Archive for October, 2010


NEVEREST/COLAMECO-Taking the groove vibe to the top-by John Emms

In the pop world as in almost any genre of music it’s all about  the groove, the image and the vibe.
Neverest has the above three and hopes to tap into the elusive “special sauce” as actor Jack Black  likes to put it. Hopefullly then spread that magic on to the buying public.
Over the next few weeks  the four piece pop/rock act are out applying that special vibe across Canada.
Drummer Brendan Colameco hailing from Shaniaville  is the band’s Northern Compass. He is the man who puts the groove in the meter and the meter in the groove.
When you see the band’s upcoming video for the track About Us you will see what the younger audience likes to call “The Dope”  Check it out as Brendan aka “The Animal”  slams out the groove.
Since I’m writing today  from the Northern Perspective  let’s focus on one of our own.  B-Town
Brendan Colameco is living proof that if you work hard, take some chances and believe in your ability you can become sucessfull.
The 19 year old Timmins native answered an ad on Craiglists in January 2010 for a Toronto pop/rock band looking for a serious drummer.
What Brendan did not know at the time was this would become the opportunity of a lifetime. Safe to say a gig that few musicians regardless of their abiltity get to experience. 
Brendan travelled to Toronto for a series of interviews with his father well known local musician Paul Colameco.
“On Brendan’s first day he was interviewed by the 3 Street Management team, on the second day he met two other band members lead vocalist Spyros Chalkiotis and multi-instrumentalist/guitarist Mike Klose, and on the third day those three jammed on different song ideas that Spyros had.
You could see it was serious stuff, in fact serious enough that as a parent  I was asked at the meeting if I would support my son having a serious music career away from his hometown. I replied without hesitation 100 percent” said Colameco.
4 to 5 days passed before Brendan was called and was told he made the cut. He was also told he must be available on short notice, and that he would have to pack up and move to Toronto permanetly to start rehearsing, after bassist Paul Loduca  had been recruited as the fourth member of the group.
Colameco went down to Toronto in May of 2010 and the band began to get serious with 4 and 5 hour rehearsals 5 days a week under the eyes of management team consisting of CJ Huyer, recording engineers Mike Kiofus,  Murray Daigle, and songwriter Angelo Themelkos.
Topping off the management team and putting his world experience and financial support among other investors is Backstreet Boys founding member  Howie Dorough. Since this man, has been around the world a few times and has been known to sing a song or two and may I say in key.  Chances are the man knows  “whazz up”
Needless to say The Colameco’s including brother Evan also a musician,  mother Darlene, and father Paul  are excited.
Personally,  Brendan’s growth as a musician has been extrordinary. Over the years I watched him play at his high school, at his father’s school and with various bands such as the ever hip Wyatt Young.  He was better each time out.
Brendan loves to groove, and that same groove is what makes his playing so special. Loose yet funky you could say!
Brendan Colameco started playing drums early. “Brendan was given a pair of drum sticks by Dale Nikoruk when he was 2 years old, and banged on everything for 8 years before taking proper drum lessons from Kevin McMahon (Mr Rock Steady) at The Music Box when he was 10 years old. After his lessons,  Bren would play for 5 and 6 hours straight. He  pretty much spent all of his free time  learning every aspect of drumming” explained Paul.
Recently Paul and myself travelled down to Toronto for the band’s first video shoot. Having been around a lot of  recording artists, and industry people over the last 20 years I was impressed by the “family’ type atmosphere surrounding the band. The management team were down to earth people, and may I add very likeable.
Later, I was introduced by Paul to the other 3 members of the band. These young men were anxious to learn their craft and are respectable and engaging.  I thought, wow something is special  here.
These young men are being mentored correctly and I could see that Paul as a parent had full trust in the way “The Team” was handling Brendan.
The actual video shoot itself took 2 days and the video was directed by multiple MMVA director RT who also works with Drake, Kardinal Offishall and major companies like Sony, Coca Cola, and Toyota to name just a few.
The new song and video About Us written with Anthony M Jones (Mary J Blige, Ashanti) will be serviced  in around November 9th.
While I’m on the film end of things, needless to say the man filming the band’s every move Antione Biko has got the goods. Watch for this guy to do big things in film and it’s  related genres
Neverest has been currently on a  very large radio promo tour across Canada and just finished the Eastern leg performing unplugged and being interviewed about the new single.
Also travelling with the band on the radio tour will be Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough.
The entire band and team are scheduled to appear and gig in Timmins on Novmber 9th at O’Gorman High School and TH&VS High School as well as drop in at the local radio stations as part of the Cross Canada promo tour.
As of yet there is no word on when an album of songs will be released. I’m looking forward to hearing the band play live, which as everyone knows is where the “real dope” is
John Emms is a veteran music journalist who does product reviews/interviews for all major labels  and some indies
John is also a radio show host, his show is featured podcast throughout the world on Apple Itunes
John is also musician and writes for the media

