Top 15 Albums of 2015!

So I'm a little late on this, but here's my Top 15 of '15!!  These albums really made an impression on me in one way or another, and I think you should check them out.  If you click on the pictures it'll send you to a spot to listen, I tried to find full albums, but no luck for all of them, at least you can get a taste!  (at least one of them sends you to a page were you can download the album for free!)
Let me know what you think in the comments, tell me what your favourite albums were!

15. The Young Novelists - Made Us Strangers

14. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder Sweet and Other Distress

13. Shamir - Ratchet

12. The Del Fi's - Crowd Pleaser

11. courtney barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just SIt

10. Benjamin Hermann - Windows Wide Open

9. Daniel Romano - If I've Only One Time Askin'

8. James Bunton- Ceasura

7. Kendrick Lamar - How To Pimp a Butterfly

6. Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love

5. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

4. The Weather Station - Loyalty

3. Nils Frahm - Solo

2. Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass

And the number one album of the year was an album that came out right at the end of 2014, but managed to stay on my ipod for the whole 365 days,

1. D'Angelo - Black Messiah

Top 10 songs about Toronto + Nov/Dec Shows!

Hey friends!  First thing first, check this out!  BlogTO has put together a list of their top 10 folk songs about Toronto, and lo and behold, "Tranzac Club" is on it!  Read more by clicking the pic below! 

Now how about some shows?  Here's what's coming up

NOV 6:  Burdock, Toronto, opening for Jos Fortin and Ptarmagin
NOV 8:  Artword Artbar, Hamilton, with Megan Hamilton, Anthony Damaio, Daniel Dell
NOV 21: Harmony House, Fingal (near London), House/church show with Leah Morise
NOV 28: Tranzac Club, Toronto, with Melissa Marie and Baanya

CANCELED!!  DEC 4: The Fox, Barrie, Nilsson/Newman Tribute with Stonetrotter, Brett Caswell and Jerry Leger
CANCELED!!  DEC 5: Burdock, Toronto, Nilsson/Newman Tribute part 2!  Same lineup.



Tribute shows? Sure, why not!

Hey kids, how ya been?  Just thought I'd check in, and let you know about some upcoming shows, including a couple tribute nights!

Next up, you know who I love?  Tom Petty.  I really started rediscovering his work on my last tour with Sarah Beatty.  I picked up two of his albums for the road trip, 1995's Wildflowers, and the 96' soundtrack "She's the One".  Aaaaanyways, his music has become my new obsession, so on Friday October 23rd, I'll be performing a Tom Petty tribute at Burdock here in Toronto!  I'm lucky to have backing band The Bad Apples

(Graydon James, Myke Mazzie, Noel DiTesto, Jason Lapidus and special guest on the keys, Alli Sunshine!)  Come share some great music with us!

And finally, another tribute night, actually 2 nights!  It's going to be a joint Toronto/Barrie tribute to Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson!  It will feature performances by myself, Jerry Leger, Brett Caswell and the Marquee Rose, and Stonetrotter!  First night in Barrie, December 4th at the Fox.  Second night in Toronto, December 5th, again at Burdock!

In between, I'll be going to this year Folk Music Ontario conference, if you're attending, let me know!  It's a great time for anyone who wants to see what's up in Canadian folk music!

Hope you're all good.  Talk soon!

Nick Lowe cover, tour dates!

When I was in Orillia for the inaugural Roots North Festival, I was asked to film a video with Tyler Knight.  I decided to perform this wonderful Nick Lowe song that I just started covering recently.  This is off his 2011 album "This Old Magic".  I hope you enjoy it!  Below you can find a list of upcoming shows as well!

Upcoming shows:
May 28th: Free Times Cafe in Toronto, a solo set, opening for Chris Thompson's album release party (also featuring a favourite of mine, Little Kid!)

June 19th: NXNE!  Playing at the Cameron House, full band!  11pm Sharp.  Great lineup that night with Birds of Bellwoods, Sarah Burton and Beams

June 26th: Guelph, playing at Silence, a double release show with good friends The Young Novelists!

July 4th: Gravenhurst, for Curries Church Sessions, opening for Gavin Gardener of The Wooden Sky!  Very excited for this.

