Taggart & Torrens   Photo: Chris Malloy
Taggart & Torrens Photo: Chris Malloy

Music News Digest, Sept. 24, 2018

Dine Alone Records has signed popular podcasting duo Taggart & Torrens to its roster. The duo comprises Jeremy Taggart, former drummer of Our Lady Peace, and Jonathan Torrens, a 30-year veteran of Canadian TV (Street Cents, Jonovision, Trailer Park Boys, and Mr. D).

The Taggart & Torrens podcast has amassed almost 4M downloads and picked up the 2018 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Audio Program. It recently spawned a best-selling book published by Harper Collins titled Canadianity: Tales From the True North Strong and Freezing. T&T will be take their show on the road this fall. Dates here

– Tomorrow (Sept. 25), Toronto live music landmark Grossman’s Tavern hosts a fundraiser for the Amy Louie Grossman's Music Scholarship now worth $2K a year to a local blues artist. An A-list lineup of performers will include Danny Marks, Paul Reddick, Terry Wilkins, members of Downchild, Frankie Foo, and previous scholarship winners Jerome Godboo, Chloe Watkinson, and Dan McKinnon. Still going strong in a refreshingly unpretentious manner, the Tavern turns 75 this year.

– SaskMusic announces that the nomination submission process for the 2018 Saskatchewan Music Awards is now open. The awards will be held in conjunction with Saskatchewan Music Week in the province (Nov 25-Dec 2/2018), and will be held on Nov 25 in Regina. Submissions will close at 5pm CST on Oct. 19. Read the guidelines here

– In other SaskMusic news, the trade org will present Very Prairie: Saskatchewan Music Summit in Saskatoon, Nov. 29-Dec. 2. The event  welcomes industry professionals from across Canada and abroad for an intensive four-day conference that features panels of festival programmers, booking agents, record  insights and professional guidance. Registration for Very Prairie is open now. A limited number of artists will be presented in a Very Prairie showcase, with artist submissions also open now. More info here

– Drake has personally apologised to fans in Miami, Florida after having to cancel weekend shows due to a serious illness. “I just wanted to say how sorry I am about these two Miami shows,” he shared in an Instagram post early on Sunday. “I got so ill so fast I had never experienced anything like that in my life." No medical details were offered. Drake's recovery has been speedy, as he is expected to perform in New Orleans tonight (Sept. 24). The superstar's current North American tour has been plagued by delays and multiple show postponements. Source: Noise11.com

– Guelph-based folk duo Tragedy Ann ((Braden Phelan and Liv Cazzola) released a debut album, Matches, on Friday, and have begun extensive cross-Canada touring. The group recently received two 2018 Folk Music Ontario Awards: The Songs From the Heart Award (SFTH), in the Blues category, for “Neon & Velour,” and in the Humorous category,for “Snooze.” Check out their new video here.

– Call it a goodbye Kiss. The hard rock veterans have announced their swansong, the End of the Road World Tour. Dates are TBA, but the trek is expected to be long and lengthy. A band statement reads: “All that we have built and all that we have conquered over the past four decades could never have happened without the millions of people worldwide who’ve filled clubs, arenas and stadiums over those years. This will be the ultimate celebration for those who’ve seen us and a last chance for those who haven’t. KISS Army, we’re saying goodbye on our final tour and we’ll go out the same way we came in… Unapologetic and unstoppable.” Source: Variety

– Alberta Music, in collaboration with the Edmonton Arts Council, has announced that entries for the 2018 Edmonton Music Prize are now being accepted. Launched in 2013, the Prize awards three cash prizes, one for $10K and two for $1K. 2017 winners were Dan Davidson, Nuela Charles, and 100 Mile House. Submission deadline is Nov. 2 at 4 pm.

– English alt-rockers Wolf Alice have won the 2018 Mercury Prize for UK artists for sophomore LP Visions of a Life. They beat out albums by such nominees as Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, and Florence and the Machine.

– Toronto band Run Coyote describes its sound as "rock’n’roll / western noir."  2014 album Youth Haunts spread the word, and a new record is skedded for next spring. Advance cut "Night Rider"  is now out and the band has plenty of Ontario dates in November.

–  Manitoba Music is producing a video series called Talking Stick. The videos will feature live performances of original new music by First Nation, Metis, or Inuit artists along with short on-camera interviews. The initiative is targeted to music fans, industry professionals, and media. Submissions are now being accepted here, with an Oct. 10 deadline.


Joseph 'Jo Jo' Hoo Kim, a Jamaican reggae record producer, died on Sept. 20, at age 76.

Kim was best known for his productions in the 1970s at his Channel One Studios. He and his brother Ernest Kim launched a sound-system named Channel One, then set up Channel One Studios in Kingston in 1972. The studio used a house band, the Revolutionaries, from 1975, based around drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, and a rotating lineup of other players which included keyboard player Ansel Collins, and saxophonist Tommy McCook.

Channel One's biggest commercial success, "Right Time", by The Mighty Diamonds, was released in 1975 and included on the group's 1976's Hoo Kim-produced album of the same name. Many other big names came to record in the studio, including Leroy Smart, Delroy Wilson, Black Uhuru, Horace Andy, John Holt, Junior Byles, The Wailing Souls, and Dillinger, were a few of them. Among the many labels they created were Well Charge, Channel One, and Hitbound. Sources: Wikipedia, VP Records

Hoo Kim was the first producer to introduce the re-use of old Studio One rhythms for new productions.

Chas Hodges, half of the UK duo Chas & Dave, died on Sept. 22 at the age of 74, from cancer. 

Hodges started his career as a session musician. He worked on recordings for Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent in the early days, and one of his first bands, The Outlaws also included a pre-Deep Purple Ritchie Blackmore. Ritchie was on lead guitar, Chas on bass. He was also a member of Head Hands & Feet with Albert Lee, and The Rockers, with Roy Wood (Wizzard), Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) and John Coglan (Status Quo).

He then started working with Dave (Peacock) in Chas & Dave, a duo that had 11 Top 40 hits between 1979 and 1987 in the UK.  known for their cockney take on rock’n’roll, their hits included "Rabbit," "Gertcha," "Snooker Loopy," and "Ain’t No Pleasing You." They split in 2009 when Peacock retired after the death of his wife, but reunited a year later, and toured until Aug. 2017. Sources: The Guardian, Noise11.com

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