Music News Digest, Jan. 4, 2019
April Wine frontman Myles Goodwyn ushered in the new year in fine style by reuniting with his much-loved lost guitar, a 1962 Gibson Melody Maker that was stolen in 1972. This Christmas Eve, an unnamed man in Victoria reached out to Goodwyn on FB, stating he thought he had the cherished instrument. Verifying it was the same one, the singer bought it back, and is elated at the find. "For this thing to come out of nowhere is unbelievable. How could that be kept a secret for 46 years? It's remarkable," he said in an interview. Goodwyn is currently promoting his solo blues-focused album, Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues. Sources: CP, Atlantic CTV News
– CARAS has announced musician, storyteller and 12-time Juno Award nominee Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea) as host and performer at the 2019 Juno Songwriters’ Circle. The event is on March 17 at noon at London’s Centennial Hall and will be broadcast live on CBC Radio One, CBC Music and be available to live stream via CBCMusic.ca/junos. Presented by SOCAN, in association with the Canadian Music Publishers Association, additional details on the final lineup are TBA. Tix go on sale Jan. 9, and proceeds benefit MusiCounts.
– Just in time for its centennial in 2019, The Vancouver Symphony Society has published VSO 100: A Century of Memorable Moments, an illustrated history combining extensive historical images with commentary (written by David Gordon Duke). The VSO has a fascinating history, including the fact that Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, and Igor Stravinsky all conducted it. Source: Vancouver Sun
– Mid-December, two-time Country Music Association (CCMA) Female Artist of the Year, Meghan Patrick, celebrated her first #1 for the song "Walls Come Down." That makes two female artists that have gone to #1 in 2018, with Lindsay Ell achieving the feat with "Criminal." This marks the first time two women have #1s in the same year since 1999 when Shania Twain’s "Honey I’m Home" and Terri Clark’s "Easy on the Eyes" were at the top.
– Jason Plumb's Studio One recording studio in Regina closed on New Year's Day, the musician/producer (former leader of The Waltons) announced on Facebook. Established in CBC Saskatchewan’s building six years ago, the space has hosted such notable artists as Andy Shauf, The Dead South, Jeffery Straker, Colter Wall, Close Talker, Blake Berglund, and Plumb’s band, The Willing. “I look forward to the construction of a new studio in the spring of this year," Plumb posted.
– Neil Young has launched the Neil Young Archives (NYA) a subscription service and app that collates material from his entire career. Subscribers pay $1.99 (US) per month or $19.99 for a full year to access the content on NYA, a complete back catalogue of audio and visual content plus new material. “This is a life’s work,” Young said of NYA. “It will never be finished.” Hi-res streams of all his available recordings as well as a timeline filled with materials related to his music, films, videos, books, photographs, manuscripts, and press notes are included. Created in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, the NYA website launched in beta a year ago. Source: Billboard
– The Canadian roots music community is gearing up for the Folk Alliance International (FAI) conference in Montreal in February. MusicOntario's workshop series, Tune Up Toronto, is coming to Lula Lounge on Jan. 15, and the free event is devoted to instructing attendees on how to make the most of the opportunity. Panelists include AHI, Amanda Rheaume, Niki Rochefort, Rosalyn Dennett, Tracy Jenkins, and Treasa Levasseur. More info here
– Acclaimed singer/songwriter Amanda Rheaume has signed on as A&R co-ordinator for Canada’s first Indigenous-created production music library, curated by Bedtracks and partnered with imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. She is currently looking for any Ontario-based Indigenous music creators and composers that work in traditional and/or contemporary musical styles to be included in the database. Contact her at email@example.com
– As diehard Queen fans likely know, guitarist Brian May has a PhD in astrophysics and enough credibility in the field to be invited to Mission Control to observe the ongoing NASA New Horizons mission. On New Years Day, the mission achieved the most distant spacecraft flyby in history, and May celebrated the feat by releasing a personal musical tribute to New Horizons. Check it out here.
– The 40th anniversary of The Clash's first show in Toronto has inspired a photographic exhibition at The Library at Pape and Danforth, running in February. The library is a few blocks away from the site of that concert (held Feb. 20, 1979), The Rex Danforth Theatre. Curated by Nick White, Clash on The Danforth is a multimedia format exhibition using large format photos, collage type posters, original artifacts, video screen photos and old school cassette tapes.
– ECMA 2019 and Music PEI’s Canadian Song Conference are partnering this year to present a songwriting stream during the ECMA Conference in Charlottetown, PEI from May 1-5. The deadline to apply is today (Jan. 4). More info here
– Rootsy Hamilton singer/songwriter Dave McEathron plays a hometown CD release show for his double album Abandoned Companions/ Abandoned Companions Companion Piece tonight (Jan. 4) at This Ain't Hollywood. McEathron formerly fronted The Warped 45s. Recommended.
