Canada’s classiest songbird, Anne Murray, returns to the spotlight June 6 to induct the wondrously effervescent Jann Arden into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. It’s included in the CBC live telecast and stream of the Juno Awards and Jann, the CTV celebrity, is also performing on the show, from Studio Bell in hometown Calgary. No doubt manager Bruce Allen, manager to both singers, will be on hand to make sure everything is running tickety-boo.
– Music Canada has launched a first-of-its kind research study on equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada’s music industry. Artists, creators, and music industry professionals are encouraged to participate in the national and bilingual survey. Details here.
– For those wondering what became of former Music Canada CEO Graham Henderson, he’s now CEO at London, ON’s Chamber of Commerce. Henderson served as Music Canada’s chief for 15 years before resigning in June 2020. He was officially named to the LCC in March of this year. Outside public life, he is an unashamed devotee of all things Percy Shelley, the controversial 19th century British poet whose fame was to be eclipsed by wife Mary who authored the Gothic novel Frankenstein. Henderson’s muses on the subject can be found on a blog. His most recent post, Art in the Time of Pandemic, can be viewed here.
– After the release of two charcoal coloured reflections that captured a part of the tyranny of headline news that affected us all in some fashion over the past year (The One Percent and I Live on A White Cloud), Murray McLauchlan is inspired again with the bright side of the street (well, as bright as Murray can ever be).
Earlier this week he delivered a third song, this one stirred by the natural beauty, tranquility and earthiness of the Algonquin Lake region with its steel gray waters, jack pines, cedars, and granite outcrops that are as old as history itself.
It’s not quite a campfire song, but A Thomson Day quite perfectly captures the essence of what attracted Tom Thomson’s eye and spirit. Thomson, the Group of Seven painter whose mysterious disappearance lingers on in mystery more than a century after his death.
What follows is a beautifully captured Marc Lostracco -directed video of McLauchlan in his element. The 3 songs mentioned here are included on Hourglass–McLauchlan’s 20th True North album that has its release on July 9.
– Amazon Prime has a couple of music docs that Beatle fans will want to know about. Composing Outside the Beatles: Lennon & McCartney 1967-1972 clocks in at just over 2-hours and spans the period following the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the release of L&M’s respective first few solo albums. Journalists of note weigh in with insights, but the most trenchant are offered by Klaus Voorman, in particular, along with Denny Laine, and Denny Seiwell. The insights are spot on and shed new light on Phil Spector’s work with Lennon, the rivalry between the two men, and the women that drove them into opposing camps.
Also worth catching is Brian Epstein: Inside the Fifth Beatle that smartly clocks in at 52 minutes.
– Toronto not-for-profit BridgeTO Youth is teaming up with Amazon Future Engineer to invite 120 GTA high school students from underserved communities to take part in Hacks: Your Voice Is Power, a day-long event that explores how music, computer science and entrepreneurship can be tools to advance racial equity. Participants will learn coding skills and create their own unique remixes of Pharrell’s hit song Entrepreneur using a platform called EarSketch. Details and how to register for the May 29 event here.
– The Royal Conservatory of Music has teamed up with a couple of local orgs to premier Gould’s Wall, described as an operatic “re-imagining of the life of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould” featuring “singers climbing along the interior wall of The Royal Conservatory’s atrium.” The event runs Jan. 12-16
.– Calgary ensemble Bent Roads Tavern has quite a history, part tragic but also peppered with plenty of fun and music that have combined to help sell a lot of suds for other tavern owners, and earned them enough coin to create a sizeable collection of home spun recordings. The troupe’s latest caper sees its public face this Friday with the release of Let’s Go to Newfoundland, a glorious harmonic jig and squall take on an authentic kitchen party. Let’s Go To Newfoundland is the first of several tracks to be released in the coming months leading up to the release of Clear Nights. Brite Lites. later this year. Here's a taste...
– Bob Dylan deservedly earned a lot of plaudits on turning 80 years of age this week. In his honour, Pop culture archivist Gordon Skene unearthed three early Dylan songs performed for the Broadside Radio Program in 1962. Bob’s enunciation for once is quite perfect as you can hear for yourself. The audio can be found on Skene’s Past Daily archival website, and you can sign up for his daily blast at the foot of the webpage.
And for those of you who have made it to this far, Hot 100 CanCon flashbacks from 50-years ago.
APRIL WINE – Bad Side of the Moon
GORDON LIGHTFOOT, Beautiful
DAVID IDEMA, The House on Holly Road
MARTY BUTLER, We Gotta Make It Together
ROBBIE McDOUGALL, The Theme