Music News Digest, Nov. 5, 2018

(Pictured) Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara triumph at MTV Euro Awards, RBC's Emerging Musicians showcase in Toronto, and biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is already a smash hit. Others making news include Jon Anderson, Jack Lenz, KTOE, Tyler Shaw, Carole King, Coalition, Myles Goodwyn, Tom Wilson, ole, Simone Morris, and farewells to Dave Rowland and Roy Hargrove. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Nov. 5, 2018

By FYI Staff

Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara won single trophies in the categories of Best Live and Best World Stage respectively at the MTV EMAs held at Spain’s Bilbao Exhibition Centre on Sunday evening. The upset winner of the event was former Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello, earning four trophies, and Janet Jackson who performed and provided an eloquent speech in accepting her honorific Global Icon title.

“I feel moved to speak for women’s voices who have been stifled,” said Jackson in her acceptance speech. “I am one of those women. Women who have been gagged, both literally and emotionally. Women who have been abused. Women who have been intimidated. Women who have lived in fear.  


"I stand with you. You are my sisters.”

The recently-announced winners and finalists of the 2018 RBC Emerging Musician Program, presented by Canada’s Walk of Fame, are coming together for a special performance at Toronto's Great Hall on Wednesday (Nov. 7). Taking the stage are Grand Prize winner LU, runner-up Bones & Bridges, and finalists Alexandria Maillot, Eric Brandon, and What If Elephants.  2017 finalists Birds of Bellwoods make a headlining appearance.

– Yes frontman Jon Anderson joined noted Canadian composer Jack Lenz onstage at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre last evening for Sacred Music Night, a concert held as part of global interfaith gathering Parliament of the World’s Religions. Lenz (Passion of the Christ, The Last Door) was the musical director for the evening.

–  On Friday, hotly-tipped rapper/producer KTOE released his solo debut single and video, "Holy Ghost." The  20-year-old recently made a splash as the only featured artist on Jazz Cartier's Fleurever debut album, producing three of the tracks and providing the hook and music for the currently charting single, "Right Now.” Signed to Prescription Songs Publishing (Dr Luke), KTOE has been producing music for artists like Big Sean, Roy Woods, and Wondagurl, and working on his forthcoming full length.  


–  Platinum-selling artist popster Tyler Shaw has some high-profile gigs coming up. On Nov. 14 he plays at the Canadian Tire Centre for WE Day in Ottawa, on Nov. 18 he performs at The Original Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, and he's part of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball lineup on Dec. 2 at TO's Scotiabank Arena. Shaw also has a headlining tour promoting his sophomore album, Intuition.

–  Add Carole King to the list of American musicians protesting Donald Trump on the eve of the mid-term elections this week. The 76-year-old has come out of retirement and taken aim at US President Donald Trump in a reworked version of her 1977 track, ‘One,' her first new song in seven years. King initially rewrote the song to play at a political fundraiser last month, with the singer telling The Guardian that "I was inspired to write some new lyrics for the last chorus to reflect my feelings about the 2018 election. And then I wanted to record it.” Source: Starts At 60

– Toronto punk metal venue Coalition has announced plans to close its doors next April, citing landlord problems. A final New Year's Eve party at the Kensington Market space will feature Guelph thrash metal band Razor. The club is seeking to reopen in a new location.


– Boosted by mostly positive reviews, the new Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is quickly shaping up to be one of the most successful rock-themed feature films ever. Varietyestimates it will take in $50M (US) in its debut week in 4,000 North American locations and an international box office tally is pegged at $72.5 M, for a global tally of $122.5M. 

 Myles Goodwyn is feeling blue for the lack of mention for his all-star Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues album failing to make mention in the Maple Blues Awards noms. Was it submitted? Did the poo-bahs who adjudicate write him off as a would-be-poser? Whatever the case, he's not taking the omission sitting on a poor man's throne, hiring go-to blues enthusiast and PR meister Sarah French. Bruce Morel is stickhandling as project manager.  Here's the FYI review of album track "Nobody Lies (About Having The Blues)."


