Archive for February, 2015

25
Feb
15

THE BEST OF JOHN EMMS REVIEWS-30 YEARS EXPERIENCE AND PASSION IN MUSIC JOURNALISM/JUST A CLICK AWAY

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Read the best of JOHN EMMS..Blog …JUST GO TO THE SIDE MENU..PICK A MONTH AND YEAR..OR PUT AN ARTIST NAME IN THE SEARCH BOX

WISH TO PURCHASE JOHN EMMS ORIGINAL MUSIC AS A SOLO ARTIST OR WITH ..THE SHAFTMEN..AVAILABLE ON ITUNES, SPOTIFY, AMAZON.COM..ETC

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/close-another-door/id392307439

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

MUSIC JOURNALISM

https://johnemmsreviews.com/2014/07/24/eric-clapton-friends-the-breeze-cd-review-john-emms-an-appreciation-of-jj-cale-jean-jacques-smiles-again/

https://johnemmsreviews.com/2013/11/11/blue-rodeo-cd-review-in-our-nature-music-from-big-farmhouse-keelor-returns-by-john-emms/

https://johnemmsreviews.com/2014/12/23/joe-cocker-the-singers-singer-by-john-emms/

https://johnemmsreviews.com/2014/03/07/24th-street-wailers-wicked-road-chops-and-blues-deluxe-cd-review-john-emms/

https://johnemmsreviews.com/2014/09/29/bryan-adams-tracks-of-my-years-soulful-vocal-work-highlights-new-oldies-album/

https://johnemmsreviews.com/2012/10/29/van-morrison-cd-review-born-to-sing-no-plan-b-john-emms-the-benchmark-of-soul-and-vans-band-shines-on/

 

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

READ IN OVER 100 COUNTRIES

24
Feb
15

SHANIA TWAIN RETURNS-TIMMINS PASSION AND PRIDE/ JOHN EMMS LOOKS BACK AND AHEAD

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Shania Twain is back!

For Timmins locals, Canadian fans and for many countries in the world Twain’s brand of country/pop rock rules.

Twain, has a new retrospective cd/dvd Live From Vegas which hits retail March 3 2015.

She will visit Canada this week to promote this new Live From Vegas package.

Twain has not released a full new original album since Up in 2002

It was and still is a great cd.

That’s over 13 years.

As a 5 time Grammy and 12 time Juno Award winner it’s way too long for her fans to wait.

Purely to show perspective Bruce Springsteen has released 6 or 7 newly recorded albums and songs in the same period.

Me, well I’m reflecting.

On what you ask?

How about back to Timmins and her hometown concert on July 1 1999?

Wow, on that day we were feeling Timmins and world pride folks.

Stoked and rocking in the heat of 20,000 people euphoric in the heart of Hollinger Park.

It was a moment etched in time

For everyone.

Whether you were from anywhere on the planet or from Timmins or Toronto Ontario you felt that inner sense of pride about the city of Timmins and Twain.

Heck you can also go back to the Olympic torch run with Twain in January 2010.

I was standing outside in the -35 below temps with my grandson James.

Yes, readers let your mind go back to that time.

Whether you liked Twain’s music or not (and millions still do) you felt great

Truth is that particular level of pride has been missing for many years.

That civic pride at least on the entertainment level is at least one of the factors of why Timmins does not draw big name acts like Bryan Adams.

Think of it, Bryan played 3 hours away in Sudbury.

Talk about a world class rock n’ roller that still kicks butt, well folks he still has the passion.

Most people these days lack that Ol’ Rock n’ Roll passion on many levels.

For that matter, in every walk of life.

Hey, I’m guilty of watching my fair share of “on demand” movies in my easy chair.

But really folks,  it’s time to wake up and get back some passion.

Back in 1999, I was there to review the concert for the Timmins Daily Press.

In those moments and now as I type this I reflect on my own and my friends musical past.

The days when 20 or more Timmins clubs were packed.

Where every musician like myself and my friends rocked away weekends.

It was a way of life in the 70’s and 80’s.

Fresh from underground mining or a day in the mill you and your friends went out early to get a table at the bar.

