This was a Season 1 Episode 6 and 7 interview of all time for us at Comedy Fusion Show repeated in Season 4 Episodes 1 and 2! Grammy award-winning songwriter, producer and world touring guitarist from Toronto, Adrian tells us about his time writing with and touring with world rap and r&b sensation "Drake"! Adrian is the guitar blaze behind Drake's sound and he tells us about his studio work, arranging music, producing music and touring around the world and playing at some of the most renowned festivals on earth, including the massive Glastonbury Festival!! Adrian also opened up about his work Liz Lokre and what makes her music a true "Toronto Sound".
Her golden voice and golden image are on full display today when we talk about her rise to award-winning singer-songwriter and performing artist. Her stories are as inspirational as her music. Enjoy.
Arlene throws a high-inside slider that takes both Toph and Thudman by surprise when she opens up about how even as a child playing music, it was not her first love. Now years on, and a debut EP later, she has found a perfect symmetry between the two half of her life and it is a wonderfully creative fit at that. Thudman, of course, finds one vein of something strange and unusual with our guests story-line...and he hammers her with it for the rest of the time she's with us. Put it this way...by the time the end of the show rolls around and she has one more song, she is STILL laughing and has to compose herself in order to perform. It was a beauty!!
We focus on, in this special edition remastered version of our time with Carl Dixon, his time with Canadian rockers "Coney Hatch". There is the audition, the faster-than-expected rise to their zenith, then the fractures that followed. This is a no-holds-barred honest and from-the-heart account of that amazing time in 80's rock. Plus a first-person view of the highs and the regrets that came from it all.
In the Comedy Fusion Show studio, Cat Bernardi discusses her beginnings and rise to commercial music. She is a multi-talented performer in that she spends as much time behind the piano composing original music and rearranging standards for her music career as she does writing and developing musical theatre. She has played some of the best jazz bars in Toronto, Canada as well as many of the biggest jazz festivals in the Greater Toronto Area. She walks us through her latest projects that include a recently recorded full-length live LP that she is still overseeing the mix-down of and tips her hand as to what she has on the horizon that she is writing and collaborating on for stage production. It’s a big-time interview with a big-time vocalist and writer.
Cat has 2 very successful lives; last week we covered her music and jazz vocalist career and today we dive in for a full-picture look at her foray into composing and writing original theatre… MUSICAL theatre. Today’s episode of Comedy Fusion Show opens and closes the way Cat would design a stage production; book-ended by two great pieces of original music.
We sit down first with Founder and Artistic Director of Classic Albums Live, Craig Martin, and discuss the foundation of this company. he takes us from his days as a tribute rocker to when the lightbulb shot on with this bright idea. We talk about the struggles of the early days and the fun it was tinkering around with ideas and being allowed to "explore the space". If there is one thing that Craig makes clear as day: he LOVES the s--- out of music and he loves sharing it with the world.
Today with Craig Martin we continue our time looking into the history, the highlights and lo-lights of his project that grew too big for concert halls, and even Canada. With shows in the US and a residency in Miami, we cover it all. And this is Toph's favourite segment of the interview series because we dig into the possibility of CAL tackling and presenting Genesis!! Toph's favourite band in life has always been Genesis from the beginning to the end and all eras. So we chatted up what album would be the best representation; Toph has his pick, Thudman has his...then Craig shocks us all with the best option given the target market, the biggest possible audience reach; and the fact that he'd like to actually make money doing it :-). LOL!!
Music Director Rob Phillips gets brought into the conversation along with Founder Craig Martin, Toph and the Thudman. We talk about his time with CAL and his successful music career that preceded it. We go through the many shows he has performed in the VERY MASSIVE Classic Albums Live repertoire. We talk about the struggles of recruiting and casting the perfect members for a show ensemble. We also get into a few stories from the years and from the road that makes it plain why "moms, don't let your children grow up to be rock stars". We have a surprise drop-in by a drummer who gained his fame with one of the preeminent Canadian alt-rock bands that dominated in the Golden '90s! That's a surprise you're just gonna have to listen for.
