RIP: Bluegrass legend Ralph (Edmund) Stanley passed away June 23 from skin cancer at the age of 89. Stanley started making music in 1946 with his siblings as the Stanley Brothers, performing and recording Folk and Appalachian music. The group became popular during the '60s Folk scene. Following his brother Carter's death in 1966, Stanley continued making music as a solo artist for decades. Stanley's work was featured in the popular 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? in which he sings the Appalachian dirge "O Death."
RIP: George Bernard "Bernie" Worrell, Jr., on June 24, age 72, from lung cancer. The keyboardistis best known for his work alongside George Clinton in the pioneering funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic. He was inducted as member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. He performed and recorded extensively with Talking Heads in the early ‘80s, and was also featured in collaborations with Ginger Baker, Mos Def, Bill Laswell, Fela Kuti, and Les Claypool. He was also the subject of a documentary, Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth that spans his life from age 10 when he was tagged a keyboard prodigy and played with the Washington Symphony Orchestra.
-- CIMA, Music BC, BreakOut West and the ECMA have partnered with Australian Music Week to give the opportunity to 6 artists (2 from each org) the opportunity to perform at the New South Wales annual festival from November 2-4.
-- Through CIMA’s Membership Affinity Program, Calgary-based Canada Boy Vinyl is now offering priority service – and exclusive pricing on bulk and individual orders – to CIMA members. Further details call 1 (866) 661-2507.
-- If you are new to applying to FACTOR for funding, or just need a refresher on the updates, make sure you check out their new pocket guide! It explains how to set up various profiles, a breakdown on the most commonly applied to artist programs, and deadlines.
-- This is the last week to apply for the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class program. The deadline is June 30 and link here to find out more.
-- Lennie Gallant is re-mounting his successful musical theatre show, Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs & Stories of Lennie Gallant at the PEI Brewing Company in Charlottetown, July 4 through Sept. 14. He toured with the NB Symphony last fall, performing selections from the musical, and without the orchestra earlier this year in western Canada, promoting his album of the same name. The show features songs and stories by Gallant and his 5-piece band, along with tales and legends presented in a multimedia format that includes film and art from his sister Karen Gallant, a well-known Island painter.
-- Transplanted Toronto band Palaye Royale has released its Sumerian Records’ debut Boom Boom Room, just in time for the kick off date of Vans Warped Tour. Now based in Las Vegas, “Mr. Doctor Man” is the first video single released from the package, directed by Ash Avildsen.
-- A new exhibit focusing on music in the military is set to open at the USS Silversides Submarine Museum in Michigan. Called War: A Tribute to Military Musicians, the display explores the history of musical instruments in the military, and music’s use as a means of communication and a psychological weapon during war.
-- Chrissy Hurn’s synth-pop 3-piece Hamilton band Basement Revolver has uploaded “Words” to SoundCloud as the 2nd track from the July 15 self-titled Fear of Missing Out Records’ EP that is to be released via BandCamp and iTunes. Ontario-wide dates are set for August.
-- Asian-Canadian Shah the Rapper is releasing his debut Day of the Shah 6-song EP with accompanying big production videos via YouTube on July 6. The U of T grad claims a BA in Commerce and a doctorate in medicine. “Rookie Card” is one of two teasers released.
-- “Unlike fellow Canadians Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, (Gordon) Lightfoot has never quite received the acclaim his 54-year recording career unquestionably deserves, despite his Early Morning Rain being covered by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and Paul Weller,” the London Evening Standard reports following his first concert in the capital city, at the Royal Albert Hall, in 35 years. But, John Aizelwood added, “Whether, at the ripe old age of 77, he should still be taking that splendid catalogue on the road is more open to debate and last night wasn’t an entirely glorious return to the land where he hosted the BBC’s Country & Western Show in 1962. Lightfoot’s once velvet voice is now reduced to a muted croak, which may have rendered the extraordinary If You Could Read My Mind more cutting still, but it wreaked havoc on story songs such as The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the jealousy-infused Sundown…
And 44 years ago:
-- Kelly Clarkson has signed with Atlantic Records. The first American Idol winner has recorded 7 albums with RCA and plans to release a soul-influenced album in the new year. She has a line of greeting cards, a kid’s book and is backing Hilary Clinton in the US presidential election.
-- In a new interview with Howard Stern, Steven Tyler revealed that Aerosmith will set out on a farewell tour in 2017. "I love this band, I really do, and I want to squash every thought that anybody might have about this … We're doing a farewell tour, but only because it's time. We've never done that," Tyler said. He added that guitarist Joe Perry is in on the plan.
-- James Taylor, Eagles and Mavis Staples are among the artists that will be honored at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors. Billboard notes that the Eagles were supposed to be honored last year, but postponed their appearance due to Glenn Frey's health troubles. Frey then passed away this Jan. The celebration will be held on Sunday, December 4.
