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  World Of Music

Edmonton, Canada

March 2006
(Edmonton, Canada)

Where DOES the time go? The elves here promise that there will be more frequent Newsletters than there have been - and there's LOTS to talk about, including a packed Spring release schedule. All that, and we're celebrating out 30th anniversary. Which, all modesty aside, seems utterly amazing to all of us here. Thirty years - who would have thought it! Please keep in touch. There'll be more from us in 10 days, including news of a special project with the great singer Eric Bibb. Holger Petersen ( President, a&r boss, and occasional office cleaner Stony Plain Records)


To mark Stony Plain's 30th anniversary, the label is releasing a special three-record set, with two CDs with 35 tracks from an astonishingly wide range of Stony Plain artists. The CDs include the first time release of a cut by legendary bluesman Robert Nighhawk, recorded in Toronto in the mid-'60s, as well as unreleased tracks by Jeff Healey & The Jazz Wizards, Billy Boy Arnold and King Biscuit Boy. The package also includes a DVD with never before seen footage of Jay McShann in the studio with Duke Robillard, a clip of label owner Holger Petersen telling how he label was started, and no less than 10 videos by Stony Plain artists. "30 Years of Stony Plain" will be released April 4 in Canada, and on May 16 in the United States (via Navarre Distribution), in the UK (via Proper), and in Europe through Rounder. April is being declared "Stony Plain Records Month" - with a variety of special concerts and events, and retail store promotions.


One of Duke Robillard's very best recordings, "Guitar Groove-a-Rama" (SPCD-1316) was released March 14 in the US (Canadian release was, as usual, a few weeks previously). Initial response has been terrific, and it's likely to take a high position on radio and sales charts. And while radio folk always like short tunes, a number of them are playing "Blues A Rama," a 16:11 track - cut live off the floor in a single take - in which Duke pays tribute to the styles of 10 of his guitar heroes. His recreations of the styles of artists from Muddy Waters to Lowell Fulsom are uncanny. Even more remarkably, they're all played on a single guitar, Duke's stock Les Paul.


Ace guitarist Jeff Healey - which continuing to perform occasionally as the Jeff Healey Blues Band - is an artist in career transition, following his heart and his passion for the classic jazz of the '20s and '30s. Jeff Healey & The Jazz Wizards' Stony Plain debut, "It's Tight Like That" will be released in Canada on March 28, and in the U.S. and Europe a month later, on April 25. It features the legendary British jazz trombonist Chris Barber on nine live tracks recorded at Hugh's Room in Toronto; the band is also heard on two cuts from an appearance at last year's Montreal International Jazz Festival. The formation of The Jazz Wizards was the culmination of Jeff's lifetime affection for early jazz - and many fans of his guitar work will be surprised that he leads the band on trumpet. They needn't worry, however - there is lots of his inventive, incisive guitar playing with the jazz band, made up of some of the best young players in Toronto. Jeff also sins on half a dozen numbers. His first CD for Stony Plain is a bright, fresh, up-tempo and swinging collection of great songs that give classic jazz the joyful energy that's kept the idiom alive since the tunes were originally recorded. The official "launch" the new CD will be held at Jeff's club, Healeys, in Toronto on Thursday April 13. Terra Hazelton, who sings on one track on the CD, will be the special guest - and Stony Plain's Holger Petersen will fly in from Edmonton to host the event.


Stony Plain will release a new Jay McShann CD, "Hootie Blues" (SPCD-1315), on March 28 in Canasda, and April 25 in the US and Europe. "Hootie Blues" is a smooth, easy, relaxed, and invigorating live album recorded in Toronto's Montreal Bistro, with the pianist and singer backed up by Jim Galloway (soprano and alto sax), Don Vickery (drums) and Rosemary Galloway (bass). McShann remains one of the great figures of jazz history - and a player who links the related worlds of jazz and the blues. This is his fourth album for Stony Plain - "Hootie's Jumpin' Blues" (SPCD-1237), "Still Jumpin' the Blues" (SPCD-1254) and "Goin' to Kansas City" all remain in the catalogue. Now 90 years old, he has great affection for Canada, and while he doesn't travel as frequently as he used to, he's coming back to the Montreal Bistro for three nights, May 3, 4 and 5.


Congratulations to Danny Marks, who was the winner of the Toronto Blues Society's "Blues With a Feeling" Lifetime Achievement Award. A fine guitarist, a one-time member of the Toronto band Edward Bear, Danny does a terrific weekly blues show on 91.1 JazzFM in Toronto. Next month, Holger Petersen, who hosts CBC Radio One's "Saturday Night Blues" hopes to be a guest on Danny's show - which means folk can hear the Stony Plain boss on two different shows, on two different stations, at the same time.


