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Dubai's racing to build the world's first hyperloop. Vertical farms on the rise in the UAE. The face that launched a billion-dollar brand. How Dubai is integrating AI into everyday life.

University blockchain experiment aims for top marks. The business of Ramadan: When religion and capital converge in the UAE. Why Dubai is all in on drones. Why Dubai is hungry for food delivery apps. Dubai's appetite for gold. Dubai's space ambitions take flight.

Is blockchain the future for trade? Dubai's plan to revolutionize the transport sector. Dubai's freezones drive innovation. Consistently, she has chosen the material best suited to her voice and singing style. She also chooses to work with talented peers who share her vision of American roots music.

Her current release, Steady Love, was recorded in New Orleans and exemplifies her soulful reinvention within traditions she has always loved - blues, jazz, folk, pop, spirituals. Her soulful voice has probably dropped an octave since the Sixties, but it's gotten grittier and darker and more nuanced. On my first listen and my opinion has never changed on repeated listens , this is the Duke Robillard I experienced in in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, at B.

Martini of George Thorogood 's band. We were in thralled, if that includes drinkin' all day. Although at that time I believe it was a three-piece power trio that had energy out the ass. Well, this isn't a trio but it has the same ass-kickin' energy, with the addition of long-time band member Bruce Bears on keys and the amazing Sax Gordon on, what else, sax. In my opinion Gordon channels the spirit and Chi-town style of early J. Big Boy Brown 's guttural bleats and squawks that put a big smile on your face.

The recording techniques draw from old-school, sparse mike placement and modern recording equipment that will give you an idea how the masters might sound today. Gut Bucket with Caviar!! Take that and how damn much younger Duke sounds vocally.

The songs Duke picks out are mostly ones he heard as a youth, you know, the ones that sent him in his initial gritty musical direction. Most are not songs that have become hits as covers over the years, but ones that deserve re-discovery, like the opening track, Guitar Slim 's "Quicksand," which immediately gives you the idea of what Low Down and Tore Up promises.

Sugar Boy Crawford 's "Overboard," sung by drummer Mark Teixeira , makes an old chair dancer's foot tired of tappin'. Simply put, Duke is a master at every style of guitar and on this one shows his early rough side with youthful abandonment. Put it on and turn it up! Since releasing their debut in , this road-seasoned, acutely-talented trio has taken Canada by storm.

Their infectious blues-based gumbo features some of the best harmoica, guitar and big-bottomed rhythm you've ever heard--all without a bass player--but, lest you think this is some artsy acoustic experiment, you'd be wrong.

The band's middle name does appear to be 'experiment' but they constantly prove how little risk is involved as thye've mastered all the elements from their collective years treading the boards. Roots music made right through a work ethic of tireless execution. Guitarist Tony D Diteodoro has the longest legs, musically, bringing guitar chops to the band that sound like three players, alone. Matt Sobb is the underestimated lynchpin of this team of friends, more than anchoring the trio with bulletproof beats and rhythmic voodoo.

More than anything anything, these three are childhood pals and they play like they not only mean it, they're willing to meet you out back to prove it. Without question, this new record is different from the last--as was their intent. Added elements of soul--a challenge easily met by Marriner's vocals, join bits of funk and Diteodoro's scorching, blues-rock leads. Which is exactly why they can't be pigeonholed. They're more interested in getting people to thier feet and moving than they are following a setlist or a gameplan for success, as evidenced from coast to coast at festival after festival.

Harp, aggressive guitar breaks, slap-happy backbeats announce their arrival while they slip into a spiritual treatment of Hank's You're Gonna Change Or I'm Gonna Leave. A few lacklustre tunes are thrown in but there's little wonder why this roots-rich trio fared so well in Memphis at last year's international Blues Challenge, plus a Blues Music Award for best new artist.

Running In The Rain has a 's rock'n'roll feel, which lets some steam out of the running order, redeemed by Diteodoro's own mid-tempo, slide and B3-infected All About You--a highlight of a different colour. Marriner's own instrumental workout, the aptly-named The Marrinator --in which the harpist extraordinaire offers insights into how he earned his earlier blues moniker, 'Southside Steve.

All in all, regardless of the new genre they're carving out for themselves, an aural pleasure to behold. Playing with the energy and enthusiasm of a younger man, Wayne romps through a bakers-dozen of original tunes that showcase his strength as a songwriter and his boogie style of piano playing. He has an engaging style of singing that conjures up memories of Charles Brown and Amos Milburn. His backing band is lead by ace guitarist Duke Robillard, who also produced the project.

In addition to piano, Wayne adds some organ on several cuts. Wayne pounds away on the piano and adds swirling chords on the organ while Robillard picks out more tasty licks. It is a fitting close, showing the depth of Wayne's musical experiences. There are some who have lamented the future of blues piano due to the recent passing of Pinetop Perkins. This one is a contender for best Blues recording of the year and should not be missed.

Street date, May 24th. Just minutes into the bonus DVD included in Stony Plain Records' 35th anniversary double-disc collection, label founder Holger Petersen proclaims his fondness for the "realness" and the "rawness" of the blues. Petersen also loves the idea of the "characters" that give this music life.

