Jessica Mitchell is tearing up a storm on her Heart of Glass tour that stops Oct. 29 at Drake Underground in T.O., following which she turns to Nashville to start work on a sophomore album. The highly touted singer-songwriter is on a roll with Trisha Yearwood giving new life to her hit song Workin’ On Whisky that is ruling the Country chart in the US, and, topping this, Mitchell has a co-write on Celine Dion’s Courage album that comes out Nov. 15. Dion covers The Chase, a Mitchell co-write with Liz Rodrigues and Craig McConnell. Toronto-born Rodrigues is songwriter royalty with writer credits on hits by P!nk, Eminem, Pitbull and Dion.
– On Monday (Oct. 21), Elton John delighted fans in Toronto when he made a surprise appearance at his first-ever pop-up store. He greeted ecstatic fans at the #EltonFarewellTour Toronto Pop Up and personally signed copies of his only official autobiography, Me, for 20 lucky fans in the opening day queue. The Toronto Pop Up, presented by Universal Music Canada, Bravado, and Henry Holt & Co, opened at 277 Queen Street West and runs until Oct. 26. The store features Toronto-exclusive merch and collaborations, plus daily in-store contests.
Elton John, recently named the most successful performing solo male artist of all time by Billboard, performs two T.O. concerts this week as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, Oct. 23 and 24. The latter is the 25th Toronto tour date of his career.
– Roots-rock super trio Blackie and the Rodeo Kings has signed to Warner Music Canada and announced that a 10th studio album, King of This Town, will be released on Jan. 24. "We are incredibly honoured to be working with such an important and iconic band," Warner prez Steve Kane said in a statement. Formed 25 years ago, the group comprises Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden. Four Ontario shows are set for February, with more TBA. Here's a new track.
– Alan Doyle has announced an extensive tour of Canada in 2020, kicking off a 34-date run on Feb. 19 in Moose Jaw. A full list of dates here. The former Great Big Sea frontman will tour with his 6-piece band and special guest Kelly Prescott. Every ticket purchased comes with a physical copy of Doyle’s forthcoming EP, Rough Side Out (available Feb. 14), and one dollar from each ticket sold for this show will go to support the A Dollar A Day Foundation, one that supports Mental Health and Addictions programs across the country. Last week, Doyle released a new song, We Don’t Wanna Go Home, featuring country star Dean Brody.
– On Monday, we named three prominent Canadian musicians who were running for political office. Just one of the three was successful in the federal election, with NDP stalwart Charlie Angus (Grievous Angels) handily retaining his Timmins-James Bay seat. Tory George Canyon lost to the Liberal candidate in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova, while NDPer Andrew Cash lost to his Lib rival in Toronto Davenport.
– Toronto company Microforum Vinyl has teamed with Record Store Day Canada on a competition to give an unsigned artist/band from anywhere across Canada a chance to win a deluxe vinyl package worth $5K. Bands/artists post a video on the Microforum website, and a panel of judges will select the winners. Submissions deadline is Oct. 31.
– Guitarist/composer Jesse Cook is set to mark 25 years of music with 25 tour dates across Canada, starting with Nanaimo, March 20 next year. Tickets for The Tempest 25 Tour — a nod to his 1995 debut, Tempest (Narada) — are available for presale tomorrow (Oct. 24 )and to the public Oct. 25. One of Canada's most successful instrumental artists ever, Cook holds ten platinum and gold studio albums with combined sales over two million, five-concert DVDs and live discs, and five PBS specials. He has earned 11 Juno Award noms, winning once. Cook has started an extensive US tour, running Oct. 22 to Jan. 25. Tour dates here
– Toronto folk/roots band Union Duke is doing something a little different for its hometown show at The Great Hall on Oct. 25. The concert, entitled Dudes & Dukes, is a partnership with The Food Dudes, and promises signature cocktails and thematic eats, along with the music. A new Union Duke track, Atlas Of Love, comes out Nov. 1.
– Three Nova Scotia Music Week Developing Artist Training Sessions are still open for pre-registration. The topics are the SOCAN Foundation, Music Nova Scotia funding, and FACTOR. More info here
– Kitchener-based folk singer/songwriter Jesse Parent has released a new track and video, The Little Things, taken from his recently-released album Somedays, Tomorrows, And Best Laid Plans. Check it out here. Parent hosts a songwriter series every Thursday at Lana's Lounge in Waterloo.
Ed Cherney, a Grammy and Emmy-winning engineer, died Oct. 22, from cancer. He was 69.
He worked on such noted albums as Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time, Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven, The Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon, Willie Nelson’s My Way, and hundreds more.
Other artists he worked with included Bob Dylan, Bette Midler, Elton John, Sting, Etta James, Bob Seger and Jackson Browne.
Cherney, who worked out of The Village Studios in Los Angeles, was known for his quick-witted, jolly manner.
He was nominated for six Grammys, earning his first win in 1995 for best-engineered album/non- classical for Raitt’s Longing in Their Hearts. That year, he engineered three of the five nominees in the category. He won again in 2003 for best traditional blues album for Buddy Guy’s Blues Singer and in 2016 for best traditional pop vocal album with Willie Nelson’s Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin. In 2015, he won an Emmy for HBO’s Bessie Smith film Bessie.
On news of his passing, tributes began pouring in from fellow engineers and producers, as well as artists including Slash, Jann Arden and Raitt. Source: Billboard
Sonny Curtis, pedal steel guitarist who long accompanied George Jones and Tammy Wynette, died Oct. 11 after a battle with Alzheimer's, age 83.
He joined Jones' "Jones Boys" in 1964. That turned into a gig with Jones and Wynette when the couple married in 1969. Upon their divorce in 1975, Curtis stayed with Wynette's band until 1980. Curts can be heard on dozens of Jones' albums from the 1960s, and in 2002 he released his own, entitled Reflections. Source: The Tennessean