Music News Digest, July 27, 2020

Justin Bieber (pictured) announces his 2021 world tour, The Weeknd showcases his hometown, and a new deadline for a Covid-19 Emergency Support Fund. Others in the news include The Flowers Of Hell, Langston Francis, Aldo Nova, The Ropes, Indie Week, Rolly, FAI, Voivod, Evangeline Gentle, Alyssa Reid, Jarrel the Young, ShazamFest, and farewell Peter Green.

Music News Digest, July 27, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Justin Bieber was scheduled to launch a major world tour in May, but that was scuttled for obvious reasons. The 45-date trek has been rerouted for next year, with the tour production redesigned to no longer stop in stadiums or all markets. Nineteen new arena dates have been added to the Justin Bieber World Tour, promoted by AEG Presents. It now kicks off in San Diego at Pechanga Arena on June 2, 2021, and includes new arena stops in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and more. Canadian dates are at Toronto on July 3, 16 and 17 at Scotiabank Arena, July 5 at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre, and Montreal's Bell Centre on July 6. Tickets to his rescheduled shows in Ottawa and Montreal are already on sale. His Toronto shows will go on sale on Aug. 6. Dates here 


– The Weeknd has debuted a new animated video for Snowchild, another track off his hit album After Hours. The clip features images from his Toronto hometown, including scenes of Parkdale, a vintage TTC streetcar, and Nathan Phillips Square. BlogTo has more on the clip here

– There are updates to the application process and eligibility criteria for the Covid-19 CMF Emergency Support Fund Phase 2. The deadline to submit an application for funding under Phase 2 for the live music industry has been extended to Aug. 5. More info here.

–Toronto composer/bandleader Greg Jarvis can be termed an orchestral pop auteur. His group The Flowers Of Hell is a trans-Atlantic experimental indie orchestra based in Toronto and London, and it has earned major critical acclaim and peer respect over its 15-year existence. Jarvis is justifiably proud of the fact that his work has been praised by many of his musical heroes, including Lou Reed, Spacemen 3's Sonic Boom, and My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields. An upcoming FoH compilation, Outlanders, features non-album tracks and rarities, and it is preceded by a just-released single, a cover of a rather neglected track from Siouxsie & The Banshees' 1988 album Peek-A-Boo.


– Toronto recording artist Langston Francis has been dropped by his record label, Sony Music Canada, after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. A petition for the cause to have Francis punished by the label quickly reached nearly 10K signatures. On Instagram, Francis shared a public apology for his actions and announced that he's taking a break from music. Source: blogTO

– Veteran Montreal rock songwriter/guitarist/producer Aldo Nova returns to the fray with a new track, When All Is Said And Done. Blabbermouth reports that the single is taken from Nova's forthcoming rock opera, The Life And Times Of Eddie Gage, which will include 23 new original songs and nearly two hours of music. Nova has had Grammy-winning success collaborating with Celine Dion and has also worked with Carole King, Jon Bon Jovi, Faith Hill and Clay Aiken.

– Hugh Christopher Brown made a splash in Toronto’s The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir and in work with Kate Fenner. He remains active recording and  producing, as well as heading indie label Wolfe Island Records. Brown has now joined up with fellow BTC alumnus Jason Mercer and Pete Bowers to form The Ropes, and the band’s self-titled debut came out on Friday. Notable guests on the album include Fenner and NYC players Tony Scherr, Michael Blake, and Teddy Kumpel. Well worth checking out.


– The next Indie Week online session takes place tomorrow (July 28) at 5 pm EST. It focuses on Brazil and takes a look at how the arts there are navigating a global pandemic and political unrest and yet the country's online music businesses are booming. What can we learn to help sustain and improve our own market? The speakers are Andre Noblat (CoMA Fest, Brasilia), DJ Mam (Demarcação Já Festival, Rio), and Fabiana Batistela (SIM Sao Paulo). Darryl Hurs (Indie Week/CD Baby) moderates. The session is co-presented with Global Toronto Conference and Small World Festival. Free registration here  


– This fall, Sudbury country singer Rolly will be inducted into the Northern Ontario Country Music Association’s Great Northern Opry. The induction ceremony is traditionally held at the association's Northern Ontario Country Music Awards Weekend in early Nov. in Sault Ste. Marie, though coronavirus concerns may threaten that plan. Undeterred by the lack of live shows, Rolly has recently been using Facebook live-streams to support local businesses.  Source: Sudbury Star

– Artists in Nova Scotia's urban scene are pushing for a new association to better support and recognize their work, claiming existing organizations are failing them. A CBC/Radio-Canada report cites Halifax hip-hop artist Corey Writes as claiming the ECMAs and Music Nova Scotia don't do enough to recognize the new acts in urban music (rap, hip-hop and R&B) and that artists in those genres find it harder to access funding. He is now calling on people within the province’s urban music and art scene to unite and form their own association, which could include musicians, promoters and those who are into slam poetry or dance. 


