Classic Albums Live Staff Bios
Craig Martin – Founder
Favourite Album – The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’
Since 2003, I’ve been steadily employing musicians. I seek out the best players and in turn – they seek out me. I mix the shows because I want to make sure that every player’s hard work is represented. I enjoy shooting and editing the movies that we post on our Facebook and Youtube pages. In Toronto, along with Massey Hall, I help promote the Canadian Cancer Society’s “Wheels of Hope” program – we network people to help drive patients to and from chemotherapy appointments. I was born in 1961. I live the music we perform.
Tracy Martin – Operations!
Favourite Album – Bob Marley ‘Exodus’
My little sister runs things. She makes sure that everyone gets to where they need to be and are happy once they arrive. She makes everyone smoothies for road trips. She’s a confidant and friend to the musicians. She once joined the CAL Zep band on stage to bang pie plates together. Without Tracy, we’d all be bumping into one another not knowing what to do. Sometimes she dies her hair purple. She is a calm port in a series of storms. She has a big heart.
Rob Phillips – Music Director
Favourite Album – Pink Floyd ‘ The Wall’
Bobby is our rock. He brings the nuance. He’s a kind man. But he doesn’t tolerate foolishness. If you’re on a show with Rob, show up with your shit together. He’s very funny and is able to replicate sounds and entire comedy bits on cue. He’s calm. He loves his family. He is the face of CAL. He sold the most T shirts of any other alumni.
John Batuszkin – Tour Manager
Favourite Album – The Who ‘ Who’s Next?’
Johnnie B is a champ. He gets to where we need to be safely. He’s our ambassador. He arrives and takes charge. People like him. Once he shook a celebrities hand so hard that the celebrity cursed him. He’s a brilliant bassist. I’ve known him for 30 years. He gets better with age. His live on site FB backstage commentaries are nutty but you can’t look away. Every couple of years I buy him a new van and they all end up smelling like horses. He’ll do anything for you.
Louise Poirier-Davey – Promotion
Favourite Album – Led Zeppelin ‘Led Zeppelin 1’
Louise and I share a special bond. She was married to my dear late friend Anthony. I was looking for someone that could take over our publicity – someone fresh who isn’t afraid to buck the system. So our paths crossed and it’s been wonderful. Louise is cool and effective. She connects with all of the venues we play at and makes sure that they get everything they need from us. No small feat considering we’re pushing close to 200 shows a year. Louise loves her family.
Ryan Racine – Front of House Sound
Favourite Album – Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’
Ryan mixes the shows when I’m not around. He does a great job. The secret ingredient in his sound is that he cares. He listens to the albums – attends rehearsals and makes notes on what he wants to hear representing CAL in the mix. I’ve taught him how to yell “Turn down, Bobby!” or “Where’s Mark?”
or “Des wake up!” He’s a good man who’s just beginning his journey with us. And as we wind on down the road.
Cynthia Cake – Design
Favourite Album – Led Zeppelin ‘Led Zeppelin 1’
I’ve known Cindy since the 80s when she was designing clothes for local bands. I still have a cow print vest she made for me (it doesn’t fit anymore). Our paths realigned when we were at a fund raiser for a mutual friend and since then she’s been working hard to give CAL a cool vibe visually. She designs all of our shirts, logos and ad mats. She’s a dog person. She a designer, photographer, artist and rocker.
Jeff Beardall – Web Stuff
Favourite Album – Leonard Nimoy ‘Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy’
Jeff has been with CAL since 2004. I went years without ever meeting him in person. You know how some of the web cats can be – elusive, mysterious, time deprived. When we finally did meet, I was happy to discover that he Was also happy. He has a lovely family. I’m pretty sure he has a dog but it could just be special FX.
Steve Butler – Canadian Agent
Favourite Album – Steve Wonder ‘Songs in the Key of Life’
It was Steve Butler’s vision that brought CAL to where it is today. He drummed on all the shows during the first year. And from that chair he saw bigger things. He was just finding his way as an agent – our timing couldn’t have been better. He started out with the biggest agency in Canada but he couldn’t find his groove there. So he jumped ship and took up with the family run Paquin Agency. I was the only one of his artists to jump ship with him. He’s been my friend for 25 years. He makes me laugh.
Brian Swanson – American Agent
Favourite Album – Yo La Tengo ‘Fakebook’
When Brian got on board, America opened up to us like a big loading door and said “Bring everything you got.” He’s a proper Californian agent. And I like that he takes as much time off to spend with his family as possible. Sometimes Steve and I will wonder where he is? I get a bit panicky. Steve talks me off the ledge and right then Brian calls with a ton of dates for us. He gets it. And he’s lived it as well. One day I’ll be in a band with him.