Music News Digest, May 4, 2018
Rose Cousins and Joel Plaskett are among the ECMA winners, and nominees for the Western Canadian Music Awards are announced. Also in today's news, Cowboy Junkies, Vancouver Folk Music Fest, a Jason Buie benefit, Pharis and Jason Romero, and a farewell to John “Jab’o” Starks.
By Kerry Doole
Rose Cousins, Kinley, Les Païens, and Joel Plaskett are among the artists who took home East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) last night at the 2018 East Coast Music Awards Show at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, NS. City Natives, Jacques Jacobus, Measha Brueggergosman, Matt Minglewood, Jenn Grant, and Sloan were also honoured during the live national broadcast hosted by comedian Jonathan Torrens.
Performers included Neon Dreams, The Barra MacNeils, City Natives, The East Pointers, The Joel Plaskett Emergency, Kinley, Makayla Lynn, Measha Brueggergosman, The Once, Port Cities, Quake Matthews, Rose Cousins, Universal Soul, Sloan, and Classified. See the winners list here
– The Western Canadian Music Alliance has announced the artists and members of the music industry that have been nominated in the 2018 categories for the WCMAs. The winners will be honoured this fall at BreakOut West in Kelowna, BC, which takes place from Oct. 10-14. Voting is now open to members of all western Provincial or Territorial Music Industry Associations and will conclude at midnight on Wed. May 16. Winners of the artistic categories will be announced on Oct. 11, and Industry and Specialty Award categories will be presented on Oct. 13 at a Delta Hotel Kelowna brunch event. A full nominees list here. One of the multiple nominees is The Dead South.
– It has been 30 years since Cowboy Junkies released their landmark album, The Trinity Session, and the group remains very active. A new album, All That Reckoning, is being readied for a July 13 release on the group's imprint, Latent Recordings. Beginning this month, Cowboy Junkies will be on the road throughout North America, with a stop at Massey Hall in Toronto on May 24 (featuring labelmates Skydiggers and Lee Harvey Osmond) and at Corona Theatre in Montreal on May 26. Tickets and event details HERE.
– Art Bergmann and Alex Cuba have been announced as part of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival lineup. The fest runs July 13-18 at Jericho Beach Park. Other high-calibre artists set to appear include Neko Case, Ry Cooder, recent Juno-award-winners The Dead South, Iskwé, Gordon Grdina’s Haram and Darlingside. Early Bird passes on sale until May 11 at ticketzone.com
– The Toronto Blues Society (TBS) reports it has raised $4.5K for a Trust Fund created for the family of recently deceased BC bluesman Jason Buie. A benefit concert was held at Hugh's Room Live last month. Proceeds will go to the education needs of Buie's three children.
– Juno winning BC folk duo Pharis and Jason Romero releases a new album, Sweet Old Religion, on May 18, and tour dates have been announced. The tour begins in Duncan BC on May 11 and includes fest dates in August. Here's their latest track
John “Jab’o” Starks, the influential drummer on several of James Brown’s biggest hits, died in hospice care in his native Alabama, May 1, age 79.
Starks suffered from a bone marrow disorder and cancer, longtime manager Kathie Williams said. The drummer played in Alabama with some of biggest names in blues history, including Howlin' Wolf, Big Mama Thornton and John Lee Hooker. In the late '50s, he began backing R&B/soul singer Bobbie "Blue" Bland. He also played with BB King, but came to prominence in the late 60s and early 70s as the drummer, alongside the late Clyde Stubblefield, for James Brown. His percussion skills can be heard on songs like “Sex Machine” and “Super Bad.”