Corby's Orbit

Corby's Orbit
Listening in All the High Places illustration by John Kricfalusi

Saturday, December 16, 2017

CFMA's Gala 2017 Night 1: Formidable Canadian Folk Perform As Awards Come Tumbling Down

Even the concrete at your feet in Ottawa holds the legacy of our songwriting heritage.

A huge sampling of the most talented musicians in Canada came to Ottawa in November, re-invigorating and exemplifying the tradition of virtuosic songcraft that we celebrate every year with the presentation of the Canadian Folk Music Awards. This year, performances by nominees were interspersed with official recognitions of excellence in eighteen categories.

On two consecutive nights, Newfoundland musician / curator  Jean Hewson and the perennially feisty and congenial Benoit Bourque were  the proprietors of the crowd's attentions at the Bronson Center as a dozen acts and two impromptus demonstrated the Olympic levels of musicianship and articulation of emotion that thrive in our land, despite indifferent media coverage and a largely homemade infrastructure.

Straight out of the gate, a news flash: MAZ has a new electronista keyboard player and they are still serving up their robust trad rhythm shots.


Twin Flames brought Inuk / Mohawk / Metis patterns and registers to garnish their intricate folk - rock.

Beyond The Pale inundated the audience with virtuosic ensemble work and breath-taking solos in a panoramic Eurofolk dosage from their unique Ruckus album.

Recipient of this year's Unsung Hero Award, for his deep involvement with Newfoundland culture, affable and merry Gerry Strong treated us to a medley of his favourite tunes. Accompanied by our nimble hostess Jean Hewson, he took his pennywhistle manipulations to Nascar levels of tight cornering, breakneck shifting and near-suicidal all-outs on the  straightaways.
After a schmooze - intensive intermission, brought to a head by the estimable hospitality of Beau's Lugtread, Montreal alt folk sensation BEYRIES and her hearty band of one multi-instrumentalist played a tightly arranged set of intense balladry.

Nuevo soca ensemble Kobo Town brought a rich rhythmic thrill and revived the hip joints of the crowd with a showcase of selections from Where The Galleon Sank, which won them the World Group Of The Year prize soon afterward.

A hard act to follow, but multiple winner for the evening, Danny Michel, gave us a rousing finale. With only a rocking Gibson to wield, he immersed the whole venue in his cheerful overflow of good spirits and some major twang. 
Standout songs were Click Click and Nobody Rules You


A concept to end the night with a singalong of a great song by Small Glories pretty much failed because the phrasing of the lyrics was so very slippery to grasp, 
even with preparation.
Either of Danny's songs, for example, might better serve for the choice next year.
Overwhelming night of music, though, expertly sequenced and eloquently presented.
Apres tout, Thank-you-merci. 

Photos (mostly) by Leonard Poole

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Playlist For Show Of 8 December

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

(Brought to you by Ample Fires, Beasts Of Burning and Cinders Of Gravity ) 

Guests: Suzy Wilde, Alison & Lisa of The Dirty Dishes

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 Heavy Deeps

+ Donne Roberts ~ Sing Along With Me ~ Internation

* The Achromatics ~ Moctezuma ll ~ Give Me That Beat NEW DISK~ @ The Black Swan for Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival Preview Saturday

Abdullah Ibrahim ~ The Perfumed Garden Wet With Rain ~ Africa - Tears And Laughter (1979) ~ @ Koerner Hall 21 April 2018

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan remixed by Belly Sagoo ~ Dum Dum Ali Ali ~ Magic Touch

5:20 That Was Now

The Allman Brothers Band ~ Southbound ~ Gold ~ Eat A Peach Tribute To The Allman Brothers @ Lee's palace Saturday

The Black Keys ~ Dearest ~ Rave On ~ The Buddy Holly Story 12-14 December @ Bathurst St. Theatre

