Steve’s Music Store Celebrates 50 Years with the Country Corner

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Submitted by Don Graham

This year, 2015, Steve’s Music Store celebrates 50 years of servicing musicians with everything from picks and strings and reeds to guitars, keyboards and P.A. systems.

In fact as Steve said “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” Steve Kirman opened his first store in Montreal on May 15, 1965, in a strip of pawn shops in a sketchy part of town. If my memory serves me right the Old Bowery Mission was kitty corner to the store. I bought my first “real” guitar at Steve’s, the year it opened. 1965. Alessia CohleAlessia CohleIt was a Gibson J45 and it sold for $275, case included. From then on I shopped exclusively at Steve’s, in fact I felt guilty if I bought anything at another music store, even on the road. Steve opened his Toronto store in 1977 and it too is a destination for musicians of all ages and genres.

And now 50 years later, Steve’s store (Steve passed away in 2012) is carrying on the tradition of being a musician friendly establishment hosting an event called Steve’s Country Corner, showcasing up and coming young country artists with live performances and a live radio feed on CIUT.

Made Them Lions The Road is Paved with Road Gold!

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Montreal band Made Them Lions (M.T.L.) is the latest indie act to earn CIMA’s Road Gold certification. The band accepted their Road Gold plaques in person at CIMA’s Annual General Meeting last week, and performed for the CIMA members, colleagues, and the broader music industry in attendance.
Road Gold is awarded to Canadian artists who have achieved a high-level of success on Canadian tours through the past twelve months. Recognizing how difficult it is to ‘make it’ on the road as a touring band in this country, Road Gold provides a new metric for success that paints a more complete picture of an artists’ career, dedication and drive.

The past twelve months have been quite a whirlwind for Made Them Lions. The band has completed two cross-Canadian tours in the past year, sharing the stage with acts like Hedley, Our Lady Peace and more! Beyond successful touring, Made Them Lions’ new single “Tidal Wave” is charting in the Top 5 of the Top Anglo Radio Chart in Quebec, while their music video for “Red Cups” maintained the #1 spot on MusiquePlus for several weeks.

“We are very excited to present the latest Road Gold certification to Made Them Lions,” says CIMA President Stuart Johnston. “They’re a fantastic example of a band on the rise, and they’ve done it the ‘hard’ way, through touring across Canada and building their fanbase ticket by ticket.”

Warner And Universal Win Anti-Piracy Order Against ‘Russia’s Facebook’

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Courtesy of Music Business Worldwide

Universal and Warner have scored a significant legal ruling against Russian site vKontakte (VK), following an 18-month battle in the courts. VK, the second largest social network in Europe, has become known as ‘Russia’s Facebook’.

Unlike Mark Zuckerberg’s creation, however, the majority of its 88m Russian users are understood to have used the site to illegally share copyrighted material. In fact, VK is now recognised as holding the biggest library of illegal online music in the world – even bigger than The Pirate Bay.

The major labels brought copyright infringement charges against VK in the Russian courts in April 2014.

Sony Music Entertainment settled with the platform in July – an agreement believed to be contingent on VK’s promise to begin monetising its content. That left WMG and UMG fighting in the courts.

The best result for both parties, MBW understands, would have been a damages order – forcing VK to cough up compensation for the mass piracy it has enabled since launching in 2006. “THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT DECISION FOR THE RUSSIAN MUSIC MARKET AND FOR MUSIC CREATORS IN RUSSIA.” Frances Moore, IFPI

The duo didn’t quite earn that ruling, but they came close: the Saint Petersburg & Leningradsky Region Arbitration Court ruled on Monday that VK will now have to legally deploy blocking technology to stop copyright-infringing uploads of the two majors’ catalogue.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Announces the 2015 Inductees

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

On September 29, 2015 Canada’s Walk of Fame, along with Shaw Media, announced the names of the 2015 inductees, bringing the total number inducted to date to 161. One of Canada’s premier actors and a newly announced inductee, Wendy Crewson, was present for the announcement at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Also announced this week, Jason Priestley will be returning to host the 2015 Canada’s Walk of Fame Broadcast Show.

The 2015 Canada’s Walk of Fame inductees include:
Michael Bublé, Musician
Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, Hockey Broadcasters, Coach’s Corner
Wendy Crewson, Actor
Lorne Greene, Actor (Cineplex Legends Inductee)
Lawrence Hill, Author
Silken Laumann, Athlete

“Our mission at Canada’s Walk of Fame is simple – to celebrate Canadian excellence, and to inspire the next generation,” said Melanie Hurley, CEO of Canada’s Walk of Fame. “This year’s inductees truly represent this mission, and the legacy they are creating for Canada is something we should all be proud of.” Canada’s Walk of Fame is awarding Lorne Greene the 2015 Cineplex Legends Inductee, sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment, to honour the late Canadian actor’s long and respected career. Each year, the Cineplex Legends Inductee is given posthumously to a Canadian pioneer in film and television, music, sports, arts or innovation. Cineplex Entertainment is proud to sponsor the Legends Inductee and Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Buffy Sainte-Marie wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: Buffy Sainte Marie Wins 2015 Polaris Music Prize

On Monday, September 21, 2015 Buffy Sainte-Marie’s album Power in the Blood has won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, an award that celebrates the Canadian album with the most “artistic merit” each year without regard for genre, sales or label. The coveted award was presented at a gala in Toronto, and has a value of  $50,000.