Shania, Avril, Katy, Shakira, etc- THE SEXY POP CULTURE MARKET-BY JOHN EMMS

ROCK N’ ROLL has always lived by the SEXY image. It’s nothing new. And the ladies of rock n’ roll have literally upped the ante in the last 15 years.

Heck I still dig the album cover of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Whipped Cream and Other Delights. That recording sold 6 million copies in 1965. And the image helped!!!!!

When I saw the recent cover of MAXIM with the hugely talented Avril Lavigne  besides catching my eyes, I thought…..NOW THAT’S MARKETING. 

Let’s face it, the ladies’ SEXY IMAGE has literally sold milllions of albums to the male demographic.

BUT WAIT… I’m sure the guys have bought a few too. Then again they probably settled for a MAXIM mag

 SEXY Image in pop culture SELLS.

Ditto for the recent sexy KATY PERRY cover of ROLLING STONE and of course who could forget  SHANIA TWAIN when she did her covers of  ROLLING STONE and MAXIM

BOTTOM most artists male or female live and breathe by the IMAGE whatever it is.

Problem is you have to maintain that image!  So if you start out SEXY like SHANIA, BEYONCE or whoever…. it becomes as vital as the music you make.


WHY HAVE stars like ERIC CLAPTON or let’s say a  blues icon like BUDDY GUY stayed cool?

It seems they have earned their  “elder statesmen star status” by still  writing and recording and  YES still playing their butts off in a live context..

WHO KNOWS if JAY-Z or someone like ADAM LEVINE from Maroon 5 are going to have to live off their images if they can hang in for 20 years or so 

Record companies love to create IMAGE..and it’s a big part of the MUSIC BIZ.

If your smart you should care about your image and that includes your album cover art. Look  OZZY, THE CLASH and PINK FLOYD sold a lot of records with image.

THE LOOK..says it all.. BUT..WOW..IF IT’S SEXY IT seems to sell more

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host and musician


KINGS OF LEON-COME AROUND SUNDOWN-(BIG-ch-ch-changes??)-cd review john emms

No doubt..wanting to challenge your fans with your growth as songwriter is a big deal when your a succesfull band such as KOL.   TRYING TO HARD can be dangerous. Maybe that comes when you sell 7 million or so units of your last album. I DON’T KNOW

BUT, KILLER SONGS ARE HERE–some of them in that big ambience. Using that same BIG SOUND..there are some I just don’t think the band fleshed out enough.

But to be sure…I am NOW getting into this album,  BUT  I have to be honest. I DID NOT LIKE THIS RECORD on the first 2 listens.  

Let me also say I have to admit to only playing their dvd LIVE AT THE OZ once. I could barely get through it. They did not sound like themselves. It was BOMBASTIC at the time. I’m going to check it agian!!!!

PYRO..IS AN INSTANT CLASSIC though the U2 esque sound is strong. Caleb Followill’ ‘s  lead vocal is yearning and gets under your skin, and that goes for the THE FACE  There is something about the texture. Having said that The Immortals, and Mart should have been fleshed out more to find the nectar.

Back Down South is just plain pretty. ANOTHER CLASSIC.  Beach Song is the band finding a new groove and it’s superb showing how their willing to tackle it. You have to love the  way The Followill’s.. Matthew’s lead gtr stabs and the excellent bass and drums of  Jared and Nathan groove. That goes ditto for simple effective Birthday, and possibly one of their best songs MI AMIGO. To be sure.. I will be playing a lot of this record on my new radio show 

Yes maybe the band is tring too hard on some songs..and that shows. But, bottom line is you can’t get STUCK IN THE MOMENT AND NOT GET OUT OF IT.

