Music News Digest, February 17, 2022
Two Nova Scotia Bands, Hillsburn and city heroeslead the group of nominees for the upcoming 2022 East Coast Music Awardswith six and five nominations respectively, followed by Andrew Wait, with four. the artists scoring three names each are Andy Creeggan, Chloé Breault, Justin Fancy, Kelly McMichael, Morgan Toney, Paragon Cause and Quote the Raven. The 34th Annual ECMA Festival and Conference will be held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, May 4-8. See the full list of nominations here.
– Canadian anti-vax mandate truck rallies and blockades have drawn attention in the United States, including an American group of liberal-leaning subversives that goes by the name #RamRanchResistance. They decided to retaliate against alt-right protesters by resurrecting a raunchy eight-year-old gay metal song, Ram Ranch, by musician Grant MacDonald.
American songwriter reports that #RamRanchResistance blasted the song, filled with homoerotic lyrics, to overthrow the idea of all (Dodge) Ram trucks involved in the Canadian protests. Some Ottawa residents made the trail scream at the occupying truckers. MacDonald recalls that the song “was written to address homophobia in Nashville. It was the whole foundation. Now I’m just thrilled, totally thrilled that my song could be used to advocate for science.
– CMAO (Country Music Association of Ontario) has set its 2022 awards ceremony for June 5 in London, Ontario. Expect a 10th anniversary celebration of Live + Loud. Tickets on sale to the public tomorrow (February 18) here
– pink topsthe much-heralded side project from Vancouver frontman Black Mountain SStephen McBean, returns after eight years with the announcement of his new album Peacock pools, released May 6 on their new home label ATO Records. It’s previewed via this solid rock slab, Lights Of The City.
– NS Music announced revisions to his Artist Development Program. Previously, this program provided an annual grant of $3,000 for one year of artist development activities, including sound recording, touring and presenting, video production, marketing and promotion. Now: Artist 1 applicants are invited to choose their funding stream, which gives them more opportunities. These categories are recording, marketing, and touring support, with grants of up to $1.5,000 per applicant. The next deadlines are March 15 and June 15. More informations here.
– March 16 (2 p.m.-3 p.m.), creative Manitoba presents a free online event featuring Buffy Sainte Marie in conversation, with Daina Warren, director of Urban Shaman Gallery, about her latest exhibition, Buffy Sainte-Marie: Girl Scout, a retrospective of a digital art innovator currently underway at the Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Gallery. More information here.
– Juno-nominated pop singer Ryland James will sing the Canadian national anthem at Sunday’s 2022 NBA All-Star Game in Cleveland. He is in good company as Macy Gray will sing the American anthem and Earth, Wind & Fire will perform their hit Shining Star.
– 13 years after a well-received debut album, the electro-pop duo from Hamilton, ON allegories a second will come out, Unending, April 29, on Hidden Pony Records. Here is an overview.
– So Owls will release a fifth album, Who would hold you back if the sky betrayed us?, March 4, followed by a short tour. this includes shows at Baby G in Toronto (March 22), Gallery SAW in Ottawa (March 24), Sala Rossa in Montreal (March 31) and Grand Théâtre de Québec (Studio Telus), April 27 .
– The North Roots festival comes to Orillia, ON on April 22-23. The solid lineup includes Terra Lightfoot, Steve Poltz, Good Lovelies, Logan Staats and Lydia Persaud. More information here.
– Two acclaimed veterans of Canadian roots music, Linda McRae and Doug Cox have collaborated on several occasions and are now teaming up for some Western dates. From February 17-19, they have shows in Salmon Arm, Penticton and Christina Lake, respectively, with later shows in Prince George and Edmonton. More information here.
Kerry Chattera renowned Canadian singer-songwriter who wrote hits for many country music stars, died on February 4, at the age of 76.
Born in Vancouver, Chater got his start when he joined a band called the Progressives in the mid-1960s. He eventually left the band and joined a pop-rock band that would become known as Gary Puckett & The Union. gap. Chater served as the band’s bassist and arranger during their live performances.
In just two years, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap have landed four Top 10 songs on the charts. These songs included Woman, Woman, Young Girl, Lady Willpower and Over You.
