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FYI

Music News Digest, Aug. 25, 2022

The lineup for the 2022 CCMA Awards is set, Alex Lifeson (pictured) boosts Nashville music therapy programs, and punk legend Art Bergmann is the subject of a new biography. Also in the news are Small World Music, MNS Artist in Residence, Cheech & Chong, RHCP, MMF Canada, London Local Series, Teon Gibbs, Linda McLean, Barenaked Ladies, Art d'Ecco, Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq, Jadea Kelly, Allison Russell, Michael Kaeshammer, and Kyp Harness.

Music News Digest, Aug. 25, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Awards


Late last week the Canadian Country Music Association announced its final list of performers for the 2022 CCMA Awards presented by TD. Joining the roster of performers are James Barker Band, Gord Bamford, Dax, Lindsay Ell, Tim Hicks, JoJo Mason, Tyler Joe Miller, Jess Moskaluke, Meghan Patrick, SACHA, and Bailey Zimmerman. This adds to the already announced Jade Eagleson, High Valley, Brett Kissel ft. 98°, MacKenzie Porter, Dallas Smith and Tenille Townes, all of whom will take to the stage at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome on Sept. 11 for the 40th anniversary celebration of the CCMA Awards. Just named as co-show hosts today (Aug. 25) are Townes and Blanco Brown.

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– Variety reports that famed stoner comedy duo Cheech & Chong will be on hand at this Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards to present the Red Hot Chili Peppers with the Global Icon Award. The band will also perform live at the 2022 MTV VMAs, which air  at 8 pm ET/PT from Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. 

Festivals

–  Small World Music (SWM) is closing out its 25th anniversary celebration with a free outdoor music jam – the 2022 Small World Music Festival - at Fort York Garrison Common in Toronto, Sept. 16-18. Check out the official announcement here:  https://bit.ly/3c74QKV. Over three days, audiences will experience over 20 performances across two stages, featuring acclaimed international artists (France/Venezuela, Pakistan, Argentina) and celebrated artists from across Ontario (including Polaris shortlisters Pantayo) and Quebec. Check out the lineup here.

Industry news

– Music Nova Scotia (MNS) has named the top five acts vying for the MNS Artist in Residence program as Advocates of Truth, Jody Upshaw, Shay Pitts, The Gilberts, and Yohvn Blvck. These artists will perform for the grand prize at the Grand Oasis Stage (7-10 pm) in Halifax, on Sept. 9. Those supporting the event include Canada’s Music Incubator. The program aims to provide a local emerging musician or group with financial and professional assistance to develop their career, with the selected act receiving $20K. Get your free pass here. Public voting will happen in person during the event. 

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– Last week, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, the Gibson team, and reps from Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Room in The Inn, gathered for a special event at the Gibson Garage in Nashville.  Lifeson and Gibson Gives--Gibson’s purpose-driven philanthropic arm—donated funds directly to two local organizations that offer music therapy programs to the people of Nashville:  Monroe Carell and Room In The Inn. Lifeson is donating both current and ongoing music royalties from the sales of his recent signature Epiphone Les Paul Axcess guitar, and Gibson Gives is donating funds directly to each charity. Pictured in the photo above: (L-R): Alex Lifeson, Dr. John Thomas (Chief of Staff at Monroe Carell Jr.), James "JC" Curleigh (President and CEO, Gibson Brands), Pete Rogers (Head Equipment Manager, Nashville Predators). Photo credit: Gibson.

–  A genuine Canadian punk rock legend for five decades, Art Bergmann is receiving the biography treatment. Published by Anvil Press on Sept. 30, The Longest Suicide: The Authorized Biography of Art Bergmann is described as covering Bergmann's days "helping to lay the foundation of the Vancouver punk scene with the K-Tels, to his acclaimed solo work in the '80s and '90s, and a late-career resurgence that has culminated with being named to the Order of Canada." The Longest Suicide is written by music scribe, author, and former FYI contributor Jason Schneider, with a foreword by Michael Turner — one of Bergmann's Vancouver punk contemporaries and the author of Hard Core Logo. We're eager to read this one.

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– MMF Canada has named the nominees seeking to join the 2022 board. Check out the list here.

– On Sept 15 at London, ON venue Rum Runners, Indie Week presents the London Local Series. This free show (all ages & licensed) is the first of a three-part series promoting a new multi-venue music festival called VENUExVENUE, coming in Nov. 2023. Performing on the night are Softcult, Basic White, Bella Rosa, The Pairs, and Jordan Macdonald (Texas King). 

– BC-based artist Teon Gibbs (originally from Botswana) has announced the launch of his new label, 100 Collective Records. He has been active in creating opportunities for BIPOC creatives through his initiative the 100 Collective, with the label being a new component. “I've always felt like there's a gap in industry infrastructure in Western Canada, especially when it comes to Black music,” says Gibbs. “That needs to change! With the network I've built up over the years I think it only makes sense to re-invest and start something special where artists can develop and shine." 

