Friday, May 12, 2017

O CANADA - CHRISTIAN ARTISTS FOR CANADA 150

This July is Canada's 150th birthday. I thought, wouldn't it be cool to have a new version of our national anthem recorded, using the artists who make the music we all love!  And so began the project of recording "O Canada".

For years, I've dreamed of recording the national anthem, in a "we are the world" format, bringing in a dozen well-known artists, and each of them singing a lyric line, backed-up by an all-star chorus of singers.

With this year being the 150th anniversary of Canada, it seemed like the right time.

I contacted Andy Horrocks - the award winning producer. Andy is generally known as "the" producer for Christian music in Canada. I'm not sure how many Covenant Awards he has won as Producer of the Year. Or, how many songs he has produced, but "a bunch" would be modest.

Between Andy and myself, we had contact with nearly all of the most well-known artists in the Canadian Christian music industry.

From there, I handed it over to Andy.

Andy brought in a house band to lay down the music track and then he set-up one day for all of the singers to come to his Kitchener studio to record.

He has a large living room and there, on the floor, lay 25 headsets, positioned where each singer was to stand.

It was a fabulous day, hanging out, with all those talented singers in one room. And those who could not attend, recorded their part in a local studio and sent the track to us.

I was overwhelmed in emotion to see all these people, sing so effortlessly, in a patriot way, and honour Canada at this once-in-a-lifetime event.

After the chorus was sung by the collective band, each lead singer went in the studio to sing their part, all directed by Andy.

We named the group Christian Artists For Canada 150. Thanks to David Wang for producing a video to capture a very memorable event in the making.

"O Canada" is released on iTunes, Spotify and included in a national radio special that airs on most Christian radio stations across Canada on Canada Day!

My thanks to all the singers who caught the vision and sacrificed time to be part of this INCREDIBLE piece of music history.





 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

OUR ANNIVERSARY - MAY 9

Nobody wants to read a long blog but finding just one thought to share out of 36 years of marriage is nearly impossible. But, as a radio guy, I'm used to doing "radio edits" so here is the radio version of what could have been a very long blog.

We've been married for 36 years, as of now - 2017. But our history goes back to Grade 7 where we met at Northmount Junior High School in Willowdale (Toronto). Our homes were less than a mile apart.

I'm not sure when we became girlfriend-boyfriend. It started with Janice making maps of Africa for me for geography class. Her maps were colourful and better than mine and she liked making them, so I turned in her maps for marks. (Ah, confession is so good!)

From Northmount we moved on to high school at Newtonbrook and then when I went to Humber College for radio broadcasting, Janice went to York for a biology-geology combo degree.

She joined me in Kingston in 1979 and we were married in 1981.

Tonight, after dinner at the Keg, we'll pull out our photo albums, of which we have many, and reflect.

"How have you stayed together?" people ask, often. If I could site one specific thing it is the concept of surrender.

Janice likes going out crafting with the girls. I like going to concerts. Sometimes our activities will interfere with dinner time, or the use of a car. Where many spouses will say, "You went out last night, tonight I'm going out!  Or - "I need the car, you'll have to stay home!" we have learned to surrender to each other, without any spite.

Each week we go over our personal calendars and see who's going out, travelling, or what night we have guests. (We have dinner guests every week.) It is easy for us to say, "You take the car, I'll stay home."

We live 20 minutes from Barrie and in the winter we have one car. It requires planning and surrender to figure out who takes the car, who is picking up the other, who is running the errands.


If there is one thing we have figured out, it is surrendering to each other. It's us. It's not her and me. It's us.

It saddens me to see my friends nag each other and talk badly about their spouses - the person they picked to do life with.


Janice and I have grown up together - from kids to adults. We've travelled near and far, relocated to different cities, had kids, lost money, found Jesus, seen many concerts, got depression, got arthritis, buried our dogs, lost our parents, and lost friends. Ya, we've lost many friends. But since grade 7 we've still got each other.

We support each other. We cheer on each other. We have decades of memories and photos for when we forget.

Our marriage journey is a bit like the Sonny and Cher's song "I got you babe."

So, if there's one thing I've learned about marriage, it's surrender.

Happy anniversary, Janzel!