Power in the Blood has Buffy Sainte-Marie showing her versatility recording songs of diversified genres from blues to rockabilly, and is considered to be the most activist generated album to win in Polaris history, featuring songs like The Uranium War and a version of UB40’s Sing Our Own Song, and Alabama 3’s Power in the Blood.

“Ever since the sixties I’ve been making diverse albums, and every single album has had big love songs, which has managed to support me, like Up Where We Belong,” she said in an interview Monday night. “That’s allowed me to remain an artist. But on every album there’s been songs that have some kind of social meaning to them. I don’t hold back form trying to craft a song that not only touches people but also might expand their horizons,” she continued, “and give them some support for sticking up for what needs to be protected in their own communities.”

BTW-Starring Taylor Knox, Alabama Shakes, Alejandra Ribera, Fergus Hambleton, Whitney Rose, Chris Staig, Sin City Boys

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Submitted by Lenny Stoute
Photo: Taylor Knox

This one has been some time coming. Taylor Knox has contributed to the performances of some of Canada's most well respected artists. Everyone from Rich Aucoin to Jason Collett has invited Knox and his multi-instrumental talents to the studio or stage. Now he steps out from the shadows with debut EP Lines and will celebrate the release with a very special show April 23 at The Horseshoe Tavern. As would be expected of a dude who's a thang in the music community, praise for the product's been coming from all corners. Most frequent factors cited are the crunchy guitars, smooth harmonies, and tales of tragic young love currently in power pop vogue. That said, in six brisk tracks clocking in close on the three minute mark, Knox shows a winning hand with a meld of the familiar and the unique. Expect the gig at the 'Shoe to be stuffed with musos.

Danny Marks Receives Cashbox Canada Legacy Award

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Submitted by Don Graham
Photo: Bobby Curtola Backs Up Danny Marks Photo Cindy Shibley Koury

Danny Marks returned to his residency at the Rex Hotel in downtown Toronto on Saturday September 18th after a summer hiatus. At press time, it hasn’t yet been determined how long this engagement will continue but if the packed house, standing ovation filled afternoon is any indication it should be a lock for the season. Marks and his two rock solid sidemen, Rodney St. Armand on bass and Leon Stevenson on drums are as tight a trio as you would hope to see. The one time member of Edward Bear (Canadian recording artists that had global success) has had a full career as a solo artist and blues artist winning awards, recording solo albums, hosting a blues radio show and a T.V. series, Cities In Blue, on the Hi-Fi Network. At the Rex Danny gets back to his rock ‘n’ roll roots with an entertaining and crowd pleasing repertoire and show.

2015 CCMA Awards

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

The Canadian Country Music Association honoured their own September13th in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They actually partied all week in the port town with all of the shining stars in attendance, brightening up the Halifax Harbour and downtown core. There were showcases, round tables seminars, galas, impromptu musical events and general good fellowship aplenty.

The winners included:
Johnny Reid

Lifted  Dallas Smith

Jess Moskaluke

Gord Bamford

High Valley

Where A Farm Used To Be  Gord Bamford

Upside Down Dean Brody

Where A Farm Used To Be
(Written By: Gord Bamford, Buddy Owens, Phil O'Donnell, Performed By: Gord Bamford)

Lindi Ortega


Madeline Merlo

Raquel Cole

The industry awards included:

Ramble (Design Team: Brandon Heard (Mediavandals), Photography: Ashley Champagne, Artist: The Boom Chucka Boys)

Rheostatics at the AGO: Music Inspired by the Group of Seven

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Early in the evening, members of the Rheostatics were exuding appreciation for the efforts put forward by the staff of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  It was the first time the AGO had hosted a rock show, according to member of the band, Dave Bidini.   But this was no ordinary rock show.

Twenty years ago, the Rheostatics were commissioned by another art gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, to write music to accompany a show to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the genesis of the Group of Seven.  It was back in 1995 that Kevin Hearn accompanied the Rheostatics to create an album of primarily instrumental music to reflect the works produced by the famous pioneers of Canadian art.  The name given to the album, and the title given to the AGO evening, was “Music Inspired by the Group of Seven”.

As any proud Canadian can tell you, the images produced by the Group of Seven reflect the landscapes of Canada throughout the seasons.  These landscapes and the weather that shaped them were key influences on the music.  We in the audience were gently directed through calm, spring days and snow-laden winter days.  We experienced gentle rain showers, and later we were swept away by the power of thunder and lightning.  The music created by the group was powerful.  Perfectly matched images accompanied the live performance, images and videos curated by the award-winning couple, Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier.

Michelle Wright Signs New Management Deal

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Submitted by Don Graham

Canadian icon and treasure Michelle Wright has signed with the Thompson Entertainment Group for management. A multi-award winning artist, songwriter and author, Wright has toured internationally, charted singles in both the US and in Canada and in 2011 was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and is currently enjoying success at radio with her single "Laugh A Little" from the album Strong.

We spoke to Michelle from her home in Nashville. Tennessee. “I was managed by the same great man for 28 years. When Brian Ferriman retired after the passing of his wife and partner Sue last August  I was on my own professionally. I recently got to know Chuck Thompson of Thompson Entertainment Group. He reached out to me and said how he had always liked what I was doing and suggested we meet. He had looked after the Judds and managed Wynona so I knew he had good credentials. But more importantly he was a real straight shooter, with honesty and integrity being as important to him as it is to me. The single “Laugh a Little” is doing well for us and I sent Chuck a work mix of  a new song I’m working on and he was as excited as I was with  its potential. It’s something I wrote and I’m proud of it and to have someone with Chuck’s background in music get it was huge. I am thrilled with what lies ahead.

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