The artists that fill the 41 tracks on this collection exhibit all of the above. This collection is comprehensive, with every facet of the label's history spoken for. A wealth of "extra" material is included, the highlight being an unreleased steamy, five song set from legendary slide master Robert Nighthawk recorded during a Toronto studio session. Nighthawk's final recordings offer his lascivious storytelling with references to moonshine flowing and the night "beginning to rock" in "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby.

Holger Petersen's self-described "kitchen table" record label serves as a reminder that the "little guys" can indeed make it when they put the music first. Stony Plain's catalog speaks for itself. If you are already a fan, this one is it really her 30th album? Rory Block is a powerful delta blues guitar player because what she plays comes from a lifetime of dedication to the blues musical legacy.

The work she continues with this album is adding to her own artistic legacy. Bob Carpenter, who died in , was never famous or successful, but he was revered by many in the folk scene for his songwriting. He only released one album in his life, and although it had a hot-shot producer in Brian Ahearn and top musicians like Lowell George, it never sold a lot of copies.

This group of demos, available only by digital download on Stony Plain Records, has sat in a Vancouver recording studio for 30 years. The production is spare, but this is a great reminder of what a great songwriter Carpenter was.

With his rough, bluesy voice, he comes up with lines I wish I could have written, such as "I believe in the light but I might be some time on the shady side. Throughout the album, the main focus is usually on the interplay between Earl's strings and Limina's keys. The chemistry is superb throughout; so good, in fact, that the absence of vocals doesn't tarnish the album a bit, nor does it hinder the listener's ability to draw pictures from these songs.

I'd go so far as to say that Limina deserves some serious consideration for a "keyboard player of the year" nomination for his work here. Of course, Earl's guitar is at the forefront most of the time, and not a single note disappointed these ears. As is usually the case, his playing is way on the high end of soulful with a healthy dose of jazz and just a touch of good funk mixed in.

At his best, he's also one of the most melodic guitarists I've found in any genre, and he's certainly darn near his best on this release. The disc opens with "Backstroke," a really nice swing number that sets the tone of the album with it's exceptional interplay between guitar and keyboard.

This is about the most energetic cut on the album, if you consider "energy" and "uptempo" to be synonymous - it's a fine opening piece and grabs the listener's attention right away.

The disc really kicks into high gear on the emotion scale with the next few cuts. Donna," a tribute to his wife, is one of those beautiful, slow aching blues pieces - the melody is simple but elegant and leaves a lot of room for some of Earl's most introspective playing on the album. The effect is haunting and long-lasting, and while I'd be hard pressed to name a true favorite on this release, this would probably come closest. He follows this masterwork with two well-chosen covers - well chosen both for their status as classics and for showing the diversity he's capable of.

Kenny Burrell's "Chitlins Con Carne" is given a brilliant treatment here. The precision work between Earl and Limina gives us a serious dose of subtle, slinky funk, the sort of piece where you hope the pretty blonde will get out on the dance floor and shake her shoulders.

This is followed with perhaps the album's most surprising selection, the classic "Christo Redentor. Tracks 5, 6 and 7 almost feel like a trilogy, both sonically and spiritually. Respectively entitled "Happy," "Patience" and "Miracle," these three pieces taken together are a nice microcosm of Earl's heart, soul and philosophy.

At times, Earl's work here is reminiscent of some of the more slow and soulful early work that Carlos Santana used to present. I'm reminded of Roy Buchanan's take on "The Messiah Will Come Again;" the core emotion is one of deep spirituality, the kind that can only come from deep belief, from the heart Earl both pleads and soars on this track, and the effect is intense. The piece features some beautifully sweet and low-key bass work provided by guest Paul Kochansk that provides a perfect foundation for this simple-yet-complex slow blues.

Earl again does a fine job of conveying his own introspective spirituality here; it's yet another seemingly instant classic. The album's closing piece is "Blues For Bill," and I think it's a fantastic close. This is a slow and almost punchy porch type blues, though Earl gives it his trademark smooth and soulful work.

It's a fascinating piece to me, as I really like the version presented here, yet I'd love to hear somebody give this a rip as a true delta number, probably on a metal National and with some good slide work - the contrast between the two renditions of this piece would really be interesting. Ronnie chooses not to tour widely or do interviews, for the most part, but I sincerely hope to make the journey to his neck of the woods some day.

I'd love to shake his hand and thank him for the amazing body of work he's given to the world. Even within that impressive catalog of his, Spread The Love ranks as one of his best.

It seems like only a few short months ago that Duke had his last release. Can you believe that it has been a year since Stony Plain Records released his Stomp! Ex-Roomful of Blues bandmate Doug James gives a great tenor sax solo for the song. Duke gives us some modern-day lyrics to the Blues when he and his band rev it up for "Text Me. Not only is Duke Robillard a singer, but a writer, as well. He has written more than songs, many of which have been covered by other artists, including The Tan Canary, Johnny Adams.

A champion of all things Canadian, Hus has found acceptance not only from east to west but overseas as well. The album is from that experience and approach: Last year we played at the Vancouver Olympics in that role and we recently played Martinque, a French island in the Caribbean, and we were told we were the first Canadian band to ever perform there. We headlined the festival down there and a lot of the time I get criticized that my songs are too Canadian to work in the U.

