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George
Amanda Palmer, Donna Grantis, Ron Dalton + Sharon + Bram
Sunday night is for the Purple One.
Amanda Palmer has said of her latest album and art-book, There Will Be No Intermission: “These songs were exercises in survival, loss and death kept happening in real-time, and these songs became my therapeutic arsenal of tools for making sense of it all.” In a thorough conversation with her old friend Strombo, she unpacks the frameworks of her music, theatre, modern community, The Dresdon Dolls, crowd-funding, her conversation with David Bowie, mental wellness, tough life choices and performs several songs from the ivories in the House Of Strombo.

Ron Dalton is the co-president of Innocence Canada and was once found guilty of a crime that he did not commit. When his wife choked to death on a piece of cereal, he was wrongly convicted of second degree murder, missed her funeral while waiting to appear in court and after eight years in prison, was cleared of his name. He now fights to help others not suffer the same fate, while also aiding musicians along the way. He’ll endeavour into his story and nod toward the musical references, songs from Bob Dylan‘s “Hurricane” to The Tragically Hip‘s “Wheat Kings,” that share the message of the wrongly convicted.
Sharon + Bram are a Canadian institution in the world of family entertainment for over 40-years. Their extensive creation of albums, song-books and television has earned them three JUNO awards, the Order Of Canada and as Goodwill Ambassadors for UNICEF in North and South America, they received the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award. Aside from the mantle, they influenced a generation that includes Damian Abraham of Fucked Up, as his first concert was Sharon, Lois + Bram. He brings his kids and performs a few songs with his alma-mater. There are a handful of additional guests that come together for sing-alongs, including Feltworth, Peter Mansbridge and Zaki Ibrahim. Skinnamarink, indeed.
We’ll honour the third anniversary of Prince’s passing through his songs and conversation with one of his closest collaborators in the last chapter of his life, the mighty Donna Grantis. She was the co-lead guitarist in his 3RDEYEGIRL project, a member of his legendary New Power Generation, which took her from Montreux Jazz Festival to the White House, and she has recently released her debut solo record, DIAMONDS & DYNAMITE. Dialling in from Minneapolis, Grantis remembers the origins of her relationship with Prince, his ping-pong skills, collaborative spirit and beyond.
Strombo will also premiere new music from Def Con Sound System, Dub Trio and Tanika Charles.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Best Of The House Of Strombo Sessions
Sunday night is for remembering.
George Stroumboulopoulos, the host and landlord of our little program, revisits some of his favourite sessions that filled his Toronto home with miles of cables, stacks of amps, warm sound and honest conversation.

Four hours is not quite enough time to pack together all of the best moments from the House Of Strombo, but the incredible array of artists in this episode includes:  Against Me!, Andy Kim, Behemoth, Billy Talent, Blue Rodeo, Death From Above, Dinosaur Jr., The Dirty Nil, Do Make Say Think, Ellevator, Emily Haines, Father John Misty, Flogging Molly, Fucked Up, Hollerado, JJ Shiplett, Kate Tempest, Kevin Drew, The Kills, La Force, Leif Vollebekk, Mac Demarco, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Maggie Rogers, Martha Wainwright, MixMaster Mike, Partner, Rufus Wainwright, Scott Weiland, Shad, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Spoon, Steve Earle and Weyes Blood.

There have been generous offerings from many friends of the show, particularly in two special celebratory episodes. We dive into a collection of voices from the HIP30: A Celebration of Canada’s Band, The Tragically HipChoir! Choir! Choir!, Harrison & M.I. Blue, Julie Doiron, Rheostatics, Silver Pools, Skydiggers, Stars and Tim Baker of Hey Rosetta!. And from our JONI75, which includes reiminagings of Joni Mitchell songs from Charlotte Cornfield, Jeremy Dutcher, Jim Cuddy, Terra Lightfoot and The Weather Station.

We’ll also hear from some of the wonderful people that make this show possible as they share their favourite musical memories that were set within the House Of Strombo, which will include Arkells, Broken Social Scene, Charles Bradley, The Cult, John Prine, Robert Plant and Sting.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Charlotte Cornfield + Marc Ribot
Sunday night is for music lovers.

Charlotte Cornfield writes songs that bring Degrassi tears, according to Kevin Drew. She is one of the best songwriters we got, armed with her new collection of songs that she honed in on over the last few years by collaborating with Grammy-winning engineer Shawn Everett, Leif Vollebekk and Broken Social Scene’s Charles Spearin and Drew. Her name might feel familiar, as she has graciously visited the House to perform notable covers for both our HIP30 and JONI75 Celebration episodes. Through the acoustic reveal of several songs from her latest The Shape Of Your Name, Cornfield navigates her life in conversation with Strombo.

