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Monday, 06 February 2017 14:51






Canadian company Bell Media is taking another shot at creating a new music superstar, with the help of the label behind Taylor Swift. 

Bell Media says it's joining the U.S. record label Big Machine to produce a TV musical talent search. 

While details of the show are vague, the company says it plans to tap into its various multimedia platforms for the series, including its TV and radio stations across Canada. 

The partnership was inked with Big Machine owner Scott Borchetta, who's best known for signing a young Swift when she was still an unknown country singer. Borchetta also appeared on the final two seasons of ``American Idol'' as a mentor to hopeful contestants. 

Bell Media says the two companies will ``work together to uncover, develop, and promote pop culture's next musical superstars,'' but it didn't reveal much about the show's format or the judging process. 

The companies say they hope to expand the concept for the series into other countries. 

(The Canadian Press)





The Juno Award nominations will be revealed today.  The celebration of homegrown music shines a light on performers who have climbed the charts, as well as newcomers hoping to capture more listeners. Musicians likely to land nominations include the Strumbellas, whose rock track ``Spirits'' found success both in Canada and the U-S.  Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie is also likely to be recognized for his ``Secret Path'' solo project and Drake is considered a lock for some nominations after his hit album ``Views'' dominated the airwaves and streaming charts in 2016.

The Juno Awards will air live on C-T-V on April 2nd.



2017 Polar Music Prizes


Sting, the stage name of Gordon Sumner, was cited for putting ``down his anchor in more musical harbours than perhaps any other artist of his generation.'' 

The award panel said Tuesday that he ``has combined classic pop with virtuoso musicianship and openness to all genres and sounds.'' 

The panel said Shorter's music ``is a means of learning more about all aspects of life and the universe.'' Shorter has worked in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet and Weather Report. 

Both have been invited to receive their awards, including a cash prize of 1 million kronor ($114,000) each, June 15 from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm.





Willie Nelson has postponed three California shows because of illness. His publicist tells The Associated Press that Nelson will bail out of the three-night stand he had set for this week at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield. The shows were set for last night, tonight and tomorrow night. The publicist provided no details about what is ailing Nelson. But she says Nelson plans to be back for a Feb. 16th concert at a San Antonio rodeo. Nelson is 83. And this is the second time recently he has had to miss shows because of sickness. Late last month, he cancelled two of the five shows he had scheduled in Las Vegas because of a bad cold. 





Now that she's down from the wire that suspended her above the Super Bowl stadium in Houston, Lady Gaga is ready for some more conventional travel: a tour bus. She has announced on Twitter that she'll be hitting the road this summer. The 48-date tour includes stops in three continents. While her Super Bowl gig exposed her to football fans, several of the stops on her upcoming concert swing seem designed to appeal to baseball fans. She will play at Chicago's Wrigley Field, Fenway Park in Boston and Citi Field in New York. The tour begins on Aug. 1st in Vancouver and wraps Dec. 14th in Salt Lake City. 





The Game has received a sentence from a judge in Los Angeles aimed at trying to get him to play nice on the basketball court. The rapper has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service as part of his penance for assaulting an off-duty policeman during a pick-up hoops game in Hollywood. The Game also gets a six-month suspended jail term and has to attend anger management counselling. If he gets into any more trouble, he may have end up doing the time. Prosecutors say The Game threatened, intentionally fouled _ then sucker-punched the officer _ an incident triggered by the officer's stealing the ball from The Game and making a basket. 





You'd think being busted for D-U-I _ and the penalties go with that _ would be enough to deter someone from getting behind the wheel after boozing it up. But it seems some police departments use music to try to add an additional deterrent.

Take the po-po in Wyoming, Minnesota. They threatened people caught over the weekend driving drunk, they'd force them to watch a Super Bowl ad featuring Canadian pop star Justin Bieber. Bieber was featured in a T-Mobile ad doing his version of an end zone dance.

Message received. The Wyoming, Minnesota police report there were no D-U-I arrests made Sunday night. 





Count Lady Antebellum as among those who feel Taylor Swift has the ``write'' stuff. Members of the country group say they'd like to see Swift write something for them _ just as she has written hit songs for herself, former boyfriend Calvin Harris and country act Little Big Town. Speaking in an interview at the Super Bowl on Sunday, Hillary Scott says her message to Swift is simple: ``Taylor, call us.'' Charles Kelly of Lady A says as long as Swift is writing, she might as well make it a number one song. Kelly says if Swift can't put a No. 1 hit on them, he is ``going to be so disappointed.'' 



(The Associated Press)


Read 557 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 09:00

Singer Songwriter Tia McGraff performs at the Watson Art Center in Dauphin on Friday October 27th!

Saturday, 21 October 2017 12:01
Singer Songwriter Tia McGraff performs at the Watson Art Center in Dauphin on Friday October 27th!

