Downchild Blues Band Wins Entertainer of the Year at 2020 Maple Blues Awards

Fri Feb 07, 2020

In a night celebrating the blues from coast to coast, Canadian trailblazers , The Legendary Downchild Blues Band won the big award as “Entertainer of The Year” at the 2020 Maple Blues Awards in Toronto.

Fittingly, the band are in the midst of celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a yearlong tour that kicked off with a bang at the Toronto Jazz Festival last June to over 10,000 people, when they shut down Bloor Street for a show for the ages for fans, featuring special guests Dan Aykroyd, Paul Shaffer, David Wilcox, Kenny Neal, Gene Taylor and Erja Lyytinen (Finland).

Downchild is founded by bandleader Donnie “Mr. Downchild” Walsh and his late brother Richard “Hock” Walsh and are of course the inspiration for Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s world famous Hollywood film The Blues Brothers.

Tanya Tucker Grammy Winner At Last

Fri Jan 31, 2020

After 48 years of making records Tanya Tucker, The Texas Tornado, has been awarded a Grammy Award, not just one but two of the trophies, one for album of the year While I’m Livin’ and as a songwriter for “ Send My Flowers Now”.

Tanya Tucker had her first hit, "Delta Dawn", in 1972 at the age of 13 and her first Grammy win at 61 years old. Tucker became one of the few child performers to stay relevant into her adult years, without losing her fan base, Brenda Lee being another that comes to mind. During her long career, she has amassed a string of Top 10 and Top 40 hits as well as many successful albums, Country Music Association award nominations, and hit songs such as 1973's "What's Your Mama's Name?" and "Blood Red and Goin' Down", 1975's "Lizzie and the Rainman", 1988's "Strong Enough to Bend", and 1992's "Two Sparrows in a Hurricane".

“While I'm Livin'” is the twenty-fifth studio album by  Tucker. It was released on Fantasy Records and was produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. It was her first album in a decade, since 2009’s ‘My Turn’, and her first album of original material since her 2002 album, ‘Tanya’.

Jon Box A Celebration Of Life

Fri Jan 24, 2020

You never think you’re going to be writing about or talking about the passing of a friend much younger than yourself, but here I am writing about my friend, Jon Box.

I met Jon through a mutual friend, Kelly Gruber and got to spend some time with him and his amazing family, his beautiful wife Heather and two daughters Amelie and Tallulah who he adored.  Jon was one of a kind and a tireless, astute music man. He will be sorely missed not only by family and friends but by the music community.

Jon was Universal Music Canada's Vice President of Label Partnership and a very busy and productive young man whose attention to detail and scope of knowledge was incomparable.

Heartbreakingly on September 20, 2019, Jon Box left this world suddenly and sadly, leaving behind a shaken group of family, friends and co-workers.

Dan Bern Returns To Hugh’s Room Live

Fri Jan 24, 2020

Dan Bern is a prolific songwriter and an electrifying live performer. While Dan Bern may be best-known for his masterpieces “Jerusalem,” “Marilyn,” and “Tiger Woods,” he has released 25 albums and EPs and played thousands of shows across North America and Europe. His latest album, Regent Street, is a collection of 11 songs that reach new artistic heights. After losing two fingertips from an accident with a snowblower in March 2018, Bern found himself unable to play guitar for nearly a year. Turning to the piano, Bern found a fresh perspective which led to Regent Street. The release date is September 13th, 2019.

The Stand Up To Cancer Canada Kate McGarrigle Fund announces the “Music As Healing” Grant Program

Fri Jan 17, 2020

The Stand Up To Cancer Canada Kate McGarrigle Fund announced today the “Music As Healing” Grant Program, an initiative that will encourage both cancer patients and cancer survivors, to share their cancer journey through original music compositions. Cancer patients and survivors are invited to submit original compositions (music and lyrics) to compete for ten grants.

