Impressions Jazz Group at Station 8, Winnipeg, gig review: Daniel Hollenberg, Jazz Composer

On July 6, I was looking for something to do after work on a Friday night and I stumbled upon an event called Stop, Drop, and Write at Station 8 Cafe, a very cool little coffee shop and arts venue on Talbot Avenue. It used to be a fire hall. Not just any fire hall, but one of those fire halls designed for engines pulled by horses. The building, constructed in 1906 and renovated in 2014, is absolutely beautiful with arched garage doors, exposed interior brick and high ceilings. A perfect venue. I headed to Station 8 hoping to connect with some fellow writers. Apparently, this invitation goes out every Friday, and I was interested to know what it was all about.

When I got to the coffee shop, the barrista was just opening the door and let me in early. I questioned her about the group and she said “The writers don’t really meet. They come and get a drink and they sit and write. It’s a nice atmosphere here.” A nice atmosphere indeed. The building, home to Riverwood Church Community, has been lovingly restored. The coffee shop area is all new and fully equipped. The open concept lounge is filled with new couches, tables and chairs and is inviting and comfortable. Then the barrista said “We have a band on at 7:30. You should stay, they’re good.” Well, given it’s bands I write about, yeah, I stayed.

The band was called Impressions Jazz Group. The room was set up with a PA and a sound guy. I watched the band do their sound check. One guy seemed to be the leader and was giving direction to the band members. This guy was Daniel Hollenberg.

Daniel told me that their music was all his original compositions. He had created this band with a mix of seasoned performers and community musicians in order to be able to hear his music come to life. He said he was very happy with the group. They were very supportive of his work. Daniel said that his aim was to play for a diverse community and introduce people to jazz, and more to ‘what is’ jazz. He said he also likes to mix in world music by adding instruments like an African djembe or an Australian didgeridoo.

After speaking with Daniel, and hearing how personal the music was for him, I was anxious to hear what he had to offer.

Impressions Jazz Group is comprised of Daniel Hollenberg (alto sax), Sean Irving (woodwinds), Radovan Radulovic (bass guitar), Max Osawa (drums), Adam Ciric (guitar) and Alanna Fast (keys). Also, on this night, guest Djembe player Mpho Mambira. The size of the band and the assortment of instruments means that there is a lot to take in visually while you watch them.

“My aim is to play for a diverse community and introduce people to jazz, and more to ‘what is’ jazz.” Daniel Hollenberg

I have to say, it was nice to sit on the couch and chill while sipping my tea and listening to some smooth jazz. It was also nice to be having tea instead of being expected to buy alcohol. There is only so much of the bar scene you can do while exploring the music scene. I love finding these new venues. The room filled up nicely and I even saw someone I know and got to catch up…and did I mention tea, and couch.

Whale Song seemed like a long one. I found it confusing, but it was interesting too. Not in a ‘turn that off!’ way, but in the ‘this is affecting me and I’m not sure how’ way.  Angst of a Common Man contained a lot of rolling beats, was repetitive and definitely delivered angst. I thought that one was clever. The upbeat song Freedom was my favourite, and apparently the drummer Max Osawa’s favourite as well. He got right into it! Hollenberg’s music seemed to meld jazz, some gentle soul, and an occasional infusion of a funky African inspired heartbeat. It’s relaxing to listen to. It’s not unusual, but draws from the familiar.

Overall, Impressions Jazz Group made a good…well…impression. So did Station 8. I will visit both again.

You can see and hear Impressions Jazz Group on July 27th, 2018 outside the Westminster United Church from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Club St. B. + Six Outta Ten = Punk Rock Gold

By Angela R. Campbell

Winnipeg’s Golden Boys of Canadian punk rock, SIX OUTTA TEN , are set to have a new music video produced before the snow flies this fall. They’ve gone from winning the “My Band Rocks” band battle this summer, to booking the new Manitoba punk rock scene’s Club St. B, to working on their latest music video with Canadian film maker Aaron Peters (FansMagnetic.TV).