The group scored another Top 10 hit, This Girl Is a Woman Now, in 1969. Chater left the group the following year, taking his career in a new direction. He studied musical theater and released two solo albums, Part time love and Love at a low price.
Chater later found success as a country songwriter. He co-wrote the 1979 Top 10 country hit, “I Know a Heartache When I See One”, recorded by Jennifer Warnes. Several songs he co-wrote in the 80s became No. 1 country hits, including George Strait’s You Look So Good in Love, Reba McEntire’s You’re the First Time I’ve Thought About Leaving, and If I Had You from Alabama.
Chater also co-wrote Lee Greenwood’s 1983 single. IOU Greenwood’s performance won the Grammy for Best Performance by a Male Artist. Chater and his co-writer, Austin Roberts, were nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song. Other Chater compositions became hits for Ed Bruce, Paul Brandt, David Frizzell, Juice Newton, Kathy Mattea and Tanya Tucker. Canadians who cut his songs included Brandt, Anne Murray, Eddie Eastman and Lisa Brokop.
Chater and his wife, Lynn Gillespie Charter, moved to Nashville in 1987. Together they wrote songs for artists including Restless Heart, Lorrie Morgan and Anne Murray. The couple went on to write two thriller novels, Kill point and Blood debt. A third novel, titled Connivance, is in preparation. Sources: Yahoo News, larry delaney
– Phil Murphy, figurehead of the London ON music scene for decades, died on February 13 at the age of 92.
Murphy, who played saxophone and clarinet, was a professional musician in swing bands, a teacher in high schools and at Fanshawe College, and conductor and principal clarinetist of the London Symphony Orchestra.
“He was an icon of music education in London,” said Mario Circelli, founder of the Forest City London Music Hall of Fame. London Free Press. Murphy was inducted in 2007.
Murphy was a professional musician for eight years in swing bands in the 1940s and 1950s, touring across Canada and the United States before returning to study at Western University’s College of Music Teachers. He taught at HB Beal, Central and Catholic Central Secondary Schools and also taught jazz at Fanshawe College.
He led the Phil Murphy Big Band and was the main clarinetist. Source: London Free Press
– Howard Grimesa drummer called the backbone of the Memphis soul, died Feb. 12 of kidney failure, aged 80.
NPR observes that “As the drummer of Hi Records’ house band, the Hi Rhythm section in the 1970s, Grimes worked closely with artists such as Al Green, Ann Peebles and Otis Clay, among others. His beats on songs such as Green’s Let’s Stay Together and Peebles’ I Can’t Stand the Rain served as a crucial foundation for Memphis’ burgeoning soul sound at the time.
Grimes was affectionately nicknamed “The Bulldog” for his notoriously steady rhythm behind the drums, a name he earned from mentor and Hi Records founder Willie Mitchell.
Hi Records was sold in 1977 and in the 1980s Grimes began to struggle professionally and became homeless. Later Grimes performed as a member of The Bo-Keys, and in 2021 he released his autobiography Timekeeper: My life in rhythm, recounting his life and career as an artist that left an indelible mark on the musical heritage of his hometown. Read more here.
– Sandy (Sander Lloyd) Nelsona chart-topping drummer and songwriter, died on February 14, at the age of 83.
Nelson was born in Santa Monica and became one of the legendary rock-n-roll drummers of the late 50s and early 60s. His #4 Billboard Teen Beat hit as well as top 10 song 1961’s Let There Be Drums were rare achievements as they were both instrumental and were top 10 hits in the US and UK.
Sandy also played with Phil Spector’s Teddy Bears on the hit To Know Him is to Love Him and several other popular bands of the time. He appeared on such top ten hits as Alley-Oop and A Thousand Stars. In all, he released over 30 music albums and was a highly respected and sought after session drummer for decades.
In 1963, he was the victim of a motorcycle accident which caused the amputation of his right foot and part of his leg, but that never slowed him down. His home on Avenue D in Boulder City became something of a spectacle, as he dug a cave 26 feet deep in the backyard where, for a time, he operated an illegal radio station called KPOOP 1590 until it is shut down by the FCC. Sources: Boulder City News, drummer world