June 30

Wide Mouth Mason

Wide Mouth Mason

Biography

Wide Mouth Mason is a Canadian blues-based rock band, consisting of Shaun Verreault (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Safwan Javed (Percussion, Backing Vocals), and Gordie Johnson (Bass, Backing Vocals). Former bassist Earl Pereira was also co-founder of Wide Mouth Mason. The band hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and has been active since 1995.

The band has released 6 albums, which have yielded such hit singles as “Midnight Rain”, “My Old Self”, “Why”, “Smile” and “Change”. Wide Mouth Mason’s newest release is entitled No Bad Days (July 12, 2011).

Years of heavy tour schedules allowed Wide Mouth Mason to share the stage with groups such as The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, AC/DC, and The Guess Who. They have performed twice at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland (which resulted in the acclaimed 2009 DVD/CD release “Live! Montreux, Switzerland”). In 2002 Wide Mouth Mason became one of the first North American rock bands to tour China in the 21st century. They have achieved multiple Gold records and have numerous Juno nominations under their belt.

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July 1

CANADA DAY’S HAMILTON HOMEGROWN SPECIAL
GOLD RECORD ARTISTS

The Shakers

The Shakers

Biography

You can’t get more Hamilton than The Shakers, four guys from West Hamilton who turned heads and turned up the volume in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Forged from the very best of Hamilton stock, cousins Dave (Rave) and Claude Deroches made music in the family tradition, locking down the familial groove and patterns that laid a solid cornerstone. Hooking up with Ric (The Mayor) Andrew in the mid seventies, Dave and Ric immediately recognized the synergy and harmonies that emerged, blending the country, blues and early rock n roll with the emerging aggressive and oh-so-danceable style that they and fellow Steel Town stalwarts Teenage Head owned so completely. Guitar slinger Tim Gibbons, all too aware of the talent and verve displayed by this burgeoning group, gladly assumed the guitar duties that Gordie Lewis had subbed in for and voila!, the greatest flash bang of the decade was born. The Shakers have had the privilege to be produced by the likes of Daniel Lanois (Self and U2) and Jack Richardson (Guess Who, Alice Cooper).  Scoring multiple radio charts and packing houses across the land, The Shakers burned hot and bright for half a decade, eventually going their separate ways, each a force in the music business for years to come.

Crowbar

Crowbar

Biography

Crowbar was a Canadian rock band based in Hamilton, Ontario, best known for their 1971 hit “Oh, What a Feeling”.  From 1969 to 1970, most of the members of the group had been a backup band for Ronnie Hawkins under the name “And Many Others”. However, in early 1970, he fired them, saying “You guys are so crazy that you could fuck up a crowbar in three seconds!” They recorded their first album in 1970, called Official Music, as King Biscuit Boy and Crowbar. King Biscuit Boy left the band later in 1970, but continued to appear off and on, as a guest performer.  In 1971, the band recorded a performance at Massey Hall, in Toronto, which was released as a double album, Larger than Life (And Live’r than You’ve Ever Been). The concert, billed as “An Evening of Love With Daffodil Records” was co-produced by concert promoter Martin Onrot and Toronto radio station CHUM-FM. A number of guests appeared with Crowbar at Massey Hall, including members of Lighthouse, Dr. Music, and Everyday People. King Biscuit Boy also returned to perform with his former bandmates. The recording and release of the album is significant as being the first time a Canadian band had recorded and released a “live in concert” album.  Crowbar disbanded in 1975, but was revived in 1977, minus Jozef Chirowski, who had joined Alice Cooper’s band. The band performed intermittently during the 1980s.  Recently, Crowbar has played shows around Hamilton, Ontario, including a performance at their induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011.

Teenage Head

Teenage Head

Biography

There is only one word to describe Teenage Head; unstoppable.

This is a rock band that has withstood every conceivable tragedy possible, and yet, after 40+ years, are still here; still holding the rock’n’roll flag high and proud; a self-energizing machine that continues to inspire the next generations of rebels and outsiders.

Fueled by the music and attitudes of The Stooges, MC5, Alice Cooper, The New York Dolls, Flamin’ Groovies and others; Teenage Head began their journey in Hamilton, Ontario – four teenage friends from Westdale Collegiate practicing in a basement day and night. It was 1975 and there was no catchphrase for the hybrid music they were creating. At the same time in New York, bands like The Ramones were also distilling these influences into a new kind of energy. It wasn’t until 1977 that this worldwide movement became known as punk and the music industry would never be the same.

Teenage Head hit the scene with a force forged from equal parts past, present, and future; rockabilly, glam, and raw energy. Singer Frankie
Venom (1956-2008) was a charismatic showman who embodied the swagger of Iggy with the cool of Gene Vincent.

