Corby's Orbit

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

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Have A Happy Monstrosa Year

 Monstrosa is one of a dozen great Canadian musical artists featured on the Corby's Orbit radio show calendar for 2021.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Review of a New Release: Braden Gates' Kitchen Days

The dignity of labour has been central to the folk music tradition forever, but it became politicized over class lines, by songs and artists that polarized worker versus administration conflicts. Besides Corin Raymond and Corb Lund, I can't recall many songs over the last while that promote the values of honest work.  

But Braden Gates has really made a coherent go of it with a whole new album of proletariat pride.


Work humbles. Time and energy are dissipated. We sacrifice our only innate resources to appease our financial needs, and to improve the world, in accordance with our talents or our abilities. “Though working it can be a drag / I find some peace of mind,” sings Braden Gates, temporarily transcending his diurnal concerns with the spirit of song.

Braden Gates spends his days in Edmonton, working. I've worked on and off as a dishwasher over the past few years,” he explains. “It offers a lot of time to reflect, especially if it is slow. This is when this villain of loneliness can be the most present. The best thing about writing songs is that the process can add meaning to any circumstance the writer desires. For me, it's the dish pit.”

He invites us into the kitchen’s backstage, into the pressurized steam room atmosphere and the regimen of robotic routines that correspond to what most of us have to endure in our daily labours. And he has spent his down time fashioning a fine new album, called Kitchen Days, for Borealis Records.

Drawing from the poignant and ironic sensations that occur throughout his working day, he focuses his lyrical imagination into a journal of character sketches, personal landscapes and after-hours confessions, sequenced in a refractory and episodic way, that spiral out from the nucleus of his job.

“I was inspired by a writer named Pete Jordan, known as Dishwasher Pete. He wrote about his quest to wash dishes in every state of America, and the result was his book, 'Dishwasher'. I was drawn to his depiction of the culture of the sud busters, their seemingly lackadaisical nature, which is inherent in me. That said, it can be hard work depending on how busy the restaurant is, and it's certainly not for everyone, getting down on all fours and unclogging the sink tubes after a busy Sunday brunch.’’

Braden’s formidable focus of conscience and care illuminate his portraits of characters from the restaurant milieu like dim Rembrandts. His subjects: an aging line cook who breaks into song when the work gets tough, a tattooed, omniscient waitress, a pool shark with anger management issues.

Their narratives are balanced on the record with high-spirited romps like “Norah Jones At Closing Time” and “Employee Of The Month” (galvanized by exuberant flautist Anh Phung), the comic recitation of “A Dishwasher’s Prayer”, and the melancholy nostalgia of “Lipstick On A Coffee Cup” and “Indecision”, which give Gates’ voice a chance to display its indigo ranges of expression.

There is even a snippet of voice mail from a supportive friend. With sequencing, I try to have different keys and tempos for each song. That's the basis of it. I've always loved odd bits in recordings and I thought the voicemail would be just that.”

His raucous fiddle and folk guitar playing are emancipatory, and this recording, by Harry Gregg in Edmonton, captures all of his performing intensity, recalling his breakout performance at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards in Ottawa, where he put the stage behind him and advanced on the audience. A rousing crew of supporting musicians, intimate in intention and muscular in execution, further stokes the sudsy energy.

And, fun fact: The grimy and faded, sepia-toned packaging of the record, so evocative of the tunes within, was designed by...Pharis Romero! Her long-time relationship with Borealis was the impetus for her involvement.

So by the final affirmation of “Dishin’ For The Lord”, the listener feels as if the day is done, and after the blessing of some quiet rest, another one very much the same will begin. You will find yourself reaching to press Repeat quite naturally.

And what’s coming up in Braden’s world? He responds, I just got a new muffler, so things are quiet.”

First published at:

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Playlist For Corby's Orbit Pre-Christmas Show of 18 December 2020 with Colleen Brown


Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Jolly Roles, Charity Duty & Giving Sprees )

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at iHeartradio  

Guest: Colleen Brown

Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

Click on photos to enlarge.

