R.I.P. Chris Cornell 1964-2017

A moment of utter shock:  waking up on the morning of May 18 2017 to discover that Chris Cornell, the pipes behind Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog, has passed away at age 52.  One of the greatest (if not the greatest) set of lungs behind the grunge era is gone.

According to the BBC, Cornell played a concert with Soundgarden last night in Detroit.  His passing was “sudden and unexpected”.  The family is asking for privacy at this time.

What are your memories of Chris Cornell?  For us it’s the psychedelic and insane video for “Jesus Christ Pose”, a landmark of the grunge era and a showcase for his finest lead vocals.

R.I.P Chris Cornell.


STAR WARS: The Last Jedi – Teaser Trailer “Just Breathe”

“Reach out…what do you see?”

Balance has been a major theme in Star Wars stories of late, from The Force Awakens to Rebels. Looks like this will play out in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.


Set your hyperdrives to December 15 2017.

R.I.P. Paul O’Neill 1956-2017

There was a time when Paul O’Neill (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Savatage’s “sixth member”) was my favourite lyricist, period.  He did, after all, write the most emotional rock opera I’ve ever experienced (Streets, by Savatage).  More people are familiar with TSO than Savatage, but for me, the impact that Paul’s music had on my soul via Savatage cannot be measured.

Rest in peace.

NEWS: Canadian supergroup SHOWSHOE announce tour


Canadian supergroup SNOWSHOE is ready to rock the tundra this summer on the “ETERNAL WINTER” tour.

SNOWSHOE consist of the following legendary Canadian rock musicians:

BILLY SOL HUROK – Lead vocals, guitars
After two decades touring with what is considered the greatest Canadian grunge band of all time DIRTY SLUSH, Billy Sol is looking for new roads to plow. Expect Billy to perform lead vocals in his trademark style, often described as “a polar bear making sweet love to a caribou”.

IRVING COHEN – Lead vocals, bass
Controversial bassist known for his claims of being the illegitimate son of Leonard Cohen. Famous for his punk band DEAD BIRD ON A WIRE. Irv has spent the last decade and a half working for the Canadian post office in Alert, Nunavut. Pleading boredom, Irv is ready to put on his bass once more and heat up the Great White North with his bandmates in SNOWSHOE.

JOHN Y. SCHMENGE – Drums, vocals
Son of polka musicians, John was born in Churchill, Manitoba and learned to play drums by hitting rocks with sticks. This will be his first major tour after working as a starving drummer/house painter for over a decade. The critics rave: “Nobody can do a garage door like John can, in -10 degree weather plus wind chill.”

SNOWSHOE will be playing the following Canadian cities:

June 16 – Iqualuit, Nunavut – The Outhouse (limited seating available)
June 20 – Pond Inlet, Nunavut – The field across from the school (subject to change)
June 27 – Puvirnituq, Quebec – Puvirnituq Airport lounge
June 29 – Thunder Bay, Ontario ** ONLY ONTARIO DATE ** – Deke’s Palace (featuring opening act  INUKSHUK)
July 1 – Port Nelson, Manitoba – Special Canada Day celebration featuring jugglers and a puppet show – Downtown square
July 4 – Hines Creek, Alberta – Bob Neilson’s back yard (bring your own lawn chairs)
July 5 – High Prairie, Alberta – Big Jim’s Bar

Additional dates to be added per demand.

Be sure to catch SNOWSHOE as they prepare to release their debut album ETERNAL WINTER this fall. The thaw has begun!


R.I.P. Chuck Berry 1926-2017

Thank you for Rock and Roll.

R.I.P. Andre Arruda

2017 has taken another one of our local talents.  If you are a fan of Kenny Vs. Spenny, then you will remember Andre Arruda (episode:  “First One to Laugh Loses”).  You may have seen him in American Pie: Band Camp.  Andre was born and raised right here in Kitchener Ontario.  He was better known for his stand-up comedy and he worked hard to gain a cult following.  At 3’ 4” tall, he had to work to stand out, and he did.

Andre passed away January 28 2017 at age 33, of Morquio’s syndrome.  This is the same genetic disorder that hampered his growth.  His sense of humour was to always poke fun at himself before somebody else could, and it worked.  He made us look at life from his perspective, but let us laugh doing it.

R.I.P. Geoff Nicholls

2017 rolls on like a mini-2016.  The latest casualty is former Black Sabbath keyboardist Geoff Nicholls who was on every Sabbath album from Heaven and Hell (1980) to Forbidden (1995).  He played bass and sang when need be.  For that period of Sabbath’s history, he was the only stable member excluding Tony Iommi himself.  Geoff passed at age 68, after a battle with lung cancer.  He was rarely pictured with the four “main” Sabbath members, but he was more important than most of them.  Rest in Peace.

KATHRYN LADANO wins KW Arts Award – Music!

Congratulations to Kathryn Ladano for winning the Waterloo Region Arts Award in the Music category!

Check out a review of Kathryn’s latest album with her duo Stealth right here.

For more information, please go to

Way to go Kathryn!


RIP Paul MacLeod (1970-2016)


2016 has taken another precious musical genius, and this time it hurts even more, because Paul MacLeod was one of our own.

MacLeod was the local prodigy that joined Skydiggers and launched an impressive series of solo albums.  I’d heard lots of Paul’s music over the years but it was only a short while ago that Uncle Meat told me, “You have to get the CD by this band called Hibakusha.  They are the local Rush.”  So I did and he was right.  5/5 stars.  That was the first CD of Paul’s that I bought.

Paul was very close to a number of friends of mine, Uncle Meat in particular.  His heart is now broken, his dear friend gone.  Below is my favourite Paul MacLeod video. Recorded live in the downtown streets of Kitchener, “Down on the Street” is simply amazing.  There are many people here that miss Paul.  Rest in peace.

RIP Sir George Martin

A multi-site collaborative memorial.  

Boppinsblog tribute – Jeff Beck Blow By Blow album review

KeepsMeAlive tribute

1001 Albums tribute


Do you use social media?  If so, you probably know the same sinking feeling that I do.

You wake up in the morning and open your Facebook and/or Twitter.  Your feed is flooded with a certain musical artist.  “This was my favourite song of theirs…”, or “I still remember the first time I heard them.”

I knew this morning was one of those days when I saw Sir George Martin’s face, and heard tons of his music, all over my social media.  Another legend lost.  This time we can say he lived a long, fruitful life.  Sir George was 90.

Music writer Dale Sherman today highlighted that George Martin was the first real “modern” producer.  It was he who learned to push the recording studio to the limits.  He put his stamp on the songs, and was one of the first to do so.  They called him the “Fifth Beatle” and I think that is very true.  He was a collaborator, a teacher, and a genius.  Of course, he produced so many more bands than just the Beatles, but who will he always be identified with?  There is only one correct answer.

My personal favourite non-Beatles recording of his was Aerosmith’s cover of “Come Together”, and for the Beatles it would have to be “Tomorrow Never Knows”.  “Tomorrow Never Knows” was the most brilliant thing the Beatles ever did, sounding as modern today as it did in 1966.  Though it’s not the song that best represents the George/Beatles sound, I think this is their greatest achievement.

RIP, Sir George!