Corby's Orbit

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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Orbiting Around The Lula World

Today is the beginning of one of Toronto`s great annual sound smorgasboards: Lulaworld at Lula Lounge

Two of the most exciting acts on the schedule are visiting the Orbit this Friday.  

With the release of her new disk Animaaward-winning Valeria Matzner presents her rich voice in a world-jazz fusion setting. In tunes co-written with her masterful pianist Scott Metcalfe, and inspired by her upbringing in Uruguay, she sets her spirit aloft and free. At 5:15 we will have a chance to sample some tracks ahead of her showcase next Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Then, at 6 p.m., profound manifester of  complex mandolin compositions and co-founder of The Creaking Tree String Quartet and The Foggy Hogtown Boys, Andrew Collins beams in to preview Tongue & Groove, a new disk by his trio, featuring Mike Mezzatesta and James McEleney. They construct brave combinations of bluegrass, folk, jazz, classical and swing. They are at Lula on Sunday, June 10th.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Young Novelists Release In City & Country Live In Toronto This Thursday

  From the outside, the new record by The Young Novelists, In City & Country, is a lyrical investigation of small town Ontario life and its (in)compatibility with the perpetual, peripheral option of the big-city escape hatch.  However, through the complex motivations that web these songs, and the architecture of bandshells and old churches, lit by intently melancholy chordal twists, a fearful suspension of volition becomes the tonal center and conflict point of the album. Indecision unites the crises of this bucolic, often gothic collection of characters and narrators. Open-ended. Evocative.

  Literate head novelistas, Graydon James and Laura Spink, have been working on this project “since almost before the last album (2015’s well-regarded and award-winning made us strangers).” They first had the impetus for it in 2014. A Canada Council Grant put the idea into action. “It’s been really interesting just to talk with people about these stories, finding out lots of interesting things, each unique to its own place. It’s pretty applicable to everyplace you go.” says Graydon.

   “Ridgway (the subject of Back To The Hard Times) has probably about 1200 people living there, down on the shores of Lake Erie. There used to be the Crystal Beach Amusement Park from the late 1800’s til 1989. It was called the Coney Island of Buffalo –a couple of roller coasters, Glenn Miller Orchestra in the Crystal Beach Ballroom. Now there`s nothing but a breakwater. At some point it didn`t work anymore and then what do people do?”


there's a broken bike in our backyard / shouldn't have to be so hard / worrying at that scar is gonna leave a mark /
cold sand on the beach & cold stars, out of reach you're trying out your speech as the days turn dark
~ Back To The Hard Times
   Something’s building up: the tension between holding onto the past with one hand and trying to reach into the future with the other becomes a tangible ache.  Problems defying analysis spark the song titles: “Don’t Wait”, “Now’s The Time” and “I Moved On” advise expedience and boldness, while the helpless ennui of “All Alone” and “Living Without A Sound” singe the heart with their hard consequences.
Reconciliation for these lost voices is ultimately realized within the organically lush sound of the group’s SoCal-grade harmonies: they arch like parallel lines etched in infinity, evoking the poignance that the lyrics often understate.

Laura, Simon & Graydon at Radio Regent

   James’ reserved Jackson Browne-tinted delivery supports Spink’s earnest emotional resonance unilaterally and then flowers like incense flumes in the duets, and occasional sublime four-part passages. Subtle bends in the songs’ trajectories keep the backgrounds episodic: engorged with a furious buzz and burr (reminiscent of Neil Young’s White Falcon guitar) one minute, and reduced to a night bird note or two the next.

  “(Guitarist) John Law takes the most vague ideas I throw at him,” says Graydon, “like"make it really rock!" or "something like a sonic tapestry" and he makes up these solos. He has a really great knack for exceeding my expectations.” The progression on this disk from folk-roots to folk-rock will pose a challenge to some of their audience. ``You`d be surprised how many people don`t like drums,``smirks Spink.

