Corby's Orbit

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

Friday, December 31, 2021

Playlist for 2021 - 2022 New Year's Best of Then

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.
– T.S. Eliot

mmissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

5-7 p.m. Fridays online

(Brought to you by Event Orisons, Chants Encounters & Invocational Training )

* Tara Kannangara ~ This Is Nothing Yet ~ It's Not Mine Anymore (Theme from Corby's Orbit)

Intro / Jhelisa ~ Story Of A Musician's Madness ~ Language Electric 

* Wheel-It Studios (feat. Sishais, Tracey Kayy, Nathan Baya, Mystro, Txnic, Lyrical Flips, YsBrazzy, Savilion, Beny Esguerra) ~ Ride It Out ~ Ride It Out: Wheel It Studios VOL 3 NEW RELEASE 

* Aline Morales ~ Rejeitou ~ Toadas De Norte NEW RELEASE

* The Fretless feat. Lady Phyl ~ Wondering Where The Lions Are ~ Open House

* Dana Sipos ~ Light Around The Body ~ The Astral Plane  

Jungle ~ Keep Moving ~ Loving In Stereo

* The Human Rights ~ Working ~ Reggae Strong 

Cassandra Jenkins ~ Hard Drive ~ An Overview Of Phenomenal Nature

5:30 * Celeigh Cardinal ~ The Tragically Hip's Ahead By A Century

* Big Little Lions ~ Only A Friend Like You ~ The Singles

* Ronley Teper ~ Crazy Times ~ Everyone Loves A Good Story

* Bobby Dove ~ Early Morning Funeral ~ Hopeless Romantic ~ @ The Horseshoe Tavern Wednesday, 24 November

* The Halluci-Nation ~ Stay ~ Another Saturday Night 
* Sammy Duke ~ Fly Away Child 

* Prince Enoki feat. Jocelyn Barth ~ Impossible 

Hiatus Kaiyote ~ Get Sun ~ Mood Valiant

* Maria and The Band ~ Gina ~ Meu Interior NEW RELEASE

* Emma Cook ~ Fight Left In Me ~ Fight Left In Me 

* Kaitlin Thatcher ~ Moving On

* Rich Aucoin ~ Walls Remix ~ United States

* Joni NehRita ~ Where We Belong ~ Love & Protest

* Broke Fuse ~ Strawberry Moon ~ Rocket Ride

* Jane Mathew ~ No One ~ Such Perfect Lives

* Isaac Murdoch & Matt Epp ~ Indian Song ~ You Were Chosen To Be Here

* The Bubbles ~ Six Feet Closer

* The Weather Station ~ Atlantic ~ Ignorance
* Tush ~ Fantast ~ Chrysalis

* Sarah Jerrom ~ Plastic Stuff ~ Dream Logic

* June Garber ~ He Never Mentioned Love ~ Off The Carousel 

* Alex Cuba ~ I Think Of You ~ Mendo

* Shawna Caspi ~ Celebrate ~ Hurricane Coming  

* Dano Chase ~ Closing Remarks / All The New Days ~ All The New Days

Friday, December 24, 2021

With Music Intent Upon Orbital Merriment


Commissioner of Selection: Paul Corby 

5-7 p.m. Fridays online

Podcast Available At: 

(Brought to you by Tinsel Sensations, Fairy-light Conversations and The Path Of Wreathed Resistance)
Painted illustrations by Anton Pieck

5:00: The Sounding Joy

* John Newberry & April Verch ~ Intro / Uncle John And The Christmas Miracle ~ On This Christmas Day NEW RELEASE

* The Good Lovelies ~ Another Year To Wait ~ Under The Mistletoe 

Cocteau Twins ~ Winter Wonderland ~ Tis The Season

Joe Diffie ~ Magazine Angels ~ Mr. Christmas 

Laura Nyro ~ Christmas In My Soul ~ Christmas & The Beads Or Sweat 

* Emm Gryner ~ What Fighters Do ~ Torrential 

Billie Holiday ~ I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm ~ Verve Christmas Remixed 

5:30 Heaven & Nature Sing

New Found Glory ~ Nothing For Christmas ~ December's Here  NEW RELEASE

The Fretless feat. Nuela Charles ~ Stay ~ Open House  NEW RELEASE

* Meaghan Smith ~ Little Drummer Boy ~ It Snowed!

