got together Sat. May 27th at Cadillac Lounge in beautiful Toronto for a meeting of the musical minds to share their uniqueness with their fans. Jughead amalgamates contemporary to progressive styles while adding a spin on their adrenaline rush folk music.  Jughead unites metal, punk and rock with bluegrass for a one-of-a-kind sound all their own.  These multi-award winning Motorgrass Aficionados are life long master pickers, grinners and foot stompers that have captivated their audiences for decades.  These movers, shakers, & high spirited men have legions of fans worldwide and have been quoted by the world's largest names like: Lemme Kilmister of Motorhead said in a BBC interview "Jughead's version of Ace of Spades was the only cover version of his song he ever liked." Bill Monroe (the father of Bluegrass) liked Jughead so much he jumped up on stage and started dancing while Jughead was performing.  Even Jugheads' hit single "Hockey Song", can be heard at the Hockey Hall of Fame and at most NHL hockey games and it earned them a Gold record from Attic Records.  Their magic of combining musical genres is so addictive and intriguing, give them a listen at www.jughead.ca

Michael Phillips (multi instrumentalist & vocalist)

Brian Morgan (fiddle and vocals).

Daniel Joseph "Sugar Lips" on harmonica,
Mike Smith on Washboard, John Mets on spoons, Tim James on gut bucket bass played with a washboard, cord and a hockey stick, Nick Tjelios on mandolin and vocals, Andrew Queen on jug, kazoo and vocals & Chris Quinn
on banjo.  

Missing was Tim James as he left to raise a family and his replacement Mike Raphone was also in attendance.  All were missing Andrew's twin brother Doug's accordion talents who sadly passed away a few years ago.  Also, absent was Tod Gallant, who replaced Mike Raphone on bucket.
This was a stellar turnout regarding the talent on stage and the full house audience who were eager to get their dose of the mastered rockabilly covers like Ace of Spades (Motorhead), Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) & I Wanna be Sedated (The Ramones) not to mention their most popular originals like "Hockey Song" It was as if the pause button was on all these years, and click, they were back in time.  The audience simply ate it up, including myself.   It's their talented delivery that sets them apart from the rest and makes them a must see entertainment force.  Did you know, this group of go getters back in the 80's helped raise $700,000 for Aids research?  

1st portion of the night was a CD Release celebration for Mighty Lopez "Tales From the Wood" https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/mightylopez2
It was a lot of fun.  Michael Phillips a multi instrumentalist performed accordion,
Banjo, Ukelele,
stand up bass to an eager audience who's applause could be heard for miles.  
                                      George Axon brought warm flavor on dobro and mandolin
Sean Cotton brought depth on guitar & kazoo, mixing with the enjoyable
percussion section with
Shon Roper
and on bass
the beautiful Tricia Foster.  
Stay in tune with Mighty Lopez (Michael Phillips) at www.mightylopez.com
or jig on over to https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/mightylopez2 to enjoy
Tales From the Wood CD.  This showcase presented all his finest masterpieces:
Expresso & Weed, Everytime You Smile, Dining Down and Out, Hard Time of Year, Hillbilly and Honky Tonk, Shot With my Own Gun, I'm Leaving, Oil Boomtown, Waiting For The Walls, I Didn't Stand a Chance, Walking With My Baby & Dancing Moose. 
NOW, I can't drive thru Barkway without picturing that "Dancing Moose."

Catch them back at Cadillac Lounge this Fall, a show sure to mesmerize, filled with their influential musical art.

