Music News Digest, Oct. 24, 2018

The Washboard Union (pictured) win big at the BCCMAs, Nash The Slash featured in a new doc, Joe Keithley of D.O.A. elected to office, and k.d. lang is honoured with the Alberta Order of Excellence. Also in the news are Supporting Cast, Music BC, Drake, The Barr Brothers, Turboprop, Loud As Hell, Wacken Metal Battle, Darrell Millar, PEI Arts Grants, Thelonious Hank, TD Jazz, Contact, and a farewell to Jon James McMurray. Videos added for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Oct. 24, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Bluegrass fave The Washboard Union will need a bigger trophy case soon. At the Molson Canadian Theatre in Coquitlam, B.C., on the weekend, the Warner Music Canada recording artists were honoured with six awards from the British Columbia Country Music Association, making them the night's biggest winners (Aaron Pritchett won in five categories). The lads won as Songwriter(s) of the Year, Group/Duo of the Year. Entertainers of the Year, Album of the Year, Gaylord Wood Traditional/Roots, and Website of the Year. 

Last month in Hamilton, the band won Canadian Country Music Awards for Group or Duo of the Year and Roots Group or Duo of the Year, their third consecutive win in that category. They are now getting set for shows in Ontario and Western Canada.


– On Nov. 1, the 2nd Annual Supporting Cast concert is scheduled at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre in Toronto. Last year's event honoured blues/soul singer Jackie Richardson, and this year there are three honourees: actress and activist Shirley Douglas, founder of Famous People Players Diane Dupuy, and composer and musical director, David Warrack. Slated performers include Marc Jordan, Louise Pitre, Jackie Richardson, Amy Sky, and Jordan John, again under the direction of Mark Camilleri.

– Filmmaker Tim Kowalski has travelled internationally gathering interviews and material for his full-scale documentary And You Thought You Were Normal about the life of Nash the Slash. For those sticklers for information, the doc’s title comes from the title of  Nash’s second solo album. Kowalski screens selections from his unfinished work (co-directed with former King Cobb Steelie mainman Kevan Byrne) at the Super Wonder Gallery, 584 College Street, this Thursday, October 25, as part of a broad fund-raising strategy to finish the film. Admission is free, and merchandise is to be available. Screenings are at 8:00; 9:30 and 11:00 p.m. Tim is at and the gallery number is 416-516-5457.


Below, the official trailer that includes testimonials from Iggy Pop, Cameron Hawkins, Toronto’s Mike’s Music store owner and musician Michael Waite, Martin “Youth” Glover from UK band Killing Joke, Gary Numan, and performance artist Danielle Dax.

–  After multiple attempts to gain public office in BC, D.O.A. founder/leader Joe Keithley has succeeded. On Saturday night he was elected to Burnaby City Council, representing the Green Party. Keithley (aka Joey Shithead) captured the eighth and final spot by a narrow margin of 215 votes. Significantly, his win broke the council monopoly of The Burnaby Citizens Association.

– k.d. lang was among eight Albertans who received the Alberta Order of Excellence at Government House in Edmonton on Oct. 18, at a ceremony hosted by Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Lois E. Mitchell. The Order is the highest honour the Province of Alberta can bestow on a citizen. The order recognizes people from all walks of life—from medicine, science, engineering, law, and business to politics, education, agriculture and the arts—who have made an outstanding provincial, national, or international impact.


– Music BC, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, is hosting two mental health workshops for managers. The two Promoting Mental Health in Music sessions will be led by Australian psychologist Dr. Chris Stevens on Nov. 15 and 16 at Music BC. To be eligible, you must be managing one or more artists in British Columbia. Apply here

– Drake is no stranger to breaking records, and a big one came earlier this week. Billboard confirmed that Drizzy now holds the record for the most Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 songs in a single year, passing the Beatles’ 1964 record in the process. Drake's tally now stands at 12 hits in 2018. Source: Rolling Stone


–  Montreal's The Barr Brothers have announced an adventurous concert concept for a special string of six shows in Toronto and Montreal this winter. Entitled An Album Nightly, it features the group performing their three albums in their entirety, chronologically, on three consecutive nights at the Mod Club in Toronto (Feb. 28, March 1-2) and the Corona Theatre in Montreal (March 7-9). Tix on sale Friday. The Barrs have dates in western Canada later this month, in Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

– Led by drummer/composer Ernesto Cervini (Myriad3) and featuring some of Toronto's top jazz players, Turboprop is basking in rave reviews for its new album Abundance. The group is taking it on the road next month, playing 10 shows in western Canada after two nights at The Rex in Toronto, Nov. 21-22.  A mockumentary series of video clips about the new album is now up on YouTube.

– Western Canada's aptly-entitled heavy metal festival Loud As Hell has opened band submissions for its 2019 line-up being hosted in Drumheller, AB from Aug. 2-4. Bands interested in performing at the fest should apply by Dec. 1. 

–  In its sixth year, Wacken Metal Battle Canada returns to present one unsigned Canadian band at the world's largest metal festival, Wacken Open Air. 13 regional battles will be held across Canada. Submissions are now open

–  Darrell Millar, drummer for Canadian metal band Killer Dwarfs, has written his first book, Guardian Of A Time Keeper, to be published in late November. Millar told Brave Words recently that "this book is autobiographical in nature. It's not so much about my rock career and bands I work with, although it touches on my career in places, and is filled with personal pictures." Autographed copies of the book can be purchased in advance at as of Oct. 31. 


– Today (Oct. 24) at 4 pm is the final deadline for submissions for the PEI Arts Grants Program. There are three grants categories: Creation, Dissemination, and Professional Development.

– Toronto roots combo Thelonious Hank take hilarious shots at Ontario premier Doug Ford in a new video, "Buck-A-Beer," mocking Ford's recent election platform. It was co-written by TH singer/drummer Ted Hawkins and guitarist Nichol Robertson.

– The TD Discovery Series Special Projects is an initiative created by Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ) that encourages the creation, development and presentation of special projects by Toronto jazz musicians in the City of Toronto. Through a juried process, successful applicants will be awarded a bursary and obtain marketing and public relations support from TDJ. Submissions are now being accepted, until Nov. 30.

–  A reminder that entries for the 2018 Edmonton Music Prize have a submission deadline of Nov. 2. It awards three cash prizes, one $10K and two $1K runner-up prizes. 2017 winners were Dan Davidson, Nuela Charles, and 100 Mile House.

–  CONTACT, billed as western Canada’s largest winter music festival, has announced its single-day lineups for Dec. 28 and 29 at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver. Skrillex, the Grammy-winning EDM artist, headlines the Friday lineup, preceded by Galantis, Troyboi, BTSM, Valentino Khan, and more. The Chainsmokers close out Saturday’s show, following Alison Wonderland, NGHTMRE, Loud Luxury, Borgore, and others.



Jon James McMurray, Canadian rapper and action sports personality, died Oct. 20 while performing an airplane stunt near Vernon BC. He was 33.

A professional skier and action sports personality. McMurray took up rapping after suffering numerous injuries from stunts. He rapped under the name Jon James, releasing an album called Rex Leo in 2016, recording five videos for tracks on the album. McMurray's music videos frequently featured him performing stunts. Sources: Newsweek, Billboard


Abel 'The Weeknd' Tesfaye performs live at the London Stadium as part of his After Hours til Dawn Tour on July 7, 2023 in London, England.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Abel 'The Weeknd' Tesfaye performs live at the London Stadium as part of his After Hours til Dawn Tour on July 7, 2023 in London, England.

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