Music News Digest, Aug. 14, 2019

The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, has added four more performers to its Sept. 16 gala at The Carlu in Toronto. Short List-nominated acts FET.NAT, Les Louanges, Haviah Mighty and Snotty Nose Rez Kids join previously-announced Short List-nominated performers Marie Davidson, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Elisapie, PUP, and Shad. The 10th nominee, Jessie Reyez will be in attendance but not at the mic. Polaris has also named its 11-person Grand Jury who determine this year’s prize-winning album. 

The PMP comes with a $50K cheque to the act judged to have the Canadian Album of the Year. The nine other nominees making the Short List receive $3K each, courtesy of Slaight Music. The gala will be live-streamed globally at  Limited public tickets to the party are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

– The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and Global have announced the second round of performers for the 2019 CCMA Awards (presented by TD). Joining previously announced Old Dominion and Tenille Townes on the show are award-winning country star Dean Brody, recent chart-topping sibling group Hunter Brothers, reigning two-time Female Artist of the Year Meghan Patrick, and celebrated songwriter and performer Tebey.  These 2019 CCMA Award nominees will be joined by 2018 Single of the Year winners James Barker Band, Alberta’s breakthrough artist MacKenzie Porter, CCMA and BCCMA award winner Aaron Pritchett, and 2019 Slaight Music Humanitarian Award recipient Paul Brandt. 

Hosted by Dallas Smith and Billy Ray Cyrus, the show airs live on Global on Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. EST/PST, stream on Twitter, and broadcast live on Corus radio stations Country 105 (Calgary), CISN Country 103.9 (Edmonton), and Country 104 (London/Woodstock). 

– Drake’s latest release, the compilation album Care Package, is his ninth album to debut at No. 1 since 2010, extending his record for the most by any artist this decade. Drake's previous Billboard chart-toppers were Scorpion (2018), More Life (2017), Views (2016), What a Time to Be Alive with Future (2015), If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015), Nothing Was The Same (2013), Take Care (2011) and Thank Me Later (2010).

Drizzy continues to smash records regularly. In June, he passed the Beatles for the most charted songs in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, with 35, compared to the Beatles’ 34. To celebrate, he reportedly inked a new tattoo on his forearm – an illustration of the famed photo of the fab four crossing Abbey Road but this one with Drake standing at the front of the line waving at them.

– The Goldtop 1957 Gibson Les Paul guitar used by Duane Allman to record rock classic Layla alongside Eric Clapton recently fetched US$1.25M at auction. The instrument was Allman's main guitar during the first two years of the Allman Brothers Band and was used throughout the recording sessions with Derek and the Dominos in Aug. 1970 for the studio album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident at just 24 years of age, in Oct. 1971. Source: New Atlas

– A GoFundMe campaign has been started to assist that veteran enfant terrible of Canadian rock, Art Bergmann, in the making of his next album, Late Stage Empire Dementia. The pitch goes, in part: "Art Bergmann needs your help to record an album of anthemic response to the psychopathic forces that conspire against us to swallow the earth and all of its creatures whole! You thought you were a rebel? Put some or a little money where that hypocritical mouth is."  To date, just over $2K of a $10K goal has been raised.

– She's Listening Country is a benefit concert in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada, set for Aug. 21 at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern. The lineup features Melanie Brulée, Augusta Ray, Barbara Lynn Doran, Sarah Siddiqui, Justin Giles, Bree Taylor, Cee Lawrence and Krista Hartman, Hosted by Arwen Humphreys ( Murdoch Mysteries) it includes a special appearance by Cadence Grace. $15 at the door. 

– Vancouver’s Noble Oak has announced his global signing with Last Gang Records, with a full-length label debut set for worldwide release in 2020. The project of multi-instrumentalist Patrick Fiore, Noble Oak has earned international blogosphere love. Here's a new single Evaporate.

– Rapper, producer and songwriter Missy Elliott will receive MTV’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award on Aug. 26 at the 2019 VMAs,  where she will perform live at the awards show for the first time in 16 years. Elliott, a five-time Grammy Award winner, is the first female hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. She is the only female rapper to have six studio albums certified platinum. Jennifer Lopez, Pink, Rihanna, and Kanye West have also received the award in recent years. Source: Variety

– Nova Scotia rock band Hello Delaware is currently touring Ontario. A Toronto show at The Horseshoe was last night (Aug. 13), with shows in Sarnia (Aug. 15), Barrie (Aug. 16) and at Elora Riverfest coming up.

– David Dacks, Artistic Director of the Music Gallery, has announced that  2019-20 will be his last season of programming, and he will step down from his role no later than Oct. 2020. Dacks started programming at the Toronto arts venue on Sept. 2010 and has been Artistic Director since Jan. 2012. The Music Gallery has also announced the first half of its 2019-20 season.

– It has taken a long time (15 years in fact), but Orillia, ON, alt-rock band Reay has finally released a debut album, Butterfly Tongue Revisited. The group is led by singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Sean Murray, whose resume ranges from opening for Glass Tiger to playing glam-rock at CBGB's to gigging with a Grateful Dead tribute band. Of note, Murray's son Bayze plays guitar and keyboards in the band.

– Offering a taste of the Rat Pack era, platinum-selling artist Matt Dusk & his Swinging Little Big Band perform on Aug. 29 at Toronto's Casa Loma for JetSetJazz, a musical journey through the swinging sounds of the '50s and '60s.

– The Northern Power Summit music conference takes place in Toronto, Aug. 16-17. MusicOntario offers a Members Discount of 40% off registration.

– Livestar Entertainment Canada and D&D Endeavors Canada have signed Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase finalist and ACMA nominee Brad Saunders to a co-management deal. Rob Cyrynowski, President of  Livestar Entertainment, will co-manage Saunders with D&D Endeavors Canada artist manager Adam Siripathane. Livestar will also act as his booking agent. Calgary native Saunders was the winner of Alberta Music's’s Project WILD artist development program in 2017, and his recent single Play It By Beer charted.

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