The Watson Art Center in Dauphin continues to host some great singer / songwriters and extremely talented musicians, don't miss Americana Country Roots singer songwriter Tia McGraff, on Friday October 27th at 8pm, enjoy Jon Brooks on Sunday November 12th, and Big Dave McLean on Friday November 24th. For more info on any of these upcoming shows in Dauphin, you can call 638-6231 or go online and check out www.watsonartcentre.com


Friday, 20 October 2017 08:20



Downie Donations

A doctor in Toronto is comparing Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie to another Canadian icon -- Terry Fox. 

Dr. Arjun Sahgal of Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital says Downie's openness about his diagnosis with terminal brain cancer will leave a lasting legacy. 

The Tragically Hip frontman died Tuesday night at age 53. 

In the 24 hours after his death was announced, donations to a research fund named in his honour increased notably.

 As of yesterday afternoon, donations for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research had reached 1.8 million dollars, up about 100-thousand dollars from the previous day. 

The fund will support the Gord Downie Fellowship in Brain Oncology and construction of the G. Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre. 

Downie's determination to embark on a cross-country tour, release various music projects, and press politicians on Indigenous issues throughout his treatment has also inspired other cancer patients. 





A concert Thursday benefiting victims of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U-S history brought out a crowd -- including many who had been present Oct. 1st when 58 people were killed and hundreds more were wounded. Jason Aldean was on stage at the time. Aldean says security for this latest concert was a concern, as it will be for other concerts going forward. He said ``I would like for a bad guy to look up and see snipers.'' The tickets for the concert were free and all were taken. Organizers accepted donations and profit from food and beverage sales go to a victims'fund. 





Chance The Rapper has offered a glimpse into the actual moment he got his Grammys. The ceremony in February is when everyone saw him win, but prop trophies are handed out and the real ones are mailed later. Chance tweeted a video of the unboxing of his three Grammys with the help of his two-year-old daughter, Kensli. He took the opportunity to test Kensli on her numbers as they counted 1-2-3. His Grammys are for best rap album, best rap performance and best new artist. 





In the words of Luke Bryan, ``No big feuds yet.'' Bryan says the new version of ``American Idol'' has visited only two cities so far, but he's loving it. Bryan says there's ``lots of cutting up'' with fellow judges Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. Bryan says Carrie Underwood set the benchmark for future ``Idols,'' and he feels their role is to find someone who can make a difference in music. 





Walk The Moon had an unintended special effect in the video for ``One Foot'': the solar eclipse in August. Singer Nicholas Petricca (peh-TREE'-kah) says it was coincidence that they scheduled the video shoot for that day in Joshua Tree National Park.

Petricca says the part of the video when he's dancing on the mountain is when the eclipse is behind him. Bassist Kevin Ray says Joshua Tree is such a surreal place anyway, with weird trees that are hundreds of years old in a barren wasteland. He says the eclipse on top of that was inspiring. Walk The Moon's ``What If Nothing'' album comes out November 10th. 





Had things been slightly different, ``Don't Do Me Like That'' could have been a hit for the J. Geils Band instead of Tom Petty. J. Geils Band singer Peter Wolf tells Rolling Stone magazine he had been friends with Petty since they toured together in the 1970s. Wolf got a cassette from Petty with the song on it, saying, ``I think this would be a cool song for you.'' Wolf says Petty was not so sure of himself in those days. Wolf says he loved the song but the J. Geils Band just did not get to it. Wolf says in the last conversation he had with Petty, they talked about that song. Petty thanked Wolf for not recording it and instead giving him one of his biggest hits. 


(The Associated Press)


Thursday, 19 October 2017 08:32






Rush says of the death of Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie, ``It's a sad, sad day for Canada and Canadian music.''

Nickelback tweets, ``Thank you for inspiring so many with a well-lived life,'' while k.d. Lang says, ``Swift rebirth Gord Downie.'' Downie was such a beloved figure in Canada, the NBA's Toronto Raptors, the NHL Players' Association and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau all sent condolences. Downie died Tuesday night after a battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was 53. 




What began as a subdued memorial for Gord Downie organized by city officials in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario grew into an improvised candlelight vigil last night. 

Fans paid tribute to the Tragically Hip frontman who died Tuesday at the age of 53 with sing-alongs, breakout dance parties and, in one case, by broadcasting classic Hip concerts from a flatscreen T-V in the back of a van. 

The evening began with a couple hundred people gathered around same city square where thousands gathered just over a year ago to watch a public screening of the band's sold-out final concert. 

But as Downie's voice echoed over the speakers, the crowd's energy shifted and a heavy sadness that weighed over Kingston began to lift. 

