Music News Digest, Aug. 21, 2017

The Manitoba government has named a stretch of a northern highway in honour of musician Tom Cochrane.

The 322-kilometre section of Highway 391 leads between Cochrane's hometown of Lynn Lake and Thompson, and will be called Tom Cochrane's Life Is A Highway, after one of the singer's biggest hits.

Cochrane performed the song at a ceremony at the Manitoba legislature on Sunday (Aug. 20) and said he was humbled. The 1990s song was a No. 1 hit in Canada and climbed into the Top 10 in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

In an earlier interview with The Canadian Press, republished in Wikipedia, Cochrane said the song was originally conceived several years before its release as "Love is a Highway," but he shelved it while he was still working with his band mates in Tom Cochrane and Red Rider during the late 1980s.

Eventually, the version with the original chorus came out on the 25th-anniversary reissue of the album as "Love is a Highway."

  Allison Brock earns appreciation from Garland Jeffreys for her recent feature in No Depression that acknowledges him. “It’s people saying this that keeps me going,” the American singer-songwriter posts on Facebook.

Some would have us believe there is a hidden message contained within the resignation letter submitted by President Trump’s Committee on the Arts. Find out more here.

— Vancouver duo The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, comprised of Shawn Hall and Matt Rogers, has released a video from award winning director Mike Southworth for Get Ready from their latest album, Apocalipstick.

Robert Plant’s next album, Carry Fire, will be released by Nonesuch/Warner Bros. Records on Oct. 13.

Gordon Lightfoot joined the Good Brothers onstage at the second annual ArtsFest in Waterdown, ON  on the weekend, performing a rousing edition of "Alberta Bound,". Lightfoot and The Goods have been friends since the early '70s, leading Gord to guest on the same song at Bruce and Brian's birthday last year. The Goods head off on their 39th European tour this week, and they plan to finish their shows as they always do with that same Lightfoot classic song.

Another surprise ArtsFest guest was Colin James who joined in with the Canada 150 All Star Blues Band, featuring members of Downchild, Rita Chiarelli, Danny Marks, Michael Kaeshammer, Carlos Del Junco, and others.

Jamaican-Canadian music veteran Jay Douglas has recorded a new track, "Messengers," with Chris Butcher (Heavyweights Brass Band) that will be included in a 'Best Of' scheduled for release on Slammin' Media next month. Douglas is amongst those being honoured on a second Yonge Street music mural in Toronto where he told FYI's Kerry Doole that he's excited about being on a bill with reggae star Marcia Griffiths at the CNE on Aug. 23rd.

RIP

Albert Austin "Sonny" Burgess, an American rockabilly guitarist and singer, died on Aug. 18, age 88. His group, Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, first recorded a single for Sam Phillips' Sun Records label in 1956, and the flip side, "Red Headed Woman," became his best-known hit. Burgess achieved greater recognition in the UK and Europe than in the US. Inducted into the Euro Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of Europe in 1999, Sonny Burgess & The Legendary Pacers entered into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2002. He continued performing until being injured in a fall last month.

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