John Fahey ~ O Little Town Of Bethlehem ~ The John Fahey Christmas Album

* Bahamas ~ Christmas Must Be Tonight ~ Tis The Season

* Christine Weir ~ Mull Of Kintyre ~ Death Be Not Proud! EP  NEW RELEASE

* Sonia Johnson ~ C'est L'hiver De Vivaldi ~ Airs Givrés  NEW RELEASE

The Roches ~ Good King Wenceslas ~ 'Tis The Season

Teddy Thompson ~ Christmas ~ Single

6:00 Men Their Songs Employ

Bob Dylan ~ Christmas Island ~ Christmas In The Heart

* FAOC (FRIGGIN’ ARAB ORCHESTRA COMPANY) ~ Arab Ladies Sing Christmas Carols Written By Jews 

* Purple Joe ~ Driving Gloves ~ Single  NEW RELEASE

* Brandon Isaak ~ All I Want For Christmas Is To Swing ~ Modern Primitive

* Bob Jensen & Tony McManus ~ The Real Santa ~ The Silver Wren  NEW RELEASE

Shawn Colvin ~ Rocking ~ Holiday Songs & Lullabies 

* OX ~ Christmas In The Jailhouse ~ 
Silent Night & Other Cowboy Songs

* The Art Of Time Ensemble feat. Gregory Hoskins ~ Jane Siberry's Calling All Angels ~ Ain't Got Long  NEW RELEASE

Judy Collins ~ Come Rejoice ~ Christmas At The Biltmore East

6:30 Truth & Grace

Cee Lo Green feat. Straight No Chaser ~ You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch ~ Cee-lo's Magic Moment

* Norm Hacking ~ You Have To Look A Little Harder ~ Live At Scarborough College 1973

* Bowfire ~ Happy Christmas / War Is Over ~ Holiday Heartstrings 

* Ranee Lee & Oliver Jones ~ What Child Is This ~ A Celebration In Time 

* The Mike Goudreau Band & Dany Roy ~ Let It Snow ~ Christmas Rendez-Vous  NEW RELEASE

* TANDM ~ Warm Me Up ~ Single  NEW RELEASE

* Mallory Chipman ~ Different This Christmas ~  Single  NEW RELEASE

Sir Michael Caine & The Muppets ~ Thankful Heart ~ A Muppet Christmas Carol

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Though It Doesn't Show Signs Of Stopping, The Orbit's GotTunes A-Popping

Seasonal  songs, uniquely curated, with an ear to current Canadian releases, and specially selected versions of your favourite holiday classics, free of chat, the perfect soundtrack for the dinner-hour prep time and the pre-drink ramp-up to the most wonderful night of the year.

Please join us from 5-7pm on Radio Regent

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Revelations Of The Blues At The Women's Blues Revue, Toronto 2021

     Photos by Leonard Poole & Paul Corby

You know, sometimes some of these blues guys can sound like they’re running a salvage job on a bygone spirit, brassy and cold, like a Viagra version of lust, and not unlike the effect of taking a day job option on that most pernicious practice of human slavery, which tragically motivated the original Black growl of America’s most unique art form.

Last Friday night at Roy Thomson Hall, there was no chasing of ghosts. The true blues held sway, with female authority, striding up in heels and earrings, and lighting a musical bonfire on the chilliest night so far this year. In a packed house of masked patrons of the art, nine musicians and six unique vocal stylists paraded their talent, teamwork and true soul.

After the All-Star Band, under the direction of veteran saxophonist Colleen Allen (right) warmed up with a reveille-styled take on “Little Liza Jane,” Mistress of Ceremonies Taborah Johnson (above left), arriving in off-black, focussed the casual confidence of her half-century of professional T.O. experience on welcoming us all with the charm of a 22-year-old girl. The glamour quotient escalated steeply with Meghan Parnell’s entrance (left) in a silver-sequined gown and persimmon coif.

