Sherman Downey and The Ambiguous Case: Saturday, June 29. Doors: 7:30. Showtime: 8:00 PM. $20. Winners of the recent CBC Searchlight Competition, they’re a roots rock band from Newfoundland armed with an energetic live show, charming melodies, toe-tapping rhythms, and a story to tell, a band that creates an easy-going party wherever their van stops. They write and perform amazing songs on a wild variety of acoustic instruments. Formed several years ago, the band has toured relentlessly, developing a solid following for their rootsy sound, born out of the sunshine and blue water of Gros Morne Park and the mountains and fjords of that coast. Their first release, Honey for Bees, is not just a collection of fun songs about muddy jackets, lost kittens and cheap suits. Beneath the rolling bluegrassy folk pop, there is an uncommon sweetness to be found. Check these Quotes: “With thick dreadlocks and a disarming stage presence, Downey unexpectedly puts you at ease. Honey For Bees is a collection of original sounding, feel-good music that will actually put you in a better mood….” The Broken Speaker dot com. “The album is chock full of positive vibes from beginning to the end. The way the vocals are delivered with spunk and happiness, banjo, a little mild yodeling here and there, and soft percussion all give the listener a sense that Sherman loves what he does.” The Muse. Sherman was awarded MusicNL’s ‘Male Artist of The Year’ for 2010 and the band recieved multiple award nominations including ECMA “Rising Star Recording” and“Best Group Recording”. www.shermandowney.ca Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCg3CtDs9YY
Archive for the ‘Concerts’
Jadea Kelly – C.D. Release Tour: Saturday, June 22. Doors: 7:30. Showtime: 8:00 pm: $15.00 Adv/$20 Door/$10 Students/All Artists. Although Jadea’s stage persona compares to such vocalists as Neko Case and Kathleen Edwards, it is her distinctive and husky voice that engages and captivates her listeners. The range and control of her exceptionally powerful soprano voice mixes perfectly with her beautiful melodies and excellent dynamics. When she released her acclaimed Eastbound Platform album In 2010, she was nominated for new emerging artist (Canadian Folk Music Awards) and that lead her to such prestigious gigs as Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe show. Now, her much-anticipated new album, Clover is here, the result of hard work, big plans and new ideas. In the past, her heart-filled and confident singing was part and parcel of country flavour and story-telling, but now she’s added mystery and magic, sometimes almost whispering while still using her beautiful tone. Blessed with a voice that is pure, real and rooted, she’s always going to have core Canadiana sounds in her music while the variety she brings is impressive. “One of the shining jewels in the crown of Canadian songwriters.” Tom Power CBC. www.darthjadea.com Listen to her here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePajHtc3VTw
Valdy: Friday, June 21. 8:00pm. $25: Born Valdemar Horsdal in Ottawa, Valdy has been part of the fabric of Canadian pop and folk music for over 34 years. A man with a thousand friends, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island to Texas to New Zealand, he’s a singer, guitarist, and songwriter who catches the small but telling moments that make up life. Valdy has sold almost half a million copies of his 13 albums, has two Juno Awards (Folk Singer of the Year and Folk Entertainer of the Year) with a total of seven Juno nominations and four Gold albums to his credit.
Valdy has taken his music to a dozen different countries, from Denmark to Australia and been an often-invited performer at the prestigious Kerrville Festival in Texas. Valdy has also been a panelist on Front Page Challenge, and played a lead role in an episode of The Beachcombers original series.
