Podcast: January 22, 2017

Episode #678

Today a bunch of new (and new to me) music, as well as a tribute to the great Greg Trooper who passed away recently.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Download this episode (right click and save)

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Kathleen Edwards – Human Touch – unreleased – CDN
Imelda May – Call Me – single
Abigail Lapell – Diamond Girl – Hide nor Hair – CDN
Alex Dezen – Holding on to You (Holding on to Me) – II
Alex Dezen – None of these Things – El Ganzo Sessions video

2:30 – 3:00 pm

The Damnwells – Lost – The Damnwells
The Damnwells – Kiss Catastrophe – Bastards of the Beat
Murray McLauchlan – Columbus – Gulliver’s Taxi – CDN
Murray McLauchlan – Dirty Boulevard – Gulliver’s Taxi – CDN
Murray McLauchlan – Farmer’s Song – Songs from the Street – CDN
Blackie & The Rodeo Kings – Down by the Henry Moore – Let’s Frolic Again – CDN

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Gurf Morlix – Move Someone – The Soul and the Heal
John Craigie – Broken – No Rain, No Rose
Nudie – If a Heart could Tell – Remember This – CDN
Abigail Lapell – Murder City – Hide nor Hair – CDN
Greg Trooper – Real Like That – Straight Down Rain
Greg Trooper – When my Tears Break through – Floating
Steve Earle – Little Sister (live) – Copperhead Road (Deluxe Edition)

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Greg Trooper – These Sunday Nights – The Williamsburg Affair
Greg Trooper – Ireland – Between a House and a hard Place Live at Pine Hill Farm
Lucy Kaplansky – The Heart – The Tide
Vince Gill – We Won’t Dance – When I Call your Name
Billy Bragg – Everywhere – Vol. 2
Brandi Carlile – Beginning to Feel the Years – The Firewatcher’s Daughter

Podcast: Steel Belted Radio – Jan. 19, 2017 w/Slow Leaves & Justin Lacroix

Tonight some Steel Belted live guests as our old pal Slow Leaves, aka Grant Davidson, and our new pal Justin Lacroix drop by to chat about a very intriguing event where a bunch of great English songwriters get paired up with a bunch of great French songwriters for some exclusive songs. In honour of that event, we hear a bunch of great songs en Français!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Artist – Title – Album

Greg Trooper – So French – Between a House and a Hard Place
Rheostatics – Chanson les Ruelles – Melville
Del Barber & the No Regretskys – Mon Chandail de Hockey – The Puck Drops Here
Red Moon Road – Riviere – Sorrows and Glories
Whitehorse – Un Canadien Errant – The Road to Massey Hall
Whitehorse – Ephemere sons Repere – Ephemere sons Repere
Gazoline – L’amour veritable est aux rebelles – Brulensemble
Gazoline – Parfaite – Brulensemble
Michel Pagliaro – J’entends Frapper – Hit Parade
Post Secret – Partir Ensemble – If not for You
Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Naufragee du Tendre (Shipwrecked) – Dancer with bruised Knees
Serena Ryder – Quand les Hommes vivront d’amour – If your Memory Serves you well
Gurf Morlix – Deeper Down – The Soul and the Heal
The Band of Heathens – Trouble Came Early – Duende

Justin Lacroix & Grant Davidson interview

Justin Lacroix – You Won’t Know ’til You Know – live performance
Slow Leaves – When We Were Young (?) – live performance

Podcast: January 15, 2017

Episode #677

To get away from the dreadful and dreary weather, we’re taking a vacation today, and spending an hour in Australia to visit with a few friends from Down Under. On the way home, we’ll stop in on the East Coast and visit with Al Tuck, before rocking it on home with some loud & energetic classics!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Artist – Song title – Album Title – CDN=Canadian – MB = Manitoba Artist – WPG=Winnipeg artist

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Kathleen Edwards – Money Talks – Live from the Bowery Ballroom – CDN
Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen – Meet Me in the Middle of the Air – Death’s Dateless Night
Paul Kelly – Careless – Careless
Paul Kelly & Uncle Bill – You Can’t Take It with You – Smoke
Bill Chambers – Theresa – Live at the Pub Tamworth

