Adlai Waxman
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Adlai Waxman

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Pop Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos




Waxman's melodic sensibilities instantly channel the stylings of Randy Newman, Steely Dan or Joe Jackson filtered through a mature Ben Folds

— Ian nathanson/Metro Toronto

- Toronto Metro



“Adlai Waxman brings together intelligent lyrics and catchy melodies, delivered with a warm and inviting voice. He has the versatility to experiment musically, without ever losing sight of his acoustic roots.”

- Eugene Foley, Foley Entertainment, Inc.

- Gene Foley Entertainment

"Honest music"

“The songs on Waxman's current CD illustrate his penchant for haunting melody and unique lyrics. His voice is strong and his emotions ring through honestly in
his words and playing.”
-Joe Martin North Shore News Vancouver, BC

- North Shore News

"Versitile Musician"

“It is very rare to come into contact with a musician with such versatility, and a true honest feel. I am anxiously awaiting the new CD.”
-Steve Gerander, Multiplax Entertainment Media Inc.

- Multiplax Entertainment


“Waxman has a unique and eccentric sound”
-The Peterborough Examiner

- Peterborough Examiner

"Fantastic songwriter"

“Fantastic songwriter with a pop/ jazz/folk ambiance”
-The Arthur Trent university’s newspaper

- The Arthur


Maria Kotovych /

Adlai Waxman
Down at Joe’s

Have you ever gone to a concert where you’ve paid more attention to a backup dancer or musician than the lead singer? I have. And as I listened to Down at Joe’s, I started doing something very similar—I searched for the piano. And this wasn’t because I disliked Waxman’s singing; I listened for those ivories because they bring energy and excitement to the folk-infused pop songs. At times, the piano gets to stand up and take the lead; at other times, it sits in a corner and whispers shyly. And as the notes roll out, they seem to relate their own subtext as they join the vocals. The fun lies in trying to figure out what those keys are saying. V
- Vue Weekly

"Adlai Waxman Performance"

Adlai Waxman attracted an admirable amount of people at The Renaissance cafe in Toronto playing a spectacular evening of beautifully composed songs off his EP Pomona Valley.

"Review of Down at Joe's"

Adlai Waxman, Down at Joe's (Marshmellow, 2009)

I will say this for Down at Joe's, it's the first CD I've reviewed that carries a 2009 date on the sleeve. The first of many, I'm certain. But that can't be the only thing that sets this disc apart from the crowd, can it? Well, the one-sheet promises that Adlai Waxman's "songs shine with a style that pushes the boundary of piano pop music." They all promise that, don't you know? "Piano pop music?" Sounds like we're looking at the next Billy Joel, or Elton John. Not quite.

The first track is more subtle than Elton or Billy. "I Need Her So" sounds a bit like a lost Jackson Browne track. Jackson Browne is probably not a bad place to start. It has something to do with the quality of Adlai's voice. Of course, he doesn't sound like Jackson, and he's not as political, although Adlai does sing about a variety of issues like "take the bad guys down..." in "Lenny." Oh, it's about Law & Order's Lenny Briscoe. And then there's a hint of Randy Newman's voice on "The Game" but only a hint. It's not really fair to relate everything back to somebody else's music, but the trouble is...when you listen to as much stuff as we do here at GMR you can't help but find similarities and echos. Even the promo material mentions Newman! And Joe Jackson, Robbie Robertson, Donald Fagen, and then says, "yet his vocal style remains distinct, complete with his own modern twist."

Trouble is, when you listen having those names in your mind, you can't help but see the similarities. OK, I haven't heard the Robbie Robertson link yet, but it must be here somewhere. Taken on his own merits, Adlai Waxman has created a darn good record. (Oh, the Fagen reference might be to track four, "The Storm" and it has more to do with the arrangement and the tasty guitar solo by Justin Abedin.) It's not that Waxman sounds like any of the aforementioned artists; it's echos, that's all. He really does have his own voice. He writes melodic tunes. The piano doesn't overwhelm everything, although he is a fine player. These songs are arranged for the band. And quite a band it is.