Today, he is based on Salt Spring Island, where he lives with his wife Kathleen, three dogs and a large cat. All three children are grown, flown and doing famously living in or near Vancouver, or Colorado. www.valdy.com Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtNSljYgDe8
Don Byron w Michael & Roberto Occhipinti: Wednesday, June 19. Doors: 7:30. Showtime: 8:00 PM: $15.00/$10 Students/All Artists. To call Don Byron a jazz musician is to fail to describe the scope of things he does; he’ll be playing at The Pearl with Michael Occhipinti (guitar), Roberto Occhipinti (bass), and a great young drummer named Maxwell Roach. For over two decades, Don Byron, a recipient of the first Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, has been a singular voice in an astounding range of musical contexts, exploring widely divergent traditions. As clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger, and social critic, he redefines every genre of music he plays, be it classical, salsa, hip-hop, funk, rhythm & blues, klezmer, or any jazz style from swing and bop to cutting-edge downtown improvisation. Acclaimed as much for his restless creativity as for his unsurpassed virtuosity as a player, he has been consistently voted best clarinetist since being named “Jazz Artist of the Year” by Down Beat in 1992. http://www.donbyron.com
An eight-time JUNO Award (Canada’s Grammy) nominee for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, guitarist/composer Michael Occhipinti’s inventive approach to creative music of all kinds has earned him a broad array of listeners and the respect of critics and musicians alike. Crossing genres that include jazz, chamber music, funk, world music, and anything involving modern guitar sounds, Michael is both a versatile musician and an imaginative band leader. http://www.michaelocchipinti.com Roberto Occhipinti is diversity personified. He’s won awards and acclaim as a musician, composer and record producer. Throughout his career, the Toronto-born bassist has performed in classical orchestras, jazz ensembles, Latin groups, rhythm & blues outfits and rock bands. He has worked in theatre and opera, written for radio and television, played on film soundtracks and done more recording session jobs than he can remember. http://robertoocchipinti.com
Listen to Don: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olOHeicY9cg
DeMure Productions Presents: Dirty Dancing: The Burlesque! Saturday, June 15. Doors: 7:30. Show: 8:00. $25 advance, $30 at door unless sold out. (Note: Tickets sold by event organizer; see below.) An All Star Cast of some of Burlesque and Vaudeville’s finest, paying homage to (arguably) one of the greatest movies of our time! ‘Dirty Dancing’. Performances by: El Toro, Mizzy Thrasher, Red Herring, Bella Barecatt, The Mansfield Brothers, Tahitia Belle Fille, Lucky Minx, Lucky Fremont, Knox Harter, Faeya Tal, Liv Vicariously, London Bridges. Kitten: Whiskey Sour; Emcee: Madam Poynter. All music performed by: Ben Payne and The Cornered Babies
Sponsored by: Playground Conference 2013, DeMure School of Burlesque, Toronto School of Burlesque, Oshawa Laser Supply, Conspiracy Comics, Phoenix Design and Photography, Copy Dog, Homegrown Hamilton.
Win!! Win!! WIN!! Prizes, raffles, amazing entertainment! (Passes for two to Playground Conference 2013, A private Burlesque lesson from DeMure School of Burlesque, Tickets to upcoming burlesque shows, Comic swag, Delicious treats, Autographed memorabilia, And amazing giveaways by our fabulous sponsors! See Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf0_97qrSgU&feature=youtu.be
Get Tickets: http://dirtydancingburlesque-es2.eventbrite.ca/?rank=1
Annabelle Chvostek: Friday, June 14. Doors: 7:30. Showtime: 8:00 PM: $15.00 Door/$10 All Artists. Chvostek is a versatile, fearlessly innovative multi-instrumentalist who has composed for dance and film, been a member of the ‘Wailin’ Jennies’ and performed across North America with artists like Po’Girl. Her latest album, Rise is joyful, anthemic, and unabashedly political, revealing Chvostek’s passion for social justice work and musical activism. Call it protest music for the indie generation or a soundtrack for the Maple Spring. It features guest vocals by Bruce Cockburn and Oh Susanna, and Chvostek herself plays drawing, driving mandolin and fiddle on the album, a pulsating backdrop from these frequently-sweet-sounding strings.“…her original compositions are full of aching desire dressed in poetry and rendered with a musical imagination that seems to know no bounds”. Saskatoon Star Phoenix. On Rise, Chvostek has managed to take a decades-old art form, the protest song, and completely re-imagine it for a new era of activism And last year, her two co-written duets with Bruce Cockburn were released on his Juno-winning album Small Source of Comfort. http://www.annabellemusic.com Listen Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqzzS3sTBoo
