Music News Digest, Aug. 17, 2020

The Weeknd digs deep once more, The Sadies (pictured) bring music back to The Horseshoe stage, and Jayward Artist Group signs PunkWithAnF. Also in the news are Storry, FACTOR, the Dirty Nil, Indie Weekly, the CMF covid fund, Roxanne Potvin, Partner, Matt Mays, MMF, Paul Banwatt, Slocan Ramblers, CIMA, and farewell Julian Bream and Pete Way.

Music News Digest, Aug. 17, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Last week, The Weeknd donated $300,000 to Global Aid for Lebanon to assist victims of the devastating explosion in the country’s capital of Beirut on Aug. 4. The announcement was made on social media by his manager, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, a Lebanese-Canadian. Slaiby and his wife Rima Fakih donated $250K to the relief fund. In recent months, The Weeknd has made major donations to coronavirus relief, Black Lives Matter and social justice organizations. His latest move brings his total charitable contributions to some $2.15 million in just over two months. Source: Variety

– Few bands have played Toronto's famed Horseshoe Tavern as much as local roots-rock faves The Sadies. Fittingly, they launch the 'Shoe's just-announced return to live music by live-streaming a concert from that stage on Sept. 12, at 8.30 pm. This is the premiere of a series entitled Horseshoe Hootenanny, featuring full bands playing fully electric, professionally shot and mixed, nothing pre-taped - direct and live to air. "In the past 25 years, we've hosted a ton of live-to-air radio broadcasts via CBC and community radio," says Horseshoe Tavern owner and talent buyer Craig Laskey. "However, we've never video live-streamed a concert." All proceeds from the first live-stream will go towards supporting The Sadies. Early bird tickets are on sale here


– Part 2 of the CMF Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund is open for Canadian-owned recording studios, music video producers, record labels and music publishers that are not recipients of the Canada Music Fund. The total amount available through the Fund is $5 million. The deadline to submit an application for funding has been extended once more, to Aug. 19.

– FACTOR has announced that to have your Artist or Applicant Profile reviewed at the Semi-Annual Review, you must request a review by clicking on the Request Review button in your profile by Aug. 31 at 11:59 pm PT. After the Semi-Annual Review, some artist or applicant ratings may increase, though none will decrease. New ratings go into effect on Oct. 1. Details here.


– The next instalment of the Indie Weekly online series is entitled Work Hard Playlist Hard. Set for Aug. 18 at 3 pm EST, it features an in-depth discussion with Mike Warner, author of a book of that title. He will show artists at any level can grow their audience on streaming services through profile enhancement, data analysis and creating value. Register here.

– Hamilton rock trio The Dirty Nil is about to announce details of a new album, Fuck Art, coming out later this year. A new track and video, Doom Boy, is out this week, and we'll bring you more info soon. 

– Jayward Artist Group is a Toronto-based management company and indie record label headed by Jill Snell and Tebey. It has announced the signing of PunkWithAnF, anchored by core members, writers/producers Poppa Champagne and Ill Corsaro. The group’s just-released track Peach Mango Pie (ft. Ryan Borges) was brought to JAG’s attention by friend/co-writer and member of Jayward’s pop duo RadioClub, Shawn Desman. Streaming links here.


– Fast-rising Juno-nominated singer/songwriter Storry is the featured artist in the next #dowellbyhamilton concert, produced by The Music Hall. Her 45-minute live-stream set is on Aug. 20, at 8 pm.

– Juno-nominated roots singer/songwriter Roxanne Potvin launched her new self-produced track Jump In with a Side Door Access live-stream show on Saturday. Check out the sun-kissed tune here.

– It has been a while since we've heard from fiery rock duo Partner, but word is now out of a planned Nov. 20 release for a second full-length album, Never Give Up, out via You've Changed Records. The band has just put out a double single, Hello and Welcome / Rock Is My Rock. 


– Matt Mays is returning to performing with three shows at Shore Club in Nova Scotia, Aug. 27-29. Covid-19 protocols will be followed closely, and these mean restricted attendance numbers. No individual tickets will be sold for these shows, but tables for six and 10 guests will be available, ranging from $492 to $920 (including tax and fees). That is certainly a major price hike from Mays' pre-plague shows at the venue, a trend likely to continue with other shows booked during this time. Source: The Coast

– On Sept. 2, at 1 pm EST, Music Managers Forum (MMF) Canada presents a webinar discussion around contracting for live and rescheduled events, covering force majeure clauses, common law defences to breach of contract due to impossibility, and IP and copyright issues pertaining to online/virtual performances and pre-recorded performances. The guest speaker is Paul Banwatt, an IP, entertainment and technology lawyer as well as an acclaimed musician (Rural Alberta Advantage). Tix (here) are free for members, $20 for non-members.

