have kids.
I can, if it’s really good….get through a 3 to 5 song EP /short cd. Google EP.
Get your hands on an iPod, Iphone, smart phone, use your laptop with external speakers. Learn to use BLUE TOOTH (wireless interfacing) technology.
Now, you can simply plug a wire that comes built into your vehicle into any of these devices and have complete control over what you choose to listen to. I just put had a complete digital unit put in my 1956 pickup
Yes…that can get expensive by most standards but there are inexpensive iPods / phones out there.
I’ve found MORE music online than I ever did at a music store. Most music stores are phasing cds out. They just won’t tell you that. The digital selections are absolutely, endless.
You push a button and the song or cd of your choice shows up on your computer in less that a 30 seconds in many cases.
If you’re REALLY a music fan and REALLY mean it when you tell me that YOU MISS REAL COUNTRY MUSIC….”you want to hear YOUR kind of country music…. simply go to iTunes / Amazon, etc. and download it to your computer for $.99 and transfer it to your phone, iPod or other listening devices. It’s not hard.
Once you unite and show up as a serious consumer block the BUSINESS will come to you
…..YOU can turn the music business around. YOU can bring
YOUR country music back. It’s the beauty of the internet.
….sorry for typos, misspellings, etc. my editor is off today
November 02, 2012
Terri Clark - Classic
It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels. Written by Joe Miller. A #1 hit for Kitty Wells, 1952.
"That's my grandmother singing 'This White Circle on My Finger,' a different Kitty Wells song. It's almost a prelude to 'Honky Tonk Angels,' story-wise. I love the generational thing, going from my grandmother doing a Kitty Wells song to me doing a Kitty Wells song. My grandmother used to do 'Honky Tonk Angels' a lot, when she played clubs. She and my grandfather and I would sit around the living room and do jams, and we'd always sing that song. I've always heard the song as a big, ballsy shuffle. To me, this encompasses everything country music's about – the song, the track, the way it turned out. That's why it's the first one on the album."
Love Is a Rose. Written by Neil Young. A #5 hit for Linda Ronstadt, 1975.
"Neil Young, a fellow Canadian, wrote the song, but I learned it from Linda Ronstadt, and I used to sit around singing it as a teenager. Linda crossed boundaries between pop and country. But you listen to her records now, and they sound more country than anything on country radio. 'Love Is a Rose' takes on a very organic lilt, with the banjo and tons of fiddles. It has a different vibe than anything else on the record. The rest of it's very honky-tonk driven."
How Blue (feat. Reba McEntire). Written by John Moffat. A #1 hit for Reba McEntire, 1975.
"I really wanted to put a Reba song on Classic, because she was such an influence on me as a teenager. I used to sing 'How Blue' with the record all the time, and I'd try to sing both parts. I would start with the melody and end with the harmony! Little did I know that someday I'd have Reba filling that part in. And I didn't know that we'd sound so good together. She's got an edgy voice, and I've got a rich voice. They blended really well on the song. I still can't believe that Reba sang on her song with me, still can't believe it."
Don't Come Home A Drinkin'. Written by Loretta Lynn and Peggy Sue Wills. A #1 hit for Loretta Lynn, 1967.
"Who I became as an artist was very inspired by Loretta Lynn in her early days. 'Better Things to Do' is a modern-day version of some of that Loretta stuff, that strong female sentiment. 'Don't Come Home A Drinkin' is a song I actually didn't sing as a kid. I did all Loretta's other songs. I wanted to do a different Loretta song on this record, one I hadn't been doing my whole life.
Gentle on My Mind. Written by John Hartford. A #30 hit for Glen Campbell, 1967.
"I wanted to pay tribute to Glen Campbell, this being his last year touring. He really has contributed so much great music. I was driving on a long-distance trip recently, and, before I left, I downloaded all kinds of his songs. He just cut such great songs, and I felt the album would not have been complete without one of them."
Golden Ring (feat. Dierks Bentley). Written by Bobby Braddock and Rafe Van Hoy. A #1 hit for George Jones and Tammy Wynette, 1976.
"I wanted to do a male-female duet, but I had to narrow it down. It was either going to be a Conway Twitty-and-Loretta Lynn or a George Jones-and-Tammy Wynette. Since I was already doing one of Loretta's songs, I decided to go with George and Tammy. Dierks Bentley is probably my favourite male artist. I love the tone of his voice; I love its texture. He puts his commercial success on the line to take creative risks and do things he thinks are valuable to him musically."
Two More Bottles of Wine. Written by Delbert McClinton. A #1 hit for Emmylou Harris, 1978.
"That's my mom's influence and what she listened to. She loved Emmylou Harris. My mom was in her mid- to late 20s then, so that was her music. Including songs from the California country movement was important. The album is a tribute to country music that led me to today. There are all kinds of variations. I wanted to pay tribute to as many as I could while keeping the album seamless."
Leavin' on Your Mind (feat. Jann Arden). Written by Wayne Walker. A #8 hit for Patsy Cline, 1963.
"I've been doing this song since I was 13 or 14. I did every Patsy Cline song, including all the ones from the Four Star Records days that weren't as popular. 'Leavin' on Your Mind' is such a challenge vocally, because it starts really low but it gets really high. Because it was a little more on the pop side of Patsy's songs, it felt like a natural match to have Jann Arden sing on it. I love the fact that there's someone on this album who's not country."
Swinging Doors. Written by Merle Haggard. A #5 hit for Merle Haggard, 1966.
"Merle Haggard's a man's man. His songs are dude songs. It's hard for a girl to find a Merle Haggard song to sing. 'Swinging Doors' is a real jukebox song, and I wanted to put a two-stepping, cry-in-your-beer, country-country thing on this record. I love the fact that Merle wrote so many of his great songs. It's just ridiculous."
Delta Dawn (feat. Tanya Tucker). Written by Larry Collins and Alex Harvey. A #6 hit for Tanya Tucker, 1972.
"What a thrill to be able to cover that song and have Tanya come in and sing on it. When you hear Tanya come in, she sounds so much more mature than she did on he original version. But you can tell it's still her. It totally gives me goose bumps. This was the track that was the most challenging for me to rework and update. I didn't want to over do it, so we took a more Appalachian approach, with acoustic instruments. It takes on an almost lonesome feeling. I find this track haunting, the way it turns out."
I'm Movin' On (feat. Dean Brody). Written by Hank Snow. A #1 hit for Hank Snow, 1950.
"My dad's parents used to listen to Hank Snow all the time. Hank was the first Canadian Grand Ole Opry member, and I'm the only female Canadian Opry member. Dean just won Canadian Country Music Awards for Male Artist and Album of the year. He opened a tour for me a few years ago in Canada. He drove his truck from town to town, in blizzards, from one end of the country to the other, to stand with his guitar for 20 minutes and get in front of people. I really admired his work ethic, that he was willing to go to those lengths to get his music in front of people."
September 23, 2012
Susan Jacks In Concert - In White Rock
When you mention the name SUSAN JACKS almost immediately most people will relate to the 70's pop group THE POPPY FAMILY. But before the heady days of her worldwide pop career, there was a Fraser Valley connection few know about. SUSAN would you share with us your early days in the Valley?
My career actually began when I lived in Haney, now Maple Ridge. When I was 14, I was a member of a musical troupe called the Merry Makers in Haney and, through that association, I was featured in a half hour show on the local radio station. I sang at the local legion hall on Saturdays for a dollar, at the Haney Fall Fair and various other events. At 15, while living in Haney, I auditioned for the national CBC television show called Music Hop (Let's Go) and became a regular performer on the show for a number of years. I also performed on many other national TV shows over the next few years and did live performances around B.C. and Alberta.
I can't count the number of times I have heard both women an men talk about the period of your career with the Poppy Family and your appearances at Teen Town at the PNE. Do you have any special memories of that period of your life? Do you get back to the PNE on occasion?
Those early days of the Poppy Family were magical. Terry and I weren't married the first time we played Teen Town which was few months after asking Craig McCaw to play lead guitar with us. Terry didn't write songs very much at that time and we did mostly cover tunes. It was fun. I was happy just to be on stage performing. The Poppy Family headlined at the Coliseum years later and I also did as a solo artist. I always enjoyed it but playing The PNE as a teenager was pretty special for me.
How and when did the POPPY FAMILY originate? What was the inspiration for the name THE POPPY FAMILY?
It was in the fall of 1966, just after I turned 18, when I was asked to perform in Hope, B.C. At the time, I was in a group with Tom Northcott and Howie Vickers called the Eternal Triangle. We had released a single that did well on the local charts but we all continued to do our own solo performances as well. I searched for a rhythm guitar player to accompany me in Hope and ended up calling Terry Jacks. His group had broken up and a friend suggested that he would probably be available. I continued to do television and solo performances for the next few months, although I did a few coffee houses with Terry playing guitar. In early 1967, we decided to ask a mutual friend, Craig McCaw, to play lead guitar with us and my focus turned to the newly formed trio. We went through a couple of group names, most notably "Powerline", and played regularly at Whistler and Powell River as well as a number of schools around the greater Vancouver area. We chose the name "Poppy Family" during a break from one of our rehearsals. We'd been discussing the need for a permanent name and, during this break, we went through magazines, newspapers, anything that might trigger a group name. We eventually started thumbing through the dictionary and found "…poppy family, varied species of flowering plant…". It seemed to fit us, gave us a symbol and fit into the psychedelic music atmosphere of the time.
The sound of the POPPY FAMILY was quite a bit ahead of its time incorporating Indian influences especially the tabla. It was ground breaking for its time. Your memories of portion of your musical career.
Craig, Terry and I had talked about possibly adding percussion to the group but we wanted to be unique. Craig was fascinated with East Indian music and had taken up the sitar. During this time, he met Satwant Singh and thought Satwant would be a perfect addition on percussion so he introduced him to the group. I had gone to high school with Satwant but never knew he was a tabla player. He was precisely what we needed to present a totally unique sound. All the bands around us were pretty well rock bands and we presented a more unique approach than was the norm at that time.
Your musical partner and eventual husband TERRY JACKS was the musical director of the group, but I am assuming the rest of the band also created to its sound.
Initially, Craig, Terry and I were simply three musicians getting together to make music and there was no designated leader. We had evolved into a group in the months following the time I asked Terry to play guitar for me but our signature sound didn't happen until Craig brought Satwant into the group in 1968. It was a combination of all our creativity and enthusiasm. After Terry and I were married, he ultimately assumed the role of leader and took over control of the group's direction.
Is my memory correct that when the POPPY FAMILY disbanded you went on to pursue a pop and country music career first here in Canada and then in Music City USA - Nashville?
I left the marriage in 1973 after we had recorded my solo album "I Thought of You Again" and Terry's solo album "Seasons In The Sun". To me, the Poppy Family ceased to be when Terry released Satwant and Craig from the group right after "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" became a hit in 1970. Once they were gone, the Poppy Family sound was gone. That year, Terry began releasing material he sang lead on under his own name although he continued to release my solo material under the Poppy Family name. Aside from a duet or two, Terry rarely performed on the recordings from 1970 on and began to concentrate on his own career. The Poppy Family name was eventually dropped in late 1972. After leaving the marriage, I went back to my solo career and was honoured with some Juno Award nominations over the next several years. I was excited to be able to explore some new musical avenues and recorded some of my favourite albums during that time. I hooked up with Bruce Allen and he arranged to have me signed to a country label in Nashville so I moved there with my husband, Ted, and son in December of 1983.
Your husband and former CFL football player TED DUSHINSKI and you upon relocating to Nashville opened a restaurant on the outskirts of town. What was that experience like?
Me coming from a Ukrainian background and Ted from a Polish background, we both grew up on perogies. While in Nashville, Ted decided he wanted to open a fast food perogy place there. We ended up opening "Perogies Please" in the food court of one of the malls. It was an interesting experience, although very hard work, and we developed a recipe for perogies that is pretty amazing. With almost everything in the south being fried, we served them deep fried as a finger food but, interestingly, we would have many in the European community surrounding Nashville buy packages of frozen perogies to take home and prepare in the traditional way, pan fried with onions.
You returned to Canada a few years back and performed rather infrequently due to illness. Tell us about the synchronicity of one of your signature songs WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY and how "Billy" played a large part in your recovery.
My husband Ted and I returned to the Vancouver area in 2004 after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Sadly, he passed away in 2005. I had been informed in Nashville that I may have kidney problems but there was no definitive indication so I had to be tested on a regular basis and keep an eye on any changes. When we returned to Vancouver, I was told my condition had progressed to kidney failure. I was able to slow down the progress with diet and some medication over the next five years but my kidneys essentially gave out by the summer of 2009. I either had to go on dialysis or receive a kidney transplant. My entire family stepped forward but it was my brother Billy who was the best match and the most persistent at getting through the red tape as quickly as possible.
"Which Way You Goin' Billy?" was originally called "Which Way You Goin' Buddy?" and the demo was sung by a friend of mine from Music Hop, Mike Campbell. I didn't like it sung from a male point of view and suggested it be adjusted for a female to sing. To find another name to use other than "Buddy", Terry and I decided to go through my brothers' names as a starting point. I have six brothers and when we got to my little brother Billy's name, it was perfect. So, he not only gave me my first hit record, he also saved my life by donating one of his kidneys to me. He's my hero.
Tell us about the Susan Jacks Foundation.
During the experience of kidney failure and a subsequent kidney transplant, I realized there is a need for more support for those people going through major organ transplantation, and not just kidney transplants. Vancouver is the only place in B.C. where major organ transplants are done and it's necessary for a recipient to remain close to the hospital for observation during the first few weeks after the transplant. For recipients who live a great distance from Vancouver, their stay can be very costly considering the expense of a hotel stay and eating at restaurants for many weeks. Their immune systems are greatly compromised particularly during this time and, although it's recommended that the recipient avoids crowds, it's difficult when they're having to rely on restaurants and hotels for their accommodation. The Susan Jacks Foundation is dedicated to building a safe, home-like, full service facility for transplant recipients, a family member and, in some cases, the organ donor to stay during this initial stage after the transplant. It's also important to create more awareness of the desperate need for organ donation so the Susan Jacks Foundation will be focussing on getting more education and information out there. I wasn't unlike so many other people when I was diagnosed with kidney failure. I had no idea there are so many people dealing with debilitating dialysis, in the case of kidney failure, and so many with other diseases praying for an organ donor to save their lives. I want more people to have the second chance at life that I've been given through an organ transplant.
You have been doing more shows recently. Are there any recording plans on the horizon? Are you still writing songs?
I'm recording a CD now although it's been a slower process than normal due to my having to deal with anaemia, a common side effect of a transplant. But I work around it. My writing slowed down quite a bit when Ted was diagnosed with cancer and later when I became a caregiver for my brother who's been battling cancer for a few years now. I did co-write a song for a movie during that time but it became hard to concentrate on the creative side of my life as everything intensified. Then, of course, I went through the kidney transplant. But I'm getting stronger all the time and I have a whole new sense of appreciation for what life is all about. And I'm getting back to writing again.
Preview if you will your upcoming concert at Blue Frog Performance Centre in White Rock. Will you be performing solo or with a full band?
I have an incredible band who will be performing with me at Blue Frog. The players are the best around. David Sinclair, on lead guitar, who's played with Sarah McLachlan, KD Lang and others; David's son Zak on rhythm guitar, who is a great musician in his own right; Bill Sample, on keyboards, who is a B.C. Hall of Fame inductee and has performed and recorded with numerous artists; Brian Newcombe who's played and recorded with David Foster and many others; Shawn Soucy, on drums, who's played for numerous major Canadian acts; Mary Saxton, on background vocals, a solo artist in the 70s and a highly sought after singer for commercial recording sessions. They are a joy to share the stage with.
Will your White Rock concert be a retrospective of your past hits and new material?
Yes. My recordings while with the Poppy Family are such a big part of my musical life and it's fun to revisit that music. The same with my solo recordings. Songs like I Thought of You Again, Anna Marie, All The Tea In China, Evergreen, all bring back some vivid memories. Having become a staff songwriter for a publishing company in Nashville for many years, I found a whole new venue for musical expression and singing my own songs brings everything full circle for me.
Susan o you have any anecdotal White Rock stories?
I have wonderful memories of White Rock growing up. My family, with eight kids and not much money at all, went to Crescent Beach all the time in the summer to have a picnic and play in the ocean. It was our vacation, albeit a day at a time through the summer. Those memories rush back every time I visit White Rock. Another vivid memory I have is when I opened for Vaughn Munroe (Ghost Riders In The Sky; Dance Ballerina Dance) at a nightclub in White Rock called Tara when I was 15. I turned 16 while I was performing with him so Vaughn and his wife took me out on a boat for the day to celebrate. They were wonderful people. Hearing him sing live is something I will never forget. His voice was incomparable.
Editors Note - The Tara Supper club was a high class dance hall in its day. It was located at the corner of Crescent Road and King George Blvd. Now home to an auto dealer.
In closing Susan thank you for taking us for a trip down memory lane. As you look forward what puts the proverbial "wind in your musical sails" these days?
I enjoy performing more now than I ever have. I'm not looking for a record deal or trying to please a record label, I'm simply singing for the joy of it and for those people who want to listen. This, to me, is what it's all about.
September 19, 2012
Cloverdale's AIDAN FARRELL recalls her performance this past weekend at VOICES IN THE PARK. The concert organized by SARAH MCLACHLAN benefitting her school of music, which AIDAN recently graduated from.