Irma Thomas ~ May Every Day Be Christmas ~ Holidays Rule

Aaron Nathan & Michael G. Ronstadt ~ The Strength To Not Fight Back ~ Hang On For The Ride NEW DISK

Ron Sexsmith ~ Only Trouble Is ~ The Last Rider ~ @ Massey Hall Saturday

* Kim Beggs ~ On Christmas Time ~ NEW SONG

5:45 Torque Wise

Lorde ~ Perfect Places ~ Melodrama

* So Long Seven ~ No Jazz For Elvis ~ Kala Kalo NEW DISK

The Souljazz Orchestra ~ StateTerrorism ~ Manifesto ~ @ Velvet Underground tonight

6:00 Home Plates

* The Dirty Dishes ~ Midnight Fire / Interview / Rocky Top (live) / Frankie & Johnny (live) / Paris For Christmas NEW SONG

6:30 Feminine Infinity

* Andrea Menard ~ Four Directions Prayer ~ Lift ~ @ Lula Lounge Wednesday 13 December for Songbirds & Nightingales Of Turtle Island

* Meaghan Smith ~ A Little Love ~ The Cricket Quartet EP

* Piper Hayes ~ Big Red ~ Piper & Carson NEW DISK @ The Black Swan for Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival Preview Saturday

6:45 Afrostructures

Jimmy Smith (December 8, 1925 – February 8, 2005) with Kenny Burrell~ Fever ~ Blue Bash

* D. D. Jackson ~ For Monk sake ~ Peace Song ~ @ Living Arts Center Saturday for Oscar Peterson and Oliver Jones: A Celebration

Invisible Pair Of Hands ~ Sloppy ~ Disparation / Toronto Music Listings

* The Willows ~ What Are You Waiting For ~ Tea For Three ~ @ Jazz Bistro tonight & @ Lula Lounge Sunday for Daily Bread Food Bank Benefit We Sing For Their Supper

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Minor Empire Brings The Grandeur To Hugh's Room Live

Ozgu and Ozan, aka Minor Empire, brought their heat to  a chilly December Toronto as they unleashed 
their new CD.
 Uprooted is full of poetic 
remedies and reflections for a troubled planet.
Alternately hushed and turbulent,
the musicians rose in waves of ethereal groove and remedial passion throughout the evening.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Playlist For Show Of 1 December

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

(Brought to you by Alien Chameleons, Harmonica Monocles and Incipient Municipalities ) 

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 Blue Aggregates

Muddy Waters ~ All Aboard ~ Fathers & Sons ~ Tribute To Muddy & Wolf @ Hugh's Room Live Saturday

*Jack DeKeyser ~ We Go Together ~ Blues Thing ~ @ Hugh's Room live for A Tribute To Muddy waters & Howlin Wolf Saturday

* Ken Dunn ~ Crawl On Back ~ Wondrous Beauty NEW DISK

* The Do Good Badlies ~ Bless Your Heart ~ Electric Nights ~ @ Bovine Sex Club Saturday

* Jim Byrnes ~ Weak Brain, Narrow Mind ~ Long Hot Summer Days 

Little Feat ~ Feats Don't Fail Me Now ~ Feats Don't Fail Me Now

5:20 Wild Brim Hat

Tears For Fears (Afterlife Mix) ~ Mad World ~ Best Of Cafe Del Mar

* Annie Sumi ~ Evaporating Life ~ In The Unknown NEW DISK

* The O'Pears ~ Quiet Now ~ Single ~ @ Burdock Saturday 6:30 p.m. NEW SONG

* Catherine Durand ~ Toit De Pierre ~ La Pluie Entre Nous NEW DISK

Groovender ~ Rivers Of Change ~ Mysteries Of Funk 

5:40 Globility Bells

* Minor Empire ~ Yurtsuz~ Uprooted NEW DISK ~ @ Hugh's Room Live Wednesday 6 December

* Turkwaz ~ The Nest Among The Roses ~ Nazar ~ @ The Aga Khan Museum Saturday

* Heavy Bell ~ Time For Such A Word ~ By Grand Central Station NEW DISK

* Steve Bell ~ Good Friend ~ Kindness ~ @ Little Trinity Anglican Church For Advent Celebration

6:00 The Ascending Past

Kate Bush ~ Joanni ~ Aerial 

Solange ~ 6 O'Clock Blues ~ Cadillac Records Sdtrk.

