A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.

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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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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Feature Article: Cowboy Troubadour - Ian Tyson

Feature Article: Cowboy Troubadour - Ian Tyson
The auditorium was a sea of cowboy hats in a variety of styles—High Sierra, Ridgetop and Cattleman. The ranchers, cowhands and wives were assembled last month in a convention centre in northern Nevada for a tribute to the 19th-century American western artist Charles Russell. But the first performer to step onstage was not an American--it was Canada’s Ian Tyson. With his white cowboy hat tipped at a rakish angle and a white kerchief tied flamboyantly around his neck, Tyson fit right in. Carrying an acoustic guitar and accompanied by his band, th...
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Music Feature: Beatlemania Toronto Style

Music Feature: 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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