The concert was incredible! To tell you the truth I can't really comprehend the fact that it is over already. There was so much build up, so much practice and preparation, that inevitably the moment itself seemed to fly right on by. Yet every second was a truly amazing experience.
First off we had Voices in the Backyard on Friday evening, (the 14th of September) which took place in Sarah McLachlan's backyard. Insanity! That performance was much more intimate than the show the next day, and although it presented a performance challenge, it was a great warm up for what was to come. Not to mention hearing such incredible performers as Jann Arden, (who is my new favourite person by the way) and Stevie Nicks in such a comfortable atmosphere.
Then if that day wasn't enough, Voices in the Park on the 15th truly blew me away! From arriving backstage Stanley Park at 10 o'clock in the morning, to my first sound check on that humongous stage, to the very last haunting notes of Sarah's iconic "Angel" at the very tail of the evening, it was one great moment after the next.
My first performance took place earlier in the day around 4 o'clock, at this point the venue was a little less than half full. To give you an idea there were just shy of selling 10,000 tickets for the event, so even in the early stages of the day I was still performing in front of an amazing audience. As I said before, my time up on that stage passed by in the blink of an eye, but it was the best time I've had in a long time. I could see my family sitting right up near the front, and I could hear the tell tale voice of my dad cheering when I sang the opening lines of my song. It was one of the best feelings I have ever had. The show with my voice group also went amazingly, one of our best performances to date! As well the other student performances from the school were very successful, everyone left happy with what they had accomplished.
The rest of the day was packed with tremendous performances, both entertaining and inspiring for a young musician like myself. In the end I wish that I could experience something like that again, go back and revel in the sheer excitement of those two days. However they are over now, and I have absolutely no regrets. I was speaking to an instructor from SoM and they said to me that this was the first of many days like this for me, should I choose to work for them. I couldn't agree more. I learned a lot being there, being behind the scenes, seeing how it all really works. A well oiled machine with infinite parts that must work together in order to succeed. I want to be a part of that, a want to be able to share the gift of music on that kind of a scale.
So I guess now is my time to get down to business, think about how I am going to go about doing that. Now that I am a graduate of the school I have many a choices to make, most of which I will have to make on my own, (never without however, the undying support of my family, friends, and peers.) Now is the time where I create the life that I want to live, both personally and professionally. If Voices in the Park taught me anything it was that this was not the end, but merely the beginning of a whole lot of great things in my future. I, personally can't wait to kick my life into full gear and become the person who I want to become. I am going to keep singing, and writing, and sharing my music with others; never stop learning from the music which surrounds me.
The Sarah McLachlan School of Music's motto is Find Your Voice; that I did. Now it is time for me to use it.
September 12, 2012
The Sarah Mcllachlan School of Music is a story is made up of many voices; from Sarah’s voice, who continues to inspire our vision, to the students, who share their excitement and enthusiasm, to the dedicated team of staff and instructors. The Sarah McLachlan School of Music (SoM) builds self-esteem and fosters creativity through the power of song and sound.
When Sarah first envisioned a free music school, she knew that in order for her vision to thrive, she would have to think outside the box. Our model is based on the combination of group and private lessons which allows us to appeal to diverse learning styles and to build community. SoM reaches hundreds of young people every year, providing them with the space and the tools they need to express themselves. The school offers them a secure, inspiring place to learn, practice, and ultimately connect with others and with themselves. Students acquire a lifelong appreciation of music, an enthusiasm for learning, and a nurturing environment where they learn the skills they need to explore their creative potential and to develop friendships that will last a lifetime.
Aidan Farrell daughter of the one the only Murphy Farrell, drummer of the Mud Bay Blues Band is a recent graduate from the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.
Aidan is very much looking forward to performing this weekend at Sarah's VOICES IN THE PARK concert in Stanley Park.
Aidan could you tell us a bit about yourself and how your love for music took you to the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver.
I have been singing let's just say forever. I also play piano and the alto saxophone, music is a huge part of my life. I hope to go into music school in the coming years for it is my dream to become and professional musician. I have been with the Sarah McLachlan School of Music for three years now, graduating from the program this past spring.
What courses were offered to you at Sarah McLachlans School of Music?
The school was an incredible place for me; one which enabled me to grow in so much more than just my musicianship. I enrolled in voice class, choir, and ensemble during my three years at SoM. I had the honour of working with incredible instructors both in private and group classes, as well was given huge preforming opportunities within the Vancouver community. There I was welcomed into a community of support and guidance, one unique to any other establishment I had been exposed to prior. Like I said, SOM was an amazing journey which I was lucky to experience, I know that without it I would not be the same person which I am today, neither musically nor personally.
This Saturday Sarah has gathered together an A list of friends to perform at a concert in Stanley Park. BRYAN ADAMS, STEVE NICKS, JANN ARDEN and HEDLEY are confirmed to perform. Former U.S. Preseident BILL CLINTON will also be on hand to lend his support, and may even pick up a saxophne. Will you be part of the concert?
Voices in the Park is a concert Sarah McLachlan is fronting, all proceeds from this concert will be going directly to the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. My voice class and I have been given the honour to preform on that stage in Vancouver's own Stanley Park along side a tremendous line up of musicians. Some of our fellow acts will include, BrYan Adams, Stevie Nicks, Hedley, Jan Arden, The Boom Booms, and of course Sarah McLachlan.
I understand one of the corporate sponsors of the event, TELUS has been involved in promoting the school and the show.
As a bit of a start up for this concert, one of the concerts sponsors, Telus has filmed my voice class singing three songs which we preformed this past year. One their site, telusvotetogive.com, anybody can watch the video and vote for their favourite of the three songs. For every vote cast Telus will donate $5 to the Sarah McLachlan School of Music! This is a huge opportunity for us to get out there in the community as musicians, as well as a wonderful fundraising opportunity for the school itself. I am so honoured to be a part of Voices in the Park, it is an incredible performance opportunity for me as well as a great way for me to give back to the school which gave me so much.
....and speaking of THE MUD BAY BLUES BAND
September 06, 2012
CCMA’S 30th Anniversary
Sunday the Canadian Country Music Association will gather in Saskatoon for a milestone anniversary. Thirty years on from the early days in Canadian country is deserved of a look at how healthy the industry is.
The big televised awards show is the first indication the star making machine in Canadian country is still limping along. Case in point in order to have some star power the organizers have looked stateside for some star power. The super hot young country singer TAYLOR SWIFT along with MIRANDA LAMBERT,DERIC RUTTAN, ERIC CHURCH and JASON ALDEAN will be joining their Canuck neighbours for the big awards show.
Canadian artists scheduled to appear include JASON BLAINE, THE STELLAS, JOHNNY REID, GEORGE CANYON, TERRI CLARK, DOCK WALKER, CHAD BROWNLEE, DEAN BRODY, GORD BAMFORD and JASON BLAINE.
Now don’t get me wrong, the Canadian contingent is certainly talented. They all receive a tremendous amount of support from Canadian country radio. Strangely enough all this radio airplay has not transferred to the sales of their music or in large part their ability to sell tickets to their concerts.
When the Canadian content regulations were instituted on Canadian radio back in 1970 pop/rock music found themselves at the conjuncture Canadian country music finds itself 30 years later. The few Canadian artists, with the exception of JOHNNY REID that have attained a level of success in their homeland, have all made some headway into Music City Nashville Tennessee. It still seems the Canadian country music machine is dependent on U.S certification.
Conversely the list of Canadian rock stars that have achieved national and international fame is endless. THE GUESS WHO, RUSH, NICKELBACK, MICHAEL BUBLE, LOVERBOY, BRYAN ADAMS, BTO, CELINE DION, SHANIA TWAIN and ALANIS MORRISETTE are just a few names that roll right off the top of the cranium. It is very obvious all of these artists first tasted stardom in their home country before conquering America and European and Asian audiences.
How can there be such disparity in the musical landscape? Who knows? I would hope the Canadian Country Music Association who is charged with the development of country music in Canada is scratching their heads as well.
Darryl Sterdan a syndicated newspaper columnist makes some interesting observations about this years Awards Show;
“Organizers have lured country-pop princess Taylor Swift to Saskatoon to be the first winner of something called the CCMA Generation Award — aka A Meaningless Accolade We Pulled Out of Our Butts Solely to Give Taylor Swift so People Outside Alberta and Under Age 30 Will Tune In For Once.
Granted, it’s hard to fault organizers too much for this publicity stunt. The Canadian country universe isn’t exactly star-studded, after all. The reigning king — Johnny Reid, who leads the pack at this year’s awards with eight nominations — barely qualifies as country. And between his Rod Stewart vocal stylings and squeaky-clean image, he isn’t exactly bringing in the kids.”
(Read the full preview)
Hats off and good luck to the local entertainers who have received nominations this year. DALLAS SMITH and CHAD BROWNLEE both have the look and sound that Nashville is pumping out these days. Here’s hoping in addition to any awards they may receive the national media exposure will transfer to sales of their music and the ability to sell tickets to their concerts.
I hope I am not writing the same thing when the 40th anniversary rolls around.
CCMA awards Sunday 8 p.m. CBC television
TROOPER'S RA MCGUIRE
As summer draws to a close what is almost becoming an annual features with us, we sit down with TROOPER'S Ra Mcguire to have him reflect on his observations from across this great land of ours. Coast to coast and border to the bay TROOPER has rocked the nation in fine style once again.
Friday evening something else that is becoming a tradition as well, TROOPER will headline the outdoor amphitheater at the PNE. The fair likes to rotate the artists that perform every year, but of late TROOPER is one band The Fair just has to have back year after year.
RA where have your travels with your merry band of gypsies taken you this summer?
As usual we've been from coast to coast to coast! As far north as Inuvik, where the midnight sun gave us a sunny day at 1:00AM when we left the gig, and as far east as St. Anthony, Newfoundland where we were taken on a private tour of the 1000 year old Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows. At our Pasadena Newfoundland show this year we also met the Canadian internet superstar, Trooper the Cat. So far, our furthest western show is the PNE in Vancouver.
Here's the complete list as it stands right now:
North Battleford SK, Neepawa MB, Sherwood Park AB, Medicine Hat AB, High Prairie AB, Inuvik NT, Inuvik NT, Daysland AB, Vernon BC, Chatham ON, Pembroke ON, Huntsville ON, Bathurst NB, Grande Prairie AB, Three Hills AB, St. Anthony NL, Pasadena NL, Kapuskasing ON, Regina SK, Raymore SK, Arnprior ON, Regina SK, Edmonton AB, Sudbury ON, Toronto ON, Vancouver BC, Telkwa BC, London ON, Swift Current SK, Toronto ON, Calgary AB, TBA
With so much air travel, airport down time and long drives to the gigs, what are you listening to these days?
I've been telling everyone recently about Jonah Smith's new record ('Little Known Cure') that has just been released. I actually contributed to it's production through a Kickstarter like thing last year. I'm still a big fan of The Streets (all the albums, but especially the newest, 'Computers and Blues'), I love the new Beirut album ('The Rip Tide'), the newest Abigail Washburn ('City of Refuge') and the new Andrew Bird Album ('Break it Yourself'). We actually consume more video than audio when we travel now, so there are a lot of sticks passed around with things like episodes of 'Breaking Bad', 'The Newsroom' and 'Top Gear'.
I have a picture taken at a show this summer in Regina. Tell us a bit about your summer shower show.
We have a pretty amazing record of the sun actually shining when we sing "and the the sun is shining" in 'Here for a Good Time', but we've had a couple of shows this year where we couldn't seem to hold off the rain. At the Regina Queen City Ex (their PNE/CNE) the rain began two or three songs into the set, and it was torrential. The stage was covered but the wind was strong and there were several moments when I was pretty much singing in the shower. Our drummer Clay, caught one of them with his iPhone. The coolest part of this story is that not one of the thousands of audience members broke rank! I can't even remember umbrellas being hoisted. The rain soon stopped and the show turned into a huge party.
Last week TROOPER played a concert at the CNE in Toronto. Have you performed at the CNE before? I have heard from a number of Eastern friends who were looking forward to seeing TROOPER in Toronto.
We opened for Foreigner at the CNE Grandstand in 1978, but this was the first time we'd played the Bandshell.
We have a lot of friends in Toronto now so it was great to hang out this time with old pals like Bob Roper and The King of the 'Q Ted Reader (who's new book features some Trooper inspired recipes!). The show itself was a sold out, rocking' triumph and it was an honour to play on the historic bandshell stage - as did great performers of yesteryear like ... the Three Stooges!
This brings us to the next time we will see TROOPER locally. Once again you have been asked to play the PNE. The new outdoor amphitheatre stage must be an amazing show for the "boys in the band" with so many friends in attendance. I also understand you still hold the record for the biggest crowd at the venue. How does playing at home differ from the other shows you perform out across the great Dominion of Canada?
We've played the PNE many times over the years and it's always a special show full of emotional hometown significance. You're right about all our friends and family being there - which can be an issue when you're trying to touch base with all of them! And yes, I do believe we still hold the attendance record for their amphitheatre stage. One of the PNE folks recently admitted, in a interview about the Fair, that they had to book Trooper, because if they didn't they'd hear about it!
Everyone has favourite memories of the PNE. What are yours?
I met my wife Debbie at Teen City at the PNE in 1967. That is without a doubt, my favourite memory.
TROOPER in concert Friday night at the PNE. A free concert with your fairground admission
If you would like to help The White Rock Sun / CISL 650 and 24 get TROOPER inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, where they belong (CLICK HERE)
Blues By The Bay II Saturday September 1, 2012
Todd you are coming to White Rock in early September to perform on the BLUES BY THE SEA. Have you performed in the Vancouver area in the past?
Yes, I have ... back in the 90's on several occasions when i was with The Sheryl Crow Band and more recently with my own band back in May of 2010, we did a two night stand at The Scala Lounge @ Gateway Casinos but, other than that no other shows but would love to come more often as Vancouver is a beautiful city! Very appreciative that we have the opportunity to perform at Blues by the Sea!
In reading your bio one would certainly be left with the impression you have been a WORKING MUSICIAN. For a number of years you were an integral part in the early stages of SHERYL CROW'S career. Can you give us the Coles Notes version of your time playing with SHERYL?
SHERYL CROW & BAND (Wolfe back row right)
LOL, i reckon "Coles Notes" is like our Monarch Notes which I've had experienced with, though quite a few years since last using them :) ... We met in 87 when she was with Michael Jackson and our mutual friend Scooter who eventually became manager to both of us, introduced us at a M.J. show at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. After that time upon visiting New York City where I'm from, Sheryl would sit in with me and the band and eventually asked me to come to Los Angeles to write and pursue a record deal so, packed up the car and headed west. We wrote several songs, one of which we recently recorded and still perform, "California", we show-cased and Sheryl sent the tape around to several record companies but they all passed so that was the end of that idea. I decided to stay in L.A. and besides starting my own trio, i started to record and tour with Carla Olson (formerly The Textones) and scored sound track music for the Playboy channel as well. I kept in touch with Sheryl and when she had "Tuesday Night Music" in the can ready for release she put together a touring band with me on the lead guitar slot and i toured with her from summer of 1993 to early 1998 and writing occasionally with her. I left her band as i had my own band, "MojoSon"and we were signed to A & M Records with a proposed release date of the fall of 1998 but with company takeovers and the usual politics of the business the album was never released. In that time with Sheryl we toured heavily! Matter of fact it was close to two years before we had a reasonable break, being several weeks or more as we only had on the average a week give or take a few days for off time in the early days. In the touring time with Sheryl we performed world wide, at Woodstock '94, most of the TV shows in America including Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, Letterman, to name a few and performed at The Grammy's. Had e bevy of people sit in with us from Eric Clapton to Elton John and one particular evening while appearing on the VH1 Honors show had Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, James Taylor, Jakob Dylan and Steve Winwood sit in on one song! So in that just under five years, quite an experience and ride!
In addition to your career as a guitar player you also have earned a reputation as a songwriter. What artists have cut some of your material?
Well that ball started rolling via the connection with Sheryl. First we wrote "Somebody Stand By Me" which was covered by Stevie Nicks and was featured in the movie "Boys on the Side" which The Sheryl Crow Band also contributed to with a Whitlock-Clapton song from Derek & the Dominos, "Keep on Growing" anyway, that song was later re-covered by Faith Hill and quite different than the Stevie version. One of the songs i co-wrote with Sheryl Crow, "Hard to Make a Stand" beside being on Sheryl's self titled record was also covered by Shannon Curfman. Since that time Deborah Coleman covered my song "Light of Day" and Larry McCray covered "Love Gone Bad" and i think there might be a couple of more out there but none comes to mind right now.
Are you comfortable being referred to as a blues guitarist?
Good question! At this point i'm not even sure what that is?!? My style is definitely blues based and derivative of the genre but i would say is more influenced by players like Jimi, Clapton, Beck, Rory, Peter Green, Leslie West, etc., etc., so i reckon more comfortable as "guitarist" :)
Do you lean towards a certain style of blues guitar playing?
Well, that would be more from the Chicago and or Texas Electric style.
Given you have been slugging it out live and on record for a number of years, what is the big difference you see these days compared to when you got into the business?