KOL IS GROWING. come along for the ride..You will be glad you did!!!!!  

JOHN EMMS is veteran music  journalist, musician and RADIO SHOW HOST..CHECK  HIS  excellent song choices and past radio shows on APPLE ITUNES





BOB DYLAN is singing in my living room, and we are having a blast!!!

Oh yes Bob had reason to smile when he started writing and recording.  He and a few close knit friends and musicians knew deep down in their guts these were important songs. With these mono recordings IT’S LIKE YOUR HEARING DYLAN FOR THE FIRST TIME.

There is a startling clarity to his voice and yes those lyrics are now even more narrative. It’s hard to put your finger on it but these recordings sound like VINYL but without the pops and crackles.

On I Want You and Rainy Day Women both recorded in 1966 on Blonde on Blonde it sounds like the band is beside you.

 Mr Tamburine Man, Tombstone Blues, and Blowin’ In The Wind sound like they were recorded yesterday AND YOU WERE AT THE SESSIONS.

Later I hope to REVIEW the entire 8 album MONO BOX SET. Look for my review of THE WITMARK DEMOS-BY BOB DYLAN-1962-1964 

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host, and musician



IF the grafitti that proclaimed  CLAPTON IS GOD was applied to RONNIE EARL’s guitar tone it might come out “EARL IS HEAVEN SENT”

Without going int0 the usual  top 100 guitarists of all time scenario only a few guitar albums/ players in the last 10 years  have  riveted my attention in the way Earl has.

No question guitar players like Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Jack De Keyzer, Joe Louis Walker, Warren Haynes and others can lay claim to stopping you in your tracks but Earl is at the top of the mountain.


You can be anywhere doing anything but when you hear  Ear’ls groove and lead lines snake in behind the Booker T wall of Dave Limina’s Hammond B-3 on the track Happy you just have  to stop and absorb it.

That happens a lot on SPREAD THE LOVE. Check out the other wordly volume intro licks by Earl floating into your conscience on Patience, or the mighty groove  of Lorne Entress’s drums and slinky bass work of Jim Mouradian as they propel Earl’s cover of Albert Collins’ Backstroke.

OH yes folks THE BROADCASTERS..worship at the chuch of  Booker T and MG’s

Elsewhere Earl’s taps into Chili Con Carne from Kenny Burrell’s Midnight Blue period updating the sound but always staying true to Burrell’s original BLUE NOTE sound and feel. Piano man Limina gets “ALL OTIS’ on his tribute Spann on Spann’s Groove, with Earl ripping up T-Bone- esque double licks on the outro.  

I can’t go into every track here, but when you hear Earl and The Broadcasters let loose on Blues For Slim you may run out and get your MIKE BLOOMFIELD cd’s and start cranking them.

IT’S quite possible this album  may be the purest instrumental form of blues and soul of the last 10 years, and in it’s own way equal at times to the way the Memphis soul and the jazz period of Blue Note got into your guts. IT’S THAT GOOD

It would be nice to see this entire cd performed start to finish  by the band and filmed in 5.1 HIgh Defintion Blu-ray.

That would be a treasure!!!  Heck have a party and throw in a few guests like De Keyzer, Robillard and Landreth and put me beside the sound board!!! 

JOHN EMMS is a veteran Music Journalist, radio show host, and musician

radio music



 DUKE ROBILLARD  makes a lot of music and is a stone solid  bluesman.   Some critics have said he records too often. This is true. Almost an album a year for the last ten years.

It’s safe to say most of those critics have not heard those recordings.  

I was lucky enough to catch DUKE ROBILLARD during the few years he gigged with the FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS. It was around the time of the album Walk that Walk, Talk that Talk.

To say I was blown away by his fret work at that gig would be an understatement. Bottom line is in those days DUKE rocked hard and authentic. 

I did not catch up with  his work again until the album TIME OUT OF MIND by BOB DYLAN and later his work with J GEILS on the Guitar Sumitt cd around 2004.

Since then I own ALL of his solo work.  I LIKE it best when DUKE is writing and playing WITH LOTS OF GUITAR.

With his current album Passport to the Blues, for the most part THAT’S WHAT HE DOES. 

His band of Doug James sax, Bruce Bears on piano, basssit Brad Hallen and especially drummer Mark Teixeira push the songs and Duke and that result is worth your money.

