Music News Digest, Dec. 7, 2018

The Reklaws (pictured) announce a headlining tour, the Taverne Tour fest sports a strong lineup, and Tom Cochrane boosts Halifax's CFL bid. Others making news include Bruce Springsteen, Creative Manitoba, LyricFind, Taylor Swift, Unity Charity, Allan Rayman, 21C fest, Music Nova Scotia, the Niagara Jazz Festival, The Del Fi's, Buddy Guy, Friar’s Music Museum, Music PEI, ECMA, and farewell Pete Shelley.

Music News Digest, Dec. 7, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Award-winning country duo The Reklaws has announced their first headlining tour, Winter’s A Beach. Beginning in London, ON, on Feb. 25, it features eight dates in Ontario and Quebec, and features Jade Eagleson and East Adelaide as support acts. Tix on sale today (Dec. 7). It has been a big year for the sibling duo. The Reklaws won the SiriusXM Rising Star at the CCMAs, and their single "Long Live The Night" achieved Gold certification and was selected as the theme song for Thursday Night Football on TSN.

– Montreal's musical mid-winter will be enlivened by the Taverne Tour. In its fourth year, this fest takes over Mont-Royal Avenue bars, presenting over 50 acts in 20 venues, Jan. 31-Feb. 2. The mix of local and imported artists includes Metz, Frigs, Absolutely Free, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Laura Sauvage, Klaus, Bloodshot Bill, The High Dials, Lydia Képinski, Yonatan Gat & the Eastern Medicine Singers, Big Business, Daddy Long Legs, The Televisionaries, New York Night Train, and more. Details here


– Creative Manitoba hosts a holiday party today (Dec. 7) at its Winnipeg office (4th floor, 245 McDermot Avenue) from 5-9 pm. Donations accepted for Winnipeg Harvest.

– "Big League" is a sports-themed anthem by Tom Cochrane, and the rocker is now attempting to help Halifax land in the CFL big league. CP reports that the group trying to land a CFL franchise for the city has confirmed Cochrane's intention to invest in the newly named Atlantic Schooners. He has been a long-time friend of Bruce Bowser, one of the group’s founding partners. The drive to land a team cleared a major hurdle in October after Halifax Regional Council directed city staff to do a business case analysis of the group’s stadium proposal.

– Rumours that Bruce Springsteen was planning to tour with the E Street Band next year have been quelled. In a Twitter post, the Boss stated " While we hope to be back with you soon, the E Street Band won’t be touring in 2019. Before I go back to my day job, the year will be consumed with a break after our Broadway run and various recording projects I’ve been working on." Source: Rolling Stone


– Described as the world’s leader in licensed lyrics, Toronto-based LyricFind has just announced the Top 20 Lyric Searches of 2018. Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” rules, topping the list of most-viewed lyrics globally for the year. Camila Cabello’s “Havana” and Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” coming in second and third, respectively. Drake's "In My Feelings" placed at No. 10.

– Unity Charity presents the 2nd Annual Hip Hop Charity Party on Jan. 17 at Revival in Toronto.  The fundraiser features local hip-hop artists and a DJ soundclash battle, with all proceeds going to Unity’s arts education and mental health programs. Hosted by Phade and Keysha Freshh, the show features Nathan Baya, Realije, and Rebels De La Soul, with soundclash rivals being DJs WAVGODS, Abs & Cheffy, Ace Dillinger & Karim Olen Ash, Andy BBad & M4RS, and Berma & DJ Lewy V. Tix here


– Enigmatic Canadian singer/songwriter Allan Rayman begins a seven-date tour of Europe, England and Ireland with a show in Wien, Austria, tonight (Dec. 7). He's promoting his recently-released album, Harry Hard-On (Polydor UK/ Universal Music Canada). Here's a video for "Crush," his new single.

– Music Nova Scotia is designing a new Basic Training Professional Development Program and is soliciting input. E-mail with any suggestions.

– The #21CMusic Festival is recognised as one of Canada's premier new music events. The sixth annual edition comes to Koerner Hall and other Toronto venues, Jan. 16-20. A highlight promises to be its celebration of American minimalist composer Terry Riley, with his music being performed in three of the concerts. More than a half of the works presented during the festival will be receiving premieres Check the lineup here


– Applications for Alberta Culture and Tourism’s new Artist in Residence program have a Dec. 10 deadline. Artists (including musicians) are encouraged to apply for this grant, worth up to $75K, for a one-year term. 