She swooned and soared through several tunes taken from her band
Bywater Call’s repertoire. With their new album waiting on the tarmac, we are likely to have a lot more opportunity to hear Meghan’s blazing vocals in the coming year.

Tabby returned to introduce Halifax‘s
Reeny Smith (right) with three concise words: ”Girl can SAAANG?” In a tailored grey suit (with matching fingernails), displaying a Maritime level of charisma and a Whitney-wise voice, she opened up wide and soon had the audience fully charged and howling back at her. The 25-year-old powerhouse jolted a fresh current through the band and took over the stage most majestically. She was by turns heartsick and triumphant, scouring each lyric ‘til it shone with her talent. Vibes were definitely continuing to accelerate.

What else could follow Reeny’s arcing electricity but a long, tall vision in a ruched vintage gown and a Cleopatra do, slinking in out of stage right? This was the much-anticipated Elise LeGrow. Her edgy voice with its core of cool lifted the band into a state of floating omniscience and elicited some serrated
 soloing from the string section (guitarists Emily Burgess (right)  and Suzie Vinnickon her song “Drinking In The Day.” With a fresh new album, entitled Grateful, already burgeoning on podcasts and worldwide DJ playlists, her choice to feature original selections from it instead of her impressive backlog of blues covers spoke to the smartly progressive vector of the evening’s programming.

We had to retire collectively for a bit then, to the swag table and the bar, to discuss and purchase our newest musical crushes. We returned to find a refreshed Ms. Johnson, transformed, courtesy of a fuzzy comb-out and an angelic gown, into a silvered seraph.
During her opening medley of “Come Sunday,” and her elegiac original “Someone’s Gone,” she edged up to Suzie Vinnick back at stage left and asked, “Who is gone Suzie?” She replied sombrely, “Ellen McIlwaine is gone…” 
The house stilled for a moment. The revered slide player who had won the career-crowning Blues With A Feeling Award at the 2019 Maple Blues Awards ceremony succumbed, suddenly, to cancer this past June.

 An emotional concord was now flowing through the audience as Tabby introduced soul songstress Quisha Wint,(below) who summoned the band’s considerable vocal talent to sing harmony backup on Etta James’ euphoric classic “Something’s Got A Hold On Me.”

She paused to remember her own absent friend, Hayden Neale, with whom she had last shared that same stage, performing with his band Jacksoul. And then, with her 2012 composition “Black Shoes,” she stoked up a renewed, personal ambience, committing to the churchy mystique of the moment, and opened up the huge richness of her voice, which was in turn gilded by the chanting of the musicians behind her. Then, fully supported by an audience clap-along under blue house lights, she introduced subtle modern nuances to reawaken the sincerity of Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Feels To Be Free.”

With a blown-away audience facing her, show closer Dawn Tyler Watson (above) had to step up her game with all of the guts, intimacy and personality that won her the Entertainer of the Year prize at the last Maple Blues Awards. First, she relaxed the audience by confessing her Montrealer’s love for Toronto, then she revved up the horn section (Colleen Allen, Maria Goudy, Carrie Chestnutt and Elena Kapeleris) with some trading of eights, fours and twos,

and finally she initiated a tacit agreement with the rhythm section of Morgan Doctor, Lily Sazz and Carlie Howell, who had been giving support far above code all night, to groove even deeper and hotter, 
maintaining a particular rapport with the drummer. Her rousing original, a refutation of body-shaming called “I Look Good” brought matters to a steady bubble, but she set the juice
boiling over on “Feels Good,” which deserved at least some aisle dancing if not a complete masks-off bacchanal…but hey – it`s been a while.

When the whole crew returned to reprise “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” everyone seemed to be at high tide, with Meghan Parnell, especially, rising dramatically to the occasion, buoying a collective panoramic spectrum out past the freezing indigo night and into our warm blue memories.

Originally published at

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

My 1500th Blog Post. Repeat of Last Weeks Show with Vince Fontaine Today.





