Music News Digest, Jan. 22, 2020

Ren (pictured) is tipped as the next big thing, Corey Hart and Jim Cuddy  join forces on First Rodeo, and rumours swirl around a Triumph reunion. Also in the news are Northern Cree,  DJ Spex da Boss, Marc Hall, Radiohead, Kris Davis, Alanis Morissette, CMA International Awards, Gordie Tentrees, Phoenix Music Executive Development Program, Queen, Courage My Love, and farewell Jimmy Heath.

Music News Digest, Jan. 22, 2020

By FYI Staff

Corey Hart and Jim Cuddy have joined forces on First Rodeo, a bluesy new single from Hart’s Dreaming Time Again EP.  The song is heralded by a music video directed by the Oscar-nominated Toronto animation duo Josh Raskin & Justin Broadbent.  The song is produced by Bob Ezrin.

Hart says of the single, “First Rodeo is reflecting back upon my music career and reconciling how you really gotta walk a million miles to finally appreciate the beast and the beauty of it all. You can’t sing about the ride until you’ve been through it.”  He goes on, “Nothing so good that it can’t be broken - nothin’ so bad that you can’t fix it up “


Ultimate Classic Rock adds to the whispers that have been going around since Triumph’s Walk Of Fame induction last fall that a final reunion album has been discussed by band members, and it's Mike Levine who is adding oxygen to the possibility. The trio’s final album of record was Edge of Excess, in 1992. Real or imagined, a burst of nostalgia for the pyro trio will rekindle with the release of a Banger Films doc later this year, and a Mike Clink-produced tribute album featuring a bombast of big-ticket players covering band classics (and possibly including Rik, Gil and Mike re-convening with him in the studio to record one track).

– Alberta indigenous singing group Northern Cree is running zero for eight on Grammy wins, but the 17-person act is back in the running with a ninth nom this year. CP’s David Friend has the story and it includes a few surprising facts…and chuckles.

– Prominent Toronto Rub-a-Dub and Dancehall DJ Spex da Boss is to be featured spinning and scratchin’ at an all-star Jamaican reggae summit, Feb 13-16. Shaggy headlines the event. You can listen and find out more about Spex on his website.


The Louder We Get tells the story of Marc Hall’s legal battle to bring his boyfriend to his Ontario high-school prom in 2002. He won that fight and now a musical showing at Theatre Calgary tells Hall’s story and it’s bound for Broadway, with director Lonny Price and new investment in the show.

— Congrats to occasional FYI contributor Ken Kelley on joining the C103 Moncton on-air team on a part-time basis.

Radiohead has its own digital public library of the band’s archive that offers a collection of information and media.

— Want to hear a collection of dark, mysterious and experimental Icelandic music? The Reykjavik Grapevine has collated videos to plug their annual ‘best of’ Icelandic music for just this purpose.

NPR’s annual jazz critics poll has named Kris Davis, a 40-year-old Canadian-born pianist whose self-released Diatom Ribbons was this year's surprise winner, by a healthy margin over the reconstituted Art Ensemble of Chicago's We Are on The Edge.

Alanis Morissette joins Crowded House, Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz, Patti Smith, Buffy Sainte-Marie, John Butler, the Cat Empire, Ani DiFranco, Johns’ Prine and Mayall, George Benson and others at Bluesfest in Byron Bay, Australia, April 9-13. It’s expected her marquee billing precedes further dates in kangaroo country.


– The CMA has announced the nominees for 2020’s CMA International Awards, and there's a strong Canadian component. Publicist Tiffany Astle (penelopePR) is one of four candidates for the Wesley Rose International Media Achievement Award, and Paul Ferguson (Cool 100.1 & 99.5 Hits FM) and Amanda Kingsland (Rogers Communications) are both up for the International Country Broadcaster Award. Rounding out the list is the James Barker Band, up for the Jeff Walker Global Country Arts award.


–Whitehorse storyteller and multi-instrumentalist Gordie Tentrees is currently on a 15-date New Zealand tour that includes an appearance at the Auckland Folk Festival this weekend. He’s plugging his most recent album, Grit, recorded with Winnipegger Jaxon Haldane.

— The well-received Phoenix Music Executive Development Program will be offered twice in 2020..The first edition begins in Alberta in April, the second in Québec in August. The program will be presented by Alberta Music and Fondation Musicaction respectively and is funded by FACTOR, Fondation Musicaction, and the Government of Canada. Applications for both editions are now open, until Feb. 28. Business owners and senior executives operating music management companies, independent labels, integrated music businesses or offering label services are encouraged to apply. Application form and further info available HERE.  

— It's common to see the Queen on coins or banknotes, but now Queen, the band, gets its turn. The UK Royal Mint has announced that Queen will be celebrated with a commemorative coin collection, the first time a British band has been featured on UK coinage. Available now, the design is the first in The Royal Mint’s new ‘Music Legends’ collection.

— Toronto rockers Courage My Love take on toxic masculinity with a brand new song, Girls. The band has also announced a six-date March Ontario and Quebec tour with James Blonde and has released a new episode of their Homeskool Detention Podcast. 


Jimmy Heath, the US jazz performer and composer whose career spanned seven decades, has died of natural causes aged 93.

Beginning in the 1940s, Heath played with jazz orchestras and was a key part of the generation of players who bridged the classic big-band style with the more exploratory and freeform mode of bebop.

He played in groups under Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, JJ Johnson and more, while John Coltrane and Benny Golson played in the small orchestra that Heath formed. He became an arranger for artists including Ray Charles, and his compositions were played by stars including Chet Baker.


He later formed a fusion band, the Heath Brothers, with his brothers Percy and Tootie, and founded the jazz programme at New York’s Queens College. In 2003, he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment of the Arts. Source: TheGuardian 

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Courtesy NFB

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This week also brings Canadian music news from the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame, the Forest City London Music Awards, and a key member departs Juno-winning hard rock band Monster Truck.

Internationally acclaimed classical violinist Adrian Anantawan and multi-platinum selling guitarist and songwriter for Platinum Blonde, Sergio Galli, will be inducted into the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame as part of this year’s Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz Festival. The Induction Ceremony will take place on September 8 at 11:00 am at Memorial Park’s Gazebo Stage in Port Credit, Ontario and the public is welcome to join the festivities.

Established in 2012, the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame has previously inducted Oscar Peterson, Gil Moore and Rik Emmett of Triumph, Ronnie Hawkins, Tommy Hunter, Denny Doherty of the Mamas and Papas, Jeff Healey, Phil X of Bon Jovi, Liberty Silver, Alessia Cara and many more.

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