Archive for the 'Live Review' Category

Joni NehRita Cd realease at Mercury Lounge

Live at the Mercury Lounge

Joni NehRita passed through Ottawa tonight promoting her new Cd “A fine time”. The atmosphere at the Mercury lounge was comfortable and laid back, those present enjoyed the soulful voice of Joni. She was accompanied by three musicians who have been touring with her. The chemistry between them was interesting to see; the up beat Jazz drumming and funky bass lines gave it the kick it needed to make it a great show. Joni’s Cd is well worth the buy, as it sets the mood for a pleasant night. Check out her Myspace here.

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Christine Fellows @ Sappyfest (Sackville) Aug. 3

Between time on tour through the US, her Shadow Songs project with visual artist Shary Boyle spanning Canada, and creating compositions for television, film, and contemporary dance, Winnipeg’s Christine Fellows produced her fourth full-length album, Nevertheless (Six Shooter Records 2007), a stunning collection of songs celebrating spinsters, pigeons, the apocalypse and the power of art.

Spin Magazine, Pitchfork, and noted musicians like John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats) hailed her 2005 album, Paper Anniversary, and Fellows’ song cycle/score for The Spinster’s Almanac was nominated for a 2007 Dora Mavor Moore Award.

She is currently dividing her time between her work as composer-in-residence at Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (2007-08), building a pigeon coop, and touring in support of Nevertheless.

Upcoming shows:
3 Aug 2008 20:00 Sappyfest with Leanne Zacharias

Balkan Beat Box at Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest.

Balkan Beat Box lead members include Tamir Muskat and Ori Kaplan along with a Multiethnic group of musicians Tomer Yosef, Itamar Ziegler, Uri Kinrot (Who I had the fortune to see Jan. 2006 at the Mercury Lounge with an amazing Klezmer band, Boom Pam), Ben Handler, Jeremiah Lockwood, Eyal Talmudi and Peter Hess. Balkan Beat Box also collaborate with a long list of musicians from Bulgaria, Morocco, Spain, Israel, and Palestine. Balkan Beat Box’s diverse membership make for a vast array of classical music styles mixed with dub and electronic . Their high energy, carnival sound played Ottawa Bluesfest Friday July 11th at 7:00 pm on the Bank of America Stage right before heading on their European Tour.

For Bluesfest concert hightlights click here!

The Balconies/Politique Show Review (Zaphod’s, Ottawa)

The Balconies, Politique at Zaphod\'s, June 21st (Ottawa)

The Balconies — Rest Up
Politique — Old War Cold War

Just because we ran around Toronto for a week covering Canadian musicians doesn’t mean that we can’t find great acts in our hometown of Ottawa! I was at the legendary Zaphod Beeblebrox to catch two fairly new O-town bands: The Balconies and Politique.

Click here to read our Balconies and Politique show review

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Laura Barrett is striking people’s fancy!

Laura Barrett – Time City
Laura Barrett – Robot Ponies

Laura first played a kalimba in front of real live people in August 2005. Something about her plaintive voice and speculative lyrics, combined with the crisp, metallic sounds of the kalimba, struck people’s fancy, so she played another show. And then a few more!

Since then, she’s released two EPs, joined the Hidden Cameras and Henri Fabergé & the Adorables, acted as Music Director for the New York staging of Maggie MacDonald’s apocalyptic musical, “The Rat King,” been nominated for SOCAN’s inaugural ECHO Songwriting prize, and played shows in cities across North America.

Early this year, Laura was signed to Paper Bag Records, who re-released “Earth Sciences” in February 2008 with a remix by Joshua Van Tassel (Stop Die Resuscitate). With the completion of her debut full-length album – slated for an August ‘08 release – Laura is touring across Canada to check out the cities she didn’t get a chance to see in detail before. Please say ‘hi’ to her if you see her in your town or major metropolitan area!

Here are Laura Barrett’s concert dates:

Herbie Hancock at Ottawa International Jazz Festival

Herbie Hancock

Confederation Park was the home to legendary Herbie Hancock with his Grammy awarded Album “River: The Joni Letters”. The lyrics from the album “River” were written by Canadian artist Joni Mitchell. Herbie Hancock graced the stage with two fantastic vocalists, Sonya Kitchell and Amy Keys. Sonya Kitchell’s sound is a cross between Norah Jones, Ella Fitzgerald & Joni Mitchell. While Amy Keys a sound not unlike Tina Turner and Christina Aguilera.
There was definitely no lack of genius musical talent last night! Herbie Hancock was accompanied by Dave Holland on Bass, Chris Potter on Saxophone, Vinnie Colaiuta on Percussion and
Lionel Loueke on Guitar.

Click here to check out the highlights from the show!

The Very Best of NXNE: The Artists!

As a wrap up to this NXNE-rich week on TransCanadaRadio, we’ve compiled the very best of the great music we saw and heard over the course of the week.

Here are the top 6 bands that all of us at TCR agree were the very best of the best, in no particular order:

Click here for TransCanadaRadio’s top 6 artist picks from NXNE ‘08!

The Best of NXNE: Julie Doiron @ The Horseshoe Tavern

Julie Doiron at the Horseshoe Tavern

As you may or may not recall, the NXNE event I was looking forward to the most was seeing Julie Doiron perform at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.  Well, let me tell you, that day was working very hard against me. I was having some accommodation issues so I was lugging around all of my equipment with me in a backpack.  It then proceeded to totally down pour — thunder and lighting and cats and dogs and all that.

So here’s me, running in 6 inches of water from venue to venue in flip flops with a bag full of electronics while the rain just absolutely pours down on me.  Doug got absolutely stopped up by the rain on his way into Toronto, so I was trying to hit as many venues I could and check out as many bands that night as I could.  Around 10:45pm I decided to make a run for it (in what seemed to be the heaviest part of the down pour) from the Velvet Underground down the street to The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.
To continue reading about Julie Doiron’s show at the Horseshoe, click here.

The Best of NXNE: Summerside


Caught these guys sort of by accident while walking through Yonge-Dundas Square on Thursday on my way to see Sabrina Korva, Stand, and David Martel play at Sunrise Records.

They certainly caught my attention with their rockin’ guitar licks and the massive crowd that had gathered to watch them play.

Click here to read more about the band Summerside.

The Best of NXNE: Hey Rosetta!

On Saturday night Doug and I got a chance to see Hey Rosetta at the Horseshoe Tavern. I really enjoyed these guys. The vocals were stellar! And I’m a sucker for string instruments, man. The upright bass and violin definitely won me over. And it’s always great to see a lead singer get totally in to the music they’re making – shows a real love for the craft.

If you haven’t seen them perform before, I suggest you do. But if you absolutely can’t, do yourself a favour and watch the above video.