Music News Digest, May 20, 2021

The Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA) has announced the nominees for its annual Music Awards. Leading the way with three nods is William Prince, while dual nominees include Begonia, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Aidan Knight, Tate McRae, Kelly Bado, Sebastian Gaskin, and Sargeant X Comrade. The nominees were revealed through a live-stream direct from Winnipeg, with two musical performances by Sebastian Gaskin and Mattmac, both up for Indigenous Artist of the Year. Watch the stream here. The full list of nominees can be found below, with the winners in both the artistic and industry categories to be revealed in October (date to be confirmed) during a special live-streamed event.

“I could not be more excited to honour the talent and strength of western Canadian artists and industry. Congratulations to all who submitted for nominations and all who are nominated. Your drive and success in sharing your music with the world or supporting this music to be shared is integral to tough times like this. Your resilience is inspirational,” says Robyn Stewart, Executive Director of WCMA and BreakOut West. Voting is now open to members of all western Provincial and Territorial Music Industry Associations. Voting will conclude on Tuesday, June 1. See the complete list of artistic nominees here, and the industry nominees here. The winners will be revealed in October (date to be confirmed) during a special live-streamed event.

– Dine Alone Records has announced the signing of Respire, the Canadian DIY metal collective that formed in 2013 and has recently earned praise from outlets including Rolling Stone for its third full-length album, 2020’s Black Line. That record will be re-issued in North America on Dine Alone. Respire toured Europe in 2017/2018 and Mexico in 2019. 

– Due to the pandemic, CIMA's annual Celebration and Awards Gala will not be held in 2021, but, as part of the Business Summit on June 22 & 23. The org will still be honouring two professionals, pulling from all branches and levels of the biz. This is your chance to nominate yourselves, your mentors, peers, employees and partners for the Pivot Award and the Trailblazer Award. The deadline for submissions is today (May 20) at 5 pm ET. More info here.

– Fast-rising hard rock duo Crown Lands has announced a Dec. 1 concert in Toronto, at the Axis Club. This is the re-named venue that was formerly the Mod Club, a key fixture on the T.O. live music scene. Tix on sale here. After releasing live versions of two previously released songs Context: Fearless Pt. 1 and Right Way Back earlier this month, Crown Lands has just shared a performance video for Context: Fearless Pt. 1 through Spinefarm Records and UMC.

Music Ontario is giving away free delegate badges to New Skool Rules, which takes place from May 28-30, online. NSR is the largest international R&B, Rap, Soul, & Reggae conference. The offer applies to CIMA or MusicOntario member in good standing. Contact Sam Rayner ( to secure a pass while quantities last, on a first come, first served basis. Today (May 21) at 11.30 an ET, @MusicOntario’s IG Live page hosts a discussion on how to make the most of this year's NSR.

– A reminder that The Trews' live-stream from The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto is now set for June 19, at 8 pm ET. Tix here.

– Canadian indie A&R and song management firm Reliant Music has just announced plans to establish a European presence with offices based in Amsterdam. Reliant Music Europe will be led by industry maven Angelique Pattikawa-Thenu (Vice President A&R). Reliant has worked with such star DJs as Armin van Buuren, Nicky Romero, R3HAB, Dillon Francis, Timmy Trumpet, W&W, PS1, Yves V, as well as The Strumbellas.

The Upper Room Studio opens its doors for the very first time in collaboration with Canadian Music Week 2021, and will host an online showcase on May 21. Located in Drummondville, Quebec, the studio grabbed attention when Hopeful Tragedy Records converted the church into their creative hub. It was also the place where Your Favorite Enemies' Juno-nominated album Between Illness and Migration was crafted. Others recording there have included Conrad Keely ( ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead), and Sef Lemelin. Showcase info here.

– Submissions are now open for the 17th edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards, with early bird rates on until May 30, and a final deadline of June 30. The 2022 CFMAs will run April 1-3, 2022, in Charlottetown, PEI. The CFMAs are offering reduced submission fees (a reduction of $10-$15 per category). Submit here.

– Packs releases its debut LP, Take The Cake, tomorrow (May 21) on Fire Talk Records and Royal Mountain Records. A new single, Hold My Hand, premiered earlier this week on Matt Wilkinson's Apple Music 1 show. Such outlets as FADER, Stereogum, Exclaim,  NPR, NYLON, and BrooklynVegan have been giving the group rave reviews.  

– MMF (Music Managers Forum) Canada is presenting a Zoom webinar on International Mechanical Royalty Collections, with The MLC + CMRRA. on June 2. This session will take a look at the modernization of royalty collections for mechanical royalties from streams and downloads, the flow of royalties from territory to territory, and best-practices for artists and teams to register with Canadian collective management organizations to collect their US earnings. Free registration here.

– On June 12, POP Montreal and the Kinaxis Inconcert series presents a hybrid concert with TIKA and Hanorah on the Rialto Rooftop (5719 avenue du Parc) in Montreal. Only 26 in-person tickets are being sold, with the concert streaming for free on Facebook. 


Patsy Bruce, the Nashville songwriter who co-wrote the Willie Nelson classic Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys, died on May 16, at age 81.

Bruce, a Nashvillian, co-wrote Mammas ... with Ed Bruce, her husband at the time. His 1975 version of the number reached the top 20 on the country charts. 

Country stars Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings also cut Mammas ... on their 1978 duet record Waylon & Willie. The song went to No. 1 on the country charts and stayed there for four weeks. The tune became a staple in the country music canon and is now played religiously in honky-tonk bars and on the road by Nelson with his family band. 

Patsy and Ed Bruce also wrote Texas (When I Die) with Bobby Borchers. Tanya Tucker recorded the track in the 1970s, and it became a top-five country hit for Tucker.

Patsy Bruce served as the president of Nashville Songwriters Association International in the late '70s and early '80s, and also worked as a casting director for TV's Maverick and the 1980 film Urban Cowboy.

After her divorce in 1987, Bruce operated several event management and marketing companies, including Events Unlimited and the Nashville bus tour Songbird Tours. Source: The Tennessean

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