A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.

Feature Article: Beatlemania Toronto Style

Feature Article: Beatlemania Toronto Style
The Beatles changed the world in countless ways, but they also dramatically changed Toronto over three consecutive years of performances (1964 to 1966) at Maple Leaf Gardens. Almost overnight, the city was hit with a cultural shift of seismic proportions: Boys grew Beatle-bangs, girls pinned photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo on their walls and parents worried about the sanity of their teenaged children. Canada’s folk darlings, Ian & Sylvia, had ruled up to that point, but as the male half of that duo, Ian Tyson, remembers, “the minute ...
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Blog post: Bill King's Conversation with Nicholas Jennings

Blog post: Bill King's Conversation with Nicholas Jennings
I’ve had a casual relationship with music journalist Nicholas Jennings through the years; always a fan of his writing and passion for music. We served together on a panel years back for one of those Ontario Arts giveaways and mostly saw eye to eye. We just happen to be sharing duties with a not so generous singer hell bent on not freeing any grant money to other female singers. This is why I’m not a big fan of these practices other than you do meet some lovely folks who you’d likely never spend a solid three to six hour sit down most days. We p...

Blog post: The Bygone Blues of C.W. Stoneking

Blog post: The Bygone Blues of C.W. Stoneking
C.W. Stoneking is the best blues artist you’ve never heard, a distinctly white performer (dressed head-to-toe in white as well) from the far northern reaches of Australia, a man who inhabits the sounds and vernacular of traditional music so convincingly it’s as if he’s been mysteriously transported from the distant past and landed smack dab in the middle of the bright and shiny present. He slicks his hair down with Brylcreem, plays old-time blues, country and calypso on a 1930s Dobro or 1950s Gretsch electric, uses only vintage tube amplifiers ...
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Music Review: Drake - Views

Music Review: Drake - Views
The Toronto rapper and singer has never been shy about his feelings his hometown or the women in his life. Both subjects dominate Drake’s eclectic fourth studio album, originally to be called Views from the Six in reference to his beloved Toronto. The cover shows him sitting atop the CN Tower. Then there’s “Weston Road Flows” and “9,” where he claims to have flipped Toronto on its head. While he’s unequivocal about his hometown, his relationships with women are less certain. On the island-flavored “Too Good,” his “he-said-she-said” collaboratio...
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Music Review: Various artists - I Saw the Light

Music Review: Various artists - I Saw the Light
British actor Tom Hiddleston shines as Hank Williams in the new biopic. Coached by country star Rodney Crowell, Tom sings convincing renditions of Hank’s classics, including “Jambalaya,” “Move It On Over” and “Hey Good Lookin’.” The soundtrack also features songs by such period stars as Eddy Arnold, Eartha Kitt and Jo Stafford.
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Music Review: Kacy & Clayton - Strange Country

Music Review: Kacy & Clayton - Strange Country
Clayton Linthicum and his second cousin Kacy Anderson hail from southern Saskatchewan, but Clayton’s guitar and Kacy’s voice are rooted in the British folk styles of Davey Graham and Sandy Denny. With songs like the beguiling title track and the dreamy “If You Ask How I’m Keeping,” it’s an intoxicating, otherworldly brew. 
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Music Review: Beyoncé - Lemonade

Music Review: Beyoncé - Lemonade
It’s easy to see Beyoncé’s new album as an angry response to a broken marriage. Some songs seem to confirm rumors of alleged infidelities and an impending split with rapper husband Jay-Z. “We built sand castles that washed away,” Beyoncé sings wistfully, before venting “What a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you.” Anger is most visceral on “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” a raw number featuring Jack White’s bluesy guitar. But the album also explores themes of hope, forgiveness and redemption and includes “Freedom,” her Black Lives Matter anthem w...
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