    Outstanding summer jam ``Come Round Again`` will certainly magnetize more new fans for the Novelists, and their core audience of new-folk bro`s and bae`s, sprinkled with Mariposa elders who delight in the band`s relevance to the Coldplay generation, will be throbbed out by the intensified social scope of their songwriting.

  The predicaments they are encapsulating are of the moment, extending across the societal boundaries that separate city and country. When you climb inside the music, it summons a quiet remembrance of your early memories of a moaning church organ. Or is it the thrum an alien cruiser? And how will it all end?   

Find out as The Young Novelists bring In City & Country live to Toronto this week.

Thu 8 PM · 
Toronto, ON

Thu 8 PM · 
Guelph, ON

Thu 8 PM UTC-03 · 
Fredericton, NB

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Playlist For Show Of 18 May

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

(Brought to you by Lighter Fluence, Luster & Relish, and Audio Radiance)

Guests: Pharis RomeroErnie Tollar(sax/bansuri/ney), Demetri Petsalakis (oud/guitar) and Ravi Naimpally(tabla) of Near East 

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 
Click on photos to enlarge.

5:00 Sounding Up

* Mojah ~ Nyabinghi Sounds ~ On Moruga Road 

Papo Vasquez ~ Baila Plena ~ No Categories 2: A Ubiquity Compilation

* Puentes Brothers ~ Love Crazy ~ Morumba Cubana 

Stefflon Don ~ 16 Shots ~ Belated Mom's Day

5:20 Pharis The Eye Can See

* Pharis & Jason Romero ~ Age Old Dream / You Are A Shining Light / The Salesman / Interview with Pharis Romero ~ Sweet Old Religion NEW DISK

5:40  Out To The Breakwall

* The Young Novelists ~ It Gets A Little Lonely ~ In City & Country NEW DISK ~ @ The Tranzac for CD Release Thursday 24 May

* Madison Violet ~ Small Of My Heart ~  No Fool For Trying ~ @ Acoustic Harvest Saturday

* Moscow Apartment ~ The Things You Do ~ @ Burdock tonight

* Julie Doiron ~ Explain ~ Loneliest In The Morning 

Robin Williamson ~ On No Work Of Words ~ The Seed At Zero ( ECM 2000 )

* Lindi Ortega ~ The Comeback Kid ~ Liberty NEW DISK

6:00 Plectra and Larynxes

* Ivan Rosenberg ~ Old Vatseznoots ~ The Littlest Dobro ~ @ The  Local Sunday 5 p.m.

John Scofield ~ I Can't Get No Satisfaction ~ This Is That ( Emarcy 2007 )

The Persuasions ~ Up On The Roof / Rockapella & True Image ~ Under The Boardwalk ~ Sing Toronto Festival May 23 - June 3

6:20 Near Eastern Development

* Near East ~ Muzafir / Interview with Near East / Caravan 
( live ) ~ Near East NEW DISK~ CD launch @ Small World Music Center Saturday 

6:40 Behind The Beyond

Dionne Warwick ~ Promises, Promises (Dedicated to Kathleen, Doug & Andrea) ~ The Dionne Warwick Collection

The Dells ~ I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself ~ The Dells Sing Dionne Warwick's Greatest Hits 

Jewels & Binoculars ~ Bob Dylan's Things Have Changed ~ Floater ( Bob Dylan's 77th Birthday Party @ Hugh's Room Live Wednesday & @ The Dakota Tavern Thursday )

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Far Pharis and Near East

Pharis & Jason Romero have thrilled and mesmerized audiences over many years with a melodic and instrumental blend of sounds from the higher altitudes. Radiating out of their mountain home, where they build the instruments that they play, the healing qualities of their music are at work again on Sweet Old Religion, a new collection of all-original tunes, out today.

