Mitchell Field began his music career as the drummer for John Lee Hooker. He formed Canadian rock band Hellfield in 1978 after recruiting Dave Hovey on guitar, Jamie Larsen on bass, Steve Coombs on drums and Rick Lamb on keyboards. Locking themselves in a studio, they emerged two month later with new material and a new demo. Hellfield went through a number of changes but stayed together long enough to make an impact on the North American rock scene. The band broke up in 1982. Field released his first solo project in 2000 and is currently working on a new Hellfield album with original bassist James Larsen and guitarist Paul Royes.
Mitchell Field began his music career as the drummer for John Lee Hooker. After approaching CBS as a solo artist, Field was advised to put together a band and try again. That’s exactly what he did. With Dave Hovey on guitar, Jamie Larsen on bass, Steve Coombs on drums and Rick Lamb on keyboards…..Hellfield was born. Locking themselves in a studio, they emerged two month later with new material and a new demo. Residing in Montreal, Field is now working on a new Hellfield album along with the band's original bassist Jamie Larsen and guitarist Paul Royes.
Let me see if I can sum up Paul’s extensive career in music in one paragraph.
Paul is a Juno award winning performer and has spent almost 55 years as a working musician, touring and recording with artists Domenic Troiano, Kim Mitchell, Lawrence Gowan, David Clayton Thomas, Rik Emmett, Rodger Hodgson and a host of others. He is an author of two books on drumming and was an educator at Humber College for 33 years. Paul is a member of two tribute bands Brass Transit (the music of Chicago) and Pretzel Logic (the music of Steely Dan). He is also part of two collaborative tribute shows; Jeans ‘n Classics performing the music of Queen, Supertramp, The Who, Rocky Horror, and many more and the theatrical production of the ONES Show, a tribute to The Beatles. Paul is also the leader of his own fusion band Paul DeLong’s One Word.
Author and podcaster of the Pandemic Interviews, this is my 30th podcast and I'm celebrating! May not seem like many to those who have published hundreds or more, but to this neophyte, it's an amazing feat. From going into this blindly and recording conversations with my cell phone, to now interviewing in a professional recording studio, this journey has been, if nothing else, mind blowing and a bit surreal. The past six years have been a whirlwind with massive changes in my life. This podcast is the culmination of all that's gone on.....but yet, it's only the beginning. Thank you to all who have patiently helped and supported me through all this. Cheers!
She has been called a Yorkville Legend and a Canadian music icon and is a key part of the story of Toronto’s music history. Multi-talented and multi-faceted, Cathy is a vocalist, songwriter, producer, guitarist, harmonica and kazoo player. She won the Juno in 1974 for Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year and was nominated 1975 for Best Female Artist for her second album.
She is a founding member of the Spirit of Yorkville Alumni in Toronto. A 70 foot mural on 22-foot building in downtown Toronto, features many of the iconic artists who have performed in the heyday of the famous (and infamous) Yonge St. strip. The mural includes a depiction of Cathy’s first album, honouring her music, the artist and her role in Toronto’s music scene.
Frank Cosentino bleeds the blues. Music, particularly the guitar, has been a central part of his life since the age of five. Frank was taken to a Jimi Hendrix concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1969 at the extremely young age of seven. Without realizing it at the time, it was a pivotal moment in Frank’s life, influencing and transforming his approach to the guitar and his own future music career.
Fifty-two years later and with a collection of over 60 guitars, one is never far from his reach. Frank is a recent inductee into the Canadian Blues Hall of Fame and is also a teacher and educator. He has toured extensively, performing or sharing stages with James Cotton, Johnny Winter, Fathead, Downchild and Sue Foley to name a few. In 1989 he formed The Frank Cosentino Band and the band still going strong 32 years later.
The Peptides are an Ottawa-based, nine-member band…..five vocalists and four instrumentalists, producing a distinctive larger-than-life pop sound. The Peptides are known for their high energy, extravagant and colourful, live performances…..their music an eclectic mix of funk, soul, folk, gospel, Latin and new wave sound.
A snapshot of Canadian diversity, The PepTides is a community of girls and guys, LGBTQ and straight, English and French; black, white and in between, Ukrainian, Mexican, Guyanese, Cree, Acadian, Armenian and Scottish. I had the opportunity to see them during Indie Week in Toronto a few years back. If I had the chance, I’d go back to see them again in a heartbeat.
The Pandemic Interviews -Conversations in a changing Time - Ep26 - John-Angus MacDonald of The Trews
The Trews, formed in Antigonish, Nova Scotia by brothers Colin and John-Angus with good friend, bassist Jack Syperek, are now based in Hamilton, Ontario and are the cusp of celebrating 25 years together. I was joined in the studio by John-Angus, who drove into Toronto from Hamilton to chat about the pandemic and future of music, how he and the band have coped, lessons learned and looking forward to their new album to be released in the fall of 2022.
The band perform their own distinctive, hard driving rock with a whisper here and there of their Celtic roots and on occasion, the hint of reggae or the plaintive cry of the bagpipes, all reflecting their time growing up in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Jamaica and Barbados. The Trews have released six full length albums, one compilation, five EPs, three live albums and one video album. Also during that time they’ve have been nominated for six Juno awards, and seventeen nominations with seven wins at the East Coast Music Awards. They’ve also won twice at the U.S. Independent Music awards. It’s been a busy and very fruitful almost 25 years. Happy (almost) 25th Birthday!
TOM WILSON is the bestselling author of Beautiful Scars as well as a five-time Juno winning Canadian musician. His band Junkhouse scored eleven top-ten hits in the 90's, and his iconic, Americana-fuelled Blackie and the Rodeo Kings has performed on stages from The Grand Ol Opry to Massey Hall.
Tom’s most recent incarnation, Lee Harvey Osmond, has received extensive praise and airplay throughout the United States and Europe. His art has shown in galleries from New York City to Vancouver. He still lives in Hamilton, Ontario and is currently working on his second book BLOOD MEMORY for Penguin Random House books.
“I have unchained all the prisoners from my basement and freed the ghosts from my attic. I was the guy who ended up holding the keys to their freedom. It was me who let them out. It’s a job that no one else could do and one that comes with great consequence because these ghosts and prisoners are standing around me now all day, all night long.”
I told my truth the way I heard it and the way I remembered it and that’s all I have. Everything else is bullshit.” Tom Wilson
Tom Wilson is a singer/songwriter/bestselling author/story teller/visual artist and 5x Juno award winner, the most recent Juno win was in 2020 for his latest release Mohawk. His bands Junkhouse, Lee Harvey Osmond and Blackie and The Rodeo Kings; the discovery of his Mohawk heritage; writing his autobiography Beautiful Scars; his recognition as an artist, and the many projects in between, Tom has been on a voyage of discovery his entire life. An extremely busy man, it took us seven months of calendar co-ordination to get to this conversation.
Tom is one of the greatest storytellers out there today, so rather than leave too much on the cutting room floor, I’ve decided to make this a two-part conversation. Today you’ll hear Part One.