Archive for June, 2015

28
Jun
15

TRAGICALLY HIP-TO KIRKLAND LAKE AND THE NORTH WITH LOVE AND MUSICALITY-REVIEW JOHN EMMS

DSC03097HIP KLG DOWNIE

The Tragically Hip know and love The North.

This night was the first of two sold out nights on the Kirkland Lake leg of The Tragically Hip’s 2015 Fully Completely Tour.

This being the tour that features that 1992 Diamond selling album live in it’s entirety.

The Hip and the North.

It’s all good folks.

Maybe some of our readers have forgot the group played Fort Albany back in 2012 for the Great Moon Gathering.

And of course all of us in Canada and the city of Timmins know that Fifty Mission Cap is written about our own and former Maple Leaf star Bill Barilko

That song, along with Tom Cochrane’s Big League is easily a blue print for hockey anthems.

Heck, I had just watched the hockey draft before heading out to the show.

Hockey aside, and the Emms family name knows hockey, this was simply a magical night.

 

Their blistering all encompassing first opening night provided fans with a glimpse into the group’s tough yet at times intimate sound.

The love of Kirkland Lake and indeed all who attended from all over the North, Quebec, and points south was felt

“Oh yes, we can feel that vibe” said guitarist Paul Langlois talking after the show.

We feed off of it and it becomes an integral part of what we do live on stage.

It’s impossible to describe the band’s sound but it’s safe to say the whole band comes from a righteous place of heart and musicality

And besides Langlois should know.

His interlocking guitar work with lead guitarist Rob Baker is a mainstay of the band’s compelling groove.

With the swagger and pull of Johnny Fay’s drum work in tandem with superb bass work from Gordon Sinclair it’s the perfect fit for one of Canada’s most important frontmen/songwriters Gordon Downie

Downie’s swagger and intelligent lyrics often bring transcendence to any Hip concert fan.

This is a singer who looks his fans in the eye and reacts with the band on every dynamic.

Yep, he’s that good!

Hip Fandom is a whole other other gig folks!

You may remember these guys have headlined festivals where there have been upwards of 50,000 people.

But, on this night it’s all about KL and the incredible Kirkland Lake Festivals committee headed up by hard working Robin Connelly with massive support from the community.

What can you say?

The Hip for not one but two nights.

That will suffice.

I’m a writer not a photographer but I did ask to get moved along the front barricade for a decent shot.

I found myself up next to a smiling man in his mid 30’s

“Hey man how are you?  he asked

Good I said, What a vibe coming off the band, it’s incredible.

Oh yeah, for sure he replied it’s my 19th show.

“My friend and I drove down from Sault Ste Marie, we knew this would an intimate show.

The Timmins turnout alone for this show let alone the next night was large.

The Hip have always operated on their own internal musical clock.

Highlights of this show were many

At The Hundredth Meridian, Locked In the Trunk of a Car, Wheat Kings, My Music At Work and Blow at High Dough come to mind.

Most of it all, it comes down to 5 guys performing great songs.

A dialogue between the band and fans that on this night captured a unified voice!

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, songwriter/musician and Sun Media contributor.

JOHN fronts up his own blues/roots group THE SHAFTMEN

The band has released 3 original albums with a keen eye to The North and Canada

And, is writing on their fourth ..Check out the band on ITunes and youtube worldwide.

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

 

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08
Jun
15

BRAD ABSHER & SWAMP ROYALE-LUCKY DOG-SOUL ROOTS SUPREME-CD REVIEW-JOHN EMMS

B ABSHER 1

Anyone who thinks the 70’s Soul/R & B sound is not vital has not heard this absolute vital cd.

With updated 2015 engineering but still funky with old school roots Lucky Dog is always on my playlist.

Every song makes sense in groove and melody.

Whether it’s Absher’s classy originals like I Can’t Wait, I Need A Drink, and the swampy I Wanna Be Your Man or covering the great William Bell songbook on Miss Your Water and grooving New Orlean’s style on Allen Toussaint’s Lipstick Traces, Absher sounds relaxed and confident.