On June 29th in Winnipeg’s Sonix Bar and Grill, SIX OUTTA TEN waited their turn during the “My Band Rocks” band battle. They were the last on the roster. I was there to judge, and thought I had already found the one band who would win the professional music video produced by FansMagnetic.TV’s, Aaron Peters. In their 30 minute sets, some of the bands had a few winning elements. Some had talent in their lyric writing, good stage presence and were entertaining to watch. One band I thought would be the winner had made me dance in my chair and smile. Then, SIX OUTTA TEN got on stage and played their original set. As they played, I suddenly felt bad for the band I had previously chosen as I marked my score sheet with top marks for SIX OUTTA TEN. Their songs were really great sounding originals. They had stage presence, and I found myself checking out the band members’ faces and watching them individually as they played. They looked like they were relaxed and having a good time, playing hard while making it look easy. The thing that knocked the other bands out of the running, was that SIX OUTTA TEN had impeccable timing. They had a smoothness that outshone their peers, and represented hours and hours of rehearsal time and band chemistry. I stole a look at the other judges faces and they were giving away that they were also finding them irresistible.

SIX OUTTA TEN is a Canadian punk rock band based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Band members Dan Heichert (Lead Vox), Wade Schollenberg (Guitar & Vox), Thomas Stevenson (Bass & Vox), and Jarrod Doern (Drums) have been working on their set list for a while now and are hitting the punk scene in Winnipeg as first choice by bar owners and private parties. On October 20th, they will perform at Club St. B., a Winnipeg institution that has become a go-to venue for punk fans.

Check out Club St. B on October 20th and see for yourself the raw talent and energy that made SIX OUTTA TEN the obvious choice to take the win at the “My Band Rocks” band battle.

JUNE 9: Canadian Power Metallers STRIKER

Canadian (Edmonton) power metallers STRIKER, will be kicking off their Canadian tour in Toronto on June 9th at The Garrison. I took a quick look at their online presence and was impressed by how busy they’ve been. STRIKER has also been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for ‘Metal/Hard Rock Artist of The Year’, the results of which will be announced in October, 2016.


If you’ve been reading my past articles, you’ll have seen that I’m not easily impressed with indie musicians. I search and search for something new and exciting and occasionally I find something, but more often I’m disappointed. Listening to STRIKER initially had me shaking my head thinking to myself, wow, they are just copying hair metal from the 80’s, but I listened for longer than 30 seconds and it raised my eyebrows. These guys have my attention.

I found their entire new album ‘Stand In The Fire’ on Youtube (posted by a fan, which can’t be good for music sales) and listened to the whole thing. I often complain about a band not having “found their voice” and having a lack of originality, but STRIKER has certainly found their voice. Bands often say “we are unapologetic” (gawd I get tired of reading that), but those bands don’t know what unapologetic means. What it really means is, when you play from your heart and soul and you’re real and don’t hestitate, than there’s nothing to apologize for. STRIKER’s got that. They play smooth. They are not posing. They’ve obviously played long and hard together because they’re tight and together as a unit. There’s a ton of energy in their music. An energy that, sometimes, is a little hard for the ear to take in the way this particular album is produced, but I can tell that they will be amazing live in Toronto on June 9th.

STRIKER says they are inspired by legendary bands like Iron Maiden. Their Facebook page says they are a “New Wave of Heavy Metal”, and I believe them. They are new. There is something next generation about them. It sounds like hair metal, but then there is the double pedal on the drums. It’s more hardcore. Then they throw in a saxophone, just to confuse you. I love these guys.



I liked them so much, I brought them to the attention of musician/filmmaker Aaron Peters, who has started a new “thing” at his production studio in Winnipeg called ‘Drum Rides’. Peters makes videos of drummers playing on a riser that spins. The video affect is pretty cool and the drummers have a riot making them. The video creates some fun content for Facebook. I told Peters he should check out STRIKER. After they play in Toronto (June 9th), they’ll be in Ottawa (11th), Montreal (12th), Quebec City (13th), Sudbury (15th), Thunder Bay (16th) and will land in Winnipeg on June 17th before returning to their home town Edmonton (24th). I suggested Peters invite them for a Drum Ride during their stop in Winnipeg.