In September of , I attended a concert honoring jazz historian Richard Sudhalter with Jeff Healey on the bill, only vaguely aware of Healey's pop music history and ignorant of his lifelong fascination with jazz performers of the s and s. His remarkable laptop guitar playing strongly influenced by Eddie Lang and other early jazz masters and heartfelt singing of Tin Pan Alley hits made me an instant Jeff Healey fan; seeing him pick up a trumpet and blowing Louis Armstrong-inspired choruses only added to my amazement.

Beautiful Noise was taped earlier that year for a Canadian TV program, and captures a live set by Healey and his working octet of jazz players. Reeman Christopher Plock's booming bass saxophone recalls the sound of '20s jazz ensembles; he has a striking Roland Kirk-esque moment on "Sugar Blues," simutaneously playing soprano and alto sax.

Other highlights include violinist Drew Jurecka recalling Joe Venuti on "Wild Cat," performed in duo with the leader; Terra Hazelton, the band's blues diva, lays the double entendres thick on "Long John;" and, ofcourse, Healey demonstrating his multiple talents. He excels as a vocal balladeer on "If I Had You," which also contains an inspired trumpet solo. Healey's premature death, barely two years after this performance, was a tragedy for all lovers of swing. Maria Muldaur and band form a beautiful melody that puts you in a dream and when you wake up you find yourself singing along to it.

The newest release from folk and roots staple Maria Muldaur has been nominated for a Grammy "best traditional folk album of the year" and this writer can't think of anyone who deserves it more. In the 35 years since "Midnight at the Oasis" hit it big, Muldaur has received far too little credit for her contribution to roots and Americana music. Maria Muldaur puts a new album on the stacks at least once a year, without fail, and has done so for longer than most fans of folk and jug bands have been alive.

She was there, a radiant if petite proto-hippie-momma, when it all began, during the early '60s folk revival in Greenwich Village. Hanging out with Dylan and the Seegers and playing at the Newport Folk Music Festival as part of the Even Dozen Jug Band all carved a place for Muldaur in history, and a good number of good friends that would last the ages.

America's mando-laureate David Grisman sits in on a few tracks, as does the great Taj Mahal. Muldaur is bringing fresh fruit into the mix as well, inviting the young Kit Stovepipe to play national guitar on a number of traditional tunes.

You could say that B. King and Aaron "T-Bone" Walker invented modern electric blues, a big-city sound in which the Mississippi Delta -- which continued to inform such contemporaries as Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf -- was a very distant echo. So, unfortunately, have many generic-sounding recordings.

To my hearing, the latter have the resonance more of roots rock or somebody's idea of it than of real blues; "blues rock" strikes me as -- with, inevitably, some worthy exceptions -- effectively rock, incidentally blues.

The standard complaint, fair or unfair but hardly mine alone, is that there's more hand -- the players are invariably adept at their instruments -- than heart in this approach. For once, "masterpiece" -- the word is used on the back cover -- falls short of hyperbole. The record has almost hypnotic powers. I have listened to it repeatedly, each time in some state of awed consciousness.

Joe Louis Walker no relation to T-Bone as far as I know first recorded in , and this is his 20th album. Though I know his early work, I lost track of him in the interim. Picking up on him in , I encounter a major blues artist at the peak of his powers. Because race is so much a part of any discussion of blues' history and higher meaning, it is necessary to note here that Walker is an African-American who has lived long enough born in to have grown up in blues culture, in other words at a time when blues was not -- as it has been for a long time now -- at the far margins of black life and entertainment.

Walker seems to have heard, seen or known just about every significant African-American vernacular and popular musician of the mid- to latterth century. In addition he was close friends with the late Mike Bloomfield, who did as much as anyone next, anyway, to the early Rolling Stones to introduce electric blues to a whole generation of white young people.

Afire with emotion, the songs, in common with all true blues, deliver convincingly lived-in storytelling. Just as gripping, "If There's a Heaven," written by Walker with Kevin Eubanks and Joe Russo, is a confession of sin by a petty criminal who yet strives to commit good. It's hard to believe psychological and spiritual complexity of this kind could be compacted into a song, even one that clocks in at 6: Social commentary drives "I'm Tide" -- meaning "tired" of a whole lot of aggravations of modern life; Walker is so exhausted that he can't even manage that second syllable -- and Murali Coryell's "Way Too Expensive," about economic inequity; there's also a richly earned dig at our most recent ex-president.

With electric guitar, slide and string, Walker fronts a band which hits hard and lands every punch. Walker is fluent in all the blues languages. Jeff Healey wore many musical hats during his brief life - band leader, singer, radio DJ, nightclub owner, trumpeter and clarinetist. But the blind musician will be remembered best for playing searing guitar on his lap, looking like a pedal steel guitar man gone mad. Songs from the Road Stony Plain Records captures Healey's gift for energizing rock and blues tunes with powerful, sometimes blistering guitar work.

Songs like his cover of the Beatles' Come Together and his own hit Angel Eyes start off sounding a little staid. Then the songs build, with the payoff of strong guitar solos. Also deceptive are Healey's vocals, which occasionally sound a little tame. There's also great harmonica work from Dave Murphy and fine guitar interplay with Dan Noordemeer and Healey on the latter song.