Very loaded question! Well, the pros are, because of the internet and recording techniques one can do much on their own for making a record and promoting it on a grass roots level. The large companies are very limited in every way from the way they used to conduct business. Unfortunately the big money, time and promotion is now spent on disposable, homogenized pop music that they view as a sure thing as far as returns go, making it seem as if the "sixties" never even happened. It's also different now for performing as with so many bands, other forms of entertainment, etc., going to see live music is not as special and isn't always the 'thing" to do. The suffering economy world wide doesn't help as well and there's a disparity in concerts and club shows or the type of acts where well know acts, bands, are charging over $100 for a show and people will pay to see their favorite artist and because of limited leisure money are more apt to balk at $10 or $20 show of a new artist or non-legendary band after just spending $175 on their "favorite" artist so, different indeed. Hell, i still have my first ticket stub from B.B. King, Terry Reid, Ike & Tina Tuner and The Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden for $7.50 for damn good seats! Now an act like Madonna gets $300+ for good seats at a show!
Our local guitar slinger JASON BUIE has found an appreciative audience in Europe. Have you found a similar home away from home in Europe? Why do you feel the blues has such a strong base in Europe?
Yes, actually we both have the same agent in Germany. I started going with my own band in 2001 as my 2nd record "wolfe" was released by a German label in Europe. We have toured since that time at least a dozen and a half times and have released five other albums in Europe. When we tour it's mostly Germany but we usually include some dates depending on the tour in Austria, The Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland and there's talk about France and i have not been there since my band Mojoson performed back in 1999. I think they appreciate American music such as blues jazz and rock and roll and from our experience touring there, no matter how small the venue when performing it's still treated as a show or concert without the distractions of TV's, games etc., where as in the USA sometimes we show up to perform and the TV's can draw more attention or people might be there for the food and have that look of "a band?" So in general i think blues and blues based music has a strong base not only in Europe but other parts of the world as well. I have noticed that more European bands and playing that genre or style and doing it well.
Your travels surely must expose you to a number of "below the radar:" guitar players that may not receive the attention afforded other new guitarists on the scene. Can you tell us about a couple of guitar players we should be checking out?
Actually, i don't get to see many except when performing at festivals and lately the ones that have really moved me are well know but are not from that 60's-70's period ... the two that come to mind are Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth. There are so many others, Alvin Youngblood-Hart comes to mind and Gary Clarke Jr. and a few local young guitarist by me that are just trying to find their way like Joe Cirotti that's with the band Only Living Boy. In general I'm not much for the "shredding blues guitarist" there seems to be many out there.
When you hit the stage at the White Rock Blues By The Sea Festival you will be backed up by a killer band. Tell us a bit about your "neck snapping good" rhythm section.?
ROGER VOSS grew up in Orange County New York where he started developing his hard hitting John Bonham style and power funk groove style of Tony Thompson, along with an accent of the subtleties of Steve Gadd. This combo of qualities in one drummer fuels his accomplished reputation as a 'master of his craft'. A lifelong student of the drums, Roger has studied with world renowned drummers such as Joe Morello(Dave Brubeck) John Riley(Vanguard Jazz Orchestra) and Gary Chaffee. Roger has led regional and local bands over the years and has toured with various rock groups including Jel, Judy Saiya, and Scott Weis Band. Among his many projects Roger has also shared the stage with several known artists including soul legend Ben E. King and Jerry Patterson(Gladys Knight and the Pips). Roger has been a member of Todd Wolfe Band since November 2008.
Justine Gardner has been a musician since she was 7 years old, playing piano, clarinet, until she found her groove on the electric bass. Justine has played in the New Jersey and Boston areas since 2002. She attended Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2009. She was privileged to study under bass greats: Anthony Vitti, Whit Browne, Matt Garrison and Oscar Stagnaro. At Berklee she cut her teeth on blues, playing with drummers Scoop Davis, Duke Kelly, Dan Bunge and master guitarist Gregg Miller in the Boston blues circuit. She is heavily influenced by Flea, Anthony Vitti, Tommy Shannon, Ben Shepherd and Tim Commerford. Her musical tastes range from the Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Audioslave, Chris Cornell and, Danny Arango and Matt Fiorino, from her former band, Root Spirits. Bass Guitar was the only instrument she enjoyed practicing. She has 1972 Fender jazz bass and says, "I can't imagine my main instrument ever being anything but a vintage j-bass" and when you see the slim figure of Justine with her favorite "jazz" bass that's almost as big as her you'll know why she still earns her grade-school nickname of "Bean" She's an unusual young woman, her background is African American, Spanish, German, French and Irish, a mini United Nations. She's a Gemini and warns that she has many sides to her personality. Justine is a gifted musician with a strong musical personality and a cool and professional stage presence. Her talent, influences and multidimensional background will take her far.
Do you have any new recording projects coming up?
Yes, we're in the midst of laying down new songs, we started the process in between tours and unlike the last studio album, the next one will not be a live in the studio type of recorded but more of basic tracks being recorded and over-dubs when we land back into town. It will be mostly original songs with a couple of covers thrown in and will be kind of where we're at musically, some blues, rock and roll and some jamming.
Your Canadian tour takes you through the Prairie Provinces before arriving on the BEST COAST. What can we expect when you stroll on stage at the band shell in White Rock at the Second Annual Blues By The Sea show in September?
Best coast? LOL ... well, do ya mean we'll have to kick the shit right off our shoes from being on the prairie? What's nice about a festival type of performance is you're more focused, pick your best songs or least best songs for the day and come out and rock as opposed to multi set performances or trying to feel out the crowd in the venue where you're at ... meaning some places might be bluesier or rockier and you tend to sway that way.
Todd Wolfe Band jammin' with a guest guitarist JANET ROBIN (click here)
Todd any last words before we see you live on Saturday September 1 at the bandshell in Semiahmoo Park?
Well, thanks to Jason Buie we're included in this year's festival and it is really nice to return to the "Best Coast" (i myself am gearing a return to the Pacific Coast to live, something about the west that always draws me there). We appreciate the support of the people that come out to support live music and hope that people continue to do so as a large portion of people forget that some of their favorite artist came from somewhere other than American idol, etc., and we're out in the clubs bringing the music to the people!
August 15, 2012
Mary Hartwell Scholarship Founder David Hawkins
David Hawkins like so many of us lost his friend and life partner to cancer. The Canadian statistics on the spread of cancer are staggeringly high. Roughly speaking 1 in 3 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer.
When David lost his Mary he vowed he would honour her memory and aid individuals in their quest for a cure. This Sunday the first three scholarships will be presented at the White Rock Farmer's Market where David has worked as Vice President for a number of years.
David if you would be so kind, please tell me about the creation of the Mary Hartwell Scholarship program. What was your motivation to create this scholarship?
During the last years of Mary's illness, everyone in the medical community treated her with great professionalism and compassion but I felt there was something missing in terms of her 'holistic' needs which required interactions with people who could integrate their knowledge of health, nutrition and farming into mitigating the terrible side effects of her medication.
Mary passed away on Friday, September 16th, 2011.
I decided to offer donations collected from friends and family at Mary's Memorial Service to the White Rock Farmer's Market Society in the hope the society could build a community-based scholarship program and help successful candidates with their post-secondary tuition costs to develop a 'talent pool' for holistic care in the community.
The Society responded magnificently, for which I am eternally grateful, and the Board added money to create a $2,500 Mary Hartwell Scholarship Fund for 2012.
The quality of the applicants who responded was so high that I decided to add enough financial support to allow the Society to award not just one but three scholarships.
Will you and your board of directors be directly involved with the scholarship recipients in the future? Are you planning on being very hands on?
The Board will need to understand the impact of the awards and the level of community enthusiasm for an annual scholarship program before making that decision.
I understand this Sunday at the White Rock Farmer's Market you will be presenting the first round of scholarships. What is the Farmer's Market involvement in the scholarship?
The White Rock Farmer's Market Society administered the Mary Hartwell Scholarship Fund, conducted the interviews and selected the winning candidates.
On Sunday 19th August at 10 a.m., the Society will present Ms. Samantha Smith, Ms. Lucy Brain and Ms. Grace Augustinowicz with a Mary Hartwell Scholarship certificate and an award of $2,500 each, in the form of a check payable towards their post secondary education costs in food/nutrition and/or sustainable agriculture.
This the inaugural year of the scholarship you have chosen three recipients. Tell me a bit about each winning candidate and why you felt compelled to financially aid them in their post secondary education.
My preference is that each candidate can tell their story at the market.
Is it too early for interested parties to contact you for submissions for the scholarship next year?
Yes it is too early: my fellow directors will need to discuss a suitable structure e.g. an arms length foundation, if it is decided an annual program is appropriate.
Having been through a similar life odyssey as you are experiencing, I understand your desire to produce a positive outcome from a tragic loss. Is it possible for others who have suffered a similar loss to contribute to the scholarship?
If we continue year on year with the scholarship program, it will be with the donations from people who have seen the potential benefits.
What is the end goal you would personally like to see as an outcome of the Mary Hartwell Scholarship program?
I personally would like to see the Mary Hartwell Scholarship program expanded though farmers' markets across the province, the country and beyond.
In closing David are there any words of advice you would feel comfortable sharing with the readers of The White Rock Sun. Something perhaps to help them alleviate the sinking feeling that they cannot make a difference?
Mary left her body but her vision of integrated health, nutrition and organic farming stayed behind.
Mary's vision tells me that informed friends, family and medical professionals can work knowledgeably together to help people in need become the best they can be.
If Mary's vision is realized, then no-one who cares for someone need ever feel helpless again.
*Please join us for the special ceremony Sunday morning at 10 a.m. @ "the heart of our city" the White Rock Farmer's Market in uptown White Rock on Johnston Road at the world famous whale wall.
August 03, 2012
.......It's A Fine Line
This weekend (Saturday and Sunday) as you make your way along the promenade in White Rock you are apt to have the same reaction I had when I first saw Jeremy Bresciani's artwork in front of the museum last Sunday.
Jeremy the first thing I noticed about your artwork on display in White Rock in front of the museum on the waterfront, is the heavy sports theme running through your drawings. How and why did this come about?
Sports and art are my two greatest passions. I have married the two whenever possible. I spent a lot of free time drawing hockey players and sports logos as a kid. Entering university, I had plans to become an architect with a focus on designing sporting facilities. Coming out of university, my entrepreneurial spirit had taken over and I set out to build a sports-based company of my own, but loved designing the marketing materials and websites as much as promoting the sports. After creating a couple portrait drawings for friends and family in 2008 and 2009, I was encouraged by a local gallery to build a collection. Looking for a theme to build my collection around, I felt compelled to create artwork that tugged at the viewers' heart strings and/or captured a moment in their lives that they would want to relive forever. The 2010 Olympics were taking place at that time and as soon as Crosby scored The Golden Goal I knew that I would have to capture that moment. The emotion of that goal spread from coast to coast, whether you were a hardcore hockey fan or not. I wanted to capture not only the goal itself, but that incredible emotion that burst from every Canadian as they beamed with national pride! The reaction to that artwork, my first piece, was greater than I had ever expected! I knew I had to follow it up with something equally compelling and I wanted my collection to be congruent, so I stuck with the sports theme.
You mentioned you have recently moved to White Rock. Where were you living prior to joining "our city by the sea?"
I lived in Edmonton for the past 24 years and just moved to White Rock in April.
What made you choose the White Rock area?
I always wanted to live in BC and, more specifically, by the ocean. Last Fall, when I committed to moving out of Edmonton, I looked at places on the island as well as along the west coast. Although it is all so beautiful, White Rock was the best fit. White Rock had the small town feel I was looking for while still being within reasonable driving distance of a major city. I loved the Marine Drive vibe. The art community seemed strong. The opportunity to sell my art along the beach was a huge plus! The view is spectacular. I have some great friends here and I found the ideal waterfront condo to rent with a glass-enclosed veranda so I can draw under natural light, while inside and protected from the elements. It is very relaxing and inspiring which are both essential to creating art.
Having only lived here a short period of time what are your first impressions?
I absolutely love it! I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to live here.
Back to your art. Are your drawings inspired by photographs or figments of your imagination?
My artwork starts as a vision in my head. I then create a photo mock-up of that vision and use that as an inspiration as I draw. I would like to note that in my "Game Day" series of prints, which depict fans walking to the game, all fans I draw are based on photographs I have personally shot of real fans walking to their team's game. I believe this is necessary to keep the piece authentic.
In addition to your sports themed drawings you mentioned you also do personal portraits. Is it necessary for people to sit for the portrait or are they done from photographs?
(editors note - this is a drawing not a photograph)
Currently, I draw only from photographs. I have completed over 40 commissioned portraits to date. Most of my clients e-mail me a favourite photo or two and I create their drawing based on that photo. I many cases, I have created a drawing that captures the best features of several photos. This can range from combining multiple individuals to create a group portrait to adjusting facial expressions or swapping backgrounds for something more compelling.
How did your journey into the art world begin?
I have been drawing since my parents bought me a "Learn to Draw" book as a kid somewhere around the age of 9. I enjoyed drawing and always did well in art classes, however, I was never encouraged to pursue it as a career choice. I was under the impression that it was a skill and not a "career". I loved using that skill whenever possible in other career pursuits, but it wasn't until 2009, when I was encouraged by a local art gallery in Sherwood Park, Alberta (Lakeland Art & Framing) to create a collection, that I thought I could be a professional artist.
Do you sometimes create artwork publicly when you are on location?
Yes, I try to draw on location whenever possible. Some events are quite busy, but I usually have a piece on the go.
Have you ever been commissioned to do a piece of artwork for a famous individual or an organization for their advertising campaign?
Yes, I have done a couple portraits of (CFL Hall of Famer) Dave Ridgway's grandchildren. I was also commissioned to create a portrait of Canadian Country Music star Lisa Hewitt as well as incorporate that artwork into a poster I designed for her Classic Country Road Show.
Describe your art please. It is charcoal or some other from of sketching that you do?
I create my art using graphite pencil (usually 2H, HB, 2B and 4B) as well as coloured pencil. In a few cases I have utilized charcoal when large dark areas were required.
The one art piece that caught my eye was the "Field of Dreams" I can put names to most of them, but please run down the names of the baseball greats.
I consulted a lot of people during the idea-phase of this one. I wanted to depict the 9 most-legendary players of all time in the sky over the Field of Dreams. I am sure there will always be a debate over who I chose to include and exclude, but I am quite happy with my final choices. The baseball greats depicted are:
Back Row (from left to right): Joe DiMaggio, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig
Front Row (from left to right): Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron
How do you come by your "Rider Pride" and the dedication to the Saskatchewan Roughriders?
I was born in Regina. Growing up in Saskatchewan until the age of 13, I was surrounded by Rider Pride and knew how hardcore that fanbase was. Living in Edmonton the next 24 years of my life, I learned that Rider Pride is definitely not restricted to Saskatchewan. I felt just as at home donning my green and white on the walk to Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton as I did on the walk to Taylor Field in Regina. A great childhood memory of mine was walking to the games with my Grampa and Dad, so I had a personal desire to capture that memory in art. With a strong response to my artwork in the Rider community, including personal phone calls of encouragement from Hall of Famers Dave Ridgway and George Reed, and support from Ron Lancaster's family, I continued to build a Rider-specific collection within my sports-themed collection and plan to release one or two every year.
You can See Jeremy's art normally in front of the museum in White Rock. This week he will be in front of the museum on Friday and Monday. This week he will be participating in the Spirit of the Sea Festival Promenade Party. Look for Jeremy's booth near the East Beach Stage across the road from the Ocean Promenade hotel. Most weekend Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer Jeremy will be back at the museum 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
July 27, 2012
The changing face of White Rock. Over the past decade the local mosaic has included a large amount of Asian students attending Earl Marriott and Semiahmoo Secondary and a large amount of Chinese families moving on to the Peninsula.
In 2003 The Province newspaper did a survey of all the Lower Mainland communities and with the exception of Langley, White Rock had the smallest percentage of visible minorities.
That has all changed now. So much so there is now an actual website titled chineseinwhiterock.com.
Since 2004 and 2005 the Miss White Rock pageant staged as a part of the Spirit of the Sea Festival under the banner of the White Rock Youth Ambassadors Awards Night Gala, has seen a larger and larger percentage of contestants with Asian ancestory.
This year no less than 9 of the 12 contestants vying for the title of Miss White Rock are of Asian ancestory. The actual title of "Miss" is only bestowed on young girls and on rare occasions a young boy in a handful of cities if British Columbia. This year one of the 12 contestants is a male.
Will this be the year that White Rock breaks their long standing tradition of electing a caucasian representative to wear the title of Miss White Rock?
Over the coming days on the pages of the White Rock Sun we will introduce you to the candidates.
Meet This Years Candidates for Miss White Rock
Harrison Woo is attending Semiahmoo Secondary, and will begin his last year of high school in September. He has been involved with numerous organizations, including Scouts Canada, Kids Help Phoneline, and Earthworks at school. Harrison wanted to participate in the program because: “I want to be a better individual through the skill sets and attitude that only the WRYA Program offers.”
Elaine is attending Elgin Park Secondary, and will be entering grade 11 come fall. She is the recipient of both the Langley Community Music School and South Fraser Music Festival scholarships. Elaine wanted to participate in the program because: “I would like to get more involved with the community and help out the society. By using my current knowledge and gaining more experience from this program, I hope to gain more skills and bring success to my future goals.”
Angel Zou; sponsored by Peace Arch News
Angel will begin her final year of high school this fall at Semiahmoo Secondary. She received a $5,000 Presidential Scholarship from the International School of Nanshom Shenzhen. Angel wanted to participate in the program because: “I would like to learn and belong as a contributing member of the city that I live in; improve my social/networking skills; and reach outside my personal bubble into the mature society.”
Alicia Liang; sponsored by Royal Canadian Legion #8
Alicia is a student at Semiahmoo Secondary, entering grade 11 in September. She recently returned from a two-week medical internship in Mongolia. Alicia wanted to participate in the program because:“I’d like to become an active, helpful community member and role model. Also, I love to meet new people from all walks of life and hear their stories.”
