Music News Digest, April 15, 2019

The Live Music Industry Awards have moved from the El Mocambo to the Osgoode East Ballroom at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto on Friday, May 10 (5-7 pm). The refurbished Spadina Ave. club is ready to open but is awaiting various health, safety and liquor board approvals that may or may not have been in place by the May deadline.

Separately, it appears that Eddie Kramer has left the club’s organizational team and is back working as an independent producer, currently in the UK working on one of his newfound projects. With Greg Godovitz’s earlier departure, this leaves owner Michael Wekerle in charge of his dream space purchased for $3M in 2014. The refit, variously reported as high as $17M, now appear to be completed and awaiting city hall's rubber stamps. The new version of the El Mocambo will have a 1,000 person capacity over three floors.

According to Wikipedia, the club officially opened in March 23, 1948, when Joseph Brown and John Lang decided to apply for one of Toronto's first liquor licences and convert their property at 464 Spadina into one of the city's first cocktail bars.

Jann, Jann Arden’s chaotically funny TV show, is proving itself to be a legit hit with viewers. The comedy show (Wednesdays 8:30 pm on CTV and available anytime on Crave and CTV online) came in week one at 1.4 million viewers and is now going into episode five and still staying at over 1M viewers per week which is unheard of for a Canadian comedy, at least not since Corner Gas tickled the nation’s fancy. Capitalizing on the show’s success, UMC has rush-released “Mother Mine,” “the first original song from the show performed in collaboration with actress Zoie Palmer who plays Arden’s on-screen sister in the series.

The Hunter Brothers were the big winners at Sunday’s Saskatchewan Country Music Awards (SCMAs), taking four trophies in the Interactive Group, Video (Those Were the Nights), and Single of the Year (same) categories. Additionally, Luke Hunter was named All Star Band- Bass Player of The Year. A full rundown of the winners honoured in Saskatoon can be found on the SCMA website.

-- An eclectic lineup of artists headlines the 2019 SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, running June 21-30 in Saskatoon. Included are Jann Arden, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, The Roots, Johnny Reid, Joshua Redman Quartet, and Walk Off The Earth. Other acts include Lisa Fischer, Colin Linden, Elisapie, Steve Smith, Patricia Barber, Five Alarm Funk, and The Sorority. Full lineup here

Canadian Music Week's Pitch & Get Paid competition is open to active, operational companies looking for their series A funding. The selected winners will have a chance to present their ideas at CMW in front of a panel of venture capitalists, strategic investors, and super angels. All winners will receive CMW delegate passes, $2500 towards travel and accommodation, and promotion from CMW. Entries accepted until April 26 with winners announced April 29. Apply to cmw@lyricfind.

– The TD Halifax Jazz Festival announces Common as the opening night act on July 9. Other performers include Elise Legrow, Heather Bambrick Quintet, iskwē, and Mdou Moctar. The event runs July 9-14. Tix on sale today (April 15).

– The Edmonton Public Library is adding a recording studio to its renovated downtown branch. The space at the Stanley A. Milner Library will give artists in the city somewhere they can "make and distribute and learn how to record music," Rocky Mann, digital spaces librarian for EP, told CBC News. As a fundraiser for the project, the library invited 12 local artists to record a song for limited-release LP and posters. These went on sale Saturday for Record Store Day, and that evening an album release concert was held the ATB Arts Barns. 

– On Friday night, Hamilton music haven This Ain't Hollywood hosted a fundraiser for local community radio station CFMU-FM. We enjoyed the hard bop meets political hip-hop fusion of Haolin Munk and a spirited set of tightly-woven guitar rock by local '90s favourites Tristan Psionic. TP's lineup includes Mark Milne and Tim Potocic, co-founders of Sonic Unyon Records, and the band occasionally reunites for special one-off gigs. Also on the bill were Ellevator, Granny Smith, and Luke Bentham, of The Dirty Nil. Spied at the event were True North's Brad Machry (he has a show on the station), CFMU music director Jamie Tennant, and Hammer heroine Terra Lightfoot.