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Toronto Chapter hosted it's 18th Annual TIN PAN NORTH SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL on May 25th at Spot 1 Grill & Music Hall in Brampton.  
TIN PAN North is Ontario's largest 3 day songwriters festival.  Celebrating original songwriting with up close and personal showcases held in the greater Toronto areas, over 3 nights. Highlighting songs from local talent, which each magical session was paired with a well known music celebrity headliner, David Leask and Jason McCoy were the selected event celebrities May 25th at Spot 1 Grill and Music Hall.  TIN PAN NORTH ran thru May 25th-27th as it hosted it's 18th Annual event throughout Toronto at Cadillac Lounge, Hugh's Room Live, in Oakville at Moonshine Cafe and in Brampton at Clock 'N' Hen and Spot 1 Grill & Music Hall. This was the prime location for this songwriter extravaganza as it is a premier restaurant and live entertainment one stop hot spot.  They host 4 nights of music and Sunday matinees with a menu to salivate over, which was voted Brampton's most comfortable restaurant.  Whatever the occasion, Spot 1 Grill and Music Hall is there to provide you an entertaining and delish adventure www.spot1live.ca  I was honored to attend this prestigious showcase, as our very own Selwyn area artist Luke Nicholson, now based out of Toronto, was performing his originals.  I am a huge fan of his work as I am of his brother Royal Wood's.   

There were 2 sessions, one at 7:30 pm and one at 9:30 pm, each show performed round robin style, each artist taking turns at talking about their songs, writing style and creative process then each performed an original hit.  Most of the evening it was a full house, not a chair to be found, making this an up close and personal feel.  We got to know the artist attached to those popular hits.  They spoke about love, how old their children are and some shared heart break.  Well worth the $30 admission to this educational 3 day festival.

7:30 PM 1st session was hosted by Jedburgh, Scotland born and raised David Leask. www.davidleask.com.   His style is that of Jackson Browne meets Garth Brooks, as he injected peace, love, pain and even comedy into his one-of-a-kind hits like "INFOMANIAC." David has built an artistic bridge between the influences of his birthplace and the fresh possibilities of his adopted Canadian home.  He performed songs from his 6 CD collection including from his Clarke Hall Session like "All My Love".  I simply adored the spin he puts on his songs, celtic flavour & his soulful style of infusing rock into roots. Was just the right amount of country intertwined, truly heart-felt moments, especially with his last hit "Paint" where he involved the audience participation as they sang with him.

Next up was Carol Harrison, and her guitarist Ray Walsh (The Tucson Choir Boys and Cheryl Lescom) who set a soft stage.  She is also a NSAI TIN PAN NORTH Songwriters Festival Committee Member and a singer and songwriter from Oro Medonte. She writes country folk as she sees it, straight from her eyes thru her heart.  She was nervous with the first piece, but, got right into it after that.  I simply adore singers that ooze passion and when Carol closed her eyes, you felt her satisfaction.  She released her new CD "Passage in Time" at this TIN PAN NORTH show baring her hits like "Where Does Love Go?" and this one registered with me, did what music is supposed to do, grab the fans attention, very teary and touching piece.

Nicole Rayy, you see that beautiful smile, hear that angelic voice and her live on stage personality, she's go the whole package, you wouldn't know she ever experienced love gone wrong, but, her powerful pieces dispense painful love and how to bounce back, be "FIRE PROOF." She let's it all out, not shy one bit.  This gal infuses rock, pop and country with plenty of heart and honesty in all her works of art.  She is raw and painfully real, hitting home quick a few times with my heart.  This singer/songwriter didn't pull out her piano she brought along a talented friend Brandon on guitar.  Introduced us all to her hits from her recent CD "Dig" which has guarnered 63,000+ views/hits on Spotify.  Stay in tune with Nicole at www.nicolerayy.com   

 9:30 PM session saw 5 TIME JUNO award winning Jason McCoy as host.  I have enjoyed watching his magic many many times at festivals, concerts, award shows and private parties, generally with his band or The Road Hammers, so naturally I was excited to see him solo that night.  I was very intrigued to see Luke Nicholson.   I have seen him once many years ago and it was brief, this time it was more on a personal level, as if he was in my living room or I was in his.  Originally from Selwyn near Peterborough and now based out of Toronto with his wife and family, he still hasn't lost that small town country feel to his writing. This alternative, folk pop singer-songwriter has numerous nominations, awards and accomplishments that brought him here that magical night.  He has been recognized for his create songs which earned himself a Gene Nomination for Best Original Song in 2008, has entered an International Songwriting Competition, performed at CBC New Music Fest, has 4 TOP 10 singles on CBC Radio 2 Top 20 Countdown.  He recently signed his sound to Make My Day/Indigo Records in Europe, publishing deal with Warner/Chappell and distribution deal with Fontana North. Luke opened his heart and shared his masterpieces like "One More Night" from his album "Frantic City", "Lights of Nashville," as well, a song I do believe titled "Pedal to The Floor" that he co-wrote with 24 year old Danielle Todd from Guelph, while in Nashville, 1st hit from his new album "Shape and Sound" entitled "All Your Dresses" which was written he said, "about special moments shared between a husband and wife, while the ideals his father installed in him, to be a good man and father" and this special piece was selected as a finalist in the very prestige's John Lennon Songwriting Competition.  He shared another dear to his heart song, "One More Night" and even introduced a brand new song he has just written "Baby I Believe."  
Luke is one of the hardest working songwriter males I know.  

