Happy #MusicMonday (and Hallowe'en)! I am excite to share a brand new Q&A with Corey Lueck from The Smoke Wagon Blues promoting their new album 'Cigar Store'. Check it out below:
Describe your sound using just one word:
What was the process like to put this album together?
Our process seems to be unique to each album but over the last three albums we’ve kept the consistency of what we think is a winning formula for us, and that’s recording with Steve Sherman at Steve Sherman Productions and Nick Blagona at Psychotropic Studios. With “Cigar Store”, we wrote and recorded the album throughout the year when we had breaks in our gigging schedule. In a perfect world, we’d travel around with the Rolling Stones mobile recording studio but that’s just not in the cards for us working class musicians, haha. For this project, we recorded live off the floor and kept most of our ghost tracks which is nice; then we hit the ground running and had fun building the songs up to the mixing stages. We turned a corner years ago when we decided “The Song” is number one - no egos, over instrumentation, or veering from the path will compromise; So, basically, whatever is best for the song is best for the song. In a world where blues is ruled by guitar hero’s and solo artists we take a back seat to all that with a real old school band approach to our music and that continues to be our process moving forward.
Is there something specific that you want people to pick up on while listening?
No B sides! Like albums we loved when we were growing up; we just hope the listener enjoys the whole experience. A lot of hard work went into making this album. We hope they enjoy the story telling and that each song sounds fresh to the ears like your favorite mix tape! Foremost, we hope the listeners will have a good old rambling whisky talking time!
My anxiety went from 0 to 100 just writing the title of this post.
I feel like once my birthday passes (September 26), the rest of the year flies by. I'm not going to lie, I'm totally counting down to November 1st so that I can start blasting Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas'. All I can do now to make these next few months go as smooth as possible is continue to make progress in all aspects of my life.
First up, at the beginning of next month, I will be covering the Hamilton Film Festival and Hamilton Film Expo. Before that, I have to do a lot of prep work like watching the opening film ahead of the opening gala and researching all of the guests. November also marks the start of award season which means my friends and family won't see me too often.
In terms of the website, it's getting closer to what I want it to be. Turning it into a brand takes a lot of time and energy, but I know that it will be worth it in the end. The list of contributors is growing and content is more consistent. Keep an eye out for a new video series featuring different trainers in both Hamilton and Toronto as #SavsFitJourney continues under a new name - #WellnessWednesday - also launching next month.
Those are all of the updates that I have as of right now, but I will keep you posted as more changes are made.
This is getting extremely messy and it's only the beginning.
Azealia Banks is claiming that Russell Crowe called her a n----r, choked her and spat at her leading her to file a police report against him. This all went down in a Beverly Hills hotel suite this past weekend. She believes that Russell Crowe went to TMZ with the story (where the world was first made aware of this) and wasn't planning on pressing charges until she saw the TMZ article. Now, the rapper is demanding Russell to publicly apologize.
What do I think? I think both are at fault. We only have one side of the story (I do not believe in victim blaming). Azealia instigated the whole situation by mocking Russell and a director who was also present's craft. What followed was completely uncalled for and could have been handled differently.
It won't be long before #MusicMonday turns into #MusicMonday: Not Really in honour of award season, so how about another Q&A? This week's post features an interview with Toronto singer and songwriter James Clark who is getting ready to release his second album, Yesterday's Misadventures. Check it out below:
How does your second CD compare to your first?
My first full length CD, 'Sideshow Unattraction' began merely as a therapeutic exercise. I had no real plan at the time to actually record an album. I had recently experienced a heart wrenching end to a long term relationship and my only way to deal with the emotional fallout was to write about it. Songwriting has always been my therapy. But after writing 25 songs, I began to think that some of these musical declarations would make for a good record. So, that whole album has one overall theme to it. A similar one to John Lennon's 'Walls and Bridges' or Beck's 'Sea Change'.
Now on 'Yesterday's Misadventures', each song details a different experience. A different session on the couch, so to speak. I believe that I've grown as a songwriter in the time between these two records. When producer Moe Berg came on board, he really helped to define a sound for The James Clark Institute. A similar sound to the one I had envisioned for the project from the beginning, but was unable to solidify it by myself. This record feels very satisfying to me. I wanted to make a record that was comparable to the great records that I grew up listening to and inspired me to become a songwriter.
What have you learned about yourself through this process?
That I am not a quitter. That fact really hit home this time around. When I have a vision that I truly believe in then I am determined to see it come to fruition. It truly helps when I work with people who share the same vision as I do, which I was lucky enough to be able to do on 'Yesterday's Misadventures'.
Why did you get into music?
I grew up in a household that loved music. Neither one of my parents were musically inclined, however I understand that my father played drums for a short time as a boy. That is exactly how I started out. I had an older brother who had been turned onto The Beatles at an early age. He wanted to be John Lennon and he convinced me that I wanted to be Ringo Starr. It really didn't take much convincing at all. So we spent our childhood and teenage years playing in basement bands together. Soon after my father passed away at an early age, I picked up the guitar and began writing songs. I haven't looked back. Music and art (drawing, cartoonist) are my entire being.
For more on James Clark, click here. Check out his new album, Yesterday's Misadventures, on October 24th.
SaverinaScozzari.com readers should be quite familiar with Ken Baker, but even if you're new to the blog, you've probably heard of him. Ken is a celebrity journalist and a former hockey player with quite the story. You can learn everything about him and then some in his memoir, The Late Bloomer: A Memoir Of My Body (previously released as Man Made: A Memoir). The book was released back in 2001 detailing the journey of Ken finding out about a tumour in his brain preventing him from going through puberty until his thirties. At that time, you could read about him in the New York Times, LA Times, and even see him on Oprah! Fast forward to now, the memoir has been re-released and turned into a feature film starring Johnny Simmons, Maria Bello, Brittany Snow, Jane Lynch, J.K. Simmons, Kumail Nanjiani, Beck Bennett and Paul Wesley.
So, how did this all begin? From the outside, it looked like Ken Baker had it all as a hotshot hockey player. However, something just wasn't adding up in terms of the sexual aspect of his life. He was attracted to women, but lacked sex drive and performance (I meant it when I said you would learn everything there is to know about him and more). Ken told me that he spent a lot of time in denial - even when he started lactating after completing a marathon. He eventually discovered that he had a rare brain tumour filling his body with female hormones and had it removed after 6 hours of brain surgery. Finally, Ken felt and functioned like a man.
I could never imagine going through something so taboo and having the guts to share my story with the world - I applauded him for that. He said that in the beginning, "his editor continuously encouraged him to go deeper". The process was quite therapeutic for Ken and he hopes that "readers will be able to feel comfortable with themselves". I did struggle for a while to share something I have been dealing with my whole life - kidney disease - which I ended up revealing to all of you a few months ago. Hearing stories like Ken's makes me realize that everyone has something and I wish more would share their experiences.
To grab a copy of The Late Bloomer click here, and make sure to check out the film on VOD now!