2:30 – 3:00 pm

Bill Chambers – Letter to Fred – Live at the Pub Tamworth
Bill Chambers – Drinkin’ too much – Cold Trail
Bill Chambers – Roll the Windows Down – Cold Trail
Kasey Chambers – Stalker – Bittersweet
Shane Nicholson – Broken Things – Bad Machines
Colin Hay – Waiting for my real Life to Begin – Going Somewhere
Colin Hay – Beautiful World – Going Somewhere
Little Birdy – Brother – Confetti

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Nathan – Australia – Stranger – CDN
Nudie – Stop Hittin’ on Louise – Behind that Big Red Curtain: A Tribute to Al Tuck – CDN
Al Tuck – Always on my Mind – Fair Country – CDN
The Silver Hearts – 9th & Hennepin (w/Al Tuck) – Play Rain Dogs – CDN
Al Tuck – Brother from another Mother – My Blues Away – CDN
Al Tuck – Talk (or Hold your Peace) – Food for the Moon – CDN

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales – Teens of Denial
The Warped 45s – Live Bait – Matador Sunset – CDN
Mike Plume Band – Rattle the Cage – Song & Dance, Man – CDN
Kathleen Edwards – 12 Bellevue – Failer – CDN
Jon Dee Graham – Laredo (Small Dark Something) – Hooray for the Moon
Matthew Ryan – Guilty – May Day

Playlist: Episode #679, January 29, 2017

The political climate is getting downright disgusting down there, but luckily there are great artists who can make something beautiful out of a very bad situation. A bunch of those songs & stories today. We’ve also got a bunch of new music, an exciting show to preview, and we step on Skippy & Chelsea’s toes a bit by playing a few songs about time – this week’s theme on What’s the Narrative!

Artist – Song title – Album Title – CDN=Canadian – MB = Manitoba Artist – WPG=Winnipeg artist

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Mary Gauthier – Can’t Find the Way – Between Daylight and Dark
Mary Gauthier – Mercy Now – Mercy Now
Jon Brooks – Mercy – Delicate Cages – CDN
Tom Russell – California Snow – Borderland
Tom Russell – Who’s Gonna Build your Wall? – Wounded Heart of America
Drive-By Truckers – Ramon Casiano – American Band

2:30 – 3:00 pm

Stephen Fearing – Blowhard Nation – Every Soul’s a Sailor – CDN
Scott Cook – If He Showed up now – live recording – CDN
Anais Mitchell – Why We Build the Wall – Hadestown
Imelda May – Black Tears – Life Love Flesh Blood
Whitehorse – Boys Like You – single – CDN

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Fred Eaglesmith – Twin City Mini – Standard – CDN
Fred Eaglesmith – Old Machine – Standard – CDN
Fred Eaglesmith – Miss Mary Jane – Standard – CDN
Fred Eaglesmith – Codeine – live recording – CDN
Willie P Bennett – Country Squall – Tryin’ to Start out Clean – CDN
Willie P Bennett – If You Have to Choose – Hobo’s Taunt – CDN
Stan Rogers – The Field Behind the Plow – Northwest Passage – CDN

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Mayhemingways – Wanderers – Hunter St. Blues – CDN
Mayhemingways – Jenny Ran Away in the Mud – Hunter St. Blues – CDN
Mayhemingways – Bowling Green – Mayhemingways – CDN
Mayhemingways – Sad, Single, and Sorry – Mayhemingways – CDN
Melissa Payne – Bring Me Back – High and Dry – CDN
Express and Company – Out by the Trees – Ontario – CDN
The Lowest of the Low – 4 O’Clock Stop – Shakespeare my Butt – CDN
Three O’Clock Train – Train of Dreams – Train of Dreams – CDN
B.B. King – Three O’Clock Blues – The Ultimate Collection

Playlist: Episode #678, January 22, 2017

Today a bunch of new (and new to me) music, as well as a tribute to the great Greg Trooper who passed away recently.

