The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards and the Winners are….

Fri Mar 11, 2022

Dolly Parton, Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett hosted the show. Miranda Lambert was named Entertainer of the Year, as top artists including Kelly Clarkson, The Brothers Osborne, Ashley McBride and Carly Pearce took the stage to perform. Here is the full list of nominees with winners in bold.

Entertainer of the Year:
Eric Church
Luke Combs
MIRANDA LAMBERT *WINNER
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood

Female Artist of the Year:
Gabby Barrett
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Maren Morris
CARLY PEARCE *WINNER

Male Artist of the Year:
Jimmie Allen
Luke Combs
Thomas Rhett
CHRIS STAPLETON *WINNER
Morgan Wallen

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition North American Premiere in Montreal

Fri Mar 04 2022
Photo Credit Anders Sune Berg

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition opens Friday, April 8 at the Galerie de la Maison du Festival in Montreal. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m. via evenko.ca

This is the North American premiere of the exhibition, which was previously presented at The Black Diamond, Copenhagen, Denmark. There are currently no plans for the exhibition to travel to the USA.

The exhibition was met with acclaim from press and visitors alike when it opened in Copenhagen in March 2020.

The Legendary Barney Bentall is a “Cosmic Dreamer” with New Single & Album Release

Fri Mar 04 2022
The Legendary Barney Bentall

Soaring with sentiments of hope, love, longing, and loss, multi-Platinum selling, and JUNO award-winning artist Barney Bentall plots a sonic constellation of Americana to traditional Folk with the upcoming release of his new album, Cosmic Dreamer.

Set for release April 22, 2022 via True North Records, the album includes the title track, “Cosmic Dreamer” – check out an advance listen here:

With special guests Ruth Moody, Valentino Trapani, and Adrian Dolan joining on three songs, the 11-track LP features nine new all-originals from the prolific artist alongside two covers — Bob Dylan’s “You Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” and Gordon Lightfoot’s “Shadows.”

You’re Gonna Need Courage

Fri Mar 04 2022
Peter Åstedt

I just read in a local newspaper about courage. The question they asked five random people in a midsize suburban city, what is the most courageous thing they have ever done. One younger kid said that making a parachute jump was the most courageous he had done. The rest answered that the most courageous thing they have done was move to another city.  And not one of these moves were claiming that it was courageous to move from the capital to this village that is just one and a half hours from the capital.

I was a little baffled. When I was younger than them, I just took a plane and went over from Sweden to NYC just to go on a date with a girl I had just met online. I had also moved around to several cities much further away. I don’t really feel that was courageous at all. Adventure, sure it was but it’s like making a parachute jump; it’s pretty safe. It’s actually much more dangerous driving on the highway to get to the airplane to make that jump.

Lasso Montreal Ready to Kick Off the 1st Edition with Country Music’s Best and Brightest!

Fri Mar 04, 2022

2022 is the year that Montreal goes completely country, with the very first edition of LASSO presented by Bell in collaboration with Coors Original hitting town August 12 and 13, along with LASSO in the City on August 11, 2022. The world class modern country music festival, taking place on beautiful Île Sainte-Hélène at Parc Jean-Drapeau (one of the top festival sites in North America) is sure to thrill country fans, old and new, with some of the most inspiring artists of the entire genre coming together for a multi-day high energy hoedown.

LASSO is an opportunity for fans to live an exceptional experience, watching their favourite country acts play on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, overlooking the skyline of one of the greatest cities in the world, and the hotly anticipated lineup of artists booked for the festival's first edition is here!

The inaugural lineup of Montreal's newest country festival includes
Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Old Dominion, Kelsea Ballerini and more!
August 12-13, 2022 at Parc Jean-Drapeau
LASSO in the City - August 11, 2022

Ottawa Queer Christian Pop Artist Danah-Lee Shakes Off Shame & Fear in Affirming “Home to Myself”

Fri Mar 04 2022
Ottawa Queer Christian Pop Artist Danah-Lee Shakes Off Shame & Fear in Affirming “Home to Myself”

The way back to God, or to one’s religion, is often found first by finding a way to be true to oneself. With that, Canadian Christian pop artist Danah-Lee pulls back the curtain on such a journey in her cello-studded, piano-infused new single, “Home To Myself” – check it out on YouTube here:

Arriving ahead of the artist’s forthcoming new album, Made In The Image — coming this Spring — ”Home To Myself”s chorus is simple but powerful and heartfelt: “I’m coming home to myself.”

And the process of coming home is one the Ottawa Valley, ON-based artist knows personally, having struggled with her sexuality in the context of her faith.

2022 The Year of Change - What Happens With the Music

Fri Feb 25 2022
Peter Åstedt

Here we have it, the year that everybody will forever remember as the year of change, 2022. I just completed the first showcase festival in Europe, Future Echoes, post-COVID restriction, with a full live schedule. Not an easy task, even after the restrictions are gone the effect of them is still there. This morning I woke up to that Putin had attacked Ukraine Suddenly we now have a full-scale war in Europe. And if this wasn’t enough, you have the most important climate crisis we have ever seen and needs to be addressed with expediency.