5:00 Yuletide Is High But I'm Holding On

Kelly Finnigan ~ The Miracle Is Here ~ A Joyful Sound NEW RELEASE

Christone Kingfish Ingram ~ The Ghost Of Christmas Past (Alligator) NEW RELEASE

* Bill Colgate ~ I Forgot That It Was Christmas ~ Cadre NEW RELEASE

* Q & A ~ The Strangest Christmas Ever ~ NEW RELEASE

Transglobal Underground ~ Tromba Marina ~ International Times

The Lettermen ~ Our Winter Love ~ Holiday Legends

Charlie Parker ~ White Christmas (King Kooba Remix) / 
Czechoslovakia Philharmonic Orchestra ~ Good King Wenceslas (Patrick Kouchian Remix) / Mahalia Jackson ~ Silent Night (46Bliss Remix) ~ Christmas Remixed

5:40 Quarantine-Agers

* Reggaddiction feat. Yanick ~ James Brown's Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto ~ NEW RELEASE

* Colleen Brown ~ What Do You Want For Christmas? / Interview / Isolation Situation The Garden / The End Of The World (Again) / Gentle ~ Isolation Songs NEW RELEASE

6:15 Perpetual Emotion

* George Crotty & The Visitors ~ Prayer Dance NEW RELEASE

  Tekno ~ Enjoy NEW RELEASE

* Fortunate Ones ~ Hold On To Christmas Day ~ 

* Jason Battacharya & Granny Smith ~ Delusions Of Grandeur NEW RELEASE

* Terra Spencer ~ Feels Like Home ~ Chasing Rabbits NEW RELEASE

* Leahy ~ O Come All Ye Faithful ~ NEW RELEASE

* Friggin' Arab Orchestra Company ~ Arab Ladies Sing Christmas Carols Written By Jews ~ NEW RELEASE

Skinner & Twitch ~ Dreaming Of A Safer Christmas ~ NEW RELEASE

The Rockin' Rebels ~ Having A Wild Weekend

Darlene Love ~ Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) ~ A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector

Amadou & Mariam ~ Mogo ~ Folila

Friday, December 18, 2020

Cosmic Music From Colleen Brown and New Christmas Releases Galore

 Today's show will feature large & lovely new seasonal songs and nuclear numbers by Leahy, George Crotty & The Visitors, Fortunate Ones, Q&A and the FAOC (FRIGGIN’ ARAB ORCHESTRA COMPANY) singing their new  ✨Single "Arab Ladies Sing Christmas Carols Written by Jews"

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Playlist For Corby`s Orbit Show of 11 December 2020

 Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

( Brought to you by Trance & Dental Meditainment, Convoluted Infolution & Avalanchualities )

5-7 p.m. Fridays online and at iHeartradio  

Canadians in Asterisk’d RED. 

Click on photos to enlarge.

5:00 Nocturnal Memos

* Justin Paladino Band ~ Honey ~ Live

Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite ~ West Helena Blue ~ 100 Years Of Blues (Alligator) NEW RELEASE

* Layla Zoe ~ Pray ~ Nowhere Left To Go NEW RELEASE

* The Smoke Wagon Blues Band ~ Mescaline ~ The Ballad Of Albert Johnson

* Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar ~ Meet Me In The Morning ~ The Reckless One NEW RELEASE

Sugar Pie DeSanto ~ Going Back here I Belong ~ Down In The Basement (Chess 1959)

Danny Gatton & The Fat Boys ~ After Hours ~ American Music (1975)

Commissioned & The Clark Sister ~ Lift Up Your Head All Ye Gates ~ Handel`s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration (Reprise 1992)

* Cootes Paradise ~ Until The Rain Stops ~ Downstream NEW RELEASE

  paintings by Kim Dorland

5:45 Electroblue Scoot


* Griffith Hiltz Trio ~ Roberta`s Quest ~ Arcade NEW RELEASE

Warsaw Village Band ~ Skip Funk ~ Infinity (2010)

* Alex Bird ~ Baby I`ll Have You ~ Whisky Kisses NEW RELEASE

* Big Little Lions ~ Turn It Off ~ Singles 2020 NEW RELEASE

* Shaye Zadravec ~ Biloxi ~ Now And Then NEW RELEASE

* Pharis & Jason Romero ~ Old Chatelaine ~ Bet On Love NEW RELEASE

* Colleen Brown ~ Isolation Stimulation  listen here .. Isolation Songs  NEW RELEASE

6:15 Curated Cures 

* Jesse Ryan feat. Joanna Majoko ~ The Way ~ Bridges NEW RELEASE

  Jeri Brown ~ Billy Preston`s Will It Go Round In Circles ~ New Wonderland

* Laura Smith ~ It`s A Personal Thing ~ As Long As I`m Dreaming NEW RELEASE

* Joe Nolan ~ How I Used To Be ~ Drifters

* Andy Shauf ~ 13 Years ~ The Neon Skyline

* Sarah MacDougall ~ Out Of This Blue ~ Home For The Holidays 2 (Arts & Crafts) NEW RELEASE

The Yardbirds ~ A Certain Girl / The Who ~ Cut My Hair / Booker T. & Yim Yames ~ Progress ~ Mojo`s Road To Quadrophenia

6:45 Heavy Beauty

Reading : Jack Gilbert`s A Brief For The Defense from ``Refusing Heaven``*

Aswad ~ Day By Day ~ Rise And Shine - Again! 

