Music News Digest, May 6, 2020

Sue Foley wins a 2020 Blues Music Award, This Ain’t Hollywood (pictured) calls it a day, and CFMA submissions are open. Also in the news are Bruce Cockburn, URGNT, Yorkville Sound, Killy, Joe Walsh, Oshawa Music Awards, Destroyer, Lindy Vopnfjörð, and farewell Dave Greenfield, Bob Garcia, and Richie Cole.

Music News Digest, May 6, 2020

By Kerry Doole

Canadian blues veteran Sue Foley has won a 2020 Blues Music Award, as Best Traditional Blues Female Artist. The awards show took place virtually on May 3, and the big winner, with five awards, was Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Stars Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller, Robert Cray, Steve Cropper, Dion, and Little Steven Van Zandt all took part in Awards, presented by The Blues Foundation. A full list of winners here.

– The Hamilton music community is still reeling from the news of the imminent demise of This Ain’t Hollywood, one of the most important live music venues in the city for the past 11 years. Club owners reported that the building had been sold to a developer, and TAH will officially close its doors on Aug. 4. The building, up for sale since late 2018, most recently had a listing price of $1.5M. As well as presenting a wide range of Canadian and international acts, the club has been a launching pad for such locals as The Dirty Nil and Terra Lightfoot.


In a FB post, the owners stated “Our goal on day one was to open a neighbourhood friendly bar offering Hamilton a variety of music, and art. While we are saddened by the end of this era, we look upon the last 11 years as a truly special chapter in Hamilton's illustrious musical story… Please stay tuned to our social media pages for more updates on some unforgettable farewell shows." We wish co-owners Lou Molinaro and Jodie and Glenn Faulman well in future endeavours. Sources: Hamilton Spectator, Facebook

– Early bird submissions for the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs) are now open here, until May 29. The final submission deadline is July 31. The 2021 CFMAs will take place April 9-10, in Charlottetown, PEI. The CFMAs have announced reduced submission fees and two new categories: Single of the Year and World Music Album of the Year. 


– Bruce Cockburn's True North - A 50th Anniversary Box Set is a limited edition vinyl box set containing three important recordings by the folk veteran: his self-titled debut plus two albums never before been released on vinyl - The Charity of Night and Breakfast in New Orleans, Dinner in Timbuktu. Each album has been re-mastered by long-time producer Colin Linden, and is pressed on coloured vinyl. Out on True North Records, Sept. 25. This year is Cockburn's 50th anniversary as a recording artist.

– URGNTan online venue supporting Canadian artists through virtual house concerts, is joining forces with Music Together this Friday, May 8, starting at 7 pm ET, for an online festival featuring 10 artists across genres. Audiences can tune in starting at 7 pm ET on URGNT’s Facebook page and URGNT.CANotable artists on the bill include Gryphon Trio, Kobo Town, Laila Biali, OKAN, Stewart Goodyear, Scott Merritt, and Skratch Bastid. Visit the event page here for more info, and support URGNT via a GoFundMe campaign.

– Yorkville Sound, a notable name in the Canadian pro audio systems and musical instruments field, is joining the fight against covid-19. In conjunction with Starfish Medical, Yorkville’s team is engaged in an open-source ventilator design project, with a goal of increasing the availability of ventilators in Canada. More information on this design here


– Recently signed to Epic Records, Toronto rapper Killy released a new track and video, Sailor Moon, on May 1. Last year's Light Path 8 earned a nomination for Best Rap Recording at the 2020 Juno Awards, following on from three Juno noms the year before. One to watch.

– Monday May 4 marked the  50th anniversary of the shooting of anti-war protestors at Kent State University, Ohio. The tragedy inspired the protest song Ohio, by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (below). Present at the massacre was rocker Joe Walsh recalled the incident in a recent message: "We were peacefully demonstrating but because of a total dysfunctional authority trying to handle a situation they didn't understand, it mutated into elevated emotions and anger, chaos and fear escalated into violence. It should be remembered is because history repeats itself - and we are as divided as a country now as we were then."


– The latest instalment of the ongoing online Oshawa Music Awards announced the MusicTeachers of The Year. This year's winners are Kristine Dandavino (Oshawa Opera,, Mike Paglia, (All Saints Catholic Secondary School), and Andrew Cohen (Ormiston Public School).

– Rock auteur Destroyer (aka Dan Bejar) and his band were stranded amidst a North American tour when the lockdown was declared. He has documented the experience in a new video for foolssong, the closing track on his current album, Have We Met. The clip was shot on the road by directors David Galloway and David Ehrenreich. 

– All of Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre's popular summer concerts and festivals scheduled until Labour Day have been cancelled, given the pandemic situation. Musicians who had been booked included Indigo Girls, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Lee “Scratch” Perry and more. 

– Lindy Vopnfjörð promotes his new album via a Side Door Access show with Danny Michel tomorrow (May 7) at  2 pm PDT. Tickets here   


David Paul (Dave) Greenfield, The Stranglers keyboard player, died on May 3 at the age of 71 after testing positive for coronavirus. He had been in hospital for heart problems.

A member of the influential punk band for 45 years, Greenfield was known for his distinctive sound and playing style, using instruments such as the harpsichord and Hammond electric organ. He wrote the piece of music that would become Golden Brown, the group’s biggest hit.


The Stranglers’ bass player Jean-Jacques Burnel paid tribute to Greenfield as a “musical genius” on the band’s website.

Original Stranglers singer and lyricist Hugh Cornwell tweeted "Dave Greenfield was the difference between the Stranglers and every other punk band. His musical skill and gentle nature gave an interesting twist to the band. He should be remembered as the man who gave the world the music of Golden Brown.' Sources: The Guardian, Rolling Stone

Bob Garcia, a veteran US record executive, died of natural causes on April 26, age 82.

Garcia is best known for his nearly 30-year run at A&M Records starting in 1968, where he worked in artist relations, publicity, catalogue development and artist development. Among the many acts he championed there were the Police, Squeeze, Joe Cocker, Amy Grant, Joe Jackson and the Carpenters.

A&M co-founder Herb Alpert paid tribute to Garcia in Billboard: “Bob Garcia worked at A&M Records for many years and without exception, was liked by all. Artists and employees admired his quirkiness and original personality that didn’t change with the times. I personally appreciated his keen observations on music, and life as he saw it."


After leaving A&M in 1997, Garcia worked as a consultant, in later years through his own Shedding Dog Marketing. His clients included Blake Shelton,  Neil Young, OneRepublic, Lady Gaga, and Eminem. Source: Billboard

Richie Cole, an American jazz saxophonist, composer, and arranger, died on May 1, age 72, of natural causes.

Cole was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He won a scholarship from DownBeat magazine to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston, and after graduating in 1969,he joined drummer Buddy Rich's Big Band. After working with Lionel Hampton's Big Band and Doc Severinsen's Big Band, he formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, developing his own "alto madness" bebop style in the 1970s and early '80s. He formed the Alto Madness Orchestra in the 1990s.

Cole performed and recorded with Eddie Jefferson, Nancy Wilson, Tom Waits, The Manhattan Transfer, Hank Crawford, Freddie Hubbard, Eric Kloss, Bobby Enriquez, Phil Woods, Sonny Stitt, Art Pepper, and Boots Randolph. He recorded over fifty albums, including his own releases Hollywood Madness and Richie Cole Plays West Side Story, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein.

He was appointed to the Board of the National Jazz Service Organization and the Board for the National Endowment for the Arts where he served as chairman for one year. He was a charter member of the International Association of Jazz Educators. Sources: Wikipedia

Sarah McLachlan
Kharen Hill

Sarah McLachlan

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