Devin Cooke scores ECMA nomination for Gospel Recording of the Year.


The singing pride of Back Bay, New Brunswick Devin Cooke, has received an ECMA (East Coast Music Awards) nomination for his debut solo album Be Ready in the Gospel Recording of the Year category.   In 2011, Devin received nominations for his debut album from GMA (Gospel Music Association of Canada) and Music New Brunswick (Christian Recording of the Year).
No stranger to the music industry – DEVIN COOKE is an Award Winning Christian Artist who released his debut single (I Don’t Mean Maybe) to country radio worldwide in October 2011 and also released “Let’s Give” to Christian radio during the same time.

Having grown up in a solid Christian home, Devin learned early what it means to serve the Lord with his whole heart and has a strong sense of God’s call on his life for many years.  As the son of a well-known preacher, Devin shares the same passion as his father, and earnestly desires to have a positive effect on people’s lives through the power of music.
Cooke is also no stranger to the ECMA winner’s circle, winning an ECMA as a member of The Ascensions for an album ‘No Greater Love’, the title song of which was co-written by Cooke and Lance and Peggy Matheson. This time he’s looking to win one for the Devin Cooke brand.

Cashbox Canada

Fraser Newcombe Committed to Tradition


By Don Graham

In a time when a lot of country music on radio and video today is very much like 90’s pop music, who will have the love and commitment to traditional country music to carry it on?  Not many I assure you, but Fraser Newcombe of  Murphy’s Cove, Nova Scotia proudly carries that torch for all to see and hear. Just over a year ago, I first met and shared a stage with Newcombe at the legendary Nashville Palace in Music City, U.S.A.

Several country, country rock, and country folk acts started the festivities on that May evening.  Then Fraser Newcombe took the stage in his flowered Nudie suit, neat trim cowboy hat sitting proudly on his head and transported us back to  simpler time. A time that the great songwriter Harland Howard called Three Chords and the Truth.

Nashville is Calling The Kennedys


Back by popular demand, The Kennedys are heading back to Nashville for a series of command performances.

Seems Nashville can’t get enough of the Victoria, BC based talented twins, Carli and Julie Kennedy.

Known for their unique fusion of folk, country, jazz, and Celtic music and having performed on various stages in the Fall of 2011, The Kennedys’ return to Nashville, with Carli on vocals and guitar and Julie on vocals and violin, will have them involved in songwriters’ nights as well as the famed Billy Block Show, second only to The Grand Ole Opry and Midnight Jamboree as Nashville's longest running LIVE radio show and concert series. Performing as the SOCAN Artist of the Month, The Kennedys will be accompanied by exceptional musicians from Terri Clark's band, Clay Krasner on bass and Jason Cheek on drums.

It’s like seeing double. Carli and Julie Kennedy are a Canadian powerhouse duo with a musical bond that only identical twins can share. With Carli on vocals and guitar and Julie on vocals and violin, they have developed a sound that is all their own: a fusion of their background in country, folk, jazz, and Celtic music. Originally from the small town of Powell River, these sisters are known for their exceptional harmonies, fine musicality, and sincere songwriting style. An undeniably energetic duo, the Kennedys’ performances bring a mix of toe-tapping tunes and intimate, heartfelt songs to the stage.

Shannon Smith’s hot new single – Can’t Have My Heart

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Rarely does a performer come along with such unbridled energy, dedication and natural talent as Shannon Smith. Shannon has been singing and performing since the age of six, creating her own style while also influenced by the poise and traditionalism of Lorrie Morgan, the showmanship and flair of Shania Twain and the musical strength of Sheryl Crow. Her charming and sassy stage presence demands attention and connects with her audience. No genre is off limits, whether it be driving country or classic rock, as is evident by her medley of 80's hits.

Since 2007, Shannon has graced the stage of several top-notch venues and events throughout Alberta, including the Big Valley Jamboree and the Alberta Pro Rodeo circuit. She has opened for country recording artists Johnny Reid, Duane Steele, Julian Austin, Aaron Pritchett, and most recently, for American country super group Lonestar during The  2011 Calgary Stampede. 
Shannon was thrilled to be the 2009 winner of the Country 105/Lammle's Rising Star Contest held at Ranchman's in Calgary.  This honour has helped accelerate her career and she’s recently released her much-anticipated debut album "Tell Me Something", working alongside acclaimed producer Johnny Gasparic, who has worked with Jo Hikk and the Poverty Plainsmen, among others. While maintaining her girl-next-door charm and honest sincerity, this Calgary country singer’s star continues to quickly rise.

CIMA welcomes new partnerships with SOCAN and AVLA


The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) welcomes SOCAN and AVLA as partners in CIMA’s music exporting services, aimed at creating exposure, excitement and business opportunities for Canadian independent music businesses and their artists around the world.

As Canada’s defacto music export office, CIMA engages in collective, industry-wide initiatives that benefit the independent sector by providing opportunities for Canadian music companies and artists on the world stage, emphasizing business “wins” in North America and Europe and expanding Canada’s relationship-building missions in South Asian and South American markets.

CIMA focuses on these international markets in order to enhance the Canadian music industry’s business presence, as well as provide opportunities for our musicians and singers/songwriters to showcase their exceptional talents, worldwide.  CIMA’s exporting initiatives are enabled by the generous support of both public and private sector partners such as SOCAN and AVLA. 

“Having the generous support of SOCAN and AVLA enables CIMA to provide business opportunities to the independent music sector around the world,” says CIMA President, Stuart Johnston. “In essence, our collective focus is to deliver great Canadian music to fans and consumers across the globe, while at the same time strengthening the independent music sector domestically.”