The SU2C Canada Kate McGarrigle Fund is a new collaborative program that aims to provide music resources to cancer patients with a passion for music, as well as much-needed funds for sarcoma research. This program honors the memory of Kate McGarrigle, a Canadian folk music singer-songwriter who wrote and performed as a duo with her sister Anna McGarrigle. She is the mother of singers Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright from her marriage to American singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, composer, Rufus Wainwright serves as Ambassador for the Stand Up To Cancer Canada Kate McGarrigle Fund. Canadian folk-rock singer, songwriter Martha Wainwright serves as Music Director for the Music As Healing program.

Pegi Cecconi to Receive 2020 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award

Fri Jan 10, 2020

A master in her field, Cecconi is a savvy and determined business woman who has nearly 50 years of experience in the music industry with diverse roles ranging from booking, legal and all aspects of artist management including publishing, recording, record production and merchandising. Having served as Vice President of SRO Management Inc. and independent record label Anthem Entertainment Group for much of her career, Cecconi has played a pivotal role in the development and success of numerous artists, including Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees Rush and Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies), songwriter Ian Thomas, Gowan, Matthew Good, Molly Johnson and The Tea Party. Currently, Cecconi serves as a consultant for Anthem Entertainment.

Pennan Brae Takes to Space in NEW Music Video for "Strut-1980s

Fri Dec 20, 2019

Canadian singer/songwriter and screenwriter Pennan Brae lives by the saying, “shoot for the moon and, if you miss, you will still be among the stars.”

So goes the foreshadowing topic realm for his latest single “Strut-1980s”, fresh from his film release and accompanying soundtrack, Gravity: The Astronot — a remix of sorts of Brae’s previously released The Astronot — available now. 

The story of The Astronot takes place during the space race of the 1960s, which is a historical undertaking Brae has always found fascinating. “As a kid, I was intrigued by pictures of the planets, Solar System and galaxies,” says the Vancouver-based artist. “The space picture books of the 1970s really captured this — it was the tail end of the NASA moon landing missions, and there were so many books for kids to read. 

“I don’t know what was in their ink, but the illustrations seemed so majestic and captivating.”

Spotify Needs To Make A Decision About Its Future

Fri Dec 13, 2019

Out of all the buzz that Spotify continues to amass as a leading music-streaming service, one problem that virtually no one in the music business has discussed yet is the gaping hole between Spotify’s oft-trumpeted mission statement and its actual business model.

Over the past year and a half, Spotify has made its two-pronged mission loud and clear in investor presentations and on its website“[To] unlock the potential of human creativity — by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.”

The streaming company has attempted to “[give] a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art” — or at least jumpstart that part of their objective — by acquiring startups that offer creative tools for musicians and podcasters.

Mother Sun Releases New Video “Lemonade”

Fri Dec 06, 2019

Mother Sun creates warmth with their music. Combining deliberate psych-pop and rock arrangements with a measured amount of absurdity and experimentation, the four-piece from Kamloops, British Columbia produces thought-provoking songs that weave strong melody through colourful tones and jazz-inspired grooves. Mother Sun is Jared Doherty (guitar, vocals), Emilio Pagnotta (guitar, vocals), Alex Ward (organ, bass, keys), and Jared Wilman (drums, percussion, vocals).

Mother Sun formed in late 2017, the four members being active members in Kamloops’ growing indie scene, each playing in multiple other projects. The band worked with Felix Fung of Little Red Sounds in Vancouver, BC to record 10 songs throughout 2018, releasing four singles in advance of their debut full-length release. These included ‘Flower: One Eye’ (May 18th, 2018), ‘Sunny Tuesday (June 21st, 2019), ‘Daylight’ (July 26th, 2019), and ‘Straw Man’ (August 9th, 2019).

Canadian Hip Hop / Hard Rocker Brenin Edmunds Shutters The Year with New Release

Fri Dec 06, 2019

What do you get when you cross a hard rock lead singer with an early 90’s hip-hop head? You get Brenin Edmunds. Since the age of 13, Brenin aka RUBiX has been working diligently to mix his eclectic taste of music into cohesive art. From hip-hop to rock, hard rock to jazz, industrial to techno and everything in between, Brenin has made a name for himself by producing music that sits comfortably outside of each core genre.