When we left off last week, Music Director, Rob Phillips dropped a bit about musician shenanigans and Thudman brought up drugs in the industry....that interview ended abruptly with Founder Craig Martin stating "yeah, drugs and Classic Albums Live don't mix..." Today we find out where that came from and where it goes.
While chatting music, touring, producing and troupe budgeting with Director and Founder Craig Martin, he wrangles in one of his lead drummers from his show, Mr. Ryan Granville Martin. He is actually the husband of last week's guest, Mia Sheard. This is the final edition of our time with Classic Albums Live and it was one WILD ride!!
In the first part of our time with David, he talked about his move from Scotland to Canada and the music he brought here from there. We discuss his unique writing approach and the influences he draws on for his muse. You’d have to wonder how a highlander would come to make Nashville almost an adopted home; his story is full of heart and light. Then before we sign off, we get to hear his single “Runaway Train”. Y’all are gonna love David Leask!
Today we conclude our time with singer, songwriter, guitarist and “looper”; David Leask. In today's Part2 episode, we start straight into gigging. He talks about why it is more necessary in today's world of music and how he makes it all work with life. He also walks us through the composition of work while utilizing a digital looper machine. BUT, he does it all in the most effective and engaging way that only a true Scot could. He is so wicked-cool, and his song at the end of the show will likely have you backing up the timeline scroll to listen to it again. Live off the floor from our CFS Studios; the only place you can hear this, done this way.
Frank joins us in our studio, in Episode 5, and opens up about the strange, bizarre and oftentimes desperate life of a Canadian speciality actor. As a puppeteer and voice-over actor, Frank Meschkuleit tells us what it was like behind the scenes, working with Jim Henson and his world-famous Muppets on Canadian Television shows including the widely popular "Fraggle Rock". But you will be most excited when he tells the story behind the story of his most successful job as the voice in "Toopy and Binoo"!! Frank discusses the struggle to find work between shows, his approach to television vs. stage work and the creative process involved in puppet manipulation and voice-over acting.
Grenville joins us in the Comedy Fusion Show studio for the first time and it was definitely memorable. He is one of a kind, he tells it like it is and holds no punches. Music industry is hard and his path was very unconventional. He tells us about the start, the climb and the instrument he actually started on….hint….it did not fit in his arms. He is as dynamic on a podcast as he is in concert...alright, maybe that’s a stretch but it’s not far off, cuz he’s like electricity when he plays. And he treats us to one of his most popular tracks from his most popular album and, as usual on the Comedy Fusion Show, it’s live and a version you will get nowhere else but here with us!
For this conclusion segment, Grenville opens up about his mom and what she meant to him and his career. He stuns both Toph and the Thudman with revelations about what his first instrument was, what launched his incredibly unique and lucrative niche in the market; plus he hits us up with a story involving a run-in with the law when he was younger. Just like last week's session, Grenville pulls no punches and tells it like it is from the heart.
We meet our first classically trained musician, Haley Marie, and she turns the show on its head! She blazes into how as a youngster she had NO interest in classical music, she wanted to play rock. She has an amazing, yet controversial take on "Flutist vs. Flautist" that will spin your head. She discusses her past love of pro wrestling, watching the old WWF while cheering for the classics: Ted Dibiasi and Ric Flair to name a few. Then, after describing to us why her flute's mouthpiece is a special wood section and NOT metal, Haley-Marie dives into Bach, Beethoven and Mozart and how everything we have been told about them and the music scene from their day is basically contrived stories and lies. The truth is actually WAY better than our fiction....and we now know why it could not be taught in schools...especially not today! It's all in Part 1 of our time with Flutist/Flautist/Vlogger, Haley-Marie.
In this follow-up episode with Haley-Marie, we discuss her career, her company and then things nose dive into the seedy and the sordid side of the classical era. If you thought you knew JS Bach, Franz Liszt and the way concerts were received in the renaissance...you don't know nuttin’! From barnstorming to panties thrown from the crowd, and doctors who weren't doctors and played a hand in the death of some of the masters! It’s all here in Part 2 with Haley-Marie. Then she delights us with a light and bright German piece that is as quirky as it is beautiful.
