Our host, Jeff Woods
Jeff hosts our Crow Sessions and conducts a short interview at some point during the show. Jeff’s a good dude!
The most talked about Jeff Woods attribute is his voice. It has been heard on radio and television for decades. Jeff’s career continues to be about communication and he is known for sounding as though he's speaking just to you, despite the fact that his reach has extended to a weekly audience exceeding one million listeners.
Beyond talking on the radio and television as a host or a guest, Jeff's presence continues to extend to commercial voice-over and narration, and to the stage as an emcee and speaker.
Woods has been at the center of conversation and context around music for 30+ years. He was the creator and host of The Legends of Classic Rock, heard internationally over 14 seasons. His many one-on-one interviews include David Bowie, R.E.M, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Rush, Ozzy Osbourne, The Band, Pearl Jam, Carlos Santana, Metallica, The Doors, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, and so many more.
Jeff's current radio series "Records & Rockstars" complements his artist interview/performance podcast of the same name, and his first work of non-fiction in print - the acclaimed "Radio, Records & Rockstars”, now out in Audio Book and selling at Amazon, Audible & iTunes.
The songbird of the East, Catherine Maclellan will be flying to Ontario for a one night stand on February 5th.
Be there to see her land!
Catherine MacLellan has become one of Canada’s finest and favourite singer-songwriters on her own merits. She’s kept away from the media circus and celebrity scene, preferring to live at home in rural P.E.I. She’s worked diligently at her craft, releasing a series of remarkable, creative albums, culminating in the Juno Award-winning The Raven’s Sunfrom 2014, to go along with multiple East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Music PEI Awards. Most impressively, she has chosen to carve out her career path without trading on her family name.
That’s pretty hard to do, when your father is one of the country’s most famous songwriters. Gene MacLellan wrote two world-wide, multi-million selling smash hits: “Snowbird” by Anne Murray, and “Put Your Hand in the Hand” by Ocean. There are dozens more gems, including “The Call”, “Bidin’ My Time”, “Shilo Song” and “The Reunion Song”. But Catherine insisted on making it on her own.
“I didn’t know who I was yet, and so I didn’t want to be in his shadow and have that kind of pressure on me,“ she explained. “People would talk about my dad, but I would try to steer the conversation away from that for the first while.”
But now, that’s changed. MacLellan has gone from shying away from those songs to fully embracing them, with a stunning new album celebrating her father’s musical legacy. If It’s Alright With You – The Songs of Gene MacLellan contains 13 of her father’s most famous compositions, songs that propelled him to fame nearly 50 years ago, and remain the gold standard for Canadian songwriting.
“I don’t put a lot of stock into awards, but when Chris (Gauthier, her producer) and I did The Raven’s Sun and we won the Juno, it felt like, ‘Okay, I did it,’ I know who I am, and people seem to also, and they appreciate my music on its own. Now I want to share my dad’s music and it’s also an opportunity for me to get to know him better. The more I get to know his songs, the closer I feel to him.”
The discovery for MacLellan had been sometimes bittersweet. She lost her father while still in her mid-teens when he died in 1995.
“I think really for me it was part of my journey of healing. I thought that I was over the grief of losing my dad. I thought I had dealt with it in lots of rational ways, which I guess I had, but I hadn’t actually emotionally finished that journey,“ she said. “But now that my daughter is eleven, and I’m starting to see my brother’s kids playing music and they’re even playing some of dad’s songs, I see the generational thing is really cool. I’m really proud to be walking in his footsteps.”
She’s taken the journey one step further; in addition to the album, MacLellan has written a new theatre show that will debut in July in Charlottetown, at the P.E.I. Brewing Company stage. Also called If It’s Alright With You, it’s filled with stories from her father’s life, from surprising revelations to intimate descriptions of their time together. It will feature the selections from this album, as well as lesser-known and even unreleased songs she’s discovered in her family archives. After the show finishes its run in P.E.I. in the summer, she’ll take it on tour across the country in the coming months.
With her grace and charm, Catherine MacLellan has captivated audiences since her 2004 solo debut. She’s capable of the deepest emotional connections through her intimate lyrics as well as easy-going and light-hearted fun. There’s some of all that on If It’s Alright By You, as well as some surprising interpretations, a welcome reminder for old fans of her father’s, and an introduction for a new generation.
“He would be happy to know that his songs continue on, being remembered and given a new spark,“ she said. “A young, regular guy, from a regular upbringing, very humble beginnings, what one guy can do.”
Please join us and our host Jeff Woods in welcoming Lowest of the Low’s Ron Hawkins for a very personal show on the Crow Stage.
