Mike Williams has been around as long as dirt – and I mean that in the best way possible. As the years pass by and the new boss becomes the old boss, some things have a legitimate place in the foundation of the music scene in Hamilton since the late 70’s. Playin bass for some of the biggest, brightest and brashest of guitar slingers, drummers and front men, Mike witnessed and participated first hand in the story as it unfolded, never more than a few feet from the best of the best, never one to tell tales – until tonight that is. Finding himself waining and wanting of a charge of energy and a new direction, a meeting with Junkhouse alum Russ Wilson led to the compilation of some of the tunes that had been compiled, and with the addition of some true blue friends and compatriots – a self titled album of songs was produced that showcases Mike Williams as a front man after all these years. Soft, sweet and melodic notes lilt throughout as the gritty realism of yesterday’s dirt gave bloom to the side of the man that only time can coax out.
It was – and is – a night I won’t forget for a very personal reason. For over 200 weeks the dog known as Deeogee greeted and approved of every single musician that came through these doors, a sage spirit that so many knew and grew to love. This was his last show, and as the show began I knew that the next day was going to be our very last car ride together, a farewell to a best friend – and for that I dedicate this show to friends that have your back until the end.
You just believe Brock Zeman – really, that’s the thing. Storytellers and songwriters, playwrights and actors all bet their supper on being able to deliver you to where they want to take you – you dig? Ok, let me put it this way – when you have over a dozen acclaimed records and an international resume at the age of 35, it behooves us to pay some genuine heed, for the songs he writes are testament to the world around him that also encompasses us somehow in our own spaces. Hailing from the ruff n’ steady Ottawa Valley enclave of Carlton Place, a starting point for some deeply touching and highly raucous music from Brock Zeman’s mind, the everyday turned pivotal, the long fights frozen in an image. For the past nine years, Blair Hogan has been the friend and sideman to Zeman’s songs, thankful for the canvass afforded a great sideman. Trust and execution seems to be the order of the day as the pair came to Hamilton in early December to play a great show with local legends Dave Pomfret and Scotty Bakalar at This Ain’t Hollywood, a club we all love so much. Every time they pass through on their relentless schedule, they attract a few more fans with great songs and great attitudes – nicer guys you’ll never meet.
They get the BSP stamp of approval and if perchance you see a Brock Zeman show advertised in your area, you just might want to check out this podcast to see why it will be worth it for sure.
Something great about this show that often goes unheralded is the “other” musicians who accompany our guests, and tonight is a great example of that. Way back in our second year, Bill Majoros brought the beginnings of his “The Record Collector” opus to our studio and fleshed those songs out with the help of femme fantastics Kori Pop and Anna Timmons. That episode discusses Bill’s remarkable past as a force in modern music over the years and gives a glimpse into this creators mind while laying out the sonic tiles that would form the mosaic.
This time around it’s Steve Eggers who comes along and his history and insights play well with his bass to help us see where it’s all arrived on this fine autumn Wednesday in 2016.
Music is not only the background of our lives but is also the score, both shaping and reflecting our world with the lights and filters of our surroundings. Pop music more than other forms has held the sugar fix for our youth, sweetening the bitter and allowing our desires a life outside the ethos. Those sensibilities remain in this candy land over generations and although the format and methodology may change as we advance, the message and sentiment remain. Light, gauzy and heavy with atmosphere, pop music serves a purpose and these two professors certainly know the formula.
Smart discussion, revealing insights, musical history and real opinions exist here interspersed with live studio performances and cuts from a truly great record collector is what we got – and all you need is a comfortable seat and an hour and a bit.
A sweet voice will only get you so far without great stories to sing, and Judi Rideout has some epic tales to share. Hailing from that fertile ground along the North Shore of Lake Erie, the country/roots tinged tales of love and loss are testament to years spent living life with open eyes and a tender heart. Each song is a freeze-frame from both a time and a place in her life, and a few were penned with either ex-husband #1 or ex-husband #2, both skilled songwriters in their own right. What this means is that mere words are transformed into palpable emotion, every turn of phrase another turn of the page in her life scrap-book. Years of dedication and devotion to the craft made for a weighty document and when it was decided to make a full-length album at Hamilton’s Porcelain Records, she was ready and willing to go for it.
Listening to each track is a wonderfully refreshing experience, bereft of cloying inference, choosing instead the Devine path of openness and sage vulnerability.
Visiting Barber Shop Podcast on a gloriously warm October evening, the beer was as cold as the band was hot. Accompanying her on guitar we have Mark Foley on guitar and backing vocals, Justine Fischer on bass, Tom Wells keeping time and silky Sam DeRosa bending notes on the harp to round out the sound sublimely. Between the tequila and the laughs, a wonderful little thing happened and you’re about to have a front-row seat for the whole thing. Playing four brand new songs live and four tracks from the new CD “Ex-Husband”, Judi Rideout demonstrates precisely why she’s connecting so well with fans everywhere – she’s honest – lovely, sweet – and I believe her….
You will too.
Steve Foster has had a pretty good seat to see Hamilton music past and present more clearly than most. His early days from blues gigs with veteran Johnny Crawford to his place with Crawlin’ Kingsnakes and Stoked are documented on his two previous appearances on the show, as is his present place as sound engineer with Chorus Entertainment means that he’s been there and seen that in the past thirty years. Making a life in music isn’t easy, the demands often far outweighing the financial benefits for the most part. As the brick and mortar of the business becomes one’s barometer, the ethereal joy it once carried fades. Being very aware that there isn’t much milk and honey awaiting local aging rock stars, the reasons to not do music often seem more compelling than the need to pick up the guitar and make another dream, another band and another plan a reality. The only thing that tilts the field is a little thing called passion. When passion is in the mix, everything else suddenly doesn’t matter so much. When the songs in your head start to take shape, the feeling is intoxicating – when it’s now being shared and played by kindred souls it’s downright addictive.
Foster Pottery Company was the company started by his grandfather many years ago and is the name of the three-piece Rock n roll outfit that is debuting here tonight.
Teaming up with long time friends Mike Northcott on bass and Mike Keena on drums, the band has a pace and ferocity that belies the sageness contained within. Big swelling guitar riffs riding atop a tight and rollicking rhythm section, great harmonies and a sweat fuelled set is what you can expect from these seasoned purveyors and you won’t be disappointed.
Great guys, great stories and a sneak peek at some new tunes brings you up to date of what’s in store musically and is sure to leave you wanting more. More is good.
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.
If you follow scripture, Jacob is a pretty heavy dude. Jacob Moon is pretty heavy too, his voice strong and pure, his music a tapestry of sound and rhythm.
Taking his cue from the friends and family that filled his childhood home, the sir was cast from an early age. Endless hours wood shedding and word smithing revealed a brilliant gem of a singer/songwriter who could silence a room in a measure. Moving to Hamilton and witnessing the depth of musical reserves was a daunting but altogether nurturing experience as both his repertoire and reputation grew exponentially. With each record produced, the rarest of gifts was honed to an edge on these mean streets, delivering on the promise of greatness.
Fresh off his appearance on CBC, Jacob does the right thing and visits his hometown barber for some good conversation, a few videos, a little in house performance and a track from his brand new album, Fascination.
It’s all good….. On Barber Shop Podcast