July 10: Orillia, at the brownstone opening  for The Key Frames!!  Should be a blast.

July 18th: Back in Toronto, with the wonderful Olenka and the Autumn Lovers!  Live at a great new venue, Burdock

Exclaim video plus a couple shows for April!


Not long ago I played a great show for Wavelengths pop up series.  The good folks at Exclaim magazine were there and recorded us performing "Sound of Ticking and Tocking".  We had some problems and ended up recording this without the use of monitors.  It's a testament to my bandmates Sarah, Sean and David that we were able to put it together so well! 

If you're looking to see me perform over the next month, you can check out these 2 events
First up, on April 17th, I'll be heading up to Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury
Next, I'm really excited to be part of this great new festival Roots North in Orillia.  April 25th I'll be playing at the COC on a bill with Jerry Leger and Mo Kenney!  Very cool.  Check out the poster below. 

February Shows, Interviews!

Hello friends!  I hope you're all staying warm.  I had a quiet January, and now I'm back into the swing of things for February.  Here's some upcoming shows:

Feb 6: Toronto, Hunt Club Studio (709 College St), 8pm

Really excited to be a part of the Wavelength Pop Up series!  This show is a Steam Whistle Unsigned event as well!  Steam Whistle, Wavelength, Exclaim... this is a serious Toronto show!  Here's an interview I just did with Steam Whistle concerning the show on the 6th:

Feb 14: Orillia, Apple Annies (109 Mississauga St E), 1-4pm

Home town show!  Yessssssss.  Playing 3 short sets here with my trio, drop in for some great food, coffee and music!  Oh it's Valentines day, so um... bring a date.... or don't....

Feb 18th: Hamilton, Artword Artbar (15 Colborne St) 8pm

Folk Roots Stew.  Like, I think there will actually be stew!!  Mmmmm.....

Feb 19th: Kitchener, Cafe Pyrus (16 Charles St W) 7pm

Another Folk Roots Stew show, so conceivably, you can have me and stew 2 nights in a row.  That's amazing. 

Thanks all, hope to see you soon!  

Top 10 albums of 2014

Welcome to 2015 folks!  As usual, I've assembled my top 10 albums from the last year!  Keeping in mind that I didn't listen to many new albums this year... Whatever! So here we go, click on the band names to have a listen:

10: Alvvays by Alvvays

9: Early Riser by Jerry Leger

8: Adramelech: the book of angels vol. 22 by Zion 80

7: Flesh and Machine by Daniel Lanios

6: What Am I Going To Do With Everything I Know by Weather Station

5: Hot Dreams by Timber Timbre

4: Free Will by Bry Webb

3: Morning Phase by Beck

2: Whine of the Mystic by Nap Eyes

 1: Pink City by Jennifer Castle

Honourable mention... um.. my album that came out this year!! 

Reviews! Southern Souls video! And where to get "William"

Hey there guys!  It's been a few weeks since my last entry.   My album release party went swimmingly!  I believe we were over capacity.  Full house.  Graydon and Laura of the Young Novelists opened and were fantastic as usual.  We also managed to raise $300 for the Regent Park School of Music!  I'd call that a success.

More recently, this has been a fantastic week.  First, on Sunday, my Southern Souls video was debuted!  Me and my friend (and former Wilderness of Manitoba vocalist) Melissa Dalton sang "Ten Years Ago" in a really cool yurt!  The restaurant in which the yurt resides is called Ceili Cottage, on Queen Street East.  Check it out below!

This week also saw a couple really wonderful reviews.  First was from a really nice blog called Gray Owl Point.  You can read the whole thing here :

Then today I was absolutely shocked to see a review in NOW Magazine!  You can read that in print, or on their website here

So all in all the critics have been very good to me. 

Finally, It's probably a good idea to tell you where you can grab a copy of this critically acclaimed album!  If you're a bricks and mortar kind of person, check out these places

Soundscapes (572 College St)
Sonic Boom (215 Spadina Ave)
Likely General (389 Roncesvalles Ave)
June Records (662 College St)

Grooves Records (353 Clarence St)

Moncton NB
Spin It Records (467A Main St)

And since we live in a digital world, how about checking out these places:

Bandcamp (Digital, CD and Vinyl orders)

OK, that's it!  I'm playing at the Dakota Tavern tomorrow night with my good friend Jerry Leger!  I'll be on early, 7pm sharp, so come on out.  Until next time!