The two extra musicians also chip in vocals, with Murphy being particularly strong on Come Together. Adding to Healey's original trio format definitely helps throughout the CD. Other highlights are a powerful version of the Allman Brothers' Whipping Post and some great 'wah-wah' guitar on their take of Cream's White Room.

Drummer Al Webster and bassist Alec Fraser, who deserves credit for producing a fine array of songs. They were from concerts in Norway, London, England and Toronto. Material somewhat resembles Healey's early career successes, which incuded millions in sales, two Grammy nominations and performing with stars like B. King and George Harrison. Healey even appeared in the Patrick Swayze movie Roadhouse. Four of his band's tunes made the soundtrack, including a cover of the Doors' Roadhouse Blues.

He later had a Toronto night spot named Jeff Healey's Roadhouse. He eventually changed direction, recording three albums with Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards. Instead of guitar, Healey played trumpet and clarinet. Unfortunately, the cancer that blinded him retinoblastoma took Healey's life in March, Fans might find a little consolation in two albums released posthumously.

Besides Songs from the Road, Mess of Blues was released last year. Still revered in his native Canada, he remains at the top of his form even at age 75, and while his voice is weathered and his tales somewhat tattered, he continues to make music that is as indelible and gripping as ever.

A series of sweeping, refl ective narratives, it details the people, places and indigenous wildlife of windswept Canadian prairies. The riveting title track details the journey of a wolf pack transported to new environs in order to save them from extinction.

If Springsteen and Mellencamp speak to the pulse of the American heartland, Tyson is their Canadian equivalent, equally intrepid, clear-eyed and compelling. The album rocked established notions in the country music world. His beautifully chiselled approach to songwriting caused multiple cases of whiplash in publishing houses where writers had been content in serving up too much gooey pop-saturated fare that had been drawn from the same stagnating pools for far too long.

Crowell, who was a contempaorary of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, had the best of both worlds-artistic credibility and the kind of commercial success songwriters dream of. Major success as a performing artist was not going to elude him forever. You put up an image, there's this self-conscious notoriety.

In the '90s, he released three rather forgettable discs and his marriage to Cash crumbled. Crowell decided to pull back. I don't think I played five live shows in five years, from '95 to I built a new marriage, took long walks and my kids to school. Crowell has just released Sex and Gasoline. It's his fourth album of the new millennium and arguably his finest work,thanks in part to pieces like Truth Decay and The Rise and Fall of Intelligent Design.

Produced by Joe Henry, and released in Canada on Stony Plain Records, Crowell wanted fresh input into making records and felt the need to refocus on performing and singing. Much of the material is centred on his perceptions of the triumphs and struggles of being in today's world. My wife, women friends and daughters would nail me to the wall for attempting that," says Crowell, who examines beauty on Moving Work of Art , and Alzheimer's in Forty Winters.

He also managed to draw Phil Everly out of retirement for a day to sing on one of the album's songs, Truth Decay. It was one of the highlights of my career, and my wife has made a 12 minute film out of that session.

Robillard strips down Walker's sound, emphasizing his distinctive gospel-infused vocals while welcoming Walker's diverse influences. Inexplicably overlooked as one of contemporary blues' most dynamic and innovative musicians, Walker has been knocking around the blues scene since his debut, releasing consistently exciting music that hasn't received the commercial acceptance it deserves.

Hopefully that will change, as Witness to the Blues is one of Walker's finest efforts. Eight of its 11 songs are Walker compositions, and even his versions of oft-covered chestnuts "Rollin' and Tumblin'" and "Sugar Mama" are given vigorous, creative arrangements that make them sound new. Walker and Copeland tear into the tune with a level of heat and enthusiasm that nearly equals the original. No matter what he's singing, Walker's churchy approach is soulful, heartfelt, and spellbinding. He lets his voice crack naturally, and even if he's getting a little rough around the edges on the high notes, he seems particularly inspired on this set, perhaps because he finally has found a producer who brings out his best.

Blues has an extraordinary musical emotion, with an inner texture dipped into a sixth sense that opens a weathered journey for whoever chooses its dramatic passage. Every time I spin a fine grit of blues, life becomes focused. Block has set the flow for an Americana time capsule in musicianship! Block took this iconic existence to become her mission, unearthing the greatness of the man who influenced her world.

Block is very much in control of her own precise formula. The pick configurations are solid and methodical. Strategically injected solos truly ignite the fever blues can only trigger. Many times, blues is imparted through song with a hollow emotion. Classic feel with structure! Block appeals to the inner sense that the blues instills into an audience. A pure grit of life pours from her strings as she massages each fret of her musical drive. In this case, she applauds the life of Son House and with her smooth tones and hard core vocals.

Block came to the crossroads with this project and took it into the right direction. Big Dave McLean is one of a handful of musicians who long ago earned a high ranking in the heavyweight division of the Canadian blues scene,and he continues to challenge all comers. The guitar-and harp-wielding Winnipeg native is a force who instantly commands the audience's attention,yet the husky-voiced musician doesn't have a bombastic delivery.

Instead,with one hand firmly on the microphone and his eyes searching every corner of the room, McLean connects with combinations of rhythmic crunch, heartfelt turns of phrase and slaps of stinging steel.

