Music News Digest, May 15, 2020

Alejandra Ribera (pictured) displays her courage, possible help for Toronto music venues, and the CMTF assists frontline healthcare workers and their families. Also in the news are ⁠Junos 365 Songwriters Circle, Hannah Georgas, Truths & Rights, Garth Brooks, TBS, MusicOntario, Gordie Tentrees, Alex Cuba, and farewell Moon Martin.

Music News Digest, May 15, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Acclaimed Canadian singer/songwriter Alejandra Ribera is preparing the release of a new song, Courage. Described as her first foray into the world of electronic pop, it is co-produced by Rob Wilks and Brett Shaw (Florence + the Machine, Foals), With the help of friends from Singapore to Switzerland,  a collectively crafted “home lockdown music video” accompanies its release, set for May 22. Look for a cameo from a Toronto scene veteran. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders, a medical charity close to Ribera’s heart.

– The Toronto live music scene was facing hardship before anyone had heard the term covid-19. The pandemic-induced lockdown has made the situation desperate, but the City of Toronto's Music Advisory Committee (TMAC) is seeking to assist. On May 13, after an online meeting, TMAC unanimously approved a motion to expand the Creative Co-Location Facilities Property Tax Subclass Designation to cover live music venues. The designation would allow venue operators to access a 50 percent reduction of their commercial property taxes. The move still needs the approval of Toronto City Council. 


– The Canadian Music Therapy Fund (CMTF) is starting a fund to help certified music therapists bring free, online music therapy to frontline healthcare workers and their families. ⁠The fundraising campaign, Song Session for the Frontline, has started, and it hosts an online concert on June 7, 1-3 pm (EDT), featuring guest performances throughout the day. Click here to donate.

–  A reminder that the second episode of Junos 365 Songwriters Circle runs tonight (May 15), with this one featuring  Rose Cousins, William Prince, Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies), and Tenille Townes. Tune in on FacebookYouTubeCBC Gem or at 8 pm ET.

– Socially conscious reggae band Truths & Rights was a crucial part of the thriving Toronto reggae scene in the early ‘80s. The group’s first recording, 1980’s Acid Rain, won radio station Q107’s Homegrown contest, and other cuts made a mark, but a hoped-for album never materialized, and the group disbanded. Happily, local music authority Nicholas Jennings reports that a lost album’s worth of recordings was found recently, and has been released digitally. Read more here


– Acclaimed indie-pop songstress Hannah Georgas has released a new single, Same Mistakes, from her forthcoming (release date TBA) collaboration with producer/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Dessner (The National). Check it out here.

– Garth Brooks surprised his fans earlier this week by releasing seven songs from his upcoming FUN! album, exclusively through Amazon Music. These include two new tracks, That’s What Cowboys Do and Party Gras. Brooks shared the news during the latest episode of his Inside Studio G Facebook Live program. Source: ET Canada

– Applications for this year's Toronto Blues Society's Talent Search are now extended to May 31. TBS will be holding the judging virtually. The submission of live performance videos with the application is now mandatory. Apply here  

– MusicOntario has teamed up with Humber College to find three artists/groups to participate in the Capstone Project for their Music Business Program in 2020. More than 300 Ontario artists applied, and the winners are Cory Hotline, Heather J, and Terence Penny.


– Queer alt pop-inspired artist Adaline has just released her anticipated EP Dear Illusion. Her live stream release show is on May 16, 4.30 pm ET via LIVE: @adalinemusic on Facebook Live, Instagram Live and YouTube.  

– Today (May 15) Gordie Tentrees live streams from the Yukon Arts Centre stage via Facebook Live at 7 pm as part of the Not Close But Personal Concert Series, funded by Yukon Government's Departments of Tourism and Culture and Economic Development. "Without a doubt, the best live stream in Canada supported with wonderful sound and camera work on an incredible stage," declares Tentrees, a fine rootsy troubadour. Event page here 


– Canadian Juno and Latin Grammy winner Alex Cuba has been busy in quarantine, writing and recording music at home in Smithers, BC. Look for a trio of songs in the coming weeks, beginning today with Diablo De Un Segundo.


Moon (John David) Martin, a US singer/songwriter, died on May 11, age 74, of natural causes.

He is best known for writing the songs  Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor), made famous by Robert Palmer, and Cadillac Walk" a tune recorded by Mink DeVille.

Martin scored two minor hits of his own with Rolene (#30 Billboard Hot 100) and No Chance (#50), both in 1979. His 1982 song X-Ray Vision was an MTV hit music video.

He was given the nickname "Moon" because many of his songs had the word "moon" in the lyrics.

 He recorded nine studio albums, the last being 1999’s Louisiana Juke-Box. Source: Wikipedia

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.

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