We wrap up our 3-part mini-series with the brilliantly talented Haley-Marie as she dedicates this whole segment to the music and the history of The Beatles. All Toph had to do was ask about her personal integration of Classical music with her love of Rock and Roll and BOOM! - off she goes! :) There are stories here on The Beatles that unless you are an authority on their history (which Haley-Marie is) you would never know any of what we get into today. Plus we kept the “tape rolling” on a really cool special piece she plays and if you last right to the end of this episode…..you’ll be glad you did.
Today's interview segment was very much a parallel between The Beatles trials and tribulations and the balance Haley-Marie struck in getting stories we'd never heard before to the stage. She lays out the actual production details for "The Men Behind the Music: The Beatles Edition" so we get a good glimpse into what to expect at the show. This show digs deep and sifts through roots looking for truths behind the truths. Today is a blend of more stories and how they fit the show.
Today we wrapped our time with the brilliant Haley-Marie. We break it down into a wrap discussion about while she is mounting and presenting "The Men Behind the Music: The Beatles Edition", what is she planning for next possibly; and she closes with thoughts on "The Women Behind The Music"!! She is a gem and we can't wait to see her show this Spring!! (May 14, 2020, at Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts)
World musician, Latin guitarist and spiritual teacher; Johannes Linstead needed 2 episodes to cover it all! Johannes walks us through the process that got him to where he is today as a Grammy and Juno Award-winning musician. He discusses the finer nuances of music structure, the subtle and obvious different approaches to nylon vs. steel strings and what it took to get him to lay down his first vocal tracks to an album. He makes it quite plain what it takes to make it in this business and how his spiritual side played a major role in that. We discuss what happened to him that was so powerful and beautiful that it changed his life forever as a Yogi and meditation guide.
Today with Karen Thornton, we chat about where she started in her songwriting and performance career and how it evolved over the years. While walking back the years, we also uncovered great stories of the live performance “establishments” and opportunities that used to be in place and what may have played into their disappearance. For anyone who either lives in or near Toronto, as well for anyone who has ever visited the city, this is a very cool look at its music scene then and now. However, having said all that, we knew we needed her to appear on our show when we caught wind of her MUSICAL COMEDY compositions!! Just the titles of her 2 songs in this episode (“You Can’t Dance” & “Please Don’t Sing) are enough for you to want in on this action!
Liz brings us from her earliest beginnings in church choirs to stage musicals to working in this very unforgiving industry and then to her anthem song "Rise Up". In Season 4 Episode 1 we get to hear a very intimate and honest acoustic version of "Rise Up" and then to close out Season 4 Episode 2, we coax her into letting us hear a brand new track that she is planning for her forthcoming collection of EP releases. This song is still in the working stage with her and Adrian so we are all very fortunate to hear something this rare.
We talk about the creative process, the casting and the challenges of being an independent filmmaker in Canada. We talk about the latest success, "SHAPES" that they presented at a number of festivals including on that took them to Los Angeles! Not only did they attend, but many of the cast members paid their own way there to be a part of it. It is as inspirational a story as it is educational, eye-opening and hilarious!!
Today we wrap our time with Frankie and Julian in Part 2 of "SHAPES". During this session, we cover "what's next". They have a surprising answer. But they walk us back in the process to take us into the map of what they need to do and where they need to go in the process to get to their ultimate destination. Seat belts on everyone, here we go.....!
On today’s program, Rob talks about his latest album “Synergy”. He talks to Toph and the Thudman about how he has established himself as an award-winning guitarist and recording artist performing contemporary jazz/world instrumental music. We chat about how many of his releases have charted on Billboard's Top 10, he has been recognized as the Canadian Smooth Jazz Guitarist of the year in 2010 and Rob won 1st place in the IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) in 2017 for best instrumental composition for "Voyageur" (CD: Moments). We cover his accolades and successes and later in the program, he plays an exclusive live version of his song “Moments” This is part one of our time with Rob Tardik to close out the second season of Comedy Fusion Show. Today will likely have you reaching for something to sip with salsa...or just sip salsa on its own...but wouldn’t that then just be gazpacho? Regardless this leaves us off in a perfect position to check out next week’s continuation of our time with him.
