Rock

Remembering Neil Peart, whose jaw-dropping talent inspired a generation of musicians and wannabes

Nick Krewen Special to the Star January 11, 2020   He was closer to our hearts than we even realized. Make no mistake, the depth of anguish with which the music world  – especially Canadians – regards the unexpected passing of Neil Peart, 67,  on January 7 from glioblastoma, is immeasurable. Arguably the greatest and most influential drummer of his generation,  the Hamilton-born Peart – one third of progressive power…

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Frank Dukes at Regent Park School Of Music

Meet Frank Dukes – the go-to producer for superstars like Rihanna and Drake

Nick Krewen The Toronto Star July 12, 2019 He’s the go-to guy when you’re a pop music superstar looking for a hit – and he’s from Toronto. Frank Dukes may not be a household name to the general populace, but the 35-year-old songwriter and producer is on the speed dial of everyone who is anyone in pop music these days. Lorde, J. Balvin, Post Malone, Rihanna, Eminem, Travis Scott, Camila…


Murray Lightburn Photo: Murray Lightburn

Murray Lightburn, Dears’ singer, on new solo album: ‘There’s a man on this record that I aspire to be.’

June 1,  2019 Nick Krewen Special to the Star. Oh, Dears. The Montréal-based indie rock band’s founding frontman, Murray A. Lightburn, released his second solo album Hear Me Out earlier this yearand discovered an unexpected dividend during the sessions: freedom.  Lightburn, 48, initially expected to follow what he describes as “the production narrative” of his first Dears-free album, the 2013 science-fiction musical Murray A. Lightburn’s MASS:LIGHT. With one-time Arcade Fire…


‘Unknown band’ is opening for Cher in Toronto — but their leader is not worried

Nick Krewen Special to the Star April 18, 2019 Nile Rodgers is discovering during the Cher opening slot that Chic’s relative anonymity is working to his advantage. “We’re an unknown band opening for a big star,” he says over the line from New York. “We walk out onstage — most people don’t know who we are — but by the end of the show they go, ‘Jesus Christ, I know…


Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason delighted by his ‘sort of throwback’ band bound for Toronto

Nick Krewen Special to the Star April 12, 2019 Waiting for that Pink Floyd 55th anniversary reunion? Don’t hold your breath – founding drummer and percussionist Nick Mason isn’t. “There doesn’t seem to be any plan at the moment to put anything together,” Mason, 75, admits, referring to fellow Floyd members Roger Waters and David Gilmour. “Part of that is the reason for putting together the Saucerful of Secrets project. I…