Sarah McLachlan's Fans Aren't Shy About Hugging Her

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Photos by Kharen Hill/Courtesy of ID-PR
Sarah McLachlan enjoys surfing.
Whenever the subject of the greatest Canadian singer-songwriters in history comes up, as it often does, Sarah McLachlan deserves a seat at the same table as Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. McLachlan's music is so beloved in her homeland that in 2010 she was asked to write the theme song for the Olympic Winter Games in her adopted hometown of Vanouver, B.C., delivering the typically inspirational "One Dream." She hasn't had much trouble connecting south of the border, either, selling an estimated 20 million albums in the U.S.

McLachlan's songs radiate a kind of snug intimacy, swimming in lush arrangements that swirl emotion and intrigue. Approachable but also a little aloof, that style clings to her best work, from 1994 breakthrough single "Possession" through last year's Shine On, her first album in four years and eighth overall. It's made her an essential artist to adult-contemporary radio since the '90s, and inspired an almost otherworldly level of devotion in many of her fans.

But we'll get to that. The Houston Press was lucky enough to speak with McLachlan, now 47, earlier this week after she had just returned from a quick tour Down Under.

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The Glorious Sons Seek a More Perfect Union

Categories: Inquiring Minds

Photo by Jess Baumung/Courtesy of SKH Music
Comin' in from Canada, The Glorious Sons: Adam Paquette (drums), Andrew Young (guitar), Brett Emmons (vocals), Chris Huot (bass) and Jay Emmons (guitar).
With American Top 40 playlists dominated these days by pop tarts, hip-hoppers, alt-screamers, sensitive singer-songwriters, and boy bands, there isn't much room for straight-ahead rock and rollers anymore. Interestingly, a number of today's "current but classic-sounding" rock bands are springing out of Canada; groups like the Sheepdogs, Monster Truck and now the Glorious Sons.

Hailing from the industrial town of Kingston, Ontario, the quintet of Brett Emmons (vocals), brother Jay Emmons and Andrew Young (guitars), Adam Paquette (bass), and Chris Huot (drums) formed in 2013 and released an EP, Shapeless Art. Last year saw the Canucks put out their full-length debut, The Union (Black Box Records).

It was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2015 Juno Awards, Canada's version of the Grammys. The winner will be announced next month.

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Aerosmith Drummer Joey Kramer: Coffee Kingpin & Part-Time Texan

Fathom Events
Aerosmith: Boston Strong for more than four decades: Brad Whitford (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), and Joey Kramer (drums).
There is no more quintessential "Boston" rock band than Aerosmith. Since their formation some 45 years ago(!) they've proudly stood for everything Beantown, and even have an official city historical plaque in front of their old living/rehearsal space.

But goddamn -- it's cold up there right now! And as of this writing, the city is likely to break its record for most snowfall in a season due to blizzards happening with more frequency than Steven Tyler's stints in rehab. That's why drummer Joey Kramer is more than happy to spend the winter of 2014-15 in his current home (and warmer climate) of Texas.

"It's wonderful to live here in Austin," says Kramer, whose wife is originally from Cypress in North Houston. "I lived in New England for 40 years, and the winters were brutal. And they're getting slammed again. I'm glad to be out of the cold!

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James McMurtry's Different Kind of Fiction

Photos by Shane McCauley/Courtesy of Conqueroo Publicity
James McMurtry, perhaps looking toward the future (or perhaps not)
Sitting at the back of a darkened Austin club watching the duo onstage, one listener is a bit restless, clapping briefly but emphatically after every song. He's also proud as hell.

Watching his 24-year-old son Curtis perform isn't anything new for James McMurtry. But seeing his flesh-and-blood coming into his own alongside his cello-playing girlfriend Diana Burgess -- while they nail their harmonies and phrasing -- leaves the Texas-born singer-songwriter still shaking his head when he sits down for an interview after the show.

"I used to sing to him at night when he was real little; maybe that helped," the elder McMurtry says. "But I never taught him how to write a song. He figured that out on his own. I'm basically doing the 1-4-5 with a relative minor [when I write] but he's got a degree in music composition.

"It's this iTunes generation," he continues. "He can access all of music history but I didn't have that, all I had was vinyl. So if you've got the curiosity, it's the perfect time to be a musician. He's teaching me the value of curiosity, and rehearsing. I've never been that particular, and it probably shows."

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Jorma Kaukonen Ain't in No Hurry Anymore

Photo by Barry Berenson
Jorma Kaukonen's relaxing new record reflect where he's at now in his life.
As the quintessential American troubadour, Woody Guthrie recorded hundreds of original songs in addition to his adaptation of traditionals. He performed even more than he recorded, and wrote more than he performed. And that's still not the end of his musical fountain. Which is how Jorma Kaukonen recently ended up co-writing a song with a man who died nearly 50 years ago.