"Sweet Lovin' Ol' Soul" (SPCD-1304) has earned two more nominations for Maria at the 2006 Blues Music Awards (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards). The CD is up for Acoustic Album of the Year, and Maria is nominated as Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year. The Awards will be presented in Memphis on May 11, 2006. And before that happens, she'll help close off Stony Plain Records Month with dates in Toronto and Hamilton April 28 and 29.


* First of all , check out the new Stony Plain website: www.stonyplainrecords.com/Web
* Buy "product", check the back catalogue, read news from other recent newsletters, and more
* Send snail mail to us at P.O. Box 861, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2L8, Canada
* Call or FAX Stony Plain: PH: 780 468-6423. FAX: 780 465-8941.
* Talk to the big boss man, Holger Petersen, via the magic of e-mail: holger@stonyplainrecords.com
* If you want off this list or need any media information, review or airplay copies, etc, please let your 'umble editor know: rflohil@sympatico.ca We'll be sad if you leave this list, but we'll get over it in time.

June 2006
(Edmonton, Canada)

In addition to being ridiculously busy, everyone at Stony Plain is thrilled that both Corb Lund's albums are well on their way to achieving Gold status in Canada - we're already planning a celebration! We're proud as punch, too, of the Stony Plain debut of Jeff Healey - "It's Tight Like That" is getting wonderful reviews. And our newest release, "Praising Peace" is a wonderful tribute by Leon and Eric Bibb to the life and work of Paul Robeson. It's a very special CD - and seems to address the same issues and concerns and needs that Robeson himself did more than half a century ago. Humanity is STILL seeking peace; the songs on "Praising Peace" keep the hope alive. HOLGER PETERSEN ( President, a&r supervisor, and executive in charge of hanging pictures in the office Stony Plain Records).


"Praising Peace: A Tribute to Paul Robeson" - Leon and Eric Bibb (SPCD-1318). Father and son - Robeson's long-time friend and Robeson's godson - recall one of America's most significant musical figures.
"30 Years of Stony Plain" - Various artists. Two CDs, a fascinating DVD, and a special way to mark the label's 30th year. (SPCD-1317).
"It's Tight Like That" - Jeff Healey & The Jazz Wizards with special guest Chris Barber. Joyous and energetic jazz from the Wizards, fine trumpet and guitar work from Jeff, and sterling work from British trad jazz legend Chris Barber. (SPCD-1314).
"Hootie Blues" - Jay McShann. Sly, laid back and insouciant blues and jazz from the legendary Kansas City pianist and singer, who is still recalling the jazz history of a great American city. This is his fourth album for Stony Plain (SPCD-1315).
"Guitar Groove-a-Rama" - Duke Robillard. Terrific music for guitar fans, this is one of Duke's best-ever CDs. It contains his instant classic "Blues-a-Rama," a 16:11 track in which he reinterprets the sounds of 10 of the great blues guitarists (SPCD-1316).


Corb Lund's video for the title song of his second Stony Plain album, "Hair in My Eyes Like a Highland Steer" (SPCD-1309) remains in the #1 spot for the second week at CMT Canada. That's just one more sign of one of the most surprising Canadian music success stories of recent years. After winning a Juno Award for Solo Roots & Traditional Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, and Favourite Folk Artist/Group at the 6th annual Canadian Indie Awards, Corb made his movie debut. Lund and his band The Hurtin' Albertans are seen in "Slither," a horror picture that made its theatrical debut at the end of March. And, of course, Corb retains his title as one of the busiest road warriors of all time. In January Corb toured the UK with Chuck Prophet, returned shortly afterwards to do eight days with Josh Ritter in Ireland. After a flying trip to SXSW, he launched "Highland Steer" in the UK with eight shows in eight nights, ending with a packed show at London's premier roots music venue, The Borderline. After a quick trip to Halifax for the Junos and two dates in the Maritimes, Corn flew to Vancouver for a UBC college date with The New Pornographers, and then went to Australia for four shows in six nights, including the Byron Bay Roots Festival. Following a 10-day break at home, the band flew to Ireland for the Kilkenny Roots Festival and three weeks of dates in Ireland followed by his first dates in Germany and shows in Norway, Denmark and France. Now Corb's planning US and Canadian dates through to the end of July.