Artist – Song title – Album Title – CDN=Canadian – MB = Manitoba Artist – WPG=Winnipeg artist

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Kathleen Edwards – Human Touch – unreleased – CDN
Imelda May – Call Me – single
Abigail Lapell – Diamond Girl – Hide nor Hair – CDN
Alex Dezen – Holding on to You (Holding on to Me) – II
Alex Dezen – None of these Things – El Ganzo Sessions video

2:30 – 3:00 pm

The Damnwells – Lost – The Damnwells
The Damnwells – Kiss Catastrophe – Bastards of the Beat
Murray McLauchlan – Columbus – Gulliver’s Taxi – CDN
Murray McLauchlan – Dirty Boulevard – Gulliver’s Taxi – CDN
Murray McLauchlan – Farmer’s Song – Songs from the Street – CDN
Blackie & The Rodeo Kings – Down by the Henry Moore – Let’s Frolic Again – CDN

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Gurf Morlix – Move Someone – The Soul and the Heal
John Craigie – Broken – No Rain, No Rose
Nudie – If a Heart could Tell – Remember This – CDN
Abigail Lapell – Murder City – Hide nor Hair – CDN
Greg Trooper – Real Like That – Straight Down Rain
Greg Trooper – When my Tears Break through – Floating
Steve Earle – Little Sister (live) – Copperhead Road (Deluxe Edition)

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Greg Trooper – These Sunday Nights – The Williamsburg Affair
Greg Trooper – Ireland – Between a House and a hard Place Live at Pine Hill Farm
Lucy Kaplansky – The Heart – The Tide
Vince Gill – We Won’t Dance – When I Call your Name
Billy Bragg – Everywhere – Vol. 2
Brandi Carlile – Beginning to Feel the Years – The Firewatcher’s Daughter

Bidiniband @ Times Change(d) Sat. Feb. 18 & The Sunset Saloon, Fri. Feb. 17!

Bidiniband will be doing a special early show at Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club on Saturday, February 18 where they’ll do a set of their music as well as a set backing up NHL legend Bryan Trottier! Tickets for that one are only $15 and are available online via Ticketfly OR I have an exclusive, limited supply of tickets that can be purchased for $15 cash with NO FEES. You just need to let me know how & when to get one in your hand or pick one up when Bidiniband plays The Sunset Saloon on Friday, February 17!

Holy Mackinaw! One really big and very excited nerd presents:

Bidiniband (www.rheostatics.ca/bidini)
at The Sunset Saloon (house concert in Westwood)
Friday, February 17, 2017
8:00
Suggested donation $20-$25 (price flexible, all proceeds to this amazing band!)

If you wish, bring a drink for yourself, and/or a snack to share, but we’ve always got plenty of all of those on hand!

All are welcome (bring the kids, friends, family, people off the street, whatever)! Our house is family friendly (we’ve got 3 kids, a trampoline, and plenty of room, so feel free to bring the family), easy-going, friendly, and open to all! If you don’t know us yet, come on down and make some new friends!

The Sunset Saloon is a house concert venue in Westwood (near the YMCA on Portage.) We’re open to all. Feel free to pass along the event info, bring friends, bring your kids (our kids will thank you), or just come by yourself and make some new friends! Admission is by donation, which goes directly to the artists. Most folks pay $20, but these hard working guys wouldn’t turn down more.

Please RSVP for the address and more information!

Questions? RSVP? Fill out the contact form below! Forward this to a friend!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. In 1992 I had my great musical awakening. I’d loved music all my life, but it was entirely music that I heard on the radio and in parents’ & grandparents’ music collections. And although they are/were great people, they weren’t that cool. The music was good, but not that adventurous. And that’s all that I knew. I had no idea that there were other kinds of music out there.

And then I heard The Lowest of the Low and Rheostatics. And my life was forever changed. The Lowest of the Low was pretty easy to get into. I became a life-long fan in one night. But Rheostatics music is a little more challenging and very different from everything that I’d ever heard before. It confused me. But it intrigued me. I didn’t understand it at all, at first, but I knew that I wanted to. There was something in there that kept drawing me in, over and over again. Soon, I figured out that I was obsessed. But I don’t think I truly understood it until I saw the band live. Then I got it. And I got it in a big way!