Peters listened to the album posted on Youtube that I shared with him and initially didn’t seem very impressed. Then he listened longer, and by the end of the album, had this to say about STRIKER,

“At the risk of sounding like an old bastard, I’d like to say that it would be super killer to hear STRIKER recorded in a way that harkened back to analog. Or at least an approximated approach to that sound. STRIKER kick all kinds of ass. I highly recommend this band and any recording they put out. I am actually proud that STRIKER are a Canadian band. They do us proud by carrying the metal flag like this.” Aaron Peters

I kid you not, that’s what he wrote to me. I was astonished. I like STRIKER, too, but never expected that response from a seasoned rock musician.

Peters has invited STRIKER to his studio during their stop in Winnipeg. There will be a ‘drum ride’ video to follow.

The band; Dan Clearly (vocals) Tim Brown (lead/rhythm guitars) William Wallace (bass) Adam Brown (drums) recorded the album themselves with the help of Randy Black (who filled in on drums while Adam was away. Frederik Nordstrom (Bring Me The Horizon, In Flames, Opeth) mixed the album.

‘Stand in The Fire’ is available on limited edition orange vinyls at plus digitally on iTunesCD Baby.


I’d like to start this review by thanking Toronto, ON’s BLACK ABSINTHE for sharing their new music from their album ‘Early Signs of Denial’ set for release on May 13th, 2016. I really enjoy getting previews of the new music coming out of Toronto.

A song from the heavy metal 6 track EP that has been released is “The Wild”. This song has tons of energy and you’ll hear the band’s classic rock influences all over it.

“Imagine Motörhead with a dose of double pedal bass drumming, and you’ve got Black Absinthe.”

Listening to this band was a nice trip down memory lane. They say their music is for fans of BLACK SABBATH, MOTORHEAD, MASTODON, HIGH ON FIRE, COHEED AND CAMBRIA. I think I even hear a bit of YES in there (track called ‘Now’).

To the band members Jack Cerre (Vocals & Guitar), Kyle Scarlett (bass), and Austin Henderson (drums), congratulations boys, you nailed it. Also, congratulations to producer, Dave Baksh and mixer, Frank Gryner, you nailed it too. The work is very professional and quality. Not a note out of place. Layer upon layer mixed just right. I wouldn’t be surprised if the musicians are classically trained.

Now go away you bore me.

They obviously took great care with the lyrics in their songs. Their EPK says “Once the songs on this album were finished we were looking for a title that felt in tune with the songs as a whole. We consulted a St.John’s Ambulance First Aid Reference Guide for possible names. Beating out contenders like ‘Penetrating Chest Wound,’ ‘Bites From Ticks,’ or ‘Putting on Dressings,’ we decided on Early Signs Of Denial. It captures the pessimistic nature of a lot of the lyrics and we think suits it sonically too. It’s a metal record, Early Signs of Denial seemed like it should be the name of a metal album! “

Great sense of humour.
Now go away you bore me.

“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” Miles Davis

You see, the thing about MOTORHEAD, ROB ZOMBIE, BLACK SABBATH, etc, is they were original when they came around. Bands like YES were called Progressive, back when they were progressive. The reason people have been crying in their drinks over the death of Lemmy, Bowie, Prince, is because those people had a unique quality that had never been experienced before. They stood out from the crowd.

They found their voice.

I’m happy to have been introduced to BLACK ABSINTHE. I love to discover the talent in Toronto. However, the problem with a band and studio full of very skilled and talented people is they try too hard to do it right. It’s one thing to be a team, but be a team of unique individuals and let your light shine. Stop trying to be like the classics. Be the future. We’re waiting for you.

