Music News

Music News Digest: TOBi and William Prince Earn Accolades

Plus: news on Alanis Morissette's musical, Jim Cuddy, Ron Hawkins, Maple Blues Awards, Royal Tusk and more.



Patrick Duong

Awards news

SOCAN recently presented singer-songwriter/rapper TOBi and his publisher Warner Chappell Music Canada with a No. 1 Song Award for “Flatline” (featuring Kenny Mason), which scaled the peak of the CBC Music Top 20 Countdown on Oct, 26, 2023. TOBi co-wrote “Flatline” with Kenny Mason, Alex Goose, Daniele Luppi, Rafeal Brown and Bobby Wooten. SOCAN handed out the award to TOBi along with Warner Chappell’s Vivian Barclay and Ricardo Chung, at the new offices of Warner Music Canada in downtown Toronto.

- The Toronto Blues Society has revealed some of the performers at the Maple Blues Awards, set for The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on Feb. 12. That list includes Matt Andersen, Blackburn Brothers, Brandon Isaak, Angelina Hunter and awards host Quisha Wint. The evening also features the debut of a new house band, dubbed The Maples, comprising Manny DeGrandis as bandleader and on bass, Quincy Bullen on keys/guitar/vocals, Selena Evangeline on guitar/vocals, Kristen Prince on sax and Dave Patel on drums. Following the awards gala will be the popular After-Glow Jam, hosted by Little Magic Sam Band in The Parlour Room at The Phoenix. Tickets available here. The Maple Blues Awards cap off the 11th biennial Blues Summit, a weekend of industry panels, schmoozing, and showcases.


- The Penguin Eggs/Roots Music Canada Critics' Album of the Year and New Discovery of the Year were announced last week. Six years after being named a Critic’s New Discovery of the Year in Penguin Eggs Critics’ Poll, rootsy singer-songwriter William Prince earned the 2023 Critics’ Album of the Year designation for his fourth album, Stand in the Joy. Named as New Discovery was Aleksi Campagne. Read more here.

Festivals news

- Now in its fifth year, the Wintersong Music Festival in Stoufville, ON, has grown to the point that over 100 acts will perform in 15 venues over its two days, Jan. 19 and 20. It boasts an impressive lineup headed by Wintersleep and Status/Non-Status and including Chris Birkett and Pony Girl. More info here.


- The Music Weekends in Downtown Guelph festival presents weekend afternoons of live music at various central venues from Jan. 13 to March 10. Roots veteran Lori Yates launches the series on Jan. 13. Other notable names featured in the fest include Son of Dave, B.A. Johnston and Middlebrook. More info here.

Industry news

- Following an acclaimed run on Broadway, Jagged Little Pill, the musical based around the songs of Alanis Morissette, has been playing across North America. A run in Toronto closed in November, and the show has announced it will premiere in Kitchener for a short run at Centre in the Square, March 30 to April 2. Tickets here.

Artists news

- Popular Alberta country quartet Nice Horse has announced a major lineup change. In a recent Facebook post, the group announced the departure of two of the original members, Tara McLeod and Krista Wodelet. The other two members, Brandi Sidoryk and Katie Rox will continue to work as Nice Horse. In the post, they state that "Tara & Krista will forever be our musical sisters & friends and we will continue to carry on the torch that we lit when this whole wild ride began 8 years ago. We are so proud of what we have accomplished together and so excited for what is yet to come."


The band has released one studio album, 2017's There Goes the Neighbourhood, one EP, A Little Unstable, and a series of singles. Accolades accumulated to date include five CCMA nominations, four YYC Music Awards, five Country Music Alberta Awards and the 2021 Western Canadian Music Award for Country Artist of the Year.


- Alberta rock trio Royal Tusk releasesa third full-length album, Altruistic, on February 23 via MNRK Music Group, and will support the record via The Northern Light Co-headline Tour with BRKN Love across Canada from February 20 through March 16. Support acts during the extensive trek include Whale and the Wolf, The Honest Heart Collective, and Mike Froh & The Bad News. Itinerary and ticket info here. Last month, Royal Tusk shared the documentary, Do No Wrong: The Making of Altruistic.

- Lowest Of The Low frontman Ron Hawkins has announced his solo Seven Miles To Go spring mini tour, one he describes on Facebook as "Just me and an acoustic guitar and my special guest Graven hitting the road and playing some of our favourite clubs." The tour begins in London, ON, on March 7 and includes a March 22 show at The Rivoli in Toronto. Tickets are on sale from Jan. 15.

- Fresh off a highly successful tour dates with Blue Rodeo, Jim Cuddy is taking his own band into rural Ontario for four dates later this month. The Jim Cuddy Band plays Regent Theatre in Picton on Jan. 25, the Grand Theatre in Fergus, Jan. 26, Stephen Leacock Theatre in Georgina, Jan. 27, and the Memorial Community Centre in Blyth, Jan. 28. Devin Cuddy opens all the shows. Ticket info here.


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