It started when ``Ahead By a Century'' started playing, then one man pulled out his guitar and led the crowd in a sing-along that picked up steam with every verse. 

Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson earlier laid a wreath dedicated to Downie at city hall, which was illuminated in red and white in the evening. 





The town of Bobcaygeon in Ontario's cottage country felt a special warmth for Gord Downie. 

A Tragically Hip song named after the town from the Hip's 1998 album ``Phantom Power'' earned a Juno Award for best single in 2000. 

About 50 people gathered near the water last night in to commemorate Downie, who died Tuesday at age 53. 

Candles were placed on the ground and illuminated local musician Richard Kyle, who strummed along to famous Hip songs ``Wheat Kings,'' ``Ahead by a Century,'' and of course, ``Bobcaygeon,'' on his black acoustic guitar. 

Kyle said he planned on playing a few Hip songs in dedication to Downie regardless of whether anyone would show up. 

Residents of Bobcaygeon remembered Downie for putting them on the map by writing the hit song about their town. 

Local business owner Sacha Douglas said residents ``feel a great connection'' to Downie and always have. 





In the final months of his life, Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie became an outspoken advocate on Indigenous issues, notably as part of his ``Secret Path'' project. 

It honoured 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack who died in 1966 after running away from a residential school near Kenora, Ont. 

Proceeds from the album and graphic novel are being donated to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. 

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler says Downie often said he was struck by that story and ``couldn't let go of it.'' 

He says Downie wanted to make it his mission to share that story with the rest of the country. 

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde added that it was almost as if Wenjack's spirit connected to Downie. 

Bellegarde said Canada can now take up Downie's challenge of building a better country. 





As Canadian musicians tearfully reflected on the legacy of Gord Downie, many used a word the late Tragically Hip frontman himself belted out onstage in his signature howl: ``Courage.'' 

His peers agreed that Downie's advocacy on behalf of Indigenous Peoples and his fundraising efforts during his fight with terminal brain cancer were incredibly brave and galvanized a nation in a way that will be felt for decades. 

Rush frontman Geddy Lee called Downie a national hero who tried to do as much good with the time he had left. 

Former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page said Downie's ``great and lasting contribution'' was his commitment to raising awareness about Indigenous issues. 

Sean McCann, singer and former Great Big Sea guitarist, said he was also awed by Downie's political activism in his final year, saying he was a man who did so much more than politicians who've spent 30-year careers avoiding issues. 

In a statement, Dan Aykroyd called Downie's death ``the end of an era.'' 





There was an uncommon slowness in Justin Trudeau's step as he walked toward the weekly Liberal caucus meeting on Parliament Hill, his thoughts weighed heavily with the news that Gord Downie had died. 

With voice cracking with emotion and tears streaming down his face, Trudeau said simply that ``it hurts.'' 

Trudeau added that Canada was less of a country for having lost Downie. 

There was a personal connection between the prime minister and the musician that was only seen publicly on a few occasions. 

As his band ended a 15-stop farewell tour in Kingston in the summer of 2016, Downie called out to Trudeau, who was in the audience, urging him to take action on behalf of Canada's Indigenous peoples, to make their lives better. 

Trudeau commended Downie yesterday for his love of country, his profound ability to use words to create landscapes and his dedication to the plight of Indigenous Canadians. 



(Roundup by The Canadian Press) 


(The Canadian Press)




Singer Jason Aldean and other stars honoured victims of a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas instead of accepting awards at the C-M-T Artists of the Year show last night. The format of the show pivoted to focus on victims of the shooting, as well as those recovering from hurricanes and wildfires, with a night of sombre tributes, inspirational anthems and voices lifted in harmony. Aldean, who was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival when the shooting occurred Oct. 1st, stood side-by-side with the night's other award winners, including Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban, to dedicate the night to music fans. The honorees did not accept awards or give speeches as usual, but some chose to perform or other musicians performed in their honour. 





Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert have signed up to perform at the Country Music Association Awards.

Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Little Big Town, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Chris Stapleton and Thomas Rhett also will perform. Carrie Underwood will perform and co-host with Brad Paisley. The awards will air live from Nashville on ABC on Nov. 8th. 





Jon Pardi seemed destined to be a country singer from the time he was a kid. Pardi says when he was asked his name in preschool, he'd say it was Randy Travis -- or Merle Haggard, or George Strait. Then he grew up, moved to Nashville and got into disagreements about cowboy hats. Pardi says he got into a lot of arguments with his management and his label about wearing a cowboy hat for his ``California Sunrise'' album. He says he can't help but point out that's his first album that went to number one. 





