Archive for May 19th, 2016



alpha omega 6

Since the late 90’s PREVAIL has been all over the world gigging. He recorded over 10 cd’s with Swollen Members many of them going Gold and Platinum. His new work is with this nephew in the group The Alpha Omega. We conducted an intelligent and insightful interview and I was excited to hear how urgent their new work is.
“Even though my nephew is in this project Alpha Omega and he is as you mentioned family we could not expect everything to correlate on stage or in the studio. Having said that I was overwhelmed by the progress we made from the beginning” explains Prevail calling in from Calgary about the group’s new EP The Strain.
“I even explained I could show him some short cuts and different styles but he wanted to develop his own style of writing and wordplay and he has turned into an amazing emcee in a short amount of time, adds the multi-Juno Award winner and gold and platinum selling artist and co-founder of Swollen Members.
Neph (Corey Joseph) is the elite of Vancouver’s next generation of hungry emcee’s, who has also been privy to the behind-the-scenes workings of the industry throughout his new career.
Together, Prevail and Neph form Alpha Omega.
To be sure, the new cd The Strain shows the duo in excellent form dropping big time hooks and excellent wordplay
Timmins fans will get to check out the show May 24th at the Working Class.
” I think on the new album as you mentioned and also the former cd The Concept some might say it is a not as dark and heavy as some of The Swollen stuff.
Initially we wanted to get out of the gate and have fun but on The Strain tracks like Ouroboros S.I.N.S. and Abyss we do have a heavy vocal tonality and the topics have some more meat lyrically.
I have to say this group has been a dream come true and I want to bring this project to as many people as possible”
Long known as one of one of Canada’s superb free stylers Prevail has not altered his lyric attack.
“Well, I like it when people don’t get the lyrics on the first listen says Prevail. I stick my lyrics in a compartment a lot like the bands I grew up listening to such as A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers and more. It’s later you might hear a line in the song and say ahh that’s what they are talking about.
Prevail is also old school in the way he starts to form his songs.
“Yes, I go with a pen and paper. Heck, I wear glasses and if I had to look at the keyboard every time I wanted to rhyme it would not work Prevail says with a laugh.
Having said that Neph or I may come in with some stuff but it’s really the passing off of improvised lyrics that is a great way to explore each others writing process”
With the enormous success of Swollen Members who released nine studio albums, one greatest hits album and 2 compilations Prevail considers this part of his career as important in every context.
” I think some artists may think you have to chase the last great single or album they made. It’s a dangerous mindset and I learned early on that you could get into trying to duplicate those feats and that limits you in creating new magic.
Just recently we did an all ages show and a young man around 13 says wow I really love Alpha Omega with Neph and I asked him how he heard abut us and he said his dad was really into Swollen Members but I love this thing. I think it’s great a new generation can take ownership of something now and later when they do some digging it will lend some substance to what they were already gravitating towards” says Prevail
“I have had a number of musical comrades say the feel they are watching the Prevail from 15 years ago and now with Neph and all the new songs I feel re-invigorated. We live for the live show and it is gong to be exciting”
JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, Sun Media contributor, singer-songwriter with Canadian blues rockers THE SHAFTMEN
JOHN is also on TWITTER


MidnightShine-hires-29Alan DoyleIMG_2092 bnwcolin james jpegTC 5BR 2johnny reidsab-01-cameron-baileyjake and the funds


This year I thought we would go with an all Canadian list for our May Run PLAYLIST
As you know each year..we change the artist and song list..This year  North Bay, Timmins, Attawapisktat and more were included
For the most part, we tried to stay away from obvious hits.
You hear those all the time. I like to use the old school term even though all these tracks are downloadable, which makes it easy for me and you.
A drum roll please.
Midnight Shine -Northern Man-Attawapiskat and First Nations identity is a big part of this band’s sound. I just love the production values of the title track. You need this song and the whole album. A must have.
Alan Doyle- 1, 2, 3, 4-Doyle will be up in Kirkland Lake June 24th with the Arkells and both bands make this year’s list. High energy rocker from Doyle’s cd So Let’s Go.
Johnny Reid-When The Sun Goes Down-From his cd What Love is All About. Great roots based rocker, Johnny just has that killer voice. Heck there is even a snappy organ solo. Cool
Tom Cochrane-Sunday Afternoon Hang-“the drinks are cold and the days are hot” Are you kidding? Wow, this is a great summer or a May Run anthem from his latest cd Take It Home.
Colin James-Stay-Absolute fave. Heavy vocal from Colin. Great guitar tone, reminds of his version of a Rolling Stones feel. I pulled this from Take It From The Top, Best of Colin James
Lee Holmes-It’s No Secret-Iroquois Falls native and blues rocker who now does gigs in Italy a good part of the year. Solid album. Check it out.
Honeymoon Suite-What Does It Take-Since the band will be here in late August at the Kayak Fest we just had to include this classic ballad from their cd The Big Prize
SAB-Little Girl- From the cd Flyin High Livin Free-One of Sab’s catchiest songs. Nice baritone sax, cool vocals, guitar solo by Sab and the band sounds just right. Miss that guy big time!
Arkells-Come to Light-One of Canada’s most creative newer acts. From the cd High Noon.
Jake and the Fundamentals-Nothing But Fine-The boys from North Bay add to our list with this catchy blues rocker from their cd Blues & Rhythm.
The Shaftmen-Bright Lights Big City-The only cover we have done. Original by Jimmy Reed with this one. Jack De Keyzer produced and played on it and yes it rocks.
The Skydiggers-We Don’t Talk Much Anymore-When I feel a little low on relationships this is one of my fave drinking songs from the band. I pulled this from the 22 track cd The Truth About Us
Glorious Sons-Heavy-This is pure rock n roll new Canuck style. Catchy, riff hard and oh so good.
Coming to Timmins this summer. From the cd The Union.
Jeff Healey Band-Cruel Little Number-Back to the glory days from 1998. A more polished track, but either way one heck of a great artist and band.
Tragicailly Hip-Boots or Hearts-Classic Hip, but then it’s all classic. And it never falls apart even if Gordie says it does.
Powder Blues Band-What Have I Been Drinking-Classic Canuck blues from the great Vancouver band led by Tom Lavin. I love the live version from Montreux.
Blue Rodeo-Begging You To Let Me In-From one of my fave BR’ cd’s The Days In Between. Killer groove by drummer Glenn Milchem, Jim’s great vocal and a wacked out guitar solo. Never get tired of this track.
JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, singer-songwriter with Canadian Blue Rockers-THE SHAFTMEN
John  is on TWITTER

May 2016