A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.

Liner Notes: Bruce Cockburn - Rumours of Glory box set

Liner Notes: Bruce Cockburn - Rumours of Glory box set
In his illuminating memoir, also called Rumours of Glory, Bruce Cockburn writes: “My songs are influenced by what I read, where I travel and what I witness.” He adds: They’re not just about spirituality or “war, injustice and exploitation,” but “derive from life itself.” If life is his inspiration, then Cockburn’s has certainly been rich, judging by the 130 songs in this box set. Written over nearly 50 years, with the earliest recording being 1966’s “Bird Without Wings,” they range from spiritual quests and romantic ballads to prickly protests ...
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Liner Notes: Gordon Lightfoot - Harmony

lightfoot-harmonyIt’s not surprising that Gordon Lightfoot’s latest album—the 20th of a long and illustrious career—is also his most reflective. After all, Lightfoot has looked death squarely in the eye, having fought his way back from an abdominal hemorrhage in September 2002 that very nearly killed him. Nothing like a brush with the Grim Reaper to put things in perspective. The songs gathered here revisit many of the themes familiar to fans of Lightfoot’s best work: travel, nature, loneliness and love in all of its many forms. The eerie “Flying Blind” places ...
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Liner Notes: Sattalites - The Best of Canadian Reggae

The SatalitesRare is the band that survives the challenges of constant touring, recording and inevitable membership changes. Rarer still is the group that keeps improving, consistently honing its craft and polishing its sound. The Sattalites have achieved that remarkable feat over the course of 30 years, establishing themselves along the way as one of the world's premier reggae acts. Built on the foundational talents of Jo Jo Bennett and Fergus Hambleton, the Sattalites have forged a fresh, vital sound that blends stirring roots reggae with thrilling harmo...
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Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Avenue Road

Liner Notes: Kensington Market - Avenue Road
The Summer of Love gave the world the Monterey Pop Festival and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. Ultimately, those precious months in 1967 produced something far greater: the full flowering of the hippie movement and a sense of cultural, social and political barricades coming down. Change was in the air. The seeds were sown at the Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and quickly spread to most major cities in the western world. In Toronto, the May Love-In at Queen’s Park attracted a crowd of barefooted flower children who danced to Buffy Sa...
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Liner Notes: Gryphon Trio with Patricia O'Callaghan-Broken Hearts & Madmen

Gryphon Trio-Broken Hearts & MadmenThe most adventurous sounds are those that defy restrictive labels and easy categorization. Eclecticism has long been a mainstay of the jazz and pop worlds, where experimentation is encouraged and celebrated. But chamber music, with its roots in specific classical repertoire, has often been limited by advocates intent on simply keeping old traditions alive. Canada’s Gryphon Trio, one of North America’s top chamber ensembles, is committed to changing that.

Formed in 1993, the Trio—cellist Roman Borys, pianist Jamie Parker and violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon—began pushing the boundaries for chamber music by commissioning and performing new works from both established and emerging composers. Its multimedia production of Christos Hatzis’s Constantinople, took the Gryphons deep into cross-cultural terrain. Set at the crossroads of East and West, Constantinople brought the Trio together with Arabic singer Maryem Hassan Tollar and soprano Patricia O’Callaghan in acclaimed performances across North America and at London’s Royal Opera

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