Corb's tour schedule: June 11 Bellows Falls, VT / June 13 12th & Porter, Nashville, TN / June 14 Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA / June 15 Star Bar, Atlanta. GA / June 16 Rhythm & Brews, Chattanooga, TN / June 17 Newby's, Memphis, TN / June 29 Kennedy Centre, Smithsonian Festival, Washington DC / July 1 Canada Dayy Celebration, Washgington DC / July 7 BluesFest, Ottawa, ON / July 8 Molson Ampitheatre, Toronto, ON / July 13 Stampede, Calgary, AB / July 14 Country Jamboree, Craven, SK / July 15 PeaceFest, Peace River, AB / July 28/30 Hillside Festival, Guelph, ON / July 29 Dresden Fair, Dresden, ON. Website: www.corblund.com


Paul Robeson was one of the most charismatic figures in American history. Born in 1898, his father an escaped slave, he earned fame - against the odds all African Americans faced - as scholar, athlete, public speaker, actor, activist and singer. The third black student in the history of Rutgers University, he earned a law degree at Columbia, appeared on Broadway, made 11 films, and his rich, deep voice made him a concert star in Britain, Europe, Russia, Australia and Africa as well as in the United States. In the late '40s he was named by the Senator Joe McCarthy's House Committee on Un-American Activities, and denied a passport by the State Department until1958. Among his many memorable achievements was his concert in May 1952, when - at the Peace Arch on the US-Canada border south of Vancouver - he sang for 40,000 from a flatbed truck, parked one foot on the American side of the border. This briefest of histories sets the background for "Praising Peace" (Stony Plain SPCD-1318) by the father and son team of Leon and Eric Bibb. Leon Bibb, now in his 80s and living in Vancouver, met Robeson in the 1950s, and they remained friends until Robeson's death in 1976; his son Eric - who now mostly lives and tours in Europe - is Robeson's godson. The album is a moving selection of songs, mostly recorded in Canada, with the father and son duo sharing songs old and new. Paul Robeson's voice is also heard; the title song is in the master's spirit and one can imagine him singing it. Spirituals like " and "Motherless Child" "Weepin' Mary" and "Home in That Rock" recall Robeson's concert repertoire, while "Joe Hill" reminds listeners of the late artist's activism. Paul Robeson Jr.'s sleeve notes sum up the album perfectly: "The tender and loving care with which Leon and Eric, through their imaginative interpretations, have contributed a sparkling fresh energy to my father's enduring musical legacy."


Jeff Healey & the Jazz Wizards: It's Tight Like That (SPCD-1314)
"Long before Jeff Healey burst onto the '80s blues-rock scene with an unorthodox
lap-steel-like approach to conventional guitar and a flair for radio-friendly pop songs like 'See the Light' and 'Angel Eyes,' he had a deep jones for 1920s and '30s jazz. "His first major release in that vein, a live recording with his eight-piece Wizards and British jazz revivalist/trombonist Chris Barber as his guest, takes Louis Armstrong's historic Hot Five recordings and Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club band as its swinging twin axis of influences. Sure, the results aren't ground-breaking, yet they're authentic and fun, thanks to spirited performances and a selection of mostly playful up-tempo chestnuts, including 'Sing You Sinners,' Georgia Tom Dorsey's suggestive title track, and Bessie Smith's 'Keep It to Yourself.' Barber's trombone solos are hale and raucous, but Healey's his own ringer, fretting elegant, classic guitar lines and pulling boisterous double duty on ebulliently squawking trumpet." - Ted Drosdowski on Amazon.com:

Duke Robillard: Guitar Groove-a-Rama (SPCD-1316)
"As the title implies, 'Guitar Groove-a-Rama' is a showcase for Duke Robillard and his guitar
collection. It allows him to both flex his chops in a variety of styles and display his impressive set of instruments - on the cover and in the grooves". "The album's 16-minute centerpiece, 'Blues-a-Rama,' is a magnificent vehicle for Robillard. He uses a standard slow blues to introduce and play licks in the style of about a dozen influential guitarists, from the usual suspects such as Buddy Guy and Freddie, Albert, and B.B. King to the slightly more obscure likes of Clarence Gatemouth Brown. That track, like this terrific album, is a mini history lesson in blues guitar that every lover of the genre will
enjoy and newcomers can use as a handy course." - Hal Horowitz on Amazon.com