Workin Hard For My Uncle, Hong Kong Suit, and Blues Train open the album in a riff and groove driven way and that is good news. Robillard’s cover of the minor chord gutsy blowout on Tom Wait’s hard storytelling blues  Make it Rain is downright dangerous. 

For me personally less satisfying is the jazz of When Your Old Your Cold, and possibly 2 other tracks where Duke’s vocals could have been better.

I say a small price to pay, for what is a strong  return to the BLUES

Elsewhere his own remake of The High Cost of Lovin is killer, as is the Hound Dog Taylor-esque (guitar and drums)instrumental romp of Bradford Blues, check out the  DUKE while he  burns off some licks on the slow blues workout of Grey Sky Blues, and Rhode Island Red Rooster. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!!!

Check out my roots/rock/blues radio show  where I will delve into more of this album and further NEW stuff from Ronnie Earl and Joe Louis Walker  which I will review here!!

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio show host and blues rock musician

John’s new solo singer-songwriter cd is available on Apple Itunes and here


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN-The Rolling Stones-“Taylor, Wyman, Watts, Jagger and Richards shine on”-BLU-RAY REVIEW JOHN EMMS

The debut of this film fully restored and remastered is a gem in the history of  THE ROLLING STONES career and catalogue.  Without question this dvd will gain huge interest internationally because of it’s former cult status, and for the fact there has been a lot of care put into it’s re-creation.

However what’s most important is that it clearly shows how commanding the Stones could be on a good night.

In fact, MICK JAGGER is quoted in the interview segment  as saying that during the late 60’s and 70’s The Stones could be ramshackle and sloppy on stage, but on this particular four night run that the concert film draws from they were in pretty good form.


For younger fans (the 80’s and onwards) this is a chance to see the mid era band with added muscle from Jim Price trumpet, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Bobby Keys on sax.

 The concert footage comes after the release of  EXILE ON MAIN STREET and the 3 album run of  BEGGARS BANQUET, LET IT BLEED, and STICKY FINGERS as a backdrop.

In addition it clearly shows how supple and superb MICK TAYLOR’S lead guitar lines weave in and out of the INTENSE GROOVE framework of KEITH RICHARDS, CHARLIE WATTS and the solid and interesting bass work of BILL WYMAN.

Jagger himself is prime front man form. In fact let’s face it other than ELVIS PRESLEY, JAMES BROWN, and OTIS REDDING.. and later BONO and MICHAEL JACKSON..MICK JAGGER is the holy grail of  lead singer/frontman who just happend to co-write some of rock’s biggest songs.

To be fair there has been some cutting from performances, as you notice Richards using different guitars and Jagger in different clothes in the same song, but overall this is the Rolling Stones in their rawest decadent form.

Soundwise I like to play this dvd in LPCM stereo mode as opposed to the dts surround. I find it presents the band in a more direct to the ear presence. Kind of like you were centre seat 10 rows from the stage. Also I just DON’T think the separation holds up well especailly when solos are being laid down, whether it’s Bobby Keys sax work or Taylor’s exceptional lead guitar.

THERE are absolute killer versions of DEAD FLOWERS, LOVE IN VAIN, MIDNIGHT RAMBLER, ALL DOWN THE LINE, and HAPPY and for the first time fans can revel in songs like Sweet Virginia and Rip This Joint.

Overall the blu-ray film is not your typical high gloss package you normally see. THAT SUITS me fine becuase it  fits the era of when the film was shot.

110 minutes including Jagger interviews and Tour Rehearsal footage (wow)

THIS DVD will be available world-wide from EAGLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT October 12 2010.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran rock music journalist, musican and radio show host

CHECK OUT  John’s review of RON WOOD’S brilliant new solo cd..on this page

visit john

and the band



great way to start 2010..and shania’s new show will blast of 2011-a look back-Shania’s BIG HEART blasts into 2010-Olympic torch run captivates thousands-by john emms


It would not be Timmins if it was not minus 40 below zero with the wind chill would it”  said SHANIA TWAIN  while laughing and grinning from ear to ear as she stood on a makeshift stage speaking to the thousands in attendance  at the Timmins leg of the Olympic torch run

As most of you readers know I’m usually in the role as a music journalist, or as a musician with our band THE SHAFTMEN but tonight I got caught up in the excitement of  the Olympic torch relay with Shania Twain.

