Music News Digest, March 31, 2022

Sam Roberts Band Presents Us All is a new documentary look at the popular Montreal band that is now available in Canada via Crave. Discover the trailer here. The film explores the recording of the band’s seventh album, All of usduring the 2020 pandemic and features an exclusive live performance of his songs and behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with band and producer Gus van Go.

– Award-winning Canadian country music label MDM Records Inc. just launched the Henry Armstrong Award, a scholarship and mentorship program created to develop, nurture and support the diverse talents of Canada’s Indigenous music community. The HAA is open to all Indigenous musical artists in Canada (except residents of Quebec) with submissions opening April 19 and ending May 13. A jury selection process of music industry professionals will select a winner who will receive a $10,000 scholarship as well as a mentorship program. professional development services, announced on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. The award is named after the President and Founder of MDM Recordings Mike DeneyLloyd Henry’s grandfather and mother Gloria Denney (née Armstrong), both Lower Six Nations Mohawks. More information here.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra recently announced its 2022-2023 lineup of shows marking the institution’s 100th anniversary. This is the TSO’s first full concert season in over two years. The season kicks off with a free public concert on September 24. Renowned cellist Yo-Yo MaThe Symphony Orchestra’s 50th concert takes place at a gala in November and features an Indigenous singer/songwriter Jeremy Hollander. In February 2023, the TSO will return to its original stage with a performance at the newly refurbished Massey Hall. Among the guest artists who will be honoured, the French-Canadian cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the internationally renowned pianist Yuja Wang. See the full program here. Subscriptions on sale April 8.

– Canadian music and musicians featured in three noteworthy new books. Montreal-based singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright delivered a thesis entitled Stories I might regret telling you (published by Random House Canada and now available), one showing that she takes after her father, the famous folk artist Loudon Wainwright 111, and her brother Rufus in terms of frankness.

There is no lack of books on Leonard Cohenand Matti Friedman adds to this canon with Who by the Fire: Leonard Cohen’s War, Atonement, and Resurrection (McClelland & Stewart). This is an in-depth exploration of Cohen’s visit to the war zone of Israel’s Yom Kippur War in 1973. Also coming soon (via ECW April 26) is Michael Barclayit’s Hearts on Fire: Six Years That Changed Canadian Music – 2000-2005, an in-depth look at the Canadian artists (Feist, Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire and others) who gave our country’s music scene hip credibility during this pivotal time. Source: Globe and Mail

– The late great rock and blues keyboardist Michel Fonfara is remembered by his Toronto comrades at a memorial concert, presented in association with the Toronto Blues Society, to be held April 5 at the Paradise Theatre. A stellar lineup includes The Hogtown Allstars with special guest Donnie “Mr. Downchild” Walsh, John Finley, Danny Weis, Peter Hodgson, Alan Gerber of Rhinoceros, Prakash & Jordan John, Johnny Wright & Hotline with Robbie Rox, Robin Banks and Continued. Proceeds from the evening will help establish Registered Education Savings Plans for Fonfara’s grandchildren. Fonfara passed away last year and his impressive resume includes collaborations with Jon, Lee & The Checkmates, Electric Flag, Rhinoceros, Lou Reed, Rough Trade, The Lincolns, Johnny Wright & Hotline, The Maple Blues Band and The Downchild Blues Band. . Tix here.

– Legendary Juno-winning Quebec metal band Voivode announced the dates of their North American tour for the month of June, in support of the new album Synchro Anarchy, topping the world metal rankings. The tour will kick off in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on June 1, followed by shows in Ottawa, Toronto, London and US cities, ending June 19 in Boston, MA. All ticket information and links are here. Synchro AnarchyVoivod’s 15th studio album, was released last month.

– International fame Nick Cave exposure stranger than kindness gets its North American premiere at the Galerie de la Maison du Festival de Montréal, Montreal, where it will be installed from April 8 to August 7, 2022. A press release notes that “Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition is an unprecedented look into the creative world of musician, storyteller and cultural icon Nick Cave. With over 300 objects collected or created by Nick Cave across six decades of his creative and private life brought together in large-scale installations, the exhibition is a work of art in itself.” The exhibition is accompanied by the book, stranger than kindnessa bestseller released in March 2020. Currently playing in Canadian shows, Cave will be present for a Q&A at the gallery on April 5th.

– The 2022 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMA) returns to PEI. to host its 17th annual awards celebration in Charlottetown this week, March 31-April 2, and all are invited to attend virtually. Events include live performances, but all CFMA shows will continue to be streamed via the CFMA website, (En) and (Fr) on Facebook and the CFMA/PMFC YouTube channel. The events include two series of showcases (The Songs and Stories – Songwriters Nominee Showcase and Tradworks – Traditional Music Nominee Showcase) and two nights of awards concerts, including performances by the 2022 CFMA nominees. 20 CFMA awards will be presented on both nights awards concerts, to be held at The Guild, including the Slaight Music Unsung Hero Award presentation. Alicia Toner, nominated for CFMA 2022 Solo Artist of the Year, will host the Songs and Stories showcase, and Reney Ray is replacing Guillaume Beaulac in the lineup. More information here.

– Polaris Prize Winner patrick watson at Better in the shade, his seventh full-length studio album, set for digital release April 22 via Secret City Records worldwide. Here is the first single.

Music Nova Scotia celebrates spring with a concert featuring new provincial talent on April 16 at the Marquee Ballroom in Halifax. Programming includes MNS Artist in Residence Kxng Wooz, with Burry, Jade Bennett and Jayden Austin. Tix and info here.

The Metcalf Foundation announced the 15 finalists for the 2021 edition Johanna Metcalf Award for the Performing Arts (Johannes). The five Ontario winners and their protégés will be announced May 19 at a ceremony at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Each winner will receive $25,000 and name a protege to celebrate early-career artists who show tremendous promise. The Protégés will each receive $10,000, double the award’s inaugural year, bringing the total value of the prizes to $175,000. The finalists come from the worlds of dance, theater and music, with those in the latter category including Ian Cusson, John Kameel Farah, Yaovi Hoyi (YAO), iskwē, Rosina Kazi, Juliet Palmer and Peter “Alo” White.


Donald “Tabby” Shawthe singer of the famous Jamaican reggae trio Mighty Diamonds, was killed in a drive-by shooting on March 29, at the age of 67.

The singer-songwriter has devoted five decades to music. The Mighty Diamonds have released over 40 albums. Consisting of Tabby, Lloyd ‘Judge’ Ferguson and Fitzroy ‘Bunny Shaw’, the group received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for their contribution to the development of Jamaican music in 2021.

The trio broke through in the mid-1970s with the song The Right Time and were signed to Virgin Records before releasing their debut album. Good time in 1976. The group rose to fame with the singles Country Living, I Need A Roof and Pass The Kutchie, which was one of the tracks on the 1981 album. Changes. Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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