Canada's Walk of Fame gala included an appearance by David Foster with The Tenors. Credit: George Pimentel
Canada's Walk of Fame gala included an appearance by David Foster with The Tenors. Credit: George Pimentel

Music News Digest, Nov. 27, 2019

David Foster was a surprise guest with The Tenors at Canada's Walk of Fame gala Saturday in Toronto. The trio had some fun with him, too, taking some liberties with the lyrics to The Prayer, the popular song the piano man co-wrote with Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa and Tony Renis.

— Mississauga R&B artist/producer/songwriter PARTYNEXTDOOR returns with two new songs, The News and Loyal, feat. Drake (out via OVO Sound). This is his first new music since his 2017 Seven Days EP.  The same year, he earned a Best R&B Song Grammy nom for the triple-platinum certified Come and See Me with Drake. PND also co-wrote Rihanna’s 2016 smash Work, and DJ Khaled’s 2017 hit Wild Thoughts, feat. Rihanna.

Blue Rodeo has seven Ontario shows set for the winter season, starting in Peterborough on Dec. 27, closing in Kingston, April 4. Other stops are in Barrie, St. Catharines, London, Kitchener, and Hamilton, while a Regina show is set for April 2. Support on all dates is Elliott BROOD.

—  VK & the Legends of THE DEEP is an Orillia-based roots-rock band who released a third album, Charm, in the summer. They have a Toronto show at The Dakota Tavern on Nov. 30, sharing the bill with another Orillia group, Reay. Both acts are on hometown label 112 Records, started by Steve and Marni Van Kessel of VK.

—  Canadian actor, author, and activist, Mary Walsh has been named host of the 2020 East Coast Music Awards Show in St. John's,, NL on April 30 at Mile One Centre. Watch the announcement. below. The evening also sees the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame honouring the late Ron Hynes in a special ceremony. More info about the Awards Show lineup and performers TBA. Tix are on sale now.

—  A reminder that The Women's Blues Revue (produced by the Toronto Blues Society) takes place Nov 29 at Roy Thomson Hall. The impressive lineup includes Tanika Charles, Miss Emily, Angelique Francis, Raha Javanfar, Taborah Johnson, Melissa McClelland, and Ellen McIlwaine. Tix here.

—  Down in Nashville, concern over the fate of the historic Music Row area is growing. Helping spread awareness of the situation is veteran country music publicist Pam Lewis, president and founder of PLA Media. She has been working with National Trust, preservationists, city council, the mayor, concerned citizens and the planning department to consider a sensitive and strategic long-range plan for preserving Music Row’s historic assets. PLA Media recently unveiled a detailed interpretive historical sign outside their offices that illustrates the grave importance and growing concerns of this historical-cultural area.

—  Much-heralded East Coast singer/songwriter Gabrielle Papillon has a (7 pm) album release show for Shout at the Bus Stop Theatre Co-Op in Halifax on Nov. 30. Tix here

—  Fresh from receiving plenty of glowing reviews in the UK and Europe, Toronto roots troubadour Jerry Leger plays three big shows this week in support of his new album Time Out For Tomorrow. His hometown show tomorrow (Nov. 28) at Lee's Palace features opening sets from Matthew Barber and Lindy Vopnfjörð, plus guests Don Stevenson (Moby Grape), Angie Hilts and Tim Bovaconti, and Leger's regular band The Situation. Vopnfjörð is also on the Nov. 29 date at Mills Hardware in Hamilton. The Nov. 30 Montreal gig at Quai des Brumes has Li'l Andy as a guest.

—  On Jan. 29 (2-4 pm) at the Angus Glen Golf Club, Markham, ON, veteran roots music promoter and publicist Richard Flohil presents America’s Soul: How the Blues Changed Popular Music & the Rest of our Lives. The event, hosted by  Lifelong Learning Markham, features a lecture by Flohil and live music, performed by Diana Braithwaite and Chris and Jesse Whiteley. Tix here 

RIP

Doug Lubahn, US bassist who appeared on three Doors albums, died Nov. 20 at the age of 71. No cause of death reported.

He can be heard on 1967’s Strange Days, 1968’s Waiting for the Sun and 1969’s Soft Parade, and refused an invitation to join that band full-time.

He later worked with such artists as Pat Benatar, Billy Squier and Ted Nugent.

In 2007, Lubahn published a memoir, My Days With the Doors and Other Stories. Source: Ultimate Classic Rock

Robert F.X. Sillerman, the New York media mogul who helped to revolutionize the modern concert industry with SFX Entertainment, died Nov. 24, age 71, of respiratory illness.

A New York native, Sillerman first made his mark with SFX Broadcasting, which acquired radio and television media outlets through the 1990s before it was sold for US$1.2 billion in 1998.

He then launched SFX Entertainment and began rolling up regional concert promoters, creating what would become the nucleus of Live Nation Entertainment. Sillerman sold SFX Entertainment to Clear Channel in 2000 for a reported $4.4 billion.

In 2012, Sillerman revived the SFX brand, but after a much-publicized IPO, the success of the revived SFX failed to materialize. Read more at Celebrity Access

John Simon (born Ivan Simmon) one of the most erudite, vitriolic and vilified American culture critics, died Nov. 24, age 94.

He wrote reviews and essays for New York magazine for nearly 37 years and contributed to The New York Times, Esquire, National Review, The New Leader and other publications. He also published a dozen books, mostly anthologies of his own work.

As a New York Times obituary noted, Simon took pleasure in offending. In Movies Into Film: Criticism, 1967-1970 (1971), he wrote of the Beatles: “Particularly grubby are John Lennon and his worse half, Yoko Ono, who sits, smug and possessive, almost always within touching distance of him. Flouting, it would seem, even minimal sanitary measures, their hair looks like a Disneyland for the insect world, and their complexions appear to be portable bacterial cultures.” Source: NYT 

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