Gowan keeps on going. Pick credited to Claude Dufresne on Facebook
Gowan keeps on going. Pick credited to Claude Dufresne on Facebook

Music News Digest, March 11, 2019

Larry Gowan stuck by the old phrase 'the show must go on' during a recent solo concert when he took a bloody hard fall into the drum rack onstage. After completing the setlist, he found that nasty gash needed 12 stitches. He’s back on the road feeling a bit bruised but still smiling all the way.

-- The Canadian Music Publishers Association has announced the inaugural cohort of its innovative mentorship program, Women in the Studio. Five producer-songwriters have been selected to take part in this series of curated events and experience from March to Dec. 2019, including a master class with world-renowned producer/songwriter Linda Perry. Those selected for the program include Alexandra Petkovski AKA FJØRA, Denise De’ion, Francesca Nocera AKA Sun Sun, Lisa Patterson, and Myya Lal.

The program launches on March 16 during the Juno festivities in London. During Canadian Music Week, the cohort will experience a day of programming at Revolution Recordings that includes time in the studio with Perry (4 Non-Blondes, P!nk, Christina Aguilera). The initiative is backed by Ontario Creates and RBC Royal Bank.

– A sizeable chunk of the Canadian music industry is heading to Austin this week for SXSW. M for Montreal and Pop Montreal are partnering for talent-heavy SXSW shows at Swan Dive on March 15. Two stages there feature acts including Emilie Kahn, Yves Jarvis, Pottery, MUNYA, Graham Van Pelt, Odonis Odonis, and Hubert Lenoir. It's preceded by a cocktail party presented by Quebec Creates, featuring Helena Deland.

– Joni Mitchell fans have reasons to celebrate and spend this month. A star-studded tribute album,  Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, was released Friday, and now comes news of Morning Glory on the Vine—a book compiling handwritten lyrics, poems, and over thirty of Mitchell’s paintings. Back in 1971, Mitchell crafted 100 copies of this as a gift for a select group of friends. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt releases the commercial edition Oct, 22.

– On March 28, Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) presents Music in Motion, an event that gives industry professionals an opportunity to explore the world of export for Canadian music companies and artists through panels, roundtables, and networking. It takes place at Mt. Pleasant (225 W 8th, 2nd Floor), Vancouver, from 11:30 am – 7:00 pm

– With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock approaching, interest in the 1970 Michael Wadleigh-directed documentary on the fest is growing. A notable omission from that film was Neil Young, but this will be rectified in a new doc produced by Bill Gerber of A Star Is Born fame. In it, Young is reunited onscreen for the first time with ex-bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, according to Deadline

– The Mariposa folk fest continues to add names to its lineup. New additions include Terra Lightfoot, The Burning Hell, and Union Duke. Held in Orillia, ON, it runs July 5-7.

– Toronto's renowned Art of Time Ensemble has assembled another star-studded cast for its next performance: Doghouse Roses, a tribute to the music of Steve Earle. Set for Koerner Hall in Toronto on May 3, it features singers Tom Wilson, Oh Susanna, Andy Maize (Skydiggers),  and Gregory Hoskins. Author Michael Ondaatje and actor Rick Roberts read his words.

– The Juno Awards come to singer Marie Bottrell's hometown in the London this week. From the late '70s on, she was nominated for eight consecutive nominations for female country vocalist of the year but never won a trophy, marking her the Susan Lucci of the Junos. In a recent interview with The London Free Press, Bottrell waxes: "I’m not bitter about it. Just getting a nomination is nothing to turn your nose up at. It opened a lot of doors for me. It solidified me as a credible artist, and it upped your earnings to get a nomination.” Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010, she continues to play about 20 shows a year.

– Hit songwriter Carole Bayer Sager receives the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 13 at its 50th induction ceremony in New York City. The 72-year-old Oscar and Grammy-winner was inducted into the Songwriters Hall in 1987. Sager has written more than 400 songs, including the Oscar-winning “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” from Arthur. She and former husband Burt Bacharach co-wrote songs for Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ray Charles, Bette Midler, and many more. Source: AP

– "Summer of 69" is Bryan Adams' signature song, but it flopped in the UK - only reaching number 42 in the charts when it was released in 1984. In a recent interview with BBC, the singer blamed Radio 1 there. "They wouldn't play it. They didn't play 'Heaven,' they didn't play any of my songs [except for] 'Run To You.'" The track is now certified platinum (600,000 sales), and is a karaoke standard with 280 million streams on Spotify - double the number earned by Adams' second most-popular song, "Everything I Do (I Do It For You). " "A lot of my songs don't chart, but they somehow find their way," said Adams "It's just a matter of time."

