The MusicNerd Files Edition #6

Swollen Members perform at the Oxygen on Saturday, Feb. 16. Advance tickets are $15 and are available at Spin It, 467 Main St., Moncton.

In the early part of this century, it seemed as though all Western Canadian hip hop group Swollen Members touched turned to gold. The group found themselves darlings of Muchmusic with each of their videos played in high rotation on the once-influential media outlet. Legal troubles, substance addiction and more found their way to the band however and the group seemingly fell off the face of the earth for a number of years. The band reconvened and emerged a stronger band with 2009’s Armed To The Teeth. Swollen Member’s newest album, Dagger Mouth, was released last year and was heralded by many of the band’s fans as a return to their roots.

Bruce Cockburn performs at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $30.50 plus service charge. Advance tickets are available from the Capitol Theatre Box Office and Frank’s Music, 245 Carson Drive, Moncton.

In late 2010, Canadian songwriting legend Bruce Cockburn was booked to the play a rather extensive Atlantic Canadian tour however a bout with pneumonia forced him to abandon these plans. Cockburn makes his long-awaited return to Moncton’s Capitol Theatre in mid-February, touring behind his excellent 2011 record Small Source of Comfort, his 31st studio record. The man behind timeless hits such as Lovers In A Dangerous Time and If I Had A Rocket Launcher took home two Canadian Folk Music Awards last month, one for Contemporary Album of the Year and the other for Solo Artist of the Year.

Deep Purple performs two shows at Casino New Brunswick, Saturday, Feb. 4, and Monday, Feb. 6. Ticket prices start at $65 (plus taxes and service charges) and are available at the Casino Gift Shop, by phone at 1-866-943-8849 and online at www.ticketbreak.com/casinonb.

Formed in 1968, few bands have had the staying power of England’s Deep Purple. The group best known for classic songs like Smoke On The Water, Highway Star and Strange Kind of Woman has two shows slated to take place at Moncton’s Casino New Brunswick as a part of an extensive 17 date Cross-Canada tour. Though the group has undergone a number of line-up changes since their formation, they have sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Ron Sexsmith is playing at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 4. Tickets for the show start at $20.50 plus service charge. Advance tickets are available from the Capitol Theatre Box Office and Frank’s Music, 245 Carson Drive, Moncton.

Long a critical darling with fans including Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Elvis Costello and Paul McCartney, Canadian songwriter Ron Sexsmith looked to change gears somewhat for his newest record Long Player Late Bloomer. To help him realize his vision, Sexsmith enlisted mega-producer Bob Rock to help him achieve his vision and possibly broaden his fan base. Sexsmith is a dynamic live performer and shows time and again why he is one of Canada’s true songwriting heroes. Be sure to check out my feature interview with Ron Sexsmith in next week’s Metro.