Elizabeth Shepherd: Saturday, June 8. 8:00 pm. Admission: $20.00. Elizabeth is the only jazz vocalist/pianist to ever have been long listed for the Polaris Prize – Canada’s most prestigious music prize. The two-time JUNO nominee has received widespread praise for her original compositions, but on her fourth album ‘Rewind’ Elizabeth showcases her skills as an arranger and interpreter, breathing new life – and soul – into songs both familiar and forgotten. Some of them are well-known standards; others are obscure songs or French tunes that Elizabeth heard and fell in love with when growing up in Paris. The Toronto-based soul-jazz innovator has previously released three widely acclaimed records and toured extensively in North America, Europe and Japan. She has sold out legendary clubs from Tokyo to Detroit, and played festivals like Montreal and North Sea Jazz Festivals. www.elizabethshepherd.com “Stunning…. original and exciting” -Seattle Post (US) “Extraordinary talent” -RBBKulturradio (GER) “A hugely original musical mind at work” -Toronto Star (CAN) www.elizabethshepherd.com
Listen Here: http://elizabethshepherd.com/home/music-player/
Cindy Church: Friday, June 7. Doors: 7:30 / Show 8:00pm. $20. Whether she’s flying solo or collaborating with other singer-songwriters as a member of Quartette, Lunch At Allen’s (with Hamilton’s Ian Thomas and Marc Jordan) or Rankin, Church and Crow, Cindy Church is a stellar presence in the Canadian music scene. She has crafted a body of work that is at once artistically successful and culturally significant, sought after by fellow performers and treasured by listeners. Drawing from her own catalogue and exceptional covers of tunes for appreciative audiences internationally, Church has become renowned for the clarity and emotive precision of her voice and the subtlety of her approach to song interpretation and songwriting. Weaving influences from east to west, she has blended styles effortlessly to create her own singular sound.
Originally from Nova Scotia, Church’s early sense of music was infused with acoustic country and folk traditions of the Maritimes. Building upon these roots, she discovered country music while living in western Canada, developing her repertoire and touring and recording with Ian Tyson as part of the Chinook Arch Riders. Embarking on a solo career in the 1990?s, Church proved herself to be a superb singer and songwriter with a distinctive voice and interpretive technique. These vocal stylings became a key element in the formation of Quartette, the striking collaboration of Church, Sylvia Tyson, Caitlin Hanford , the late Colleen Peterson, and now Gwen Swick, that would reshape the Canadian musical landscape. www.cindychurch.com
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu4TWH-CKYE
Linda McRae Supports D.R.E.A.M.S: Thursday, June 6. Doors: 7:30 / Show 8:00pm. $15 /$10 students/all artists.
This former Spirit of the West Troubadour is on tour from Nashville and is helping to raise money for the Hamilton D.R.E.A.M.S team to build houses in the Dominican. Mimi Shaw & The Highnote Ramblers will open. Linda earned a Juno nomination and double Platinum triple Gold recording status as bassist and accordionist with Celtic/Roots group Spirit of the West. When she left the band after 8 years, she resumed her solo career combining old-time sounds with the universal themes of heartbreak and redemption, offering an intriguing sepia postcard from the past that is vibrant and alive in the present. She performs on clawhammer banjo, acoustic guitar, accordion, and porchboard stompbox; her credits include numerous recordings and performances with musical luminaries such as Bruce Cockburn and Neko Case. You will even find her at New Folsom Prison, California’s infamous maximum-security prison, performing in concert and facilitating songwriter workshops for the inmates. McRae’s recent album Rough Edges And Ragged Hearts has been nominated for Album Of The Year Canadian Folk Music Awards. Quotes: “one of the most pure, soulful, honest and distinctive voices in Roots music, period!” Allison Brock, Wide Cut Country, CKUA “Linda McRae stands tall, singing and playing music with honest soul and humility, cutting through the fog with her timeless clarity.” Colin Linden, Songwriter, Producer, Guitarist. www.lindamcrae.com Listen: http://lindamcrae.com/files/Song_Files/11_Be_Your_Own_Light.mp3