Our group of players and I’m sure Eilleen (Shania) who was there remembers those days.

JP’s Lounge in Timmins, The Riverview, The Rock n Tap, The Empire Hotel, The Travel Host, or The Maple Leaf where Stompin Tom put the boot to the plywood.

I could go on and on!

Four sets a night folks.

May I remind readers this is not fiction it’s fact.

This Saturday, February  28th Shania’s Vegas show airs on the ABC TV Network.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist and Sun Media contributor

His blog is read in over 104 countries worldwide.

FOLLOW JOHN ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

JOHN is a songwriter/musician with Canadian Roots/Blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN

Their cd’s and singles are available on iTunes, Spotify and other outlets

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

John Emms The Shaftmen..Packing Up

17
Feb
15

TINSLEY ELLIS-TOUGH LOVE-“BLUE TONE FIX” CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

Tinsley Ellis

Tinsley Ellis hits a home run with a slinky groove of minor key blues and soul on his latest album Tough Love.

Ellis’ superb guitar tone oozes out on Seven Years, jumps in your face on Midnight Ride and gets Albert King-esque on the superb Should Have I Lied.

I recently took this cd on a road trip and basically let it play.

I don’t do that often, but this cd demanded it.

Elsewhere, Ellis hits a Sonny Landreth groove on Hard Work and lets the horns loose on All In The Name Of Love.

Standout work from keyboard man Kevin McKendree and excellent vocal work by Ellis throughout.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist read in over 100 countries.

John is also a songwriter/musician with his Canadian Blues/Roots band THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

FOLLOW JOHN ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

JOHN’S BLUES/ROCK RADIO

http://emms.podbean.com/

 

07
Feb
15

THE REAL TOP 10 YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO-COLDPLAY, KRALL..AND MORE..JOHN EMMS JUKEBOX

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Sure, your getting excited for The Grammy’s and you have checked out iTunes top songs.

But here are the real songs you need to check out now.

Coldplay-Ink-If Paul Simon and Brian Wilson got together with Coldplay this would be the result-Stunning pop-craft-cd-..Ghost Stories

Diana Krall-I’m Not In Love-Think you know 10cc’s classic?-wow not until you hear this-cd-..Wallflower

Fall Out Boy-Centuries-Yes, this is the new version of FOB..I too like the rock they used to do, but this is a great pop song-cd-American Beauty/American Psycho

Ron Hawkins & The Do Good Assassins-Propellers-The most important indie rock song you need to hear…cd-..Garden Songs

Jake Bugg-Messed up Kids-It will only hurt for a minute-The future of rock n’ roll? Perhaps.cd-…Messed Up Kids EP

Tom Cochrane-The Ones That I’ve Known-Combining Rosa Parks and Terry Fox into a roots masterpiece.-..cd Take It Home

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, radio host, Sun Media contributor and musician

Read in 104 Countries

Follow John’s Twitter page

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

 

 

 

07
Feb
15

INTELLIGENT ALBUM REVIEWS AND MORE-READ IN 104 COUNTRIES WITH 65,000 VIEWS-JOHN EMMS

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You have to have passion for music.

Just like a great band, you have to have feel and dynamics.

That’s the way I feel about music journalism, and about music.

JOHN

07
Feb
15

DIANA KRALL-WALLFLOWER-” POP CLASSICS REBORN” REVIEW JOHN EMMS

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Diana Krall and producer David Foster have produced a master stroke of pop genius with Krall’s latest album Wallflower.

The intimate and intelligent arrangements to songs like California Dreamin’ with it’s gorgeous piano solo by Krall, and the vivid soundscape of Neil Finn’s Don’t Dream It’s Over are stunning

Listen to the superb duet vocal with Bryan Adams on Randy Newman’s Feels Like Home.

It has a ton of feel and integrity.

In fact if the Krall/Adams duet is not a major radio hit we all might as well all hang it up now .

Elsewhere be ready to be blown out of the room with her take on the Eagles I Can’t tell You Why.

Krall’s piano solo floats above key changes while her intimate vocal brings you to another place sonically.

And that Folks is where the genius of David Foster lies.

