January 2018

Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries Gone at 46

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Story Credit: Associated Press

Dolores O'Riordan, whose urgent, powerful voice helped make Irish rock band The Cranberries a global success in the 1990s, died suddenly on January 15, 2018, at a London hotel. She was 46.

The singer's publicist, Lindsey Holmes, confirmed she died in London, where she was recording,"No further details are available at this time," Holmes said, adding that the singer's family was "devastated" by the news. London's Metropolitan Police force said officers were called just after 9 a.m. Monday to a hotel where a woman in her 40s was found dead. The police force said the death was being treated as "unexplained."To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians, and the performing arts, her death will be a big loss," Higgins said in a statement.

O'Riordan was born on Sept. 6, 1971, in Ballybricken, southwest Ireland. In 1990, she answered an ad from a local band in nearby Limerick city — then called The Cranberry Saw Us — that was looking for a lead singer.

A name change and a confluence of factors turned The Cranberries into international stars. Their guitar-based sound had an alternative-rock edge at a time when grunge was storming the music scene.The band's songs — on which O'Riordan was chief lyricist and co-songwriter — had a Celtic-infused tunefulness. And in O'Riordan they had a charismatic lead singer with a distinctively powerful voice.

Heavy play on MTV for their debut single "Dream" and the singles that followed helped bring the group to the attention of a mass audience.

Corus Radio Launches New Late-Night National Talk Show

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Beginning Monday, January 22, 2018, The Shift with Drex will hit the airwaves on talk radio stations across Canada.

Hosted by Justin "Drex" Wilcomes, this late-night program will offer a fresh take on the day's biggest headlines and the untold stories that matter to listeners. Packed full of interviews with newsmakers, columnists and celebrities. The Shift with Drex will be a go-to source for late night banter and lively debate with content driven by its audience. From listener calls to comments online, Drex will interact with audiences every night, to get them involved in the conversation.

"It’s stories, it’s opinion, it’s culture, it’s irreverent and it’s Canadian," said Troy Reeb, Senior Vice-President, Global News and Corus Radio. "The Shift with Drex will tap into the common humour, pride and honesty that pulls our country together."

“I’m looking forward to a fun ride ahead hosting a show where the phone lines are always open," said Wilcomes, Host of The Shift with Drex. “My goal is to challenge the status-quo by delivering a program that's both entertaining and thought-provoking."

I Just Called Him Dad Don Graham

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Cover Photo Credit: Fiona Lawson Studio 22 Photography

Singer/songwriter Don Graham has written hundreds of songs in his long career about dozens of subjects. He’s written songs about good love, bad love, lost love, unrequited love, songs about war, about his friends, about his travels and his mother and sisters. But one topic has eluded him all these years, until now. “I could never write a song about my Dad. I tried. But I didn’t want a ‘punch in the shoulder, good ole boy hey Pops song and I didn’t want a song about ‘my old man’. Dad hated that term. I wanted to write something from my heart like I’d done for Mum. So I made a deal with myself to try every Father’s Day to write a dad song. I had zero success until this year. “

On Father’s Day 2017, Don sat down with his guitar and being true to his promise to himself started to try and write a Dad song. “I figured I’d at least try. I started to play and the first two lines came and I liked them! Then within an hour, I had the whole song. All I could think at the time was – finally! ”

With the song completed, Don never had any inclination to record it but thought he’d play it at a couple of live events, “ The reaction was overwhelmingly positive,” and soon started thinking about maybe doing something with it.

Blues Hall of Fame Member John Mayall’s Trio Unleashes New Three for the Road

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

Blues Hall of Famer/“Godfather of British Blues” John Mayall will release an album of live recordings titled Three for the Road on February 23 via the Forty Below Records label. Produced by John Mayall and Forty Below Records president Eric Corne, the new album was recorded live in Dresden and Stuttgart, Germany, in March of 2017. The nine tracks on Three for the Road include fan and personal song favorites played by his trio: John Mayall (vocals, keyboard, and harmonica), Greg Rzab (bass) and Jay Davenport (drums).

“I hope the fans will enjoy the fireworks that the three of us came up with during a subsequent tour of Europe last year,” Mayall says. “We opted for recording in East Germany purely as a convenience and availability of a recording company. They specialize in live recordings and I must say they captured the energy that took place onstage. The songs come from my extensive library of material composed by some of my favorite blues players. Naturally, my playing is featured quite a lot more than usual in this format, and I hope listeners will enjoy the performances that capture a new chapter in my live shows.” John Mayall has been utilizing the current trio format for over a year. Long-time followers of the legendary British blues master know to expect the unexpected from Mayall, who always likes to keep his sound fresh, both in terms of musical ideas and in the band members he’s utilized throughout his 50-plus year career.

Artist Manager and Music Business Consultant Janice Starodub Passes Away

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
(Courtesy of Anya Wilson Promotion & Publicity)

The Manitoba country music industry has suffered the devastating loss of artist manager Janice Starodub on New Year’s Eve at the age of 49. Janice Anne Starodub passed away peacefully at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre surrounded by her family, husband Phil and three children, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Janice began her career as a teacher whose creativity led her to songwriting, which in turn took her to Nashville, where networking introduced her to connections within the publishing community. It was also the place where she discovered where she fit in with the music industry. Her teaching experience, can-do attitude, and patience made her an ideal fit to fill the much-needed role of advising and developing young artists, initiating imaging and media training sessions, working on grants and arranging successful songwriting trips and showcases in LA, Nashville, and domestically.

Janice formed her company JanSTAR Entertainment in November 2011 and worked alongside renowned-Manitoban songwriter, manager and producer, Chris Burke Gaffney. She also worked as a day-to-day manager for Bryce Pallister, a young singer/songwriter on Mike Denney’s MDM Recordings Inc. label.