Pictured (L-R): Ron Kitchener (RGK Entertainment) Madeline Merlo, Mark Friedman (president Deluge Music) David Robkin (Managing Member Deluge Music) Emily Dryburgh (Creative Manager Deluge Music)
Pictured (L-R): Ron Kitchener (RGK Entertainment) Madeline Merlo, Mark Friedman (president Deluge Music) David Robkin (Managing Member Deluge Music) Emily Dryburgh (Creative Manager Deluge Music)

Music News Digest, Oct. 19, 2018

Deluge Music has signed Canadian country singer/songwriter Madeline Merlo to a worldwide publishing deal. “We couldn’t be happier to have Madeline on board with us, she’s got what it takes to have a lasting career in Nashville,” says Deluge Music president Mark Friedman. Vancouver native Merlo is a CCMA Award and two-time BCCMA Award-winning artist, with five Top 15 singles on her resume. She is now based in Nashville.

– Arkells host a pop-up event at Union Station at 3 pm in Toronto today (Oct. 19), celebrating the release of their new album Rally Cry. The band will sign copies for fans, and will personally press “Rally Cry,” “Relentless,” and “Hand Me Downs" themed designs on old t-shirts fans can bring. Arkells are also hosting a winter coat drive in partnership with New Circles’ GLOW, calling out for gently used winter coats as temperatures start to dip.

– Drake won the Hot Ticket Performer award at the BET Hip Hop Awards in Miami Beach on Oct. 16. Cardi B was the night's biggest winner, taking home four trophies. The Carters (Beyonce and Jay-Z) won for Single, Album, and Duo or Group of the Year. A full winners list here

– On Nov. 4, Janet Jackson receives a major honour at the 2018 MTV EMAs in Bilbao, Spain, when the pop superstar picks up this year's global icon award. In her EMA debut performance, Jackson is expected to sing a greatest hits medley at the event, including her recent single "Made For Now."  Source: Billboard

– CIMA, through Music Export Canada, announces that submissions are now being accepted for its 2019 Canadian Blast BBQ at Austin’s SXSW. The high-profile event takes place March 13, 2019, at a new venue – The Bungalow (on Main Street). Artists interested in showcasing there should apply by Nov. 9.

– Cape Breton music star Ashley MacIsaac became the first person on the island to get his hands on legal marijuana, CBC reports. He waited in the cold for 12 hours to score 30 THC capsules and a gram of marijuana in bud form from a legal sales outlet on Wednesday morning. "I play the fiddle, I’m from Cape Breton, and I smoke dope," MacIsaac told CBC's Information Morning Cape Breton.

– The Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund holds its 25th birthday party at Propellor Coffee in Toronto on Oct. 25. The event features performances by Born Ruffians and Mponda Kalunga, with Master T on hand as MC. The fundraising goal is $25K. Tix here 

– The mutual love affair between Elton John and Toronto remains in full bloom. After selling out shows at the city's Scotiabank Arena on Sept. 25 and 26, two more shows have been added there, Oct 22 and 23. Sir Elton has also made some local business owners very happy. Last month he shopped for vinyl at Sonic Boom, and this week he and Canadian hubby David Furnish ate at The Senator Diner. John posted a photo from that on Instagram, captioned "Every time we come to Toronto, David and I pop into The Senator Diner for the best burger in the world."

– The Shivering Songs festival in Fredericton NB has announced the initial line-up for its 2019 edition. The ninth instalment features Dan Mangan, Jeremy Dutcher, Greg Keelor, Bedouine, and Erin Costelo, in shows from Jan. 22-27. Weekend passes and individual show tickets are now on-sale 

– A Nova Scotia Music Week 2018 wristband or delegate pass grants access to all venues and 100+ showcases over 4 days. Day passes are also now available here. NSMW runs Nov. 1-4 in Truro, NS.

– Amongst those artists involved in capitalising on the "pot rush" is Vancouver-based bluesman Harpdog Brown. On Oct. 17, he celebrated the official legalisation of cannabis in Canada by  releasing a new video for the track “Reefer Lovin’ Woman,” from his forthcoming spring 2019 album (Spring 2019).  “I wanted to write a fun song about one man’s acceptance of the fact that the one he fell in love with is an advocate of cannabis culture,” Brown explains in a press release.

– In this space six weeks ago, we reported on the mysterious disappearance of Toronto pianist Scott Cushnie, aka Professor Piano. Recent reports suggest that, in a bizarre case of mistaken identity, Cushnie may have died on the street in a fall, then was buried by another family who misidentified him as their missing relative. The coroner is seeking to exhume the remains for confirmation. Over a long career, Cushnie worked with Ronnie Hawkins, Aerosmith, The Canadian Aces, and others.

RIP

Ian Miles, founder of Warwick Records and Abbey Home Media, has died, age 82.

In the early '70s, he began a career in the UK entertainment industry, selling excess stock for major music labels, then starting his own company,  Multiple Sounds Distribution. It was catapulted to success following an agreement between Miles and Richard Branson to manufacture and distribute Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.

Miles subsequently started one of Britain’s most successful music labels, Warwick Records, selling millions of albums from artists such as Howard Keel, Tammy Wynette and Bert Weedon.

In 1989 Miles and wife Anne changed directions, entering the children’s entertainment field by founding Abbey Home Entertainment (AHE), working in the production and distribution of children's programming, with Abbey Home Media. Abbey was the first company to take children’s classic books from authors such as Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Michael Bond and produce them on video. Successes included Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, Transformers, Paddington Bear, Peter Rabbit, Sooty, Bob The Builder and many more. Sources: The Raygun, Bill Gilliland

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