Crimson Shadows debut with Glory On The Battlefield


On the heels of last week’s review of the new Bad Vibrations album and its mix of death and power metal signatures, we’ve had contact with a slew of like minded minds. Haven’t seen them live yet but Crimson Shadows are standing tall.

It’s an event four years in the making and now it’s finally time to get your head ready for banging and dust off those horns as Crimson Shadows get set to release their highly anticipated full-length debut album “Glory On The Battlefield” The blessed event goes down on Saturday, February 11 at The Hard Luck Bar (772A Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON).

"I'm really happy about releasing this album because so much has gone into it. The speed, technicality, and the sheer brutality are some things that I'm really proud of on this album. We feel that we've finally found our own sound and we can bring something unique to the heavy metal table that hasn't been done before." commented Crimson Shadows vocalist Jimi Maltais.
 Death and power metal are not two genres that are often mixed. In fact, until recently, it was almost unthinkable. But for Toronto, ON-based Crimson Shadows it’s all about ignoring convention and developing new sounds.

Combining the guttural screams and blast beats of death metal with epic guitar harmonies and choruses signature to power metal, Crimson Shadows recorded their mind-shattering debut at Shatterpoint Studios at the end of 2011 and are finally ready to unleash it on the masses.

Three Wins for Matt Andersen at Maple Blues Awards 2012


Only two weeks into the New Year, and it looks like 2012 will be special for Matt Andersen, who is becoming the “breakout artist” from Canada’s Maritime provinces.

On Jan. 16 the singer/guitarist/songwriter walked into Toronto’s luxurious Koerner Hall to be nominated for three major honours at the 15th annual Maple Blues Awards — Entertainer of the Year, Acoustic Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. As the evening closed, he had won each of the awards, topping his wins the previous year as Entertainer and Acoustic Artist.

An impressive start to the year for Andersen, who now makes his home in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He spent most of December 2011 touring Australia, ending a 20-date tour at the massive Woodford Festival north of Brisbane. The Australian trip followed a Canadian tour that took him to more than 40 towns across the country, and a visit to the UK where he played the famed Glastonbury Festival.

With the Maple Blues Awards safely taken home, Andersen was already packing his suitcase for Florida where he’ll participate in the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise in the Caribbean, a floating blues festival with some 20 artists, including Taj Mahal, Dion, Shemekia Copeland, Bettye Levette and Canadian artist, Shakura S’Aida (who co-hosted the Maple Blues Awards with singer Treasa Levasseur).

The Music, The Piano, The Voice: Burton Cummings

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On Thursday, March 22, delegates of Slacker Canadian Music Week 2012 will have a rare opportunity to look behind the scenes into the life and career of a Canadian treasure and legend Burton Cummings as he speaks in an exclusive one-on-one at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Burton Cummings has cemented his place in Canadian music history as both a solo artist and as the celebrated lead singer and co-writer for The Guess Who.  Through timeless classics such as "American Woman" - recently ranked the greatest Canadian single of all time in bestseller The 100 Top Canadian Singles and the first Canadian song to reach number one in the US - "These Eyes", "Laughing", "No Time", "Stand Tall", "Break it to Them Gently", and "You Saved My Soul", he has endeared himself to audiences worldwide to become one of the most distinctive voices in rock.

As a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, six-time JUNO Award winner, recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba, the Governor-General's Performance Arts Award, and 22 SOCAN Awards for over 1 million airplays of his songs, Cummings' success and acclamations have been rivaled by few. He has the distinction of being the only individual to be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame twice and with 80 platinum and gold certifications has amassed more hit records than just about any other Canadian performer in history.

AMERICAN IDIOT Sony Centre for the performing Arts Toronto



Green Day is a compact and artfully staged musical, showcasing the talents of some amazing young rising stars, with music from a 6-piece band (and the cast members at times as well). Director Michael Mayer's script for Green Day's American Idiot music, with lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong, introduces three young male characters, two of which leave the suburbs for city life and fall into different paths.

Johnny (Van Hughes), electrifies the stage with his frustrations, vices, and confused emotion. He has the most presence and energy of the three; constantly in motion.
Stay at home Will (Jake Epstein) sinks into torpor on the couch for most of the production with a bottle for comfort, unwilling to deal with his girlfriend's pregnancy, rising from time to time to unleash a sorrowful but glorious voice.

Tunny (Scott Campbell) takes another route and joins the military, losing a limb in the service, which brings us a hospital scene with a moving, very sweetly sung and cutely executed soldiers' quartet, followed by a dreamy morphine-induced aerial dance with the Extraordinary Girl.

'21 Guns' and of course the title track do fill the theatre, along with other GD faves. The song "Wake me Up When September Ends" is accompanied by projections of sheets of paper falling upward, all around the walls of the stage, a simple, yet hauntingly effective reference to 9/11.




With nine performances still remaining, the North American tour of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s MARY POPPINS set a new record in Toronto grossing over $2 million Canadian during the nine performances New Year’s week ending January 1, 2012.  This figure marks the highest single-week gross for a theatrical production in Toronto’s history.  By the time the premiere nine-week engagement concludes on Sunday, January 8 at The Princess of Wales Theatre, it will have entertained more than 130,000 people and grossed over $12.6 million Canadian at the box office.

It is estimated that by the conclusion of the engagement, MARY POPPINS will generate a $44 million economic benefit to Toronto from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff.  This figure is based upon a report from the Touring Broadway League, the official trade organization for Broadway and their North American Tours. The report states that on average, Broadway tours contribute to the local metropolitan area’s economy an economic impact 3.5 times the gross ticket sales.

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