Description & History:
White Rock Youth Ambassadors (WRYA) comes from a tradition that is 50 years old, that being the Miss White Rock Pageant. What began as a summer beauty pageant in Surrey and White Rock has now morphed into a contemporary, volunteer and self-development program for teens who are chaperoned and mentored by members of the community in a safe, positive and nurturing environment.
Memories of Mary Wade
MARY WADE ANDERSON a 5 term city councillor in White Rock passed away Tuesday afternoon at Peace Arch Hospital. Mary Wade was 84 years old. A number of colleagues and peers of MARY WADE graciously have agreed to share their memories of this pillar of our community.
Former White Rock Mayor JUDY FORSTER
Thoughts about my friend and colleague Mary-Wade Anderson
I first met Mary in 1991 when she was the President of the Fraser Valley Real-estate board. I was a young White Rock City Councillor and she was a smart, classy lady who spoke the “Queen’s English”. Mary had organized a meet and greet with our council and her board. She strongly believed in building partnerships with other levels of government. Mary wanted to educate our city council on the role of the Fraser Valley Real-estate Board. We thought we were going to get a lecture on the domestic and commercial housing market however what we ended up with was a passionate presentation from Mary extolling the “Social Role” that real-estate agents play in our community. She was proud to talk about the difference that real estate agents made and that they were always giving back to the community. And in actual fact, Mary-Wade Anderson was that consummate Real Estate agent. A life long Rotarian, she lived by their motto, “Service above Self”.
Mary was the eldest of three daughters born on August 2, 1927 to a Yorkshire couple. Her father was a prominent engineer and her mother was a well educated lady from an upper class family. She was always close to her father. In fact she often said that she could always identify better with men than women. She loved men, in fact so much so that she married three times.
Over the years Mary lived in three different countries; England, the United States including Texas, Louisiana, California and Colorado and in Canada. Mary had four children, a son and daughter with whom she was recently reunited with, as well as two sons from her second marriage.
Mary had several careers and avocations. She took care of her beloved British soldiers while in her teens at a Yorkshire Army hospital during World War II. An accomplished swimmer, Mary represented her country in the 1948 Olympic Games. She later became a registered nurse in England. She was a Social Welfare officer in the U.S.A. When Mary moved to San Francisco, she landed her “Dream Job” with the San Francisco 49er’s football team. She may not have scored touchdowns on the field, but as a Public Relations specialist, Mary’s ability to sell and promote the football club made her an instant M.V.P. As this was in the fifties, Mary-Wade Anderson was truly a woman ahead of her time! In 1966, Mary and her third husband who was an engineer moved to Castlegar where he helped design the new Bennett damn and she opened her own book store. She was a lover of learning and books were her ambrosia.
Mary’s next and longest career was in real estate. She began in Castlegar and when she moved to White Rock in 1987 she continued to sell for 29 years. I believe that her last career, that being a City Councillor for the “City by the Sea”, gave her the most fulfillment because Mary was so proud of her City of White Rock and its people. She was always up at the crack of dawn. She prepared well for the meetings which she never missed! Such dedication is rare these days. When I was elected Mayor in 2002, I appointed her as my alternate to the Metro Vancouver board. I could always count on Mary. For several years she served on the Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee. Mary was a committed member of the board. She always had a positive relationship with our Semiahmoo First Nation neighbors and particularly the Late Grand Chief Bernard Charles and current band councillor, Joanne Charles.
Mary loved her Peace Arch Hospital, where she served several years on its board, many as their Chair. She advocated for expanded services and dedicated her time and resources here over the years. She worked tirelessly to ensure that the 5th and 6th floor were completed. When I visited her in the hospital just last weekend, I said to her that she was finally experiencing the “fruits of her labours”. She smiled at the thought of this irony.
Mary was my dear friend, and while she was 30 years older than me, I would often tell her that she was my adopted mother. My husband Brad and I enjoyed spending time with her, and she was “Auntie Mary” to our sons. She spent several New Years dinners with us over the years. We loved talking politics whether it was Federal, Provincial, Regional or Municipal and we could talk for hours. Over the years we enjoyed travelling together representing our City of White Rock at conferences throughout Canada. I learned so much from her. She was a “Jewel in White Rock’s Crown”. God Bless you Mary, I will always remember you until we meet again.
GORDON HOGG former White Rock Mayor. Current MLA for White Rock/South Surrey
I have known MARY WADE her for over 25 years. She came to me a number of times even before she was on council. She was a pretty staunch Conservative, she told me even though we support different parties I don't care about party lines. I feel a person should be judged on their own merit.
She used to come out when I was running for election and she would help however she could in my campaign office. She had a voracious appetite to learn as much as possible about the political system.
When MARY WADE decided to run for White Rock council she visited me to seek my opinion. I told her to go for it, I was confident she would make a great councillor.
I will always remember my last couple of meetings with MARY WADE. She would phone me up every now and then and invite me over for a cup of tea. I would stop by Tim Horton's and bring her a muffin and we would sit in her living room and talk. She was a very strong monarchist and one of the last times I saw her she gave me a number of magazines she had on Winston Churchill.
She was very proud of the weight she had lost to get ready for her operation. She did feel so bad missing the last couple of council meetings. She prided herself in never missing a council meeting over the 12 years she served the people of White Rock.
Former White Rock Councillor LYNNE SINCLAIR
Mary Wade was extremely well read and knowledgable - she took pride in that. She and I had many, many long conversations about politics, feminism, White Rock, history and sports. She would have been in the Olympics as a swimmer had it not been for the war and was related to Virginia Wade the tennis player. However, I drew the line at discussing golf - she was a huge fan of Tiger Woods which allowed me to tease her mercilessly.
A couple of years ago at the Vintage Affair Mary Wade didn't show up after just telling me she would be there so Dave Klitch and I walked over to her condo to make sure she was all right. She was watching a political debate on TV and had decided not to come after all!
I will miss Mary Wade - she was a true White Rock character.
White Rock City Clerk TRACEY ARTHUR
Mary-Wade her name speaks class, elegance, strength, compassion and intelligence.
Mary-Wade loved the City of White Rock and its citizens, because of how deeply she felt she spoke freely for the people and fought passionately for what she believed would be best for our City.
Mary-Wade prided herself on "never missing a Council meeting" - only proving her dedication to her job as City Councillor and working to make a difference in the community.
Unfortunately it is usually only times like this we finally stop for a minute and reflect on what is really important to us and how precious time is for us. When you take away the daily routines and life's stresses it is suddenly very clear there is only a small handful of things that really matter in the big picture of life.
Mary-Wade touched many lives in a positive way. To me she is the ultimate success story because of this. When you are able to have that kind of positive impact on the people around you that is one of the few things that truly matter.
Mary-Wade loved a good laugh, clever conversation, a cup of tea and a dish of ice cream. In her honour I would encourage you to take a minute and do something that will have a positive impact on those around you. This can be something as simple as an encouraging word, holding a door open for someone or taking a minute to listen or chat with someone who needs some company.
And don't forget to allow yourself to enjoy something just for you too.
Mary-Wade you are missed already, I will think of you often as I enjoy my cup of tea.
Former White Rock Mayor CATHERINE FERGUSON
Something about Mary
When I think of Mary many things come to mind but non more than here many loves in her life such as golf and Tiger Woods, she could go on endlessly about the game and Tiger. Mary's love of men in uniform, her eyes would light up when they entered the room. The queen of course, she new all that was going on with the Royals. She had an unwavering love of solid waste this too she could talk endlessly about with such passion and interest you would sometimes forget what the subject matter was! Lastly but certainly not least her love of the city.
In the many years that I work with Mary first in a volunteer capacity then on council and lastly as Mayor you could always count on her to be at a meeting and at least 45 minutes early. Until she started having health problems Mary had only missed one meeting. Mary was not shy about sharing her opinion and was known to be at times blunt and to the point sometimes leaving a little bit of a sting behind. Mary's wit, humour and passion for the city was only outweighed by one thing her pride in serving as a member of council for our amazing city by the sea White Rock.
White Rock Mayor WAYNE BALDWIN
My wife Jane and I have known Mary Wade for about 27 years now. We met when she helped us out with a real estate situation, and at the time was a realtor and past president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.
Years later she became a member of the same Rotary Club as me and after that ran for City Council. Concurrently she was on the Board of the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation which along with city Council and watching Tiger Woods play golf were her great passions in life. She was Chair of the Foundation and was key in getting me to join the Board.
Her interests in politics were heightened by her involvement in Regional Government where she put a lot of time and energy into regional waste solutions and the First Nations Treaty Process.
She had been separated from her family for many years and recently was reunited with them. Tragically, there were passport issues and her daughter , who tried valiantly to get up to see her ,was unable to be here in time.
Mary Wade, passed away in her hospital room on the 6th floor of the hospital she loved with an array of photos of her newly rediscovered family on the window ledge. One of Mary Wade's proudest achievements was to champion the completion of the 5th and 6th floors of Peace Arch Hospital and so this was a fitting place for her to spend her final moments.
We will miss her greatly.
Wayne and Jane Baldwin
White Rouck Councillor HELEN FATHERS
Mary Wade had a wonderful sense of humour - she was very dry and very witty - she remained as sharp as a tack .There were many times during Council meetings that Mary would lean towards me and say " what on earth are they talking about"? She would add some funny comment under her breath when another Councillor become just "too much " for her ! I would cover my mouth or cough to hide my expression from the camera as to try not to laugh.
Mary did not suffer fools lightly ! She was an intelligent , outspoken , hardworking Councillor who served her community well . To not miss a single Council meeting in 12 years is impressive .
I sat next to Mary for the last two terms of my office - we had a friendship which grew out of our love of the UK - We had many conversations about "Being British - Helen , she would say"
I learnt a lot from Mary Wade - she would tell me " You don't get anywhere in politics by being part of the group , say what You need to say , and don't back down".
I will miss Mary Wade and the long chats we used to have, I value the knowledge and experience that she shared with me and shall remember her words of wisdom forever.
June 20, 2012
Are You Ready To Rock, White Rock?
For those who may not have a long history with the Semiahmoo Peninsula, back in the 80's White Rock was home to one of those unrewarded bands COZY BONES.
JORDAN CARRIER was the front man/singer and main songwriter in the band. Their local gigs were things legends grow out of. Many peers of the band still herald the greatness of their CDS.
A couple years back CARRIER got the bug to step out of the background as a first call guitar player/songwriter and backup singer in local acts including JASON MITCHELL.
His debut solo CD "Absence of Wonder" sent a strong message CARRIER was back. The song Club People was chosen by CFOX RADIO as one of the top local songs of the year in 2007. Revered music critic TOM HARRISON of The Province newspaper called it one of the best local CDS of the year.
Friday evening CARRIER and his band THE SOVIETS will perform a full on rock show at Blue Frog Studios in mid-town White Rock.
Jordan tell us about the new CD from you and The Soviets. Is the new CD an extension of your previous solo CD 2-008's solo debut or have you branched off in any new directions for the CD musically?
Absence of wonder was the product of one guy on a computer late at night, mostly. This is truly a Band Album. The music is generally darker in tone, more serious and much more capital "r" Rock.
On your website there is a video for the song OH NO. Is this a single we may be hearing on radio soon?
Well, that depends on how things go over the next while. There are a few single possibilities on this album, with a few different genres, so picking one may be hard....
The production of videos for bands is no longer in the tens of thousands of dollars. Where and when did you shoot the video for OH NO.
We shot the video on the cheap with some music industry and film students who needed to produce a "viral video". We obtained no permits, kind of shot guerilla style in East Van and Downtown. It's recent, we filmed about a month ago..
Did you record the CD locally again? I understand a member of your band The Soviets, Bassist Brad Graham has a lot to do with the recording. How does that work?
Brad is one of the best sound engineers in the GVRD, and happens to play bass for us, he works at Turtle Recording, we were able to squeeze in there now and again!
I know it may be like asking you which are your favourite children, but what your favourite three tracks to perform off the new CD?
I love "To Here" because of the pacing of the song- it's one giant crescendo, it rises from nothing to full tilt over the course of 6 minutes, I love that dramatic effect.
Tanks And Planes is fun because it's so ridiculous, loud and cock-rocky, and I get to lose my shit at the end of it.
Oh No is fun because it is so damn easy to play, and , you know, why work harder?
You have a pair of shows this weekend, Sort of a city and country theme. Wednesday you are in downtown Vancouver. That show is part of some kind of music industry showcase night is it not?
Wednesday is a contest called "voice of the cellar" put on by Music BC, it's focus is on song writing, so we are flattered to be included. Friday at blue frog is just a great chance to play for my neighbors, it's been a while, really.
The show we all really want to know about is the Blue Frog show on Friday night. How excited are you to be back home "rockin' the rock?"
It'll be great to see familiar faces!! I'm happy to do a show where we don't have to drag everyone out to Vancouver!!
Is the show going to be a sit down kind of affair or will there be some fits pumping free form dancing going on at some point in the evening?
Um, both, I think. Well try to start softer and let the night grow organically. Whether fists get pumped is not a domain where I have any autonomy.
You have a very long history with White Rock. Any particular shows over the years that remain as Kodak moments in your musical odyssey?
Pretty much every Kwomais festival at the old original locations were pretty special. I miss Pat Proznick walking the grounds of the camp in a haze of stress, the interaction of the bands backstage, just the energy of it. It's too bad that that opportunity isn't around for up and coming bands anymore.
Have you had a chance to see a concert at the Blue Frog Performance Centre?
I played there backing up Jason Mitchell when it was Rock Beach, I'm embarrassed to say that no, I haven't seen one yet. But Brad has been to most of them, I think, so some of that karma rubs off on me, right
What music is in your player these days?
The new Tom Waits, Dirty Projectors, new Feist, strange , but I've been loving old Billy Joel lately. Not really the type of music I normally check out, but his song craft is outstanding.
Any favourite local bands artists we should be checking out?
I think THEIR THERE is great? They are releasing their new CD this week I think.
What does the summer hold for JORDAN CARRIER AND THE SOVIETS?
Gigging and writing, and missing band practices. Normal summer stuff!
The Soviets came into being, like all good things, over pints in a pub—when Soviet’s drummer, Brendan Mclean first expressed interest in working with Jordan on something. “If you’re not familiar with Brendan you may have to peek your head out from the rock it’s hiding under as he’s one of the busiest drummers in Vancouver,” said Jordan. “He comes from more of a Jazz and Math Rock background but is also a sought after turntableist Calling him the human metronome wouldn’t be risking hyperbole.”
The next Soviet would be bassist and recording engineer Brad Graham. Jordan met him when Jordan was doing some session work with Vancouver Folk Singer Jason Mitchell. Brad also had a hand in Absence Of Wonder since it partially recorded at Turtle Recording Studios in White Rock – the studio where Brad has worked for several years.
All that was left was the acquisition of guitarist Darren Henderson, another old friend brought into the fold, and once the band had finished the Seeds competition they started working on a new batch of songs.
The result was the new self-titled album that blends influences as diverse as Coldplay, The Shins, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. “To Here” builds tension and suspense only to come crashing to an epic finale, whereas other songs like “Things” and “I’m Able, I’m Abel” have a more introspective shade. High energy songs like “Spill” and “Tanks and Planes” verge on the heavier side and lyrically have more political poignancy. Compared to Jordan’s first album “Absence of Wonder,” the tracks are decidedly heavier rock, but the songs all retain Jordan’s complexly woven lyrics over tracks that distilled the band’s varied musical influences.
Since his early days when Jordan was the front man for the regionally successful band Cozybones, Jordan has never quite left music behind.
“You never take a break from writing and arranging music. I’ve been doing it in my head since I was a kid, but I did take a definite break form recording, performing and producing music. It was time to grow up and see where I was going.”
June 13, 2012
Saturday evening JOHN LEE SANDERS and his rhythm orchestra take the stage at the Pacific Inn in the Rhumba Room for a hip shaking New Orleans Deep Fried Funk dance party. Between rehearsals this week JOHN LEE spent the afternoon answering our probing questions. There are the pressing matters - of his name JOHN LEE and that picture of him with Elvis Presley's father.
John Lee welcome to the electronic pages of the White Rock Sun. Let's go back to the very beginning. Where did your musical odysey begin?
My family and I moved to the deep south, to Jackson Mississippi, in 1953, I was 2 years old, and I absorbed any and every music I heard, whether it was Mozart, black acoustic delta blues that had come out of the cotton fields of our landscape, Jazz from nearby New Orleans, Black Gospel from the church, Country and Western, and my Mother’s favorite Broadway show tune soundtracks. I’ve known I wanted create music since I could reach the keys on my Grandparents out of tune upright piano. In those days, it seemed most people had a piano in the living room, and it seemed to me the most natural form of expression, and having 2 older brothers that could sing and harmonize, I learned that vocal expression was as normal as speaking. Whoever laid out those black and white keys in that configuration was a genius, the harmonic structure of music seemed mapped out in some mathematical formula on those keys, and I was determined to decode the process, luckily there were many who had come before me.
