Tag Archives: Toronto music

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“BAD TO THE BONE” FRONTMAN GATOR JAMES PROUD TO PAY TRIBUTE TO BLUES LEGEND GEORGE THOROGOOD

BAD TO THE BONE was formed in the summer of 1993 by singer/guitarist Gator James and has been going strong ever since. Based in Oshawa, Ontario, this band is the only authentic George Thorogood to tribute band playing across North American, and they continue to attract and entertain audiences from coast to coast. The band has shared stages with many well-known recording artists over the years, for example: April Wine, Kim Mitchell, David Wilcox, Georgia Satellites, Sass Jordan, and many others.

On Saturday September 16th, they join other great tribute bands [The SRV Experience, Thunderstruck, Bon Jovi Forever and Southern Fried] along with host Kenny Robinson, the award-winning comedian and tv personality, t0 play Durham’s 1st Annual Rock Tribute Festival presented by Sunrise Concerts (details below).  I recently chatted with Bad to the Bone frontman and founder Gator James about life on the road portraying the rock/blues icon….BTTB 2017 PosterWhat first inspired you to sing/play guitar like George Thorogood?  I was doing “I Drink Alone” with a band I was touring with in the 80’s and when I came off the road and decided to put together a tribute band, one of the other members said my playing style and voice sounded a lot like him. So, we learned a few more songs and it really clicked.

Was rock/blues your first passion or were you a closet disco lover?   I’ve played many styles of music from classic rock to jazz, rhythm and blues to progressive rock. I always gravitated to music that makes you feel like moving and Thorogood fit the bill for me.

What keeps you (and the band) on the road and performing for the fans?   The feeling we get when we rock our audience and turn new fans onto George Thorogood.BTTB Pic 3Have you ever met George, and if so, what was your first comment/question to him?  I contacted Thorogood’s manager when I was forming the band and told him I would like to meet George to have him authenticate my poster when he was in Toronto. His manager told me George doesn’t like tributes so he said George probably would not comply. A few years later I got invited by a sound tech friend of mine to help him with staging at Toronto’s Government nightclub when George was playing there and I hung out with his guitar tech all day. I watched sound check and was even able to offer help as a stagehand during his show….. but was unable to get to him due to security. But at least he does know about us.

Apart from the September 16th gig in Oshawa, what other shows have you booked in the coming months…any Christmas or NYE concerts we should mark in our calendars?   All our festival shows are done for the summer and we only have a couple of club dates as I am busy with my other band The Gator James Band. But we’re definitely waiting on calls for more Bad to the Bone dates.

You can follow Gator and the band via their website: badtothebone.ca  and their Facebook Group Page.

Durham’s 1st Annual Rock Tribute Festival 
Saturday Sept, 16th (doors open 5pm)
General Sikorski Hall, 1551 Stevenson Rd N, Oshawa
Tickets are available from: www.ticketpro.ca 

Thanks to our media sponsor…..CKDO logo

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DEAD DOG RECORDS BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO TORONTO’S MUSIC RETAIL SCENE

Congratulations to Stephen, Maesy and Kristie on today’s grand opening of their DEAD DOG RECORDS store at 1209 Bloor St West (near Lansdowne subway stn)…what a great day it was for vinyl lovers and all things music! lgoFor years, I used to shop at a now-defunct big-name record store on Yonge just south of Bloor where all three worked, where Stephen would always manage to secure my hard-to-find requests for music and films – I was crestfallen when that store was closed down.  It was hinted that Maesy, Kristie and Stephen were planning to open their own store within a year and I was thrilled to learn last week that they had risen, phoenix-like, with this cool Dead Dog Records store in Bloordale.20150926_132639Jacquie, personal chef from www.chezJacquie.ca was out front (see above) offering homebaked cookies to all Dead Dog shoppers – now that’s how you launch a business: FREE FOOD!  And inside, the store was packed with keen vinyl fans as well as family and friends of the trio of owners. They even sell turntables…really good ones!20150926_133418

20150926_133625There’s something for every musical taste….20150926_133343 20150926_133354 20150926_133426 20150926_133443 20150926_133454…and I was thrilled to find some old friends from the late 70’s, early 80’s when I was a club kid. In fact, the late, great BB Gabor was a fixture at the various bars and clubs around town and I have cassettes recorded directly off the board from the recording sessions that resulted in this album. Who remembers…“nyet nyet Soviet…Soviet Jewellery..” ?20150926_133208And Vancouver’s Doug and the Slugs were awesome in the 80’s.  Remember the hit single “Too Bad”? I remember seeing the band live at the old Blue Note on Pears Ave.20150926_133317

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and a big favourite of all the store’s owners…Cash…Johnny Cash. Lots of great vintage albums here.20150926_133605Tons of great merchandise, too. I got a black Dead Dog Records t-shirt and a couple of pins so I’m looking fwd to being their walking billboard to promote this great new business that will benefit musicians and fans alike.20150926_132939 20150926_133502 20150926_133533Are you a movie fan? Well, you don’t have to rely on Netflix or your cable company to deliver your fave flicks…Dead Dog also sells great DVDs, many hard to find films that are never shown on digital or traditional TV channels. Come on down and browse…20150926_133619and if you’re a Sheldon or Wolowitz type of geek, well, Dead Dog has something for you, too!20150926_133756 20150926_133810I love discovering great new (or in this case, old) talent as I flip thru the bins and look what I found today…20150926_133839I think we should make Claude on a Cloud a hit all over again…let’s get on YouTube and find this guy. The world needs more Claude!!

So big congrats and thank-you to Dead Dog Records – we can’t wait to visit your in-store events, live music events & special promotions and hope that you become so successful that we have to call you Old Dog Records!

