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Ellen McIlwaine is still playing the blues – with a ...

  “I’m just so excited about what I got in the mail today! It’s pretty, and it’s blue, and it’s shaped like a maple leaf,” Ellen McIlwaine exclaimed. She has just come from her mailbox in Calgary, her home for ...
Concert review

Toronto’s unsung musical heroes pay tribute to Pete Otis

  The avenue known as The Danforth has become the nexus of east-end Toronto’s musical culture and heritage, and the Black Swan Tavern has evolved into its unlikely headquarters, thanks primarily to a series of tribute shows held there over ...
Concert review

Titans of Toronto Reggae – Mar. 2 at the Opera ...

In the late 60s, thanks to the addition of a provision to the Immigration Act by Mr. Trudeau senior, Jamaican-born workers and professionals who had already emigrated to Toronto were able to invite their families to join them in Canada. ...
Concert review

How Winterfolk XVII helped Paul Corby get through another winter ...

A rousing carousel of song spun everything from simple roots folk to visceral blues scorchers past an audience of musical tourists this past weekend on the upper east bank of Toronto’s Don River. For the seventeenth consecutive year, the Winterfolk ...
Feature

Folk Alliance: how Twin Flames’ video and Tanya Tagaq’s ...

The cultural media is focusing attention this year on the arrival of what Jeremy Dutcher called the “Indigenous Renaissance” during his acceptance speech at the Polaris Music Prize, a polar vortex of critical and creative affirmation from the maligned hearts ...
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Folk Alliance: Corby contemplates its circus-like atmosphere

Picture something between a circus and a tornado.  But with banjos.  Merrily it coalesced.  The Friday night Folk Alliance was in town.  Instead of jugglers, lanky lads and lasses in po’boy caps, vests and loud pants hung with fretted instruments ...
Feature

Folk Alliance: The revolution will not be translated; Corby ...

Gather round folkish hearts. A freedom fire is burning in mid Montreal. As Haiti exercised its right to riot and R. Kelly’s and Ryan Adam’s ears caught fire in a blaze of sexual scandal, the folk guard refreshed the law ...
Concert review

Folk Alliance: Dispatches from the Wednesday night showcases

401 white-outs and grounded flights be damned, the Folk Alliance conference kicked off Wednesday with a few absent friends, but evidently no frost on the festive folks who had made it into the 2019 host venue, Montreal’s famous Fairmont Hotel. ...
Concert review

The Maple Blues Awards, Feb. 4 at Koerner Hall, Toronto

The blues takes its time. It will tell you things twice to make sure you feel them. Then it will send a soul tremor straight to your heart. Blue hours spent are, for better or worse, true hours, even though, ...
Feature

Sympathetic Resonances: The Al Purdy Songbook and Doug Paisley’s Starter ...

From Dante Alighieri to William Carlos Williams, any time that the casual vernacular of a country’s people has invaded its national poetic tradition under the banner of a singular revolutionary and relevant artist, a liberation of language takes place, the ...