We’re so bored. Please show us a new scene. Please find your voice.

The band is hosting their Toronto CD release show on May 14th at Coalition (282 Augusta) w/ support form Montreal’s MUTANK (Wacken Metal Battle Canada 2014 Champions) and locals Sludgehammer, Klaymore and Astaroth. That’s a great line-up. Expect a quality night. Event info here.

TORONTO’S ROCK PRINCESS JACQUELINE LOVELY has been taking on a bit of a theme lately. I’ve been looking at the rich history of this city. First, Toronto celebrated it’s 182nd birthday, then the historic Brunny closed it’s doors.

20150821_225251A special gem in this city is rock princess  JACQUELINE LOVELY PERRAS. Jacqueline has been a rich part of Toronto’s music scene since the 80’s. Today is her birthday.

Jacqueline recently shared some tracks from her new album that she’s working on in studio now. She is self-producing the album and plans to release the 14 tracks “just before the fall equinox”. I listened to “You Will Remember Me”, “Unchained”, and then two tracks written by Karm Kleaver (of Toronto metal band Kraken) “Harlot of Babylon” and “Powerhouse”.

Jacqueline is well known for her rough rock-chick voice that works perfectly on Janis Joplin or AC/DC covers. In this album, Jacqueline shows the strength of her range and a softer side of herself.

“This is an introduction to me as a singer and a person. I’m self-producing now so whatever this is….rest assured it’s how I see myself…but I really want people to hear and feel what I feel.”

When Jacqueline is on stage, she often will talk between songs about her life and lessons learned. She’s very open about herself and feels she needs to share her stories. According to her, that’s what this new album is. Her story.

Today, her birthday, is all about her story. Happy birthday, Jacqueline. Rock on!


“It is with great pride and sorrow that I announce the legendary Brunswick House will be closing on March 31 after 140 years of memory making history.”

Toronto’s oldest pub the ‘Brunswick House’, or the Brunny as it is affectionately known, officially announced they are closing their doors due to the termination of their lease, and are planning a “Last Dance” tomorrow. There is no official news on plans for the building.

Located at the corner of Bloor Street and Brunswick Avenue in Toronto, the Brunny was established in 1876 as a neighborhood bar for working class immigrants, and later for the students of University of Toronto. The better known Blues venue, Albert’s Hall, operated upstairs above the Brunny for many years. It was considered the more respectable room. People have called the Brunny a “rat infested student lounge” (although I think the reference to rats was a reference to the students as opposed to actual rodents). The Brunswick House calls itself “Night Club/Dive Bar”.

It was refurbished in 2004 by new owners, and became known for their all-you-can-eat gravy bar. Celebrities such as Fan 590’s Sid Seixeiro and Ryan Hains of The Sportsnet Television Network were regulars. Seixeiro’s influence has brought 16 types of poutine to the menu & a late-night sampler called the Rob Ford “Crack of Dawn Munchy Madness.”

“Thank you for the memories and thank you for teaching me the bigger the fight, the bigger the reward and growth.”

Social media has been teeming with sorrow since the announcement was made that the Brunny would be closing it’s doors. Customers shared their memories and gratitude on The Brunswick House Facebook page . The hashtag of #savethebrunny appeared in Twitter and The Brunswick house is using the hashtag #OneLastDance to communicate about the last event on Thursday March 31, 2016.

“There will never be another Brunny.”

Tickets and information for #OneLastDance:

March 6 – Happy Birthday Toronto!

Photo courtesy of John Temou, CULTURE SHOCK PRODUCTIONS, INC
Photo courtesy of John Temou, CULTURE SHOCK PRODUCTIONS, INC

March 6, 1834 was the day Toronto became a city through incorporation and today we celebrate the city’s 182nd birthday.

Back in the day, Torontonians danced in the dance halls to the music of Stanley St John and Frank Bogart. Today, Toronto is a vibrant scene of music genres, dance clubs, music venues and music festivals. Much of the city’s tourism is based on music events. Never a dull moment.

