Rob Williams

  • Auto Club more at home at Bible study than cruise night

    Slim Cessna doesn't suffer from religious guilt -- it's more like religious confusion. "I was raised religious and I may or may not still be. Some days I am and some days I'm not," Cessna says over the phone from Fairplay, Colo.
  • One-man band has transformed into collaborative act

    There is a lot of freedom in Beirut these days. The New York-based group has evolved from Zach Condon's one-man project into a full-fledged band where he remains the main songwriter, but isn't averse to seeking input from other members. That's why the group's third full-length, The Rip Tide, sounds different than the two previous albums, explains bassist Paul Collins.
  • Success hasn't changed the Black Keys' tune

    THE Black Keys are one of the biggest bands in North America today, but things are still low-key for Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, according to the former. "It's essentially the same," the vocalist-guitarist says over the phone from St. Louis. "It's the two of us in the studio, kind of just improvising and coming up with stuff and seeing what sticks. Usually the first thought is generally the best thought.
  • The good, the bad, the upsets

    OTTAWA -- There were plenty of surprises at this year's Juno Awards, and the fact it was April Fool's Day had nothing to do with it. Consider this: a Christmas album was named the best album released in 2011, Saskatoon rockers the Sheepdogs took home three awards and Nickelback got shut out.
  • Folk trio's formation didn't start off with SMOOTH SAILING

    Red Moon Road started with a splash. The idea to form the local roots band was hatched when Daniel Jordan and Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner ended up in the drink after a boat overturned in Lake of the Woods. They were friends before, but truly bonded after breaking into a stranger's cabin to stay warm.
  • This Stallone prefers to deliver KO punch with his music

    Frank Stallone's career is far from over. After spending most of the past 30 years working as an actor, the 61-year-old is focusing on getting back to his first love: music.
  • SIMPLE PLAN complicates things with fan involvement

    The members of Simple Plan have always been into collaborating, but they went overboard for their latest album. The Montreal pop-rock quintet was writing a song about the power of music when it decided to seek input from its fans about how Simple Plan's music made them feel. The band received thousands of responses and worked some of the best lines into the track, This Song Saved My Life.
  • C'mon, Pip Skid, tell us how you really feel

    Pat Skene has never shied away from telling it like it is.

    The rapper known as Pip Skid has always been up front about his life and views, whether he is talking about personal issues or focusing on broader social topics. There is no subject he won't examine, whether it's the state of his own life or politics. To Skene, who can be honest to a fault, it's all fair game.

  • Live... in the ’Peg! U2, Prince and another memorable year for concert fans

    IT was another banner year for Winnipeg concert-goers, as local stages hosted some of the biggest and most popular artists in the world. And we had the privilege of seeing many smaller, hard-working bands who might go on to become arena-worthy in the years to come.
  • Local roots group shoots from the hip on sophomore disc

    The Magnificent 7s are fighting the good fight. Much like the gunslingers in the 1960 film the band is named after, the local old-time roots/bluegrass group is working on behalf of the underdog, sharing stories from the streets and travelling the continent in their trusty van, Winnifred.
  • There's classic rock, and then there's 'classic' rock

    Roll over Beethoven, John Einarson's spreading some news. The local pop music historian, author and teacher is collaborating with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on a new show designed to bridge the gap between classical music and rock 'n' roll.
  • Good memories slip into Oh My Darling's new CD

    For Vanessa Kuzina, recording Sweet Nostalgia was filled with almost nothing but memories. Kuzina's father died weeks before her old-time band Oh My Darling started recording its sophomore album, so recollections of their time together were fresh on her mind.
  • Five albums later, Sam Roberts still feels like a musical newbie

    Music is akin to the fountain of youth for Sam Roberts. "Rock SSRqn' roll is an older man's game, but it keeps you young -- then it kills you. It's very final and very sudden," the singer says with a laugh over the phone from his Montreal home.
  • ELLIOT BROOD SINGER REVELS IN HISTORY'S SSLQbeautiful DARKNESS'

    Mark Sasso has been a history buff for longer than he can even remember. As a child, he took so many books about the First and Second World wars out of the library, he was banned from taking out any more because the librarian thought they weren't appropriate for someone so young.
  • Singer-activist more than just a 'smelly punk'

    No one can ever accuse Joe Keithley of not being a man of action. The social activist and leader of veteran Vancouver punk band D.O.A. is still fighting the good fight, 33 years after releasing his band's first single, Disco Sucks.
  • British musician has something to say: he will be Frank

    TO a young Frank Turner, Iron Maiden posters weren’t just cool; they were inspirational. “I really wasn’t into any kind of rock ’n’ roll and was only dimly aware of its existence. I had an older brother who had a Stranger in a Strange Land poster with a zombie cowboy from the future and I thought, ‘Whatever that is, I want to be involved with it,’” Turner, 29, says with a laugh over the phone from Florida.
  • Shatner beams down

    It took him many voyages, but William Shatner finally has the enduring appeal of Star Trek figured out. And it's all so logical.
  • The gospel according to Greg

    It took a gospel workshop to make Greg Rekus see the light about his next musical endeavour. Rekus was working as the soundman at the annual Sunday morning gospel workshop at the Winnipeg Folk Festival when he saw Philadelphia roots-rockers Hoots & Hellmouth using a wooden stomp box to keep rhythm.
  • Band’s blend of styles has audiences asking, ‘What the F?’

    Many songwriters follow the adage, “write about what you know.”

    Patrick Alexandre Leclerc doesn’t even write on what he can play the best.

  • Forget shaggy dog story, just check out the music

    Surprise, surprise: The Sheepdogs are a band that likes to party, and there isn't much to do in Saskatoon on a Tuesday night.

  • Everybody knows this is somewhere

    HEY, bus rider, it’s time to crank that history lesson up. A local touring company is rolling out the Magical Musical History Tour showcasing Winnipeg’s rock ’n’ roll past, offering locals and tourists an opportunity to see where the city’s musical harvest was sown.
  • Pickin' & choosin'

    Steve Martin may be a wild and crazy guy, but he's anything but a birdbrain. Martin is best known as a standup comedian and actor, but he's also an author, playwright, art historian and Grammy-winning musician with two bluegrass albums to his name: The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo and Rare Bird Alert.
  • The music is real for Robbins

    Tim Robbins has gone from playing a musician on the big screen to playing one in real life. Not that it was much of a stretch for the respected Oscar winner.
  • Music fills the park and delivers magic

    Even if you weren't near a stage at the Winnipeg Folk Festival Friday, there was a chance you were hearing music. Whether it was drummers at the campsite, guitar players in the parking lots or on trails or the official wandering minstrels, it was impossible to escape music.
  • End of the line for national music stores?

    The end could be in sight for national music store chains in Canada. The country's last major national retailer, HMV Canada, was sold to British restructuring specialist Hilco UK for $3.23 million earlier this week. So far, the company has not made any announcements regarding closing any of HMV's 121 Canadian stores, only that it would inject $25-million into the brand to continuing funding HMV's evolution from a music store into a broader entertainment retailer with a greater emphasis on digital content.

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