Author Archive


June 19, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized


June 19, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized


June 19, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

HEAD DOWN-HOW IT ALL BREAKS DOWN-john emms cd review

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

You have to appreciate the hard work and dedication that a lot of local artists do to pursue their passion. Timmins punk/pop rockers Head Down are a prime example.
I recently attended their cd release party at the Vic Tavern and totally enjoyed the vibe this trio puts out.
The place was packed with their hard core fans and the band’s energy was all consuming.
The trio made up of guitarist/vocalist Dale Yungwirth, drummer Krys Saudino and bass player Brad Quinn are promoting their new fourth independent cd titled How It All Breaks Down.
Right from the faded in explosive opening salvo of Up Against The Wall and the sing a long gang vocal to Holding Out the band welds together a pop sensibility within the sonic speed driven assault of Saudino’s drumming.
It’s something that has to heard to be appreciated. The arrangements are super tight and adventurous as displayed on Move Ahead one of my fave cuts. If you take the attitude and smack of something like Nirvana’s Drain You and married it Weezer’s early work you have an idea of Head Down’s sound.
Their is also a nice dynamic happening with the the harmony vocals on every track notalbly tracks such as Go Slowly and Stay Awake. The attitude of this cd is driven home aggressivley on the ending track Make This Point.
After you consume these songs, you realize lyrically the band is in great shape. It’s very intelligent and you can easily see why fans dig into lyrics such as this from Make This Right
“Let’s pick it up again tonight, without limits to daylight, meet up where bonds are tight. Without our skeptics and our igonorance aside we redeem ourselves to ourselves.  And when we wake up and we realize that friendships have been rewound and tightly tied. This is our life, This is our high and here we will confide”
Head Down have great attitude, and the band’s music is refeshing and vital.
Don’t delay, You can pick up the cd at Cd Plus Timmins Square and Proud Tattoos for $9.99
In other news. I just completed an interview with lead vocalist Brian Vollmer from Canuck classic hard rockers Helix. The band has the original classic lineup back together and will be at The Vic July 2nd for a no holds barred show. Look for that soon.
Categories: Uncategorized

Sarah McLachlan-Laws of Illusion-“Gorgeous songcraft” john emms cd review

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Delivering an album this good 20 years into your career is no easy feat. But Laws of Illusion Sarah McLachlan’s first cd in 7 years catches her at a creative peak.

 With 10 new songs and 3 bonus singles, McLachlan enticies the listener with gorgeous songcraft and an intuitive sense of her own abilities.

 If there is one word that could describe McLachlan’s work here it is atmospheric.

In addition, a big plus from the stellar opening track Awakenings and throughout the album is the fact that there is a band atmopshere. Contributers like drummer Matt Chamberlain and  guitarists Colin Cripps, Bill Dillon and Luke Doucet make important dynamic touches behind McLachlan’s superb song choices.

The bouncy piano pop of the first single Loving You Is Easy is effortless. Indeed  the meat of the album comes via the superb melodies of songs like Changes , Illusions Of Bliss, and Out of Tune as well as the  Gabrile-esque pop of Heartbreak.

Producer/Musician Pierre Marchand’s contributions to this cd as usual cannot not be overlooked. Whether as an engineer or player Marchand offers up an organic sense of  musicianship that creates a balance of old and new without sacrifice to McLachlan’s songwriting.

Look for at least 3 major singles to appear from this album.  McLachlan’s hugely popular Lilith Fair is almost underway and the  Grammy winner looks poised and ready to tour behind a very strong album

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist who writes product reviews for all major and some indie labels. His new roots/rock radio show COLLECTION OF SONGS is available as a podcast on Apple iTunes and can heard  24/7 here

JOHN is a member of THE SHAFTMEN and his new solo cd is due out in July 2010

Categories: Uncategorized


June 9, 2010 2 comments

This dvd has been the missing link in my love affair with the original vinyl recording of The Rolling Stone’s  Exile On Main Street. 

For literally a million other fans, it’s possible it will be a must have piece of  “Stones”  history, which of course will make the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment (the distributor) very happy.

But for now just for a pargraph or so let’s back up a bit

I bought the original vinyl copy of this album in the summer of 1972 at Sam The Record Man in Toronto. Some of my friends were not sure if  was all that great. 

I disagreed.  I lived this album. Thirty something years later I still find the soul of  this recording to mean something in my life.  Sure I’m older I have a grandson, I have been through many of life’s up and downs, played in lots of blues rock bands and yet still this album lingers. Vintage seems to be a good description.

Back to the DVD.  Due out June 22/2010 this dvd shows some amazing archival footage and photos of The Rolling Stones at Nellcote. This where some of the songs were initially recorded but had yet to be fully devoloped.

 The film also has narration from Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and photographer Dominque Tarle as well as Anita Pallenberg and engineer Andy Johns.

In addition you get assorted rock star cameo comments from Jack White, Sheryl Crow film director Martin Scorcese and current Rolling Stone producer/musician Don Was to name a few. 

At 145 minutes it goes in depth to say the least. The only thing better than this would be a full on 2 hour archival concert from the 1972 American Tour.

As Bill Wyman states in an interview segment on this dvd  “No band could touch us at this point in our career.  No one was  even close”

Amen to that.  This dvd will available June 22/2010

John Emms is a veteran music journalist and musician. Emms does product reviews for many major and indie labels. His new rock roots radio show COLLECTION OF SONGS is now available as a podcast at Apple iTunes and online at

JOHN is the songwriter/vocalist with THE SHAFTMEN  His new solo cd will be out July 2010

Categories: Uncategorized


June 9, 2010 1 comment

Unforced and totally organic Celleste’s Ready To Fly is  easily one of the most vibrant and refreshing cd’s  I have heard this year.

 Let’s put it this way,  When you listen to about 20 new cd’s a month you may only really completley dig a new artist 2 or 3 times in the entire year. Celleste’s Ready to Fly is one of the those finds.

 This cd took  me by complete surprise. First off the songs, vibe, and Celleste’s vocal work hits you in a distinctive way.

Almost dare I say like an old vinyl recording. If  that was not enough producer and co-songwriter Eric Dick’s skill at integrating  melodies and riffs is at the heart of the cd.

I love the fact the cd blasts off with two distinctive rockers Real Love and Yer Goin’ Down.  The riffs and hooks are deep. From there the acoustic rootsy Drive and piano based Falling capture a deeper vocal feel and ambience.

The mid tempo Whatcha Doing To Me and the  70’s classic rock Dreamboat Annie  Heart era title track expand what Dick and Celleste are tring to achieve.

The feel of a classic rock recording in 2010. To their credit  they come awful close.  

John Emms is a veteran published journalist working with major  and indie labels.  His new roots/rock radio show can be heard here and as a feature podcast on Apple iTunes John is the songwriter/vocalist with The Shaftmen  His new solo c d will be out  July 2010

Categories: Uncategorized