 Calling in from over the Rockies at 5:30, we will get a chance to hear from Pharis what they have in store for the summer, and to listen to a few samples of the new music, which you can also hear here: The Fretboard Journal

Near East are very excited about their upcoming CD and vinyl launch at the Small World Music Centre on Saturday May 19. So much so that they will be Orbiting live on Radio Regent Friday at 6:00 Join Ernie Tollar (sax/bansuri/ney), Demetri Petsalakis (oud/guitar) and Ravi Naimpally (tabla) for some live sounds that will actually appear so much closer than they are.

The launch will also feature guests Tamer Pinarbasi (qanun) and Majd Sekkar (clarinet). Remember to buy tickets in advance from 

Doors open 7:30PM / Show 8PM
Tickets $20 Advance / $25 Door

Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: The Re-jigging of Dan MacDonald’s Cape Breton Fiddle


Out of the thousand or so of the MacDonalds living on Cape Breton Island, probably only half of them are fiddlers. Dan MacDonald settled in Toronto “for the duration” sixteen years ago, so now there is one less. But they do proliferate. And thrive. “My father was a fiddle player and my grandfather, and my older brother Sean, so we sort of had no choice about it,” says Dan, who began his professional life by touring internationally with his family band, Scumalash, as a boy.

  Since his arrival, Dan`s mastery of his instrument`s vocabulary and a lifetime of teaching and absorbing, as well as his easy-going style, have proved to be a unifying force, not only for Toronto`s Cape Breton community, but also for the widespread Scottish and Irish folk that gather in town at Dora Keough`s, the Bow & Arrow and everywhere “from Scarborough to Port Credit and beyond.”

 “There’s an Irish session in Toronto almost every day of the week. But the Cape Breton thing is, we don’t really have regular sessions.where we play together. People play on their own because we’re so spread out. But there was plenty of Irish, so you end up learning scads of Irish. Plus they’re a very welcoming community.” His trio, North Atlantic Drift finds regular work providing celtic music to club residencies and ceilidhs.
His new solo record, Rural / Urban, (at and iTunes) is a document of the mushrooming of his musical and personal purview over these past years in Ontario. It works the resonance of the tradition handed down from his father into a vivid confluence with new sensations that he’s drawn from cities the world round. Having travelled through a dozen countries since leaving home at eighteen, Dan’s experiences have added a new skyline to his heritage sounds.

   “It’s meant to be a record of everything that I’ve encountered musically and stylistically, and the people - mostly the people - that I’ve encountered and played with over the years, especially people in Toronto.” As a result, many of the titles given to the medleys on the disk are the names of famous fiddlers, mostly with Cape Breton lineage.  The album is totally acoustic and altogether airy-sounding. Although Ed Woodsworth brings the double bass into play on three tunes, especially the driving Carl and Michael Coleman - inspired piece, most of the low end is sustained by the pianist`s left hand and the occasional cello. There are also all kinds of MacDonalds in evidence throughout.

  The record opens with a series of classic pieces blended into sets in the parlour-to-kitchen tradition, with piano and guitar, or strings alone. Dan alternates between the lilt that brings the Cape Breton fiddle such a superb protestant dignity and the furious flurries and gruff backbeat of the dance repertoire as he digs into the back end, the “frog”, of the bow. He ramps up the piquance with his astute addition of Cameroon √©migr√© and teacher, Njacko Backo, on kalimba for two tracks, with conga drum accompaniment. “Njacko and I were teaching up at Algoma Trad, up near Sault Ste.-Marie. We really like the same type of ideas with music and I tried my best to learn his music, and I kept thinking that I’d love to teach him some of mine. He’s an intense guy, he’s got a lot of music in there. So I went over to his house and we learned an E minor Irish jig for the record.”

  Newfoundland’s virtuoso guitar player Duane Andrews also shows up on E Flats, a swinging hornpipe with an interval-hopping melody, and there are flavourful bouzouki and highland bagpipe dressings provided on a few tunes by bandmates Brian Taheny and Ross Griffiths as well. Album closer Scottish Aires summons the lonesome shoreline of shale and Atlantic salt that separates Scotland and Cape Breton Island, but also unites them. It’s some sweet all together.