My brother Chip, who was 6 years older, had started classical piano, had a great ear, and was already learning the piano styles of Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis, who was born a few miles from our Louisiana home town, Monroe. I watched every note Chip played, the boogie bass lines, and every chord in his right hand. He could pick out almost any song that he heard. He could read music pretty well but could play by ear even better, and had perfect pitch, as I realized I did later. My Grandmother was a pianist in the silent movies of Memphis, and lived 4 blocks away from the childhood home of Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, and walking distance from Stax Records, and Royal Recorders, where Al Green cut most of his hits. I was always drawn to African American culture, by proximity and osmosis. The authenticity of the music, and going back to my roots helped me find my own musical voice. I became pretty well known in the Juke Joints of East Texas in my early music career, where most of my friends wouldn’t dare set foot, but musically I felt accepted, and never felt afraid, except the night when two guys pulled guns on each other on the dance floor, fighting over a woman. The Rhythms of New Orlean so predominant in my music may seem complex to some of our listeners, but to those of us who have grown up around that culture, it’s so embedded into our culture, not just on a musical level, but as a part of everyday life, parades, funerals, etc. I try to bring that feeling to the audience no matter where they are, they can feel that joyous spirit in what I do.
There has to be an interestng story behind the picture of you and Elvis' father
I remember the day my father brought home a 45 rpm record that changed our lives, and the world for that matter. It had a yellow Sun Records logo, just a paper sleeve, and no picture. My dad’s State Farm Insurance office was upstairs from the local record store, and the store owner would give him copies of new releases we might like. The owner of the record story told my dad, “I think this kid might go somewhere” The song was called “That’s Alright Mama”, with a B side of “Blue Moon of Kentucky” the first release from an unknown singer named Elvis Presley, and in small letters, Scotty and Bill. I later learned that “Bill” was Bill Black, who my 2nd Cousin Arthur had been playing with around Memphis for years.
We loved his voice and that rockabilly groove, it was raw, and had an energy that I grabbed hold of. I didn’t like kid’s music, I liked the real raw energy of R&B,
We didn’t know if Elvis was black or white, especially since the white and black stations were playing it.
We wore that record out, and to this day, it’s the holy relic of Rock and Roll, in a frame at my brother Chip’s house in Jackson.
Three years later, Elvis signed a major record deal with RCA, and bought he and his parents a home a few doors down from my Aunt and Uncle, Ben and Eleanor Hannah. We were so excited to hear the news, for that year Elvis had risen to the level of fame equal to Michael Jackson and the Beatles. I spent many a day, in Elvis’ front yard, as did many of the rest of the kids, hoping to say hello or get an autograph.
Well as my luck would have it, I had to use the bathroom on a hot Summer day, August 1957. Elvis was on the road most of these days, but his dad, Vernon Presley was out front watering the rose garden.
I mustered up the courage to speak to him, “Mr. Presley, can I use your bathroom, my aunt’s house is too far to run back to, and I really have to go pee”. Vernon said “come on up in her son, the bathroom’s down the hall to the left”. I finished, and had a peek around the house, and said “can I see Elvis’s room”, “Well I don’t think he’d mind” said Vernon.
I opened the door to find two small twin beds. Apparently Elvis was afraid to sleep alone, and sometimes would have his cousin Billy Smith to stay with him. There was
Floral wallpaper, satin bedspreads, and dozens of teddy bears sent by girls from everywhere. Elvis had just had a hit record with “Teddy Bear” and we loved the song.
I came back out of the house with Vernon, to find my two brothers, Chip and Steve, and my dad with his camera. He took a picture of all of us with Vernon Presley, in the driveway, and I remember this day like it was yesterday, one of those pivotal events that change your life forever.
We saw Elvis come and go a few times after that day in a new Harley, or a pink Cadillac convertible full of pretty girls , but the scene was so chaotic, it was hard to get close to him. He had become larger than life, and so famous, that it wasn’t safe for his family to live in a small suburban house, with a constant flow of traffic down Audubon Drive, and an ever increasing mob of gawkers in his front yard hoping to get a glimpse. I sensed a bit of snobbery with the neighbors to the Presley family, as they had come from the welfare projects, and were perceived as “White Trash” by some. Elvis had paid cash for the house, and his Nouveau riche status for performing music that some considered Negro Rhythm and Blues, was too much for some of these older southern racist white folks, but to us young folks, we sensed there was a revolution in our culture, and Elvis was at the center of it all. Those days were the last time Elvis could live a somewhat normal life, in a regular neighborhood without a gate with a 24 hour security guard, to monitor who comes and goes. Such a phenomenon seeing someone with that much power and charisma, so close to home. It must have been similar to what Michael Jackson and the Beatles experienced.
Elvis opened so many doors in those days, and it’s hard for some of us who were born many years later, to see this revolution in music, and culture. As we look at the Vegas Elvis, and the crooner of ballads, it’s important to note that he "rocked the world", and broke down many barriers. A few weeks after meeting Elvis and his Mom and Dad, I practiced Hound Dog in front of the mirror, and performed at Sunday School Show and Tell, the little girls screamed, and I thought to myself, I should have a job like Elvis.
How did you end up coming to the Vancouver area?
Long John and The Mod Rod
In May of 1986, during the week of the Chernobyl meltdown in Russia, 26 years ago as I write this, I got a call from Long John Baldry in Vancouver. We had been on the same record label in 1981, “Riva Records” Founded by Rod Stewart and Manager “Billy Gaff”. I stayed in Vancouver for a week, during Expo 86, and recorded Baldry’s “Silent Treatment” LP, doing all of the sax parts. I visited Vancouver off and on for 20 years before moving here. I became friends with so many people and great musicians. There seemed to be such a wonderful zeitgeist during Expo, that they were on the verge of being one of the great cities of the world, that I was caught up in the spirit, I believe it still exists.
I met a beautiful woman named Judy on one of my many tours through BC, and we were married in 2006, and I applied for landed resident status. I couldn’t work for a year, but bought a house in White Rock, built a studio, and during the 18 months waiting for my permanent residence card, I learned to play guitar. Sadly Judy and I recently parted ways, but I decided to stay in this beautiful City.
Your bio of artists you have played with or recorded with is a who's who of popular music. I am interested particularly how you ended up playing with the great JOHN LEE HOOKER.
I had the house gig with my band at JJs Blues Lounge, in Downtown San Jose, California, during the 80s and 90s, every Sunday and Monday night, and most every week, when he wasn’t on the road, through the dark smoky room, I could pick out a white blues fedora, at the end of the bar, nodding in time with a groove, usually quiet and by himself, it was the king of the Boogie, John Lee Hooker, He must have been a fan, because he kept coming back around. He was pretty shy, and I didn’t get to know him very well. I loved John Lee Hooker, his vocal style reminded me of the old black men I saw every day in my childhood in Mississippi, in the 1950s,
My old buddy, Deacon Jones, who I had known as the Hammond Organist from the Freddie King band, back in my days in Dallas Texas, was producing a John Lee Hooker LP, for a small indy label called Pausa records, and hired me on spec, which is, if the record label goes for the 4 or 5 song demo, the band gets paid, and they put up the money for the rest of the LP. I only played on one track, which was good enough for me, to be on a record from my namesake, I joked around with blues fans saying my mama named me after a famous Mississippi bluesman. When I started touring with Long John Baldry, there were 3 johns in the band (and no waiting) and it got confusing, Long John, Papa John King, and me, so they all agreed I should put the “Lee” in, I mean it’s on my birth certificate. My mother called me Johnny, and only called me “John lee” at my baptism and when she was mad at me.
The song I recorded with JOHN LEE was “We’ll meet again” a soulful ballad with a Ray Charles Gospel piano in 12/8 time. “Here’s the deal” , says Deacon, “If Hook likes the track, we go in and cut it with him live in the studio”, well a week went by, Deacon calls and says, “Hook loves the track, but he don’t wanna pay to bring no band back in, he just gon’ take my scratch vocal off, and put his on tape” I said, “that’s cool, long as I get paid”, well that’s another story, and I did get paid, years later after Richard Branson picked up the track for Virgin Records. Anyway, John Lee Hooker comes in Dragon Studio in Redwood City CA, about a 40 minute drive from his Beautiful Los Altos Hills home. Bruce, the engineer asked if he needed anything to warm up, John Lee Hooker replied in his smoky deep bluesy voice that could have been a line from the next song, “Go gimme a Barbeque samich and a cold beer” he chased the food with the beer, and did 2 or 3 takes and he was gone. I went to one of JL’s last concerts, before he passed away, in San Francisco. I surprised my girlfriend Judy, and told her to keep her eyes closed when walking up to the marquee. We met him after the show, and he invited us to his home. He said “John Lee, you can play my piano, while me and Judy takes a walk in the garden”, at 81 he was still frisky with the ladies.
Many people in the Lower Mainland will remember you from LONG JOHN BALDRY'S band. How did you come to play with the legendary LONG JOHN?
Long John Baldry
Baldry and I hit it off like old friends. I didn’t see as much of him during the overdubs of the “Silent Treatment” sessions in 1986, since during those days, he would come to the studio when it was time to overdub his vocals. He would joke in those days and say “Wake me when it’s a hit”, but I believe he became more involved in the hands on process later in his life.
Long John and I were both signed to the same record Label, “Riva Records” owned by Rod Stewart, and his manager, Billy Gaff. I knew of him through the discovery of Elton John in the Rock History books. I saw a genealogy family tree poster of British Rock history that put Long John Baldry at the Root of it. . The Producer of my first LP, back in 1981, , Jimmy Horowitz had booked me on the session, and I was so excited to meet Baldry and experience Canada for the first time. Jimmy had produced many of the great Dusty Springfield Records, and had helped produce the “It Aint Easy” LP with Rod Stewart and Elton John, Baldry’s biggest selling LP, into the millions.
I toured and recorded with Long John Baldry off and on until his death in 2005. I became his piano player and Music director for many of tour tours of Europe, Australia, and Canada. So many great musical memories onstage and off. Baldry was at times a proper English Gentleman with great stage presence and at times he had a temper and would storm off the stage in a rage, leaving me or Kathi McDonald to finish the show. Those tours with Baldry were some of the most exciting times of my life as a performer, and as a world traveler. There was never enough time to explore the wonders of Europe, but often there would be a week to 10 days off in the middle, where I would travel to Paris, the south of France, Lourdes, London, and other places I had only dreamed of visiting.
Baldry Featured me as a lead vocalist on every show, and encouraged me get back to my Southern blues roots, after many years pursuing fame in the record business and the pop music world. We played some of the largest blues and Jazz festivals in the world. I would stay at Long John’s Penthouse in Vancouver while rehearsing or having time off, where when you picked up the phone, you never knew if it might be Elton John, Rod Stewart or Eric Clapton calling to say hello. On one gig in Vancouver, we had a surprise jam session onstage with Jimmy Page From Led Zeppelin. It was rock and roll Royalty at the Baldry house at times. One interesting day, I had just woken up around 10 AM, and was expecting a call from our drummer, the phone rang, and before I could pick it up in the living room, it went to the answering machine, one of the older ones, that still used tape. I immediately recognized the English accent coming through on the other end, from so many concerts and interviews, since I often did a pretty good impersonation of this man.
The Rocket Man
It was the man that had influenced me greatly, as a songwriter, vocalist and piano player, Sir Elton John. To Baldry it was his old band mate, Reg Dwight, who he had discovered playing in a Casino in England back around 1966, but to me it was Rock Royalty on the other end. Baldry was still sleeping, should I wake him up, and pick up the line? Baldry had instructed us not to pick up the phone, because it was also his fax line, and every day there were tour itineraries, requests for interviews, contracts, and correspondence from throughout Europe and North America, so I just listened to the voice on the other end, “Hey John, it’s Elton, you old Queen, I’m flying up from Atlanta to New York for a gig……….. Elton and Long John hadn’t spoken in 10 or 20 years, until this call out of the blue. I inadvertently had a peek at Long John’s address book lying open by the phone one day, it was a who’s who of Rock and Roll, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, and on and on. He not only knew these people as friends, but had a major influence on each one, as one who created an English Blues and Rock and Roll culture since the mid 50s.
He had a great taste for Art and interior décor, with hundreds of historical Biographies, and history books.
Touring Europe with Baldry was like having a European History lesson that spanned 2000 years. He Spoke fluent German, and inspired me to learn, even though I still have a long way to go. We toured Europe every Spring from 1993 until around 1999. His favorite expression to the band, as we passed some gorgeous landscape of castles on the Danube was “Some people pay thousands for this, and you’re getting it all for free”, in his basso profundo proper British upper crust accent. He could do every British dialect there was, so I don’t know which was the real one.
We played small pubs, huge festivals, prime time TV shows, and the club in Hamburg where the Beatles, (who began as Baldry’s opening act) began their Career. Playing for the first time in Hamburg was an eye opening experience, for we were playing in the Reeperbahn, the red light district of Hamburg, which made the French Quarter in New Orleans look pretty tame. I can’t imagine the 20 year old Beatles playing there for 6 months, and what an experience it must have been for them. Our second time playing Hamburg was at the Fabrik Club, where Long John and the band recorded a live Cd, “On Stage Tonight” on of Baldry’s biggest selling CDs of the 90s.
We didn’t realize until we got to the gig, that it was a live radio broadcast, and by that time, the band was so tight, it was flawless, and was decided to release it to the world.
My wife, Judy, who had a natural and learned gift of healing, using Reiki, and Shiatsu, spent every day for months working on Long John at Vancouver General Hospital, in his final months. I visited him as much as my schedule would allow, but the super bug infection had become drug resistant, and his body had lost the battle. I owe much gratitude to Long John for encouraging me to be authentic in my music. He had lived the life of a pop star, and realized it was not the music of his soul, and gravitated back to the blues. He never received the riches and recognition of some of his superstar pals, but he was a great talent, a charismatic performer, and a dear friend.
Given you have played with so many musical luminaries and headlined so many concerts it may be difficult to pin point just a couple of concerts that you cherish in your memory bank.
Last October, on my 60th Birthday, I performed a special tribute concert to Hal David, the lyricist on all of the Burt Bacharach hit songs, he had turned 90 years old in 2011. I was playing keyboards and sax, and got to back up so many of my musical heroes, probably the most influential, Stevie Wonder. We didn’t know if he would make it until soundcheck the day of the show. He had just flown in from Washington DC, to dedicate the Memorial of Martin Luther King, whom he helped create a national holiday for. There were so many other great artists on the show, Smokey Robinson, Herb Alpert, Dionne Warwick and others
In 2003, I did a live DVD with songwriter Paul Williams, along with other special guests, including Willie Nelson. I’ve done a pretty convincing Willie impersonation since the 70s, and during a break, Paul asked me to pitch one of his recent songs to Willie, in my “Willie” voice. It was pretty strange, but Willie said in that downhome Texas drawl.. .. “Man you sound just like me!, When you do the demo, sing it in my voice so I’ll know how to phrase it”.
One one of Baldry’s Vancouver shows, at 86th Street, I got to the soundcheck, and there was a huge Marshall Amp stack on the stage, I asked around who was playing through it, and got no answer. Later to find out, that Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin came and did a surprise guest appearance for the encore of the show. I’ve seen fans mob the stage before at rock concerts, but never while I was playing on it. He’s a master of the guitar, and one of the most brilliant men of Rock and Roll. It was a thrill to work with him.
For the last 4 years I’ve been playing with some iconic songwriters from ASCAP, (American Society of Composers and Publishers) Grammy, Tony, Oscar, and multi-platinum hit makers in every genre, at the Library of Congress in Washington, It’s become one of the hottest tickets of the year in Washington, attended by many Senators and members of the House of Representatives. I’ve come to meet many of them over the last few years, including Madame Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who had such kind and flattering words on my performance. In 2010 I was asked by Bill Withers to sing the closing finale song, of his mega-hit, “Lean on Me”. I love history, politics and songwriting, and each concert was a very special night.
A few years ago you recorded a live CD and DVD at Blue Frog Studios in White Rock. From those session came a beautiful gospel song "When He Returns." You also have a full gospel CD and recently performed a gospel concert at the Pender Island Blues Festival. You will also be performing with gospel show with a choir in Fort Langley later this summer. What motivates you to do gospel music in addition to the blues?
I began singing and playing in the church as a child, and have never strayed from my Christian roots. My musical gifts come from God, as do all gifts. Growing up in the deep south, I was drawn to the soul and spirit of the Black Christian Church, I have a university music degree, and love the music of the church all the way back to Gregorian chants, the masses of Bach, and Mozart, but the Holy Spirit speaks to my soul in the form of Black Gospel Music. Most of my favorite performers began singing in the church, and I know we all share this spiritual connection in common. When I hear Aretha, Whitney, Sam Cooke and Elvis, I hear the roots of the church in their music. The Blues is the secular side of Gospel music, it’s rhythms, harmonies, tonal structure share the same dna, but the two genres have always been intertwined in my daily struggle with spirit and the flesh. I have a song in progress called “When Ash Wednesday Comes Around”, the day after Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, when we enter the 40 days of lent leading to Easter.
In February 2011, right around carnival time, Mardi Gras/ Ash Wednesday, I was diagnosed with Throat Cancer, and didn’t know if I would survive or sing again. Being from Louisiana, This song is the story of those 2 important days of the year in our culture, and the two coexisting worlds of the Blues and Gospel. To most people Ash Wednesday means the party’s all over, but to some of us, it’s just the beginning of the journey.
When Ash Wednesday comes around.
On that day When flesh, and spirit worlds collide
Swing down chariot with the angels let me ride
for trinkets, beads and riches I have strived
Lay down My silver, gold and my pride
And for all that I have gained and I’ve lost
I lay my burden down At foot of the cross,
Mardi Gras of my memories, have new meaning
For On the everlasting Arms I am leaning
Cuz I know that Heaven’s where my treasure Lies
My higher ground when Levees start to rise
As I look back on the madness of my youth
Make me a warrior for the light and the truth.