The band’s career trajectory quickly embarked on a record industry rollercoaster ride unprecedented in its scope. It begins with a three-night stand at the legendary CBGB’s, opening for The Cramps,during the summer of 1977; it continues with an almost non-stop touring schedule as the Teenage Head live show builds up a voracious and singularly loyal audience.

A debut album is released in 1979, distributed by Epic Records Canada (the iconic single, Picture My Face, is one of the most collectible of that era). A year later, the group signs to Attic Records and release Frantic City, the album that puts them on the international radar and influences everyone from Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip to Arcade Fire to actor/singer Hugh Dillon. The hit singles, “Something On My Mind” and “Let’s Shake” propel the LP to platinum sales (100,000).

At the height of Teenage Head’s new found radio success, a June 1980
headline concert at The Ontario Place Forum, Toronto, suddenly erupted into a full-on riot as an overflow crowd tried to enter the sold-out 12,000 capacity venue. An event unheard of for any Canadian band .

The next album, 1982’s Some Kinda Fun (certified gold) brought more radio hits from the title track of Some Kinda Fun to the another fan fave and anthem Teenage Beer Drinkin’ Party. Touring and live TV/Radio simulcasts firmly rooting the bands status as one of Canada’s greats while rounding up legions of die hard fans.

1983 finds Teenage Head signing to MCA Records USA for the Tornado EP. This was the bands first major label signing. The EPs title track Tornado hits the airwaves gathering radio play and follow up single Blood Boogie is remixed by fellow Hamiltonian and legendary U2 producer Daniel Lanois.

Teenage Head’s next record is 1984’s Endless Party out on Ready Records. A live album recorded New Years eve in the bands hometown of Hamilton,On A close encounter with the bands sonic fury tracing the hits and including a revisited studio version of Top Down from the bands first self titled album.

By 1985 Teenage Head were on their own again. A self-released album,
Trouble In The Jungle has brought producer Dan and brother Bob Lanois back into the fold. The band return to their glam/rockabilly roots and the albums single Frantic Romantic has them shoot their first video in New York City receiving airplay on Muchmusic. Frankie Venom and drummer Nick Stipanitz leave shortly thereafter as a result of the many label changes.

In 1986, Teenage Head had re-invented itself by promoting childhood friend Dave Rave to lead singer (Dave, ex-The Shakers, had contributed to all their albums and had been there from their basement beginnings). This line-up returned to the charts with Electric Guitar (with help again from Dan Lanois) and the hit single/video, Everybody Needs Somebody. However, the rigors of touring and doing everything themselves was taking a toll and this
chapter in Teenage Head history closed out by the early 90s.

What no one had realized is how embedded the band is within Canadian pop culture and how powerful their influence. A reconciliation with Frankie Venom in 1996 resulted in Head Disorder (both Frank and the group’s last album of original material); initiating the band’s return to active duty; which would continue until his passing from cancer in 2008 (after recording the historic Teenage Head with Marky Ramone album).

Still dedicated fans and new believers rediscover the band in the wake of renewed interest in Canadian punk; the punk documentary The Last Pogo Jumps Again; and the critically acclaimed history of the band, Gods of The Hammer, written by prize-winning author Geoff Pevere.

Which brings us to the present. And the return of Dave Rave on lead vocals and the addition of Gene Champagne (Killjoys) on drums. It is now a full circle with the original frontline trio of friends from Westdale Collegiate (bassist Steve Mahon, guitarist Gordie Lewis, singer Dave Rave) and Gene Champagne keeping the iconic brand unstoppable!

Fun comes fast. See you on the road!

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July 2

Junkhouse

Junkhouse

Biography

The Canadian group Junkhouse was formed in 1989 by guitarist and singer Tom Wilson. Other members of the original formation were drummer Ray Farrugia, guitarist Dan Achen, and bassist and vocalist Russ Wilson. After a number of years, keyboardist and guitarist Colin Cripps was brought in to extend the lineup. Around the same time, bassist Grant Marshall arrived on the scene to replace Russ Wilson. Throughout the ’90s, Junkhouse recorded several singles and albums.  In the late ’80s, Tom Wilson was part of a group called the Florida Razors. When things crashed to an end for that band, Wilson moved on, unsure of what he was looking for or of what steps to take next in his life and career. A year later, he found those steps and formed Junkhouse. He also did some solo work, landing a deal with Sony Music. In 1993, his group signed with the same label and a debut album, Strays, hit the market that same year. A few singles were released from the debut, along with a popular music video to “Out of My Head.” Canada’s answer to MTV, MuchMusic, helped Junkhouse expand its fan base and it didn’t take long for Strays to go gold for the group. Some of the other tracks on this first full-length outing are “The Waiting,” “Big Brown Turtle,” “Jesus Sings the Blues,” “Weight on Me Mama,” and “No Way Out of Love.”

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