Mary Mary ~ Joy ~ Thankful

* Maestro Fresh Wes ~ T.O. Icons ~ Coach Fresh  NEW DISK

6:20 Tizzy Signals

Eddie Palmieri ~ Slowvisor ~ Palmas ~ @ Flato Markham Theatre tonight

Dean Martin ~ The Christmas Blues ~ Season's Greetings

* Jim Carrey ~ I Am The Walrus ~ George Martin's In My Life

* The Wilderness Of Manitoba ~ Dead End Eyes ~ Across The Dark NEW DISK

6:40 Coolminations

* Tanya Philipovich ~ I Heart Cindy ~ Paper Boats ~ @ The Old Nick Monday 4 December

* Jacob Gorzhaltsan ~ Jolly Man In A Can ~ Fly Softly @ Burdock Right Now! + Toronto Music Listings

* Kim Stockwood ~ Ron Hynes's The St. John's Waltz ~ Back To The Water | " Danforth Music Hall Sunday 3 p.m. for Riverdale Share 25th Anniversary Concert

* Rawlins Cross ~ Long Have We Travelled ~ Rock Steady NEW DISK

Friday, December 1, 2017

Endless Sky: Hacking-fest In The Tiki Room

                                            Glen Hornblast with Absent Friend

At the Tranzac's Tiki Room last night, old friends and fans were gathered together, ten years after his passing and set up an empty chair in the corner by the piano, with ample space for our absent host, Norm Hacking. Under the spotlight, a few dozen congregants played and sang, testified, recited and reminisced, while that corner chair radiated the approval of a benign spirit. 

Go Down Dancin  photo by D. Hynes

The night was a revisitation of the song circle known as Norm's Living Room, a long-standing residency twenty years back, when up and coming folk singers, song writers and weekend warblers had their chance to prove their poetry in public. On the wall, in the room where it all began, was a portrait strikingly similar to Syd, Norm's orange cat, and the hero and villain of many of his songs. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Lorne photo by D. Hynes

Starting with singalongs on Sammy and Shine, and a warm memorial by Michael Katz, the night then got drastically dynamic with a gang assault, led by Lorne, on Go Down Dancin. That opened the gates for performances from Norm's repertoire by Howard Gladstone, Glen Hornblast and Steve Paul Simms. Tributes were also presented in song, including Jim McCuaig`s fingerstyle hommageBrian Gladstone's original, Norm's Living Room, new music from a soon-to-be released record by Linda Saslove, an amazing storm front of harmonica virtuosity by Harpin Norm Lucien, the gregarious growl of Michael Laderoute, and in prose by Norm's stalwart, erstwhile manager, Shirley Gibson

        Steve Paul Simms
Harpin Norm Lucien with portrait of Syd
Linda Saslove with Steve Paul Simms
Noah Zacharin

Those in attendance found themselves warmly reminded of the ambiance and electricity of Toronto's shared music community, and of the conviviality that Norm would bring to those nights long ago. 

It was one person short of a great party.