Maesy (left) & Kristie (right)

Maesy (left) & Kristie (right)

Stephen

Stephen

DEAD DOG RECORDS, 1209 Bloor St West, Toronto  T: 647-748-0748
www.Facebook.com/DeadDogRecordsTO
Instagram.deaddogrecords

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RON KORB DEBUTS “ASIA BEAUTY” CD WITH STANDING-ROOM-ONLY TORONTO CONCERT

Despite the heavy downpour, the Musideum in downtown Toronto held a packed audience as award-winning flautist and composer RON KORB unveiled his latest album, ASIA BEAUTY, accompanied by Lou Pomanti on piano and Linlin Wang on erhu.

Cover-2015(less green)With a stunning 36pg full-colour book of photographs attached, the 19 track (+ 2 bonus tracks) CD channels Ron’s experiences and inspirations from previous tours of China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan. His beautiful wife, Jade, took the photos which accompany Ron’s story behind each tune.

Asia Beauty 2The enthusiastic crowd of fans and media jammed into the humid and steamy performance space seemed entranced by each note. Everyone seemed to be taping the performance (below) which was also webcast around the world. Many favourable comments from excited fans in the US and Japan were received the next day.

20150707_202638 20150707_201138 20150707_212411After the concert, fans wanted photos with Ron (below) including Singaporean actor and singer Laurance Tan, jazz flautist Bill McBirnie (middle pic) and of course, the obligatory “band photo” (bottom pic) featuring Linlin Wang and Lou Pomanti flanking Ron.

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20150707_215231….and members of Flute Street (Toronto’s Professional Flute Choir) filmmaker Patrick Jenkins and Hong Kong designer Rita Ip (below with Ron)

20150707_193748 Rita Ip_RonIf you missed the concert last night, check out Ron’s website for CD purchase info or downloads: http://ronkorb.com/

20150707_193412Ron composed and produced the entire album, ably assisted by Gary Honess of Kuhl Muzik studio where most of the tunes were recorded and mixed, plus Ron Searles (Glenn Gould Studio at CBC), Paul Intson, Jeremy Darby (The Canterbury Music Company) and Phil Demetro of Lacquer Channel Mastering. Album design by Carolyn Quan. Financial assistance from FACTOR Canada. Thank you to Roger (sound) and Donald (Musideum) for making the concert possible.

 

 

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Award-winning Canadian composer/flautist RON KORB welcomes guests to studio meet-n-greet to celebrate new CD, Asia Beauty

Internationally renowned, award-winning composer and flautist RON KORB www.ronkorb.com was a very busy man last night! Earlier in the evening, he welcomed industry pro’s and media to a special recording session and meet’n’greet to promote his latest album, Asia Beauty, at KUHL MUZIK studios located in downtown Toronto, then later visited CIUT-FM radio for an interview with Nancy Bullis, host of “Howl!” (story pending) at 10pm.

20150623_165840First, Ron got things sync’d up with studio owner, Gary Honess (above), as his lovely wife Jade, laid out a spread fit for an emperor (below) featuring authentic Chinese Baozi from Markham, including cute panda cookies and a deelish green tea sponge roll cake.

20150623_165708 20150623_165712After managing the catering, Jade took a quick break (below) with Zhang Bo, husband of Yangqin virtuoso, Zhang Di, who recorded a few tracks with Ron (below, pics 2 + 3).

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20150623_171939 20150623_171910The local celebs arrived and took turns hangin’ with Gary at the board (it reminded me of the deck of the Enterprise…beam me up, Scotty!!). Here’s film director/writer Bobby Del Rio checking out the tech deck with Gary as Jade, in the background, hurries over with a plate of goodies. Bobby’s latest feature is The Market – check it out here: http://www.themarketmovie.com/

20150623_170543 20150623_170616More folks to greet including Margo Glatt & musician Aidan Mason (below) http://www.aidanmasonmusic.com/

20150623_182006…as well as Bill Evans (below) who sat down and started swapping music stories with Margo and Aidan.

20150623_182425Don Graham, musician and Cashbox Canada columnist (below, right), showed off his awesome tan thanks to his recent visit to MIDEM in Cannes, and chatted with studio intern Matt. www.cashboxcanada.ca 

20150623_174556Ron showed e-magazine publisher/writer Lise Watson (www.twasonline.com) around one of the studios (below)…..

20150623_174719…then he spent time being interviewed by KJ Mullins (below), publisher/writer of Newz4U one of Toronto’s leading online news sites. http://newz4u.net/ 

20150623_182355Ron, Zhang Di and Bill Evans performed two songs from Asia Beauty live that were professionally filmed in real time, which had everyone crowding around the monitors….

20150623_181224 20150623_181125Also hangin’ with Gary (below), here’s Meaghan Ritchat and Phil Demetro of Lacquer Channel Mastering http://lacquerchannel.com/

20150623_182414…and even I was the subject of some slick paparazzi….LOL!

20150623_165905Ron logged on to WeChat, China’s social media portal, saying hi to fans in Beijing and Shanghai with help from Sissi Chen of Novella magazine (below). www.novellamag.com 

20150623_174220Below, Gary helps set-up for the filming – the footage will be edited into music videos over the coming months.

20150623_174411 20150623_174324 20150623_174358A great evening…big thanks to Gary for his generous hospitality http://kuhlmuzik.com/ and to everyone who came out to support Ron’s event.

20150623_174736The public concert to launch Asia Beauty takes place 8pm Tues. July 7th at Musideum, located right above Kuhl Muzik at 401 Richmond St West (at Spadina) and you can purchase tickets via Ron’s website: http://ronkorb.com/asia-beauty-tickets   Space is limited so don’t wait too long to secure your seats.

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