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Canadian Homegrown Talent 2002

A great Canadan singer/songwriter Mantler is about to release his second cd on the German TomLab label. It’s part Bacharach, part early 70s blue-eyed soul, a fusion of all that is good about perfect pop, and all Chris Cummings. Your contact should watch out for it.

Also, veteran Toronto band Wayne Omaha are almost finished their latest cd, recorded in London and on Toronto Island, at Dale Morningstar‘s studio the Gas Station. I can’t remember who is distributing them. They have a Velvet Underground/Luna/Byrds/Grateful Dead jangly twang-thing happening. They are Canadian bar tour warhorses as well.

Then there’s the multi-talented, multi-media musician, filmmaker, wizard, mister nobu, formerly of the now-defunct Halifax band Rick Of The Skins (Sloan called them the best live band in Canada when they were touring a couple of years back) and now the host of the upcoming CBC television game show Smart Ask, with his latest self-release, C’mon Wid Your C’mons. Think of a 21st century version of Smiley Smile, with great homespun harmonies and intelligent melodies with quirky but surprising “piecemeal” and off-the-cuff song construction. Lovely.

Gemini award-winning comedy writer (Kids In The Hall, This Hour Has 22 Minutes) Paul Bellini has recently released a new pop cd, called Put Paul First. Very diverse, sometimes funny, always interesting. Worth a listen.

Also: Peterborough’s The Silver Hearts, The Constantines, Rocket Tits, and The Hidden Cameras. And in the “where are they now” files: Brian Gravestock. One of the best songwriters this country doesn’t know about.

Short Shotgun Music Reviews, written for Elm Street Magazine