An Orbital Attitude of Gratitude


This is the 1500th post in my blog, which has run regularly, in tandem with my Toronto-based music show, Corby’s Orbit, since January 2010, at first on CKLN.FM, then on Radio Regent out of Regent Park and now in syndication on Blues & Roots Radio.


I really need to acknowledge the help and encouragement I have gotten from all the artists that the show has brought me into contact with. The admin at all the stations have been admirably rigorous with keeping the show on the air, and the publicists who have shared their connections and passions for new Canadian music with me, and my enthusiastic audience who have provided the kinetic energy at the heart of the show. 


A complete list would be an impossibility, but as a quick reminder to myself, I’d like to include thanks to the following heroes of radio, and the rest of you must know my appreciative feelings: Tim May, Daniel Vandervoort, Amil Delic, Tyrone McLean-Wilson, Pat Whittaker, Adonis, Ron Gaskin, Gary Topp, Beverly Kreller, Ken Beattie, Eric Alper, Sebastian Cook, Jay Cleary, Jane Harbury, Sarah French, Beth Cavanagh, Emily Smart at Six Shooter, Kimberly Sinclair, Bob Jensen, Ernesto Cervini at Orange Grove, Cortney Harkin, Laurie Lockhart, Gary Kendall, Heather Kitching, Jason Schneider, Bill Garrett, Sarah Devon Gardiner, Richard Flohil, Jen Eisner, Melanie Brulee, Joanne Smale, Michael Clifton, Cliff Booker, Greg Lawson, and Adrian & Erdine Hope.


Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Brightest Heights - Best New Music Of 2021

Bright Heights - Best New Music Of 2021
WOW what mix of heart, spirit and playfulness sprouted this 
harvest of  marvels in a world that was supposed to be withering
under climate and plague catastrophes?
American (and Australian!!!) progressive R&B 
is still welcome to slip in over the radar,
but it was mostly Canadians of all inclinations and inspirations 
ruling the Orbital earspace.


Amanda Tosoff    Earth Voices


The Fretless   Open House


Tonya P      Concrete Rose


Maria Dunn    Joyful Banner Blazing


Joni Nehrita        Love + Protest



Brad Sucks       

                A New Low In Hi Fi


The Human Rights   

                     Reggae Strong


Spellling  The Turning Wheel


Leon Bridges    

                Gold Diggers Sound


Boy Golden   

        Church Of Better Daze



Sarah Jerrom       Dream Logic


Tune Town        Entering Utopia


Speech          Expansion


Jon Batiste    We Are 


Sonia Aimy    Reconnect



Matt Patershuk      An Honest Effort


The Dub Chronicles  Simba (Return To The Throne)


Beny Esguerra & Wheel-It Studios vol.2&3


Allison Russell    Outside Child


Emma Cook             Fight Left In Me



Dana Sipos    The Astral Plane


Brandon Isaak      Modern Primitive


Hiatus Kaiyote        Mood Valiant


Endrick & The Sandwiches     Sunny Soul


Gary Breit      Colour Wheel



 Rob Lutes     Come Along


Code Quartet    Genealogy

 Roddy Ellias feat. Kellylee Evans 

                Not This Room


Curtis Andrews   The Offering of....


Broke Fuse       Rocket Ride



Adam Young    Yearbook


Jon Gordon   

          Stranger Than Fiction


The Halluci Nation    

   One More Saturday Night


Ronley Teper & The Lipliners  

 Everyone Loves A Good Story


Beth McKenna   

                       Beyond Here



 Dano Chase      

       All The New Days

 Jane Mathew  

          Such Perfect Lives

 Dawn Richard  Second Line

 Alessia Cara     

             In The Meantime

 Indian City     Code Red


Valerie June   

   The Moon And Stars:

    Prescriptions For Dreamers


Mike Goudreau Band

                & Dany Roy

       Christmas Rendez-Vous


Aline Morales 

                  Toadas De Norte


Jocelyn Barth   

          Tell Him I Said Hello


SATE    The Fool


Sonia Johnson - Airs Givrés


The Weather Station   



Alex Cuba       Mendo


Jaffa Road     Until When


Elise LeGrow    Grateful