Frank Koren

If you’ve seen a show anywhere in the last 25 years, chances are at some point you have seen Frank Koren playing guitar. If you’ve heard more than a few recordings born of these fertile lands, you have likely heard Frank Koren. Long considered top flight in the clutch, Frank had the early passion and knack to pick a melody from thin air and wrap his fingers around the nuances that mark him as more than just a hire gun – more of an assassin actually. 

Schooled up all proper, the post graduate world started with a European sojourn and the realization that his prowess matched his hunger, singing for his supper from place to place, the seed now in full bloom.

Strange that it took all these years for the 40 something Koren to record his first album of original material. Recorded with Amy King at Grant Avenue Studio, Red Chair is something much more than a collection of Koren’s missives, it is a broad palate of sound and emotion – stretching beyond the predictable into a place that at once comforts and challenges the listener while maintaining a centric balance that belies the distance travelled. Drawing on a career time’s relationships and friendships, the cast of players is a veritable who’s who of tasteful players – each one tailor made for the pattern laid bare before them.

Bringing just a wee hybrid acoustic and a bagful of stories, we spin some tales, some yarns and some heads right before Halloween in this episode of Barber Shop Podcast.


Blind Mule

October 21, 2015 was, as you know, the “future” date in which Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) arrives having been flung from 1985 to 1955 and…. Well…. It was kinda a big deal. Long, long ago, Ryan and Kevin were just leaving the podcast nest when Graham Peacefull and Joey Balducchi  stopped in to chat about Blind Mule, their sideways smile of a ska stained suburban inde roots outfit, their members and mission a story of positivity and gratitude. Dark rivers are crossed with ease when the infectious rhythms and smart word play get wrapped in harmonies that nurture the offerings so perfectly.

At that time, in December of 2012, the studio was not as it is today, and Graham and Joey were content to spin a few tracks from their recent CD, and spoke at length about the inception and impetus of the band. All these weeks later, Ryan, Gary and Kevin finally bagged a mule, catching the group refreshed, renewed and sporting some new material. No need for a lot of chatter in this one, the story’s origin having been laid out so long ago. No, this episode delivers all killer and no filler as we feature a 4 live, 1 track show of great original music with all 5 guys – Graham Peacefull, Joey Balducchi, Jon Edwards, Gabe Atkinson  and Josh Snively all givin er, live in studio.

Keeping it short and sweet we dive right in with a great look and listen into Blind Mule as they hit full groove and never let go. This story isn’t over – the boys are going to be back real soon as the wood shedding and mojo of heavy stage work and swaying crowds pour their energy into the production of their second album. 

Thank the lord as we sit down and jam out some of life’s mysteries on Barber Shop Podcast.


CJ Altmann

Chris Altmann is one of those rare individuals for whom music is not just a profession but an all consuming passion. Discovering his chops and purpose in his youth, the gamut from Bon Scott to Bob Dylan made for a very heady mix indeed. Playing pretty well anything that was put in front of him with seeming ease, Altmann started gigging up and down the coast of his native Australia, making friends and waves the entire time – this guy is special.

Highly sought after for his sublime work on pedal steel, Canadian artists and producers have kept CJ Altmann busy working with some of the country’s bright lights while continuing to work his own music to a beautifully sharp point.

Stopping by on a crisp October evening, CJ Altmann brings his guitar, a couple of beautiful records, and his easy style to Barber Shop Podcast and in turn, the whole world in Hi Def and Hi Fidelity.

Always real, always good, always real good – on Barber Shop Podcast.


Duane Rutter and JB Reed

Any true work of art begins with the artisan, every painting, sculpture or song a reflection of the hand and mind behind the vision. Crazy Things is not only the name of Duane Rutter’s new record, it is the gem carved and polished from the stone that he himself unearthed.
These collection of songs began to form and mature in step with Rutter’s renewed determination and activity a couple of years ago and as the onion peeled and eyes teared, the songs began to grow into something altogether wonderful with a cast of Hamilton heavyweights alongside. Andrew Aldridge brings his guitar, arrangement and engineering genius to the mix and the addition of Nick Burson, Carrie Ashworth and Steve Woods make a gorgeous palate for JB Reed’s hauntingly evocative vocals as the perfect sound to embrace Duane Rutter’s signature sound. Deep, lush production at Hamilton’s Grant Avenue Studio are thanks to Amy Grant and Aldrew’s touch – allowing them to take some magical keyboard tracks from none other than Garth Hudson – he of The Band fame. Recorded under a starry night in upstate New York, these stems were woven into the albums final cut with a haunting efficiency.
Always bringing you the best live music right to your good place, Barber Shop Podcast does it again thanks to Duane and JB Reed sharing their gift on this early October in Wednesday. Bring it on in spades, there is no going back on this – or any other night.



Chris Strei

Chris Strei is a perfect example of the guy who make up the overwhelming majority of working musicians, the blue collar grinder. Born and raised in Brantford, the city just west of Hamilton, Strei was one of a throng of pubescent wanna-be’s in his high school, the cool factor of the instrument providing the perfect foil for the journey ahead. Nothing spectacular, no magic moment – just a steady progression of music and words to the point of original art. Cover songs on the chicken wing circuit keep the chops and balance up as he and his band Minus Everything turn thought to music, releasing the 9 song disc Faces to the public, the full band a fresh take on a power trio. Great hooks, straight up and decent all around, Chris Strei gives a good account of himself, everyone’s little guy who carries a decent stick.
Just two guys talking and playing music on another great Wednesday night at Barber Shop Podcast.