Between the start of the millennium and today, pop seemed to lose a lot of the edgy rebelliousness that made rock, hip-hop and other styles so explosively popular and uniting in the preceding half century of music. It wasn’t clear where all of the bucolic energy seemed to go, much less when, if ever, it would return, and in its place we got this sort of faux angry electro pop that was supposedly inspired by punk rock, beat poetry and urban experimentalism of the early 1980s but failed on all counts to contain the same level of respect for DIY ethics.
I’ve got to say that among all of the phoenixes that are rising from the ashes at the moment, the group that I am the happiest to see return to the fold is Crack of Dawn, Canada’s vibrant, striding jazz/soul/R&B outfit that once upon a time was on the cusp of taking over the charts completely until industrial politics made their stately goal too complicated to reach. Showing us that they’re back and better than ever, Crack of Dawn dropped an all new full length album called Spotlight on international audiences last year and its finally beginning to get the respect and rotation that it’s worthy of here in the United States, a symbolic final frontier for these Canadian funk pioneers.
In 1975 Melba Moore signed with Buddah Records and released the critically successful R&B album, Peach Melba, The following year she scored her first significant hit which included the minor hit, "I Am His Lady". Van McCoy-penned "This Is It", which reached the Billboard Hot 100. Melba has gone on to be nominated several times for Grammy awards and won a Tony award along with multiple hit songs and TV, movie and Broadway plays.
It is recently that we were lucky during a slow period in her career during the pandemic of 2020 to arrange a recording with Dave Darlington in Manhattan to have her featured on "Tiempo" a Crack Of Dawn release.
Messenjah was formed in Kitchener, Ontario and released their first album Rock You High independently . They were the first Canadian reggae band to be picked up by a major label; Warner Music Canada (also known as WEA). The band began working out of Toronto. and in 1988 the band was featured in the U.S. feature film Cocktail as well as on the film's soundtrack. They were also featured on the soundtrack of the Canadian produced movie Milk and Honey . Messenjah has toured all over North America as well as in Jamaica for over sixteen years and won a the Juno Award for Best Reggae Recording.