Ron Hawkins has long been revered as one of Canada's greatest contemporary singer-songwriters. As lead singer/multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter of Canada's legendary Lowest of the Low, Ron Hawkins has enjoyed many accolades through the years:
In 1996, 2000 and again in 2005, Chart Magazine honoured the group's 1991 debut album, Shakespeare My Butt, with spots in the top 10 of the Top 100 Canadian Albums of All Time. In 2000 and once again in 2015, Hawkins was voted Songwriter of the Year by NOW Magazine's reader's poll. Also in 2000, Ron received Toronto station 102.1 The Edge's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008 The Lowest of the Low was inducted into the Canadian Indie Rock Hall of Fame and awarded gold records for Shakespeare My Butt.
Over the years, Ron has written and released four LOTL albums, five solo discs, three records with his band The Rusty Nails, and two records (one a double album) as Ron Hawkins and The Do Good Assassins. Adding them all up, Ron has released 15 albums of original material to date and has just released “Shakespeare My Box” a commemorative vinyl box set of the entire Lowest of the Low catalogue.
My little home studio is only nine feet by nine feet but it’s packed with toys and musical goodies. It’s a bit like going down the rabbit hole.”
LeE HARVeY OsMOND
On March 19th Tom Wilson aka LeE HARVeY OsMOND presents Mohawk at Crow. Bar and Variety's 14th 'Crow Session'
Please join us for a delicious Prix Fixe dinner (vegetarian option)when Tom and his all-star band take the stage to present his newest offering. Mohawk, an album of discovery and truth.
Jeff Woods, celebrated Radio Host and Author will dig a little deeper into Tom's life during a half time interview
When Tom Wilson created the moniker Lee Harvey Osmond he wasnt entirely certain if this was a new stage name or merely a provocative handle for the musician/artist collective assembled by producer Michael Timmins to record a collection of Tom Wilson songs that would become A Quiet Evil. This was the first of four albums bearing the featured artist Lee Harvey Osmond. The Folk Sinner was next, followed by the break through Beautiful Scars. It was during this time between releasing Beautiful Scars and recording Kings and Kings with Blackie and The Rodeo Kings that Wilson went public with his recent discovery. He was not exactly the person he thought he was.
In his 50s, Wilson learned that the parents who raised him were not his birth parents; that, in fact, he was adopted and that his biological mother and father were Mohawk from the Kahnawake reserve, just outside of Montreal. Grappling with this newfound sense of himself plunged Wilson into a quest for his heritage and his truth, and led to the writing of his bestselling autobiography, Beautiful Scars (Doubleday Canada). The book is a colourful and truthful tale of this quest, and his lifes tribulations and successes along the path.
It is a story of finding your way home, he says. Its a story of adoption, of growing up thinking youre a big, sweaty, Irish guy, and finding out at the age of 53 that youre a Mohawk.
The discovery of his true heritage and the culture that it carries now informs all of his art. On this fourth Lee Harvey Osmond album, Mohawk, due out January 25 via Latent Recordings, Wilson continues down the path of his long way home, Wilson says. It is my way of showing honour and respect to a culture that Im just shaking hands with. My truth was hidden from me I was born a Mohawk baby, and finally Im becoming a Mohawk man, a line he sings on the LPs first single, Mohawk, available to stream and buy today.
We are very excited to welcome The Song and Dance Man himself, Jason Collett to the Crow Stage.
THERE ARE MORNINGS when I need some comfort right from the get go. I wake up, with the sun (hopefully) streaming in and I feel alone. Even when Im surrounded by my girls and my love and the possessions that make up my life, I dont know where Im bound, and I dont remember where Ive been. Most of the time when I feel this way, I do what Ive always done I put on a record. I let the room warm up in its melodies, I let myself be still. And like a drug that takes a few minutes to work, by the third song, Im not alone anymore. I remember where I came from, and even have a little bit of a clue as to where Im going.
This Sunday past, when I felt this lonely feeling, I put on Reckon, the new album by a man I know (and kind of idolize, but dont tell him that) called Jason Collett. Yeah, you probably know him too. If youve loved Canadian music for the last twenty years of your life, or even if youre only twenty yourself, youve probably heard him sing to you; you might have seen him keeping the Broken Social Scene in line with nothing more than a stomping foot and an acoustic guitar.
You might have seen him seducing a crowd with his songs in little clubs and big arenas and every other goddamn size of room in between all over Canada, all over the world. You might know him from your neighbourhood; hes the handsome one who always seems to have a kid with him. Hes the one who shows up, who takes care, who helps out. Yeah, I told you you know him?
Anyway. Woke up. Stood up. Couldnt find my place. And so I listened to Reckon. And all I can tell you is that by the end of it, I had remembered all kinds of things that mattered to me, and I felt better. I remembered how much I love melody. Jason has a way of finding them so easily, like shells on the beach. but he doesnt polish them up; he leaves the brine and the sand on there, which only serves to reveal the beauty of those patterns going on underneath, the texture and colour of something hidden and therefore made more beautiful.
