Music News Digest, July 13, 2018
The annual Radio & Records Party was a feel-good success, Lights covers Drake, and Babyface heads north. Also in the news are Joel Plaskett, BreakOut West, Contact East, Cadillac Bill, an Annapolis benefit, Folk Alliance, and a farewell to Ken Morris and Henry Butler.
By Kerry Doole
– In the "that was quick" category, Canadian pop songstress Lights has recorded an entire album of Drake covers, specifically, Side B of his blockbuster new album, Scorpion. On Twitter, Lights announced "Because I’ve been feeling extra since Scorpion came out i decided to cover the ENTIRE SIDE B. produced, engineered, performed by me. 13 songs. Pour up a glass and listen."
– 11-time Grammy Award winner Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds is a US producer/songwriter who has worked with such stars as OutKast, Whitney Houston, Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars. He heads up the Discovery Song Camp in Toronto from Sept. 24-28, an event presented by Good Vibes, a company co-founded by Edmonds and Jason Murray, President of Black Box Music. Interested songwriters and producers can apply here. Deadline is Sept. 2.
– On Wednesday, popular East Coast rocker Joel Plaskett helped launch the Sun Life Financial Musical Instrument Lending Libraryprogram, one that will allow Halifax residents to borrow instruments. Plaskett performed at a branch of the Halifax Public Library in Dartmouth. The initiative already operates in eight other Canadian cities.
– BreakOut West has a decidedly international and cross-Canada flavour this year. Partnering with the East Coast Music Association (ECMA), Australian Music Week, FOCUS Wales, Wales Arts International (WAI), and the Welsh Government, the 2018 edition features artists from Eastern Canada, Wales, and Australia, showcasing at the fest in Kelowna, BC, Oct. 10-14. Acts include Busby Marou (Queensland, AUS), Campfire Social (Llangollen, Wales), Kidsmoke (Wrexham, Wales), Like a Motorcycle (Halifax, NS), Motherhood (Fredericton, NB), and Tom West (Adelaide, AUS).
– The Contact East 2018 room block and conference pricing will only be available until August 20, or until the block reaches capacity. To reserve online choose the Group Attendee Promo Code option and enter Group Code 1809PRESENT. Contact East takes place in St. John's, NF, Sept. 20-23.
– Hamilton-based garage/psychobilly rockers Cadillac Bill & the Creeping Bent have a hometown CD release show at This Ain't Hollywood tonight (July 13), a release gig for new album The Cadillac Bill Show. A great showman, Cadillac Bill has been treading the boards for nearly three decades, and he also hosts his own cable TV show.
– On July 28, The city of Annapolis in Maryland is holding a benefit concert to honour the five Capital Gazette employees killed in an attack in their newsroom on June 28. Local rock band Good Charlotte will headline "Annapolis Rising: A Benefit for The Capital Gazette and Free Press." Source: CP
– The deadline for applications to showcase at Folk Alliance International 2019 is Aug. 15. Next year's conference/fest is in Montreal, Feb. 13-17. Apply here
Ken Morris, a Toronto-based bass player, sound engineer, and event manager, died in Toronto after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 67.
The well known and much loved music man came to Canada in 1970 as a teenage musician from Dublin looking for opportunities. He was a bass player and shortly after arriving formed a band called The British Are Here who were booked by Ray Danniels and Vic Wilson and played all the Toronto and Ontario clubs existing at the time.
After the band broke up, Terry Brown hired him as an assistant engineer at Toronto Sound Studios where he assisted on many of Brown’s celebrated sessions with artists such as Max Webster, Rush, Klaatu, Moe Koffman, and Dr. Music.
When Brown and Doug Riley closed TSS down, he found and managed the Toronto band Surrender, fronted by Alfie Zappacosta.
After Zappacosta went solo, Morris broke out from the artist management business and formed an audiovisual event production company, Behind The Screen, which grew into an operation that handled events around the world and at home for music orgs such SOCAN.
Worth noting is that he was the guy that found and introduced Neil Peart, a St.Catharines area musician who played the same bar circuit as his band, to Rush and Ray Danniels in the early seventies.
He is survived by his wife Maureen and son Ian, a musician and producer.
Henry Butler, a US jazz pianist, passed away on July 2, aged 69, of cancer.
He was known for his technique and his ability to play in many styles of music. In 1987, New York Times music critic Jon Pareles wrote that Butler "revels in fluency and facility, splashing chords all over the keyboard and streaking through solos with machine-gun articulation. "
Referred to by Dr. John as "the pride of New Orleans," Butler was his generation's representative in the Crescent City's lineage of piano players such as Professor Longhair, James Booker, Tuts Washington, and Jelly Roll Morton. Butler recorded for several record labels, including Impulse, Windham Hill, and Basin Street Records.