Now Best of TO, and (finally) an album release party!

Hey folks!  I was absolutely delighted to get the word last night that I'd placed as runner up in NOW magazine's best of Toronto readers poll for Best Songwriter!  I received notice the night before it debuted from the Lonely Vagabond (because he always knows what's happening in Toronto before anyone else does!)
Thank you so much everyone who voted for me!  I truly had no idea I'd even be nominated for this thing, so to come in second ahead of such great songwriters as Ron Sexsmith, Justin Rutledge and Donovan Woods, is really... well, I'm speechless!  Thanks thanks thanks!!

So where can you see me perform, Toronto?  Well, I've finally booked an official album release party!  It will be on Saturday November 29th at a lovely space called Array Studio!  This is a ticketed event and they can be purchased right here:

I'll have a full band with some familiar faces, plus I'm happy to announce that my good friends Graydon James and Laura Spink from Graydon James and the Young Novelists, will be opening!  They sound like this:

So block off that date!   Byeeeeeee. 


East Coast, and a warning about my digital music!

Hey folks!  I'm currently writing from a cabin on Prince Edward Island.  I'm at "The Dunk"!  A famous place in musician circles, a place for house concerts, pie, and relaxation.  As you can probably tell, my East Coast tour is going swimmingly.  I picked the perfect tour companion in Sarah Beatty, who you must check out if you haven't yet.  What a voice!  You may recognize that voice from a couple songs on my new album, the most impressive being "Some Nerve".

Before I get into the tour a little, let me take a moment to talk about digital music, and no, this isn't a tirade about illegal downloading.  As most musicians do, I released the album digitally (as well as on CD and vinyl!), since there are so many places to send the digital files to, I decided to make my life easier and pay a company to deal with it.  They sent the files out to all the obvious places (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc...) and some smaller places as well.  But unfortunately they sent the wrong music.  Yes, the info is all correct, you get 10 songs correctly labeled with the right information, cover art, etc... but the music is that of a punk rock band.  I don't know how this sort of thing could happen, it seems like they had one job, but I can't change the past. On their end, they fixed the mistake and sent out the right music, but now I have to wait for each site to change it on their end, which, if you've ever dealt with iTunes before, could take a while. 

So please, if you are interested in purchasing my new album "William" digitally, do so at my bandcamp site linked here.  Do it for 2 reasons; 1. it's the right music!  and 2. I get all the money (as apposed to say, iTunes, who take $3 from every purchase.  Oh I guess there's a 3rd reason, you can order the album on CD and vinyl at my bandcamp page.  One stop shopping! 

OK BACK TO THE TOUR!  (sorry if this seems rushed, but the road keeps beckoning... I'll try to hold it off...)

So far we've played a great shows.  Not a clunker in the bunch!  Peterborough was a beautiful start, and opener Nick Procyshyn was wonderful discovery.  I also had the opportunity to sing for my supper at the local Shawarma joint!  That was a first.  Next we found ourselves in Ottawa at Raw Sugar, and what a lovely venue.  We had a full house too.  Opener Claude Munson, was another great find, soaring impassioned vocals and some beautiful melodies.

We spent a day in Montreal, Sarah played a set at Grumpys Pub, which is now one of my favourite bars in the world.  Seriously, I think I watched 4 couples fall in love at that place. We followed our day in Montreal (with the prerequisite stops for bagels, and smoked meat sammies), with a very long 12 hour drive to PEI.  Because sometimes that's how tours are planned.... poorly. 

Today we're heading into CBC to record an interview/performance with Karen Mair on Mainstreet PEI!  That should be up between 4pm and 6pm today, and you can listen here.  Then we're off to Gahan House to play some beautiful folk music (and drink many beers from the PEI Brewing Company!)

We still have Halifax, Kentville, Pictou, Moncton, Fredericton, Edmundston and Belleville to go, so keep checking in! 

OK, I'm off to eat some lobster rolls and record my first ever CBC interview!  Talk soon!