Unfortunately, festival director, Dan McVeigh had issues with his keyboard,

but, luckily living in the area was able to drive home and bring his spare electric piano and was able to highlight a few of his fantastic originals, once again based on love.  He is a local country songwriter from Brampton whose current album "Drove" has caught the attention of Country Music News publication. Dan McVeigh has his music spinning at national radio with “You Are All I Dream Of”. This piece went to #1 on “That’s Country.com”.  His songs have been recorded by a number of Canadian artists such as Valerie Raymond, Debbie Nelson and Myra Leblanc . He is working on his new CD “Resolutions” to be released in 2017 and he performs in Ontario and Nashville whether solo or with his band "North of 49". Dan has performed with a school friend of mine from Bracebridge now Nashville Victoria Banks, Frank Myers, Tim Johnson, Tim Taylor, Diane Chase, Gil Grand, Colin Amey, Jason Barry, Barry Brown, Bruce Michael Miller and Wendell Ferguson to just name but a few.  He expels how a man can be completely captivated by women, a breath of fresh air from some of the standard, what I call hard country, drinking and loosing love; Dan writes about faith, hope and positive love in his hits, and if you wish to keep up on Dan visit www.danmcveigh.com

Jason McCoy

the headlining celebrity brought in the humor to this session.  The veteran on stage is not just a dad, husband, Canadian Country singer/songwriter, he is internationally acclaimed recipient of the 2001 CCMA Male Vocalist of the Year, 6 time Ontario Country  Performer and fan Association (OCPFAs), 2006 CMA Global Artist of the Year, 3 SOCAN Song of the Year recipient, a 19 CCMA nominated, 5 Juno nominated (all for Best Country Male Vocalist), 2006 he was awarded the Global Artist Award at the CMA Awards in Nashville & he is also one of the three members of the hugely successful The Road Hammers, which has released two studio albums, in addition to charting four singles in Canada and one in the United States.  1st song, meant so much to me, as my childhood friend and multi award winning songwriter Deric Ruttan, co-wrote with Jason on McCoy's hit  "I'd Still Have Everything" from his "Everything" 2011 CD.  Jason shared "Dixieland" from his 1997 CD "Playing for Keeps."  Next, Jason took suggestions from the fans and performed "MUDD" from Road Hammers 2014 album "Wheels" and a song he won a CCMA songwriter award for "Rocket Girl" made famous by DOC WALKER.  Highlight for me was when Jason got the audience and Luke Nicholson

 involved in his Road Hammers fun song, "Haulin' Ass" which is an original wide open road themed style song from their latest collection "Squeeze."  Jason was born in Barrie, yet, raised for a time in Camrose, Alberta before his family moved back into Ontario once again.  He has been writing songs and playing guitar before he was a teenager some 35-40 years now, he played rock and country growing up and was discovered in 1995, recorded his 1st album and signed with MCA the rest they say, is history.  He is a radio personality, award show host and so much more, stay in tune with Jason at both 
www.jasonmccoy.com & www.theroadhammers.com 

This fantastic TIN PAN NORTH 18th Annual Songwriters Festival http://nsaitoronto.com 
was made possible thanks to their dedicated Sponsors: 

*NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association) who has become the most important  "voice" for every American songwriter.

