A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.

Blog Post: Jonathan Roy - Skating to Stardom

Blog Post: Jonathan Roy - Skating to Stardom
His father is hockey legend Patrick Roy, the Stanley Cup winning the goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche. And Jonathan seemed destined to follow in his father’s skates—until he caught the music bug. First he appeared as one of the leads in a theatrical production of Don Juan and then fell under the spell of artists like John Mayer. But everything changed for Jonathan when his dad introduced him in 2013 to music icon Corey Hart, who he says inspired him to become a “deeper, more versatile musician.” The “Sunglasses at Ni...

Blog Post: Whitney Rose - Northern Sweetheart, Southern Twang

Blog Post: Whitney Rose - Northern Sweetheart, Southern Twang
Her roots are in P.E.I., but Whitney Rose is blooming in Texas. Growing up, Whitney hung around her grandparents’ Charlottetown bar, listening to Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline on the jukebox. In 2011, she moved to Toronto, anxious to begin singing her own country songs. Everything changed when Whitney teamed up with Mavericks’ frontman Raul Malo, who produced her acclaimed Heartbreaker of the Year album and sang with her on a sweet cover of the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” Restless to dig deeper into classic country, Whitney packed her cowgirl hat an...
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Music Feature: Leon Redbone - The Cult of Redbone

Music Feature: Leon Redbone - The Cult of Redbone
For more than 25 years, Leon Redbone has been conjuring up the past with his Roaring Twenties show tunes and turn-of-the-century minstrel ditties. Wearing his trademark fedora and Groucho Marx moustache, he became a fixture on TV’s Saturday Night Live  and The Tonight Show  with Johnny Carson during the 1970s and ‘80s, when he attracted legions of fans and supporters, from Bonnie Raitt and Maria Muldaur to Tom Waits and Dr. John.  Another admirer, Bob Dylan, once told  Rolling Stone  magazine that if he ever formed his ...
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Blog Post: Nick's Picks - The Best Albums of 2016

Blog Post: Nick's Picks - The Best Albums of 2016
A selection of 2016's finest recordings, in no particular order: Radiohead  A Moon Shaped Pool - How can something so harrowing sound so sweet? Rich in symphonic and folky lushness, it’s big, beautiful and a little nightmarish. Beyoncé  Lemonade - With profound and touching songs about family ties, racial pride and female strength, Beyoncé makes a powerful personal statement and her career-defining album. David Bowie Blackstar - Bowie’s swan song, a trippy, jazz-infused art rock album that includes the shape-shifting, apocalyptic tit...
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Music Feature: Annie Lennox - The First Lady

Music Feature: Annie Lennox - The First Lady
When I first met her, she spoke in a whisper, protecting the gold-plated vocal cords that had made Eurythmics one of the top musical acts on the planet. Annie Lennox was staying in a quiet residential neighborhood near West Hollywood, while she and Eurythmic Dave Stewart rehearsed for the band’s Revenge tour. It was the summer of ’86 and Lennox looked every bit the striking pop icon, one whose theatrical, gender-bending and diva-vamping appearances had transformed the pop landscape. Dressed in a pink satin blouse and a brightly colored plaid su...
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Music Feature: John Legend - Mr. Legend Comes to Town

Music Feature: John Legend - Mr. Legend Comes to Town
It’s a muggy day and John Legend is trying his best to stay cool. The gifted American soul singer is in a Toronto Baptist church for a photo shoot and it’s proving to be one serious sweat-fest. Between costume changes and impromptu performances on an electric piano, Legend towels off and stations himself next to an industrial-sized electric fan. He doesn’t mind being a clothes horse, especially when the wardrobe’s supplied by Hugo Boss, but the wool trousers and vest are almost unbearably hot. Still, it’s all in a day’s work for the award-winni...
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Blog Post: Crybaby Comes Back

Blog Post: Crybaby Comes Back
One of the best alt-country groups to emerge from the Toronto music scene in the 1990s, Crybaby featured a soulful twang and the sensual ache of Rae Billing's vocals. The band released one brilliant recording, 1996's Paintings, but sadly broke up before a second album was released. Since then, Billing has made several first-rate solo albums, including Blue Black Night and Walls and Fences, all showcasing her songs of rare honesty and intelligence and what one observer calleld her "gutsy femininity." Now, Billing and Cry...
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