When the sadness all around me is storming
for 40 days I shall long for Easter morning
dust to dust, as we rise to holy ground
on my knees, When Ash Wednesday comes around
© John Lee Sanders, 2012
This Saturday evening you will be headlining the White Rock Blues Society show at the Rhumba Room in the Pacific Inn in South Surrey. It is being billed as:
John Lee Sanders can sit in front of a piano and bring the smoke from a Texas BBQ, A New Orleans Street Parade, and the Soul of the Mississippi Delta, all in one set.
Not simply a sit down concert, this is going to be a full on boogie woogie dance party. Who will make up your band Saturday night?
Here’s the lineup
JLS, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Chris Nordquist, Drums
Tim Porter, Guitar
“A-train” Alexander Boynton Jr. Bass
Steve Hilliam, Tenor Saxophone
Vince Mai, Trumpet
What new projects in addition to the upcoming gospel show in Fort Langley are you working on?
I’ll be performing with Bonnie Raitt, as her opening act on Aug 10, at the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Vancouver, and Aug. 13, in Calgary. I’ll be doing the 2nd annual Gospel Blues Christmas in White Rock on Dec 16, as well as a few other venues around BC.
I’m working on a few different CDs, one of my more adult contemporary music,
My music has such a broad fan base, pop, country, jazz gospel, blues, that sometimes I feel that sometimes genres can lock us into a particular box. I love blues artists, but I’m drawn more to artists who have taken the essence from those elements and crossed over and become mainstream without sacrificing their integrity as an artists, such as Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, and others.
I’m also doing a solo cd with my good friend, and co-writer, Chris Caswell, from LA,
He’s worked with everyone from , the Muppets, Jason Mraz, Daft Punk, Sarah Vaughn, Cannonball Aderley, to writing a Symphony debut at Carnagie Hall.
I’m also working on a CD, with a bit of country influence in the blues, Those 2 genres have so much in common, but the fan base seems a bit divided. I love songs that tell a story, and it seems that with so much dance music on the charts, the country writers seem much more evolved lyrically, so I would like to pursue that side of the tracks.
This week I’m working in the studio with Zigaboo Modeliste, king of the funky drums, the most sampled drummer in History, He’s from a famous New Orleans funk band called the Meters, who are innovators in the origins of Funk and Hip Hop. I’m working on a tour of Europe for 2013.
I’m constantly writing, not so much for a particular project, but just because I love the creative process. I’m writing an autobiography, a collection of stories, that are pretty interesting. Having survived cancer, and gaining my voice and life back, I feel that it might be an inspiration to someone out there. During my cancer treatment and recovery, it was a therapeutic process, since I didn’t feel much like making music, but I love the written word.
So that’s what’s going on in my world, Hope to see everyone Saturday night at The Rhumba Room in the Pacific Inn in South Surrey.
May 24, 2012
South Surrey/White Rock Senior Star Search
Chartwell Crescent Gardens Retirement Community is putting the final touches on the launch of this year's SENIOR STAR. Victoria Jackson is the Marketing Manager at Chartwell Crescent Gardens Retirement Community today lets us in on the local event of this national competition.
Victoria when and where will the 2012 SENIOR STAR be staged locally?
At Crescent Gardens Retirement Community which is on King George Highway by the Pacific Inn. The event is being held on Thursday 21st June from 2-4. The cut off for entry registration to participate in this exciting event us June 8th.
I understand this is not the first year of SENIOR STAR. What year is it and how many locations across Canada will SENIOR STARS be competing.
This is the 6th year of Senior Star and there will probably be over 160 Chartwell retirement communities across Canada involved. This singing and musical instrument competition Senior Star has grown to be the largest celebration of seniors talent in Canada. Chartwell Seniors Housing reit are the largest provider of senior homes in Canada and the 3rd in North America.
Who won your competition last year here in South Surrey?
The winner for Crescent Gardens was Terry Kirstein with a beautiful rendition of Mona Lisa, he wowed the crowd at Crescent Gardens. Talk about active seniors, last year Terry who is 80 was still playing hockey! It was a fabulous experience for Terry and I think he might be trying out again this year.
Is the competition open to anyone? What is the age requirement.
The competition is open to anyone living in Canada who is aged 65 in December 2011 and over. Our oldest competitor who sang last year at Crescent Gardens was 91 years young. Performers shatter traditional misconceptions about slowing down in one's later years. The average age of last years 10 finalists average age was 74 years old.
Are there any guidelines for what talent can be displayed at SENIOR STARS?
Participants will be required to perform a musical piece of their choice before a panel of 3 judges, they are given five minutes to perform either singing or playing a musical instrument or both.You can be accompanied by piano or background music but no other singers can be part of the song.
Is SENIOR STAR open to the public to attend? Is there a charge? How does one get tickets to the event on June 21?
We encourage everyone to come and attend to cheer on the talent. Book your free seat ASAP as it is a packed house event. This is not just a talent show it's a celebration of seniors and their wonderful talent and Chartwell Senior Housing is proud to support their incredible talent.
What talents did last year's entrants at Chartwell in South Surrey display?
They were mostly singers however this year we have a pianist and a person playing the harmonica; we are all constantly amazed by the caliber of seniors talent.
Are there any interesting story about any of last year's contestants?
Last year contestants all had wonderful individual stories of their love of music, their memories of family and friends that influenced them to become entertainers and how it helped them through the good and bad times. Their joy to entertain and bring happiness to people. They all felt extremely proud and honored at being part of Senior Star
The winners at Chartwell in South Surrey then go on to another level of competition?. Where does the local winner next compete before the finals which are in Toronto?
The event is videotaped so the 1st and 2nd place winners from Crescent Gardens their videos are submitted to another set of judges who will choose the 10 competitors to advance to our national event - the 10 selected will enjoy an all expense paid trip to Niagara Falls Scotiabank Convention Centre in November 2012 to compete.
from last year's finals in Ontario
For more information on Chartwell's SENIOR STAR please visit their website. http://www.chartwellreit.ca/senior_star/index.php Or call Victoria Jackson at 604-541-6712 to register or to book a seat
MAY 10, 2012
White Rock, Rhythm & Blues
Just over a year ago CARLOS DEL JUNCO and his blues Mongrels rolled onto the Semiahmoo Peninsula and destroyed everything in their way. Their show at the famed CLUB 240 (Crescent Beach Legion) has become an urban legend. If half the people that say they were there, actually were at the show it would have take a much larger venue to hold everyone.
CARLOS is returning for round two. Next Friday (May 18) the world class recording studio and performance sound stage of BLUE FROG STUDIOS in White Rock will host DEL DEL JUNCO, the man many call "the Jimi Hendrix of the harmonica."
Carlos is one of those players whose music is so advanced that when it comes to awards, it's either retire the category or rephrase the question to "Best Harmonica Player Not Named Carlos". This includes two Gold Medals from the Hohner World Harmonica Championship in Trossingen, Germany, as well as multiple national awards in Canada.
To say he plays the harmonica is like saying "Jimi Hendrix plays guitar". He blows the blues harp through a prism -- suddenly it seems he's holding every color in the musical rainbow right there in his hands.
Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues and jazz (hence the name for his band “The Blues Mongrels”). The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, Latin, hip-hop or ska melodies, to swampy roots rock.
Born in Havana, Cuba, del Junco (loosely translated "of the reeds") immigrated with his family at the age of one. He bent his first note on a harmonica when he was fourteen, making his debut with his high school math teacher at a student talent night. In his early 20's del Junco was immersed in a visual arts career; he graduated with honours from a four year programme, majoring in sculpture ( click here to see photos ) at the Ontario College of Art. Sculpture has definitely had an influence on his outlook on music: "Music is just a different way of creating textures and shapes."
Playing a ten hole diatonic harmonica, Carlos has developed the unique ability to play chromatically by using a recently developed "overblow" technique taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy. Overall, this approach to the diatonic harmonica, although much more difficult to achieve, is in many ways more expressive and communicative than the mechanized tone produced by the chromatic harmonica . Carlos is one of the few pioneers of this overblow method, bringing musical credibility to what has still been considered by many in the music industry - a fringe folk instrument. The sophisticated sound produced by del Junco is at once sensitive, soulful, and sexy while never forgetting the rawness inherent in blues music.
...del Junco continues to produce an eclectic palette of music onMongrel Mash, his 6th recording in a band setting on the BIG REED RECORD label. It features an energetic set with 3 straight up blues numbers and his usual hybrids of fun and quirky roots influenced instrumental. This is an "almost live" CD that lets the band stretch out as they would in front of a live audience. Some jaw dropping harmonica work from Carlos. Remarkable guitar work by Kevin Breit, one of the most sought-after session players in Canada and now in the U.S. thanks in large part to his work with Norah Jones and Cassandra Wilson, adds beautiful textures to the 9 track collection.
Carlos has toured Canada regularly since 1996 and tours often in Germany and the United States. He has played all the major jazz, blues, and folk festivals across Canada.
After next Friday May 18, 2012 he can add White Rock to his musical resume.
Joining Carlos will be the renowned singer/songwriter blues guitarist Rick Fines. Rick is a veteran of the folk and blues circuits in North America. In October 2005 Rick went to Alabama where he took first place in the Sweetgum Bottom Acoustic Blues Competition with B.B. King one of the judges!
Fines won the MapleBlues Award for Songwriter of the Year this year, Acoustic Act Of The Year twice (98, 99), and has received eight additional nominations. His work with Jackson Delta (for 15 years) brought nominations from both the Juno and the Handy Awards. He has played for legendary blues piano player Pinetop Perkins, songstress Colleen Peterson, folk icon Penny Lang and many others. He toured from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic, from B.C. to NYC last year alone, bringing his understanding of blues, finger-style and bottleneck guitar.
Del Junco Top 3 In The World
International Songwriters Competition Honours Carlos Del Junco
The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. ISC is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of song writing. Amateur and professional songwriters and musicians are invited to participate. ISC has the most prestigious panel of judges of all the song writing and music contests in the world, offering exposure and the opportunity to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry.
2011 Carlos Del Junco received the Second Place Award in the Instrumental category from hundreds of entrants worldwide.
1997 - 2011 Harmonica Player of the Year - EIGHT times out of the Canadian Maple Blues Award's FIFTEEN year history
1996 Blues Musician of the Year Award
Jazz Report Magazine
1993 Hohner World Harmonica Championship – Trossingen, Germany Two Gold Medals in both diatonic blues and diatonic jazz
CARLOS DEL JUNCO
April 29, 2012
Premier Canadian Roots Artist In Concert
Montreal's MICHAEL JEROME BROWNE has scheduled a stop on his Canadian tour here in White Rock at the Rhumba Room. The latest in a long line of stellar musical events presented by the White Rock Blues Society.
We had the opportunity to talk with MICHAEL prior to Saturday's show. We join the conversation already in progress
Michael let's start at the beginning. After relocating from your birthplace South Bend, Indiana to your adopted home in Montreal, what styles of music were you exposed to at the tender age of 9?
We moved to Montreal when I was one, and my parents listened to everything from Pete Seeger and Joan Baez to Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters to Jacques Brel and Barbara... Quite a lot of variety, and a lot of American folk music and blues.
You are a multi - instrumentalist, what is your main instrument and in what order did you add the other instruments into your musical mix?
I started playing harmonica at 9, but my main instrument, the guitar, came at 12, the banjo at 13, the fiddle at 18, and I don't think I picked up a mandolin until I was about 30. I started playing a bit of viola after I was 40.
Something interesting I found when researching your musical career, is it seems reviewers and the industry alike have a hard time classifying your music. Some feel it is more of a folk sound, while others lean towards putting you into a blues bag. How do you describe your music?
I would describe my music as Roots. It's a good way of not putting it in too small a box. My newest CD is pretty blues oriented, so I don't mind wearing the blues hat for a while. The blues is the common thread through everything I play, anything from the Southern U.S. has that element.
Last fall you released your 4th CD titled "The Road Is Dark." What was the inspiration for the title of the CD?
It's the title of one the songs, many of which are rather dark. My partner Bee Markus writes the lyrics and I write the music. A lot of the songs deal with death, and as our parents get older, I guess we start thinking about our own mortality.
The CD is a mixture of largely original songs, but you have delved back into the covers catalogue. What songs by other artists did you choose for inclusion on the CD, and how were they chosen?
Most of the covers are songs I've been doing for awhile which are unusual enough and haven't been covered to death. I was surprised when I noticed that Hugh Laurie (the actor from 'House') put out an album around the same time as mine with a cover of JB Lenoir's 'The Whale Has Swallowed Me'. I thought I was the only one to cover that song! I also didn't realize Morgan Davis had previously done Frankie Lee Simms' 'Married Woman'. 'Doing My Time' is a Flatt & Scruggs tune (written by Jimmie Skinner) that's very much like a blues. 'Death Don't Have No Mercy' by Rev. Gary Davis is pretty well-known, but I performed it in a play in Montreal and people have asked for a recording of it. I think my version is different enough. Frank Stokes' 'Right Now Blues' has a beautiful fiddle melody I've always loved and the closer, Tommy Johnson's 'Morning Prayer', is one of those unusual things, a Delta blues that has a sweet sound.
Where and when did you record the CD? Who else performed on the CD with you?
Most of the album was recorded at Larry O'Malley's Audio Bec studio in Lennoxville, Quebec. Most of those songs are solo, and I'm joined on a few by my old friend John McColgan on washboard. The rest was done at Ross Murray's studio in Chelsea, Quebec, where I brought in some friends from Ottawa: Steve Marriner (harmonica), Mighty Popo (guitar), Michael Ball (fiddle), and Jody Benjamin (guitar).
A few years ago you also created a DVD on how to play slide blues guitar. Originally only available in French, have you now created an English version?
I've printed up a few copies of the English DVD but it's not really available anywhere but at my shows.
Will you have copies of the DVD with you along with CDS for purchase when you perform Saturday at the White Rock Blues Society concert?
You made it into the Semi Finals for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Was that a special accomplishment given the incredible array of talented artists competing from around the world?
It was an accomplishment just to be selected by the Montreal Blues Society to go to Memphis, and a great thrill to be there. I try not to dwell on the competitive aspects of the music business. I see artists who are very talented not do very well in these things, and others who simply make a lot of noise do well. It has little to do with artistic merit.
It was at the Memphis Blues Challenge this past year that the Director of the White Rock Blues Society ROD DRANFIELD first heard you, and was knocked out. Tell us about that initial meeting?
I met Rod when I did the International Showcase at the beginning of the event. He was impressed and told me I should look him up if I was coming out west, and here I am!
It is a long trip from your home in Montreal to the West Coast. Do you get out to Western Canada very often? When did you last perform in the area?
I try to tour BC and Alberta about once a year. I think I was out here last spring. People in the West seem to have a good appreciation of acoustic music, so it's a good place for me to tour.
Your musical travel across this great nation of Canada have no doubt brought you into contact with many talented performers. Could you give us a couple of names for musicologists to check out, that have turned your head over the years?
One who comes to mind is here in Vancouver. His name is Celso Machado and he plays all kinds of Brazilian music on a huge variety of instruments, and plays traditional African music as well. An incredible one-man show!
Finally Michael tell us what we can expect musically when you perform at The Rhumba Room this Saturday (5)?
I will be performing solo, doing a lot of songs from the new CD and others too. Even though I'm solo it's semi-electric, I'll be playing my Silvertone arch top through a small Fender amp.
April 27, 2012
Rodney Dranfield Director WRBS
Rodney Dranfield travels to Memphis each year for the International Blues Challenge. The White Rock BLues Society for the past number of years has ensured our area is represented. This past year David "Boxcar" Gates flew our blues flag proud and high.
In 2011 Mud Dog competed on behalf of the White Rock Blues Society. It was at the 2011 blues gathering Rod came across the next act the society will be presenting in concert at the Rhumba Room at the Pacific Inn.
Here's the story;
Dave thanks for your interest with this up coming May 5th show. We are excited about hosting this wonderful blues talent.
Michael was sponsored by the Montreal Blues Society for the 2011 International Blues Challenge which took place in Memphis from February 1st to 5th. Because he was sponsored by a Canadian society, my old home town, I made it a point to go see him play at Club 152 3rd floor. This club is across the street from the B.B. King's Club and next to King's Palace. I heard that back in the thirties the upper floor of King's Palace was a photo studio and I was told it was there that the only picture ever taken of Robert Johnson, the iconic blues man who according to legend gave his soul to the devil to play never before hear guitar. With all this history and over 150 blues acts playing the same night on a three block strip of the famed Beale street it was every blues fan's dream.
He was scheduled to play at 8:05 Wednesday evening. Mud Dog, our sponsored duo act was playing at Wet Willies just down the street at 7:30 so by the time I got there the place was full but still clear view of the stage. Artists play a 25 minute set during the competition and I caught his last 10 minutes. I was invited to see the David Rotundo Band playing at 8:30 down the street at the Hard Rock Café so knowing I was already late for that I did not stick around to talk to Michael at the time but got his contact information the next day from Brian Slack the President of the Montreal Society and called him.
I say all this to give you an idea what it's like at one of these International Blues Challenge events. You have to plan your night using the detailed program book and watch the clock as you execute your planned schedule of artists to see. Many choose to find one location, get there early, usually for dinner and stay and watch ten acts come to the stage. The venues are offering either all solo/duo acts or bands. As you would expect the band venues are larger, bigger stage and more seats, two of them are theatres.
