Music News Digest: May 03, 2017

 The Canadian creative duo behind Come From Away, the warm-hearted musical about Newfoundland hospitality in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, are thrilled to be in contention for the Tony Awards.

“We’re over the moon,” said David Hein on Tuesday after the show, written by Hein and wife Irene Sankoff, earned seven Tony nominations including best musical, best original score and best book of a musical.

In case you missed it, the storyline is set in Gander, NL, in the week following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon.

The characters in the musical are based on (and in most cases share the names of) real Gander locals as well as some of the thousands of stranded travellers they housed and fed.

The show has won accolades on Broadway and offers a counterpoint to the current presidential will to build a wall separating the US from Mexico and cast a shadow over foreign nationals.

The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes the excellence in live Broadway theatre.

The cast of Come From Away perform "Welcome to the Rock" live in Studio q

CIMA has announced June 12 as the date for its 2nd annual celebrations and awards gala. The ticketed event is to be staged at The Glass Factory in Liberty Village. Details and tickets here.

 Mo Kenney curates the latest Music Nova Scotia Playlist on Spotify. You can listen here.

Knock-offs are a fact of life. Or are they? Luxury retailer Louis Vuitton is going after the landlord of a Toronto-area flea market over the alleged sale of knock-offs on its property

Having received royal assent before the weekend, the UK's Digital Economy Bill is now law. As a result, Internet file-sharers can be jailed for up to ten years, if they knowingly make infringing content available to the public while exposing a copyright owner to even a risk of loss.

Another lawsuit has hit organizers of the Bahamas' Fyre Festival. Billboard reports. The latest suit alleges defendants tricked people into attending the event by paying more than 400 social media influencers and celebrities to promote it.

Not only did the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski make the event seem like it would be dripping with the social elite — the social media campaign also flouted FTC regulations, according to the complaint.

The event advertised "the unparalleled best in music, cuisine, design & hospitality on a private island in the Exumas."

London, ON-based singer-songwriter, motivational speaker and entrepreneur Connor Morand recently returned home from an eight-country tour of Europe and Asia where he captured settings from the Sahara Desert to Milan and Brussels and incorporated 60 of them into the music video "Everything Is Gold," a teaser for an upcoming album. To say the least, the number of locations he's captured is extraordinary.

— Maple Leaf Foods heiress Eleanor McCain's expansive and expensive sesquicentennial music project, The Canadian Songbook, finally has its official launch at a VIP cocktails and performance gala benefitting Musicounts on May 9.

The three-time East Coast Award nominee's grand musical statement honouring Canada 150 offers orchestral scores to a songbook of Canadian pop standards, prefaced with the release of tracks made famous by Harmonium, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Adams, Sarah MacLachlan and Neil Young. Don Breithaupt produced the album with a variety of cache collaborators.

— The TD Toronto Jazz Festival has moved its concerts from Nathan Phillips Square to Yorkville, June 23-July 2. Aaron Neville headlines one of 100 free performances, on June 24. Randy Bachman is at the Concert Hall, formerly the Masonic Temple, in a Q107-presents on opening night, the 23rd.

Rolling Stone France joins a chorus of enthusiasts such as Bob Mersereau, Journal de Montreal and Maclean's magazine in singing the praises of Maritime roots singer-songwriter Ian Janes. Reviewing Yes Man, Janes' fourth album, Rolling Stone's Paris edition calls it "one of the most beautiful albums of the year."

Janes recently returned from Nashville and Muscle Shoals from 11 days of writing songs and is currently promoting his indie release with a tour through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Here's "Broken Record" from the same album.

After six years leading the charge, Tamara Kater will step down from her post as Executive Director of Folk Music Canada at the end of the summer. Under her stewardship, Kater developed an array of export development initiatives, including showcase opportunities for Canadian folk artists at key music industry events and, in December 2016, the launch of the inaugural edition of FolkNorth, a showcase and industry summit held in Toronto.

During her tenure, the organization increased its annual budget from $29K in 2011, to $129K in 2016.

 “Folk Music Canada has benefited from Tamara’s passion and expertise and we wish her every success in the next stage of her career,” said Board Chair, Matthew Large.