Canadian hip hop hard rocker Brenin Edmunds shuts the year down with a fitting throwback in the form of his sophomore LP, TWENTY18 — and “Da Bom 1 Day” — watch the video here: https://youtu.be/8ayHZ3d7FYs

“I began writing TWENTY18 in 2018 during my ongoing separation/divorce, and custody battle for my daughter,” Edmunds says of the process behind the release as a whole. “I was dealing directly with the heartbreak, anger, trauma, and then the subsequent situation regarding the breakup.

“Also, I endured a wrongful dismissal from my previous employment, and I had to deal with restarting the project three times due to producers bailing on the project. 

The 18th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival

Fri Nov 29, 2019

Toronto-based Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival has announced its 18th annual celebration, with music and food on full display February 21- 23, 2020, including a stellar lineup of JUNO, Maple Blues, and Canadian Folk Music-winners including Lynn Miles, Jack de Keyzer, Swamperella and Wendell Ferguson.

Toronto’s Winterfolk Blues and Roots Music Festival is on Brunswick Ave (near Spadina Avenue and Bloor Street), the all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, is where you’ll find the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival.

More than 150 artists will be performing on 5 stages. The festival will also include special tribute events, an awards ceremony, community stages and various themed musical workshops with something for everyone to enjoy in venues including The Tranzac Club and The Annex Hotel. 

WHEN: 
February 21-23, 2020  

February 21, 7:00 pm – 1:00 am

February 22, 1:00 pm – 1:00 am

February 23, 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm

John Mann Has “Gone Home For A Rest”

Fri Nov 22, 2019

John Mann, the driving force behind Spirit of the West, has lost his long-time battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He succumbed on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, to the early-onset of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 57.

Mann rose to fame in the 1980s as one of the main singers and songwriters for Spirit of the West, a popular Celtic-inspired group. He was also an accomplished actor, with several film and theatre credits to his name. He was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2014, and the band played its last show two years later. Though the disease was degenerative and his battle several years long, news of his death shook Spirit of the West drummer Vince Ditrich.

Bon Iver Release New Video Naeem

Fri Nov 22, 2019

Bon Iver has released Naeem, the band’s first official, non-lyrical music video since 2012’s Beth/Rest.

The film marks Bon Iver’s first collaboration with Los Angeles-based, Barcelona-born director, AG Rojas, who – after travelling the world as the child of a Colombian writer and Costa Rican painter – has credits including Gil Scott-Heron’s last and Earl Sweatshirt’s first music videos. He has also directed pieces for Kamasi Washington, Florence + The Machine, Emeli Sandé, Run The Jewels, and Zack de la Rocha.

Rojas says, “Naeem is concerned with the potential for intergenerational healing, and how we choose to engage with that potential. All my admiration and love to Cynthia Rodriguez and her child Azul who brought this idea to life, and to Bon Iver for amplifying it.”

Hip Hop Producer Frost Gamble Insists: “Open Your Eyes”

Fri Nov 08, 2019

Winnipeg-based award-winning hip hop music producer Frost Gamble and New York-based battle rapper Tone Chop are out with “Open Your Eyes” — the premiere single off their newest and forthcoming collaborative LP, Kill or Be Killed, available now. 

Watch “Open Your Eyes” (Official Music Video) by Tone Chop & Frost Gamble here:
https://youtu.be/twhfmlkuFxI

A self-proclaimed ‘sample head’ who lives to dig through crates, Frost Gamble has recorded with both Platinum-selling acts and GRAMMY Award-nominated artists, including Fresh I.E., Kool G. Rap, KXNG Crooked, Ras Kass, Tragedy Khadafi, Young Bleed, Guilty Simpon, Planet Asia, Skyzoo, and then some.

His releases have twice made waves on the 2018 iTunes U.S. Top 100 Hip Hop album sales chart, once for One #57 (w/ Tone Chop) and the other for Pass the Ammunition #34 (w/ Horseshoe Gang).

Jesse Cook Set to Celebrate 25 Years of Music with 25 Special Canadian Tour Dates

Fri Oct 25, 2019

Award-winning and Internationally acclaimed guitarist, composer and producer Jesse Cook is set to mark 25 years of music with 25 special tour dates across Canada, starting with Nanaimo, BC this March 20th.

