Music News Digest, Nov. 21, 2018

Rachel Beck (pictured) heads nominees for the 2019 Music PEI Awards, Matt Mays gets intimate, and Taylor Swift signs to UMG. Also making news are Derek Andrews, Terra Lightfoot, the Junos, Barra MacNeils, CMTTF, Michael Buble, Sue Foley, Jason Aldean, Alan Cross, and farewell to Eddie Reeves and Scott English. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Nov. 21, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Singer/songwriter Rachel Beck heads the just-announced list of nominees for the 2019 Music PEI Awards, with eight. Meaghan Blanchard, Vishtèn and Jenni & The Hummingbird all received six noms, with Lennie Gallant, Dylan Menzie, Andrew Waite and The East Pointers all scoring four nods. 31 awards (up from last year's tally of 23) will be handed out at the Awards Party Jan. 27, during Credit Union Music PEI Week.

– Juno-winner Matt Mays is known for high-decibel big rock shows, but he'll turn it down on the February Dark Promises tour he has just announced. The intimate shows will see Mays accompanied by bandmates Adam Baldwin and Ryan Stanley on stripped-down tunes from current album Twice Upon a Hell of a Time… plus earlier material. The tour starts in Paris, ON, on Feb. 8, closing out at Calgary's Block Heater fest on Feb. 23.


Taylor Swift has signed a new global recording deal with Universal Music Group (UMG). Under the multi-year agreement, UMG will serve as the exclusive worldwide recorded music partner for Swift, while UMG’s Republic Records will serve as her label partner in the US. Swift's recordings were previously signed to indie Big Machine Records and distributed via Universal on a worldwide basis. The new deal includes a condition enhancing UMG’s existing commitment to allocate money to artists from the sale of Spotify shares. Source: The Guardian 

– The National Arts Center (NAC) has awarded its 2018 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Touring to Derek Andrews. It was presented at the closing gala of the 18th CINARS Biennale (International Conference of the Performing Arts), Nov. 17 in Montreal. A respected veteran of the Toronto live music scene, Andrews is currently the Artistic Director of Mundial Montreal, the first world music conference in the country.  Established in 1992 in collaboration with CAPACOA, the NAC Award comprises a $2,5K cash prize and an original porcelain sculpture created by Paula Murray.


– The seemingly ever-touring Hamilton roots-rocker Terra Lightfoot is heading out again soon. She plays Western Canada dates in January, then sets off on a tour she has curated herself. She has selected Lindi Ortega and Begonia to join her on the first instalment of The Longest Road Tour, featuring five dates in Ontario, Feb. 5 to 9, including The Phoenix in Toronto on Feb. 9. Lightfoot promises "a collaborative show and special guests." Charities benefiting are Girls Rock Camp, Musicounts, and YMCA Hamilton. 

– As London prepares to welcome the 48th Annual Juno Awards, representatives from CARAS will make announcements this week in London at a brief press conference at Budweiser Gardens on Nov. 22 at 11 a.m.  Stay tuned.

– Cape Breton music veterans The Barra MacNeils began their extensive cross-country East Coast Christmas tour last night (Nov. 20) in Campbell River, BC, closing out with two shows on Dec. 23 at The Savoy Theatre, Glace Bay, NS. Expect traditional seasonal fare along with entertaining stories and new musical twists. The group has become renowned for Xmas albums and tours. A full itinerary here


– TheCanadian Music Therapy Trust Fund has announced that its recent 25th birthday party raised some $28K, exceeding the goal of $25K. The Toronto event featured music by Born Ruffians. Event sponsors included RX Music, Music Canada and Slaight Music, and Sony Music Canada.

– To no one's surprise, strong demand has led to extra Toronto and Montreal concerts on Michael Buble's 2019 tour. He'll be at Scotiabank Arena in T.O. July 26 and 27, Montreal's Bell Arena Aug. 1 and 2. Tix now on sale.

– Sue Foley's acclaimed recent Stony Plain album The Ice Queen will be available on vinyl on Dec. 7. This edition includes a download card for the 15-track deluxe version, which was released digitally at the end of September. The three bonus tracks – "Jimmie Lee (feat. Jimmie Vaughan)", "Pony Kick" and "The Dance (Duo Version)" - are also available to download or stream separately.


US country star Jason Aldean headlines 2019's Rockin’ River Music Fest, Aug. 1-4, in Merritt, BC. Also on the bill are Old Dominion, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Brett Kissel and Brett Kissel. Last year's fest attracted 36,000 festgoers. Early Bird Passes are on sale Friday morning.

– Alan Cross' Music Technology event is on at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto tonight (Nov. 21). He moderates a panel on the role of technology in education and well-being, and noted recording engineer Jeff Wolpert is one of the panelists. This will be followed by a Music Technology concert in partnership with MusiCounts and Yorkville Sound. One of the performers is singing spaceman Chris Hadfield. More info here


Eddie Reeves, a noted songwriter, performer, artist manager, and former label exec died on Nov. 18 after a brief illness. He was 79.

A native of Austin, Reeves formed his first band, The Nighthawks, while still in high school. The group recorded a pair of singles, “When Sin Stops” and “All’a Your Love,” which were released via Dot subsidiary Hamilton Records.

In 1964, Reeves relocated to New York, where he was hired as a song plugger, recording artist and songwriter with United Artists. In 1968 he launched UTA’s Los Angeles office, During his tenure with the label, he worked with recording artists/songwriters Jimmy Holiday, Andy Kim, Billy Edd Wheeler, Mac Davis, and others.

He had success as a co-writer he would go on to pen a series of hits that include “All I Ever Need Is You” (Sonny & Cher), " Don’t Change On Me” (Ray Charles); and “Rings” (Cymarron)


In 1974, Reeves signed on as Vice President of music publisher Warner-Chappell, and three years later he launched his own music publishing and artist management company, Eddie Reeves Music. In 1984,  he was named GM of Warner Bros. Records Nashville, eventually serving as Executive Vice President and General Manager for a decade until his retirement in 1999. Source: Celebrity Access

Scott (Sheldon DavidEnglish, an American producer and songwriter, has died, on Nov. 16, aged 81.

English wrote the song "Mandy," which became a No. 1 hit for Barry Manilow in 1974.

English had released a single of the tune, then known as "Brandy", in 1971 that climbed to 12th place in the UK Singles Chart.

Other compositions of his include "Hi Ho Silver Lining" (a hit for Jeff Beck in 1968)," and "Bend Me, Shape Me." 

English also worked on records by Thin Lizzy, Bobby Darin, Slade, Donny Osmond, Dionne Warwick, Lynsey De Paul, Jeff Beck, Carole King, Amen Corner, Alan Parsons and Mama Cass and enjoyed a successful career as an artist in the 1970s. Sources: MBW, Wikipedia


Vancouver producer and musician Cat Hiltz, one of the participants in the 2024 Women in the Studio National Accelerator .
Courtesy Photo

Vancouver producer and musician Cat Hiltz, one of the participants in the 2024 Women in the Studio National Accelerator.


Music Publishers Canada Names 2024 Women in the Studio National Accelerator Class

The initiative aims to boost the careers of producer-songwriters and address a glaring gender imbalance behind the scenes of the music industry.

There's a gender imbalance behind-the-scenes of Canadian music, and Music Publishers Canada (MPC)'s Women in the Studio National Accelerator aims to address it.

Recently released statistics have confirmed the major gender gap in multiple facets of the Canadian music industry, and this is especially glaring in the field of music production.

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