It's not looking good right now. At the same time changes are happening with a chain reaction and all these events will form a new world. Of course, this is happening right now, as we have been in lockdown for over two years and forces have been created in many sectors just sitting and waiting for the pandemic to calm down or come to an end.

OSHEAGA Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Headliners Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa, A$AP Rocky

Fri Feb 25, 2022

OSHEAGA has announced the lineup for the 15th Anniversary Edition with Headliners Foo Fighters, Dua Lipa and A$AP Rocky. 

Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters

The iconic Montreal Festival celebrates milestone with an unprecedented gathering of superstars and exciting new voices including Machine Gun Kelly, The Kid Laroi, Kygo, Mitski, Burna Boy and more, scheduled for July 29-31, 2022 At Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters Deliver a Loud and Clear Shout-Out of Mercy Me On New Stony Plain Records Album

Fri Feb 18 2022
Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Ronnie Earl, a four-time Blues Music Award winner as “Guitar Player of the Year,” follows up the critical and commercial success of his last album, Rise Up, with Mercy Me, a new set of wondrous music with his long-time band, The Broadcasters, on  April 15 via Stony Plain Records. Mercy Me will also be released later this summer on vinyl LP.

The multi award-winning guitarist and his band’s recording will be released on both cd and vinyl lp formats.

Charttopper Hits: I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher

Fri Feb 18 2022
Sonny & Cher

In November of 1962, at an outdoor coffee shop in the Los Angeles area, disc jockey Gary Owens introduced Salvatore Phillip Bono to Cherilyn Sarkisian.

It was the start of a marriage that would come to a head on the pop chart three years later…

Salvadore Phillip "Sonny" Bono was born 87 years ago Wednesday. He wrote or co-wrote seven of the duo Sonny and Cher's 10 hits, including the #1 "I Got You, Babe." That song enabled Sonny to become the only member of Congress to have a #1 hit. Plus, he was Mayor of Palm Springs for four years (1988-1992). 

Sonny and Cher had their own TV variety show from 1971 to 1974. They rank as the third most successful married couple on the pop chart. It's hard to say who's actually #1-2, however.  Les Paul and Mary Ford had seven top 10's and two #1's....but so did the Captain and Tennille.

Scam Artists Will Be Exposed On The Live Stage

Fri Feb 18 2022
Peter Åstedt

The music industry will be in a really bad place fairly soon. I just got another email from a computer analyst company suggesting that I should try to find new artists on Soundcloud since it’s a platform used by artists that don’t want to sign up for distribution.

To be honest, if you as an A&R are only looking for numbers on Soundcloud,  you are not really an A&R, you are just a person that wants to cut percentages into artist money. Today it’s not hard to get distribution, and it’s not expensive either. An artist that releases music and doesn’t want to get it through a distributor to get it onto normal listening devices is probably not even worth pursuing. They are definitely not taking their career for seriously. Soundcloud is a great tool for sharing music if you just want to share the music that you are making. In regards to a career it’s mainly just a promotional tool.

Ottawa Composer Huguette Lavigne Celebrates the First Blush of Love with “I’ll Make You Happy”

Fri Feb 18 2022
Huguette Lavigne

All humans know it: there’s nothing quite like feeling that exquisite mind and body rush and intrinsic connection when you’re in the presence of the one you love. Ottawa-based pianist and composer Huguette Lavigne has captured that complex and thrilling set of emotions in her latest contemporary instrumental single, “I’ll Make You Happy” – check it out on YouTube here:

Lavigne’s joyous piece, with its ascending and descending progressions, excitement building crescendos, and a touch of nostalgia, takes you on a very similar ride to the one your heart takes when falling in love.

“A blush radiating from the core. A twinkle in the eye and your heart tells you what to do,” describes the Ottawa-based piano innovator. “When there is no need to say anything. When anything can happen.

“So, you see? Flirting can open the door to a nice conversation.”

Bara Jonson and Free Raise Awareness with New Video and Single TIRO II (Time Is Running Out)

Fri Feb 18, 2022

Cover Photo Credit: Malin Landgren

As early as the 1970s, voices began to be raised in awareness of that "time is running out", to try to prevent future environmental and climate change. These early TIROs were followed by more and louder voices, generation after generation; x, y and z. Their voices created a chorus, then a new wave of influences and now it is a storm warning with this powerful expression that is heard from all possible directions, contexts and from all parts of our world!

Check out the video on YouTube here:

Bara Jonson and Free Raise Awareness with New Video and Single TIRO II (Time Is Running Out)

TIROs is a force of youth, our future, who are at the forefront on this mission, to the annoyance and self-pity of many adults.

The 3rd Annual Speak Music Be Kind Festival Announcement

Fri Feb 11 2022
Speak Music

(online edition)

Organizers of the Third Annual SPEAK MUSIC Be Kind Festival – taking place on one night only, Saturday, February 12, 2022, as a free, virtual event – are thrilled to announce another impressive lineup. The 2022 edition - which includes artists Beny Esguerra, Kunle,  Ian Lake, Sophie Lukacs, Moonfruits,  Grainne Ryan, Tannis Slimmon, Julian Taylor, and Caroline Wiles – will be presented in pre-recorded video performances, via our festival website, linking to our SPEAK Music Be Kind YouTube channel and Facebook. Donations this year go to the Anishnawbe Health Foundation. For more information on the festival and for updates, please visit our website | Facebook page.