I told him about us and how we like to put on shows for artists coming through town and that he should let us know when he's planning a west coast tour. He called last October and we set a date that matched his schedule. Usually under these circumstances we would do a mid week show because more often the prime bookings, such as festivals and soft seater venues are on weekends but Michael gave us the option for a Saturday night which we took. This will help with attendance numbers. I have his 2007 released Double CD which has one CD with him playing solo and one with his band.
My appreciation for the blues ranges from the country/delta style of the one man wizard playing and singing it all to the Chicago ensembles letting it rip with the amplifiers wailing. Michael can do it all and with a distinctive voice an style. This is going to be quite a treat. We have invited David "Boxcar" Gates to join us and open things up. This will be a great opportunity for David to meet Michael a like minded spirit.
I'm looking forward to this special event and I trust that blues fans in out neck of the woods coming and see for themselves.
Check out the reviews and you will see I'm not alone in my praise for this man's talent and dedication to the music I love.
*Tomorrow - Michael Jerome Browne himself takes time out from his Cross Canada tour to answer a few questions prior to arriving on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
April 19, , 2012
Langley's TREVOR MURRAY recently journeyed to Nashville to record his sophomore CD "Leave It Up To Me." TREVOR has been kind enough to re-cap the whole process of one way an artist can record a CD these days.
TREVOR please explain first of all your writing process for the songs? Do you write everything yourself or are there some co-writes on the new CD?
I could happily talk about this topic all day long, as writing songs is a huge passion of mine. I often write something everyday, whether I intend to or not. I find that my cell phone voice recorder has come in real handy for me over the past 7+ years or so. Whether I'm at work, or whether I'm cutting the lawn, or sitting around... if some lyrics or a melody pops into my head, I just record into my voice recorder. There are a lot of crazy ideas in there! I mean some of it's real gibberish, but at least I'm able to capture it and go back to it days, weeks, or months later. I find that if I don't record it, I may not remember the way that I was singing those certain words.
Songs have to come straight from the heart, and people have to believe what you're singing. So generally I just need an idea, feeling, or emotion in my mind and I just run with it and try to paint the best, most honest, picture I can. I had a great life growing up, but I've gone through a lot of stuff (good and bad) in my life. I've lost a good friend, as well as my Dad way too early. When I was younger, I think it's safe to say I had my heart broken and I likely broke a heart or two. But I've also been lucky enough to find my beautiful wife. So I know about love and loss, and I hope that emotion and honesty comes across in my music.
Most of the time, I write by myself and get the song to the point where I can sing it and play it completely on guitar. Then I'll bring it to the guys I'm playing with at the time, and they'll put some real nice instrumentation to it. When you play with certain people for a long time, they definitely have some influence on your overall sound at that time.
On my upcoming solo album, there are 11 songs. I wrote 8 of them on my own over the years, and there are also 3 co-writes, and I'm proud to be a part of each one of them.
1. Get Away from it All: I was down in Puerto Vallarta with some friends way back in 2000 or 2001, and I remember it was mid-week at an all-inclusive resort and I was pretty tired. I took the hotel pad of paper and a pen and I went and sat by myself and listened to the waves roll in. I was just writing about getting away from it all. So I had the song pretty much written when I got back, but it was before I knew how to play guitar. So my buddy Shaune Kemkaran helped me finish it off. He's pretty much who taught me how to play guitar in the early days.
2. Great Grey Owl: My buddy Jim has quite a few years on me, and has been a big part of my music life with the Murray Band for the past 5 years or so. He has all sorts of life experience. But what amazes me most about him is he was writing brilliant songs by the time he was 12 years old back in Manitoba. He played this song for me one day, maybe a year ago, and I mean it was pretty much all there, and I just really helped him bring this one to the finish line. So this one is more his song than anything, but I'm proud to be a part of it and think it fits very nicely on this album.
3. Louise: My buddy Noel Peters, also a member of the Murray Band, had the music to this song written years ago. He had some words to it as well. But he played this song one night at a party without words, and I thought it was great. I thought of the idea of "Louise" and I just went home and finished all new words to the song in the next couple days. I really like the way this one turned out.
So once you have the songs written and I assume demo'ed in some form what is the next step in working with a producer in Nashville?
This particular Producer/Engineer helped us finish off the Murray Band's last single - Can't Leave You Behind. My friend Sam Sunderland had heard about him previously when he took a trip down to Nashville. This engineer did a really nice job of making that last song sound "radio ready" and helped get us some decent radio play.
I feel that with a producer/engineer, it's a 2 way street. You want to find a producer that truly likes what you're doing as well, so that they'll put some passion into it. Once I figured out the pricing, and that we both thought it would be a good fit, I sent a down payment along with 12 songs of me singing and playing acoustic guitar. They didn't need to be super polished. But he needed a rough recording of my songs along with a lyric sheet for each one. Then he charts it out with the Nashville number system. That seems to be the way the session players like to read their music.
Who engineered/produced and mastered the new CD?
A great guy by the name of Dan Drilling from Panda Productions. www.pandaproductionsofnashville.com I believe he was one of Randy Travis' first guitar players, and he has played on the Opry stage for the past 21 years with Jimmy C. Newman. So he not only engineered, mixed and mastered the album, but he also played some great guitar on there as well.
So once you submit the demos to the Nashville producer, if I am understanding correctly he gets on the phone and calls in some Nashville heavyweight players. Who are some of the musicians that played on your CD?
Dan lined up some great session musicians. Some of them have played and recorded with musicians such as Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, George Jones, Kenny Chesney and more.
Were you actually around the studio when the musicians were laying down the bed tracks for the CD?
Yes, it's unbelievable how quickly these guys work, and how talented they are. We all met up at the studio on the Tuesday morning, and I was there in the room when the guys recorded Drums, Bass, rhythm guitar and piano for my 12 songs. This is where I had the opportunity to provide the musicians with my vision for each song. Mid day we took about an hour break and went out for lunch, but the guys really got the job done in about 6-7 hours. Very impressive!
Any interesting stories that came out of being around those heavies?
There were all sorts of great stories told that day, and I'm sure they've got a lot that they just keep to themselves. While the piano player was in the driveway, he got a call to see if he was able to go on tour with George Jones for 3 weeks.
Now the next stage I would assume is you put your vocals on the tracks correct? How long was that process?
Being that I was down in Nashville, I knew I had to be well rested and take it easy during the weekdays. I split the 12 songs up between 3 days - Wednesday to Friday. Once I finished the job on Friday, I was able to let loose a bit on the weekend before we had to fly home on the Sunday. That is the one part of it that gets tricky. If you lived there and had an off day due to a sore throat or something, you could just go back the next day or week. But being that I flew in from out of town, I had to really rest up and take care of my voice.
Were you present for the mixing of the CD or was that done long distance. By that I mean did the producer do the mixes and then send them up to you totally finished?
The mixing and addition of extra instruments like Pedal Steel guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle and Harmonica were added several weeks after I got back to Canada. The harmony vocals were also added after I was gone. He then sent me the mixes over email, basically giving me an opportunity to provide any feedback or let him know about any small fixes before he did the mastering.
Once you had the chance to hear all the songs you had written, produced and recorded by some of Nashville's best how did you feel?
I'm pretty proud of the finished product. I put my heart and soul into this one, and I learned a lot about the music business. My wife and I got to experience Nashville and see some good friends while we were down there. It's exciting to put together a collection of songs I've written over the years, as well as adding some co-written songs from guys I have a lot of respect for.
Are there a couple of songs that you thing turned out a little better than the others, songs that have become personal favourites of yours?
"The Men they could have been" is some real traditional country, which may be where I fit the best.
"Wait around for you" closes out the album and is somewhat of a country power ballad that stands out for me as one of the better tracks on the album.
"Faster Every Time" may be the first one I go to radio with.
"Fightin' the Urge" is basically my true life story for the past 4-5 years or so. So it's my song where I'm able to vent and let it all out.
"Riding the Rails" is a song I'd played live many times over the years with the Murray Band. But I never recorded it so wanted to put it on this album. I really like the way it turned out, as it's a song that means a lot to my family.
You will now manufacture the CDS and that is going to run you a couple thousand dollars, so if I am doing my arithmetic correct, including flights, hotels, recording, producing, studio rental etc. at the end of the day including manufacturing you will have 1,000 CDS totally finished for about $10,000.00 correct?
I'd say we're in that $10,000 to $12,000 range for all that. I personally feel it's a great deal, and my wife and I got to experience Nashville. So we've now got a lifetime of stories built into that cost, and I know we'll be going back. As for the CD manufacturing/duplication, Precision Disc here in Langley is the only company doing that on the west coast, so they are really convenient for any local artists.
That is amazing. So once the CDS are manufactured what are your plans for your music and the finished CD?
The results from my trip have already been great, even prior to my album release. 1 of the 12 songs I recorded down there was an original Christmas song I wrote - "Greatest Present of All". I asked him to get that song back to me first so I could release it as a separate project in time for the Christmas season. I released the single on Itunes, and also released it to Canadian country radio via DMDS, and for 2 weeks it was on the DMDS Most Active Indie chart. One week it was # 4 on the chart, which was behind # 1 Taylor Swift, and ahead of #5 Adele. So that's the kind of cool stuff that goes in the old Scrapbook! Over this Christmas season, it got airplay on about 35 Canadian Country stations. It was lucky enough to go 5 for 5 to win the JRFM New Country Challenge against many talented competitors. And I always get great support as well from the good people at Country 107.1 in Abbotsford. I also had a lot of support on that single from the great people at the BC Country Music Association.
My current plan is to release one single to radio, prior to the album release. I hope to release the album in late February or early March, 2012. I'll release the album on Itunes and CDBaby. Hard copy CD's will be available for sale on CDBaby.com or available at local shows and events. As long as it's fun, I just want to keep making and playing music. People can always find me on Facebook or my Trevor Murray Facebook music page. And my new website is: www.trevor-murray.com
What are some of the lasting impressions Music City U.S.A. made on you?
The Ryman Auditorium was amazing. We took a tour, and I told one of the tour guides what I was doing down there, and they let me sing on that stage. It was the best sound I've ever heard in my life! I think they say it's the second best acoustics in all the world. We got to go to a Wine Festival on a bridge, and got to go to a free Capitol Street Party on Music Row where we saw both Eric Church and Alan Jackson. And the BBQ was very good throughout the city.
How did you find the live music scene., For years there really was no real live scene as all the stars were always on the road. But now there are a number of honky tonks down on Lower Broadway. Did you get a chance to check any of them out?
The live music scene on Broadway was unbelievable. I noticed that there are a few key ingredients that helped make it great:
Probably 20 great country bars that have live music within 1 city block. That makes for an easy destination for both tourists and locals every night of the week. When you go to that part of town, you know what you're going to get. Good live music and a lot of options.
A population of very talented musicians willing to play for tips
Rarely any cover charge so it's easy to just get up and go to the next place if you so choose. You can check out many different acts in a given night. Cheap beer. $1 to $2.50 is pretty normal. (Shiner Bock was likely my favorite!)
With no cover, cheap food, and cheap beer, you generally have a few bucks to drop in the bucket for the band, which keeps them coming back.
Tootsies, The Stage, and The Bluegrass Inn were all pretty cool. My personal favorite was Robert's Western World. For me it doesn't get much better than that. Good ol' live honky tonk music, and in between sets there's lots of old George Jones being played. That's my kind of night.
See TREVOR in concert April 23 at the Cascades Casino Summit Theatre in Langley. TREVOR will open the CRYSTAL CHAWANDA concert. Keep an eye out here at The White Rock Sun for future upcoming shows of TREVOR MURRAY.
He is our kind of country.
March 20, 2012
TILLERS FOLLY Set To Release 8th CD.
It's Party Time And You're Invited!
TILLER'S FOLLY has been together for 16 years or so. In musician years that is about 80 years together. The band recently released a new CD titled "Go For The Road" and the release will signify some exciting musical events for local fans.
LAURENCE KNIGHT recently took time out of his busy schedule to highlight the
past year which has been very busy for TILLERS FOLLY
First of all Laurence congratulations on "Go For The Road." Tell us a bit about the writing and recording process.
Bruce turned 50 last year and put into his mind that he really wanted to
write and make a CD that really reflected his life and as a statement if he
didn't reach 51. Reflections on aging and mortality as it where. The whole
idea was to make a totally acoustic record, there are no electric
instruments on this CD.
The beds for the CD were recorded in Victoria with our amazing producer
Joby Baker at his studio Baker Street Joby is one of the great up and coming
producers and is receiving more nominations and accolades all the time. The
beds where done in May and this was the first CD that I did totally on
acoustic Bass. From there we started shipping tracks off to friends in
Nashville, edinbourough and LA.
The new CD seems to have a number of guest musicians.
We have been friends with John Cowan (Doobie Brothers, John Cowan band, New
Grass revival)for some time now (he sang on 'A River So Wide and Nolan's CD
Heavy Wood) and he has become a huge supporter of Bruce's song writing and
Tiller's Folly. Also we just signed a management contract with Atlanta's
Brian Smith last year. Brian namages John, Mountain heart and Tiller's)
We are huge fans of John's and love his singing so he was a for sure guest
and we also love mountain heart and their main vocalist Josh Shilling.
Bruce wrote this cheery little song Death and taxes that was inspired by
Bernard Cornwall's book 'Gallow's Thief' and takes 3 men on a trip to the
gallows so 3 guys 3 singers Josh, john and Bruce. Nolan networked heavily
with Brian and John and from John's band ( The John Cowan Band) Nolan
recruited banjo god Scott Vestal and Jeff Autrey. These guys are amazing
acoustic instrumentalists and they are featured throughout the cd I think
Scott on 5 tunes Jeff on 7.
Bruce wanted a male female duet on Forever on My Mind and Brian was friends
with the Cherryholmes ( Grammy winning family Bluegrass group) management
and they were just breaking up and going their own way. Cia Cherrry Holmes
was recruited and came on board. Great vocalist.
We performed on Music City Roots in June and met Randy Khoors and he wanted
in and he is the most amazing Dobro player so he came on board again Nolan
was the catalyst. Also at that trip we met the McCoury's and again Nolan
tracked down Ronnie to play mandolin and sing harmony.
We have toured Scotland many times and had the pleasure of meeting and
performing with the great Phil Cunningham, accordion god Bruce took one of
his melodies and wrote lyrics for it for Bruce's 2010 Minstrel of Moray solo
CD so there was a relationship and Phil came on Board on 3 tracks, This
guys resume is huge and he is one of the greats of Scottish Celtic Music.
Wendy Waldman produced a CD for John and Nolan got her info and there you
go she also sang on the CD. We got all these tracks and Bruce and Nolan
headed back to Victoria to finish all the parts. The CD was mixed in Jan by
Joby with Bruce and here we are. I hope I haven't forgotten any one
The band was recently in Memphis, Tennessee for a giant industry showcase of folk artists. What was the conference all about and how do you think the band did in front of the movers and shakers of the U.S. folk industry?
There is so much good music and musicians there that it's daunting but Tiller's can stand on their own 2 feet with anyone so the response was very good at it a matter of continuing to create the ripple in the pond keep
them spreading so yes a great success. One highlight was Music City Roots
in Nashville the night before Memphis with Bulky and The Rodeo Kings and
the Wood Brothers great show with so many Canadians in attendance!!
Had you been to Memphis before? Did you get out and around to see some of
the local stops of interest?
Bruce and I had never been to Memphis and it was great to see the
Mississippi River shining like a national guitar and we had a visit to
Graceland but didn't have enough time to go in just to get pics at the gate
While you were down in the southern United States you did a couple of concerts. One would imagine your Pacific Northwest Celtic/Bluegrass Folk
sound would go over well with audiences down south. How did you like performing down there and did you find the audience reaction differed from
The response was really good in the south because we are a different flavor
and there is such a legacy or traditional music there that they really get
what we're doing. Similar to Scotland they know their acoustic music and
You travels have taken you far and wide not only across Canada and the U.S. but over to Europe as well. With the release of the new CD how does your tour schedule look for the rest of the year?
We have quite a few shows throughout the Northwest, Washingotn Oregon, B.C. and Alberta coming up
and then we're heading back to the UK this summer. Really looking forward to that. Our 5 th or 6 th tour.
How many CDS has TILLERS FOLLY released over its 16 year history?
Tiller's has released 8 CDS Go The Road is #8, but we also have done 2 solo
CD's with Nolan and Bruce has released 3 solo CD's in this same time frame
and we have more tunes in the can in varying states of completion
TILLERS FOLLY has earned a laudable reputation as celebrating Canadian and in particular B.C. history in music. Does this theme carry through to "Go For The Road?"
Go the Road has no history in song except for the personal history of Bruce
the songwriter. I think it is an 11 song collection of incredible writing
and musical virtuosity and the production is 1st rate.
You have a pair of very exciting concerts coming up at White Rock's BLUE FROG STUDIOS. The March 29 & 30th concerts will be recorded live and I also understand you are planning on filming both evening's performances for
possibly a LIVE DVD?
Blue Frog Sound Stage
We will have 5 camera in Blue Frog lead by the great
gene Greenwood another local guy and one of the go to video guys in this
part of the world. We will be culling 4 to 5 video's to promote the new CD.
They'll be released say 1 a month online and then as budgets come together a
DVD will be planned of the whole event.
You have at least one special guest joining you at the Blue Frog shows. 80's rockers LOVERBOY'S keyboard player DOUG JOHNSON will join the band at Blue Frog. How did this union come about?
