March 31, 2015

The regular writers for The Sonic Unity News provide informative and entertaining articles featuring recording artists, music, equipment, opinions, live concerts, design and audio equipment coverage.

Jim Barber

Jim Barber is a veteran journalist with twenty years of experience in the newspaper, magazine and website content business. He has worked for small, independently own media products, as well as for some of the biggest media chains including Thomson, Metroland and Sun Media. Jim has a passion for music. It is as important to him as air, food and water in terms of sustaining life and energy. Classic rock, hard rock, melodic metal, 1950s rock, 1980s pop, Celtic, and classical – he loves it all. And he has been able to channel his passion into literally hundreds of interviews and articles about musicians and bands. Jim loves to interview local up-and-coming artists as much as the big rock stars. He has been fortunate to have been able to interview some of his favourite acts, including some real legends of music and many of the top Canadians acts including: Rush, Yes, Deep Purple, Triumph, Saga, Trooper, ZZ Top, Styx, Foreigner, Ted Nugent, Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Geldof, The Cult, Asia, as well as classical music virtuoso Liona Boyd, opera star Ben Heppner, and too many more to mention. A host of newspaper industry awards over his career is a testament to the success of his writing and editing skills.

Rick Hopkins

Rick studied architecture and worked with set design legends Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park in London, England, designing for The Rolling Stones. In 1992 he began independent design work for such clients as Rush, Van Halen, Bryan Adams, The Tragically Hip, Spinal Tap, Sass Jordan, Rod Stewart and again in 1997, for The Rolling Stones. He has provided design and site management for Lollapalooza which featured Primus, Alice in Chains, Tool, Rage Against the Machine, The Smashing Pumpkins, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, and Green Day. He has worked with notable show and lighting designer Marc Brickman who is known for his work with Pink Floyd, and Canadian lighting director Howard Ungerleider. Throughout his career, Rick has always had a passion for music and has always been interested in the pursuit of music reproduction. Audio system building, acoustics, electronics and computing technology have always been of major interest. He is constantly experimenting and trying to find new ways to improve the quality of the listening experience.

Bill Krause

Bill Krause’s experience as a music lover stared as a young teenager listening to the legendary NYC jazz DJ and pianist Dr. Billy Taylor. Living near NYC, club dates and concerts, featuring such greats as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, The MJQ, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, Jim Hall and others, all helped to shape his musical taste. The Great American Songbook is the foundation of his musical appreciation. Bill’s love of jazz is almost equaled by his interest in classical, tango and film music, and all things audiophile. He currently co-hosts a jazz radio program, “Swing is in the Air”.

Jeff Pearce

Jeff Pearce  is a founding member of Moist and co-writer of all songs on their 3 multi-platinum albums. With a million records sold, 10 Juno Award nominations and 2 wins, 11 MuchMusic Video Award nominations and 4 wins, six Canada’s Rock Awards nominations and 4 wins and 7 Socan Number 1 awards, Moist dominated the Canadian airwaves in the 1990s. In Canada, Moist sold out arenas from coast to coast. Internationally, Moist had hits in Europe and Asia, and shared the stage with acts as diverse as Neil Young, Metallica and Green Day. As a producer, Jeff is best known for David Usher’s Juno Award winning “Morning Orbit” and “If God had Curves” albums. He also played in David’s touring band for six years. Jeff has produced and written songs with Kalen Porter, Rex Goudie, Damnhait Doyle, Kyle Riabko and Brian Melo. His songs have been featured on the TV shows “The L Word”, “Joan of Arcadia”, “Canadian Idol” and “Due South”, and in the films “In the Army Now”, “Brokedown Palace” and “Stir of Echoes”. Jeff is also an experienced guitar and band teacher, and holds a B.A. (Honours) from Queen’s University.

Tom Rieke

Tom studied writing in Iowa City then practiced the profession in radio, PR, the Peace Corps (Barbados), and academia before co-founding Q LTD, Sonic Unity’s design consultants. At university and for several years afterward, he was a serious choral singer. In recent years, he has been exploring music and art and history in six continents. His long list of favorite musicians includes Louis Armstrong, Ron Carter, Lucky Dube, Bill Frisell, Dizzy Gillespie, Cindy Mizelle, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Willie Nelson, Rosa Passos, Simon Rattle, Kermit Ruffins, Essa-Pekka Salonen, and Susan Werner. Most evenings, he listens to Radio Svizzera Classica, the Italian version of a streaming no-ads service from Basel. His charitable activites include support for the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp (New Orleans) and the Jazz Foundation of America.

Mike Rowe

Mike has been an audiophile since the day he was born. He loves music, records and experimenting with equipment to find his perfect sound. Mike loves tubes, vinyl, cables and audio tweaks in the pursuit of the absolute sound (or used to... more about that in a minute). He once owned a successful used record store called The Record Center that specialized in rock, jazz, classical and hard to find music collectables. Recently, Mike's traditional tube and vinyl based audio system, that consisted of some very highly regarded and prestigious manufacturers, underwent a dramatic transformation. He discovered that the new wave of digital equipment could sound dramatically better than his traditional tube and vinyl based audio system. He decided to write about his experience and as a result he is now a regular contributor, willing to share his personal audio adventures. Mike is a jazz musician and plays the drums in a band with his wife Barb who plays beside him on the bass guitar. 

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