5440 are one of the most important popular music groups to emerge from the Canadian cultural landscape. With more than 2 decades of performing and recording behind them, the band has an unbelievable catalogue of hit songs. Lead by chief songwriter Neil Osborne, 5440 have carved out a legacy of gold and platinum albums and a outstanding reputation for their live performances that carries through to this day. Over 25 years, 2000 performances, and 16 releases the secret to 5440’s longevity is their ability to redefine and reinvent themselves, taking long time 5440 fans on a ride that is bound to pick up new young fans on the way. To experience 5440 in concert is to experience how songs have touched and continue to touch people’s lives. From people who have followed the band from their humble beginnings in east Vancouver to new young fans that have discovered the truly original band that is 5440, a 5440 concert is an extraordinary affair that bridges the gaps of generations through a shared love of music.
“I simply can’t find the right words to describe 54.40, one of the most respected Canadian bands ever. Can one possibly gauge the accomplishments they have attained during their two-decade-long journey in one sentence? The answer in my mind is no,” Scene Magazine.
In its original trio form, 54.40 played its first gig on New Year’s Eve 1981 at the ‘Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret’ in Vancouver. After recording a couple of independent releases and reconfiguring the band as a foursome, they signed with Warner Brothers in the US and released four albums. Then in 1991, 54.40 found a new home on Columbia Records at Sony Music Canada.
Since then, the band has toured throughout the world, released 9 more albums, received numerous awards and has achieved almost a dozen Top-10 hit singles. Along with their incredible songwriting ability, 54.40 expanded their horizons by opening their own studio, racking up producing and mixing credits. Neil Osborne produced Juno nominated Jets Overhead and Winnipeg singer songwriter Cara Luft, while guitarist Dave Genn produced up and coming rock bands Marianas Trench, Arm Chair Cynics and is a co-songwriter for the chart topping Hedley.
In 2005, the band appropriately signed a recording agreement with True North Records, one of Canada’s longest standing independent labels. Since hooking up with True North, the band released the acclaimed “Yes To Everything” album and followed it with a live DVD titled “This Is Here This Is Now. The latter recorded at the magnificent Commodore Ballroom during their traditional annual October appearance at the Vancouver landmark.
Throughout their journey, 54.40 remains creative and fresh, growing musically and lyrically with each project. “A band has to evolve with its audience to keep their interest,” stated Brad Merritt. “We make records based on where we’re at, at that time. So it’s kind of like a time capsule.”
When asked about their track record Matt Johnson once commented, “one thing we hear consistently is ‘I didn’t know you guys had so many hits,’ but we just consider ourselves songwriters. We enjoy the craft and whether we’re trying to write an eight-minute epic or just a three-minute pop song, it’s very enjoyable for us
To sum up Lee Aaron’s career in one paragraph is near impossible. This legendary rock diva started out singing jazz and Broadway standards in musical theatre in the Toronto suburbs, hanging out in music class after school, practicing and picking the brains of her instructors. By 15 she had formed a rock band, singing, playing keyboards and sax, and began playing all-ages shows.
While still in her teens, she wrote and recorded her debut, 1982’s The Lee Aaron Project. Featuring some of Canada’s most notable talent at the time (Triumph/Moxy) the LP was released on Polygram in Europe and garnered a feature in Britain’s Kerrang!magazine. That was followed with an appearance at 1983’s Reading Festival, where she blew away fans and critics alike with her powerhouse vocals and vibrant stage energy.
In 1984 she released Metal Queen. The album’s title track, a hard driving anthem about female empowerment, catapulted Aaron to iconic status in the rock world.
When famed producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper) heard Aaron sing (he was recording in the adjacent studio) he was impressed enough to step in to produce her next release. Call of The Wildgarnered solid chart success in Canada and sold over 100,000 copies in Europe in just 6 weeks. The single “Barely Holdin’ On” resonated strongly with audiences and before long Aaron was topping European music polls and appearing on dozens of magazine covers including Sounds, Melody Makerand even TV Guide.
Relentless touring and chart-toppers like “Only Human”, “Whatcha Do To My Body”, “Hands On” and “Some Girls Do” resulted in multi-platinum sales in her home country and continued international success through the ’80s and ’90s.
Chart Magazineproclaimed Bodyrock(1989) one of the 20 most influential Canadian albums of the ’80s, with Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morrisette and Shania Twain all “under Aaron’s influence.” MuchMusic’s Listedhas consistently rated her in the Top Female Rockers Of All Timecategory.
In addition to the solid catalogue of rock releases, Aaron has ventured into other genres throughout her career, performing jazz, blues and even opera, solidifying her credibility as one of the most respected and versatile vocalists and songwriters around.
Concurrent with 2004’s Beautiful Things (Billboard claimed it her best yet), Aaron toured up until a month before her first child was born.
For the past decade, outside of a handful of select appearances, she has been out of the spotlight, spending much of her time focused on her young family. But music was never far from her mind, as she continued to noodle around in her home recording studio. She re-entered the rock ‘n’ roll scene a few short years ago, playing a number of festival shows and realized there was still a huge appetite for her brand of sophisticated, melodic rock music and impressive back catalogue.
“I always knew I was going to record again, I just didn’t know when, and I didn’t put that pressure on myself. Raising children takes an incredible amount of creative energy and my priority was these two amazing little people in my life. They’re more independent now, so some time and space has opened up,” Aaron said, adding that the kids are also becoming more interested in music themselves. “I really enjoy a lot of the pop stuff they listen to but it was also a motivation for me to get them listening to some of the music that resonated with me as a youth.” At 14, Aaron discovered Led Zeppelin, the Strawbs, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Heart, The Runaways and David Bowie (among others) in a pile of discarded vinyl from a college radio station. “I started revisiting this stuff with my kids and it took me back to a place of feeling so inspired by music again. I went, yeah … it’s time.”
After the international success and rave reviews of her 2016 album Fire And Gasoline, Canadian Rock legend Lee Aaron returns with her best album in decades. Available April 27, 2018, Diamond Baby Blues features 12 new songs – an extraordinary blend of hard-blues, rock ‘n’ roll and hard-rock with a superb production and sound that pays homage to the giants of the late ’60s and ’70s music scene. It is truly a classic rock ‘n’ roll album, with an emphasis on “class”.
Oil City Sound Machine is a 6 piece (voc, voc, guit, dr, bass, key) top 40 dance band from Edmonton that will play a great show for your venue. We play your corporate or larger function in Alberta. Our repertoire includes party material, dance and disco “classics” like Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn, Let’s Groove Tonight by Earth Wind & Fire, Dancing Queen by ABBA, Hot Stuff by Donna Summer, and many of the material that is current on the TOP 40 charts from Rhianna, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and many others.
After breaking into the rock scene in 2015 by winning the Creekwood Chapelle Songwriter Contest with their debut single “Creekwood Memories”, Alleviate won the Landmark Showcase Competition shortly after, quickly making a name for themselves.
By 2017, the band released their follow up full length album “Aggressive Grace”. Now Alleviate returns with a brand new single, “Daredevil” the first single off their new EP “Glass Habits”. The songs on the EP are about changing, growing and learning to love both those around you and yourself. With their signature high-energy style of rock n’ roll woven into honest stories and memorable melodies, you can hear the band’s growth as songwriters.
Striving to evolve past their previous release, Alleviate worked with seasoned producer Stew Kirkwood to create something unique and new. “Glass Habits” takes you on a journey from the lead single “Daredevil” which focuses on mental illness and the journey it takes to come to terms with that reality, to the heavy slide driven tale “Gunslinger”. The band is proud of what they’ve put together and the path they are leading.