At the height of fame for Destiny's Child, Michelle Williams wanted out so badly she considered ending her life. Williams revealed on the C-B-S show ``The Talk'' yesterday she suffered from depression from the time she was a teen, and she was suicidal in her 20s. She went to manager Mathew Knowles about it and he said, ``You all just signed a multi-million dollar deal. You're about to go on tour. What do you have to be depressed about?'' She says that's not a dig on Knowles as much as he just didn't understand her problem. Williams says she wants to normalize the conversation about mental health. 





There was the very real possibility that Prophets of Rage would fail miserably, according to Tom Morello. He says it looks good on paper to bring together members of Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill and Public Enemy, but they practiced in secret to see if they had any chemistry. D-J Lord says they started out riffing their parts verbally and shouting, ``Record that!'' Chuck D says the key to any art is to be fearless and he quotes Morello as saying, ``This will be worked out in the mosh pit.'' The self-titled Prophets of Rage album is out now. 





A house billed as the home where Elvis Presley lived as a child in Tupelo, Mississippi, is for sale. GWS Auctions estimates the house and the 16 acres surrounding it could sell for as much as 2.5-million at auction Nov. 11th. It's not the Elvis Presley Birthplace, which is a museum nearby. G-W-S Auctions says the house is one of several Presley's father, Vernon, built for family members in the 1920s and 1930s. A Presley family member says Elvis and his mother lived there and Elvis played on the land.

Presley Birthplace officials say they can't confirm the Presleys lived in that house. Other Elvis items for sale include a boat named ``Hound Dog,'' a two-bedroom mobile home from his Circle G ranch and a T-V that Elvis had shot but was repaired. 



(The Associated Press)


Wednesday, 18 October 2017 08:32






Chris Young joined the Grand Ole Opry last night and he's still kicking himself for not seeing the invitation coming.

Vince Gill had surprised him onstage at the Opry a few weeks ago by inviting him personally. Young says he prides himself on not getting surprised but Gill pulled a fast one. At 32, Young is the youngest current member of the Opry. He's also got a new album out on Friday called ``Losing Sleep.''






Big and Rich will return to Las Vegas to help with the healing process after the Oct. 1st shootings at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Big and Rich will join Cam for the concert ``Vegas Strong - A Night of Healing'' in Las Vegas tomorrow. Tickets were free and have already been distributed. Donations will be collected to benefit victims of the shootings. Big and Rich had played the Route 91 Harvest Festival just hours the shooting began.






Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez have raised 26-million dollars for Puerto Rico disaster relief, with another nine-million raised by a benefit show. The two hosted ``One Voice:

Somos Live!'' on Saturday with Marc Anthony. The benefit show included performances by Demi Lovato, Ricky Martin, Mary J. Blige and Gwen Stefani.






ZZ Top is postponing its tour dates for the rest of this year because, according to the official band statement, bassist Dusty Hill ``is addressing a tummy ailment.'' The statement says Hill has been directed to lay low for the next few weeks.

Details of Hill's medical issue were not given. ZZ Top intends to resume touring next year. ZZ Top postponed concerts last year after Hill tripped on a step and fractured his shoulder. 





 ``Weird Al'' Yankovic says his next concert tour will consist mainly of songs you barely remember. He's calling it ``The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour.''

Yankovic writes on Facebook he will do obscure tracks and only a few parodies, with no props, costumes or video screens. Yankovic says it will not be the kind of show that appeals to everyone and he'll go back to concerts featuring fat suits and Segways on another tour.

Yankovic says he's not trying to talk people out of buying tickets, but they should be aware that these shows will be ``loose, unpredictable, and maybe a little sloppy.'' The tour begins Feb.

27th in Poughkeepsie, New York. 





Can you imagine getting married where Reba McEntire once lived? The Nashville Tennessean reports a potential unnamed buyer for McEntire's former home outside Nashville wants to turn it into an events venue for weddings and corporate retreats.

Wilson County planning director Tom Brashear says the proposal will be considered at a zoning meeting on Friday. McEntire's property reportedly sold for five-million dollars in July to a developer who plans to build 15 homes on the land. However, the parcel of land with the house on it has been put back on the market. 





Ricky Skaggs will be the celebrity guest on this year's Santa Train. Railroad operator C-S-X has run the Santa Train through Appalachia every year since 1942, distributing toys, food and winter clothes to families. Skaggs grew up in Cordell, Kentucky.

He says he loves the children of Appalachia and he loves Christmas, so riding the train is going to be a great thing for his heart. This year's train will run Nov. ember 18th from Shelby, Kentucky, to Kingsport, Tennessee. 





Solange could be the big force at the Soul Train Awards. She leads the nominations with seven, including album of the year for ``A Seat At The Table.'' She will compete against her sister, Beyonce, for video of the year. Bruno Mars has six nominations. Toni Braxton and SWV will each get career achievement awards. The Soul Train Awards will air on B-E-T Nov. 26th. 



(The Associated Press)