Marc Ribot has some of the most sought after hands, his guitar work has been the backbone of musicians that include Allen Ginsburg, Allen Toussaint, Diana Krall, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithful, Robert Plant, Solomon Burke, Steve Earle and perhaps most frequently, Tom Waits. Aside from his collaborations, Ribot has over 25-album to his own name that ranges the gamut from sounds of pioneering jazz with Albert Ayler to fusion alongside the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodriguez to his avant post-rock trio, Ceramic Dog. St. Vincent praises him as her favourite guitarist, noting that he can “make a guitar sound like it is being strangled or really make it sing, sometimes both in the same breath.” His most recent project voices outrage as a response to the current times through Songs Of Resistance 1942-2018 and in an incredibly rare solo acoustic session, Ribot brings his stories to dissect song, fight and his world.

And if that weren’t enough, Strombo premieres new sounds from Saxsyndrum amidst the four hours of commercial free, algorithm free musical experience.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Jill Barber, Tanya Tagaq + Teenage Fan Club
Sunday night is for coming together.
Jill Barber‘s reinvention through genre definitions, collaborating with her brother Matthew Barber on an album has all lead her to her latest offering, Metaphora. Earlier this season, she generously delivered a cover of her Joni Mitchell song “Blue” as part of our JONI 75 Celebration and now, she brings her vulnerability and melodies into the House. The legendary Kris Kristofferson said it himself, “Jill Barber is a real songwriter, a damn good songwriter.”

Tanya Tagaq 
is a masterful mind known for her avant-garde compositions, performances and storytelling, as revealed via her debut novel, Split Tooth. The list of accolades on her mantle have solidified her space as one of the most celebrated: JUNO Award, Member of the Order of Canada, Polaris Music Prize, multiple honorary doctorates and now the bestseller’s list for the aforementioned novel. Her collaborations continue to grow, from Björk and Buffy Sainte-Marie to Fucked Up and Weaves to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She’s a true original. It’s been a long-time hope and we’re excited to finally welcome Tanya into the House Of Strombo. She joins George for a proper conversation about her body of contemporary work, environmental and human rights, her latest musical project Toothsayer and beyond.

Kurt Cobain described them as “the best band in the world.” Liam Gallagher of labelmates Oasis called the them “the second best band in the world.” Gene Simmons of KISSthreatened to sue them. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie recently covered their classic album Bandwagonesque in its entirety. Teenage Fanclub earned a reputation as pop craftsmen for three decades since emerging from Glasgow. With the departure of original member Gerard Love this year, they’ve begun to etch out the next chapter, which they discuss with George as they weave through a career-spanning session that features an exclusive Neil Young cover for you.

And if that weren’t enough, we will be visited by the emerging sibling trio, DOOMSQUAD for one fleeting moment.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Haviah Mighty, Lowest Of The Low + Soon-Yin Lee
Sunday night is for untangling anxieties.

You should know Haviah Mighty. Maestro Fresh Wes was admitted that her stage presence made him nervous. Michie Mee invited her collective The Sorority to perform at her birthday. She has earned stages with artists like Desiigner, Nelly, Sheck Wes, Snoop Dogg and performed on our JONI75 celebration. All of these notable stamps of approval and her debut album is still in the wings. To celebrate her next, Haviah Mighty drops freestyle verses and brings her truth with Strombo.

Lowest Of The Low’s Ron Hawkins has new sounds to share with you. The Toronto institution have finished their eight album, their first on a major label, and Ron visits the House Of Strombo with several cuts and an armful of stories. The Low have always been a voice of Toronto, the community and the political climate, which dates back to their early attempt to establish a musicians’ union to counter unscrupulous promoters. It’s a voice and a message that he found at his first show on The Clash’s London Calling tour and has taken shape through nearly 20-albums to his name. 

Sook-Yin Lee and Strombo share two decades of friendship and musical exploration, from their curational connection on MuchMusic to the CBC airwaves. She has a new hybrid-documentary performance, UNSAFE: An Investigation into the Censorship of Art and the Art of Censorship in Canada, currently ongoing at Canadian Stage. In their in-depth conversation, Sook-Yin and Strombo reclaim bad words, reminisce about those days at the corner of Queen & John, unpack her life story and of course, spin the tunes that you need.

Our friend Joel Plaskett dials in to reveal some exciting news about Thrush Hermit. Strombo exclusively premieres a load of new music, including Damhnait, Kiwi Jr. and if that weren’t enough, we will be visited by the excellent force that is nêhiyawak.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Strombo’s JUNOs After-Party Special + Flogging Molly
Sunday night is the after-party for the JUNO Awards.

We’ll revisit some recent House Of Strombo performances and conversations with this year’s JUNO-nominated artists, including Snotty Nose Rez Kids. Plus, covers of Joni Mitchell and The Tragically Hip by JUNO-nominated artists AHI, Arkells, Coeur de pirate, Dizzy, Donovan Woods, Jeremy Dutcher, Milk & Bone and The Trews. 

Some JUNO-nominated friends of the show call-in to request songs from fellow JUNO-nominees including Boogat, Dave Merheje, Debra DiGiovanni, Dubmatix, Elisapie, Exco Levi, Hubert Lenoir and Loud Luxury.

