musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Toronto Canada (Page 2 of 2)

Introducing… The Boxcar Boys

Damn, these guys and gals are hellacious fun. Clarinet, accordion, harmonica, piano, violin, washboard, bass drum, banjo, trombone, jaw harp, sousaphone — it’s a crazy jambalaya of Klezmer, vintage Dixieland jazz, New Orleans blues, old timey folk and a healthy dose of hillbilly from various bygone eras. They released their third full-length album, Cicada Ball, back in September.

Based in Toronto, Canada, this sauce sextet plays beautifully together, weaving effortlessly in and out of each other’s sophisticated playing. They’re amazing — both incredibly accomplished and delightfully whimsical. In addition to their usual (unusual) instrumentation, the album features cello banjo (Sheesham and Lotus), Adrian Gross on mandolin (The Slocan Ramblers) and Michael Eckert on dobro (The Double Cuts).

If you happen to live in Toronto, you’re in luck. The Boxcar Boys (and girls) seem to have a residency going on at the wonderfully-named C’est What. They’re also playing at the Sharbot Lake Country Inn on November 28. My guess is that a lot of crazy unhinged dancing and general merriment and mayhem will ensue. Hmm, I wonder if these guys know about the Honk! Festival?


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Introducing… Hayden

Ok, so actually this isn’t an introduction for Canadians, as Toronto-based Paul Hayden Desser a.k.a. Hayden has been performing and quietly releasing albums since 1994. However, he’s known as being something of a reclusive, so don’t be alarmed if you’ve never heard of him and didn’t know that he’s just put out his seventh album, Us Alone. The first six albums were on his own (obscure) Hardwood Records label, but this time, he’s signed with Arts & Crafts, realizing that it might be a good idea career-wise to actually let some people know when you’ve put out new music. It’s possible that what led to this foray into public life was that he was erroneously listed as “deceased” on on his Wikipedia page. Fortunately, the error was brought to his attention by a fan. As he himself said, “I was dead six months before anyone noticed.” Humor is so essential in this business.

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