On his own Not Tonight, Absher gives in to a best Nashville-esque ballad.

And it works wonders.

Absher’s band on this cd bassist Larry Fulcher, drummer Mike Patton, and keyboard man Barry Seelen just can’t miss.

Lucky Dog is soul/roots supreme folks.

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist/Sun Media contributor/online radio host, and songwriter/musician.

Check out John’s band THE SHAFTMEN on Youtube and Apple iTunes worldwide

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

Follow John on Twitter

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

07
Jun
15

JOHN MAYALL’S BLUESBREAKERS-LIVE IN 1967-MIND BOGGLING BLUES BUCKET LIST SET-CD REVIEW BY JOHN EMMS

mayall 67

JOHN MAYALL’S BLUESBREAKERS-LIVE IN 1967, are you kidding me.

Why, this was not released before is insane.

It may be a mono recording with no fancy pants , but hold onto your hat folks

John Mayall’s interview from his promotion recalls:

“I’d known for a decade or two of the existence of these tapes and in fact Tom Huissen had sent me a CD with 50 second teasers for some of the tracks that he’d secretly recorded at our London shows,” recalls Mayall. “Last year, Tom decided he wanted the world to hear these performances and work soon began on restoring the already fine quality on the old reel-to-reel tapes.”

Let’s face it readers, if you could go back in a time machine and witness John Mayall, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood gig at the Marquee Club in 1967  it would make any blues fan bucket list.

In fact, the fly on the wall effect on hearing this lineup at this time is mind boggling.

How good were they?

Just listen to Peter Green rip guitar solos through Looking Back, The Stumble and his inspirational solo on Stormy Monday.

This is the stuff of legend folks.

John Mayall is and always has been one of the greatest band leaders period.

Here, as is now Mayall is the glue and the organic centre.

His work on this cd with Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Some Day After Awhile, the groovy organ solos on Streamline or blowing mean and lean on Brand New Start is the real deal.

Mick Fleetwood and John McVie support the solos, bang on in the pocket and went on to form Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green.

That says it all.

Some of the songs vary a wee bit in quality, but I can tell you Freddie King and Otis Rush are smiling from ear to ear in blues heaven.

A must have for any John Mayall or blues fan worldwide.

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

John also fronts his own blues/roots rockers from Canada.  THE SHAFTMEN

The group has released 3 original albums all gaining National Airplay.

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

VISIT JOHN ON TWITTER

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

 

07
Jun
15

CHERYL LESCOM & THE TUCSON CHOIR BOYS-1953-ROOTS, BLUES, AND ALL THAT’S GOOD-CD REVIEW JOHN EMMS

c lescom 2

Authentic, powerful and filled with gutsy emotion Cheryl Lescom has released one of the best blues/roots cd’s of 2015 with 1953.

Opening with the street life hustle of Dime Store Lover, then gliding into the 50’s radio friendly Soul Shakin’ Romance and channeling a modern day Lena Horne vocal on songwriter Lynn Jackson’s Surrender, Lescom hits the heart’s centre.

Not enough can be said about how well the players in the Tucson Choir Boys and the guest musicians understand the soul of the material.

Dave The Cat, Les Graham, Sameday Ray, Kristine Walsh and Robert Reid pull off gorgeous chops on the beautiful It’s Not You It’s Me  which has a standout vocal by Lescom.

In fact, it’s one of the prettiest tracks I have heard over the last few years on any level.

Then, there’s the powerful mid tempo track Places I’ve Been also written by Lynn Jackson and the punchy lioness fire of Nice Mix of Crazy.

Either way, Lescom and Tucson Choir Boys turn out a distinct and powerful performance.

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

JOHN has his own fun with his blues/roots band THE SHAFTMEN.. The band has released three full length albums and gained National Airplay with all.

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

Follow John on Twitter

https://twitter.com/emmsreviews

 

 




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