Last Saturday, 50 artists performed at 50 venues across Canada 24th for Lights Out, presented by Mill St. Brewery in support of World Wildlife Fund Canada and curated by Indie Week. Performers in Toronto included Sam Drysdale, Dick Rodan, and Marlon Chaplin. All artists performed by candlelight with no power during Earth Hour and 50 cents per pint of Mill St. sold at participating venues between March 1 - 24.
Winning the Fan Choice award at the Junos on Sunday confirmed the star power of Shawn Mendes. Now he is booked for the latest iHeartRadio Secret Session. In advance of his highly anticipated third album, the singer is set to perform both new music and biggest chart-topping hits at a "secret location: for an exclusive group of iHeartRadio fans this spring. Fans can visit iHeartRadio.ca until April 20 for a chance at a ticket.
– Matthew Good collapsed early on in his set at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton on Tuesday night. In a video posted to Facebook, Our Lady Peace lead singer Raine Maida told the crowd Good had been taken to hospital and was suffering pneumonia. The two bands are touring across Canada together.
– The ECMA has announced the 2018 Export Buyers Program to be held as part of the East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference, running May 2-6 in Halifax. Over 80 international delegates will be in attendance, the highest total yet. ECMA export manager Shelley Nordstrom notes that "the program delivers millions of dollars in annual revenue for East Coast artists and companies and steadfastly builds long-term relationships with international and Canadian booking agents, presenters, festival representatives, promoters, film and music placement supervisors, and media."
A complete list of the 2018 Export Buyers Program delegates and the industry conference schedule is available at ecma.com.
– After 26 years, the Big Valley Jamboree is now well-established as one of Canada's biggest summer country music fests. This year's edition takes place Aug. 2-5 out at Camrose Regional Exhibition Grounds, Aug. 2-5, and the lineup is now complete. Homegrown acts include George Canyon, Dallas Smith, Jess Moskaluke, Aaron Pritchett, Patricia Conroy, the Abrams, Andrew Hyatt, Ken Stead, Kalsey Kulyk, and Sykamore. Big US names include Luke Combs, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Thomas Rhett, Billy Ray Cyrus. Alabama, Florida Georgia Line and Brett Eldredge. More details here
– The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) and Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA) have teamed up to present Music Publishing Deep Dive, a day-long workshop on the topic of music publishing. It takes place April 18 at ildsjel, 4 Carlaw Ave in Toronto and is aimed at entrepreneurs looking to set up their own publishing companies, businesses (such as labels) contemplating opening a publishing division, and artists thinking about self-publishing. It features panels, presentations, roundtables, and networking. CIMA members get a discount. More info here
– Global Toronto is a new initiative by Toronto’s world music community is undertaking. The four-day event, running April 4-7, features a series of concerts at Lula Lounge, Hugh’s Room Live, Small World Music, The Royal Conservatory of Music, The Aga Khan Museum and more. The impressive lineup includes recent Juno winner Kobo Town, Okan, Quique Escamilla, Sina Bathaie kLoX, Los Poetas, Kuné, David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana, Ruben Esguerra & New Tradition, and more. Details here
– One of Canada’s leading EDM-based fests is returning for its fourth year. The Ever After Music Festival runs June 8-10 at Bingemans in Kitchener, and the lineup includes Claude VonStroke, Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, and Illenium. Canadian DJ Datsik was previously set to co-headline, but he has cancelled all shows after sexual misconduct allegations. A full lineup here
– The hit Music City-themed TV series Nashville is nearing its end, with the series finale airing July 26. It is going out with a bang, with the cast performing a full concert at The Grand Ole Opry House on Sunday night, entitled Nashville in Concert: Final Season Celebration.
Canadians have figured prominently over the show's six seasons. Sisters Lennon and Maisy Stella have become stars because of it, while Colin Linden and his favourite rhythm section of John Dymond and Gary Craig have taken a large musical role. The popularity of the series in the UK and Europe has led to concert tours of the cast there, with large venues selling out.
– Underground Vancouver rock band Frog Eyes will call it quits after a final album and tour. Violet Psalms will be released on Paper Bag Records on May 18, and North American tour dates start in Kamloops (venue TBA) on May 11, concluding at DC9 in Washington DC on July 9. A full itinerary here. Check out the group's new single below.
– Music Canada Live has announced programming at CMW around the theme of event safety. The programs will be held on May 11 during the Live Touring Summit. Topics covered include creating consensual music scenes for all; and safety and security issues, covering employee training and response to actual shootings and terrorism. More info at cmw.net
– On May 21st at the Mod Club in Toronto, a benefit concert will raise funds for the Alzheimer Society York Region to get their Music Project (www.musicproject.ca) up and running. It's currently available in Toronto but not York Region. Produced by Michele Lenick, the event is entitled Music For My Mom, in honour of Lenick's mother, Louise Chasin, who passed away recently from Alzheimer's disease. Noted singer/songwriter Wendy Lands will perform, with Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath. More info here
Hey Ocean!’s David Beckingham has announced a solo tour across Canada this May, with close friends and musical collaborators, – Twin Bandit opening select shows. He also plays CMW in Toronto with a show at The Cameron House on Friday, May 11. Dates here. Beckingham is out supporting his debut solo album, Just When The Light, one gaining attention in Europe. Hey Ocean! releases the new album The Hurt Of Happiness on April 6.
– Maybe the timely title helps, but a new Toronto hip-hop track and video quickly gaining traction is "North Korea," from Burna Bandz and JNeat. Presented by UpTop Movement, the clip was directed by Jeffrey Nye (Robin Banks).
Mike Harrison, the vocalist in noted '60s British rock band Spooky Tooth, passed away on March 25, at age 72.
Harrison and other original members of Spooky Tooth played in earlier bands The V.I.P.s and Art, renamed as Spooky Tooth when American Gary Wright joined in 1967. Signed to Island Records, the group made a splash with its first two albums; It's All About (1968) and Spooky Two (1969). Wright left after the third album, Ceremony, in 1969, going on to solo stardom.
After other lineup changes, Harrison dissolved Spooky Tooth in 1974. He went on to play and record with The Hamburg Blues Band, appearing on their CD Touch (2002). A reformed Spooky Tooth band released the album Cross Purpose in 1999, and in 2004 a lineup featuring Harrison, Wright and Mike Kellie played two concerts in Germany, resulting in a DVD, Nomad Poets (2007). In 2006 he released a solo album, Late Starter. Another incarnation of Spooky Tooth that included Harrison performed sporadically in subsequent years. Sources: Spooky Tooth website, dnme.net, Wikipedia