In the interview he also discussed the collaboration with Ed Sheeran on the title cut of his new album, Shine A Light. That release recently entered the UK charts at No. 2, behind the debut album from Tom Walker. Shine A Light is No. 1 this week on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart.

– The theft of musical instruments is sadly a regularly recurring story. The latest Canadian artist hurt by this is award-winning PEI folk singer-songwriter Rose Cousins. On the eve of a U.S. tour, her rental car in Los Angeles was broken into last week, and her Martin 00016T acoustic guitar and Harmony baritone ukulele stolen. She used Facebook to appeal for help to recover the instruments and to borrow a guitar for shows in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco. Source: CTV News

– A new Cirque Éloize creation bills itself as Serge Fiori, Seul ensemble, an acrobatic and musical homage to the former leader of Harmonium. There are 20 artists, 5 dancers and 15 acrobats in the production, which opened in Montreal at the Théâtre St-Denis on March 6, and moves to the Théâtre Capitole in June. A budget-priced 2 CD set from the show is distributed by Sony.

– Margaret Atwood will go on the road this autumn to promote the publication of The Testaments, her sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. The Canadian author will talk about her book at the National Theatre in London on Sept. 10, an event that will be broadcast in cinemas around the globe. That will be followed by a UK and Irish tour that will take her to six cities, Oct. 26 - Nov. 2.

RIP

Sidney Sheinberg, who served for more than 20 years as president and COO of MCA, Inc and Universal Studios and helped build the former agency into a potent entertainment corporation, died March 7 at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 84. No cause of death given.

He was a key player in the career of Steven Spielberg, who stated in a statement. “For now let me just say that Sid gave birth to my career and made Universal my home. He gave me ‘Jaws,’ I gave him ‘ET’ and he gave me ‘Schindler’s List.’ We were a team for 25 years and he was my dear friend for 50."

Sheinberg helped lead MCA Inc. and Universal through a phase of prosperity, expanding the company’s entertainment, theme park and publishing divisions and ultimately helping to mastermind its sale to Japanese conglomorate Matsushita for more than $6B in 1989.

In 1995, MCA was sold again to Seagram, which led to the departure of Sheinberg in 1997.

Among his most notable achievements when he headed MCA’s television division was nurturing the young Steven Spielberg, giving him his first directing job and then later shepherding him into the feature-film arena with The Sugarland Express and the megahit Jaws.

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, he became a professional disc jockey and English/Spanish newscaster at a local radio station as a teenager, his first taste of show business. After snagging degrees from Columbia U. and Columbia Law School, Sheinberg moved to Southern California, taught law for a year at UCLA and then accepted a position in business affairs at Revue, MCA’s television production unit, in 1959. Source: Variety

Jacques Loussier, a French pianist and composer well known for his jazz trio interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach, died on March 5, aged 84.

Early in his career, Loussier was an accompanist for the singers Frank Alamo, Charles Aznavour, Léo Ferré and Catherine Sauvage. The Jacques Loussier Trio, founded in 1959, played more than 3,000 concerts and sold more than 7 million recordings—mostly in the Bach series. Loussier composed film scores and a number of classical pieces, including a Mass, a ballet, and violin concertos. He is regarded as a pioneer of fusion music.

 Loussier set up Studio Miraval  in 1977, where he worked on compositions for acoustic and electric instruments. He recorded with musicians such as Pink Floyd, Elton John, Sting, Chris Rea, and Sade. Parts of Pink Floyd's The Wall were recorded at his studio. Source: Wikipedia

Frank MacKay, a Nova Scotia musician and frontman of the popular 1960s dance band The Lincolns, died on March 6, following surgery, the Halifax Chronicle Herald reports.

The Truro-based The Lincolns toured the region in the 1960s, drawing large crowds to dance halls across the Maritimes with a popular repertoire of soul classics.

After the band broke up in 1969, MacKay attracted national attention as a member of the hard rock group Soma in the early 1970s. MacKay eventually became a solo artist, writing his own songs. He also made the leap to acting, most notably with the musical stage show Rock and Roll. Written by John Gray, a former band member of The Lincolns, the musical was based on the band’s search for pop success on the back roads of Nova Scotia.

The 1985 CBC-TV production of the play — retitled The King of Friday Night — earned MacKay an ACTRA Award nomination. MacKay went on to appear on stages across the country, becoming a familiar presence at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax and festivals across the Maritimes.

The Lincolns staged a number of reunion concerts in recent years, including a show in Truro last September. Sources: Halifax Chronicle Herald, CP

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