* Ontario Arts Council

*Long & McQuade Musical Instruments

*SOCAN Foundation



*CMAO Country Music Association of Ontario

*KX 94.7FM

*KX 96   FM

The Royal Ontario Museum.
Most museums enhance a pace of peace, but, what I experienced at the ROM's Friday Night Live May 26th and June 2nd theme nights, was the opposite of quiet, truly something imaginary.  It was an incredible sight to see, totally thinking outside the box, a fantastic marketing concept.  FNL theme experiences began at The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on April 20, 2012 with the goal to intrigue new and younger visitors & to encourage appreciation for art, history and culture.  ROM's Friday Night Live Presented by FORD Motor Company of Canada Ltd. is in it's 6th year and into it's final weeks of season 11 ending on June 30th.  Each season runs Spring and Fall for 10 weeks each, unfortunately, I was a late bloomer this year, I missed the first few and last 4 Friday evenings.  I was thoroughly excited to be included May 26th with the theme, FLASH. This event focused 
(no pun intended lol) on The Family Camera.  My favorite 80's new wave act, music Icons, SPOONS kicked it into high gear with their well known hits "Old Emotions", "Romantic Traffic" as well, reving up their old fans and new younger fans engines with their new dub step version of "Nova Heart" from their 2nd album Arias and Symphonies, then finishing off the night with an encore of "Arias & Symphonies."Each SPOONS performance is like time standing still.  As if the pause button was stuck and just released, taking us back in time, captivating us with those songs we grew up on, fell in love with oh so many years ago.  Surprising us with 2 new songs: "Beautiful Trap" and "First & Last Time" and they are further thrilled to share, releases of these songs in near future followed by a
NEW album or EP in the Fall 2017.
Catch their next big performance at Steve Brown Sports Complex, 20 Edge St. Brantford, FREE 

June 2nd DINO-NITE was about all things dinosaurs! YAY!!
I got to explore information regarding their 75 million year old NEW species of armored Ankylosaur.  They are plant eaters and 1 of the best preserved skeletons ever found by the ROM, named ZUUL, after the monster in Ghostbusters.  It was accidentally found on a dig by excavators 25 km south of the Alberta border.  This youtube linked video below is filled with details on this rare one-of-a-kind find.  


Yasgurs Farm provided rock, funk and blues with their professional 10 piece sound from University of Toronto.  They knocked it right out of the part, with 70's covers of Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon and so on, it was magical to witness the sea of thousands, especially the younger ones singing the lyrics along side patrons of my generation.  Catch their next performance July 7th at The Toronto Fringe Concert Series at Scadding Court Community Center. FREE! .   http://yasgurs.ca

Up on C-5 lounge was the delicious sounds of 5 piece Zim Zum Jazz band.  The view was spectactular! A floor to ceiling glass wall was the stage back drop with the CN Tower in full view, all the while the INDIE 88 dinosaur mingled and got her groove on.  
Catch them next at the Toronto Jazz Festival 2017.

