Michael and Raquel Wekerle, Instagram
Michael and Raquel Wekerle, Instagram

Music News Digest, Oct. 16, 2019

Neil Young has announced that a new film featuring Crazy Horse, Mountaintop, is coming to North American theatres on Oct. 22, and the rest of the world on Nov. 18. In select markets, ticket admission includes a copy of Colorado, the upcoming album from Neil Young and Crazy Horse. For a full list of theatres, visit MountainTopTheMovie.Com

 Toronto music biz types need to mark Dec. 9 in their calendars. That is the date for the Unison Holiday Schmoozefest, viewed as the industry's best holiday party. A new venue is in place this year, The Liberty Grand. DJ Brendan Canning (Broken Social Scene) returns, and great food, drink and schmoozing are promised. Get your early bird tickets here, before Nov. 9. Proceeds to the Unison Benevolent Fund. 

– A Vancouver music-tilted blockchain startup has added Stephen Harper to its advisory board, hoping the former prime minister can give it a little help with its expansion plans, reports The Globe and Mail. Canada’s 22nd prime minister was announced on Tuesday as a member of the advisory board of Beatdapp Software Inc. The company promises to find up to 15 percent more royalties for songs that might be left out of routine song-play calculations.

Corin Raymond has signed off on what he’s calling his first book: a 264-page CD package that accompanies his 10-song, Scott Nolan-produced Dirty Mansions album that has its official release on Oct. 25.  A teaser video for Hamilton –– the first public-share of an album track –– can be viewed below and pre-order and pricing online here.

– Myles Goodwyn has released Friends of the Blues 2 album through Linus that includes a cast of notables. The final track, Even Singing Cowboys Get the Blues, is dedicated to “the memory of my dear friend, song man Ralph Murphy,” who, of course, produced April Wine’s first three albums and the breakthrough hit, You Could Have Been A Lady.

A soft opening for the El Mocambo is likely in November as millionaire investment banker and former Dragon’s Den star Michael Wekerle comes closer to the finish line in winning approvals from various departments at City Hall. It was a year ago Nov. that media massed outside the Spadina Ave. club to hear speeches from Mayor John Tory and Wekerle about the importance of live music in the city-but even having the ear of City Hall’s Top Gun hasn’t appeared to expedite the process of green-lighting the venue that is rumoured to have cost the colourful Bay St. bad boy $17M+. The big-ticket cost includes $4M to buy the property. Everything else is refurbishments. The new Elmo is said to have two sound-proofed stages with an overall capacity of 1100.

Nunavut collective AJungi has recorded 19 artists in 12 communities with an album release on the Iqaluit-based Hitmakerz label set for Nov. 22 (pre-orders on the 5th) with proceeds set to help create opportunities for Nunavummiuts. According to a release, four in ten in the territory are on some form of government assistance. Funding for the project was provided by the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Assoc.

– Let the arguments begin! Inductee nominees for the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (TBA in Jan.) comprise Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T.Rex, and Thin Lizzy.

The ceremony takes place at Public Auditorium in Cleveland, May 2. Fans can Google search “Rock Hall Fan Vote” or any nominee name and “vote” to cast a ballot, go to rockhall.com, or vote at the Museum in Cleveland through Jan. 10. The top will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2020 inductees. 

– The Native American Music Awards take place on Nov. 2 at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York, and Canadian artists are well-represented in the nominations list. The album One Earth World Fusion Music from Saskatoon-based Kelly Parker and Turtle Island Music earns four nods, while Timmins-based singer-songwriter Marcia Chum is cited in three categories. Others on the list include Northern Cree, Murray Porter, and Eagle & Hawk.

– On Oct. 10, the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) held its fifth annual general meeting and announced its newly elected 2019-20 board members: Sam Baijal (Hillside Festival ), Kerry Clarke (Calgary Folk Music Festival), Tao-Ming Lau (Blue Crane), entertainment lawyer Miro Oballa, and Katy Venneri (Juno Awards/MusiCounts).

– Honkytonk troubadour Zachary Lucky releases a new album, Midwestern, on Friday (Oct. 18) and launches it with an early show at Toronto's Dakota Tavern that night, followed by a national tour. Dates here 

– Free-spirited East Coast globetrotter Rich Aucoin is back on the road. A North American tour is underway, featuring shows in 12 more Canadian cities, wrapping in Calgary on Nov. 30. He plays a fest in São Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 14. Sked here

– Colder temps are upon us, but if you need a warm and sunny vibe, check out Rumjaro 360, a new instrumental cut from Ottawa composer Terry Gomes. Built around trumpet, and guitar, the tune fuses rumba clave, jazz and rock elements, to pleasing effect.

RIP

Steve Cash, a founding member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, passed away in Springfield, MO, on Oct. 13, at the age of 73. No cause of death reported yet. The band’s facebook page posted about Cash’s passing.

Cash co-founded the Ozark Mountain Daredevils in the early 1970s with John Dillon, Michael “Supe” Granda, Buddy Brayfield and others.

He wrote the band’s popular Chicken Train song and co-wrote hits Jackie Blue and If You Want To Get To Heaven. Source: Ozarks First

George “Pops” Chambers, vocalist and bassist in the musical family that together formed the American soul-rock band the Chambers Brothers, and earned their biggest success with the 1967 single Time Has Come Today, died Oct. 12, age 88. The news was reported on the group’s Facebook page. 

George Chambers was the oldest of the four brothers in the group. Originally from Carthage, Miss., the brothers migrated to Los Angeles n the early ’60s, where they built a reputation as a formidable gospel quartet and managed to get decent gigs on the budding folk circuit. Pete Seeger got the brothers booked at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, a significant career boost. 

Released in late 1967, Time Has Come Today is now viewed as a psychedelic classic. The Chambers Brothers remained a top live and recording act into the mid-’70s, placing another eight singles on the Billboard chart Source: Best Classic Bands

Jay Frank, a digital music pioneer who created innovative approaches to developing artist careers, passed away on Oct. 13 at the age of 47. The cause of death was cancer.rank was most recently SVP of global streaming marketing at Universal Music Group. After joining the company in 2015, he developed industry-leading approaches in using data and analytics to maximize the performance of artists’ albums and songs on streaming platforms.  

Before joining UMG, in 2011, Frank founded DigSin, a digital-only record label, and DigMark, a digital music marketing company. Before launching those ventures, he founded Futurehit Inc. to predict the commercial potential for songs.  Earlier roles included SVP of music strategy at CMT and VP of programming and label relations at Yahoo! Music. Sources: Billboard, HitsDailyDouble 

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