I preface my look at a small part of the Toronto music
scene with Crash Vegas, a Hamilton band. They played
Toronto often, promoting Red Earth, just released on Warner.
Vegas was a marriage between Colin Cripps and Michelle McAdorey,
who chose to be single, together. CV put out three albums
on three labels. Sony treasured them, PolyGram was indifferent,
Warner didn't fully appreciate what they had.
Toronto is a proving ground for bands, one that is so busy,
diluted, even, that bands have to go elsewhere to get their
due. The spectrum is vast, and brilliant bands like Blue
Dog Pict can find a niche alongside homespun folk bands
like Spin the Susan.
MP3 sound recordings for the artists can be found here.
The grand band of the mid nineties, The Smilin' Ben sheltered
artists such as John Southworth, and partnered up on shows
with newer groups that shared their
enthusiasm for good tunes and lots of harmony. The Smilin'
Ben could produce a Spectoresque wall of sound when they
got cooking.. They released several cassettes, including
the album-length Everybody's Waiting.
The Smilin' Ben trio of Sam Allison, Jon Stancer,
and Ira Rosenberg served as the musical foundation of John
Southworth's band. They filled the room with their trademark
sound, upon which Southworth danced, vocally. With Jamie
Shields dueling with Ira on keys, a Southworth show could
be exciting, sonically (and visually too, since John shuffling
around was (and still is occasionally) a treat. Southworth
put out two CD's, both Indies. Both are idiosyncratic, but
look for a demo tape from 1994 for a real taste of the live