Tickets for The Tempest 25 Tour — a nod to his 1995 debut, Tempest (Narada) — are available for sale on October 25th.

The tour serves as a bemusing milestone for a guy who never planned on releasing an album.

“If you had asked me at age 22, I would have said I would never, never make music for the public,” Cook says with a laugh. “I would have told you the public is much too fickle… They may love you one minute and forget you the next.

“Well… It turns out I did the thing I said I’d never do, and somehow it’s worked out.”

That’s an understatement.

By the numbers, Jesse Cook holds ten platinum and gold studio albums with combined sales exceeding two million copies, five-concert DVDs and live discs, and five PBS specials — his most recent, directed, edited and mixed by Cook himself.

Lyricfind Announces Fender Partnership For Lyric Integration In Fender Songs

Fri Oct 25, 2019

On October 22, 2019, LyricFind announced a partnership with Fender and their latest innovative app, Fender Songs. Players will now have instant access to the lyrics from millions of songs within the app, as dynamic lyric display becomes an increasingly important part of the way we engage with music.

The integration of lyrics in Fender Songs weaves seamlessly into the app’s on-demand song learning for beginners and experienced players alike  - from lyric overviews in practice mode to a “karaoke-style” scrolling lyrics as they play along in real time.

LyricFind is pleased to announce a partnership with Fender Music Instruments Corporation, to provide lyrics to its new app, Fender Songs. The app allows users to practice, play along, and perform to millions of their favorite songs on guitar, ukulele or piano.

The Flyer Vault – 150 Years of Toronto’s Concert History

Sat Oct 19, 2019

First it was an Instagram must-follow, now it's a book. From Duke Ellington to David Bowie to Daft Punk, Toronto has played host to so many music legends, making its name as a major music destination in both Canada and the world. 

Born from the popular Instagram account of the same name, The Flyer Vault runs the gamut of musical genres — from vaudeville to techno and everything in between — using Tate’s extensive collection of concert posters and flyers to illustrate the breadth of Toronto’s musical history. 

Complementing the stunning visuals are stories highlighting iconic moments in legendary music venues across the city, including the Horseshoe Tavern, Massey Hall, The Rock Pile, the Edge, and many more. 

As beautiful as it is informative, The Flyer Vault is a visual tour-de-force showcasing Toronto's’ vast and venerable concert history. 

Both born and bred Torontonians, Daniel Tate and Rob Bowman only recently met through social media, although their paths were similar throughout the years.

Century Surfers Presents ‘The Storm’

Fri Sep 27, 2019

Century Surfers is an exciting brand new rock project out of Toronto featuring vocalist Roddy Colmer and guitarist Jamie Gutfreund.

After forming a fast friendship and bonding over their love of 90s rock artists such as Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden, Colmer and Gutfreund started to write songs together. 

What initially started as a collaboration for Colmer’s upcoming solo record “Afterglow”, quickly spiraled into a different direction, pushing Colmer and Gutfreund to revisit the sounds of the 90s, with a modern approach, using current production techniques.

After a musically inspiring trip to Nashville, Gutfreund worked on a guitar riff that Colmer would later add his melodic muscles to and compose what would later become their debut single “The Storm”.

In order to bring “The Storm” to life, Century Surfers teamed up with veteran producer and current bass player for the multi platinum selling progressive rock group Saga, Dusty Chesterfield. Wearing their 90s grunge influences on their sleeves, “The Storm” has a darkly melodic verse, leading into a crushing chorus reminiscent of peak Stone Temple Pilots. 

54-40 Release New Video for “Sublime Like Me” from Keep On Walking Album

Fri Aug 30, 2019

54-40 have released a new video “Sublime Like Me” from their album, “Keep on Walking”.

Watch Lyric Video of “Sublime Like Me”
https://youtu.be/5zrGHZijnE4

From the band: “Sublime Like Me" is a love letter to the British Dark Wave bands of the 80s that we love.  The original demo of the song was fully-formed and identical in arrangement to the finished master, but Gavin Brown's production craftily modernized the track, while still nodding to its influences.”

Cashbox Canada News Archive