– Folk Alliance International (FAI) is presenting a series of webinars of interest to its members. On July 28, the CommUNITY Online #8 session (12 noon CT) is entitled Cause and Effect: Artist as Architect of Social Change. On July 30 (2 pm CT), session #9 tackles What Fans Want: Consumption Trends in Music Now. A panellist on Session #10, Teaching Traditions (Aug. 5, 9 am CT) is Canadian fiddle star, April Verch. More info here 

– Quebec prog metal veterans Voivod have a ticketed live-stream show on Aug. 9 at 4 pm ET. It is presented by Sony Music, Heavy Montreal and Studio RadicArt. Tickets here  

– Roots singer/songwriter Evangeline Gentle releases her self-titled debut album on Aug. 21, via Sonic Unyon. That same day, she launches it with a live-stream full-band performance from the stage of Mills Hardware in Hamilton. Tickets via Side Door here. The album was produced by Jim Bryson (Oh Susanna, Kathleen Edwards) at his Stittsville, Ontario studio Fixed Hinge.

– Last year, Juno-nominated, multi-platinum selling artist Alyssa Reid reinvented herself as ASHS, while exploring new sonic territory. She is now also an in-demand writer for such artists as bülow (Not A Love Song) and Virginia to Vegas (Selfish). Streaming links for her new single, My Ex, are here.


Jarrel the Young (JTY), best known for his role in multi-platinum music production duo Young Wolf Hatchlings, has announced a partnership with Warner Music Group’s ADA/LEVEL platform to distribute Virtue 1, his first in a series of projects as a solo artist. The full EP arrives on Aug. 7, preceded by a new single, Tumble. Look for the EP to explore JTY’s experience with the Black Lives Matter movement and recovery from a Covid-19 hospitalization. Check Tumble out here.

– The folks behind Quebec's ShazamFest will not only be hosting an online series of live performances from the site's main stage, but they're opening the occasions up to fest fans, allowing up to 50 people to safely attend the first of the instalments of the series with a socially-distanced set-up and safe dancing areas. For those who can't get their hands on tickets, performances will be live-streamed for free. Now that Quebec will be allowing up to 250 people at public gatherings, the second edition on Aug. 8 will have a 100 person capacity with the potential to increase numbers to the full 250 allowance later in the run. Confirmed acts include Perfect Strangers, Bloodshot Bill, and Hoodooed. More infohere 



Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum), Fleetwood Mac co-founder and a towering figure in British blues-rock, died in his sleep on July 25, age 73. The news was announced in a statement from solicitors acting on behalf of his family.

The statement from Swan Turton solicitors said: “It is with great sadness that the family of Peter Green announce his death this weekend, peacefully in his sleep."

Green, a blues-rock guitarist from east London, formed Fleetwood Mac with drummer Mick Fleetwood in 1967. They came together after Green's stint filling in for Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Green and Fleetwood then convinced John McVie to join the band as bass guitarist, in part by naming the band Fleetwood Mac.

He wrote the instantly recognisable instrumental track Albatross, which remains the band's only number one hit, plus two other early hits, Black Magic Woman and Oh Well.

One Green original of this era, Black Magic Woman,  became a No. 4 US hit for Santana in 1970.

It was under Green's direction that Fleetwood Mac produced their first three albums. The band's debut album, released in 1968, was simply called Fleetwood Mac but was also known as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. It gained widespread acclaim and reached number four in the UK charts.

Green left the group following a final performance in 1970 amid mental health issues. He was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time inhospital undergoing electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) during the mid-1970s. He told his biographer Martin Celmins in 1996, “I guess I took one trip too many.”

Green’s discontinuous solo career began with the all-instrumental 1970 solo album End of the Game. Following extended hospitalization, he lived with his family. Though he returned to recording in the late ‘70s, he wrote little of his own material; his wife and his brother Mike penned the majority of the songs for his albums of the ‘80s.

After another protracted layoff from music, Green weaned himself off his psychiatric medications; rejuvenated, he returned in 1996 with his Splinter Group, devoting himself largely to performing the classic blues repertoire.

Green was among the eight members of the band - along with Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Christine McVie, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer - who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Earlier this year, artists including Fleetwood, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and guitarists Jonny Lang and Andy Fairweather Low performed at the London Palladium during a gig celebrating the early years of Fleetwood Mac and its founder, Green.

 B.B. King once stated, “Peter Green has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats." As news of his passing spread, his peers were quick to pay tribute, and Elvis Costello offered an eloquent homage to the man who inspired him to pick up a guitar. 

Sources: BBC News, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Variety


Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

keep readingShow less