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Music News

Music News Digest: Shad Joins London, ON's Hall of Fame, HAIDEE Wins Edmonton's Music Prize

Cities in Canada offer lots of news this week: the Trois-Rivieres en Blues Festival shuts down, Kelowna's Do It For The Culture festival announces, TALK headlines Oshawa Tourism's Convergence Festival, and more.

Shad

Shad

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Awards news

The Forest City London Music Hall of Fame has unveiled its class of 2024, set to be inducted during local music week celebrations in London, ON, running from June 9 to 16. The three new inductees are hip-hop star Shad (Shadrach Kabango), popular children's artist Glenn Bennett and eclectic pop/rock band The Capers. Lifetime Achievement awards were announced for radio programmer and concert promoter Ian Davies, urban music DJ and promoter Siva Markandu and Embassy Hotel owner/operator Helen Haller.


– Last week, the 2024 City of Edmonton Music Prize (and $15,000) went to Philippines-born pop singer HAIDEE’s debut album This Shouldn’t Be Typical. Arlo Maverick’s Blue Collar and Home Front’s Games of Power took the runner-up prizes of $5K apiece.

Festivals news

– The Trois-Rivieres en Blues Festival has announced that the annual event has closed down, after 15 years. On Facebook, co-founder and programmer Brian Slack posted that the news "is still difficult to assimilate, given all the efforts that we, the Trois-Rivières en Blues family, have devoted to organizing the best festival possible. After a meeting in Montreal 16 years ago, we started modestly and became one of Quebec's must-see events. I am very proud of what we have accomplished and wish we could continue but we are closing this chapter."

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Also on Facebook, Hamilton blues artist Steve Strongman posted that "This is very sad news. I would like to thank the entire team of Trois-Rivières en Blues for inviting me to perform at such a special, world class festival. Congratulations to the entire community for creating such an exciting and welcoming place for all the artists, and the music they create."

– Oshawa Tourism has named multi-platinum-selling artist and 2024 Juno Awards Breakthrough Artist of the Year TALK as the headliner of the 2024 Convergence Music and Art Festival on Sept. 21. Also featured on the event’s three live music stages in downtown Oshawa will be local heroes Dizzy (also Juno winners) and other acts to be named. More info here.

Industry news

– In recent years, Canadian wineries have become increasingly important presenters of live music. One example is the annual Redstone Winery Summer Concert Series, produced by the Beamsville, Ontario winery, and it has just announced a major new addition to its 2024 lineup. On June 6, Redstone presents an evening with Sam Roberts, one that features the rock hitmaker in conversation with host Dave Hodge as well as in a performance accompanied by Dave Nugent, lead guitarist of the Sam Roberts Band. Roberts joins a previously announced and impressive lineup of Canadian artists that includes Joel Plaskett, Ron Sexsmith and Royal Wood (all previous performers), Elliott Brood and Pretzel Logic. Tickets for these concerts are now on sale here.

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Since launching in 2017, the Redstone Winery Concert Series has presented such notable artists as Jim Cuddy, Chantal Kreviazuk, Serena Ryder, Alan Doyle, The Sadies, Sarah Harmer, Terra Lightfoot and Daniel Lanois. Of note: Famed sports broadcaster Dave Hodge (Hockey Night In Canada and TSN) has served as a Host/Advisor to the series from the outset and is credited as a 2024 co-presenter. As many in the Canadian music biz are aware, Hodge is a genuine die-hard music lover.

100 Collective Records has announced the Do It For The Culture Conference and Festival, set to take place in Kelowna, BC, from June 14-16. Headliners include Shad, Nonso Amadi, and Jon Vinyl, with more acts TBA. The conference component will include panelists repping Atlantic Records, Def Jam, A3C, and more. Tickets for the full weekend start at just $60 and can be purchased online here.

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– The prestigious Canadian independent roots music label Stony Plain Records has big news to announce, the signing of legendary Texan blues-based band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds. The group will celebrate their 50th anniversary with the release of their first studio album in eight years, Struck Down, on June 28. The album’s first single, “Payback Time,” featuring Billy Gibbons, is out now.

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The record features a major contribution in the form of top Hamilton blues guitarist/songwriter Steve Strongman. With Thunderbirds leader Kim Wilson, Strongman co-wrote nine of the album’s 10 tracks and is credited as album co-producer, alongside Wilson and Glen Parrish. He is also a guest on the album, alongside such stars as Elvin Bishop, Terrance Simien, Bonnie Raitt, Keb’ Mo’, Taj Mahal and Mick Fleetwood. “In the first three days, we wrote five songs," says Wilson of working with Strongman. "He came back for another three days, and we wrote 12 songs. I would say there was chemistry there.”

Strongman informs Billboard Canada that "Kim and I wrote all the songs in California and we recorded all tracks in New Jersey. I did some guitar overdubs at Rob Szabo’s studio in Toronto and some vocal work in Hamilton at Catherine North Studios."

Music Nova Scotia is holding the annual election for its board of directors. There are two (2) incumbents re-offering and one (1) open seat, with three (3) total seats to fill. Nominations are now open until May 17. Details here.

– Billboard Canada has learned of the recent passing of record label representative Don Grant in Vancouver. Former CBS Records Senior VP Don Oates informs us that "Don started his music industry career in retail in Winnipeg, did a stint with GRT Records, and then joined CBS for close to a 10 year career as a Sales Representative in our Vancouver Branch through the 80's." He later left the business, but Oates notes that "in our annual lunches the past three years, he often stated that his music biz years were his favourites." GRT Records VP of A&R Jeff Burns tells Billboard Canada that "Don Grant did promotion in Vancouver for GRT while I was there and helped with my artists on the label including Dan Hill, Prism and Lighthouse."

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Artists news

– Twin Fang Records has added post-punk band Chinese Medicine to its roster. The group's new EP, Die Aspora, has just been re-released, and it boasts production by Wade MacNeil (Alexisonfire) and engineering by Ian Romano (City & Colour, Attack in Black). They play a May 10 show at Toronto's Bovine Sex Club.

– A strong Canadian triple bill holds court at The Concert Hall in Toronto on May 10. It comprises The Paul Langlois Band, Skydiggers and The Sadies. Tickets here.

– Self-described as a "trash pop/garage rock band," Toronto's Mad Onesrecently released a fifth album,What it Takes, on Fortune Stellar Records. The group played 8 shows in the U.K. last month.

– Over the past seven years, Ontario country singer-songwriter Marshall Dane has mastered American Sign Language (ASL) and that experience is reflected in his new single and video, "No Need To Speak." A press release notes that "'No Need To Speak' was written because of Dane's bond with, and love for, the Deaf community. This is a song that expresses to people that they are heard through hearts and eyes that can see who they are." The tune was co-written and co-produced with acclaimed veteran Rosanne Baker Thornley.

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Tom Cochrane
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Tom Cochrane

Latest News

Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame To Induct Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, Sarah McLachlan and Diane Tell

Founded in 1998, the CSHF honours and celebrates Canadian songwriters and their significant contributions, both domestically and globally. The Class of 2024 is one impressive grouping.

Today (May 28), TheCanadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) announced its class of 2024. Tom Cochrane, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo), Sarah McLachlan and Diane Tell will all be inducted at the CSHF Induction Ceremony at Massey Hall in Toronto on September 28, 2024.

Founded in 1998, the CSHF honours and celebrates Canadian songwriters and their significant contributions, both domestically and globally. Throughout its history, the CSHF has inducted more than 65 songwriters and 190 songs at its music events. It now welcomes Amazon Music as the new title sponsor of the event.

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