Today I’ve chosen to display a beautiful photograph of the city taken by Toronto photographer and videographer, John Temou of CULTURE SHOCK PRODUCTIONS, INC. John is currently working with “ALL CANUCKED UP” Comedy Night, a new WebTV series shot at The Paddock Tavern, 178 Bathurst St, one of Toronto’s oldest bars. Follow their Facebook page for regular updates on performers. Next show is April 9, 2016.

All Canucked Up:



Toronto Still Paying Tribute To DAVID BOWIE

On January 12, one day after news broke that DAVID BOWIE passed away, the band HOLY HOLY stopped into Toronto’s The Opera House on their “Man Who Sold The World” tour. They added a second date at the Opera House after the first date sold out. The cover band features men who’ve worked with Bowie, Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansy. HOLY HOLY has been referred to as “perhaps the world’s most over-qualified Bowie tribute band”. Many other Bowie tributes took place across Toronto, but there are a few notable indie performances that didn’t get much attention, and i’d like to mention them here.

JayI encourage you first to get out Sunday night to Supermarket Restaurant and Bar to see JAY EDWARDS, a singer/songwriter I’ve written about before. Jay is one of the golden nuggets in the city of Toronto that is not getting a lot of recognition, but definitely must be experienced. Jay has had 28 operations on his skull and you don’t expect much from his small obviously disabled body. When he opens his mouth, a completely different man appears. It’s not something easily described. It needs to be experienced. A documentary film about Jay “Present to Love” will soon be released, as well as some newly recorded songs.

Sunday, January 17
Jay Edwards
Supermarket Restaurant and Bar
268 Augusta Ave, Toronto
set starts at 7pm

Another regular favourite in Kensington Market are the SIN CITY BOYS. They play regularly at Graffiti’s Bar and Grill and performed a David Bowie tribute Saturday.

Saturday, January 16
Graffiti’s Bar and Grill
170 Baldwin St, Toronto

Finally, Toronto’s own famous DJ, SKRATCH BASTID, performs a tribute on Youtube that you can watch whenever you like!

Walk Off The Earth Cover Hello With KRNFX

At work last week, I was doing some monotonous data entry and decided to liven things up by checking out ADELE’s “Hello” on Soundcloud. What ended up happening was after listening to Adele, covers of the song followed…for more than an hour! The song seems to be covered in every genre of music. It was fascinating and shows exactly what a well written song it is that it can be covered so well with everyone lending their own style and flavour to it.

So I was thrilled this week to discover that WALK OFF THE EARTH has covered “Hello”. Their Youtube video is in their usual hilarious style of the band lined up, playing some instruments and lending their voices at just the perfect time. WOTE have got their stage choreography down to a science. This video features Toronto’s own award winning beatboxer and singer, KRNFX. It was nice to see him there. WOTE is known in Toronto for being friendly and inclusive with other artists.

Nov 21st – Canadian Metallers ODIUM

ODIUM Photo courtesy of
ODIUM Photo courtesy of

I can’t help it, death metal is always my favourite. I get excited when I get introduced to a death metal band and I play one of their songs for the first time. So much energy. So much drama.

Hanover, ON based Canadian melodic metallers ODIUM are performing at the Rockpile West in the November 21st ‘Pitfest’ in support of their album Terrarform (I enjoyed “The Cell”) released on October 23rd.

One online biography for the band said “The lyrics invite listeners to take a journey through despair”. I can’t hear their lyrics. I don’t care, I love the sound. They are full of energy, but they’re “melodic” so they play pretty and bring it to a nice climax. They don’t take me on a journey of despair, they get me excited and I feed off their energy.

SAT NOVEMBER 21, 2015 – 7pm
Toronto, Canada, 2015
Rockpile West
5555 Dundas St. West
Toronto, Canada
with My Dear Malice, Adrian Pain & The Dead Sexy, Crimson Breed, Dawn Vally, Hey Clown