                       Corby, Shirley Gibson Michael Laderoute and Howard Gladstone

Photo by Mary Trudeau

Friday, November 24, 2017

Playlist For Show Of 24 November

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

(Brought to you by Albino Binoculars, Alien Chameleons and Abstract Stratocasters) 

Guests: Braden Gates, Kevin Breit & Chelsea McBride of the Achromatics

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

5:00 A Jazzillion Colours

Jon Hendricks (September 16, 1921 – November 22, 2017) ~ Sing, Sing, Sing ~ Freddie Freeloader (Denon 1990)

* Monica Chapman ~ Orange Coloured Sky ~ Small World ~ @ The Old Mill Saturday 7:30

D'Gary ~ Atahora Fabiby ~ Africa: Colours Of The World

* Lisa Muswagon ~ Northern Lights Are Dancing ~ Buffalo And Rabbits ~ CFMA Nominee for Aboriginal Songwriter Of The Year

* Kobo Town ~ Karachi Burning Down ~ Where The Galleon Sank ~ CFMA World Group Of The Year

5:20 Indulgent Effulgence

* Beyries ~ Wondering ~ Landing ~ CFMA Nominee Solo Artist Of The Year

* Braden Gates ~ Prelude / Shape I'm In / Perfect Shade Of Blue / Interview / Much Rather Be Sleeping ~ Much Rather Be Sleeping NEW DISK ~ CFMA Nominee New Emerging Artist Of The Year

George Harrison  (25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001) ~ Isn't It A Pity ~ Live In Japan (Ganga 1993)

* Bruce T. Carroll feat. Nicole Alifante ~ Hurt You Instead ~ Ruckus And Romance NEW DISK

6:00 Revelry and Reverie

* Colin Stetson feat. Sarah Neufeld ~ Spindrift ~ All This I Do For Glory NEW DISK

* Kevin Breit ~ Chevy Casanova / I Got 'Em Too / Interview with Johnny Goldtooth / One Mo Bo / Dr. Lee Van Cleef ~ Johnny Goldtooth And The Chevy Casanovas NEW DISK ~ CD Release @ Lula Lounge Sunday

6:30 Nocturnal Convivialists

* The Commotions ~ Good Enough ~ Volume ll NEW DISK ~ CD Release @ Babylon Nightclub Ottawa Friday 1 December

* The Achromatics ~ Alien From A Strange Nation / Interview with Chelsea McBride / Give Me That Beat ~ Give Me That Beat NEW DISK~ CD Release at Hugh's Room Live Wednesday 29 November

Dean Parks ~ Respect ~ Tribute To Otis Redding (JVC 1989) / Toronto Music Listings

* Nancy White ~
Norm Hacking's Last Dance With The Bully God ~ One Voice: A Tribute To Norm Hacking ~ Endless Sky: A ten year memorial to the passing of Norm @ The Tranzac Tiki Room this Thursday, 30 November 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Valerie June ~ If And ~ The Order Of Time ~ @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre Sunday, February 11, 2018


Flamboyant Folk, Giant Guitar and Flexy Ferocity Flaming Through Today's Orbit

Edmonton's Braden Gates got large and loose at the Canadian Folk Awards last weekend. Mid-set, he dragged his chair out of the cage of microphones to the proscenium frontier, teetered towards the audience with singalong challenges and spacey patter, and sat the room right in his lap to play them some songs. He's in town now and will be expanding exponentially in the Orbit today at 5:30, with fiddle and guitar and tracks from his album Much Rather Be Sleeping.

 With a new album of hot and earthy carnival-rock guitar that calls up a mid-summer midnight midway, shape shifting guitar avatar Kevin Breit is back in his new persona as Johnny Goldtooth and The Chevy Casanovas.
Kevin will be in Orbit at 6:00 and presenting Johnny Goldtooth at Lula Lounge
 this Sunday 
the 26th
 at 8 p.m. 

Admission: $15 Dinner reservations guarantee seating. Please call 416.588.0307 

And at the fulcrum of Toronto R&B flex, a new and tightly packed band of devotees to the groove arises ~ The Achromatics. 

They have an unequivocal imperative to deliver: Give Me The Beat, and it will be served next Wednesday at west end dance palace Hugh's Room Live with big horns and greasy B3 trimmings. Burning up the Orbit at 6:30 live.