Music News Digest, Oct. 26, 2018

The Stompin’ Tom (pictured) hockey classic enters the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, After The Storm benefit is coming to Ottawa, and Carole Pope and Kevin Hearn deliver a protest song. Also in the news are CMW, Drake, Hugh's Room Live, Derek Andrews, Creative Manitoba, Shuffle Demons, Schmoozefest, Project WILD, Rogers Hometown Hockey, Ann Vriend, Meghan Patrick, Ethan Ardelli, and a farewell to Tony Joe White. Videos included for your enjoyment.

Music News Digest, Oct. 26, 2018

By Kerry Doole

Stompin’ Tom Connors' anthem "The Hockey Song" will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in a special ceremony Saturday afternoon. Released in 1973, the beloved song is celebrating its 45th anniversary as a staple tune played throughout Canadian and American NHL arenas, and at every Toronto Maple Leafs home game. During the Maple Leafs versus Winnipeg Jets game that evening, Tom Connors Jr., son of late Stompin’ Tom Connors, and Tom Sr.’s widow Lena will receive a special gift before a live performance of "The Hockey Song" by Canadian country star Tim Hicks.

–  Canadian Music Week welcomes the following industry members to the CMW 2019 Co-Chair Committee:  Ashley Poitevin (eOne Management), Brian Chick (Universal Music Canada),  Erin Smyth (Live Nation Canada), Olivia Ootes (The Feldman Agency), Nathan Stein (Arts & Crafts Productions), Nathan Wiszniak (Spotify Canada), Paul Eastwood (Ole), and Trevor Shelton (Rammit Records, UMAC).


– Ottawa’s music industry is partnering with CUPE 503 to present After The Storm, a Tornado Relief Concert designed to raise much needed money for victims of the September storms in the Ottawa area and the long-term recovery effort required. It takes place at The Arena at TD Place on Nov. 10, and sports an impressive lineup. Those confirmed include The Jim Cuddy Band, Matt Mays, Sarah Harmer, Kellylee Evans, Le Groupe Swing, Jim Bryson, Rebecca Noelle, Kira Isabella, Craig Cardiff and Jeremy Fisher, with more names being added daily.

–  Carole Pope (Rough Trade) and Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies) have collaborated on a new politically-charged track, "Resist It." It features appearances by Broken Social Scene's Justin Peroff (drums) plus Hugh Marsh (violin), Tim Welch (guitar), and Sahara MacDonald (background vocals), and the hard-hitting cut is indeed timely. In a press release, Hearn explains that "Carole and I set out to write a song that pushes back against the daily onslaught of bad news and scandal. We came up with this deadly musical cocktail laced with sarcasm that echoes our anger and frustration. We're fired up."


–  Drake has become a part-owner of esports brand 100 Thieves, joining the brand's founder Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, Justin Bieber’s longtime manager Scooter Braun and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Drizzy will serve as a strategic advisor. In a press release, Haag states “With Drake and Scooter’s support, we’re going to build a lasting brand on the back of the content and apparel that our fans have come to love, aggressively expand into more games, scale our apparel business, and build a world-class management team.” Source: HipHopdx

–  Toronto music venue Hugh's Room Live has announced that longtime roots music organizer Derek Andrews will move on from his role as the club's Music Programmer. Board chair Brian Iler announced the shift as Andrews has wrapped up an 18-month stint lifting the venue out of distress. Brought on to rescue the club’s talent listings in Feb. 2017, Andrews cleaned up months of cancelled shows and put bookings on track to targets set by the board as they sought to stabilize the room’s finances. HRL will announce the new programming structure shortly.


–  In partnership with Boozhoo, Creative Manitoba presents The Art of Managing Your Career Intensive –Indigenous Perspectives. This course provides an overview of the practical skills you need to grow and manage your career as an artist. The dates are Nov. 3, 4, 17, 18, 10 am-4 pm (lunch provided), with a registration deadline of Nov. 1. Fully subsidized spots are available.

–  Beatnik jazz veterans Shuffle Demons are spreading musical merriment Down Under. The Toronto group is in the middle of an extensive New Zealand tour at the moment, to be followed by a few Australian dates. Mainman Richard Underhill tells FYI he found time for hiking in the Southern Alps between gigs.


–  Schmoozefest has earned a reputation as the Toronto music industry's best holiday party. Mark Dec. 10 in your calendars for the next night of fun, all designed to benefit the Unison Benevolent Fund. Tix go on sale Nov. 11.

–  Voting for Project WILD opens today (Oct. 26) and closes on Nov. 2. You can help determine who of the Project WILD Top 12 will take home the lucrative prize money. Online voting counts towards a portion of the artists' final score and is not the only factor that determines the Top 3. The competition's finale is on Nov. 24 at Knoxville's Tavern, Calgary.

–  Tickets for the 2018 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards will go on sale to the public on Saturday (Oct. 27). The show is set for Toronto's Sony Centre on Dec. 1.

– The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour is looking for local artists and bands to perform at each tour stop across Canada. Applications for December shows in Aurora, Chatham, Mississauga, and Collingwood are now open until Nov. 2.

–  Award-winning soul singer Ann Vriend releases a new video and single today. Entitled "It's Happening," it was commissioned for a school fundraiser, and the students of Sifton Elementary School Choir accompany Vriend on this empowering soul anthem. It is launched this afternoon with a special performance and viewing of the video, at the Edmonton school.

–  Last Friday, Toronto's Union Station was taken over by Arkells for a pop-up event. This afternoon (Oct. 26), from 4-6, Canadian country star Meghan Patrick sets up shop for an unplugged performance.

–  Put on by Not Dead Yet, an all-ages show in support of the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society takes place at Opera House in Toronto on Dec. 22 and has a high-decibel, high-calibre lineup. This comprises Fucked Up, Metz, Witch Prophet, and a DJ set by Meg Remy (U.S. Girls).


Acclaimed Toronto jazz drummer Ethan Ardelli is set to release a new album, The Island of Form, and he will soon begin a Canadian tour with his all-star quartet, featuring Chris Donnelly, Luis Deniz, and Devon Henderson. The tour runs Nov. 2-24, hitting clubs from Victoria to Halifax.  


Tony Joe White, a cult-favourite singer/songwriter whose songs were covered by Elvis Presley, Brook Benton, and more, died Oct. 24 at 75, of a heart attack.

White had released his latest album, Bad Mouthin’, on the Yep Roc label Sept. 28 and had made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry that same night.

The Louisiana native recorded more than 20 albums, beginning in 1969, but had his only serious brush with the charts as a performer with “Polk Salad Annie,” which reached No. 8 in 1969. The song became even better known as a staple of Presley’s repertoire, showing up in Elvis’ live albums and concert movies in the early 70s. Another early composition became an even bigger hit via a popular cover version, as Brook Benton’s version of “Rainy Night in Georgia” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the soul chart in 1970.


White was known for his deep, growling voice and potent "swamp rock" sound, which incorporated elements of blues, rock, country and R&B. Over the last half-century, his songs have been recorded by countless greats, included Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, Waylon Jennings, Tina Turner, Kenny Chesney, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Rod Stewart, Johnny Cash, Tom Jones, Etta James, Isaac Hayes, Hank Williams Jr., John Anderson, Joe Bonamassa and Carmen McRae.  Sources:Variety The Tennessean

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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