 




Friday, March 31, 2017

VISIONS OF SHARATHON

SHARATHON BUDGET

Monthly
Goal: $3,500 in new monthly pledges
Pledged: $4,266

One-Time
Goal: $150,000
Pledged: $168,222

Scenes from Sharathon

Mike Poirier, Luke Crawford, Tyler and Hillary Knegt
from Emmanuel Barrie

Todd Gale and Mike Poirier

Me, playing percussion for Tom Roe.

Me, playing with the Tom Roe Orchestra.

Steve Jones with Darrell Baker from Faith Baptist Church in
Huntsville with David Mann.

David Mann and Todd Gale

Phone Central - Marilyn Bryson with Stephanie Rourke-Jackson

Our theme this year - God Is On The Move

Still quiet...

Time out.
Pastor Darrell Baker from Huntsville.




The totals.





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

I'M THE BOY WITH THE BEAT

About a dozen years ago I ventured to take up playing drums. My friend Gideon Courtney was my teacher, with weekly lessons. While I was in no way a natural musician, I found I was able to keep a fairly steady beat if I stuck to the basics.

I got a few opportunities to play at church from time to time. Then, a couple of years ago, I discovered the cajon! At last, I have found a musical instrument that I love to play! And, maybe, have acquired some skill.

I remember the first time I saw this unusual instrument. It was at the LIFE 100.3 1st anniversary party. Scott Krippayne was the performer and his percussionist played a cajon. A guy, sitting on a wooden box, banging it, and from it came many intriguing beats and sounds!

One day, a few years ago, there was a cajon sitting by my office door, handmade and delivered by a listener. What a coincidence! I was thinking about buying a cajon! It's become a huge blessing!

So now, you might say I'm the boy with a beat.

Now, a few years have past and I've become fairly competent with it. And, I've added some extra effects, like a few shakers, a train whistle, a siren whistle, a guiro, a vibraslap, tambourine, woodblocks, a triangle, splash cymbal, djembe and some bell horns.

In addition to playing nearly weekly at Living For Jesus Outreach Ministries in Orillia, I'm playing with a few friends who each present a different style of music and more variety for me.

Love playing, anytime, anywhere!  I especially love playing along side a drummer on a kit!


All of my percussion stuff.


Playing with John Par and the boys in Elora.


Sitting on the cajon, with a kick pedal and shaker.


Me and Tom Roe playing at Amica in Barrie.


Playing with John and Kevin, (and Steve on spoons) at
Living For Jesus in Orillia.

Friday, January 20, 2017

KINGSTON - HE'S BACK!

http://www.christianflamethrower.com/dial.html#cklcSome of you may know that my first on-air, full-time radio job was at CKLC in Kingston. It was 1978. I was fresh out of college and lucky to start my career at an established station, with a bunch of other guys my age, similar personalities with a couple of bosses who taught us to love radio as much as them.

After the first few years, I was restless and bored, playing the same Canadian songs every night. (The programming department stacked the Cancon in the late hours to make the quota and keep the CRTC happy.)


In 1983-85, I was being influenced by a couple of other radio guys - Howard Stern whom I could hear thru AM static from New York City on WNBC and Rob Christie at 630 CHED in Edmonton, whom I enjoyed via cassette tape, recorded in Edmonton by a friend. The other influence was David Letterman, still new on NBC late night, full of sarcasm and originality.

My personality morphed into a combination of the three entertaining guys with a sprinkling of memories from 1050 CHUM's Scott Carpenter as I recalled from my teen years.

The "Scott Jackson Zoo" or "Sanitarium" was birthed from 10pm-1am. The record count per hour dropped as the phone calls and listener interaction increased. There were regular listeners who called in a character and silly recurring features that often got me in trouble with the boss.

After my show at 1am, I would begin producing bits for the next show. It got crazier and sillier and with some foresight, I kept tapes of the shows - "just in case".

Well, "just in case" has come to fruition. I have recently volunteered to provide a one-hour radio show to CJAI - a public radio station on Amherst Island, just outside of Kingston.  The playlist consists of songs from my CKLC era - Poison, Duran Duran, Supertramp, and a few others. Each show has an original CKLC bit from those days 30 years ago, except now I can't get in trouble! If you ever called CKLC and were on my show, you might hear yourself on the new show on CJAI! Just warning you!

Tune in Tuesdays at 9pm. It's an unleased hour. Who would have thought?!

 


Saturday, December 24, 2016

THE SHOWS, THE SONGS AND THE DAYS - 2016

On the previous blog I posted photos of some of my favourite moments of 2016. Here are three lists that summarize it all.  My favourite shows, favourite songs and favourite days.