– Congrats to John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby of Insight Productions. They are amongst the 103 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced over the holiday period and were cited for "their contributions to the Canadian broadcasting industry." Brunton is chairman and CEO of the Toronto production company, while his sister and Insight COO and president Bowlby stepped down last summer after 38 years with the company. Insight are long-time producers of the Juno Awards telecast and are one of the producers of The Launch.
– Looking for a gift for that Stones fanatic pal? For a cool $7.5K (Can) Toronto's Liss Gallery will sell you a rare limited edition Ron Wood painting of his bandmate Mick Jagger, entitled "Mick with Harmonica I," signed by the artist. As a child, Wood's drawings were featured on a BBC TV show, and he later studied at Ealing Art College. Hs paintings, drawings and prints frequently feature icons of popular culture and have been widely exhibited internationally. In 2017, Thames & Hudson published Ronnie Wood: Artist, the first comprehensive collection of his paintings. The gallery is also offering two limited edition prints, "Sunday Afternoon" & "Train Tracks," by Bob Dylan, signed by the artist.
Daryl Dragon, musician, producer and one-half of hit pop duo The Captain and Tennille, died on Jan. 2 at age 76, of renal failure. His ex-wife and musical partner Toni Tennille was reportedly at his side.
The pair recorded such easy listening hits as “Love Will Keep Us Together” and “Muskrat Love.”
A Los Angeles native, Dragon was the son of Oscar-winning composer Carmen Dragon and singer Eloise Dragon and was himself a classically trained musician. Before he was with Tennille, he played keyboards for the Beach Boys and was dubbed “The Captain” by singer Mike Love, who noted Dragon’s fondness for sea captain’s caps.
Dragon and Tennille met in the early 1970s and soon began performing together, with the ever-smiling Tennille singing and the dourer Dragon on keyboards. Their breakthrough came in 1975 when they covered the Neil Sedaka-Howard Greenfield song “Love Will Keep Us Together.”
The Captain and Tennille’s version topped the charts in the summer of 1975 and won a Grammy for record of the year.
Tennille’s original ballad “Do That to Me One More Time” hit No. 1 in 1980. They also briefly starred in their own television variety show before their careers faded in the 1980s. Sources: AP, Variety
Pegi Young (born Margaret Morton), musician and former wife of Neil Young, died on Jan. 1 at age 66, from cancer.
Her music career started by singing back-up for Neil Young, first in 1994, at the nationally televised Academy Awards ceremony. She eventually became a regular backup singer on his tours and sang and played occasional acoustic guitar on some of his albums.
She went on to record four solo albums, beginning with a self-titled 2007 release and toured with her band Pegi Young and The Survivors. Her last album was 2017’s Raw.
In 1986, she and Neil Young founded the Bridge School in Calfornia to help children with severe physical and speech impairments. The project was inspired by experiences trying to find schools for their son Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy.
Pegi Young served as president of the Bridge School's board of directors since its inception and was its Executive Director for seven years. From 1986-2016 she worked with her ex-husband on the annual Bridge School Benefit concerts, a yearly musical highlight that featured a star-studded roster of artists over the years, including Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Elton John, Pearl Jam, Metallica, R.E.M., James Taylor, Willie Nelson, and reunions of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Buffalo Springfield - that helped fund the school.
Her 36-year marriage to Neil Young ended in divorce in 2014. The couple has two children, son Ben, and daughter Amber. Sources: Billboard, Celebrity Access
Dean Ford (real name Thomas McAleese), the frontman with Scottish guitar-pop group Marmalade, has died aged 72. His daughter announced the news on Facebook.
Ford formed his first band, the Tonebeats, at age 13, then joined the Cravats aged 16. He went on to front Dean Ford and the Gaylords, who became established in the nascent “swinging London” scene of the mid-60s, before changing their name to Marmalade.
The band became the first Scottish group to top the UK singles chart, with their cover of the Beatles’ "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" in December 1968. They had another seven UK Top 10 hits, including "Reflections of My Life," co-written by Ford, which also reached the US Top 10 and sold over 2M copies worldwide. The band toured with the Who and Ford duetted with country star Bobbie Gentry.
Ford went solo after the band split, releasing an unsuccessful album in 1975. Eventually, he moved to LA and worked as a limousine driver to stars including Michael Jackson, Tom Waits, Susan Sarandon and Bob Dylan. Source: The Guardian