Gary Tate

Gary Tate

One of the most overlooked of the 1950's acts that helped shape the coming Rock ‘n’ Roll explosion is The Clovers. Bill Lucas and friends--comprising of vocalists John "Buddy" Bailey, Matthew McQuater, Harold Winley, plus guitarist Bill Harris---would alter the entire R&B landscape. There were also delectable hints in their style of the Soul train that would eventually take flight.

Along with Ruth Brown, the Clovers h …

When something works well the first time, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work equally well next time. That’s the case with Janiva Magness on her latest release Do I Move You?--a reunion with producer Colin Linden who performed similar duties on last year’s Bury Him At The Crossroads. Magness always delivers the goods with her passionate, high class delivery, and oftentimes brash style, the very qualities that put her in the lineage of Bessie Smith, Ruth Brown, Etta James, Aretha F …

This 6-piece Western Swing posse, based in Toronto, is aptly summarized by these lyrics from the Roger Miller song: "They swing like a pendulum do." Authentic to the core and thoroughly versed in the timeless tradiation, it would be very easy to figure the Bebop Cowboys originate from Tulsa, Austin, Santa Fe, or Bakersfield, rather than the Great White North. Guitarist extraordinaire and music historian Steve Briggs, the co-founder along with harmonica wiz Howard Willett, fortuitously bumped …

Solomon Burke’s arrival at Toronto’s Massey Hall after a 15-year hiatus was greeted with a burst of applause seldom heard around these parts. It signaled the beginning of festivities that would shake the venerable concert hall to its foundation. I’ve never witnessed as warm and as embracing a welcome as the one afforded the King Of Rock And Soul, who is nearing his 70th year. This adulation was full acknowledgement of a triumphal career, one that has spanned nearly six decades.

It was a privilege to have attended the Ultimate Doo Wop Show, a touring package that appeared recently at Buffalo’s majestic Shea’s Performing Arts Center. For starters, Pookie Hudson of Spaniels' fame qualifies as the highlight of this nostalgic extravaganza, but a host of Doo Wop greats helped set the stage for the much esteemed Mr. Hudson who is back-in-action after being sidelined with cancer. This is the gentleman who gave us "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight"&nb

2007 has been quite a year for Mel Brown who is finally getting the recognition he deserves after more than a half-century in the music business. Living Blues Magazine has been at the forefront of the bestowal parade. Mel--who records for the Toronto-based Electro-Fi label---won their Reader's Poll Award for "Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar) 2007" beating
out his old friends B.B. King and Buddy Guy. To put the icing on the cake he was also the co-winner for best DVD of the

An essential Soul/Blues singer, Johnny Max is an integral part of a Golden Horseshoe music scene stretching from St. Catherines to Toronto. He should be making international waves soon in light of his latest superb release "A Lesson I’ve Learned".

It’s been 7 years since this reviewer first encountered Johnny with then partner-in-crime Kevin Higgins. Johnny has recently summoned forth a new aggregation lead by keyboardist extraordinaire Martin Aucoin and bravur

His output has been staggering over the last 20 years, but those creative juices run so deep that Duke Robillard never runs out of things to say. On "World Full Of Blues", there’s even a bonus CD that ups the total playing time to nearly 2 hours---consisting of about half originals and half covers, for a total of 23 songs.

There’s a lot happening: Jazz, Jump Blues, Chicago Blues, Folk, Pop, Motown, but Duke’s sweet funky grooves tend to predominate. Still, as he elaborates in his insig

There’s no other way to describe this union of Canada’s 2 most strikingly unorthodox string wielders than by calling it a match made in Guitar Heaven. It was bound to happen, although most assumed the fates would delay the confab by a few years.

The great news is that "In Good We Trust" fulfills one’s anticipations from the opening bell as Manx adds his vocals to an intensely personal version of Bruce Springsteen’s "I’m On Fire". While 8 of the 11 tracks are vocals, the hypnotic interw

Watermelon Slim is single-handedly reviving interest in Blues, and it’s just a matter of time before this conclusion is acknowledged in all quarters. This truth is forcefully demonstrated on "The Wheel Man" which is a case study in raggedly unadorned Blues where all the requisite emotional hotspots are pushed with a huge dose of "devil-may-care" abandon. No subtlety here. This is 100 proof Blues!

A few kegs of prime bourbon must have contributed to those gravelly and rheumy vocals tha

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