R.I.P. Ovid Assanah Reid, one of the original members of the prominent Toronto reggae group Truth & Rights, died of cancer on September 30th. No age is given. His death was confirmed by sister Grace Assanah on Facebook on Oct. 1. A wake is to be held at St. John the divine (855 Scarborough Golf Club Rd.) on Oct. 7, and the funeral service is to be held on Oct. 13 from 11-12pm at Highland Funeral Home (3280 Sheppard Ave. E.).
-- The Rolling Stones' much talked about Chicago-style blues album is tipped to have its release in December (earlier we wrongly suggested Oct. 6). The sessions for it were recorded in three days with a simple microphone set-up and no further studio touch-ups, hoping to preserve a raw, authentic feel, co-producer Don Was told the French newspaper Le Figaro last week. Eric Clapton also took part in sessions as he was recording an album in an adjacent studio, said the producer. On Friday the Stones will inaugurate Desert Trip, a new three-day festival in California that also features Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Roger Waters, The Who and Neil Young.
-- The velvety tones of Jim Cuddy’s voice have been put to good use on the narration of Striking Balance, an 8-part documentary series that goes coast to coast to create a stunning picture of Canada’s Biosphere Reserves. The series premiered on TVO last night (up against the big Jays game), but baseball fans can also check it out on tvo.org for a limited time.
-- Singer/songwriter Piper Hayes will launch her new album Goodbye Mister Nice Guy with a show at Touche Martini Bar in Toronto on Oct. 15. Described as a concept album with a personal resonance, it was produced by Dean Drouillard (Royal Wood, Justin Rutledge) at his Toronto studio. “The songs tell my story, in all it’s pain and beauty, during one of the hardest times in my life,” says Hayes in a press release.
-- Beloved rock veterans Sloan are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their classic album One Chord To Another with another extensive 22- city North American tour. This leg starts tonight (Oct. 5) at Montreal's Fairmount Theatre and runs through to a Nov. 20 gig at Cleveland's Grog Shop. Full itinerary here Below is one of the faves from that album.
-- Here at FYI we enjoy getting offbeat press releases. One received from Liquid Communications yesterday meets that criterion. It involves dating app Happn, who partnered with Spotify a year ago. The app allows its users to send music to connect and flirt with a crush through the app’s messaging function. This has resulted in some interesting stats, such as the top shared songs in Canada through Spotify when online dating. The top 3 for both genders featured (in order) Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” "I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and Pharrell Williams' "Happy." Men chose “Treasure” by Bruno Mars as No. 4 and Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker" at 5, while women placed “Heartbreaker” at 4 and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at No. 5. What, no Barry White!
-- Sad news for fans of classic soul singer Charles Bradley. It was revealed yesterday that the 67 year old has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and his condition has forced the cancellation of all upcoming tour dates, including four October Canadian shows. "I will fight through this like I've fought through the many other obstacles in my life,” said Bradley in a statement.