Leon Bibb and Eric Bibb: Praising Peace: A tribute to Paul Robeson (SPCD-1318)
"Paul Robeson (1898-1976), a magnificently-voiced singer, actor and human rights activist, receives a glorious tribute on this album from his friend Leon Bibb, and Leon's son and Robeson's godson, the blues artist Eric Bibb. "Most of the album, including signature pieces like 'Joe Hill,' the powerful arrangement of 'Ol' Man River' and such traditional African American spirituals as 'Weepin' Mary' and 'Home In That Rock' are drawn from Robeson's repertoire. Robeson's recorded voice is briefly heard during Eric's poignant version of 'Deep River. "Most of these songs are sung solo by
either Leon, who remains in great voice at 84, or Eric. However they do a beautiful duet on 'Praising Peace,' one of four moving originals that draw their inspiration from Robeson. ****1/2 - Mike Regenstrief, Montreal Gazette

Jay McShann: Hootie Blues (SPCD-1315)
*Listeners will never suspect that the piano heard on this disc is being played by ten 90 year old fingers. Actually, they would be technically correct as Jay McShann was a mere 85 years old when he cut these tracks at The Montreal Bistro in Toronto in 2001. "McShann is probably the sole survivor of the heyday of Kansas City jazz which once included names like Count Basie, Ben Webster, Buster & Bennie Moten, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Mary Lou Williams, Dickie Wells and Buck Clayton. At 90, the legendary pianist continues to play for eager audiences hungry to hear his nimble fingers on the keyboard. "McShann obviously still enjoys playing and gladly shares the spotlight with the fine some of Canada's finest traditional musicians; Jim Galloway is considered a major player in North America. Blues broadcaster Holger Peterson conducts a great 24-minute interview with McShann on a bonus track. Both jazz and blues fans will enjoy McShann's latest album. It's a swinging session in every way. - Richard Bourcier, Jazz.com


Alberta music honoured by Smithsonian A tribute to the music of Alberta, to be released on June 27 by Smithsonian Folkways, will include no less than three tracks from the Stony Plain catalogue. The CD, titled "Alberta: Wild Roses, Northern Nights" is a companion piece to a special programme, Alberta at the Smithsonian, which is part of the 2006 Smithsonian Folklife Festive being held on Washington's National Mall June 30-July 4, and July 7-11. The opening track on the CD is "No Roads Here" from Corb Lund's first Stony Plain album, "Five Dollar Bill" (SPCD-1284), the closing track is Ian Tyson's classic version of "Four Strong Winds." Another Tyson cut on the CD is "Land of the Shining Mountains" from Songs From the Gravel Road (SPCD-1305). Other Alberta artists on the compilation include k.d. lang, Diamond Joe White and David Wilkie.

Ian Tyson: A special award Stony Plain's Ian Tyson will be presented with the Order of Excellence - the province of Alberta's highest honour - at a special ceremony on October 19. Meanwhile Tyson continues to alternate his live appearances with his day-to-day work running the Tyson Ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, south of Longview, Alberta.

His upcoming tour dates: June 13 Gryphon Theatre, Brooks, AB / June 14 Swift Current Composite High School, Swing Current, AB / June 15 Mae Wilson Theatre, Mosse Jaw, SK / June 17 Casino Regina, Regina, SK / July 1 Heritage Park, Calgary, AB / Aug. 5 Summerland Folk Festival, Summerland, BC / Aug. 6 The ACT, Maple Ridge, BC / Aug. 12 Daines Rodeo Rach, Innisfail, AB Aug. 19 Havelock Country Jamboree, Havelock, ON


* First of all , check out the new Stony Plain website: www.stonyplainrecords.com/web. Yes, of COURSE you can buy "product" hand-delivered to the Post Office by Stony Plain's hard working staff
* You can also check the back catalogue, read news from other recent newsletters, and check biographical material about ours artists.
* Write us a snail-mail letter to us at P.O. Box 861, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 2L8, Canada
* It's faster, if you can, to call or FAX Stony Plain: PH: 780 468-6423. FAX: 780 465-8941.
* Talk to the big boss man, Holger Petersen, via the magic of e-mail: holger@stonyplainrecords.com. (He's tall, that's all :)
* If you want off this list, or need any media information, review or airplay copies, etc., please let your 'umble editor know: rflohil@sympatico.ca or (416) 351-1323.
* We'll be sad if you leave this list, but we'll get over it in time.

Richard Flohil

Richard Flohil & Associates

60 McGill St., Toronto ON M5B 1H2
PH: 416 351 1323 FAX: 416 351-1095

E-MAIL: rflohil@sympatico.ca
Website: www.richardflohil.com

Richard Flohil

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