Tag Archives: Billboard

Danny Michel Brings School Night Mondays To Crow

by Bill Monahan

Monday is the one night in the week when live music doesn’t happen.  When Danny Michel decided to rectify that six years ago at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto he was bucking conventional wisdom.

“Everybody said I was crazy,” he says, “nobody will come on a Monday.  It turned out to be the opposite.  People loved that there was something happening on a Monday.  But it was early so they could be home by around 9:30.  The other thing is that there was no competition.”

The first series he did at the Dakota sold out for eighteen weeks in a row.  He always invites friends to join him and his band.  The Dakota series included a who’s who of artists, including Sarah Harmer, Jim Cuddy, Ed Robertson, Tom Cochrane, Amelia Curran, and Royal Wood among others.

“It’s created for no other reason than for musicians, friends, to get together to play and enjoy it.  The rest of our lives is all stressful gigs that are about your career and trying to sell tickets.  I kind of missed that whole thing about getting together just to play for no reason.”

Danny Michel has a habit of thinking outside the box with his musical projects.  The empathetic nature of his songs mirrors a career that follows his heart.

Damon Fowler Has Earned A Big Reputation Among Guitarists

by Bill Monahan

Blues fans can find respite from the frigid winter weather this weekend, warming up to Southern Blues sounds of young blues phenom Damon Fowler, performing Saturday with his power trio at the Simcoe Street Theatre in Collingwood.

As a genre, authentic blues is in good hands these days with a cohort of young players who have the knack of infusing this venerated music with a respectful blend of its roots and personal feeling.  In this area just this past year, we’ve enjoyed exceptional blues from young artists Conor Gains and Jenie Thai, and now Damon Fowler brings another exciting performer to watch.

A Florida native, Fowler began playing guitar at the age of twelve.  One of his earliest influences was Jeff Healey.  He quickly developed a style that is equal parts tradition and originality, applying it to acoustic and electric guitar, dobro and lap steel, with an emphasis on slide work.  He began gigging as a support act and attracted enough notice that his first, self-released album was produced by Rick Derringer.

As a solo he opened for artists that included several blues legends such as Delbert McClinton, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Jeff Beck, and many more.  His reputation spread.

Sass Jordan Revisits Her Triumph Twenty-five Years Later

When Sass Jordan appears at Heartwood tonight it will be something more than just another concert.  She is touring as part of a celebration of an important milestone in her career, which she has found a way to re-create.

Twenty-five years ago her album “Racine” peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts with a style of swaggering rock that reflected the times and raw vocals that paved the way for artists like Allanah Myles and Amanda Marshall.  Now she has set the wayback machine to that moment again and brought it full circle by re-recording the entire album.  Touring to support the new/old album gives her a chance to reminisce with fans and rekindle some of that old magic. Billing it as “intimate and interactive”, she will engage the audience with stories between the songs and even take questions from the stage. The idea is to rekindle special memories for her fans.

Rather than create the re-creation with all of the technological tools that are available today, she respected the original enough to take an authentic approach.  She assembled a team of respected musicians and created a family atmosphere in a Calgary studio to “add additional depth and historical accuracy”.    It was a real band playing real music: Rudy Sarzo on bass, Brent Fitz on drums and percussion, Chris Caddell on guitars and Derek Sharp on guitars, keyboards and production.

“What you hear is what happened,” she says proudly, “no click tracks and no auto-tune. This record was made with great care and precision in order to be played LOUD and PROUD!!!!”