In this session, Rob expands on his discussion regarding the absolute dedication to “the dream”. He tells us about how he imparts on his children the ideals that go with striving for success in anything. He has a motto: “No Plan B”; go into what you want with no looking back. He recounts the successes and setbacks along the way to where he is today, playing at some of the biggest music festivals anywhere and he tells us some of those stories as well. AND he too has a side business that he has wrapped up nicely into his music career: HOT SAUCE! Yes, you read this correctly; Rob Tardik tells us about how Hot Sauce became “a thing” and how he fits it into his career universe. This is an interview you and your kids need to listen to; everybody learns something important today!!
We close with Rob with him taking us back to where he began...at the beginning. If you have a child who aspires to be a musician, especially a guitarist...you NEED to hear this! He talks us through getting started in his youth, who inspired him and what his first instrument was. SHOCKER ALERT: his first instrument was NOT the guitar!! We get that story plus a wildly hair-raising hilarious recounting of WHO his first real influence was...and you will NEVER in any lifetime have seen THIS coming :) LOL He discusses his time with Roland Canada and how he came to love and acquire his Godin guitars, made in Montreal. You will come for the insight, you will stay for THE most improbable inspiration story you have ever heard!!
We chat with Mia Sheard about her career in music through the '90s that has resulted in 4 albums, a scorching Joni Mitchell tribute show and a ton of shows with Classic Albums Live. Link
Haley-Marie is Back! She is back after her first appearance on CFS back in season 2 but now she is all rock and roll. Still a very talented and accomplished classical flautist and educated specialist in music history; now she launches a brand new show to her repertoire and her FIRST outside of classical: "The Men Behind The Music: The Beatles Edition". Get ready for this! Link
Chris Burr and Colin Ferguson open from the highest point in the company’s history; the evening of the grand launch party for both the new facility and the new game. We discuss the transition between games and their development as well as the funding and process for that. The company grows from a few to over 20 and things really take off! But the video game biz is as fickle and competitive as music and acting in many ways, so Chris and Colin take us through the tribulations and triumphs on today’s episode with them.
We open our 3-part series with Canada’s “The Wanted” by diving right into the process behind the varied setlists dependent on venue. We discuss the many challenges but also pleasures of different venue types, and Natalie walks us through not only how she builds a show, but Jeff and Richard chime in on how it’s also necessary it is to be able to “duck and weave” depending on the setting. The 3 members of this group all came from distinctly different musical backgrounds and they have a ball relating how it all comes together for his unique mix.
In part 2 of our time with Canada’s “The Wanted, we get all into the myriad of instruments that this band plays. Instruments you either had never heard of or thought were long forgotten; they are all played in our segments with The Wanted and in this discussion we learn their rich history. The story doesn't end there however; The Wanted have the history of the time that gave rise to each unique piece so that we come away with a true appreciation for not just the instrument itself, but the music it creates and the heritage it adds to.
Today Natalie, Jeff and Richard discuss band chemistry and the very unique and varied pasts they each bring to the group. Collaboration is always a tricky topic, especially when you have 3 members who are so different coming in, but there is a psychology behind it all; there has to be, especially after the many many members of the band over the years! We hit up their favourite gigs, favourite lawyers (?), how SARS shaped the course of the band’s history forever; plus a 200-year Canadian heritage that you never saw coming! All this and a song at the end of the episode that will have you hitting the rewind button to listen to it again, and again, and again, and…….
In this instalment of our time with Matt Zaddy we discuss what it takes for a Canadian musician to make it a full-time profession. The musical landscape has changed a lot and it is particularly tough in Canada even with ConCan regulations. We hit on digital distribution, self-promotion and hard-copy production, its expanse and their sales. You will be surprised to find out what instrument he actually started with first and THE unlikeliest of reasons behind the switch to guitar. This interview has it all!!
Matt finishes his time with us in a discussion about the varied performance opportunities he creates for himself. He isn't just a guy with a guitar and great songs waiting to be discovered; this dude goes out and grinds. But wait till you hear how he "gets out there"; it's brilliant! But for such a soft touch and gentle voice, we dig deeper on his past roots. All this PLUS he treats us to 2 songs to bring Season 4 to the best ending yet for Comedy Fusion Show. All of the tunes he's played here and last week can be found own his website and that can all be found on our site. You gotta follow this guy...he gigs a lot!