The hunt for a replacement will include a posting on the FMC website.

— Tickets went on sale for the Pemberton Music Festival yesterday.

Previously announced headliners include Muse and A Tribe Called Quest, along with returnee Chance The Rapper.

Other marquee names set for the four-day valley fest include Haim, Marshmello, Big Sean, Ween, Alesso, Logic, Tegan & Sara, Future Islands, Migos and BC headliners such as Bob Moses, Said The Whale, Current Swell, A Tribe Called Red and Sonreal.

General admission ducats cost $369 (plus applicables),  VIPs run $899, and Super VIPs stretch $1799.

Mariposa Folk Festival artistic director and org VP Michael Hill has penned an affectionate history of the strum and jam since its inception in Orillia in 1961. Murray McLauchlan describes the 217-page Dundurn softback as "an entertaining journey through an intrigue, highs and lows, and warm musical memories." The book comes with notes and an index.

For folklorists and archivists, the book captures the history perfectly but the seeds and stems that surely would have made this an incriminating read and offered some chuckles are notably absent. The Mariposa Folk Festival: A history is on general release this Saturday, May 6.

A mere two months out of the gate and acclaimed Canadian songwriter/producer and music industry vet David Bray’s album Night Rains is catching fire on over 175 radio stations worldwide. Programmers and DJs from the US to the UK, Germany to Italy are falling fast for the evocative title song and the irrepressible soul-pop scorch of single “Working Day To Day,” powered by Bray's cinematic lyrics, powerful music and the emotive vocals shared with singer/musical partner Lorraine Reid.

For those who missed it, the album features a marquee cast of musicians including Garth Hudson of The Band, Colin Linden, Kim Mitchell, Bill King, Richard Bell, Gary Craig, Paul Reddick, legendary Motown bassist Bob Babbitt, Danny Brooks, and Justin Abedin. Below, the title track with Reid.

— The days of Ottawa's much-loved live music club Zaphod Beeblebrox are seemingly numbered. Patrons at a show there Sunday night were told that the club will close in a few weeks. Named after a fictional character in Douglas Adams' humorous sci-fi fantasy The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the club was opened by Eugene Haslam on Rideau Street in 1989 and moved to its current York Street location in 1992.

Haslam sold the bar to a staff member a year ago but recently took to social media to complain about not being fully paid by the new owner. In 2005, the Rolling Stones shot a music video for "Streets of Love" in the club.

Notable acts to have played the club include Cracker, Alanis Morissette, and Ashley MacIsaac.

— Hamilton’s 42nd annual free Festival of Friends has announced it is returning to its former home in Gage Park this year, Aug. 4-6. Robert Rakoczy is the new GM, replacing Loren Lieberman. Past headliners have included Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn, the B-52s, and Dr. John. Applications to perform at the fest are being accepted here.

British punk band The Damned's Phoenix Sunday night show proved memorable for all the wrong reasons. Guitarist Captain Sensible fell off stage mid-set, breaking a rib. As a result, the band had to postpone a couple of dates on their current 40th anniversary North American tour. Montreal has been rescheduled to May 23. The tour is expected to resume May 5 in NYC.

— Folk-rock combo The Wilderness Of Manitoba releases the six-song EP, The Tin Shop, through Pheromone Recordings on May 5. The night before, WoM plays a release show at the Burdock in Toronto, with Jenny Berkel in support. A fifth full-length is expected later this year.

— Veteran blues singer/songwriter Terry Gillespie is releasing Home Boy, his fifth solo album, to coincide with his 50th year as a performer and his 70th birthday. He is launching it via a Toronto tour of four club venues, Gate 403, the Cameron House, the Dakota, and Junction City Music Hall, May 17- 21. Gillespie first made a mark in seminal Canadian rock band Heaven’s Radio in the early ‘70s. More details here.


Bruce Hampton (born Gustav Valentine Berglund III), a founding member of Atlanta's avant-garde Hampton Grease Band, dropped dead at the city's Fox Theatre on May 1st during an encore performance of "Turn On Your Lovelight." The event was put together by friends to mark his 70th birthday.

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