Music News Digest, Jan. 20, 2022

Music PEI has announced details of PEI Music Week (featured), Celine Dion cancels North American dates, and Music NL hosts a fundraiser for music and mental health. Also in the news are Alicia Toner, Sled Island, Sudan Archives, Eleanor Collins, The Riot Police, Pleasure Craft, Roveena, APA, ShiftChange 2022, Hyghly Alleyne, Michael Posner, and farewell Karim Ouellet, Gérard Drouot, and Rachel Nagy.

Music News Digest, Jan. 20, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Music PEI has announced details of the programming for its PEI Music Week, planned for the first week of March. At this point in time, the organizers are hoping to go ahead with live, in-person events that comply with all CPHO regulations. Events begin on March 2 with a kick-off party at Baba’s Lounge Open Mic Night, hosted by Kinley. The popular SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Concert returns on March 3, featuring nominees Andrew Waite, Dylan Menzie, Dennis Ellsworth, Logan Richard, and Nathan Wiley.

On March 4, Diggin’ Deep Roots at the Guild includes nominees Alicia Toner, Jenna-Marie Gallant, Gordie “Crazylegs” MacKeeman, Shane Pendergast, and Scott MacKay, whiler the Trailside's  Red Dirt Rock show has performances by Arsenal Mills, Rick Sparkes + The Enablers, Wiley, and Negative J. Performing at events on March 5 are Brandon Howard Roy, Joce Reyome, Noah Malcolm, Kierrah, Hailey MacIssac, X-Plycit, BT FLW, Lizleo, and Vince the Messenger. The Week climaxes with the Music PEI Awards show, with performances by Toner, Waite, Menzie, Joce Reyome, and Richard. Tix and info here.


– Céline Dion won’t be resuming her anticipated Courage World Tour this March after all. A post on the singer’s website says the tour’s remaining North American shows have been cancelled as her recovery from “severe and persistent muscle spasms” takes longer than first hoped. Dion called off a slate of new Las Vegas show dates in Oct, due to this problem. Shows in four Canadian cities — Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver — are among 16 stops affected by the latest cancellations. The post said the Euro leg of the tour is still on, scheduled to resume in Birmingham, England, on May 25. Source: CP

– Music NL has announced Mind the Music: A Fundraiser for Music and Mental Health, an online concert supporting musicians and mental health taking place on Jan. 30 at 7 pm. The A-list lineup of regional talent includes Alan Doyle, Kellie Loder, Tim Baker, The Ennis Sisters, Shanneyganock, Mick Davis, Quote the Raven, The Navigators, Rube & Rake, The Once, and more. Donate here.


– Sled Island Music & Arts Festival has named Sudan Archives as the guest curator for this year's event, which takes place in CalgaryJune 22-26. Each year, Sled Island’s guest curator puts their stamp on the festival through special programming choices and their presence at the event. Violinist/vocalist Sudan Archives will perform on June 25. Fest passes are on sale here 

– Now 102-years-old, Vancouver jazz legend Eleanor Collins is being honoured with a commemorative stamp from Canada Post, a tribute to her long life as an artist, musician and mentor. An online unveiling ceremony happens tomorrow (Jan. 21) at 1 pm ET, and will feature Collins and guests including Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement. More info here.

– Since forming in Ottawa in 2007, indie rockers The Riot Police have released three full-length albums. They are now back on the beat with a strong new single, Get Up!  More info here 


– Toronto singer/songwriter/producer Pleasure Craft (Sam Lewis) has impressed with the advance tracks he has released from his upcoming debut album, Walls, Mirrors and Windows, one he describes as" a concept album that follows the character arc of the protagonist." Just out is the album's reflective fifth song, Dead Weight. More info here.

– The Atlantic Presenters Association (APA) has announced that its ShiftChange 2022 conference, sponsored by Side Door, is going virtual. It takes place Feb. 23-24 and March 2-3, from approx 1-3 pm each day. More info here

– Toronto photographer Hyghly Alleyne is a longtime friend of The Weeknd, and currently has the gig as Abel's official tour photographer. Together with online gallery Zilo Art, Alleyne has released a limited edition print collection of never-been-seen before photos from The Weeknd's sensational 2021 SuperBowl halftime performance. More info here .


– Canadian author Michael Posner is earning international attention for Leonard Cohen, Untold Stories, a three-volume exploration of the life and work of the bard of Montreal. Tonight (Jan. 20) at 7.30 pm ET, Posner is featured on a Zoom conversation about Cohen with York University's Dr. Lesley Simpson and Professor David S. Koffman. 

– The powerfully-voiced singer/songwriter Roveena has made a mark on YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify with her earlier material, including 2020's Fly, and recent seasonal cover Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Here's her latest track.


Karim Ouellet, a popular Quebec singer-songwriter Karim Ouellet, 37, was found dead in Quebec City on Jan. 17. He was 37. The Quebec coroner’s office is investigating the death.

Born in Dakar, Senegal, Ouellet was adopted by a Québec City couple. He made a name for himself in the mid-2000s, thanks to multiple collaborations with artists from the Limoilou district of the city –  including Claude Bégin, with whom he forged creative ties that led him to success. 

Ouellet broke through with his album Plume, released in 2011, followed by two other successful albums that were a mix of hip-hop, funk and folk-pop.

He won several awards in his career, including the 2014 Juno for Francophone Album of the Year for his second album, Fox. That release earned five ADISQ nominations, the Prix Félix-Leclerc (2013), and four Popular Music Awards at the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 SOCAN Galas in Montréal. The European stars M and Stromae also spotted his talent and offered him opening slots on their respective tours.


Quebec Premier François Legault issued a tweet Tuesday offering his condolences to Ouellet’s family, saying the “young artist brought a new style of music to Quebec.”

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted that he was saddened by the news of the singer’s death. Sources: CP, SOCAN


– Gérard Drouot, the respected independent concert promoter who brought artists such as Elton John, Ray Charles, and The Rolling Stones to France, has died, age 69, of leukemia.

Drouot began promoting concerts in 1973 while still a medical student and was soon bringing bands such as The Clash, Leonard Cohen, and Tangerine Dream to Reims, including staging shows in the city’s historic cathedral.

In 1977, he joined the Harry Lapp company as production director and played a key role in bringing international tours to the Strasbourg market. In 1986, Drouot launched Gérard Drouot Productions, his own concert company, and quickly impacted the French touring market. In addition to staging concerts by Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Elton John, and U2, among others, he oversaw programming for the Nice Jazz Festival for several years. Source: Celebrity Access

– Rachel Nagy, best known as the singer of the Michigan garage rock band the Detroit Cobras, died last week. No cause of death was given.


Detroit Cobra’s label Third Man Records paid tribute on Instagram, writing, “In both her voice and personality, Rachel Nagy was the perfect balance of tough badass and absolute sweetheart.”

One fan was Iggy Pop, who posted "I'm really sad to hear about Natalie passing away. She was and always will be the original Stoogeling and my first super fan. Love and respect."

With a sound fusing rock, soul, and R&B, the group was dubbed “Detroit’s most famous cover band." They were founded in 1994 by Nagy and guitarist Mary Ramirez, and released their debut album, Mink, Rat or Rabbit, in 1998, followed by Life, Love and Leaving three years later. Both LPs were solely comprised of 1960s cover songs, including pop hits and lesser-known soul songs. Source: Pitchfork

Courtesy of Vertigo Live



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