Dave Bidini has been the driving force behind Rheostatics since he was just a kid in high school with big dreams. From 1987-2004 Rheostatics released 9 studio albums, and the tone, sound, and vision of those albums was all over the map. They made a children’s album, a soundtrack to Group of 7 paintings, and a bunch of amazing and diverse rock and roll. They played folk festivals, art galleries, concert halls and dingy bars across the country. They even did some really big shows with The Tragically Hip (and others.) They never got rich or famous, but they are revered among musicians, open-minded fans. In 2007, they called it quits. Or so they thought.

By the end of the initial Rheostatics run, Bidini was already gaining acclaim as an author and newspaper writer. His books are often about journeys (starting with his first book, On a Cold Road, about travelling with The Tragically Hip and the realities of touring in Canada) and often about sports, mostly hockey. He’s won awards and been a finalist on CBC’s Canada Reads competition. Bidini is the only Canadian to have been nominated for all three of Canada’s main entertainment awards, the Gemini Award for television work, the Genie Awards for film work and the Juno Awards for music.

But he certainly wasn’t done with music after Rheostatics were put to rest. He soon formed Bidiniband along with former Rheostatics drummer Don Kerr and two Manitobans, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Paul Linklater and bassist Doug Friesen. They’ve released 3 albums of the same type of thundering, imaginative, interesting rock that he’d been known for with his other band.

Bidiniband has never toured extensively and has never played in Winnipeg. Until now!

Bidiniband will be doing a special early show at Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club on Saturday, February 18 where they’ll do a set of their music as well as a set backing up NHL legend Bryan Trottier! Tickets for that one are only $15 and are available online via Ticketfly OR I have an exclusive, limited supply of tickets that can be purchased for $15 cash with NO FEES. You just need to let me know how & when to get one in your hand or pick one up when Bidiniband plays The Sunset Saloon on Friday, February 17!

Word is getting out about this show, and it’s starting to fill up. With a full band setting up in the living room, SPACE AND SEATING ARE VERY LIMITED! We will fit in as many people as possible, but we may have to cut out some chairs to do it. So reserve your spot early and get there early if you want a seat!

Please, friends, this one is absolutely a dream come true. Heck, it’s a dream that I never even would have dared to dream or even imagine. I may cry or embarrass myself somehow. Actually, it’s almost guaranteed. Please come and see how it goes!

Feel free to fill out the contact form below if you have any questions or if you want to reserve your seat (your details aren’t public, just emailed directly to me.)

CD Review: Brock Zeman – The Carnival Is Back In Town


Brock Zeman

The Carnival Is Back in Town
Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back (2015)
Busted Flat Records

Prolific Ottawa area songwriter Brock Zeman returns with yet another strong album, hot on the heels of his 2015 masterpiece, Pulling your Sword out of the Devil’s Back, and a live album/DVD in 2016. On Pulling your Sword, he poured his heart out in song, revealing some powerful stories and emotions that were obviously very ripped from his own experience. On this, his 13th album, though, Zeman the storyteller turns his pen into a paintbrush, creating a vivid, realistic look at a traveling carnival that might have been seen in the American south during the 1930s & 40s. It’s a true concept album, entirely devoted to the theme, with songs detailing many of the events and colourful characters that would have been found at such an event.

This album was actually written over the course of a year, but a decade ago. Zeman had such high expectations for it that it took years to perfect the approach. It was even recorded once and scrapped because it just didn’t feel right, but this time, they really got it right. Zeman is backed up here by his regular band, including drummer Dylan Roberts and guitar wiz Blair Hogan. They’re joined by a bunch of great guests, filling in backing vocals, bass, accordion, fiddle, and saxophone. In keeping with the period-specific theme of the record, there isn’t a single electric instrument anywhere on the album.

So it sounds right and sounds great, but a project like this can’t succeed without vivid storytelling. Luckily, Zeman steps up with some of his finest writing yet. The record’s narrative takes us through the carnival’s arrival (“The Carnival Is Back In Town”), the setting up of the tents and attractions (“Hammer Them Stakes Down”), and then introduces us in great detail to “Stitch,” who runs the show, “The Juggler,” “Buckshot Sadie” (who “sure ain’t no lady”), Chance “the all-seeing eye” (“Dirty Little Secrets”), “Little Mac,” the mysterious characters that make up the “Freak Show,” and more.