Doug and I are good friends and we have a jam band with Don Wells and get
together when we can once a week to play jazz standards and Steely Dan Tunes
big fun he is such a musician!! We are excited about this collaboration!
That is one of the things that Tiller's does we love to collaborate with our
fellow musicians and artists!
Laurence you have been plying your trade in the music business now for well over 16 years. What are some of the major changes you have seen and had to adapt to in promoting and playing your music in the new millennium?
I've been a pro musician since the early 70's I think one major change is almost the end of the disc and the record store
and the whole online downloading thing. Another major change is the internet as a marketing tool. That is the marketing tool now hence the need for some good fodder (video's for the marketing.
Also the recession has kicked arts funding and it is challenging to keep the
calendar full. We are really lucky to now be signed with this management co.
out of Marietta and I think as an artist you have to be constantly opening
new markets and also showcasing in your traditional markets. Out of sight
out of mind. You have to constantly keep the flow going to keep people
interested. That is a challenge also and a lot of work.
Here's a thought nobody listens to a whole album any more everybody has
their ipod on scramble and I find I really have to push myself when I get a
new CD to listen from front to back. It's a rare CD that can hold you that
long. The other thing about that is variety is great!!
I think people will really find 'Go The Road holds up from front to back and
that is a real accomplishment to Tiller's Folly and the team that made this
What music are you listening to these days, and do you have any other
surprises up your sleeve for the Blue Frog shows you care to share with us.
I listen to so much music I just got the new Blackie and the Rodeo Kings CD
in Nashville from them great CD and I like Jim Cuddy's new CD I find I like
organic music from any era so I have 1200 CD's on my ipod and that number is
constantly going up. I still have many LP's and cassettes and maybe one day
I'll make them digital.
March 08, 2012
Viva Coast Capital
We are talking today with DARREN LEE who brings his #1 Elvis Presley Tribute to the White Rock Playhouse this Sunday. DARREN how did it all begin for you impersonating/honouring the king of rock Elvis Presley?
My mom had Elvis records all over the house when I was a kid, and i would sing along, when i was in grade 5 a catholic nun started a school choir-that i was lucky enough to be picked for. The catholic nun knew my mom had a guitar, so she pushed me into learning how to play it (if that moment wouldnt have happened you wouldnt be asking me these questions-that was the moment). I realized the chords she taught me sounded the same as the chords in Elvis songs, so I started playing and singing along.
Did you ever have the opportunity to see Elvis in person?
No I wasn't one of the lucky ones
Night after night all over North America you bring the magic of the Elvis experience to stages. Could you please relate a couple of your more memorable performances?
Even though my time in Las Vegas was not very rewarding, the most memorable moment of my career happened there on January 1 2007. That night was my grandmas 85th birthday-she was in the hospital dying of cancer. My boss let me use his cell phone while I was on stage, and the entire crowd (600 people) sang happy birthday to her- she died the following month
You recently returned from performing in Las Vegas. Do you find the crowds in Vegas more critical than in other cities?
The crowds in Vegas were there to see a show that featured 5 different acts- they werent there to see an Elvis show,so as soon as I was finished a new act would come on. If the crowds didnt like Elvis they might like Michael Jackson etc. At the end of the show we would do a finale and a meet and greet,this is where you found out who the most popular acts were-it was always Michael and me.
A few years back you went head to head with hundreds of performers from around the world and became the first ever Canadian Elvis Impersonator to take the world crown. Tell us a bit about that whole experience.
The contest is held over a whole week with about 50 contestants performing every night-out of those about 25 are chosen to compete in the finals on Friday and Saturday. In 1997 I won. During my semi-final the crowd was very enthusiastic, but when they announced that I had won and the artist that they supported didnt win-it was a different story. I feel I did a better show in 1995-I came in third.
Do you have a particular era and or song of Elvis that you like to perform?
I started out as a 50s Elvis and that is still my strongest part. I love doing the 68 comeback/unplugged portion of our show. i love singing My favorite Elvis song, My Way, Walk A Mile in My Shoes and Treat Me Nice.
Sunday evening you bring your musical revue to the stage of the White Rock Playhouse. Please give us a little insight into the show and the production you will be presenting.
The show starts in the 50s, with the band wearing matching colored sports jackets-a very high energy set containing all the classic early Elvis songs. The second part starts in black leather with the famous 68 sit-down session, and continues in a white jumpsuit with the Vegas years. I guarantee the best tribute to Elvis ever presented.
Tickets may be purchased in advance through the Playhouse Box Office (click here)
March 05, 2012
John Oliver & Farshid Samandari
announce the formation of a new chamber ensemble
dedicated to the meeting of the musics of the world.
The debut performance of the
Big World Band
Friday, March 9, 2012, 8 pm
Christ Church Cathedral
690 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 2L1
Tickets: $25 Adult / $15 Students/seniors/working artists
Available from Brown Paper Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/226206
Featuring Vancouver's top musicians specializing in the music of China, India, the Middle East and moorish Europe, the Big World Band mixes culture into a New World Music that is a mirror of Vancouver in the 21st century. Treat yourself to the sounds of the world remixed into new combinations.
The Go Softly Project is the first in a series of musical exploration by the ensemble.
Go Softly features the plucked strings of the Silk Road in compositions by Hossein Behroozinia, John Oliver and Farshid Samandari, along with arrangements by members of the band. Hear the sounds of Spain transported to China, and Iran transformed into a new mixed culture, and many other treats.
Forget the News of the World! Come hear the sounds of the world, here at home in Vancouver.
Big World Band musicians:
Hossein Behroozinia, barbat (Iranian lute)
Guilian Lui, pipa (Chinese lute)
Mohamed Assani, sitar & tabla (Indian guitar and drums)
Zhimin Yu, zhongruan (Chinese guitar)
John Oliver, classical guitar
Navid Goldrick, santoor, saz, oud (hammer dulcimer, Turkish mandolin, Arabic lute)
Farshid Samandari, bass guitar
Hamin Honari, tombak, daf (Iranian hand drums)
CONTACT: John Oliver 604-527-2358 or Farshid Samandari (778) 928-4929
February 02, 2012
l-r RODNEY DRANFIELD White Rock Blues Society director and the Night Owl's Doug E
Memphis Shout Out
Sorry to report that David "Boxcar" Gates didn't get through to the IBC finals last night in Memphis. We all are proud of his performance and he has made many contacts that will further his career as a prrofessional blues musician. Bruce Iglauer, owner of Alligator Records came to see him. It has been a great learning experience in many ways. For more information check out the Blues Foundation website.
White Rock Blues Society
p.s don't forget you can welcome David back home this Saturday when he plays in White Rock at the Blue Frog studios
David 'Boxcar' Gates
A Shout Out From Clarksdale
Hello blues fans, I'm writing to you from the Shack Up Inn located on the Hopson Plantation just two miles south of Clarksdale Mississippi on HWY 49 E. Up the road is the famed crossroad where Hwy 61 crosses Hwy 49. Blues legend has it that Robert Johnson had his run in with the Devil one dark an eerie night and negotiated guitar-playing prowess in exchange for his soul. Even though it is more likely that Robert practiced for 10,000 hours to hone his skills, myth is always more tantalizing to the imagination than the mundane. Reality has always been a bit of a downer to dreamers.
We are staying in the Pinetop Perkin's shack complete with stand-up piano and a wonderful wall mural that has Pinetop playing a piano in the "next" room. This is my fourth visit to this unique property and it's the people and the music that keeps me coming back. Going to Memphis for the IBC would not be complete without staying here a couple of days to soak up the blues atmosphere. I'm seriously thinking of organizing a tour next year with the help of Robert Birdsong a local historian who would be the perfect guide.
I, along with Tony Intas met Robert in 2010 on our first visit to Clarksdale and the Hopson Plantation. He has a wealth of information about the blues here in Mississippi. He showed us multiple binders of photos of musicians, buildings, gravesites and important venues. The stories he can tell, the knowledge he holds regarding the evolution of America's great contribution to the world's music canon would intrige any audience but blues fans would be in musical heaven.
By the way, that guitar you see there, between the "doors" is a 1958 Stella that I bought from Ronnie Drew a local musician and guitar store owner so that I can say I have an insrument with the same design that Robert Johnson learned to play on. Not that it is going to help me improve my guitar playing but every kid likes to play with the same kind of puck Rocket Richard used to score his 50 goals in a fifty game season.
On Friday we attended the film festival in town and saw the CBC 87 minutes film titled "The Blues". It was filmed in Januarty 1966 in Toronto and broadcast only once soon after the taping. This is an amazing film with many of the day's greatest blues artists in a studio talking and playing nothing but the blues.
Muddy Waters, Brownie McGee, Willie Dixon, Mable Hillery, Otis Span, Sunnyland Slim, Jesse Fuller, Sonny Terrry, James Cotton, "Bukka" White, Big Joe Williams and Samuel Longhorn. At last year's first annual Clarksdale Film Festival this film was the 2011 Award Winner. The importance of this footage can't be overstated. It sat in a vault for over forty years and was released last year for the festival. This year, Roger Stolle of Cat Head Delta Blues Folk Art was able to get a number of DVDs and I got a copy. Later this year the White Rock Blues Society will look into holding a mini film festival showing a couple of blues documentaries. Just another way of keeing the blues alive.
A dream come true, I got to blow some harp in the world famous Red's Juke Joint in Clarksdale. Also had a nice chat with Roger Stolle in his store. The best selection of all things blues you'll ever come across.
Roger Stolle, Owner of Cat Head http://www.cathead.biz
Over the last few days we have checked out a number of Blues Trail sites in Tutwiler, Greenwood, Indianola Cleveland, Como and Holly Springs. There is a new iPhone App available from the Mississippi Blues Trail at iTunes. Check out the website. http://www.msbluestrail.org
This app is very informative and helpful and a must for avid blues fans. It has a map of all the current Blues Markers. A timeline covering the history of the blues, a list of all blues artists coming out of Mississippi from Charley Paton to Charlie Musselwhite, links to videos and the ability for you to plan your itinerary.
As I mentioned earlier I have had some preliminary discussions with Clarksdale resident Robert Birdsong an historian whose family dates back four generations to help plan a Blues Tour like no other for White Rock Blues Society Members. We plan to use Clarksdale and the Shack Up Inn as our home base. More details will be shared as they become available.
January 23, 2012
Music For Big Kids
We start the New Year with some of the brand new releases and a few that may have slipped through the cracks at the end of the year.
Some call him the Jesus of Cool. Absent from the scene for a number of years, LEONARD returns with a brand new album due on line and in those disappearing record stores this month.
*click on the name of the band above the CD to hear their latest music
Flat out beer drinkin hell raisin' rock n roll. All courtesy of just tow guys, a set of drums and a guitar.
LUKE BRYAN is the hottest new entry into the world of hip cool new country. "Tailgates and Tanlines?
Previously unreleased songs and works in progress from the late AMY WINEHOUSE have been cobbled together for the latest from Ms. Rehab
NORAH JONES nad her alter ego band of merry men THE LITTLE WILLIES are back with another CD. This time mining the library of great country classics.
One time Canadian pop music "it girl" KATHLEEN EDWARDS returns with a brand new CD Voyageur.
December 29, 2011
Canadian Country Music Sucks! There I said it.
Industry insiders and those that eek out a living in the Canadian music industry will recoil in horror and spew forth a million examples of how and why I have lost my mind.
I would be happy to sit down anywhere or anytime and debate the state of the nation with them, but alas they won't. Why would they want to have the fact exposed there is NO CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC INDUSTRY in existence.
First point. There is a ton of great country music artists on the landscape in Canada. Some actually even receive a modicam amount of radio airplay. IN large part though the majority of Canadian country entertainers we hear on the radio, can't sell a CD, a download or god forbid a hard ticket for a concert. Tons of radio airplay, and nothing. What is this, 1970?
The Canadian music industry got a huge boost in 1970 when the Canadian Radio Television Commission (since changed to Telecommunications) instituted Canadian content regulations for Canadian radio. Voila, within a few years a number of Canadian rock acts were now getting the deserved exposure and actually selling records and drawing audiences across the country from the radio exposure. With the advent of MTV's Canadian counterpart MUCHMUSIC in the 80's Canadian rock acts burst on to the international scene, and there was no turning back.
All the while the Canadian country music industry has sat back and waited for acts to get some sort of attention in Nashville, and then fall all over themselves on how "they have always loved them." I CRY B.S.
First let 's look at the undisputable facts. Over the recent holiday season I had occasion to visit a number of local major record retailers in my area (Vancouver). First I must preface I am well aware CD'S are not selling the numbers they were at one point in time, this is not simply limited to country CDS, with the exception of a handful of pop/rock artists the public generally speaking has stopped buying CDS in any great quantity.
While strolling through the limited racks of CDS though I did not see product from one of the Canadian country music acts that receive a ton of radio airplay. It is not simply the lack of CD sales that indicate there is a big problem with the Canadian country music star making machine. If you are a fan of Canadian country music, simply check out the artist's personal web site and see how many concerts that have scheduled. I will not make this a personal rant by singling out any particular Canadian artists. It is the same story for any act you care to choose.
Oh yes there will always be the exception, but that is not wha twe are dealing with here, I am talking about the rule. Canadian country acts are only able to capitalize on their radio airplay by playing every farm fair in the summer, where their performance is free with our admission.
A number of years ago BRYAN ADAMS received considerable backlash when he was accused of criticizing the Canadian content regulations. ADAM'S real message was lost in translation. What ADAMS was saying was this, yes he received a lot of radio exposure in Canada as a result of the regulations, but it was not until he started to sell records in America that the Canadian music industry really began to champion him. I personally witnessed this phenomeenem while working at CBS records in the 80's. Our markering team busted our asses to break CELINE DION into the English speaking market in Canada. We were successful in attaining radio airplay after months of grueling work, but it was not until CELINE'S record began to break in the U.S. that the whole attitude in Canada changed. Why is it that we still wait for America to validate our artists before we climb up on the soapbox and begin to pound the pride drum?
To my ears most of the Canadian country acts on today's musical landscape sound like "tribute acts" to American stars. They are as unoriginal as a NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE act. For that very reason Nashville shows little or no interest in signing any acts out of Canada. Most artists from Canada trying to break the American market are swept aside with comments like "Oh you get a ton of airplay because radio up there, HAS TO PLAY YOU!"
If you care to check the Top Selling CDS in Canada there is not one single Canadian country act in the Top 100. The same goes for the digital downloads, not one Canadian country act makes the list.
Conversely on the top selling 100 album list in Canada and in America Canadian acts like NICKELBACK, JUSTIN BIEBER, DRAKE and MICHAEL BUBLE all have new releases in the Top 10.
So Canadian country radio, don't shoot the messenger. Get the hell to work at making some of the great Canadian acts stars. Or I will have to write this same editorial again next year and the year after!
Sad but true.
|December 18, 2011
They Don't Make Em' Like That Anymore
Love Me Or Leave Me
Do It Right
She's Like A Song
I'd Still Have Everything
Sleep It Off
In This House
This is the list of Canadian country acts that are presently getting a tremendous amount of Canadian radio exposure.
Scheduled shows for the above artists
Jason Blaine - No shows schedule
Chad Brownlee - Dates in early 2012 opening for Dierks Bentley in Western Canada. No solo shows booked
Doc Walker - One show listed. Steinbach, Manitoba June 201
Terri Clark - Numerous American dates, two summer shows in Canada at big festivals
Dallas Smith - No dates
Deric Ruttan - Craven, Sask July 2012
Jason McCoy - One show Cascades Casino Langley New Years Eve
Emerson Drive - 2 shows in February in Arizona
The Stellas - Edmonton May 15, 2012
...totally unrelated but still funny
Mother Goose Nigel Watkinson
Years ago when I moved to White Rock I continuosly kept hearing the locals talking about "the panto this, the panto that." I had no idea what the heck they were talking about. A little investigation led me to the White Rock Playhouse in uptown White Rock one snowy Christmas week years ago. Ever since then whenever the time and finances allow it I have made it a tradition like so many others to make attending the Christmas panto a kick off to the holiday season at the Chesney manse.
A few years ago (2006) the panto lost its driving force, SCOTT WHEELER. The subsequent productions have not had the luxury of Dame WHEELER. Big shoes no one will ever really be able to fill. WHEELER had produced over 175 stage productions in White Rock including the Christmas Panto for three decades.
This year's production of MOTHER GOOSE now on until December 26 is the 56th Annual Pantomime for the White Rock Players.
Mother Goose is played exceptionally by Nigel Watkinson, Ray Van Ieperen as the Good Fairy comes close to stealing the show. Bryce Paul Mills with the compulsory British accent is brilliant as are Kyle Stewart and Mederi Mynhardt who work so well together as the evil comedy consortium of Smith & Jones.
l-r Bryce Paul Mills, Maderi Mynhardt, Bryce Paul Mills and Michelle Gaetz
The original musical selections, the creation of Tom Saunders and Jason Dedrick take Mother Goose to a new level.
Editor – Monday we get to know Tom Saunders and his musical mosaic more here on the pages of THE SUN.
If there is one slight criticism, it is the simple fact Ipersonally long for more local references. If not for the lyrics in the Saunders/Dedrick songs there really would not be any direct tie in to White Rock/South Surrey which for me has always been the true treat of the White Rock Players panto.
There are still a few tickets left for the remaining performance through the Playhouse Box Office (see below).
You can't fight it. You might as well start making the panto a part of your Christmas tradition.
Good Fairy Ray Van Iperen
Excerpts from this year's production via YOU TUBE;
For tickets, show times and box office hours (click here)