I remembered that I live in a big empty country, a place where stories wrapped in songs have always been a way for this vast place called Canada (kind of a shitty name for a country, but anyway) to seem smaller somehow. Mitchell, Young, Cohen, Cockburn, Collett weve always been good at this kind of music music about you, about the things that have happened and the places you hope to go. Jason knows that if you want to travel this country from one end to the other, you better have a story in your pocket, and the bravery to tell it. And while nobody minds if you stretch the truth a little, it better have some truth in its heart.
I remembered little things too, like if youre gonna make a record, its ALWAYS a good idea to get some strings on there. Theres something about that febrile sound of a bow across a string that makes you more aware of the miracle of harmony. Strings are all over Reckon; guitar strings, violin strings, and lyrical ones; patterns and themes and ideas that stretch out and pull you in, make you feel like your listening to a teacher and a jester, and make you feel, yeah, less alone. Somebody gets it. And hes singing it for you.
There is something different going on in reckon though, something more than a conversation thats personal; something more pointed, and a little more dangerous. You see, Jason is a dad, and a citizen, and so it follows that hes no longer anyones fool. And Reckon is definitely a record that takes on the poisonous political atmosphere of the day.
From King James Rag, a song so groovy you might not initially notice the disgust at its lyrical heart, to I Wanna Rob A Bank, a song whose title kind of says it all, but whose music makes you want to roll the getaway car windows down and sing along, Reckon takes on the venal greed and hypocrisy of modern Canada and the world with a lightness of touch, but no lack of vitriol. Folk music, if you want to call it that, or rock and roll, if youre more comfortable with the term, has always been partly about calling out the fat cats and the scumbags, and on this record Jason brings humour, passion and subtlety to doing just that; Woody Guthrie wrote on his guitar this machine kills fascists.
Jasons music is too appealing to kill. But if youre the kind of heartless bastard hes going after on this album, it might just sneak up on you, and when you arent looking. By the time it was over for the first time, Reckon was a friend of mine; just like Jasons other albums; just like Jason. I put it on again; and then again. You know why? Well, cause it was fuckin good, that sure helped. Song after song that unfurled in a way that they have a word for: virtuosic. But its on repeat these days and will be for many days to come I reckon (see what I did there?) because on a morning I felt a little lost, it did what all truly great albums do; it put up a sign that pointed me back to the beauty in just being here. I dont really know how I would have gotten through this weird old life if albums like Reckon didnt do that for me every now and then. On a pretty cold morning, Reckon stood up for me, and for all those who feel like the world is getting crueler by the day. It gave me hooks to sing, to cheer my heart; it gave me beats and sex and a little rage, like rock and roll music is supposed to, to make me bold; it gave me a story to follow, and the story sounded a lot like my own; Reckon was there, and it always will be. And if you listen, Ill bet even money it will be there for you too; waiting on the shelf, or in the cloud, to take you in again, and put you back down on the ground at the end.
Oh by the way, you might notice theres another album that comes along with Reckon. This collection is a summing up, I guess you could say, or at least a look back at where Jason has come from, and where hes going. As he picks up listeners with each album, many of whom are younger than some this guys kids, it seems like a good idea to give them a primer on some his finest moments from before. When you write this songs this well, and this consistently, its easy to put out new stuff, and its crucial to let new listeners hear the best of the older stuff. And its free. Which, as we all know, seems to be the way the kids like their music these days. Gotta go; got songs to write, a kid to feed. one of the annoying things about being a musician is that every time you hear a record this good, it makes you feel like youre a lazy prick and you gotta work harder. So its back to work. I forgot where I was for a second so I listened to Reckon; Reckon put me back on the road. And Im on my way again
Torquil Campbell (June 2012)
Jerome Godboo and Godboogie
JEROME GODBOO has been tearing up stages in Canada and the world for 30 years now, leaving a lasting impression on the psyche of his many fans.The local legend of explosive 90’s rock band the Phantoms, Jerome is known for his totally unbridled vocals and astonishing harmonica skills (which won him the “Best Harmonica Player” award at the Blues Foundation’s 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee). This is the 15th album of Jerome’s prolific outpouring of soul — and though his daily practice of Vipassana meditation grounds and soothes him, he springs to life with another-worldly energy as he performs. Jerome assembled GODBOOGIE with long-time friends and musical brothers, all of them world-class performers with storied and award-winning histories of their own. Guitarist ERIC SCHENKMAN is a founding member of 90’s supergroup, the Grammy-nominated Spin Doctors. Guitarist SHAWN KELLERMAN is a Maple Blues Award nominee and Blues Music Award winner, recently on tour with the Lucky Peterson Band. GARY CRAIG is one of Canada’s most sought-after drummers, recently recording and touring with Bruce Cockburn and the stars of the ABC network TV series Nashville. These amazing musicians combine to make GODBOOGIE a totally immersive experience. The songs have roots in blues and rock ‘n’ roll, but really defy all the usual pigeonholes.
“Toronto bandleader Jerome Godboo has turned in his solo status and decided to record under the band name ‘Godboogie’ and if this disc is what we can expect, I’m all in."