Justin Abedin plays "most electric guitar, mandolin, banjo, dobro, lap steel, acoustic guitar"; Marc Rogers plays bass; Saam Hashemi is another guitarist (and adds synth to one track); Vito Rezza is drummer on the project; and Jim Clark fills out the sound with his trumpet, tenor and baritone sax. Waxman plays piano, organ and accordion. They are a tight, and at times funky unit. Nobody overplays, guitar solos are tasty and serve the tunes. The rhythm section holds things together, but allows space when it's needed.

All in all Down at Joe's is a valiant first effort. Well worth a listen, or two.

[David Kidney] - The Greenman Review


Adlai Waxman 2001
Pomona Valley 2004
Flight 73 2005
DEMO SONGS (Marshmello Sessions) 2006
New release Down at Joe's Marshmellow Records 2009

more songs at

Tracks that have streaming or Radio play:

SunSong (Flight 73)-CBC radio, Rismixlive internet radio
Take (Flight 73)-Rismixlive internet radio
Nothing Left (Pomona Valley) CBC radio, Nat Internet Radio, Rismixlive Internet radio



Splitting his time between Toronto and Nashville, Adlai Waxman has worked hard to get where he is today and feels fortunate to be making a living doing what he loves best: music. Wearing many hats, he earns his keep as a session/ back-up musician, a songwriter of many genres, and a performing/recording artist.

Adlai began his musical journey in Toronto, where he grew up and was first introduced to music. His father, a musician himself, took Adlai to numerous concerts including Ray Charles at Massey Hall and Ben E. King at The Royal York Ballroom. Seated in the front row, Adlai was asked to sing with Ben E. King on stage while performing his hit song "Stand By Me." He recalls later that night King autographed his ticket “to my new singing partner.” It was sealed there would be no other career path for him but music.

Studying piano, organ, accordion, and voice, Adlai began writing songs and playing in bands, along with using his skills as a multi- instrumentalist to land work as a session player. Working with Noteborn Music Publishing from 2003-2007, he used his writing talents for TV documentaries, movies, and artists in Nashville.

In 2004, Adlai independently produced his own EP, Pomona Valley, and followed up in 2005 with a second EP, Flight 73. Together the albums scored him a total of three number one hits on the CBC New Music Singer-Songwriter Pop Charts with the tracks “Nothing Left,” “Caledonia Street” and “Sun Song.” After hearing Pomona Valley, legendary producer, Jerry Wexler (Bob Dylan, Ray Charles) personally called Adlai to offer career guidance. According to Wexler, "Adlai Waxman is a musician who can fit in with the best of them.”

Adlai caught the ear of Toronto boutique label Marshmellow Records in 2008. A year later his first full-length album, Down At Joe’s, was released. All 15 tracks were written and arranged by Adlai, who brings forward a sound that emanates with the influence of songwriters like Randy Newman, Joe Jackson, Robbie Robertson and Donald Fagen. Fusing elements of pop/rock, jazz and folk, Adlai’s music combines clever songwriting with melodic piano compositions, and a distinct yet familiar vocal style that pushes the boundaries of traditional piano pop-music. The staff at CD Baby selected Down At Joe's as an Editor's Pick in the Jazz-Pop Genre a week after it's release on January 1, 2009.

Over the past year Adlai has been steadily touring Canada and the eastern United States with shows at notable venues including Googie’s Lounge in NYC and Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley. In March of 2009, he played Austin’s Red Gorilla Music Fest and opened for 12 Against Nature, Nashville’s renowned Steely Dan tribute band.

While on the road, Adlai also focuses on collaborating with fellow musicians and writers. During his career, he has had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Vito Rezza (Joni Mitchell), Mark Rodgers (Susan Tudeski), and Mike Dunbar (Willy Nelson) to name a few.

Currently, Adlai is pursuing a permanent Nashville address while he continues his daily adventures of everything music.