The Jazz Connection Big Band: Friday, May 31. Doors at 8:00, Jazz at 8:30. $15 /$10 students/all artists. Catch the powerful sound of this big band in our relaxed and atmospheric venue. The JCBB is a well-established 17-piece jazz ensemble comprised of professional and semi-professional musicians from the Hamilton/Toronto area, performing only the best modern big band charts from the books of Goodwin, Martin, Menza, Rich, Basie, and many other great contemporary composers. Jazz Connection delivers a high energy, uncompromising, straight ahead jazz performance combining the highest level of musicianship and great charts in an entertaining show that equally engages both the jazz enthusiast and the casual listener. The incredible acoustics at The Pearl easily accommodate their very cool (and hot!) surround-sound. It is always a great evening for the ears! http://www.jazzconnection.ca
Sweet Alibi: Thursday, May 30: 8:00pm. $15/$10 all artists/students. 2012 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominees, Sweet Alibi have been captivating audiences with their alluring blend of soulful melody and folk/roots tradition. Their playful sense of lyricism set to powerful vocal harmonies set the stage for a performance which is upfront, personal, and compelling. Drawing influence from a vast array of musical references, Sweet Alibi apply a quirky pop sensibility to an eclectic set. Songs range in mood from haunting, provocative ballads to left-of-centre takes on everything from Country and Soul, to Old Time Jazz. Backing their vocals with electric guitars, banjos, hand percussion, ukuleles, upright bass, and whatever else they can get their hands on, Sweet Alibi compliment a diverse set with an equally eclectic instrumentation.
Comprised of three core members (Jessica Rae Ayre, Amber Nielsen, and Michelle Anderson), and often backed by an array of Winnipeg’s finest musicians, the group performs everywhere from intimate coffee houses and mainstay clubs to outdoor concert series and festivals. Having finished their highly anticipated debut album with Juno award winner Mitch Dorge, along with the release of their newest single “Get It Right” produced by Adam Young, Sweet Alibi are currently touring across Canada. Stopping soon at The Pearl! www.sweetalibi.com Listen Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyotW5_3Nmg
Christina Martin & Dale Murray: Saturday, May 25. 8:00pm. $15 / $10 students/ working artists. When an artist recommended by Stephen Fearing approaches me, I listen. I had heard Christina on CBC the day before she contacted me and my reaction had been: Wow. I want this woman at The Pearl! And here she is. This Canadian Singer-Songwriter, Winner of the 2012 Music Nova Scotia Female Artist Recording of the Year for her latest album Sleeping With A Stranger, achieves an effortless union between alt-country and rock with pop sensibility. Her reviews are all 5-star; I couldn’t put it any better: From CBC Radio 3: “The track is a glowing pop gem with Christina’s shimmering voice leading the song through fields of sterling guitars, incandescent organs and a driving beat. Sounds Like: Lucinda Williams at a Wilco concert.” ‘Sleeping with a Stranger’ is thirty-seven minutes of perfection.” Pennyblackmusic.co.uk “For all of us trying to find the life we’re meant to live, here’s a soundtrack.” Bob Mersereau CBC. “It’s one of those rare albums where you have to listen to it all in one sitting. Like a good book that’s hard to put down…. within three bars you’re completely hooked.” Americana UK. ‘Nuff said? http://www.christinamartin.net
Listen Here! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3JsKbZ8f0w
Bob Wiseman with Mary Margaret O`Hara & Aidan Closs: Friday, May 24. Doors: 7:30 / Concert: 8:00. $15 adv/$20 door/$12 Students/ Un/Underemployed/ OPIRG or CFMU Supporters. One is required to mention that Bob Wiseman is the “former Blue Rodeo keyboardist,” but he has not been that person for some time now. The Globe and Mail recently called him a “straight-shooting and outspoken musician”; Ron Sexsmith calls him “the Canadian Tom Waits,” and in his adventuresome new album, Giulietta Masina at the Oscars Crying, Bob Wiseman isn’t content to just sing about environmental and social injustice; he does his best to shock you into action. If you caught his play Actionable when he was here in February, you know something about this quirky and original mind. Yes, on the 24th there will be a screen behind him where between songs, he will be showing some of his movies. www.bobwiseman.ca
