April 13, 2021
Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, bassist Steve Pelletier has remained a "Hamiltonian". He currently performs with Colin James but his career has seen him perform and record with an eclectic and wide range of musical groups including The Julian Taylor Band, Matt Andersen, Jeff Healey, Sass Jordan, Long John Baldry, Sue Foley, Crystal Shawanda, the Shuffle Demons and so many more.
In the Summer of 2020, Steve launched his YouTube series called “The Basement Sessions”, a collection of various musicians Steve has worked with in the past. The Basement Sessions are all recorded live off the floor in his home studio.
April 6, 2021
Singer/songwriter/performer Sarah Smith is known as one of the hardest working musicians in the business. Prior to 2020, Sarah performed over 300 shows per year traveling across Canada, Europe and the U.K. Sarah lives and breathes music....it is her calling. A deeply caring and warm person, Sarah’s depth of passion, her incredible personal magnetism and a voice that oozes emotion. She is one of the very few artists that can have an audience fall in love with her within the first three bars of a song. She is at her finest on stage.
March 30, 2021
A no-nonsense hard rock combo from Sydney, Australia, The Lazys formed in 2006, earning a solid reputation both for the quality of their music and their strong work ethic, contradictory to their name. In 2015 they made their first appearance in Toronto with a string of shows during Canadian Music Week. The adventure to Canada proved to be a game-changer for the band. They ended up working with a igh-profile booking agent and signed a North American management deal. Leon is currently putting the paperwork together to make Canada his forever home, referring to himself as Austradian.
March 23, 2021
Singer/songwriter Samantha Martin is a petit powerhouse. Never underestimate the exploding force of her bluesy, soulful, new Orleans smoky bar voice. Samantha released her first EP in 2004. Fast forward to 2014 and Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar were born of a need to put together a performance for Folk Alliance Canada that didn’t include bass and drums. The combination of three vocalists and a guitar was created and has expanded from the original quartet to the current 12-piece ensemble. They've earned two Juno nominations and thirteen Maple Blues nominations, including vocalist of the year for Samantha. The most recent album, The Reckless One, was released November 20th last year, smack in the middle of the pandemic. Perfect timing....it’s been nominated for a Juno award for Blues Album of the Year.
March 16, 2021
Today’s artist is singer/songwriter Ember Swift. Publicist Jane Harbury reached out to me a few years ago with a recommendation I come and see Ember’s show at Hugh's Room in Toronto. Writing since the age of nine, performing since the age of ten, Ember released her first self-titled album in 1996. Although originally from Toronto, Ember has been a resident of Beijing for 12 years and is fluent in three languages, English, French and Mandarin. With her beautiful, natural vibrato, Ember’s voice sings clear, strong and true, she is a teller of tales through her songs.
March 9, 2021
A truly gifted singer/songwriter, Julian Taylor is also a born performer, and as a performer, nothing gives him greater joy that being on stage with his band, spreading the music and the happiness. Of West Indian and Mohawk descent, Julian brings a unique perspective to his music. I admire his passion, his depth, his skills at writing both music and lyrics but most of all his humanity.
March 2, 2021
Shakura S'Aida.....singer, songwriter, mother, actor, play write, world traveler, Maple Blues award winner, Juno nominee, three albums with a fourth in the works, lead singer of the 13-piece world music ensemble Kaleefah, tri-lingual, she is Brooklyn born, raised in Switzerland, but she has chosen to make her home in Canada.
February 23, 2021
I chatted with Kirk Reed from Toronto band The Reed Effect on my back deck in June of 2020. We discuss time, creativity, thoughts on live entertainment and how to become a computer geek....plus the new album, 1973. On a sad note, almost four months to the date of our meeting, Kirk’s lost his only brother Chris and the other half of The Reed Effect. Chris tragically took his own life on October 10, 2020, just as the new music was about to be released. 1973 is not just as a tribute to Chris and his legacy, but a celebration of their collaboration and brotherly love.
February 16, 2021
Quisha grew up in Toronto in a Jamaican/Canadian home listening to Reggae, Motown, Gospel and R&B. Quisha is President of QW Productions Corp and Founder of Canadian Black Entertainment. She is currently in mini-series Self Made: The Story of Madame C.J. Walker (which is currently playing on Netflix) as a choir performer. She is also in the movie The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel. She has travelled the world to share her love and passion for music through her singing. An engaging personality, a born singer and entertainer, Quisha’s powerful and emotive singing can make you weep or fill you up and bring you joy.
February 9, 2021
Hot Lips is also a trio of incredibly skilled musicians, forged together to form a single powerhouse of electro-grunge rock by founder Karli Forgét. Bassist Alex Black and drummer Keith Heppler complete the trio. I met with them in June 2020 at the Rehearsal Factory in downtown Toronto.