The orchestrations are killer, but listen to the vocal takes that Foster gets out of Michael Buble and Krall on Gilbert O’ Sullivan’s Alone Again Naturally.

In one word spellbinding.

Krall tackles an unreleased Paul McCartney track If I Take You Home Tonight and turns the chord changes into a superb showcase for her voice.

Krall also completely makes 10cc’s I’m Not In Love her own.

Awash in a killer mix that literally fills the room it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

An international album without a doubt, but there is a huge Canadian connection here.

Krall, Adams, Buble’ all Canucks including myself grew up listening to rock/pop radio here in Canada.

A ton of great international pop hits came out of our radios.

But it was also important to know that up in Canada in the 70’s you could hear songs like Foster’s own band Skylark on the radio, or the huge hits like the Guess Who’s Undun or Gordon Lightfoot’s Early Morning Rain.

You may not know it, but that fact and vibe is ingrained in this record from a DNA point.

Elsewhere, Bob Dylan’s little known track Wallflower (the title track) bears an almost Linda Ronstadt vibe that really works.

This album is very refreshing, and is going to surprise people.

What we have here is a melodic re-invention of pop classics.

Expressive and exhilarating work for sure.

JOHN EMMS is a 30 year veteran music journalist, radio host and musician.

Read in 104 Countries worldwide with 65,000 views

You can check out John’s songs with roots/blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

Follow John on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

05
Feb
15

BJORK-VULNICURA-“IT HURTS TO BE IN LOVE” BY JOHN EMMS

bjork-Press-Photo-2015

We have all been there.

Out of love.

So what do you do?

Of course you write about it.

First off, this album is much more experimental than her other “hurt” album Homogenic from 1997.

That was a huge hit, and still is a fan fave.

I have to admit in some places the production gets in the way on tracks like History of Touches, Family and  even the lead track Stonemilker.

Having said that Lionsong, Quicksand and Atom Dance will take care of things at radio.

But like any true artist, Bjork could not care what you think personally.

No, that’s all taken care of on the 10 minute Black Lake.

You don’t want to be on the wrong side of this song.

It’s personal.

And baby, we all feel your heat and hurt.

Bjork’s work is still important and this album shows why

John Emms..is a veteran music journalist, radio host and singer-songwriter with Canadian roots/Blues rockers The Shaftmen

Read in 104 Countries with 65,000 views

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

 

05
Feb
15

BUT WHAT DO NORMAL PEOPLE WANT?-MUSIC MATTERS..MAYBE….BY JOHN EMMS

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Look, my wife will walk into the room when I’m reviewing cd’s and I will be excited or not about new releases.

My grandson James will do the same.

I’ll say do you like that?

Would you like me to put in on a playlist for your iPod?

Most of the time, it’s no that’s okay.

Sure, my wife knows Bob Dylan was ahead of his time.

She gets it.

James loves The Beatles whenever I play them.

He gets excited.

They have both heard me write and perform my own songs.

They may be proud that I’m up there sweating on stage or on iTunes.

However, I don’t think music holds the same power over people that we as musicians think it does.

It’s true.

Do they care about whether vinyl sounds better than cd’s.

Do they care if they have ear buds or $400 dollar headphones.

One thing I do know.

You have to be passionate about things in life.

Your family, your friends, the environment, politics and yes music.

I tell this to James all the time.

Just be passionate about LIFE.

I’m not going to sit you down and make you listen to  both sides of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon.

And no, I won’t sit through an entire New Direction movie.

But I think as musicians we all know making music makes us feel alive.

That’s why we do it.

And if we feel alive, everything is better in our world and theirs.

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

05
Feb
15

TOM COCHRANE-TAKE IT HOME-“INSPIRED EMOTION AND NEW ANTHEMS”-CD REVIEW-JOHN EMMS

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Tom Cochrane’s intelligent wordplay and gut emotion is firmly intact on his new album Take It Home.

In fact, two of the new tracks Pink Time and The Ones That I’ve Known are powerful anthems of personal relationships,  hope, and inspiration that recall Bruce Springsteen’s work from his Rising album period.