"Woody's legacy is carefully guarded. And I'm sort of buddies with his daughter, Nora," Kaukonen says from Fur Peace Ranch, his home/concert venue/guitar camp/recording studio in Pomeroy, Ohio. "He apparently wrote thousands of poems that nobody has ever seen!"

So when Kaukonen was putting together material for his new record, Ain't No Hurry (Red House Records), he included covers of Depression-era standards like "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and the Carter Family's "Sweet Fern." He also penned a few like-minded originals, such as "In My Dreams," "Seasons in the Field and "The Other Side of the Mountain".

But the chance to do a posthumous collaboration with Guthrie? Yes, please.

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Roosh Williams Is Your New Favorite Rapper

Photos courtesy of Big Hassle Media
For the first time as long as I've known Roosh Williams, he's late.

Actually he's struggling with finding the building where we're supposed to meet. When it rains in Houston, things grind to a halt, double when it's cold. Williams has always looked a bit like a Persian prince, a good-looking guy with a square chin and either some stubble or a full-on beard. Yet when he finally pulls into DJ Supastar's Spin Academy near the Medical Center, he looks, well, square.

"The hair's kinda a new thing I'm doing, a renewal," Williams says with a laugh.

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OG Bobby Trill Starts From Scratch for Thre3style Set

photo by Marco Torres
OG Bobby Trill won the Houston Qualifier of the 2013 Red Bull Thre3style, and returns this Saturday to compete in the 2015 edition of the DJ championship.
To know Rosbel Hinojosa is to know a real vato. Someone who will sit down with you and talk about life and family and food and music, all while making you cry of laughter due to the crazy impressions and stories that stem from his comedic arsenal. You will also know a successfull music producer and turntablist with a natural stage presence that makes each show exceptional. But above all, you will know a friend.

Hinojosa is better known as Bobby, as in OG Bobby Trill, El OGT (Oh-Heh-Teh). He is onefourth of Bombón, Houston's Ultimate Tropical Dance Party, which continues to thrown down the first Saturday of every month at Fox Hollow. Back in 2013, Bobby won the Houston qualifier of the Red Bull Thre3style DJ Championships, and is back to rep Houston in the 2015 edition of the competition. We sat down with the DJ to speak about Saturday's event.

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Daryl Hall & John Oates Still Making Their Dreams Come True

Photo by Sean Hagwell/Courtesy of Eagle Rock
John Oates invites you to enjoy a live gig in Dublin and a nice glass of vino.
It was a special opportunity for Houston fans of Hall & Oates last year when the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees played the intimate Arena Theatre.

Making the evening more special, concertgoers were spared the sight of John Oates being smothered by a large, um, enthusiastic Asian woman who bum-rushed the easy-access stage and almost reached the shocked guitarist before being hustled off by security. The incident did not escape bemused commentary from Daryl Hall, Oates' musical partner of more than 40 years.

"Hey, I'm happy to be smothered by any fan!", Oates laughs today. "And I've been accosted on stage many times! I thought that I handled it OK. And it's better that they love you than hate you!"

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"Surprise Albums" Might Be the New Normal

Photo by Marco Torres
Kendrick Lamar, shown at Warehouse Live in December 2012, has also been the subject of recent surprise-album rumors.
If you're reading this and are just now finding out about Drake's new album, you're a little late.

In your defense, the Canada-based rapper just dropped his new mixtape, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, via Twitter in the late hours of last Thursday night, creating a bit of a shock to fans who had been anxiously awaiting his purported album Views from the Six.

Because it's not your run-of-the-mill album, If You're Reading This It's Too Late is tougher to dive into when compared to prior Drake releases. With biting lyrics that are more aimed and specific, it doesn't pan out as smoothly and cohesively as his most recent effort, 2013's Nothing Was the Same. Even so, certain moments within the 17-song Too Late give the impression that this could contain some of the most important work in Drake's career thus far.

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Ex-Grateful Dead Manager Has Quite a Tale

Grateful Dead guiding light Jerry Garcia (seated) and Mountain Girl at an Egyptian cafe, 1978.
Richard Loren was a button-down, straight-laced, business-minded recent college graduate in 1966 when, as manager of a company that staged musicals in large tents, he handled a string of shows by razzle-dazzle piano man Liberace.

Impressed with his skills, the piano man hired him, which led to another job as a booking agent. And that led to a wild ride through the '60s and '70s, which would find Loren rubbing shoulders, sharing airplane rides, and passing joints with the likes of the Jefferson Airplane, the Doors and the Chambers Brothers.

And, after a stint as the personal manager of Jerry Garcia's solo career, he would be the Grateful Dead's manager from 1974-81.

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