Music News Digest, Aug. 10, 2018

Brett Kissel (pictured) is amongst those performers added to the MMVAs, Ford signs up for the CCMAs, and Hawksley Workman adopts vinyl. Also in the news are the Slaight Music Residency, Jimmy Rankin, Matt Holubowski, Tweed, Prince, ShoShona Kish, Casa Amadeo, Goin' Steady DJs, Son of Dave, and a farewell to Swiff LaRoc. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Aug. 10, 2018

By Kerry Doole

– The 2018 iHeartRadioMMVAs have added Bebe Rexha, Brett Kissel, bülow, 98 Degrees, and The Beaches to the list of performers at the event. These artists join the previously announced 5 Seconds of Summer, Alessia Cara, Halsey, Kris Wu, Marshmello ft. Anne-Marie, Meghan Trainor, and Shawn Mendes. The show is simulcast on CTV, MTV, Much, and more on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.

– The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. as the official automotive sponsor of the 2018 CCMA Awards. During Country Music Week, Ford will provide courtesy shuttles, and the company also becomes the title sponsor of the Album of the Year award, presented on the Awards broadcast on Sept. 9 from Hamilton, ON.


–  It has been a while since we've heard from musical renaissance man Hawksley Workman. He has just announced that his sophomore solo album, 2001's  (last night we were) The Delicious Wolves, will be issued on vinyl for the first time on Sept. 21, via Outside Music. The album helped Workman earn two Juno Awards, as Best New Solo Artist, and Best Video for Jealous of Your Cigarette." He plays six European dates, Sept. 4-15.

–  On Wednesday, the six SOCAN members participating in the 2018 Slaight Music Residency at the Canadian Film Centre attended a celebratory early-evening, wine-and-cheese reception at the pro's Toronto office. The 2018 songwriters and composers participating in the residency are Suad Bushnaq, Jason Couse (of Darcys), Ashley Jane, Stephen Krecklo, Antonio Naranjo, and Timon Wientzek.

–  East Coast veteran Jimmy Rankin releases his next album, Moving East, (produced by fellow regional hero Joel Plaskett) on True North Records on Sept. 28. Five Maritime shows (Nov. 15-23) have just been added to Rankin's extensive cross-Canada tour. Here's the first single from the album.


–  The fourth edition of the Toronto Undergraduate Jazz Festival (TUJF)  takes place Sept. 4- 8 at the Jazz Bistro, The Frog and Firkin Pub and Mel Lastman Square. The lineup pairs Canadian jazz professionals (including notables Mike Downes and Larnell Lewis) with student artists on side-by-side stages. More info here

–  At Osheaga in Montreal last weekend, local singer/songwriter Matt Holubowski was presented with a Gold Record certification plaque to mark sales of 40,000 for his album Solitudes (out on Audiogram). Holubowski plays Regina Folk Fest on Aug. 11, followed by three Quebec dates, four US club shows in September, then five dates in France, opening for Sophie Hunger. 

–  Cannabis company Tweed has announced the date and lineup for the third annual Shindig event in Smiths Falls, ON, the firm's home base. Set for Aug. 25, it features Iskwe, The Sorority, River City Junction, Mosely, and Slim Moore and The NewSoulProject.

–  Discogs confirms that a 1987 original Canadian pressing of Prince’s The Black Album recently sold for USD $27.5K, a record amount for the music database.  As the only known production copy from Canada, that makes this version of that album one of the rarest pieces of vinyl in the world. This Canadian pressing supplants the previous record holder, the US variant of The Black Album. It sold in April 2016 for USD $15K.


– ShoShona Kish, one half of acclaimed Canadian roots duo Digging Roots, has won the WOMEX 18 Professional Excellence Award. The World Music Expo organisation cites "her role in the ongoing revolution of upheaving indigenous communities and their culture, through the medium of music as an agent of change."

– The Casa Amadeo record store has been a cornerstone of the Latin community in the Bronx since 1941, making it New York’s oldest record shop. In 2001, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1969, Puerto Rican musician and composer Miguel “Mike” Amadeo has been at the helm, and his story is a charming one. Source: Jazz.FM


– The Goin' Steady DJs crew has long been a popular presence on the Toronto club scene. Its Chronologicparty celebrates its 11th anniversary at The Garrison on Saturday (Aug. 11). The crew spins Pop & Anti-Pop from 1890 to 2019, played in chronological order.

–  Formerly in Crash Test Dummies, multi-instrumentalist and songsmith Benjamin Darvill has lived in England for the past two decades, making a splash there as Son of Dave. A highly entertaining performer, he has a Toronto show (promoted by Gary Topp) at Club DB, Duggans Brewery, this Saturday.



Swiff LaRoc (born Howard Nicholson), a Toronto hip-hop producer and member of Da Grassroots), passed away from cancer on July 31, at age 47.

The hip-hop production team of Da Grassroots played an important role on the Toronto scene in the '90s. They won a 1995 Juno award for their collaboration with Ghetto Concept on the track "Certified," repeating the win in that category (Best Rap Recording) the following year for the Ghetto Concept track "E-Z On The Motion." The team also worked with Dream Warriors, Elemental, and Red Life.

Da Grassroots album Passage Through Time, released via Seattle independent hip-hop label Conception Records in 1999, featured Saukrates, Choclair, k-os, Ghetto Concept Thrust, and other local rap notables. LaRoc later produced Michie Mee, deejayed, and hosted all-Canadian hip-hop radio show Project Bounce. Source: NOW

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