Baaba Maal feat. Ernie Ranglin ~ Koni ~ Live At The Royal Festival Hall

A Brief For The Defense 

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. 

The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.

We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered caf├ęs and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Music For The Orbital Family

 Photo by Mehgan Pawlett

All refreshing music today something old, something blues, something cosmic, something to amuse. And a poem.

Tune up and  listen in today from 5 - 7 pm  Corby, Orbitally

  on Radio Regent, out of Regent Park Toronto.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Music That Helped Us Orbit Above It All - The Best Of 2020

Picture based upon an illustration by Jean Yves Lemoigne

I must admit that Taylor Swift sure made a nifty album this year, but so many artists were given the time to work intensely on their craft, it is no surprise that almost every one of them was raising the bar to new levels of perfection and new styles of achievement. Here are my favourite and most memorable albums of 2020, amongst many others:

*Canadian Artists in Red

 Nathan Smith 

          Let It Rest Let It Rise

 Soul Motivators    

           Do The Damn Thing

 Robert Lee feat. Mingjia                                 Ascension

 Sarah Harmer   Are You Gone

 100 Mile House   

                      Love And Leave You


 Songs Of Tales   Life Is A Gong Show

 Matty Stecks & Musical Tramps  Long Time Ago Rumble

 Harrow Fair   Sins We Made

 Clara Engel    

             Hatching Under The Stars

 Kari van der Kloot  The Architects


 Dion       Blues With Friends

 Sherman Downey    New Beautiful

 Sarah Jarosz  

      World Gone To Ground

 Truths & Rights 1981  

            Time For Us To Unite

 Julian Taylor     The Ridge


 The Smoke Wagon Blues Band

       The Ballad of Albert Johnson

 Lynn Miles   We’ll Look For Stars

 John Finley    Soul Singer

 Emilyn Stam & John David Williams


 Mario Romano 

                 The Journey So Far


 Manteca      The Twelfth Of Never

 Rae Spoon       Mental Health

 Paul Reddick     Live In Italia

 Dione Taylor   Spirits In The Water

 Al Qahwa       African Routes


 Rick Fines   

           Solar Powered Too

 The Barrel Boys    Mainline

 Will Boness   Change of Plans

 Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar

          The Reckless One

 Braden Gates  Kitchen Days     ________________

 Braids       Shadow Offering

 Colleen Brown   

                  Isolation Songs

 Rose Cousins   Bravado

 Pharis & Jason Romero 

                         Bet On Love

Kelly Finnigan  A Joyful Sound 


 Rebecca Hennessy   

   All The Little Things You Do

 Shaye Zadravec    

                   Now And Then

 Joe Nolan      Drifters

 Crystal Shawanda    

           Church House Blues

 Chelsea Stewart    

               Forever Your Girl


Mike McKenna Jr.  

    At The Edge Of The World

 Wheel It Studios Vol. 2   

          Parallel Intersections

 Alex Bird & The Jazz  

     Mavericks  Whisky Kisses

 Dan Pitt   Monochrome

 Justin Saladino Band  LIVE


The Griffith Hiltz Trio  Arcade

Terra Lightfoot Consider The Speed

Tamar Ilana & Ventanas 


 Angela Turone & Chris Platt

               Sounds Of Brazil

 Lynn Harrison   

               Something More


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominees Rife with Orbiteers



Congratulations to friends of the Orbit who have just been

 nominated for Canadian Folk Music Awards: 

The Barrel Boys, Pharis & Jason Romero, Lynn Miles, 

Emilyn Stam & John David Williams, Julian Taylor, 

OKAN, Sarah Jane Scouten, 

Coco Love Alcorn, Mike McKenna Jr., 

Moscow Apartment, Dayna Manning, 

Aviva Chernick, Gordon Grdina 


Big Little Lions.