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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Buddy Guy Live

The man is a legend, who pays respect to fellow legends when he plays live - you had to be there:

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Little Light Reading Going Into The Weekend...

Seeing as how I didn't link here to my last column online in The Calgary Herald, I will do that now.

Here it is!



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

JUNO Nominated Singer Songwriter chats about career

Roxanne Potvin

Had the pleasure of chatting over the phone recently with singer/songwriter Roxanne Potvin, who discussed her career, her musical inspirations, and the tour she is currently out on the road for right now. 

She is quite accomplished!

Read the feature from the online Calgary Herald link, and click on the link in there for the full audio interview!



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Holiday Weekend Roundup - Of Forgotten Linkages :-)

I have been remiss - and at shameless self promotion no less!!

I have failed to drop a few links from my past few published pieces, so here we go:

1) My latest REM (Real Estate Magazine) column:

2) Catch my review of Yukon indie roots artist Gordie Tentrees at Ironwood Stage & Grill, along with Oklahoma-based Jaxon Haldane, who is originally from my own hometown of Winnipeg!

3) Surf on over to for the collected preview, interviews and review links for Tom Wilson aka LeE HARVeY OsMOND (Junkhouse, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), as well as Calgary roots and soul artist Brent Tyler!

4) I had the great pleasure of interviewing the 2014/2015 Arts Commons Blues Artist In Residence, Kat Danser - click here to read our interview


Friday, May 15, 2015

A Historic (and fitting) Finale To My Theatre Writing Days

Scene from "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" courtesy Workshop Theatre

You really can't make this stuff up. As I have mentioned before, I have been completing a few outstanding theatre company reviews before I shift my focus to music writing. It has been a difficult decision, but as a freelance part-timer, I was under about three feet of water, and there was no end in sight. Plus I was declining even more invites from larger and larger companies, as well as dropping the ball with ones I had committed to. That's no way to be a professional.

Well, the last theatre company that I had the opportunity to wrap things up for was Workshop Theatre, a company near and dear to my heart. Back when my theatre writings were only appearing in this very blog space, they were the second big outfit to bring me in, after many months of Stage West Theatre reviews.

My first review ran back on May 14th, 2010, for play called The Coarse Acting Show. Essentially a farce with less slamming doors and more falling moustaches, I was invited back on and off, before getting regular invites there as well as having the number of companies grow as the reviews moved into The Calgary Herald, online.

My last official theatre review then should have run yesterday, but didn't go live until this morning.

Had it run yesterday, it would have been EXACTLY five years to the day after the first one - go figure...

That means I've been blessed with an amazing five year run (even longer at Stage West, which I will continue for personal reasons), AND that you only have TWO more nights to catch:

Workshop Theatre presents - Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), which is a terrific time based on the award winning play written by female Canadian playwright Ann-Marie MacDonald, which isn't something I typically point out, but is very pertinent to this production.

I certainly hope to continue to support the amazing theatre companies here in Calgary, and truly wish them the best of luck as they continue to produce astounding work.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Shifting My Focus (Not My Ford, Just To Be Clear)

Well, I've made a lot of vague statements here over the last little while, and discovered while out at an event this weekend that particularly secretive strategy might not be in my best interests, at least as far as clarity moving forward is concerned.

So, let's clear up a few things, shall we? Shall I?

Yes, I shall...

For all the years I've been doing this blog, I've used the scattergun approach - which has most often produced regular daily blogs, but a complete lack of consistency within those posts. 

One thing that started out as a lark ended up bearing fantastic fruit - my "Nobody Asked Me To, But Here I Go Anyway" entertainment reviews opened doors for a wealth of writing opportunities beyond my personal blogspace.

Long story short, I ended up writing a recurring review column for The Calgary Herald, primarily for Stage West Theatre Restaurant here in Calgary.

Over the years, that expanded to an online feature, and eventually my own Calgary Herald blog space. 

That led to an explosion I could not have foreseen in my wildest dreams - requests that grew exponentially from theatre groups, live music, comedy, opera, authors, and more.

In short, a recipe for disaster for a part-time endeavour. 

So, I started a few weeks ago with my vague ramblings here, but I should have just been upfront and clear, and I have been as of the past few weeks. I sent out a notice to the theatre companies that have been so supportive of my work, but as the music and comedy aligns more with my future plans, had to be discontinued.