– Singer/songwriter/rocker Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Lee Harvey Osmond) has also long been an acclaimed visual artist. Beautiful Scars (Mohawk Warriors, Hunters & Chiefs) is a major exhibition of his paintings and hand-painted guitars that opens Nov 30. at The Art Gallery of Burlington, close to Wilson's hometown of Hamilton.

– On Thursday (Nov. 8), ole presents A Songwriters Round at The Joint (55 Colbourne St) in Toronto). Hosted by Paul McGuire, the free event features Clayton Bellamy (The Road Hammers), Petric, and Amanda Rheaume.

– Toronto jazz vocalist Simone Morris released her debut album Settling Up on Friday and launches it with a hometown Jazz Bistro show on Nov. 8. The set features all-original material written by Morris and guitarist Mike Freedman. Joining the pair onstage is an all-star cast that includes Adrean Farrugia, William Sperandei, and Bill McBirnie.


Dave Rowland, the founder and lead singer of hit country group  Dave & Sugar, died Nov. 1, at age 74, due to complications from a stroke.

Before forming Dave & Sugar, Rowland was part of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet (who was touring with Elvis Presley at the time), and later the Four Guys. The Stamps Quartet was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1988. He also was a prominent member of Country Music Hall of Fame member Charley Pride's road show.
By 1975, with Pride looking for a backup band, Rowland hired Jackie Frantz and Vicki Hackeman, and Dave & Sugar was formed. The group signed to RCA Records, and the trio's first single, "Queen of the Silver Dollar" (written by Shel Silverstein), broke into the Top 25 of Billboard's country singles chart in early 1976.


Their second single "The Door Is Always Open," went straight to the number one spot. followed by other hits "I'm Gonna Love You,” and "Don't Throw It All Away." Overall, Dave & Sugar charted 16 times on the Billboard country charts.

Roy Anthony Hargrove, a Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter who embodied the brightest promise of his jazz generation, both as a young steward of the bebop tradition and a savvy bridge to hip-hop and R&B, died Nov. 2 in New York City, age 49. The cause was cardiac arrest, according to his longtime manager, Larry Clothier. Hargrove had been admitted to hospital for reasons related to kidney function.

A briskly assertive soloist, he was a galvanizing presence in jazz over the last 30 years. His capacity for combustion and bravura was equaled by his commitment to lyricism, especially when finessing a ballad on flugelhorn.


Hargrove is also known for his vital presence in the turn-of-the-century movement known as neo-soul. He made crucial contributions to D'Angelo's 2000 album Voodoo, appeared on albums by Erykah Badu and Common, and later formed his own hybrid project, The RH Factor, with the aim of furthering the dialogue between modern jazz, hip-hop and R&B.

Born in Waco, Texas, and raised in Dallas, a teenaged Hargrove impressed Wynton Marsalis before studying at the Berklee College of Music and the New School in New York. His first album, Diamond in the Rough, was released on the Novus imprint of RCA in 1990.

Hargrove was a two-time Grammy winner, in two categories: best jazz instrumental album in 2003 for Directions in Music, featuring a post-bop supergroup with pianist Herbie Hancock and saxophonist Michael Brecker; and best Latin jazz performance in 1998 for Habana, a groundbreaking Afro-Cuban project recorded in Havana. Sources: NPR

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award

Music News

Allison Russell Named Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year

The Nashville-based musician from Montreal has been having a huge year, including her first Grammy and her first Hot 100 appearance. Accepting the award on June 19 at the iHeartRadio Canada studio, she talked about her LGBTQ+ advocacy work and the importance of playing with underrepresented musicians.

It was a special Juneteenth for Allison Russell.

Not only did she serve as the special Toronto opener for Sarah McLachlan on the Canadian icon’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th anniversary tour, but she earned another big honour: Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

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