– The TD Niagara Jazz Festival's recent third annual Jazz Big Band Fundraiser, headlined by Alex Pangman, raised more than $10K. Proceeds will be divided between a Pulmonary Rehab Program at St. Catharines General Hospital and production costs for the non-profit fest's many free community events.

– The Del Fi's is a side project for Toronto roots singer/songwriter Jerry Leger, one a little more rock 'n roll in nature. Their second album, Residuals, comes out today, and the band plays The Cameron House in Toronto on Dec. 12 and 19. Recommended. Here's a new track.

– Blues master Buddy Guy, still going strong at 82, will be honoured this weekend, as part of the unveiling of a historical marker along the Mississippi Blues Trail. On Saturday, his hometown parish of Pointe Coupee, Louisiana, will proclaim Dec. 8 as Buddy Guy Day. Louisiana Highway 418 in Lettsworth will become Buddy Guy Way.

– The Friar’s Music Museum set up by the Downtown Yonge BIA has helped earn the org a Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas - TABIA Creative Solutions Award. Dedicated to the rich music history of Toronto's Yonge Street strip, the Museum is located in a Shoppers Drug Mart store that previously housed Friar's Tavern and The Hard Rock Cafe. Its official opening this week attracted members of Mandala, the Cougars, Jon and Lee & the Checkmates, Cathy Young, Grant Smith & the Power, Jay Jackson, Goddo, record retailers from the strip, and Duff Roman.


– This evening (Dec. 7) at The King Eddy in Calgary, Canada’s Music Incubator and the National Music Centre present the #AEWest Artist Showcase featuring 12 artists of all genres from across Western Canada, each performing two songs. Admission is free.

– Music PEI and East Coast Music Association (ECMA) have announced a new partnership between ECMA 2019 and Music PEI’s Canadian Song Conference. These two events team up to present a songwriting stream during the ECMA Conference taking place in Charlottetown, PEI from May 1-5. More info here


Pete Shelley (born Peter Campbell McNeish), lead singer of English punk band Buzzcocks, died on Dec. 6, of a suspected heart attack aged 63.

“It’s with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK’s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks,” his bandmates said on Thursday evening. “Pete’s music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world.”


Shelley formed Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto after the two met at the Bolton Institute of Technology in 1975 and subsequently travelled to High Wycombe, near London, to see the Sex Pistols. Buzzcocks debuted in 1976 in Manchester, opening for the Sex Pistols.

In 1977 Buzzcocks released their first EP, Spiral Scratch, on their independent label, New Hormones. When Devoto left the group in February 1977, Shelley took over as the lead vocalist and chief songwriter. Working with the producer Martin Rushent, the band went on to create the punk/new wave singles "Orgasm Addict", "What Do I Get?", and "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)", along with three LPs: Another Music in a Different Kitchen(1978), Love Bites (1978), and A Different Kind of Tension (1979). Difficulties with their record company and a dispute with Virgin Publishing over the UK release of their greatest hits record, Singles Going Steady, brought the band to a halt in 1981.

In 1981 Shelley released his first solo single, the song "Homosapien", again produced by Rushent, and featuring an electro-pop sound. Banned by the BBC, it fared well in North America. An album of the same name came out in 1982, followed by XL1 the following year, and Heaven and the Sea in 1986.

Buzzcocks reunited in 1989 and released a new full-length album, Trade Test Transmissions, in 1993. They continued to tour and record, their most recent release being The Way in 2014.

Shelley's peers were quick to express condolences, including Neil Gaiman, Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Tim Burgess (The Charlatans), Peter Hook (Joy Division), Captain Sensible (The Damned), Billy Corgan, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Edgar Wright, Pearl Jam, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills, Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, and Tracey Thorn. Sources: The Guardian, Wikipedia, Pitchfork

Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


Fresh Sounds Canada: New Songs from Jayda G, Claudia Bouvette and More

This week's discovery roundup of new Canadian songs also includes Indigenous songwriter Celeigh Cardinal and Quebec acts KROY and Mon Doux Saigneur.

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.

Jayda G, “If We Only Knew”

keep readingShow less