Mary Margaret O’Hara’s contributions to the music world have been undeniably massive. Her strikingly original and exceptional vocal and songwriting styles have had a tremendous influence on countless artists who’ve come after her although she has not released a full-length album since 1988. That album, one of the most exciting and powerful records of the 1980′s, won O’Hara an instant, captivated audience. Since then she has supported the work of many like-minded artists and has racked up a tremendous guest-appearance discography. These last 10 years, however, her passion has become freely improvised music which she will perform with Aidan Closs on guitar or percussion. Forget the recording thing; it is obvious M2OH is most at home on stage, where her soaring, utterly gorgeous voice comes across unbridled amidst her far-reaching repertoire, revealing strong and knowledgeable roots in jazz, reggae, folk, and country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Margaret_O’Hara
This Mad Desire is the rock and roll brand for the music of Hamilton’s Mackenzie Kristjon who will lead off the evening with his “Theatrical Acoustic-Alternative Post-Heroin-Chic, kind of like Tim Curry meets Edward Scissorhands meets Karl Wallinger, who’s also a Buddhist.” A single song I am told. It will be unique. http://thismaddesire.com/
Here’s Bob with Feist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn53HYP1PZw
Robin Benedict & Friends: Friday, May 17. 8:00. Doors: 7:30. Show: 8:00 p.m. $10.00 at the door. Appearing with Robin are Cory Mercer (lead guitar), Mallory Codispodi (vocals) and Julian Brisebois (percussion). Robin’s signature style is of raw and fearless vocals, with a distinctly vulnerable cadence to her music and performance. With self-deprecating humour, and passion, she packs a powerful punch live, witness her top 100 placing in Canadian Idol where she was first recognized for her sultry vocals that can suddenly whip into rock power-pipes. Then take a look at the front page photo in Hamilton’s View Magazine a week or two ago. Essence of Robin. She even dares to tread close to the ghost of her icon Janis Joplin and she pulls that off with conviction and honour, and most importantly, without fear. Whether it’s one of her own original songs or a cover, it’s her genuine emotional conviction that pulls you in. Jann Arden was so impressed she invited Benedict to busk outside her Calgary diner, after seeing her perform at a local open jam session. Not bad…. Robin also fronts for the frantic rock party band, Done Deel; she travels solo across Canada and Europe; she sings in intimate spaces promoting her EP and sharing her quest for living life to the fullest through music, song and performance. Hear Robin Live! In the concert acoustics of The Pearl. Such a treat. http://www.robinbenedict.ca Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdcPabCI7lg
Dala: Friday, May 10. 8:00pm. Tickets: $20 Advance and $25 Door. Juno nominees and winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of Dala write and sing in harmony best described as angelic. Darlings of the Canadian music scene, Dala are poised to bring their fresh brand of acoustic pop music to the world. Drawing upon influences like The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Dala write songs that are both catchy and insightful. Amanda’s ethereal soprano voice blends seamlessly with Sheila’s velvety alto, creating the lush harmonies that have become their trademark. The sheer joy with which they perform is infectious; they are equally entertaining between songs, telling funny and down to earth stories that make every show unique. Dala have opened for artists such as Tom Cochrane, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, and joined Stuart McLean on the CBC’s Vinyl Café. They have performed at The New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Edmonton Folk Festival, California’s Strawberry Festival and Mariposa. In 2009, they were the only Canadian act invited to play at the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Folk Festival.
“There’s nothing pretentious about Dala’s music; it’s stripped down and laid bare. That’s not to say it is without polish – far from it. Sheila Carabine and Amanda Walther have worked hard to exploit every facet of their extraordinary musical blend, and it would be just as at home in a 1960s coffeehouse as it is now on the contemporary concert stage”. -Andrew Craig, Host of CBC “Canada Live” www.dalagirls.com (more…)