Pink Time rises from mandolins, airy acoustic guitars and the ambience of Ken Greer’s killer steel guitar to a gut level mid song vocal by Beverley Knight that busts down the door.

All this stems from the fact that Cochrane’s poetic metaphors are as fully intact now as they were at any high point in his career.

Pink Time’s story line of  a man working away from home “Don’t shoot me I’m the messenger, I’m driving this 10 ton to get my cargo in” is really a relationship song about a couple looking for redemption.

It’s a powerful statement that all of us have encountered.

The One’s That I’ve Known is simply put one of the best songs I have heard in the last few years.

The lyrical power recalls the influence of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan on Cochrane’s songs.

Having said that Cochrane has always been his own man.

An old school troubadour reflecting on the past and connecting in the modern world as we all do

With it’s references to Rosa Parks and the courage of seeing Terry Fox running down the highway it’s a song only Cochrane could write.

At the coda with the lines “the ones that have stayed the course and gave so much for freedom” he rests the song into a joyous celebration of life.

Co-producer Bill Bell does a killer job of garnering Cochrane’s powerful integrity into under 4 minute blasts of heartland rock n’ roll.

In fact, Diamonds and Can’t Stay Here both of which feature the world class chops of drummer Jim Keltner (Travelling Willburys) and James Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt)

are standout Americana roots songs.

Elsewhere the swamp distorted licks on First Time Around recall Mad Mad World, while Country Girls Never Get Old pays an ode to Cochrane and Greer’s Red Rider Victory Day and Boy Inside Man era.

This brings us to Sunday Afternoon Hang a song that has already and continues to just absolutely make people want to just open up and have fun.

It’s a lake song folks.

Of course as only Cochrane can he flips the “lake” theme on it’s side with the terrific Another Year.

“The Winters last forever round here, few days in between then summer re-appears, the kids have all grown up, but we all put it off for another year” will choke you up.

It’s a piano ballad that Paul McCartney would be proud of.

This album could easily strike a chord with the American public.

Some would say that’s important.

But they would be wrong.

What’s important is that Cochrane still has the cultural and emotional gravitas to make us all feel something.

It’s obvious by this album that he continues to do just that.

CD RELEASE DATE IS FEB 10 2015

JOHN EMMS is a 30 year veteran music journalist, musician, radio host and singer-songwriter behind Canadian roots/blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

 

04
Feb
15

RON HAWKINS & THE DO GOOD ASSASSINS-GARDEN SONGS-“SETTING A NEW HIGH STANDARD”-BY JOHN EMMS

gardensongs-albumartRon Hawkins - DGA

On Garden Songs Ron Hawkins and his band The Do Good Assassins reach for an emotional depth and richness of song and nail it.

A song cycle of 10 tracks the album embodies life in any city or town with lyrics evoking images of lovers, losers, and personal circumstances.

The lead song Peace and Quiet is a love letter to the neighbourhoods of Toronto as potent as Jim Cuddy’s Skyscraper Soul.

Kingdom of The Sun reflects on “T-Rex on the radio, Sunlight dancing on the kitchen floor, and keeping your friends and family close”

A tour de force on any level it is one of Hawkins best songs of his entire career. And yes at Kingdom’s song coda “It’s Gonna Be Allright”

It should be said that both of these songs and a number of others on this cd have a very accessible radio appeal.

Most of the tracks are quiet or mid tempo with full band power at different points.

Hawkins reprises DFW from Ten Kinds Of Lonely with the gorgeous cello ambience of Alex McMaster, while Propellers and Garden Song lets the feel of the Do Good Assassins band, drummer Jesse Capon

multi-instrumentalist McMaster, guitarist Steve Sing, and bassist Derrick Brady take hold.

Elsewhere Small Victories, Waiting  On Something That’s Already Here, and South Ontario are potent reminders of Ron Hawkins’ writing gift.

Each song on this album creates it’s own movie.

That’s as good as it gets folks!

Album release date is this week Feb 3 2015

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun Media contributor, radio host and singer-songwriter with Canadian Roots/Blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-worlds-gone-crazy/id673101570

VISIT JOHN on Twitter

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 




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