-- Jessica Mitchell, The Lovelocks, Emma-Lee, and Kelly Prescott are among the dozen songwriters selected for this year’s CCMA Songwriters Series, sponsored by SOCAN and ole. The 40th annual CCMA Awards will be held in London, ON, Sept. 8 – 11.
-- Sinead O’Connor is claiming Chicago cops made up the story about her alleged death wish and threat to jump off a bridge late last week in a foul mouthed rant on her Facebook page that has subsequently been erased. She also celebrated Brexit on Friday on the same site: "You just got fucked by Gerry Adams. Ireland is officially no longer owned by Britain!" she crowed in capital letters. "Congrats to every man, woman and child who ever died for the cause of Irish freedom, and also to those including myself who have been persecuted mercilessly by the Irish so-called free state for having declared support for Sinn Fein and the Republican movement. Our day has come!"
-- Montreal jazz enthusiast and long time Montreal Gazette scribbler Juan Rodriguez is no longer being searched for. Fears for the 68-year-old diabetic led to a police hunt in the city earlier in the month. Police located him in the Ville-Marie borough and say he is in good health.
-- Secret Life: The Jian Ghomeshi Investigation from the Toronto Star’s Kevin Donovan will exploit the Jian Ghomeshi abuse scandal with behind-the-scenes look at the months-long investigation by Donovan and Canadaland podcaster Jesse Brown that led to the Star’s exposé. Canadian indie publisher Goose Lane Editions will release the 240-page tome--about the fallen 49-year-old media star who was cleared of all charges in May—on Oct. 4.
-- Singer-songwriter Ron Nigrini makes his annual pilgrimage to Hugh’s Room on Sept. 16, Sylvia Tyson & Scarlet Rivera appear 3 nights later, former Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre hits the same stage on the 22nd, the Original Sloth Band on the 30th, and the Boomers on Nov. 10. Incidentally, Tyson has completed a second novel—described as an Agatha Christie style whodunnit set in north Toronto, and has her 1962 copyright “You Were On My Mind” covered by Steve Earle and Shawn Colvin on an upcoming album. According to legend, the song was written in a bathtub in a suite at the Hotel Earle in Greenwich Village, the same place where Dylan scribbled "Blowin' In the Wind." As the story goes, she wrote it in the bathroom because "it was the only place ... the cockroaches would not go". It was originally performed by Fricker (her maiden name) and then husband-to-be Ian Tyson as the duo Ian & Sylvia and they recorded it for their 1964 album, Northern Journey.
-- Florida Georgia Line will release Dig Your Roots on Aug. 26 via Taylor Swift’s, Big Machine Label Group.
-- Arts & Crafts has announced Lowell is following up her 2014 debut album We Loved You Dearly with a 3-song set entitled Part One: Paris YK on Aug. 26. “High Enough” is the advance video that hints she’s still caught up in ponderous existentialism.
-- Less ambiguous, Edmonton four-piece political banger band All Else Fails has just released the final video installment to their highly touted Fucktropolis album. It’s called “Antimartyr” and a live enactment of same can be found at the Loud as Hell fest in Drumheller, AB on Aug. 30.
-- Tokyo Police Club has released a video edition of “Not My Girl” from their April 8th Dine Alone EP Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness: Part 1. It supports a 17-city soft-seat and club tour that includes Born Ruffians and Elwins as supporting cast on some shows. The Newmarket band will perform and throw out the first pitch on July 29, as part of the Blue Jays’ Friday Fan Festivals.
-- Margo Smith, the Canadian Country Music Association Living Legend Award winner and a member of the International Country Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame, is on the rebound after a near fatal vehicular accident and a bout of pneumonia, according to her husband and manager Richard Cameron. Smith broke through the national country charts during the 1970s with a couple of No. 1 hits: “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” and “It Only Hurts for a Little While.” Later in the ‘70s, she had a couple of Top 10 hits, “Take My Breath Away,” “Still A Woman” and “Little Things Mean a Lot.”
-- Canadian Country star Carroll Baker is back on the road. Following an SRO show at the Rama Casino outside Gordon Lightfoot’s hometown of Orillia, ON, the Bridgewater, NS CCMA Hall of Famer and 5x Juno winner has announced a half-dozen Maritime shows in Oct. and Nov. Between 1970 and 1982, she had had more than 20 number one records, 12 of which were consecutive, a record that remains unbroken in Canada by a Canadian Country Music Performer to this day. From a 1978 TV performance with Conway Twitty, singing one of her many hits…
-- Promoter Gary Topp has a momentous anti-establishment Rivoli triple bill featuring The Scenics, Fat As Fuck and The Two Koreas on July 7. Not familiar with the line-up, here’s the goods…