CCMA host Shania Twain
CCMA host Shania Twain

Music News Digest, Aug. 22, 2018

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced the newest addition to Country Music Week in Hamilton. Supported by iHeartRadio Canada, the free CCMA Fan Village takes place Sept. 7-9, and features live music from many top Canadian country artists, meet and greet opportunities, live DJ performances, food trucks, daily giveaways and more. Check the sked here.

– Yesterday, the CCMA also announced that Jess Moskaluke, Kira Isabella and Madeline Merlo open next month’s Awards show with a tribute to show host Shania Twain. The three young vocalists will each sing a Twain song before the star joins them onstage to begin her hosting role.

– Juno-nominated East Coast pop artist Ria Mae has announced details of her headlining Never Coming Down tour. Kicking off Sept. 14 in St. John’s NL, at the Iceberg Alley Tent, the cross-country tour has two legs and hits 25 cities, closing out at The Mansion in Kingston on Dec. 15. Tix are now on sale. The tour takes its name from a lyric in Ria Mae’s forthcoming EP, due later this year. The first track off the EP, “It’s You,” comes out Sept. 7.

– The Drake and Migos North American tour, named the Aubrey & the Three Migos Tour, continues to run into problems. Earlier dates were cancelled or postponed, and Monday night's scheduled show at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena was cancelled earlier that day, "due to circumstances beyond our control," according to promoter Live Nation. Toronto Drake fans were not pleased, especially as two Migos members appeared on the VMAs Monday night, while Drizzy visited a fan in a Chicago hospital the same day. In an Instagram post, Drake can be heard telling the young girl "I called and cancelled a concert so I could come and see you, to be honest with you." Two shows at Scotiabank Arena (Aug.21 and 22) will go on, with a makeup date for the cancelled one TBA. Sources: CP, Exclaim!

– It is pleasing to see Canadian label veteran Kim Cooke receive deserved credit for his earlier work with Aretha Franklin's catalogue. While working at Warner Music Canada, Cooke was responsible for the 1985 30 Greatest Hits compilation of Aretha material. In the wake of the Queen of Soul's death on Aug. 16, the collection returned to the charts, debuting on Billboard's Top 200 at No. 7. On the day of her passing 30 Greatest Hits was No. 1 on iTunes in 11 countries and top 15 in 29.

US trade publication Celebrity Access has picked up on the story, interviewing Cooke about the project (CA scribe Larry LeBlanc contributed liner notes to the record). Cooke explained that "it was my project as Atlantic’s Canadian Marketing Manager. It was very well-received in Canada, and Atlantic immediately picked it up for the U.S. and ROW. The album went platinum (100,000 units in Canada) way back in the day and I believe is minimum gold in the U.S. if not much more."

– Canadian artists went home empty-handed from The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at New York's Radio City Music Hall on Monday night. Drake, Shawn Mendes, Jessie Reyez, Justin Bieber, and Alessia Cara had all been nominated. Reyez's performance on the show drew praise from Steven Tyler. See the winners list here.

– The 2018/2019 CMAOntario Board of Directors has been announced. The Executive Committee comprises Steve Kassay - President, Cathie Faint - 1st Vice President, Michelle Carpenter - 2nd Vice President, Sam Arraj - Treasurer, and Brian Allen - Secretary. See a list of Directors here

– In other CMAOntario news, The Redhill Valleys will be performing at Lucknow's Music In The Fields on Aug. 24 as part of the CMAOntario Spotlight Night. Buck Twenty performed at Kempenfest earlier this month at a similar event. Both acts were selected by a jury of industry professionals.

– Round 1 of the Montreal edition of The Road to Indie Week series is set for Crobar (1221 Crescent St) on Friday (Aug. 24), and it features Beatrice Keeler, Willis Pride, and Murmure Project. The following rounds are on Sept. 8 and Oct. 26, also at Crobar.

– US roots-rock queen Lucinda Williams celebrates the 20th anniversary of her breakthrough album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road, with a North American fall tour focused on that record. She plays Toronto's Danforth Music Hall on Nov. 13 and the Phoenix Concert Theatre the following night. Expect both shows to sell out fast.

–  The Caribbean Music Entertainment (CME) Awards celebrates the best in Caribbean and South American entertainment. Now in its 6th year, the CME Awards takes place at The Rose Theatre in Brampton, ON, on Sept. 23. Artists in a wide range of styles will perform, with Jamaican reggae star Marcia Griffiths headlining.

–  The return of the Cadillac Lounge after a near-death experience is good news for the Toronto live music scene. Shows coming up at the popular Parkdale bar/resto include Jake Clemons (Sept. 6), the Greetings from Asbury Parkinsons benefit (Sept. 7), Rattlesnake Choir (Sept. 22, the Caddy's 18th anniversary), Sue Foley (Oct. 11), and Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers (Nov. 3).

– Together for 10 years, Quebec band Jet Black has a sound that mixes shoegaze, space rock and noise rock elements. Their third full-length record, L’ère du Vide, comes out on Aug. 24 on ODT Records in Canada. The group enlisted studio wizard Jordon Zadorozny to record, mix, and master at his Skylark Park studio in Pembroke, ON.



Spencer P. (Patrick) Jones, an Australian rock guitarist and songwriter in The Johnnys and Beasts of Bourbon, has died on Aug. 21, of liver cancer, at age 62.

Born in New Zealand, he moved to Australia in his late teens. As well as playing in The Johnnys and popular swamp rockers Beasts of Bourbon, he released his first solo album Rumour of Death in 1994. He released another nine solo albums and worked with such notable Australian artists as Paul Kelly, Warren Ellis, Rowland S. Howard, Chris Bailey, and Renee Geyer. Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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