SHANIA’S BIG HEART RULES- I don’t have to tell all of you fans that, look at the smile on that face

I have ALWAYS been a huge SHANIA supporter and equal Timmins area born supporter of everything heritage and culture in our city. 

I have stayed clear of the  controversey relating to who should carry in the Olympic torch. Most of you SHANIA fans worldwide who will  read this don’t know that we have an Olympic gold medalist in KATHY KREINER who won GOLD at the  1976 Olympics in Innsbruck Austria.

IN FACT, she is the only Timmins born native  to win Gold at any Olympic summer or winter.


Mayor Tom Laughren drew BIG applause when he mentioned both Kathy and her sister Laurie who also was a medalist.


I was standing about 4 or 5 feet from the stage with my skin literally frozen and fingers barely able to function  with my grandson James. He is a HUGE Shania fan and I wanted to get him up close and personal

I CAN ONLY  imagine what SHANIA was feeling but I can say that the feelings from all of the fans gathered despite the bitter cold was overwhelming


SHANIA mentioned “how much spirit Timmins and indeed people of the North have for standing hours in freezing cold”  She is bang on right. There is a lot of heart and soul in this town and tonIght it was out in full force, just like it was when Kathy Kriener came home a national sports hero.

From Eilleen’s humble beginnings to her many awards and Global status one thing is for sure. Tonight’s Olypmpic Torch Run will have her heart and head spinning as she lays down to sleep. BRAVO EVERYONE

JOHN EMMS is a 20 year veteran music journalist. He has written many articles about SHANIA and many other artists. He also does cd, dvd reviews for all major domestic and International labels.

JOHN is also the songwriter/vocalist with THE SHAFTMEN…you can see more of Timmins history and the band at


shania twain-can’t wait for her new show on oprah’s network-here is a previous column

Taylor, Shania, Vince, Elvis, The Shaftmen, Hank Sr, Waylon, who’s really singing? by john emms

CAN’T WAIT FOR SHANIA’S NEW SHOW ON OPRAH is a column of interest for fans 

VINCE GILL is known as being a great player and excellent country vocalist

Gill has also been quoted as being against the “whole auto-tune craze” that is affecting modern country music.

Hell what would  have Hank Williams Sr, and good Ol’ Waylon Jennings thought of this madness

Fast forward to Taylor Swift’s big Grammy winning night.  I was not alone with my unflattering  commentary on Taylor Swift’s Grammy vocal performance.  Many publications weighed in. Let’s chalk it up to a rough night. We have all had them.

So then does it really matter?  Well yes. THE BEATLES USED THE IN HOUSE P.A AT SHEA STADIUM IN 1965 …WITH A CROWD OF 55,000…..George Jones, Roy Orbison and Ray Charles were some of the best singers ever. NO tricks..just sing  

Taylor has the smarts and  talent to learn from this. Some people have suggested that Swift was brave not to use auto-tune. I can tell you most of the performers I know and admire have to my knowledge not used the pitch correction device in the studio or in live performance.

Personally you can watch any of our Shaftmen live takes on youtube recorded with one camera and small microphone, and most of the time my voice is pretty stable.  And I can tell  you like most singers I have some pitch problems. For me it’s  the emotion of the performance

Taylor Swift is the youngest person to ever win A Grammy for Album of the Year, and  Heck maybe i’m off by one or two but Shania Twain has won 5 GrammyAwards. ELVIS PRESLEY WON ONLY 3 GRAMMY AWARDS..WOW..YOU SAY 

The 2010 Grammy audience share was up, and that was with the censoring of a riveting show from Eminem, Lil Wayne and Drake.

What does all this say about the future of the industry To quote my friends. ”Most of the buying consumer must be stupid”

I’ m going to go old school with Vince Gill  on this one. WE ALL LOVE GREAT MUSIC..BUT LET’S GET BACK TO REAL SINGING AND REAL PLAYING 

 HECK, I don’t know if SHANIA has in the past or if she tours again will decide to use auto-tune or pitch correction.

 I honestly don’t think she needs it. She started out like the rest of us. Little ol’ p.a. system with an old microphone handed down. If we can’t sing with the best gear in the world then  maybe we should all get practicing .



October 2010