And let’s not forget it is also St. Patrick’s Day, so we’ll thrilled to welcome the mighty Flogging Molly. The legendary institution bring their sixth collection of songs and eternal message “Life Is Good” to the room. In a very rare acoustic moment, they stomp their feet and strum their hymnals that includes one of George’s all-time favourites and they celebrate their mothers, the mutual love of Joe Strummer and the recent endorsement they received from presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders. 

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.
Richard Reed Parry, Sting + Witch Prophet
Sunday night is for surprises.
Richard Reed Parry is perhaps the most visible extra-curricular member of Arcade Fire. He has experimented with orchestral undercurrents, produced records by other indie powerhouses and finally delivered a follow-up to his debut with a majestic two-parter. In his return to the House Of Strombo, Parry brought songs from ‘Quiet River Of Dust, Vol. 1’, which was released on the autumn equinox and tells stories of ghosts, English folk, Japanese death poems and he’ll unravel it all with George. As a bonus, he delivers a cover of Mary Margaret O’Hara for the ages. 

Sting has spent the last decade performing emotional archeology upon his town’s shipyard, sitting in the back of the Broadway audience to take notes and tracing his own story through the process. This all resulted in the crafting of his musical, The Last Ship. On its premiere night at Mirvish’s Princess Of Wales Theatre, the standing ovation included his friend Shaggy, with whom Sting recently earned his seventeenth Grammy Award for their collaborative reggae album, 44/876. Needless to say, Sting is in a creative resurgence. In a very rare solo acoustic performance from the House Of Strombo, he brings his songs from The Last Ship, his fantastic hymn “Fragile” and an open heart to discuss the power in community, identity and the complicated relationship between him and his father.

Witch Prophet is a self-managed, queer, Ethiopian/Eritrean, singer-songwriter, the CEO of Heart Lake Records (FKA 88 Days Of Fortune) and member of feminist-based electro dub hop group Above Top Secret. She’s also a mother. You might have found her trademarked soundscapes colouring work with Shad, Fucked Up or Lido Pimienta, but she cemented her own place with her debut full-length The Golden Octave. We’re lucky to share with you the reveal of her ode to ancestry and in conversation with George, she details the choice to say ‘yes’ to the magic of life and spin the records that tell her story.

We’ll also exclusively premiere a load of new music from 13, Ian Daniel Kehoe, Mother Tongues, Orville Peck and Steven Lambke.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Bernice, Bob Mold + Celebrating John Candy

Sunday night is for Johnny LaRue.

Bernice‘s Robin Dann is the daughter of a symphony harpist and former-TSO principal violinist and a graduate of formality and experimentation herself. She leads a band of celebrated collaborators that includes Thom Gill, Colin Fisher, Daniel Fortin, Philippe Melanson and Felicity Williams. Their work adds colour to projects with some of Canada’s finest: Bahamas, The Barr Brothers, DIANA, John Southworth, Martha Wainwright, Owen Pallett and many others. That is all to say that they conspire to create some mastery as evident on their critically applauded debut album, PUFF. After bringing the heat with their Joni Mitchell cover on our JONI75 special earlier this season, Bernice returns to the House with their own songs.

Bob Mould, the master and architect that you know from Hüsker Dü, has been dropping excellent solo records for about three decades. With his recent relocation to Berlin, shifting from San Francisco, he’s writing songs armed with love, positivity and unveiled that sound with his latest offering, Sunshine Rock. In his visit to the House Of Strombo, he unpacks that process and his infinite vault of stories.

Strombo premieres new music from friends of the show, Hannah Georgas and another from Partner.

We nod to the god: John Candy. We lost the comedic force 25-years-ago this week. So to celebrate the man, voices come together: the legendary Paul Shaffer sings a tribute; the man that discovered him and one of the fathers of The Second City, Andrew Alexander; his school councillor and friend, Ted Schmidt; songwriting legend and fan, Joel Plaskett and we’ll be joined by his SCTV co-hort, Martin Short.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.

Def Leppard + George’s Mother

Sunday night is for music lovers.

Def Leppard was the first cassette that George purchased. In a phoner from across the pond, frontperson Joe Elliott reflects on their icon status, struggles with identity, the Bohemian Rhapsody film, stealing techniques from the Human League, Roxy Music and their upcoming Canadian tour.

George’s mother has (unknowingly) made the occasional visit to the program to share her stories, advice for George and wonderful musical musings. Tonight is one of those times. She remembers the time that she serenaded peacocks in Punta Cana with her harmonica, the letter she sent to Donald Trump and her first concert, Neil Diamond. What a gift. Please don’t tell her.

We also welcome our friend Clara Hughes to share her love for the great Nina Simone and George calls on Prime Minister Trudeau to give the Order Of Canada to Plastikman.

Tell your friends that the Spirit Of Radio lives on.