McLean has been praised for his encouragement of aspiring players and singers across the Prairies. He is essentially passing on what was presented to him plus years ago,when legendary bluesman Muddy Waters opened up his world to the young Winnipegger. All those links in the blues chain bring us to this six-night stand at Blues on Whyte, 82nd Ave. It finds McLean teamed with Guitarmageddon, an aggregation of younger players who have all made their mark on the national scene.

Between sets, McLean talked of first hearing a young Shaun Verreault in Saskatoon, when he wasn't of legal age to play the bars. Verreault has been lifting audiences out of their seats as a member of Wide Mouth Mason, and as a solo peformer, for years. Rounding out the ensemble are the bass-playing Curtis Scarrow, who spearheaded this tour with McLean, and drummer Scotty Hills, who just came off a European tour with Mclean as part of a package with The Perpetrators.

The foursome can come at a crowd as a full-blown, amps-turned-electric unit, ripping through versions of Got to Love Somebody, Rainin' in My Heart and Chicken Shack , which McLean humorouslyintroduces as Poulet de Chalet.

Then there's a tasty and slightly understated take of That's Alright , the Jimmy Rogers tune that was a staple in the original Muddy Waters band repertoire. In this setting, it finds Verreault slipping in effective Ron Wood-like rhythm licks between McLean's vocal lines. Mid-song tempo changes, gang vocals on choruses and interesting combinations of guitar styles, some fusing the sting of Texas influences with the tones of sruf guitar, also had the Blues on Whyte crowd applauding appreciatively after every tune in the opening set.

We have a huge repertoire to work with, " said McLean with a grin. While McLean thinks of this union as a little bit of a "payback" for his time spent as a mentor, the truth is that McLean, Verreault, Scarrow and Hills simply make for a superior blues revue.

For his latest release in a long association with Canada's Stony Plain label, guitarist and singer Duke Robillard digs deep into the American songbook of jazz classics and throws in a couple of original instrumentals for good measure. A Swingin' Session does much more than spotlight Robillard's nimble guitar work and nuanced vocals. Backed by his longtime bandmates and some former Roomful of Blues colleagues, Robillard directs the spotlight just as often on the horns and keyboards.

Like one of his heroes, Duke Ellington, Robillard plays his band like an instrument, and that comes naturally for these dozen players who share an affinity for the place where jazz meets blues. Many of these musicians hail from Robillard's Rhode Island stomping grounds, including such familiar names as Gordon Beadle tenor and baritone sax , Al Basile cornet , Scott Hamilton tenor sax , and Carl Querfurth trombone.

The songs come from familiar sources, but they're not necessarily well known to modern listeners, so the setlist sounds fresh. Blues and jazz scholars might pore over the obscure song selections and Robillard's approach to the arrangements, but none of that matters to the people who go to his shows. What makes this material work is what happens on the dance floor when a band swings this hard. We should thank Robillard for reprising and reinventing classic American music in an age when real musicianship gets short shrift while shallow theatrics can earn you a stint on American Idol.

Call me cranky, but I'd rather swing. His vocal delivery is as smooth as molasses, while his guitar - indeed, the entire instrumental backing - harkens back decades. At most, Percy Mayfield might be credited for his song "Hit the Road jack," but this disc reveals a sonwriting ability that ran much deeper and broader than one hit.

Garrett's homage to Mayfield showcases not only the songs' humanity,but also Garrett's bluesy touch. His vocal delivery is as smooth as molasses,while his guitar-indeed,the entire instrumental backing-harkens back decades. Songs like "Stranger in My Own Hometown" are,perhaps,even darker than the title would suggest. Garretts' guitar playing does the same.

On "The Country" he plays against the organ,while drums keep a steady beat. This song too sounds like a recording from the '50s or '60s by a group of road house veterans at a slightly more uptown gig. Then the mournful saxes return,making acuaintance with Garretts' heavy-on-th-reverb guitar on "To Claim It's Love", another down-on-his-luck story. Garretts' world-weary vocals are the perfect complement to the material,and the dolorous instrumental backing is spot on.

Jeff Healey's recent passing caused great sadness in the blues world and around the world. We were, perhaps, too used to having him around to appreciate his talents. I saw him first in Toronto in , when he was still unknown outside his home city. They brought him up on stage to play for a flabbergasted Albert Collins. It wasn't just his unique style, playing the guitar on his lap with a combination of pulling and plucking the strings, that surprised so many.

It was also the fact that he was so good at it. My last encounter with Jeff was as the emcee for his show at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, leading his greatest love, his pre-Second World War era jazz band. He made it look so easy, and was so unassuming, you had to remind yourself of how good he was. Recent years saw Healey move away from the blues for lengthy stretches of jazz, but he never stayed away for long. It remained his bread and butter, as concert requests continued to come in overseas and at home.

Plus, he had his Toronto namesake bar, which thrived when its famous owner was onstage. Healey put together a crack bar band for those gigs and figured he should document it on disc, as well.

Part live, mostly studio, it's made up of tracks Healey's group would wow the crowds with, playing for the fun of it and showing off a little, too. Much of the disc is party-trick material, familiar songs that make a bar crowd happy, especially with the new and exciting takes the group brings to them. The album is what it was meant to be, a great night at the best roadhouse around.

