Music News Digest, Aug. 5, 2021

Quebec country duo Five Roses (pictured) signs to MDM, Walk Off The Earth to live up to its name, and Alex Henry Foster buys a hotel in Tangier. Also in the news are METZ, City and Colour, The MOMI Conference, Lytton benefit, Crow’s Theatre, Mills Hardware, Ken Yates, Creative Manitoba, Metalworks, and farewell Paul Cotton and Alan Lewis.

Music News Digest, Aug. 5, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Quebec country duo Five Roses has announced it has signed to Toronto-based label MDM Recordings. On Aug. 27, the duo (Jade Godin and Zach Ouimet) will release a new single, Might As Well Be Me, produced by Danick Dupelle (Emerson Drive, Matt Lang, Tyler Joe Miller). Five Roses will be co-managed by MDM’s Mike Denney and Muse Creative Management’s Casadie Pederson. In a press release, Denney states, “Jade and Zach are a breath of fresh air in the Canadian country music scene, and the combination of their vocals and vibe they bring to their songs is unmatched. Quebec is also a unique and growing market for country music in Canada, and we look forward to breaking some new ground with our team in the province."


– Ontario pop hitmakers Walk Off the Earth are about to live up to their name. The group is partnering with Amazon Music for a performance from atop Toronto’s famed CN Tower to be live-streamed on Amazon’s Twitch channel on Aug. 9 at 6 pm PT/9 pm EDT. The show will include singing out on the EdgeWalk, 1200 feet in the sky. This live-stream marks the first performance of the band’s just released sixth studio album, Meet You There. WOTE also recently named Scott Helman and Carys as support acts for its Sept. 18 Hometown Hullabaloo concert at Toronto's Budweiser Stage.

– Toronto hard rock favourite METZ's Live at the Opera House album is now out digitally, via Royal Mountain Records and Sub Pop, with a vinyl version to follow on Nov. 5. The release captures a hometown performance in Oct. 2020, and features the band's most recent album, Atlas Vending, in its entirety. METZ plays North American dates (including 8 Canadian shows) this winter, followed by Europe and the UK jaunts in the spring. Itinerary here


– The mission of The MOMI Conference and Showcase is to empower and educate artists and music industry professionals on ways to monetize music in the new media economy. The two-day online event runs Aug. 10-11. Register here

– Popular Quebec rock auteur Alex Henry Foster is the new owner of La Maison de Tanger, a prestigious boutique hotels in Tangier, Morocco. That is the city where Foster wrote his Billboard top-charting debut album Windows in the Sky, following a period of "emotional detox" after the loss of his father. Tangier has previously hosted such creative giants as Kerouac, Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, and Paul Bowles.


– 2 Rivers Remix Society (2RMX) announces We Are Still Here! -Q‘emcin/Lytton Edition – a live-streaming concert spirit/fund/raiser to support evacuees from the devastating Lytton/‘Q‘emcin Fire in BC. It runs on Aug. 7, 2-8 pm PT, and the live-streaming internet audience will be asked to donate in support of all Nlaka’pamux/Lytton Area Evacuees. Donations are taken here. Hosted by Kevin Loring, Governor General Award-winning Nlaka’pamux playwright, the event features headliners Ritchie and the Fendermen and Indigenous artists from many genres: hip hop, rock, Indigi-funk, blues, folk, and reggae. More info here 


– The musical entertainment at Toronto's Crow’s Theatre Lobby Bar continues in Aug. with top-notch local artists playing Thurs-Sat. On tap are Raha Javanfar & Fraser Melvin, Brooke Blackburn, and Blue Standard. The series is supported by The Slaight Family Foundation

– Good to see leading Hamilton club venue Mills Hardware booking shows again. A cancelled Dec. 3, 2020 show pairing ace roots' singer/songwriters Ken Yates and Abigail Lapell has now been rescheduled to this coming Dec. 3. Tix here.

– Creative Manitoba is presentingCareers in the Arts Youth and Young Adult Mentorship program. Open to residents of Winnipeg age 19-29, it allows the mentee to choose a professional mentor from their artistic discipline to pair with for 7 months (October - May) while also connecting across disciplines with all pairs in the program. Application deadline is Aug. 13. More info here.


– City and Colour (aka Dallas Green) has announced the support acts for shows on his major Canadian solo tour in Nov. and Dec. The list comprises Ben Rogers, Marin Patenaude, Spencer Burton, Ruby Waters, Dooms Children, Edwin Raphael, and Chastity. Itinerary here.

– Mississauga Arts Council and the famed Metalworks Studios are jointly sponsoring the first 'Sauga's Summer Songwriting Contest. The winner, to be named at the Mississauga Music Awards on Sept. 25, receives a recording and mixing session at the studio. Deadline to apply here is Aug. 23


Paul Cotton, former guitarist and co-leader of country rock band Poco, has died, at age 78.

Born in Alabama and raised in Chicago, Cotton formed rock group Illinois Speed Press in 1965, before joining Poco in 1970. Following the departure of frontman Richie Furay in 1973, Cotton became co-leader of Poco with singer/pedal steel player Rusty Young, who passed away earlier this year.

Cotton remained a member of Poco until 1987, appearing on 14 of the group's studio albums, and penning hits including Heart of the Night, which reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. In 1987, Cotton left Poco, but rejoined the band four years later in 1991, continuing to play with them until 2010.

As a solo artist, Cotton released five studio albums: Changing Horses (1990), Firebird (2001), When the Coast Is Clear (2004), Sunset Kidd (2007) and 100% Paul Cotton (2014). Source: Guitar World

– Alan Lewis, a British music journalist who founded the weekly rock and metal magazine Kerrang! and served as a longtime editor at New Musical Express, died in late June, age 75. He was suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease at the time of his death.


Lewis began his career in music journalism at UK weekly Melody Maker in 1969. He went on to launch several music publications of his own, including Black Music and Kerrang!, and served as editor at Sounds, Vox, and NME.

In 1994, he oversaw the launch of the entertainment magazine Uncut, serving as editor-in-chief of the publication, which covered music, movies, television, and books. In 1997, Lewis was presented with a lifetime achievement award by the British Society of Magazine Editors. He subsequently became editor of the British music monthly Record Collector from 2003 until he announced his retirement in 2011. Sources: Celebrity Access,NME

Lana Del Rey performs on "Christmas in Graceland"
Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Lana Del Rey performs on "Christmas in Graceland"


Yes, Lana Del Rey’s Headlining Coachella Set Was Perplexing — And Profound

The iconic artist's night one headlining set included a guest appearance from Billie Eilish, a hologram of herself and so much more.

Not only did Lana Del Rey start her Coachella headlining set early, but her entry was epic.

On Friday, April 12, at 11:16 p.m. the festival main stage screens showed an aerial view of Del Rey and her entourage rapidly approaching. As she neared, it became clear her crew was not rolling up on the expected golf carts that often shuttle stars around the Indio, Calif. fest, but rather motorcycles. And as a snippet of her never-to-be-officially-released song “Jealous Girl” played – with the lyric “Baby, I’m a gangster too” on loop – Del Rey’s motorcade took a lap through the crowd as she smiled and waved to the thousands of fans gathered for this very moment.

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