Friday, November 27, 2009

Symphony Of Nine - Prog Rock comes to Caledon Radio

Wednesday night we had a great performance by a Toronto Band on the verge of greatness. With their new CD Radio, Symphony of Nine are a band that is unique in sound. All of the members are too young to remember the hay day of progressive '70's rock - in fact some of the members weren't even born in the '70's. But their sound is a throw back to the "Classic Rock" sound. Shades of Styx, Queen, Kansas, and even Wings sneak into their groove.

They came in and played unplugged on the Indie Radio Show. Check out one of their performances on the attached You Tube Clip. If you like this band check out their entire unplugged set by uploading the podcast of the show. It can be found at the Wednesday November 25, 2009 link. Drop me a line and let me know what you think of this new band...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Most Funky Band Of 2009 - Elastocitizens

On a hot sweaty July evening this band got the audience all hot and bothered with their brand of funk. Part Prince, Sly and the Family Stone, Jamiroquai - these Toronto cats are serious about their dance funk. With the whole vibe on the fun tip, leader Steve McCarthy is a bandleader channeling George Clinton. He had a serious skiing accident a few months before this clip was filmed, so that is why he is sitting down during the show. In fact Steve was the only one sitting at this show.
The rest of the crowd were up on their feet movin' to the groovin'. Check out the clip for yourself...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Most Original Band of 2009 - Hank & Lily Show

This band took me completely surprise at this years North By Northeast Music Festival in Toronto this past summer. These cats came out looking like they were completely out of their minds! Weird clowns, back-up singers dressed as nuns, a female drummer who had no drum seat and stood as she played and sang. And the guitar players looked absolutely strange with their bizarre ant eater type face masks that they wore. This iswhy the vocals sound so out of it - they sound like they are singing into a tin can.

Crazy, wacked out for sure - but boy did they entertain. Don't ask me what any of it actually means, if anything.

This band for me was the most entertaining, and frankly disturbing acts I saw all year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Best Instrumentation of 2009 - The Hidden Cameras

This band had the most interesting instrumentation of any bands seen in 2009. What pop band can claim to have a harpist (real harp player, not a harmonica), and a cello player and an upright bass player in the band?

Here The Hidden Cameras perform live in the CBC Radio One's GO studio early one Saturday morning.

They are like tonic to sooth your aching mind. Relax and float downsteam listening to this...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Toronto Blues Band on the Street

We are moving towards the end of the year (how time flies) so it is time to start to look back on the year that was. For me one of the best shows of 2009 was on the street - literally. Fathead is a great blues band that has been around for quite a while. The singer is an expat American (Georgia-raised lead singer JOHN MAYS. He has had a storied career that began in the Southern gospel tradition, crossing over into Doo-Wop, R&B and Blues, not to mention a stint with the Godfather Of Soul JAMES BROWN.

Along with band leader AL LERMAN (harp and saxophone) FATHEAD's core has remained constant since 1992, offering ace musicianship, soul stirring harmonies and incendiary live performances. Guitar ace TEDDY LEONARD is showcased in this clip, along with iconic drummer BUCKY BERGER (he has played with many Candian icons from Rough Trade to childrens' entertainer Mister Dressup).

To find such a great band playing on Queen Street at the annual Beaches Jazz Fest was a joy.

Check out this clip - one of the best of 2009.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Funky Ladies heat up the Radio Studio

Saidah Baba Talibah, the Canadian singer/songwriter has been performing most of her life. Singing back up vocals for a who's who of Canadian artists, she is now putting stuff out on her own.

With some solid support from her sisters, including the incredible guitar playing of Donna Grantis, these ladies have to be heard.

Check em out on My Space, or click on the video link below to see and hear the ladies in action!