This is truly a one-of-a-kind Toronto hot spot which starts at 7:00 PM with most floors and exhibits open until 11:00 PM with musical entertainment found throughout the museum ranging from superstars, to local acts and the hottest DJ's spinning hits ranging from yesteryear to today's top club tunes.  
Royal Ontario Museum is one of the largest in Canada and North America, who see over 1 million visitors yearly. These Friday Night Live events introduce the ROM's splendor & encourage new members to indulge in the
Food, Drink, Dance and Explore adventure theme nights.
As I joined thousands of patrons inside I was amazed at how the bright hues, groovy tunes and scrumptious smells of Toronto's finest foods actually peeked my interest. It was unique to add in the portable bars, seeing everyone dressed up in their finest attire, hitting the dance floor, while historical artifacts surrounded on display, totally making this one of the rarest club feels I have attended.  This combination definitely appealed to most, as the line ups for ROM Buck tickets were lengthy.  The more time I spent people watching, I was surprised at the nightclub customer demographics being around the mid 30's, totally expected the crowds to house the under 25'ers, so I didn't feel so old.  With 6 million items on display in the 40 plus galleries not to mention the brand new additions since my last visit in 1982, leaving me totally not capable of fully viewing its entirety in just one evening, enticing my return visits to be able to explore and capture all that the ROM has to offer.
Though not able to attend all Friday Night Live programs, I also missed out on May 5: Splash; May 12: Fashion; May 19: Get out of Town.  I really was disappointed that I couldn't attend the June 9th theme: LOVE which explored the eternal forces of attraction, romance, lust and sexuality through art, culture and nature with performances by legendary award winning Carole Pope, as well, by DJ Lina Bradford, along with Sofonda Cox and Friends, also took to the stage. Also, I was absent on June 16th, the Indigenous life, traditions, and sacred stories of the Anishinaabeg as told through their powerful art over the last two centuries. The new ROM exhibition Anishinaabeg: Art & Power does take you on a journey through an artistic evolution of one of the most populous and diverse Indigenous communities in North America, performances by Association for Native Development in the Performing & Visual Arts (ANDPVA) artists Joey Stylez, Rosary Spence, Sean Conway, and Manifest Destiny's Child.  However, I was an elite as a media representative for The Wire on Tuesday June 13th, for the pre showing of this exhibit and opening ceremonies.  So stay tuned for the up close blog on June 13th Anishinaabeg: Art & Power and June 13th entertainer, our very own Missy Knott, out real soon.

June 23rd Friday Night Live ROM, will explore COLOR while continuing with Pride Month celebrations with an official Pride Toronto dance party at #FNLROM!

June 30th Friday Night Live ROM is the last of this season as they host a 150th Canada Day Celebration with a complimentary access to Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story included.

If you have not experienced these adventures on a Friday evening, you should and they will be returning for their 12th season this Fall 2017.

Photos by Deb Draper

WINNERS announced for 2017 CMAO Awards hosted in London.
This was my first year not attending this prestigious event, either as a member, fan or a volunteer.  2014 was my proudest moment as I nominated 2 wonderful female friends of mine & they made it thru~our very own Tami J Wilde was nominated for Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year for Sweet and Songwriter of the Year & Riki Knox was nominated for  Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, Rising Star and Songwriter of the Year.
Country Music Awards Ontario (CMAOntario) 2017 was an extra special award ceremony, celebrating 5 years.  I would like to give praise to all the nominees and winners this year, you are all stars in my books.  I have a selfish reason I follow these awards, my dear Muskoka childhood friend Deric Ruttan has been nominated for outstanding awards, and I follow his career since we were pre teens.  This year he was nominated for 2 awards: Male Artist of the Year and SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by SOCAN)  to WHICH HE WON along side Co-writer Craig Wiseman for "Came Here to Forget" performed by Blake Shelton *WINNER*  This marks Deric's 5th CMAO win:
Photo by SOCAN
2013 Album of The Year Winner: Deric Ruttan – 
Up All Night – Deric Ruttan Live 
2013 Song-writer of the Year Winner: Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – 
They Don’t Make ‘ Em Like That Anymore 
2014 Single of The Year Winner: Deric Ruttan-
Take The Week Off   
2014 Songwriter of The Year Winner: Mine Would Be You 
(written by Jessi Alexander/Connie Harrington/Deric Ruttan
performed by Blake Shelton)
2016 Songwriter of The Year (SOCAN) Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – “Country Side” performed by Jason Blaine 
ALSO, Cold Creek County is a Canadian country rock group. Its members are Doug Oliver, Josh Lester, Trevor MacLeod, Justin Lester, Jordan Honsinger and Ches Anthony. They were founded in 2013, Cold Creek, which runs through the rolling hills, apple orchards and villages in central Ontario within the rural locals between Peterborough and Belleville where band members call home. Band members literally cross Cold Creek to get to each other’s homes.  2016 they WON 3 CMAO for Group/Duo of The Year, Rising Star & Fans Choice & they took home 2017 Group/Duo of The Year.  Proud of this act, whom I also follow since they won the 2014 Country Group of the Year at The Wire Awards.

Jump up2016 CMAO Award wins were handed to Cold Creek County for Group of Duo of the Year, the Rising Star Award and Fans’ Choice.