  You can find Dan MacDonald playing every first and third Thursday of the month at the Brogue Inn in Port Credit.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Playlist for Show of 4 May with Lindi Ortega and Bobby Dove

Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

(Brought to you by Mariachi Machinations,Techno Tequilas & Remexicos)

Guests: Lindi Ortega and Bobby Dove

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at .  
Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 
Click on photos to enlarge.

5:00 Life, Lindi, & The Pursuit of Happiness

* Lindi Ortega
~ Liberty / Gracias A La Vida / Interview ~ Liberty NEW DISK ~ @ The Mod Club Wednesday 9 May 

5:15 Extemporaneous Perpendicularities

Shabba Ranks ~ Mothers & Fathers ~ Positive Reggae

Born Jamericans ~ Where We Comin' From ~ Positive Reggae

Najava ~ Apasimahebo ~ Uhuru: Rhythms Of The World 

5:30 See Thee Ride

* Kathleen Edwards ~ Oh Canada ~ Asking For Flowers ~ @ Massey Hall tonight

* Spiral Beach ~ Made Of Stone ~ Bonus! EP

* The Young Novelists ~ Come Round Again ~ In City & Country NEW DISK ~ CD Release @ The Tranzac Thursday 24 May 

* Carole Pope ~ Dream 6 Serious Mix ~ Transcend: The Remixes ~ @ Hugh's Room Live Wednesday 9 May

The Who ~ Fortune Teller ~ Live At Leeds

5:45 War, Maybe Murder

* Bruce Cockburn ~ What About The Bond ~ Humans ~ @ Massey Hall Saturday

* Tony Quarrington feat. Roger Clown ~ Sweet Emma Gee NEW DISK ~ For King & Country ~ @ St. Andrews Church Saturday 7:30

6:00 Bobby Dove Conquers All

* Bobby Dove ~ Another Doggone Day / Interview / Gridlock ~ Thunderchild ~ @ The Local Saturday 12 May 
Bobby Dove at Winterfolk 2018 with Burke Carroll 

6:15 Laughs But Not Least

Mitch Hedberg ~  Beds and Appliances ~ Mitch All Together

Richard & Mimi Farina ~ Miles / Children Of Darkness ~ Celebrations For A Grey Day

P.M. Dawn ~ You Got Me Floating ~ Stone Free: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix

6:30 Digging In The Stax

Otis Redding ~ Just One More Day / The Mar-Keys ~ Grab This Thing (Part 1) / Booker T. & The MG'~ Be My Lady / Eddie Floyd ~ Things Get Better ~ The Complete Stax/Volt Singles ~ Soulsville~ The Music Of STAX @ Hugh s Room Live Saturday

6:40 Improvocatives

* John Stetch & Vulneraville ~ Oscar's Blue Green Algebra / ~ The Vancouver Concert

* Cafe Con Pan ~ El Trumbo ~ Mexican Folk Music from the State Of Veracruz ~ Cinqo De Mayo Saturday / Celebrar Mexico @ Yonge Dundas Square Saturday 12 May

Bomba Estereo ~ Pa'ti ~ Blow Up 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Canadian Country Music Icons Incarnate

Longing and the lonesome life are the emotional textures that translate so well into the sob of steel guitar slide and the luxuriant ache of country singing.

Orbit will be joined today by two of Canada's best in the western style: Lindi Ortega will be calling in from Montreal at 5:00; she is at the Mod Club this coming Wednesday the 9th, and Montreal's Bobby Dove at 6:00, who will be crooning for the swooners at The Local on Saturday the 12th, with David Baxter and Galen Pelley.

Yes, there will be twang.

Corby's Orbit can now be heard on these 15+ free mobile apps: TuneinSimple RadioInternet Radio Player - ShoutCastTop Radio ShoutCastShoutCast LiteShoutPlayerRadio OnlineRadio.netRadioGuide.FMPCRadioXiiaLiveWorld FM RadioRadio AirRadioFMRadio Garden