– East Coast-based singer/songwriter Linda McLean heads back to Ontario next month to head up a Women's Music Weekend event, on Sept. 9 and 10. She joins Jane Lewis and Katherine Wheatley for a Friday night concert in Guelph, followed the next day with an intensive series of creative workshops, 9 am to 5 pm. Register here

Artists news

– A single line of dialogue pertaining to the Barenaked Ladies’ hit song One Week became the entire premise of The Wellness Center episode of the third season of critically-acclaimed TV series What We Do In The Shadows, exec producer/writer Stefani Robinson recently revealed in Variety‘s Making A Scene. “The Barenaked Ladies song was just a line of dialogue that I had thrown in for Nandor in one of the early drafts,” Robinson said about the song. “And then the more that we rewrote it, it became sort of a bigger joke, and eventually became, ‘Well, yeah, we should just get this song and do it.'” Director Yana Gorskaya cited the 1985 movie Perfect as a deep inspiration for directing The Wellness Center and its '80s-inspired scenes. Read more in the Variety feature

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– Canadian glam rocker and producer Art d'Ecco is making moves across the pond. Next month, he will support Hot Chip for their London show at 02 Brixton Academy, then play six European dates with Blossoms throughout Sept. and Oct. All dates are on sale now and available here.  D'Ecco's EU/UK agent is one of the world's leading independent booking agencies, 13 Artists. Tomorrow (Aug. 26), he opens for Franz Ferdinand in Vancouver at the Orpheum. Art is on at 8 pm. Here's a cut from his current album, After The Head Rush, out on Paper Bag Records.

– Created and hosted by Lido Pimienta, the Polaris Music Prize-winning Colombian-Canadian artist and musician, LIDO TV is described as "a variety show with a mission: to help people cope in a world that feels like it’s falling apart." Directed by Maya Annik Bedward, it is launched with a world premiere slot at TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) next month. 

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– Another Polaris Prize winner, Tanya Tagaq, also has a world premiere appearance at TIFF. Ever Deadly is a feature-length documentary film profile written and directed by Tagaq herself in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Chelsea McMullan (My Prairie Home), and produced by the NFB. Press material states that "Weaving live concert footage with sequences filmed on location in Nunavut and animation by celebrated graphic artist Shuvinai Ashoona, RCA, Ever Deadly explores stories of pain and triumph through the expressions of Tagaq." More info here.

 –Now spending much of her time in LA, rootsy singer/songwriter Jadea Kelly has a hometown Toronto show set for Revival on Sept. 30, with opener Ryan O’Reilly. Presented by Hugh's Room Live, with tix here.

–Montreal roots music darling Allison Russell has shared the new single You're Not Alone, featuring Brandi Carlile. Written and produced by Russell, You’re Not Alone originally appeared on Our Native Daughters’ acclaimed 2019 debut album. Russell will join Carlile on several tour dates throughout the summer and fall. Both artists recently performed with Joni Mitchell at her historic Newport Folk Festival set.

– Internationally-acclaimed BC pianist, singer, and songwriter Michael Kaeshammer has announced an extensive coast-to-coast Canadian tour to close out 2022. The five-week, 24-date trek begins Nov. 9th in Pictou, Nova Scotia, finishing with two shows in Sidney, BC, Dec. 5 and 6. Expect a mix of fan favourites and previews of new material from an upcoming album. Full itinerary here.

 Prolific and respected Toronto singer/songwriter Kyp Harness is readying the release of a new album, Poverty Line, out on Sept. 9. A third advance single, Enuff 2Nite, features vocalist and local legend Mary Margaret O'Hara.

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Beyoncé

Beyoncé

FYI

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Beyoncé Country Hit A Win For Canadian Songwriters

Also in this week's roundup of industry news: Kayla Diamond launches her own boutique imprint, SOCAN names an ombudsman, and time's running out for noms for this year's Rosalie Award honouring trailblazing women in broadcasting.

Beyoncé becomes the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em” and it has gone to No. 1 on iTunes in 14 different countries and counting. There are some surprising connections. The song is co-written and co-produced by Ontario-born writer/producer Nathan Ferraro, whose previous collaborations include working with Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bear Mountain, RALPH, Shawn Hook, Alyssa Reid, Jessie Reyez, Lowell and Tyler Shaw.

In fact, the song has deep Canadian origins. Two other Canadian songwriters participated in this runaway hit: Megan Bülow (who records and performs as bülow) as and Elizabeth "Lowell" Boland (a.k.a. Lowell), with Ferraro co-producing the track with Killah B and Beyoncé.

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