Each character’s story is carefully crafted full of clear imagery, which makes it easy to see and hear the characters as if they were real. You feel for them as their often dark and sad stories unfold, but there’s hope and joy under the big top as well. “Little Mac” reminds us that “Even from the gutter, you can still see the stars.”

The emotional star of this show is “Drinks (the Clown),” whose sad tale is told in heart-wrenching detail. He was a “switchblade kid,” who “carved up his mean drunk daddy before hopping a train out of town.” He’s tough, but “He’d give you the shirt right off his back, and he often did.” Sadly, “One morning, in Little Rock, AK, they found him lying stiff, cold, and ghostly white.” The show didn’t go on that night, and as the strains of “Amazing Grace” weave in, we hear that he repeatedly told anyone who would listen that, “When it comes my time to go underground, be sure you lay my body facing down, so this world can kiss my ass goodbye!” And that’s exactly what his carny brethren do. There’s great irony and power in a song about a clown that’s so sad and tender.

In this day and age, where full-length albums are diced up into flash-in-the-pan singles, an album such as this requires a bit more effort and commitment, but it sure pays off. It’s a volume of stories that demands to be consumed front-to-back. This is one that will require repeated listens to truly appreciate, but each and every time, you’ll pick up some clever turn of phrase or some gorgeous melodic element, and you’ll find yourself eager to come for another visit to this carnival.

At the end of the album, and the carnival, after it’s all been put away and moved on to the next town, “the rain washed all the posters down and it wiped the smile right off the clown.” “Make believe turned back to real,” and we’re left to wonder, “what do we do now – the carnival’s left town?” What I’ll do is to enjoy this album again and again, and watch for Zeman’s next move. I don’t know how he’ll top this one, but I know for damn sure that he’ll try.

Playlist: Episode #677, January 15, 2017

To get away from the dreadful and dreary weather, we’re taking a vacation today, and spending an hour in Australia to visit with a few friends from Down Under. On the way home, we’ll stop in on the East Coast and visit with Al Tuck, before rocking it on home with some loud & energetic classics!

Artist – Song title – Album Title – CDN=Canadian – MB = Manitoba Artist – WPG=Winnipeg artist

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Kathleen Edwards – Money Talks – Live from the Bowery Ballroom – CDN
Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen – Meet Me in the Middle of the Air – Death’s Dateless Night
Paul Kelly – Careless – Careless
Paul Kelly & Uncle Bill – You Can’t Take It with You – Smoke
Bill Chambers – Theresa – Live at the Pub Tamworth

2:30 – 3:00 pm

Bill Chambers – Letter to Fred – Live at the Pub Tamworth
Bill Chambers – Drinkin’ too much – Cold Trail
Bill Chambers – Roll the Windows Down – Cold Trail
Kasey Chambers – Stalker – Bittersweet
Shane Nicholson – Broken Things – Bad Machines
Colin Hay – Waiting for my real Life to Begin – Going Somewhere
Colin Hay – Beautiful World – Going Somewhere
Little Birdy – Brother – Confetti

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Nathan – Australia – Stranger – CDN
Nudie – Stop Hittin’ on Louise – Behind that Big Red Curtain: A Tribute to Al Tuck – CDN
Al Tuck – Always on my Mind – Fair Country – CDN
The Silver Hearts – 9th & Hennepin (w/Al Tuck) – Play Rain Dogs – CDN
Al Tuck – Brother from another Mother – My Blues Away – CDN
Al Tuck – Talk (or Hold your Peace) – Food for the Moon – CDN

3:30 – 4:00 pm

Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales – Teens of Denial
The Warped 45s – Live Bait – Matador Sunset – CDN
Mike Plume Band – Rattle the Cage – Song & Dance, Man – CDN
Kathleen Edwards – 12 Bellevue – Failer – CDN
Jon Dee Graham – Laredo (Small Dark Something) – Hooray for the Moon
Matthew Ryan – Guilty – May Day