 So proud to have 2 of my home town areas represented, CONGRATS DERIC RUTTAN & COLD CREEK COUNTY.  I am honored to share with all of you the Nominees and Winners of each category for 2017, and I will make a promise to be there next year to capture photos once again.
SINGLE OF THE YEAR (sponsored by KICX 106) 

"Beer Weather" - Cold Creek County
"Cherry Bomb" - River Town Saints *WINNER*
"Lawn Chair Lazy " - James Barker Band
"Still Loving You" - Meghan Patrick ft. Joe Nichols
"Workin' On Whiskey" - Jessica Mitchell 

(sponsored by Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario & International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) 

Born to Love - The Lovelocks
Country Side - Jason Blaine
Grace and Grit - Meghan Patrick *WINNER*
Shake These Walls - Tim Hicks
Till The Wheels Come Off - Cold Creek County 


Deric Ruttan, Craig Wiseman - "Came Here to Forget"
performed by Blake Shelton 

James Barker, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood - "Lawn Chair Lazy" 
performed by James Barker Band 

Jessica Mitchell, Dave Thomson, Patricia Conroy - "Workin' on Whiskey" 
performed by Jessica Mitchell 

Meghan Patrick, Patricia Conroy, Philip Barton - "Grace and Grit" 
performed by Meghan Patrick 

Tim Hicks, Todd Clark, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood - "Stompin' Ground" 
performed by Tim Hicks 


Genevieve Fisher 
Jessica Mitchell 
Leah Daniels
Meghan Patrick *WINNER*
Tianna Woods 

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree) 
Deric Ruttan 
Jason Blaine
Marshall Dane
Tim Hicks *WINNER* 

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by The Remington Group) 

Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County *WINNER*
James Barker Band
River Town Saints
The Abrams 

Kelly Prescott 
Jessica Mitchell
Lindi Ortega
The Abrams *WINNER*
The Western Swing Authority 

RISING STAR AWARD (sponsored by Slaight Music) 
Buck Twenty 
Dani Strong
Meghan Patrick *WINNER*
River Town Saints 
The Abrams 

FANS’ CHOICE (sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation) 
Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
James Barker Band *WINNER*
Jason Blaine
Meghan Patrick
River Town Saints
Tim Hicks 

"Bow Chicka Wow Wow" - Meghan Patrick *WINNER*
"Cherry Bomb" - River Town Saints
"Dance With My Daughter" - Jason Blaine
"Lawn Chair Lazy" - James Barker Band
"What Love Is All About" - Johnny Reid 

Dan Brodbeck (Dani Strong)
Dave Thomson (Jessica Mitchell)
Gavin Brown (The Abrams)
Jason Barry (Dean Brody, Genevieve Fisher, The Western Swing Authority, Tianna Woods) *WINNER*
The Agenda, Leah Daniels (Leah Daniels) 

INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Seeds & Co.) 
Amanda Kingsland, Rogers Radio
Catherine Faint, Catherine Faint Entertainment
Dave Woods, In The Country
Mike Denney, MDM Recordings 
Steve Coady, Warner Music Canada *WINNER* 

CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton 
CJBX-FM (BX 93), London *WINNER*
CJKX-FM 95.9 (KX 96), Oshawa
CKBY-FM (Country 101.1), Ottawa 
CKDK-FM 103.9 (Country 104), Woodstock
CKKL-FM (New Country 94), Ottawa 

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MEDIUM MARKET)(sponsored by Lucknow’s Music in the Fields) 
CFCO-FM 92.9 (Country 92.9), Chatham 
CHCQ-FM (Cool 100.1 FM), Belleville *WINNER*
CICS-FM (KICX 91.7), Sudbury
CJQM-FM (Country 104.3), Sault Ste Marie
CKXC-FM (Country 93.5), Kingston 

CHAW-FM (Country 103), Little Current
CHVR-FM 96.7 (Star 96 FM), Pembroke
CICX-FM (KICX 106), Orillia *WINNER*
CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg 
CKYC-FM 93.7 (Country 93), Owen Sound