But Healey is gone. And what stands out for me is that I won't see this group, which was scheduled to play the Harvest this September, do these songs. Hearing them now, hearing him, I realize what I always took for granted: He is that good.

Here are some of the most soaring live electric guitar solos you will ever need. They match the best players working today or in the past.

His signature style may have been how he played the guitar, but what he played was amazing, too. This last album will no doubt be my favourite blues album by Healey. Not bad, considering blues wasn't even his favourite music. It's easy to dismiss country music as antiquated or slow-witted, especially with the popularity of current Canadian indie stars like Feist or Tokyo Police Club, who wear their energy on their sleeves. Set next to bands like these, a sound like Corb Lund's may seem like a quaint throwback to a time when music was easy, vulgar and anything but complex.

Yet Lund's newest album is perhaps the most imaginative and daring Canadian indie album that will be released this year for exactly that reason. It's deceptive in its simplicity. On the surface, it's an album about that most reliable country music stereotype: But Lund has been reading his history textbooks, and the album is a lament for the old stories that Lund sorely wishes he had been a part of. This is not so much a political album as it is a yearning for a kind of glory, one that is always just out of reach in times of war.

This idea may turn some listeners off, but many will enjoy the way Lund appropriates the country genre to tell simple, effective stories with his throaty yelp.

The music, if nothing else, is good. It doesn't need jangly power chords or crashing cymbals to get a rise out of the listener - it is stripped down and direct without overpowering his lyrics, which approach poetry.

The brusque rat-a-tat of military drums on the opening track "I Wanna Be In The Cavalry" belies the weight of its words. It would be easy to laugh at the folksy fiddle strings or steel guitar if they weren't put to such good use.

Lund has created a concept album in the very best sense of the term. Perhaps his greatest strength is that he doesn't condescend to the listener; he relies on our intelligence and open-mindedness. Yes, country music can be brashly, perhaps stupidly, political. Sometimes, it can be about trucks and seedy bars and going home to yer darlin' after a hard day in the field. But Lund reminds us that country can have soul.

It may be the last musical form that knows its roots, and can see what's been lost to the relentless hammering of modernity. A front runner for this year's Top 10 list, Ronnie Earl has crafted one his best albums ever in Hope Radio. Concentrating on his strengths, this is pure instrumental blues, informed by Earl's passion for jazz and fuelled, emotionally, by a release from his troubled past. Live, the credit for the success of this record must be split with Dave Limina, whose prowess on piano and B3 organ is stupefying, allowing Earl those precious nanoseconds to execute every note with newfound passion, absolute confidence and razor-sharp precision.

Earl's tone rules the day across 11 seamless originals but exceptional inroads are made with Blues for the West Side , an minute opus that wrenches your gut with its soulful range and sheer majesty. Wolf Dance pays an upbeat tribute to Hubert Sumlin, while Kay My Dear - another deliciously languorous assault - demonstrates the subtle power of a taut rhythm section that always knows when to rise or fall between Earl's spirited takeoffs.

Blues for Otis Rush , likewise, serves up a minute slow burn of endless gratitude that commands your total attention. You'll not find a better way to spend 78 minutes. While the musical careers of the pair went their separate ways, they will be forever linked in the mind's and hearts of Canadian music fans.

Ian Tyson has of course had an outstanding career helping to preserve and re-popularize the genre of true western music. As a performer you tend to know your career has earned respect when other artists gather to do a tribute album, and one listen to this effort and you know Tyson's career is indeed worthy. This CD is crammed full of recognizable hits covered by some of the best in Canadian music, along with a few American friends added in.

I truly enjoy the mix of veteran and new musical stars paying their respects here. The CD starts with Canadian super group Blue Rodeo doing a sweet rendition of Four Strong Winds, an early hit from when Ian and Sylvia were famous just by their first names in this country. On the very next cut Corb Lund, a more recent arrival to the country charts in Canada doing the western classic MC Horses. Cindy Church, yes another tie to Quartette, offers a rendition of Range Delivery.

The only thing really missing here is a rendition of Navajo Rug, maybe Tyson's best known, and best-loved songs. Perhaps for that reason no one felt comfortable covering such a signature song.

Overall this is a great western CD, made even better because of the collection of artists coming together to pay homage to a true star of the Canadian music scene for decades. He has released 11 solo CDs, dating back to , and Four Strong Winds was a hit a decade earlier than that. This is one to be cherished. His playing skills are legendary; so is his ability to tour practically non-stop.

He has a label that has managed to promote him effectively worldwide and he has released over a dozen albums through them. He has sessioned with the best of them, including Maria Muldaur, Dr. On his new double-disc release he is backed by an impressive collection of players, his regular lineup and special guests "Sugar" Ray Norica on harmonica and Al Basile on cornet among others.

A tour-de-force, World Full of Blues, solidifies that Duke Robillard is a man charged with creative talent causing him to birth unique blues. Robillard is a man in his prime hour. You will soon see another folk star. Spivey was correct in her prediction that the singer, who married Kweskin band member Geoff Muldaur, would become a shining light of the '60s folk revival.

Maria, of course, would also triumph in the pop, blues, jazz, and contemporary Christian music realms. One of the most eclectic song stylists of modern times, Muldaur returns to material associated with Spivey, Sippie Wallace, Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Ma Rainey, and other blues divas of the s on her latest in a trilogy of CDs for the Canadian Stony Plain in which she explores the "classic blues" of that period.

