Last Friday, Hamilton rock band Arkells played its biggest hometown show yet, in front of 10k fans at the FirstOntario Centre. Prior to their set, the band was surprised backstage with Gold Single plaques for “Leather Jacket,” from their 2016 album Morning Report. “Leather Jacket” is the band’s first Canadian Single Award certification. In 2015, Arkells received their first Gold plaques for the album High Noon.
-- Arcade Fire will perform in Montreal for the first time in over two years when it headlines this year’s edition (the fifth) of fundraising concert KANPE Kanaval on March 15 at Metropolis. KANPE is a relief organization dedicated to rebuilding Haiti, and it was co-founded by Arcade Fire member Régine Chassagne.
-- Now in its 14th year, the Juno Cup is a celebrity hockey matchup pitting top Canadian musicians against a team of NHL legends. The event has raised over $830K for music education charity MusiCounts. This year’s event takes place at Ottawa's TD Place on March 31 in support of music education charity MusiCounts.
The rockers team will include Kathleen Edwards, Jim Cuddy, Jon Gallant (Billy Talent), Sam Roberts, Dallas Smith, Aaron Pritchett, Darryl James (the Strumbellas), Devin Cuddy, Gord Bamford, Jimmy Bowskill, and Matthew Barber, among others. NHL stars will include set to take part in the action include Daniel Alfredsson, Gary Roberts, Paul Coffey, Jim Kyte, and Chris Phillips, coached by CFL star Henry Burris. Info here
-- Canadian Music Week has just announced a Live Promoter101 The Podcast Recording session set for April 19th. It will feature Goldenvoice's Elliott Lefko, United Talent Agency's Jack Ross, WORKS Entertainment's Luke Pierceu & Emporium Presents' Dan Steinberg. More info here
-- True North Records yesterday announced the addition of Western Canadian roots-rocker Leeroy Stagger to its roster. His 11th studio album, Love Versus, will be released on April 7. Stagger co-produced with Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, Black Mountain), with Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat, The Mounties) remixing the title song and single.
An all-star backing band comprised Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello), Paul Rigby (Neko Case), Geoff Hilhorst (The Deep Dark Woods), and Tyson Maiko. Recording took place over three weeks in Stagger’s new home studio. A 10-date Western Canadian tour begins March 17 at Panorama, BC and ends in Vancouver on April 22. Dates here
-- CCS Rights Management yesterday announced a worldwide publishing deal with Saskatchewan singer/songwriter Poor Nameless Boy (Joel Henderson). CCS head Jodie Ferneyhough reports first seeing PNB at a Reeperbahn showcase. 2016 album Bravery was Henderson’s third, and he’s promoting it with international touring. He showcases at Folk Alliance this week and has three European tours lined up.
-- Multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Bowskill is certainly working hard this winter. He is currently out on his first tour with Blue Rodeo, but is juggling its schedule with dates by his other band, The Sheepdogs. This week, he has to skip a Blue Rodeo show in Ottawa to play a Sheepdogs show in Florida, prior to jetting back for Blue Rodeo’s second show at the National Arts Centre.
Word is he’s fitting in fine with BR, with Jim Cuddy telling the Ottawa Citizen “he’s phenomenal. We’d love him to stay around but he does have a full-time job.” On the Toronto scene, the still 20something Bowskill has long been known as an ace blues guitarist.
-- Still basking in the glow of rave reviews for 2016 double album Desert Star, The Julian Taylor Band launches its Southern Ontario “401 Tour,” on March 16 at The Rondo in Windsor, closing out at Arnprior’s John St. Pub on April 21. A full itinerary here. Taylor also has a solo gig at Toronto’s Winterfolk fest on Feb. 19.
Trish Doan (aka Trisha Jai-Mee Doan), bassist for Canadian metal band Kittie, has died, age 31. No cause of death has been revealed. The band announced the news on its FB page, stating that "She was so bright and vibrant and talented and we loved her and still do.” Doan first joined Kittie in 2005, appearing on their 2006 EP Never Again and 2007 full-length Funeral for Yesterday. She left the group in 2007, then returned in 2012.