Music News Digest, Jan. 25, 2019
The star-studded The Spirit of John benefit honours John Mann (pictured), and the Alberta Country Music Awards are ready to roll. Also in the news are Richard Gottehrer, Gordon Lightfoot, Whiskey Jack, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival, Roxodus Music Fest, Bryan Adams, Creative Manitoba, and farewell Oliver Mtukudzi. Videos added for your enjoyment.
By Kerry Doole
The Spirit of John benefit for The Alzheimer Society Music Project has been announced. The star-studded list of performers joining Spirit Of The West onstage at The Phoenix in Toronto on Jan. 31 includes Jim Cuddy, Royal Wood, Andrew Cash, Josh and Andy from Skydiggers, Chris Tait (Chalk Circle), Dayna Manning, Jessica Mitchell, Danny Greaves (The Watchmen), Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath), and Dustin Bentall. The annual fundraiser was inspired by SOTW singer John Mann's battle with early onset Alzheimer's. Tix here
– Just ahead of the Folk Alliance International conference launching in Montreal, FAI has announced New Orleans as the (far warmer) 2020 host city. The event will run Jan. 22-26 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on Canal Street.
– The eighth annual Alberta Country Music Awards, hosted by Aaron Goodvin, take place Sunday evening at a ticketed gala at the Sheraton Hotel in Red Deer. A full weekend of country music starts Saturday with round table discussions, industry seminars and the songwriters series on Saturday, followed by the 2019 Industry Awards and Kick-Off Party that evening. Source: Red Deer Advocate
– The Music Business Association (Music Biz) has announced Richard Gottehrer, co-founder of independent distributor The Orchard, as the recipient of its 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award. Gottehrer has made a mark as a songwriter ("My Boyfriend's Back"), producer ("Hang on Sloopy," The Go-Gos and much more), performer (The Strangeloves), entrepreneur, and executive. He co-founded Sire Records with Seymour Stein, and digital distribution platform The Orchard in 1997. He receives the honour at the Music Biz 2019 Conference's Awards & Hall of Fame Dinner on May 7 in Nashville.
– Gordon Lightfoot heads the list of musical guests joining Duncan Fremlin and his band Whiskey Jack at Zoomer Hall in Toronto on Jan. 31 to celebrate what would have been Stompin’ TomConnors' 82nd birthday. Zoomer Radio will broadcast the concert live on AM740 and 96.7FM in downtown Toronto, and stream the concert at ZoomerRadio.ca. Robbie Lane hosts the celebratory concert, with other guests including The Good Brothers and Murray Foster (Moxy Fruvous, Great Big Sea). Tix here.
– The 17th Annual Winterfolk Blues and Roots Festival in Toronto runs Feb. 22-24, featuring over 100 artists on five stages. The lineup includes Donné Roberts, Jack de Keyzer, Gary Kendall Band, Mose Scarlett, Moscow Apartment, James Gordon, Ken Whiteley, Danny Marks, Brian Blain, Tony Quarrington, Noah Zacharin, Tragedy Ann, Ori Dagan, Chloe Watkinson, Ken Yoshioka, and Jon Brooks. A full sked here
– The classic rock-themed Roxodus Music Fest has added Billy Idol and Blondie to its lineup. They join Kid Rock, Nickelback, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, and Cheap Trick during the three-day concert series running July 11-13, at Edenvale, ON. Visit here for tix info.
– Creative Manitoba is bidding farewell to Education Director Carol Finlay after 12 years. She's moving on to become the Executive Director of Artbeat Studio. A goodbye send-off takes place at Creative Manitoba's offices in Winnipeg on Jan. 30, from 4-6 pm.
– The Canadian Music Publishers Association has announced its Women in the Studio program for 2019. This year it offers curated production-related opportunities and experiences to five women producer-songwriters. Applications must be submitted here, and the deadline is Feb. 10.
– Bryan Adams' concert at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax on Wednesday is one local fan Will Guthro will never forget. He attended the show with a sign asking "Bryan: Can I please play guitar on Summer of '69?", and the Canadian rock star granted Guthro's wish. Just before launching into that anthem, Adams requested that the "guitar guy" come to the stage. Guthro responded, strapped on a Gibson, and joined the band to perform the song. Source: CBC News
Oliver Mtukudzi, one of Zimbabwe's most celebrated musicians, died on Jan. 23 of an undisclosed ailment, at age 66.
Popularly known as "Tuku" by his fans, Mtukudzi had been successfully performing for decades throughout Africa, as well as in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
Born into a musical family, in 1952, his foot-stomping music has been described as a mixture of Zimbabwean pop style "jit" and South African township pop. Through his distinct sound and inspiring lyrics, he documented the joy and pain of his countrymen who fought for freedom under colonial rule and died for democracy after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.
The musician had more than 60 albums under his belt. Source: CNN