One curiosity is a pop song titles Smile , credited in the booklet to Charlie Chaplin, Geoff Parsons, and John Turner, though in fact it is not their Smile. Pianist James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band does a superb job in backing Muldaur, its horn section supplying just the right moans when called for and the rhythm section providing some nicely syncopated New Orleans bounce.

Muldaur shines throughout, her raspy tone and wide vibrato an ideal match for the vintage material, and she brings appropriate sass to such risque tunes as Empty Bed Blues , Handy Man , and One Hour Mama. Harry Manx and Kevin Breit are both singularly accomplished musicians. Both have an impressive history of travel and musical prowess. Both have individual style and their husky-voice-meets-sweet-and-rich vocal harmonies compliment each other so well, that we've given them our choice spot as our new album of the week.

In Good We Trust is a rootsy, album with that down-home organic sound. It creates a comfortable atmosphere anywhere you might be. There's something for everyone including a vast array of instruments. The songs are multidimensional and there is a Springsteen cover "I'm On Fire," which Springsteen himself liked so much that he signed Harry's unique cigar box guitar, which is featured on the album cover. This is a gem of a find worth checking out.

Ah talk about aging like fine wine. Valdy and Garry Fjellgaard have been part of the Canadian music scene for what seems like forever. The two have always shared a similar take on music,a style somewhere smack dab in between folk and country. So it was no surprise the duo might eventually get together for a CD and they did that a few years ago with the release of Contenders on the Stony Plain label. The CD was a gem thanks to the seasoned, relaxed styles these two bring to their music.

Fortunately for listeners Valdy and Fjellgaard are back at it, having hit the studios for Contenders Two and have once again put together a must-have CD. It states, "it must be these old troubadours don't know what else to do. It would be a true shame if these two ever walked away from their music. They are consummate performers. And, having interviewed both in the past, I can tell you they are genuine, and true gentlemen in every sense of the word. Order the book from indigo Chapters USA: Order the book from amazon.

Blues and Roots Music Mavericks includes 25 in-depth conversations with a variety of roots music artists who have made significant impacts on popular music, ranging from B. The book is divided into four collections of interviews: Each interview is preceded by informative background material on the artist, Petersen's own stories of their meetings, and photographs.

If you would like Holger to autograph your book, please detail who you would like it signed too, and any special message on our checkout page. Ain't it funny, as Willie Nelson once mused in one of his bluesier tunes, how time slips away. For Edmonton's Holger Petersen, it must be downright hilarious. Plus he's been running the top Canadian roots-music record label, Stony Plain, for 35 years. And now Petersen has a book out and if you're a music fan, it's a page-turner.

With introductions from Petersen, these are the transcripts from 19 of the thousands of interviews he's conducted over the years. Here you have Ike Turner talking about his "Rocket 88" and its effect on nascent rock 'n' roll, Long John Baldry and the start of the blues scene in London that would give us the so-called British Invasion and Bill Wyman who is exceedingly entertaining as he broadly disses Keith and Mick.

My favourite is probably the Ry Cooder piece but it's all really fun stuff. Halfway through the book, I started shaking my head at how tortuous it must have been for Petersen deciding on what to leave out. Also, I could have done a lot more Chicago blues artists, Louisiana. Catalogue of Releases Sorted by: This disc is no longer available to order physically.

Rory Block A Woman's Soul: Do Your Duty 4: Hear or buy the song digitally Second single from the album "A Woman's Soul: A Tribute to Bessie Smith," coming July 6. Hear or buy the song digitally First single from the album "A Woman's Soul: Your local record store! Come To Me feat. Billy F Gibbons 4: Sue Foley, who was born in Ontario, Canada, and played her first gig at the age of After graduating from high school, she formed the Sue Foley Band and began touring Canada and honing her skills.

By the age of 21, she had relocated to Austin, Texas, and was recording for Antone's. Her first release for the label was Young Girl Blues , in Now, some 25 years later, with countless albums under her belt both under her own name and playing in support of other musicians , she is releasing another album. Diverse in style, this album is incredibly powerful.

The title is wide open for interpretation Curious and wanting to refresh my memory, I pulled several of her albums, from earliest to most recent.

This album is, without question, her best work to date. She may be the Ice Queen, but the blues burns like a raging inferno in her soul. The result is a depth and richness of tone that many never attain. No longer the young girl with the burning desire to play the blues, what we have here is truly the Ice Queen This is one album you will want to add to your collection.

More information and reviews. Lee Van Cleef 3: Ain't That Loving You 5: It is magic pure and simple. That song is followed by the gorgeous and soulful Sweet Miss Vee written by Earl. You better believe Earl and the Broadcasters are digging deep on this recording. Save Your Love For Me 2: Rory Block Keepin' Outta Trouble: Keepin' Outta Trouble 4: Making a Scene By Richard Ludmerer Block states that not only is she grateful to the musicians who created this music that she loves but also to those who traveled the back roads and documented this art form; people like John and Alan Lomax, and Harry Smith.