Great Big Sea Co-Founder Séan McCann Supporting Canadian Artists By Not Releasing Music On Spotify

Fri Feb 11 2022
Séan McCann

With the recent exodus of high-profile artists pulling their catalogues from Spotify in protest of misaligned values, Canadian Celtic folk-rocker and Great Big Sea co-founder Séan McCann is nodding right along in agreement beside them.

The chain of events surrounding artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell’s departure confirms what the artist has long felt: “Spotify’s decision to prioritize certain creators on the app underscores the company’s profit-at-any-cost priority,” McCann says. “This proves it was never about the music, and it’s artists who are ultimately paying the price.”

For his part, McCann’s solo catalogue held over 87,000 followers on Spotify, and had 52 songs uploaded for streaming.

“After five years, my solo catalogue has earned a sum total of $640.25 on Spotify,” McCann reveals — adding that other platforms, including Apple, are similar enough. “I found myself asking: Spotify founder Daniel Ek has a personal net worth of more than $4.7 Billion, but he can only ‘afford’ to pay songwriters $0.003 per stream?”

Internet Is Just A Temporary Trend

Fri Feb 11 2022
Peter Åstedt

The year is 1998 and the Swedish Communication Minister Ines Uusman says in one of the biggest newspapers that the Internet is just s trend that will soon die, or like we say in Swedish the internet is just a fly. In reality, she didn’t, the reporter was making a good selling headline. But she is forever associated with it. This is what she really said:
“ I do not dare to have a very definite opinion, but I do not think that people, in the long run, will want to spend as much time, as it actually takes, surfing the net. Sitting and surfing the net takes a whole lot of time. What is it good for? Maybe it's something that has grown up now. Everyone talks about the internet, but maybe it's temporary and then the focus becomes more specified.”

Of course she has been mocked over the past twenty years just like we did with Digital Equipment Corporation founder Ken Olsen’s famous quote in 1977; “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home." Today we even carry around our computers in our pockets.

“Afro + Indigenous” Artist Julian Taylor Adorns The Spotify Billboard At Toronto’s Dundas Square

Fri Feb 11 2022
Julian Taylor

Celebrated Canadian musician Julian Taylor has garnered a pretty cool position as guest curator of the SPOTIFY playlist, newly named “Afro + Indigenous” – a name that Taylor requested specifically, to pay homage to his own heritage and in light of February as Black History Month. For more information please visit any of the links below or Taylor’s website.

Not only has Taylor been recently nominated for five 2022 Native American Music Awards for Best Debut Artist, Country Recording, Folk Recording (both for his highly acclaimed 2020 album The Ridge), Male Vocalist, and Country Video (for the title track), plus two International Acoustic Music Award (IAMA) nominations for Folk/Americana/Roots and Best Male Artist, but he has also been invited to guest curate one of his favourite Spotify playlists.

Ringo Starr – Let’s Change the World

Thu Feb 10, 2022

Ringo Starr has revealed the updated All Starr Band itinerary and line up for his upcoming Spring tour this May and June 2022. The All Starrs will include Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette, Hamish Stuart and welcome back Edgar Winter.

The tour will kick off in Ontario at Casino Rama, which will be the fifth time Starr has launched a tour from there (previous include: 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2014). It will then continue through New England including shows in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, then stopping in New York City for three consecutive shows at the Beacon Theater, onto New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland before heading south with shows in Atlanta and concluding the tour in Florida. (Full itinerary below).

Black History Month Music Celebrations and Revelations 2022

Thu Feb 10 2022
Black History Month Music Celebrations

Two Black Canadian brothers of Caribbean parentage, Rashaan Rori Allwood and Yanick Allwood present a powerful concert that explores how Black artists tell our stories and celebrate community through musicThey include performance artist and ‘fine mover’ Shayna Jones to round out a program that is powerfully inspiring.

Black History Month Music was created by Joy Bullen, Culturepreneur, to introduce Canadians to young, Black, Canadian, musicians who shatter stereotypes and are themselves in the process of making history. Since 2015, they present performances featuring musicians who excel in areas where Black voices and presence have often been silenced or ignored.  Each year they partner with cultural and not-for-profit organizations across Canada to entertain and educate diverse audiences. This year’s regional partners are Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum, The Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, The Vancouver Public Library BC and the Black Business Association of BC.

You Have To Listen To Others As Well

Fri Feb 04 2022
Peter Åstedt

I received an email from an artist that I don’t really like musically. Maybe someone else thinks they are good it’s just not my taste of music. I just wonder who that someone else is, frankly, in my opinion, they are quite boring. I’m a nice person though, or at least I think I’m a nice person, so when I got the email I was like, ok it’s probably not good but hey let’s take a listen to them.

I opened the email and in the text there was every error you could possibly do when you send something out. They had added the song as an mp3 file in the mail. There was this story that made no sense about the artist. No release date was there. Nothing around the song and no contact information in order to reply to the email.