Music News Digest, April 16, 2018

A reunion of Bon Jovi featuring former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such reportedly resulted in a performance highlight at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland on Saturday night. The group was inducted by Howard Stern. The absence of Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler and brother David marred the occasion of that group's induction. The event will air May 5 on HBO and will also be heard on SiriusXM Radio. Source: AP

–  A notable new addition at The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was the introduction of the Singles category, with six classic songs recognised. The first inductees in the category are “Rocket 88″ by Jackie Breston and his Delta Cats (1951), Link Wray and his Ray Men’s “Rumble” (1958), “The Twist,” by Chubby Checker (1960), “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen (1963), Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (1967) and Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” (1968).

– Ed Sheeran has been the focus of attention from the English tabloids of late. They have reported he's building 5ft railings outside his £8 million London (NZ$15million) pad in a bid to keep homeless people out. Ginger hit back via Instagram, calling the story "bollocks" and claiming "I have done lots of work in the past for crisis and shelter and would never build railings outside my home for that reason. The reason was to keep the paps [paparazzi] that you employ from being on my doorstep." Happier news for Sheeran recently came from Down Under, as his smash hit album ÷ (Divide) broke a 30-year record by topping Aussie legend John Farnham’s 25-week run at No. 1 (with Whispering Jack) on the Australian ARIA charts. Source: Daily Mail

–  Beer companies have had a long history of sponsoring and promoting concerts and tours in Canada, and now pot producers are stepping up. A Vancouver-based licensed producer has just  announced  it will kick off its inaugural concert series this week. The Aurora Illumination Concert Series, a nation-wide series of free shows, will be presented by Aurora Cannabis and XA. Together, they'll bring 20 artists to Canadian cities over the course of the summer. The series begins in Vancouver with a show by platinum-selling DJ and producer Dillon Francis. He'll be joined by Tiesto protege Dzeko, along with Vancouver-based producer and performer Daijo. The show will be held at Harbour Event Centre (750 Pacific Boulevard) on April 20. Attendees must register in advance to be admitted to the show. 

– Fresh off his reunion with Barenaked Ladies bandmates at The Junos, Steven Page has been announced as a participant in Studio Bell’s flagship mentorship program NMC Master in Residence in Calgary from May 17–19. In this program, a handful of emerging Canadian acts will be selected to be mentored by Page. Submissions are now open for Canadian artists and interested artists can apply here. The deadline is April 23.

– Jason Aldean was named entertainer of the year at Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards. The event was held in Las Vegas, the site of the deadly shooting attack at the Route the 91 Harvest Festival in October that left 58 people dead. Aldean was onstage at that fest when the carnage began. Other ACM winners included Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and Brothers Osborne. See the full list here

– SaskMusic, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Country Music Association, is pleased the presenting the 2018 SCMA Awards Weekend keynote interview with Jess Moskaluke. Jess, along with Mike Denney, head of MDM Recordings Inc. and Carmen Choney, tour manager, will be interviewed by SaskMusic’s Lorena Kelly. The event is part of a weekend’s worth of activities that form the annual country music celebration, taking place this year in Prince Albert. The free admission event will be held at the Prince Albert Inn (3680 2nd Avenue West) on April 28, 1-2pm.

– In their Canadian heyday in the '90s, Toronto indie rockers The Lowest Of The Low had little impact in the US, aside from attracting a large and loyal following in Buffalo. The reunited LOTL had a big break Stateside recently, performing on CBS This Morning. The group plays at the Mercury Lounge in New York City on May 3.

–  The Waterdown ArtsFest (held in Waterdown, ON, near Hamilton) will return in August, and its lineup has been announced. Those set to perform on the Aug. 18-19 weekend cover classical, world, blues, folk and jazz genres, with artists including Myles Goodwyn, Lighthouse , Matt Andersen, Matt Dusk & The Swing Shift Big Band, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Jully Black, George Fox, Barney Bentall, Logan Staats, Steve Hill, Quartetto Gelato, Fred Penner, Old Man Luedecke, Rita Chiarelli, Michael Occhipinti and Sicilian Jazz Project, Madison Violet, Leeroy Stagger, RedHill Valley, Lori Yates, Alfie Smith, Harrison Kennedy, Vishten, and Michael Jerome Browne. More info here

–  Diamond Dogs Vinyl in Stratford, ON, is celebrating the upcoming Record Store Day (April 21) in fine style. The store is hosting DJ sets by local residents Ron Sexsmith and Colleen Hixenbaugh, and performances by Trent Severn and Sarah MacDougall.

– A song created at the second annual “SOCAN on the Island” Song Camp in British Columbia in 2017 has just been released as the debut single for laye, a Quebec-based singer-songwriter signed to Sony Music Canada. The song, "likefck," was co-written by laye; BC-based Kevvy Maher, whose band Fake Shark is signed to Light Organ Records; and Ontario's Joel Stouffer, himself signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing Canada. It was jointly composed at the SOCAN retreat on Pender Island, BC, in October last year.

– Kingston-area indie label Wolfe Island Records hosts a CMW 2018 showcase at Toronto's Dakota Tavern on May 9. The lineup includes label head Hugh Christopher Brown, Kate Fenner (both formerly of Bourbon Tabernacle Choir), Hadley McCall Thackston, Suzanne Jarvie, One River, Stephen Stanley Band (ex-Lowest Of The Low), and David Corely. Advance tix a steal at $8.


Miloš Forman, US film director, died on April 13 at age 86. Some of his most celebrated films have strong musical components, including Hair (1979) and Amadeus (1984).

The Polish-born Forman made a mark in the Czech film industry before leaving for the US in the late '60s. His 1975 film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, won all five top Academy Awards.

Other notable films he directed include Ragtime, Valmont, The People vs Larry Flynt, and Man on the Moon.

Deborah Coleman, American blues musician, passed away on April 12, at age 61.

Coleman won the Orville Gibson Award for "Best Blues Guitarist, Female" in 2001, and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Blues Music Award nine times. She released eight solo albums between 1995 and 2007, for labels including Blind Pig, New Moon, and Telarc.

In 2007, she teamed with Canadian blues singers/guitarists Sue Foley and Roxanne Potvin for a collaborative record, Time Bomb. Upon hearing the news, Foley posted on FB: "So sorry to hear about Deborah Coleman. We spent a good portion of 2007 on the road together with Roxanne Potvin. Deborah was a great soul, a great player, a real down to earth woman and a true blues musician. RIP Ms. Coleman."

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