I will continue to do the reviews and preview interviews for Stage West Calgary, as they opened the door in the first place, and often align with those new priorities. I certainly hope to continue to support those amazing community theatre companies as best as I can, and I wish them much continued success - they perform often at levels above and beyond expectations. 

So, in a nutshell, I am going to be focusing primarily on music, most specifically singer/songwriter folk, roots, blues and indie artists, but there may be a few exceptions - I will be reviewing Micah Barnes new jazz cd New York Stories for example. 

I've got some big ideas I've already pitched, more coming soon, and hope to update you on those as soon as I hear. 

I also hope to update much more regularly, as I revamp that site, my main website, and this blog space over the next little while.

There have been a few casualties - I gave up my daily posting on Twitter, and even daily posts here, despite feeling that I have needed to do that regardless of what I was posting at any given time. I'm actually getting more traffic and new followers than I had been before - go figure!

Thanks for your support if you've stuck with it, even after some drastic changes, and welcome aboard if you're a new follower - there's more change coming, but I hope it all makes for interesting and informative reading!


Saturday, May 09, 2015

Neil Sedaka Pleases The Faithful, Grey Eagle Resort & Casino

Neil Sedaka
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
May 8, 2015

Neil Sedaka fans apparently span multiple generations, as last night's appearance at Grey Eagle Resort & Casino seemed to prove. While there where many fans from his early days (early 1960's and on), we were sitting beside a much younger gentleman who knew each and every lyric of every song, and was not shy about singing along wholeheartedly. Good on him...

For the entire audience, Mr. Sedaka brought back floods of memories, and melodies that have not begun to waiver even a little as time has passed. Instantly recognizable piano hooks made song introductions completely unnecessary as he worked his way through hit after hit, sometimes standing and dancing at the front of the stage, but most times settled in at his grand piano.

The show opened with a video montage reminder of his influence since he began writing songs, after 11 years as a concert pianist. 

Artists as diverse as The Captain & Tennille, Johnny Mathis, Dame Shirley Bassey, Queen, Frankie Valli, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Carpenters, Tom Jones, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Connie Francis, Bobby Darin, ABBA - even Elvis Presley covered his songs over the years. But he sure can still do a great job himself playing them!

Given the wealth of selections to choose from (over 700 songs), I'd say he did a pretty good job of taking us all back through the years, to his earliest successes (Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Oh Carol) up through his re-invention in the early 1970's with fan and producer Elton John (Laughter In The Rain, The Hungry Years, That's When the Music Takes Me, Solitaire). He didn't perform his duet with Elton John (Bad Blood), but that was included in the earlier montage...

As a mobile DJ in several Western provinces for years, I played so many of those songs to death over the years at weddings and dances. I never did tire of that at the time. Once he made his comeback I played those albums and 45's just about as much. 

Last night, he played some new songs, and they're as good as anything he's done before.

Looks like I'll be visiting iTunes as soon as I finish this review...



Friday, May 08, 2015

My Calgary Herald Review: Stage West Calgary's Spamalot

They may have spelled my name wrong, but click here for my (online and already appeared in the physical paper) Spamalot review, for Stage West Calgary!



Saturday, May 02, 2015

My Conversation With The Creative Mind Behind LeE HARVeY OsMOND

Tom Wilson
Lee Harvey Osmond
"Beautiful Scars"

Still can't believe I was chatting over the phone with the creative mind (genius) behind Canadian music acts like Junkhouse, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, and LeE HARVeY OsMOND...

Tom Wilson shared over 20 minutes of thoughts on his career, the music industry and his place in it, as well as his addictively hypnotic new album "Beautiful Scars".

He agreed to the interview ahead of his appearance May 9th at Bragg Creek Performing Arts. 

In addition to Tom, I had the pleasure of meeting Calgary's Brent Tyler over the phone, as he will also be on that bill - as well promoting a brand new album, which I look forward to seeing performed live.

Check out my online Calgary Herald feature, which also links to both those audio interviews, and some videos from each artist.



Friday, May 01, 2015

Tasman Jude keeps the reggae real, and current!

I had a terrific chat with the co-founder of Grand Prairie's Tasman Jude, a reggae band that tours relentlessly, and that has paid off in spades for them.