Music News Digest, Nov. 1, 2017

Le Gala de l’ADISQ, the biggest music awards show in Quebec, was held on Oct. 29 at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal. Winners on the night included Daniel Bélanger and Patrice Michaud, with two trophies apiece, and Celine Dion, Safia Nolin, Klô Pelgag, Alaclair Ensemble, Émile Bilodeau, and Les Soeurs Boulay.

Leonard Cohen was honoured with a Félix trophy for his entire oeuvre, and son Adam was on hand to accept it. More info here

— Kicking off on Nov. 23 in Saskatoon and culminating in Toronto on Dec. 20, New Constellations is a nation(s) wide tour of music and arts, featuring special guest appearances by a lineup of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists coming together for the first time.

It is the brainchild of two music organizations, The Basement Revue and Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). Founded by singer/songwriter Jason Collett, the former has hosted very successful multi-media events in Toronto, while RPM is described as " a global new music platform, record label, artist collective, and live music presenter celebrating Indigenous music culture."

A mentorship program for Indigenous youth is a feature of the tour. Artists participating in various shows include Feist, A Tribe Called Red, Sam Roberts, Lido Pimienta, Stars, Joel Plaskett, July Talk, Naomi Klein, Mob Bounce and Rich Aucoin. Check the tour itinerary here

— Shawn Mendes is part of the high-octane performance lineup for the 2017 EMA Awards (MTV's Europe Music Awards), set to take place in London at The SSE Arena Wembley on Nov. 12. The Canadian star's rendition of his hit "Mercy" on the show last year was considered a highlight of the night. He has five nominations this year, including the Best Artist category. Other performers will include Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello, Kesha, The Killers, Stormzy, French Montana, Travis Scott, and host Rita Ora.

— One of Canada's most prominent country fests, The Big Valley Jamboree, has just announced its 2018 lineup. Headliners include The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, Brett Eldredge, Alabama, and Billy Ray Cyrus. Other acts include Jess Moskaluke and Aaron Goodvin. The fest runs Aug. 2-5 in Camrose, AB. Tix on sale Nov. 6.

— Folk Alliance International has just announced the list of artists to play its official showcases. Canadians have always figured prominently at FAI, and this list includes such notable Canadians as Amanda Rheaume, Boogát, Choir! Choir! Choir!,  Colter Wall, Connie Kaldor, Digging Roots, Delhi 2 Dublin, Erin Costelo, Jayme Stone, Julian Taylor, Lisa LeBlanc, Megan Bonnell, Rose Cousins, Royal Wood, and Suzie Vinnick. A full list of artists here.

The 30th annual conference takes place Feb. 14-18  at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri.

— Last week SOCAN held its Vancouver Family & Friends Bash at Waterview, an event fostering connections between SOCAN members and notables from the local music community. CEO Eric Baptiste welcomed more than 100 guests, including members of the 2018 Juno host committee. BC music heavyweights enjoying the occasion included 604 Records head Jonathan Simkin, record producer Garth Richardson, and producer/musicians Ben Mink and Chin Injeti.

— The Tea Party has long been one of the most popular ever Canadian groups in Australia, and that continues today. The ensemble is currently playing a six-city tour there, performing the Transmission album to mark its 20th anniversary.

They recently went into leader Jeff Martin’s Australian studio (in Byron Bay, NSW) to re-record four songs from that album, "Temptation," "Release," ’‘Psychopomp," and "Transmission."  These versions are being sold exclusively online on their website and at their Australian shows.

— Award-winning Canadian jazz guitarist Rob Tardik and his six-piece band will preview material from his sixth album, Synergy, with a performance at The Markham Theatre on Nov. 3, sharing the bill with US star Dave Koz. Synergy will be released on his Guitardik Music label (distributed by Naxos) in January, while the title track single recently debuted as the No. 1 most added on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts.

Luka is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter readying the release of his new album, What Kind of Animal, out on Nov. 28. He'll showcase its material with upcoming gigs, beginning at The Drake in Toronto tonight (Nov. 1), opening for fine Kiwi songsmith Marlon Williams. He then has shows in St. Catherines, Oshawa, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Montreal, plus a release show at The Baby G in Toronto, Nov. 28.

— The City of St. John's, NL, has a grants and subsidies program that includes music. The deadline for applications for these grants is Nov. 30. The Grants Review Committee or Experts Panel (Arts Grants) will review all applications received by the deadline date. More info here

— A recent announcement that funding has been secured to develop a 3-year music strategy for Barrie & Simcoe County in Ontario (including Collingwood, Orillia) was made at Staying in Tune, a music summit hosted by the City of Barrie and MusicCO.

Nordicity and CultureCap are surveying to gather information about the regional music scene and will produce the final report. Feedback from songwriters, musicians, venues, festivals, studios, record companies, fans and other interested parties in Simcoe County is now being sought. To complete a survey, visit here

— Indie rockers Born Ruffians have released a new single, "Love Too Soon," on Paper Bag Records. Of note is the fact that the video is directed by Leah Fay Goldstein and Peter Dreimanis of July Talk.

 

RIP

John French, noted Australian recording engineer and radio host, has died after heart surgery. Age 75. His engineering credits include Joe Dolce, whose 1981 single "Shaddap You Face" was a hit worldwide, with six million copies sold. In the 70s, French recorded such major domestic acts as Russell Morris, Madder Lake, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Skyhooks, and The Dingoes. In the 1980s he built a custom-made mud brick studio, Fast Forward, where he recorded such artists as John Farnham, Not Drowning, Waving and Goanna. He retired the following decade, taking up painting, and in 2015 he began co-hosting a weekly radio show on 94.9 MainFM Castlemaine. Source: The Guardian

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