Reviews of music: live and recorded

Photograph and video by Adam Lee Reviewed by Nadia Grutter Maryse Bernard, former vocalist of the Victoria-based band Woodsmen, recently returned to the Victoria music scene with a lively performance at the 17th annual Victoria French Festival in Centennial Square. The 22-year-old vocalist, who flew in from Quebec to perform, brightened the rainy day with […]

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By Michael Luis After meeting in 1976 in Berkeley, California, guitarist Charlie Baty and vocalist/harmonica player Rick Estrin formed Little Charlie and the Nightcats. After taking their modern take on Chicago-style blues all over the world for over 30 years, Baty retired in 2008, but Estrin has continued to tour and record with his namesake. […]

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Hank Engel Hank Angel (Extended Play 45) Produced by David Jeffrey and Dave Lang Reviewed by Chris Ho Victoria musician Hank Engel’s self-titled EP is a nostalgic gem that brings you right back to the feel-good rockabilly vibe of the 50’s. Engel pays homage to the underground music scene in Edmonton in the 1980s, and […]

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Hannah Georgas Hannah Georgas (Dine Alone Records, 2012) Produced by Graham Walsh Reviewed by Chris Ho Yet again, Hannah Georgas gives us that middle ground between accessibility and originality in her songwriting. And although this is what initially earned her Vancouver’s love and respect, it only accounts for a mere fraction of the impeccable craftsmanship […]

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Metric Synthetica (Mom + Pop Music, 2012) Produced by Gavin Brown, John O’Mahony, Liam O’Neil and James Shaw Reviewed by Chris Ho Metric’s slow rise to the top has been an inspiring sight for fans and musicians alike. Notably, their previous release, Fantasies, earned them Juno Alternative Album of the Year as well as Alternative […]

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Eddie Spaghetti The Value of Nothing (Bloodshot Records, 2013) Produced by Jesse Dayton Reviewed by Blake Morneau Has modern radio ruined the very idea of country music for you? Are you put off by the stereotypical conservative undertones of modern country music? Do you like a fatalistic punk sensibility but prefer your musicians to deliver […]

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White Hot Jet Rehab Nightclub, Victoria BC June 7, 2013  Reviewed by Blake Morneau I was filled with an unhealthy dose of skepticism as I walked into Rehab nightclub for the unveiling of new all-girl rock band White Hot Jet–after all, the press release I received stated that the band was put together through auditions […]

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Blackberry Wood Logan’s Pub, Victoria June 6, 2013 Reviewed by Blake Morneau I remember being 11 or 12 years old and seeing the video for Tom Waits’ “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and having the image of Waits dressed in his ridiculous devil costume, riding a tricycle and holding a magnifying glass burn itself into […]

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 Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience (RCA Records, 2013) Produced by Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon Reviewed by Chris Ho Lights up on stage right. Trails of cigarette smoke. Stage curtains drawn, revealing the dapper string section of the orchestra. May I present to you: The 20/20 Experience. The first track instantly introduces the glamorous […]

Jeffrey Michael Straker Vagabond (2012) Produced by Danny Michel Reviewed by Blake Jacob Vagabond is the precisely arranged fifth album of singer-songwriter-pianist Jeffery Michael Straker. Jeffery “swears he was born under the piano on the family farm” in Saskatchewan, and his experience shows. The album is a flawless work of art, skillfully produced by Canadian […]