Best Kept Secret 4: Top Canadian Blog By Bob Mersereau It would be easy to call Monkeyjunk one of Canada's very best blues bands, and while that isn't wrong, it's never quite felt right to me either. Instead, the group seems to be that, plus. It would be easy to call Monkeyjunk one of Canada's very best blues bands, and while that isn't wrong, it's never quite felt right to me either.

Monkeyjunk songs, and albums, always have that moment when you hear something different. Often it happens in the chorus or bridge, when instead of the usual change comes a better chord, that takes what was already a winning song to a new place. Weary ballad Blue Lights Go Down has one of those smart changes into the chorus, which lifts up the mood.

The first time through, Tony D puts on a smart, Santana-like solo, while on the second pass, Steve Mariner plays an Eastern-flavoured harmonica to end it off in a questioning way. Up next is Pray For Rain, which starts with some ringing, sitar-like guitar, before verses that remind me of those great Clapton parts on the Layla album.

Sharp-eared fans will also notice it's the first album in their five to include electric bass all the way through. In some ways, it puts them further in the blues roots, allowing them the full sound to explore a cover of Albert King's The Hunter, but it also meant building bigger tracks, giving them more room to explore their ideas, like on the soulful Can't Call You Baby. File them under originality. Lay a Little Lovin' on Me 3: Sugar Ray Norcia 2: Whatever style he adopts Duke is a wonderful player, able to adapt across the spectrum of blues and jazz styles and this is anot less.

Gone Wild - Poet's Highway 4: Colin Linden, Doc MacLean 3: Colin Linden, Doc MacLean 2: Jazz Weekly By George W. The width, breath and depth of this label is pretty impressive, as displayed here. Emmylou Harris sounds deliciously homey and some great rockabilly is delivered by Albert Lee. The Rarities feature Duke Rollibard strolling and hitting it 8 to the bar while David Wilcox picks and grin.

Blues Boss Shuffle 2: There's A Train Coming 3: Juno Award winning album! Blues Album of the Year No Depression By J. Cashbox Magazine By Iain Patience Eric Bibb may have good reason to be the Happiest Man in the World, with top quality music seemingly pouring from the guy on a regular basis.

My Old Kentucky Home 1: Elmore Magazine By Tom Clarke " Subtlety and excitement all wrapped together here, folks, in one of the best overall blues albums of the year. Light It Up 3: Gonzo Online By John Kereiff "Their passion, conviction and dedication to their music makes itself known in every lick, beat, lyric and solo.

Some really cool grooves over the course of these 10 songs, from the reggae vibe of Love Attack to the aforementioned Light It Up and Hot, Hot Papa a Wilcox original, David plays guita less.

It Takes Time 5: Stony Plain Records has been releasing outstanding roots and blues music since This music was his first love allowing him to play guitar and trumpet in addition to having a career as one of the worlds most acclaimed and innovative electric blues and rock musicians.

Three Little Words 4: It has a timeless quality about it and could just as easily have been released in the 20s or 30s except for the recording quality which is exceptional" more. Jeff Healey, known for his work as a musician and an actor, was one of those performers with the golden touch. Taken from us with cancer, at the age of 41, he had a passion for guitar, old-time jazz, trumpet and clarinet. He appeared in the movie, "Road House" with Patrick Swayze, made a total of 10 albums and opened a club under his own name on A humble and fun-loving man, his desire was to raise his family and play the music he loved, something he did with incredible attention to detail and passion.

Healey was a serious record collector and musical historian who had amassed 30, 78s from the 20s and 30s. The Best of the Stony Plain Years This is one of the finest pieces of classic jazz and blues that I have ever heard.

It has a timeless quality about it and could just as easily have been released in the 20s or 30s except for the recording quality which is exceptional. Fans of jazz and blues alike will find themselves itching to hit the dance floor. This is another one of those releases I would purchase several copies of to give as gifts. Not normally at a loss for words, this album is one of those things that is so good that I find it hard to find words to do it justice.

Do yourself a favor and don't let this one slip through your fingers. Jeff Healey was a man with many talents. That said, it is perhaps the best of his work that I have heard. Needless to say, it comes highly recommended. Now 81, Tyson is the preeminent western singer in North America. He continues to tour across Canada and the U.

Recorded mostly live off the floor at the Stone House on the Tyson Ranch. The distinctive Tyson voice has recovered from the accident that damaged it in That's All Right Mama 5: Living Blues By Robert H. Cataliotti "Their playing is technically dazzling, but tasteful restraint, flawless execution and dynamic interplay rule the day. Guy Davis Rosewood 5: Glen Scott Needed Time 6: Linda Tillery Home 4: Billy Boy was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Rory Block Hard Luck Child: Down In Mexico 3: Midwest Record By Chris Spector Chuggling, churning, wild and woolly, this set of mostly originals sounds like they were found laying in wait along the other end of highway 61 for the right interpreter.

A reissue, with bonus tracks, of MonkeyJunk's first album previously available on their own Beefy label.

Eastern Connecticut escorts, female models, independent escorts, adult services, strippers, strip clubs, exotic dancers, and nude dancing with photos. Post ads with pics. National Geographic stories take you on a journey that’s always enlightening, often surprising, and unfailingly fascinating. Sacred Harp Singing In Western Massachusetts (WMSHC) Sacred Harp, or more correctly shape-note singing, is a truly glorious sound, totally unlike anything else in music.