– The revamped Streetheart that replaces late singer Kenny Shields with Harlequin bassist Paul McNair is back on the road as part of a packaged summer R&R extravaganza. The travelling fest variously includes Tom Cochrane, 54-40, Sass Jordan, Quiet Riot, Honeymoon Suite, Loverboy, Trooper, Pat Travers, and Glass Tiger on a mitt full of dates July and August in ON, MB, and BC. Heating the hype is Life. Legacy. Music– a(nother) compilation scheduled for an all formats release April 12. It’s teased with "Nature's Way," an advance single that is an almost note-perfect copy of Spirit's ‘60s original and, reportedly, includes Shields’ last recorded vocal before a killer heart attack took him two years ago.
– Doug Putman’s plans to revive the HMV brand in the UK has lost a Donegal donnybrook with failed chain suitor Mike Ashley in Belfast. An eccentric self-made Brit billionaire, Ashley owns the shopping complex where HMV’s last remaining store is in the island nation. When Putman tried to negotiate new lease terms, Ashley has proved himself a poor loser, asking unacceptable terms for a new lease, so the last store in Northern Ireland is a bust as of April 28.
– A&E will profile Garth Brooks in a four-episode Biography special, the network announced Thursday. No scheduling details are given.
– Interstellar Rodeo returns to Hawrelak Park, Edmonton, July 26-28 with an eclectic lineup that includes Rheostatics, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Sharon Van Etten, Aloe Blacc, Saul Williams, Zaki Ibrahim, Lucius, Whitehorse, Asleep At The Wheel, Perfume Genius, Sheila E., Southern Avenue, and Weaves. Tix go on sale today (March 29).
– The Canadian Live Music Association and Canadian Music Week have jointly announced that nominations are now open for the fourth annual Canadian Live Music Industry Awards. Nominations are encouraged from and for all live music stakeholders from across Canada and are open until April 3. Voting for the awards opens on April 8.
– Canadian Folk Music Awards' Board Chair Grit Laskin says the membership are done with the frigid end-of-year scheduling and that the 2020 edition shifts to spring. The sunny days events are set in Charlottetown the weekend of April 3-4.
– Ths year's Nova Scotia Music Week is in Truro, Nov. 7 -10. Artist showcase submissions are now open here. Deadline is April 12.
– Festival (506) takes place in Moncton, NB, Oct. 24-27. Applications to showcase are now open, until April 26.
– Vancouver Island's Rock the Shores fest will take a leave of absence scene this summer, and its future beyond that is uncertain, producer Atomique Productions of Victoria has announced. The Colwood festival returned in 2018 following a one-year hiatus. Last year's edition featured Brian Wilson, Social Distortion, X Ambassadors and Bahamas, but The Times-Colonist reports that "it did not draw audiences on par with previous editions." The fest's debut in 2012 saw headliners The Tragically Hip drawing 12,500 people.
– At an event in London, ON, on Wednesday, fiddler John P. Allen (Prairie Oyster), vocalist and guitarist Nora Galloway, and late opera singer Garnet Brooks were named new inductees into the Forest City London Music Hall of Fame. The gala is on May 5 at London Music Hall, hosted by Tara and Tom Dunphy.
– Downtown Music Holdings, the parent company of Downtown Music Publishing and Songtrust, is acquiring AVL Digital Group and its portfolio of businesses, including CD Baby, AdRev, DashGo and Soundrop. AVL’s client base includes over 900,000 artists, labels and other rights holders. MBW sources estimate the deal is in the vicinity of US$200M.
– Early bird artist applications for Halifax Pop Explosion 2019 end Sunday, March 31. Apply now here. Regular applications close May 17.
– Joel Plaskett reunites with Thrush Hermit to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1999 album Clayton Park. A vinyl reissue comes on Record Store Day, April 13. A short tour begins at Tide and Boar in Moncton, Sept. 26, closing at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, Oct. 4.
– Raising The Bar is a first-of-its-kind, national training program presented by the Canadian Live Music Association. Launched during Juno week in London, ON, the program provides training and education to industry professionals to better ensure event safety in the trade.
– Creative Manitoba is distributing a brief survey to artsts and creative practitioners in the province. The intent of the confidential study is to gain a better understanding of the underground arts economy and ecology.
– Regular FYI contributor Bill King is teaming up with son Jesse King, (aka reggae producer Dubmatix, a recent Juno winner) on a new radio show for Toronto's Jazz.FM. The Funk Essentials will feature music, news, guests, and commentary, starting April 9, 8-midnight, every Tuesday night. The dynamic duo has been co-hosting a popular show on CIUT. Bill King's ace combo, Rhythm Express, has released a tribute to soul great Otis Redding, covering one of his classic tunes. Singer Meghan Parnell (Bywater Blues Band) guests.
– Cambridge, Ontario, singer/songwriter Allison Lupton launches her fourth album, Words Of Love, with a show at Hugh's Room Live this Saturday (March 30). A-list players featured on the record include Andrew Collins, Tony McManus, Joe Phillips and Ivan Rosenberg. Lupton's a Canadian Folk Music Award nominee for her work with trio The Lucky Sisters, and a grand-prize winner of Folk Music Ontario “Songs from the Heart” program. She has an Ontario tour in May.
– The Washboard Union headlines the 2019 Funtastic A&W Music Festival in the Okanagan Valley in June. The shindig includes a diverse lineup of rock, country and cover bands at the June 28-30 event.