THE SHOWS

  1. Manic Drive and KJ-52 at LIFE 100.3's Air Raid 25 in Oro Station
  2. To Tell house party - at my house.
  3. Dan Bremnes and The Color at Emmanuel Orillia
  4. Alice Cooper at Casino Rama
  5. Mark Lindsay, Chuck Negron, The Cowsill, The Turtle and Gary Puckett at the Beacon Theatre in NYC
  6. Brian Wilson and the band singing "I Get Around" at Massey Hall
  7. Paul McCartney in Hamilton, and after leading my friend to Christ
  8. Handsome and Gretyl at Centennial Park in Nashville
  9. Jimmy Needham at LIFE 100.3's Rock The Lake in Orillia
  10. "A Night With Janis Joplin" at the Panasonic Theatre, Toronto

THE SONGS
(not necessary released this year but were my favourites this year)
  1. Handsome and Gretyl/Avalanche
  2. Handsome and Gretyl/My Heart Is Set
  3. Tim McGraw/Humble and Kind
  4. Matthew West/Join The Angels
  5. Relient K/Bummin’
  6. The Classic Crime/Beautiful Darkside
  7. Luke Langman/Something Real
  8. Jonathan Thulin/Jeykll and Hyde
  9. Tauren Wells/Love Is Action
  10. Beach Boys/Let Him Run Wild

THE DAYS
  1. Handsome and Gretyl Summer Tour across America
  2. Visiting James Dean 1955 crash site in California
  3. Mixing "Doom and Gloom" by the Rolling Stones in NYC
  4. The CKLC reunion with old friends at CJAI on Amherst Island
  5. Visiting Pittsburgh Institution in Kingston, many times.
  6. Speaking at Alliston Pentecostal Church on November 27. My best day.
  7. Pulling a near suicide victim out of the lake.
  8. Visiting Alcatraz Penitentiary in San Francisco
  9. The day my daughter Crystal Martin started full-time at LIFE.
  10. Playing cajon for Chris Bray in Brechin

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

THE BEST OF 2016

Air Raid 25 featuring Manic Drive, with KJ-52, Leina and The Walk, May 14, 2016
 at Trinity Community Church in Oro Station.
 
KJ-52 and me.

hanging in the office at rock and roll central

My last day with Anthem For Today - in Kingston on Good Friday.

Cruise to Belize

The LIFE DJ's with guest speaker Adrian Bell.

Breakfast

Living on the waterfront

New floor

Coke tat for my birthday

Me speaking at Banting Memorial Secondary School

The CKLC on-air guys - reunion.

hanging with Eric Tremblay at CJAI

To Tell playing in my house.

Brian Wilson at Massey Hall

Dan Bremnes and the band at my house

Alice Cooper at Rama

Paul McCartney in Hamilton

Grandkids

Teaching Kyler to ride

Kai and me.

35th anniversary

Silent auction for the Alice photo.

Handsome and Gretyl Tour in Nashville

The RV that took us across the country.

Jake Stanley and Cody Marshall with me - xmas party

Visiting JR Ewing at Southfork Ranch, Dallas

Good to see Tim Cardascia again, in Sacremento

Summer

Visiting the James Dean crash site - L.A.

Home

Handsome and Gretyl in L.A.

The Mint in L.A.

Former site of CBGBs New York

Tim and Ros Maassarany visiting.

Hanging with the PM


Joyceville

Visiting Jason at Easter

Mark Lindsay in New York at the Beacon.

Times Square

Luke Langman and me - LIFE xmas party

Crystal, AJ, Janice and me.

Jimmy Needham at Rock The Lake

Alcatraz



The best gym - San Francisco

Me and Crystal at Rock The Lake

The cell in Alcatraz

Haight Ashbury in San Francisco

Tim Maassarany at Sharathon

Sharaton - Jay Davis, me and Tim Maasarany

Giving away a hot tub - Andrew Robertson, Todd Gale,
me, winner, owner, Steve Jones

Rolling Stones Exhibitionism, me remixing "Doom and Gloom"

me and Pastor Wayne Lucas.
 
Miss you Kingston.

The LIFE staff at I Fly Toronto. L-F - Todd, TVD, Steve, Cathy, me, Crystal, Luke
Jillian, Cody, Jake, Tim, Luke, Glen

me with The Color

Pastor Jim and Pat Woolcott