–Juno-nominated Toronto bluegrass group Slocan Ramblers has just received a coveted 2020 IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Award nomination, in the Momentum Band category. The band's most recent album, Queen City Jubilee, came out in 2018.

– Presented by CIMA and ADVANCE, the Breaking Down Racial Barriers series features 10 zoom roundtable discussions. The session tomorrow (Aug. 18) at 1 pm is entitled Anti-Black Racism in the Media & the Spaces that Create it. Register for the free event here.


Julian Bream, a renowned English classical guitarist and lute player, died on Aug. 14, at age 87. No cause of death has been reported.

The virtuoso musician performed globally during his heyday and was renowned for his recordings of new compositions and masterclasses. He won four Grammy Awards and received 20 nominations between 1960 and 1985.


A self-taught musician, Bream learned playing to radio dance bands with the lute his father bought from a sailor on London's Charing Cross Road in 1947. As a child prodigy, his early recitals led to him being "acknowledged as one of the most remarkable artists of the post-war era", according to the Royal Academy of Music.

Over the course of a long career, he became one of the most prolific and best-selling recording artists in classical music.

He was made an OBE in 1964 and a CBE in 1985. His repertoire included new works by composers including Benjamin Britten, Sir William Walton and Sir Michael Tippett.

Bream's passion for the Elizabethan lute resulted in him being given solo recitals in concert halls around the world, as well as programmes of poetry and music with the actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft.

During the 1960s, he also founded the Julian Bream Consort a period-instrument ensemble with Bream as lutenist, putting the instrument firmly back on centre stage.

In 2008, he set up The Julian Bream Trust to provide financial help for the less well-off, young and gifted music students, and to continue the work of commissioning new compositions for the guitar.


Bream told The Guardian in 2013 that he had to "renounce making music seriously" in 2011 after being knocked off his feet by a neighbour's dog while out walking. Sources: BBC News,  New York Times

Pete (Peter Frederick) Way, original UFO bassist and a founding member of Waysted and Fastway, died on Aug. 14, age 69, after sustained life-threatening injuries two months ago.

Way played in UFO from 1969 to 1982, briefly in 1988–1989, and once again from 1991 to 2008. As well as working with Waysted and Fastway, he also notably played with Michael Schenker Group and Ozzy Osbourne.

Way founded UFO in 1968 alongside high school friends Phil Mogg, Andy Parker and Mick Bolton, with guitarist Michael Schenker joining shortly after. The group released a string of successful albums with this line-up before Way departed the group in 1983 to briefly form Fastway with Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke - but left that project to play with Ozzy Osbourne on the Diary of a Madman tour.

Subsequently, Way formed Waysted alongside UFO keyboardist and guitarist Paul Raymond. That group released eight albums, its success peaking with third album Save Your Prayers. Way put the group on hold for much of the '90s to join the reformed UFO in 1992.

He was known for his love of the Fender P-Bass during UFO’s original tenure but later switched to Gibson and Epiphone Thunderbirds, citing a harder tone.

In the past decade, Way battled a number of health conditions, including prostate cancer in 2013, and a heart attack in 2016.

He had recently finished a solo album, Walking on the Edge, with Guns N’ Roses producer Mike Clink. Sources: Guitar WorldLouder Sound

Jin of BTS participates in the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay on July 14, 2024.
Courtesy Photo

Jin of BTS participates in the Paris 2024 Olympic Torch Relay on July 14, 2024.

Music News

BTS’ Jin Thanks ARMY For Support On 2024 Summer Olympics Torch Run Through Paris: ‘I Am Truly Grateful’

The singer took to the streets on Bastille Day on Sunday to participate in the historic ceremonial summer games ritual.

BTSJin has seen and done some amazing things during his band’s rocket ride to global fame over the past decade. But when he was tapped to be South Korea’s official representative in the Paris 2024 Olympic torch relay the 31-year-old K-pop star was beside himself with excitement.

“It was an honor to be part of such a meaningful moment. I was able to take on the honorable role of a torchbearer thanks to the support of ARMY (BTS’ official fandom),” Jin said in a statement after participating in the relay on Sunday (July 14), which also happened to be Bastille Day. “I am truly grateful. I was so nervous to the point of not knowing how the time passed, but I was able to do my best thanks to the many people on site who loudly cheered me on,” he continued of the thrill of taking part in the relay whose themes are “harmony” and “peace.”

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