Podcast: January 8, 2017

Episode #676

2017 started off not much better than 2016, when the sad news of one of Canada’s iconic music venues, Toronto’s Hugh’s Room, has closed. We played some songs in honour of Hugh’s shows past and uncertain future. That, and the end-of-holidays return to work, gave us a little taste of The Darkness, which was soon resolved by an exciting upcoming concert and a review of some great stuff from 2016, and more!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Artist – Song title – Album Title – CDN=Canadian – MB = Manitoba Artist – WPG=Winnipeg artist

2:00 – 2:30 pm

Steve Forbert – Romeo’s Tune – Jackrabbit Slim
Steve Forbert – Song for Katrina – Little Stevie Orbit
Jory Nash – Luger – The Many Hats of – CDN
Gordon Lightfoot – The Way I Feel – Songbook – CDN
Leeroy Stagger – Sundown – Dream It all Away Tour EP – CDN

2:30 – 3:00 pm

Mike June – The Darkness – Poor Man’s Bible
Rose Cousins – The Darkness – We Have Made a Spark – CDN
Blue Rodeo – In the Darkness – In our Nature – CDN
The Lowest of the Low – Eternal Fatalist – Shakespeare my Butt – CDN
Ron Hawkins – Chrome – Spit Sputter Sparkle – CDN
Blue Rodeo – Disappear – Live at Massey Hall – CDN

3:00 – 3:30 pm

Blue Rodeo – ’til I Gain Control Again – Five Days in July – CDN
Blue Rodeo – 5 Will Get You Six – Outskirts – CDN
Lucinda Williams – Hickory Wind – The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris
Holly Williams – Settle Down – Southern Family
Harrow Fair – Told a Lie to my Heart – Call to Arms – CDN
Amanda Rheuaume – Blood from a Stone – Holding Patterns – CDN

3:30 – 4:00 pm

The High Bar Gang – Long Lonesome Highway Blues – Someday the Heart will Trouble the Mind – CDN
Amanda Shires – The Way It Dimmed – My Piece of Land
Rob Waddell – Gloria – Everything Is from now On – CDN
Trevor Alguire – My Sweet Rosetta – Perish the Light – CDN
Shannon Lyon – I Might just Stay Home – My Throat Is Soar – CDN
Rodney Crowell – It ain’t Over yet – Close Ties
Rodney Crowell – Still Learning How to Fly – Fate’s Right Hand

Podcast: Steel Belted Radio – Jan. 5, 2017

A bunch of rambling around this evening, with a Sunset Saloon show announcement, some 2016 house concert memories, a seemingly random and unprovoked tribute to ALT, another seemingly random look at the year 2008, and a look ahead to some eagerly anticipated 2017 releases!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Artist – Title – Album

Mayhemingways – Wanderers – Hunter St. Blues
Mayhemingways – Jenny Ran Away in the Mud – Hunter St. Blues
Jim Bryson – Breathe – Somewhere We Will Find our Place
Three O’Clock Train – Train of Dreams – Train of Dreams
Three O’Clock Train – Fake Honeymoon – Wig Wam Beach
Aaron Lee Tasjan – Dime – Silver Tears
Aaron Lee Tasjan – Not Punk – Telling Stories to the Wall
Aaron Lee Tasjan – Don’t Walk Away – live recording
Aaron Lee Tasjan – Li’l Firecracker – Hard Love and Free Luck
Ricky Young – Acoustic Guitars – Learn to Steal
Glen Campbell – Sing – Meet Glen Campbell
NQ Arbuckle – Part of a Poem by Alden Knowlan called Ypres: 1915 – XOK
Tim Easton – Rocks and Gravel – single
Bonnie Whitmore – Fuck with Sad Girls – Fuck with Sad Girls
Bill Bourne – Winter Light – Hummingbird
Oh Susanna – Wolf Boy (demo) – A Girl in Teen City demos
Brock Zeman – The Moon Ain’t Full – The Carnival Is back in Town
Gurf Morlix – Madalyn’s Bones – Diamonds to Dust