– The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) returns to its sixth Canadian Blast showcase and business mission to Nashville for the Americana Music Festival & Conference. The 20th annual edition runs Sept. 10-15. Presented by Music Export Canada, CIMA's Canadian Blast showcase at InDo runs noon-2pm on Sept. 13 and is an excellent opportunity for 4-6 Canadian bands to showcase to festival delegates and attendees. Applications are being accepted here, with a May 31 deadline.

– Come Together: Showcasing Winnipeg's Rising Talent is a project run under Creative Manitoba’s Careers in the Arts Mentorship Program and produced by Manitoba Music. Over two months, students participate in a series of mentor sessions facilitated by local industry professionals covering different aspects of the business. Experienced local event producer Andrea Burgoyne leads it. A resulting showcase, Come Together, takes over The Park Theatre on April 30 and features performances from this year’s students.

– Morrissey has postponed the dates of his first Canadian tour in more than a decade. Dates skedded for Vancouver's Orpheum, April 14 and 15 have been postponed until Oct. 14 and 15, respectively. Other Canadian dates are also expected to be re-scheduled. His new album California Son is due out on May 24 via his BMG imprint Etienne. Source: Exclaim

– The upcoming 27th annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival (May 2-12) features some promising-sounding music-themed films. The closing night film, It Must Schwing, tells the story of Blue Note Records, and The Mamboniks explores the history of the mambo, while other titles profile Lauren Bacall, Joseph Pulitzer, and Eugene Levy. Sked here 

– SaskMusic is seeking proposals for the design of the award (trophy) for the Saskatchewan Music Awards (SMAs), to be presented in 2019 and beyond. The chosen designer would be commissioned to produce 15-20 physical awards by Sept. 2019, in preparation for the 2019 SMAs, with potential for negotiation of future years’ awards. May 15 is the deadline for submissions.

– Today (April 15) a Montreal city councillor will table a motion that recognizes the city should be hailed as a “city of excellence” in heavy metal music. The campaign is led by Councillor Craig Sauvé, a self-described metalhead, who wants the genre to be given more respect by the city. Montreal hosts an annual, two-day summer metal festival, Heavy Montreal, in late July. Source: CP

– The deadline for artist showcase submissions for Nova Scotia Music Week 2019 has been extended to April 18. NSMW runs Nov. 7-10 in Truro, NS. 

– Alberta Music presents Download, a vocal and performance workshop with Tamara Beatty, in Edmonton on April 23 and Calgary, April 24. Info here 

 

RIP

Gary Stewart, a US music industry veteran of Rhino Records and Apple Music and a widely known figure on the LA rock scene for over 40 years, has died, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office confirmed to Variety. He was 62. The Santa Monica Police Department confirmed that he died by suicide.

A Los Angeles native, Stewart worked from the mid-‘70s at Rhino Records’ store on Westwood Boulevard, then joined Rhino’s fast-growing record company, ultimately rising to the position of Senior VP of A&R for Rhino Entertainment.

During his tenure there, the label, which was ultimately purchased by Warner Music, became the most prominent American reissue label. Stewart was a key force behind the company’s cross-licensed boxed sets; he also oversaw Rhino’s reissue campaign devoted to Elvis Costello. He spearheaded Rhino’s move into contemporary music, signing such acts as singer-songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill.

Stewart was also deeply involved in Rhino’s charity efforts. His extensive charity work earned him a tribute from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who called him “a true champion of justice, a model of modesty, and most of all, our dear friend. L.A. is better off for everything he did.” 

In recent years Stewart worked two separate stints at Apple Music, doing catalog curation for iTunes. In 2014, with former Rhino label colleague David Gorman, Stewart inaugurated the music and pop culture web site Trunkworthy. Source: Variety

 Paul Raymond, UFO guitarist/keyboard player, died last week after suffering a heart attack. He was 73 years old.

The news of Raymond's passing was broken by his "life partner," Sandra, on Facebook. He had just completed a few weeks of the last couple of weeks touring with UFO in the UK & Ireland.

Raymond's career began in 1964, initially as a jazz musician. He joined British hard rock band UFO's classic lineup alongside Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Andy Parker and Pete Way, in 1976. He appeared on more than a dozen UFO albums, and also played in The Michael Schenker Group and Waysted.

 He is also featured on classic records by Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown, as well as solo albums, plus those credited to Paul Raymond Project. Source: Blabbermouth

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