Comedian and TV personality, Gerry Dee, has been making audiences laugh for two decades and to mark the occasion, he will embark on a new tour, 20 Years of Stand Up presented by Shopbrain. Dee will take his trademark humour about marriage, fatherhood, and his years as a teacher to 14 cities across Canada beginning at Casino Rama on March 1 and concluding on May 24 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
“Stand up is where it all started for me 20 years ago,” said Dee. “I’m very grateful to the fans who have supported me along the way and I look forward to celebrating this milestone with them on the tour.” The tour will follow the 8th and final season of the award-winning sitcom Mr D., created, written by and starring Dee. Currently airing on CBC, the show will take its final bow on December 19, 2018.
With his 19th album, Miles to Go (out Sept. 21, on Stony Plain Records in the USA and True North Records ROW), Colin James is getting back to the blues. And he’s also getting back to the road, announcing a 24-date, 23-city Canadian tour. Miles to Go, Colin James’ ambitious sequel to the critically acclaimed Blue Highways, continues James’ story with a collection of carefully curated songs handpicked from some of the greatest blues artists. In the months leading up to the recording, as James was reflecting on songs for the album he decided to reacquaint himself with a beautiful red Gibson ES-335. It was just like the guitar he played as a teenager but regretfully had to sell for rent money. While James reconnected with this guitar, Miles to Go seemed to just flow onto the studio floor. This album blends songs old and new, some of them completely reimagined and some almost perfect homages. But all are unified by a theme of undying love for the blues and the highest respect for the creators that led the way.
Known as one of Canada’s best blues musicians, it wasn’t until 2016’s Blue Highways that James found himself on a blues chart: the album spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the Roots Music Report’s Blues Chart. It also landed him one of his biggest hits: “Riding in the Moonlight”. A Willie Dixon song that James once covered when busking in the streets and subways of Toronto and Montreal that landed on a Spotify playlist garnering millions of streams.
When James set out to make Blue Highways, an album of blues covers recorded with his touring band, he always intended it to be the first of two installments. Now we have Miles to Go, in which James records nine new covers of his favourite artists (Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Little Willie John, Robert Johnson, etc.) and adds two originals, “I Will Remain” and “40 Light Years.” “Blues has always been a pass-it-forward kind of thing,” says James. “It’s also surprisingly hard to write. You have to be careful how modern you get in your phrasing. Certain writers can write a song that sounds like it was done 40 years ago, but it’s deceptively hard.”
Celebrating 50 years of being Canada’s band! Recognized as one of the best performing acts of their time, they toured 300 days a year including sold out performances at Carnegie Hall, the Fillmore East, Fillmore West, Expo ‘70 in Japan and the Isle of Wight Festival in England where they were the only act besides Kris Kristofferson (who had trouble with his sound system) asked to perform twice among acts that included The Doors, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, The Who and Chicago. Back home, their free concerts at Toronto’s Nathan Philips Square attracted one hundred thousand people. Indeed, it’s hard to find a person who lived in Canada through the 1970s who didn’t see the group live.