Music News Digest, May 1, 2019

Bryan Adams and Billy Idol (pictured) set to tour together, Loreena McKennitt announces fall Canadian dates, and Robbie Robertson keeps busy. Others making news include Avril Lavigne, Peter Frampton, AE West, Triumph, CMW, Woodstock 50, Squamish Constellation Festival, Reid Jamieson, Bruce Moss, The Holy Gasp, and farewell Phil McCormack and John Singleton.

Music News Digest, May 1, 2019

By FYI Staff

Bryan Adams and Billy Idol are partnering for a run of U.S. co-headlining dates, playing eight cities from Aug. 1-12. There are no Canadian shows on the Live Nation-produced tour.

– Avril Lavigne was on The Late Late Show with James Corden on Monday night, where she performed the latest single from her album Head Above Water.

Peter Frampton, diagnosed with a rare, degenerative muscle disease called Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM), plays one Canadian show on his farewell tour at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place Des Arts in Montreal on July 5. The shows are heralded by the release of All Blues on June 7 (through UME).


– Speaking with Karen Bliss in Billboard in advance of his CMW lifetime achievement award, Robbie Robertson tells that he is working on a new solo album, coordinating materials for the release of a 50th anniversary edition of The Band’s debut Music from Big Pink (which was released July 1 of 1968), and a sequel to his 2016 Testimony memoir.

– After a busy spring and summer tour schedule, Loreena McKennitt has announced she’ll be bringing the Lost Souls Tour back to Canada this fall – at the same time releasing a new live recording of her celebrated March 13 performance at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall. The Canadian tour will feature six concerts beginning late October: three in Ontario and three in Québec, where she has not performed in several years. Show dates as follows: Quebec Grand Theatre-Oct. 29, Montreal Place des Arts-Oct. 30, Hamilton FirstOntario Concert Hall-Oct. 31, Toronto Roy Thomson Hall-Nov. 1, Ottawa NAT-Nov. 2, Sherbrooke Salle Maurice-O’Bready-Nov. 3.

Whitehorse strings along with the TSO with William Prince special guesting, June 15 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Ducats on sale are tiered between $49.50 and $69.50.


– Voting for the Live Music Industry Awards has been extended to May 1 at 11:59 PM. Click here to vote. The Awards will be hosted by Kim Stockwood, and the Legends of Live Award will go to Canadian rock band Triumph. The Happy Hour event is on Friday May 10 (5:30-7:30PM) at CMW in the Osgoode East Ballroom, Sheraton Centre Toronto.

– Burlington, ON, hitmaking pop ensemble Walk off the Earth has teamed up with US singer Lisa Loeb to reimagine her smash hit “Stay (I Missed You),” coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the song’s original release. The video has quickly gained 200K YouTube views. Check it out here. 

 A five-week creative entrepreneurship program, presented by Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) and the National Music Centre (NMC) and AE West (Artist Entrepreneur West) launches at Studio Bell for a third season this fall and is open to artists of all genres from across Canada. The deadline to apply is June 28; the program runs Nov. 4-Dec. 6.

Woodstock 50 has been cancelled, or has it? On Monday, officials with Dentsu Aegis Network, which is funding the festival, released a statement noting that "despite our tremendous investment of time, effort and commitment, we don’t believe the production of the festival can be executed as an event worthy of the Woodstock Brand name while also ensuring the health and safety of the artists, partners and attendees."Despite this announcement, other festival organizers insist that the statement from Dentsu Aegis is false and that the festival is still on. “Woodstock 50 vehemently denies the festival’s cancellation and legal remedy will (be) sought,” Woodstock 50 organizers said in a statement provided to the Poughkeepsie Journal. Rumours that the fest was in trouble began circulating weeks ago.


– Jessie Reyez, Shad, and Wintersleep have been added to the bill of the inaugural Squamish Constellation Festival in BC, running July 26 - 28. They join previously named acts Serena Ryder, Bahamas, A Tribe Called Red, Half Moon Run, Dear Rouge, Foxwarren, Fast Romantics, The Jerry Cans, Fred Penner, Luca Fogale, and more. Full lineup here 


– Vancouver-based singer/songwriter and former Vinyl Cafe fave Reid Jamieson is currently playing Ontario dates in support of his new album, Me Daza. That phrase is Irish slang for ‘most excellent’, an accurate description of the made in Ireland record. It is a full songwriting collaboration with his wife Carolyn Victoria Mill, and the pair perform together this week at Shawn and Ed Brewery in Dundas (May 2) and The Rivoli in Toronto on May 5 (afternoon matinee).

– Unity Songs is a free concert coming to Toronto's Mel Lastman Square on May 5 at 5 pm. Diplomats, local politicians and other dignitaries will be in attendance, along with World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors. The event features an internationally renowned Russian vocal ensemble– Moscow’s M.Turetsky Choir and SOPRANO – on a second marathon world tour of Unity Songs, celebrating victory at the end of World War II and promoting peace and understanding.  

– Newfoundland singer/songwriter Bruce Moss recently turned down $27K (Can) from the hit TV show The Simpsons for the use of his 1982 hit song "The Islander," because, as he told the CBC, he consideres the show "morally bankrupt." The tune would have been used in last week's Canadian-themed episode of The Simpsons that has aroused ire for a tasteless Newfoundland reference.

– Kenora'sHarbourfestfeatures Coleman Hell, Grandson, Sass Jordan, Harlequin, Pumps, Orphan, Don Amero and Petric, all performing at the Whitecap Pavilion, Aug. 2-4.

– Back in October, maverick Toronto ensemble The Holy Gasp released an ambitious concept album, The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex, and hosted a monumental wedding-themed party to celebrate. The event was captured in a short film released this week. Check it out here.



Phil McCormack, a singer with Southern rock band Molly Hatchet, has died at the age of 58. No official cause of death has been announced.

McCormack briefly joined Molly Hatchet in 1992 as a temporary replacement for original singer Danny Joe Brown and became a full-time member in April 1995 after Brown departed permanently for health reasons. Since joining the band, he has appeared on seven albums.

Before joining Molly Hatchet, he was a member of fellow Southern rockers The Roadducks, appearing on their 1987 album Get Ducked, and played with Savoy Brown, singing on two tracks on their 1992 album Let It Ride.

Last November Jimmy Farrar, who sang with Molly Hatchet between 1980 and 1982, died at the age of 68. Danny Joe Brown died in 2005. Source: Loudersound

John Daniel Singleton, whose powerful debut film, Boyz N the Hood, earned him an Oscar nomination for best director, the first for an African-American, died on April 29 in Los Angeles. He was 51. He had been admitted to the hospital on April 17, reportedly after having a stroke. His family said he had a history of hypertension.


Begun when he was 22 and fresh out of film school, Singleton's Boyz N the Hood is a bleakly realistic film about three teenagers growing up amid gang violence in South Central Los Angeles. Its cast included Cuba Gooding Jr. and rap star Ice Cube, and the film made a splash at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.

Singleton was also nominated for a best original screenplay Oscar, and he remains the youngest Academy Award nominee for best director.

Singleton's second film, 1993's Poetic Justice, starred Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur. Later films included a remake of Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Four Brothers.

He also moved into television, directing episodes of Empire, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Billions His most recent venture was Snowfall, a series on FX about the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Singleton was one of the show’s creators and executive producers and directed three episodes. Sources: NY Times, LA Times, Guardian

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