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Monday, 25 September 2017 08:30





Legendary artists Neil Young and Bruce Cockburn were inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on Saturday.


The live concert and ceremony was held at Toronto's Massey Hall. 

The 71-year old Young told the crowd he was ``terribly proud to be Canadian,'' as he was inducted. 

Cockburn, who's 72, thanked his long-time manager Bernie Finkelstein, saying ``In a world increasingly defined its by fakery, we together have pulled off the greatest trick ever -- we spread truth.'' 

Among the highlights of the night was singer k.d. lang whose heart-wrenching take on Young's ``Helpless'' earned her a standing ovation. 

Quebecois inductees were Beau Dommage, a group formed in the early 1970s that became known for writing popular French folk staples. 

Rounding out the group was Expo '67 theme writer Stephane Venne whose songwriting career was launched when he penned the winning song.  




Jason Isbell is postponing his shows this week because of a death in the family of bassist Jimbo Hart. Isbell asked fans on social media to send their ``good vibes'' to Hart. Isbell will resume touring Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina. 





Mary J. Blige's concert in Louisville was cancelled, but no one is saying why. Neither the venue nor Blige's representative has said why Saturday's show was called off. Refunds are being given. Blige has no more tour dates scheduled. 





Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton reunited on stage for Timberlake's Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, Tennessee, on Saturday. They did three songs together, including ``Tennessee Whiskey.'' That was the song they did together at the

2015 Country Music Association Awards show that sent Stapleton's career skyrocketing. Timberlake, a Tennessee native, joked to the crowd he was nervous because he might be related to half of them.

The festival also included Eddie Vedder, Ryan Adams, The Avett Brothers, Walk The Moon and Mavis Staples. 





Soul singer Charles Bradley is being remembered for his electric performances and his hugs. Bradley died Saturday at the age of 68. He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer last year and later received a clean bill of health, but the cancer had spread to his liver. Bradley was not known for radio hits, although he grabbed attention with his soulful reinterpretation of the Black Sabbath song ``Changes.'' Busta Rhymes and Jay Z sampled his songs.

Bradley cited James Brown as an influence and even had worked as a Brown impersonator. He would close shows by giving hugs to the audience members. 





Chief Keef has pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanour drug charges. He was arrested June 12th at the airport in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Officials say they found marijuana in Chief Keef's carry-on bag. The Argus Leader reports Chief Keef returned to Sioux Falls last week to plead not guilty to the charges. His trial is scheduled for Nov. 27th. He faces up to five years in prison and a 10-thousand dollar fine. 





Demi Lovato has been a strong advocate for mental health issues _ in part because she's had struggles with eating disorders, substance abuse and being bipolar. Now she is looking to help kids displaced by conflicts in places like Iraq to keep strong emotionally. She's pushing for the expansion of an international program to help young people in conflict-ridden areas. Lovato performed at a United Nations concert in Central Park over the weekend. 





Prince Harry's girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, was on hand to support her bae at an event in Toronto over the weekend. Markle was in the stands for Saturday's opening ceremony of the Invictus Games for wounded veterans. Markle lives in Toronto, but hadn't appeared with Harry since he arrived in the city. She recently told Vanity Fair they're in love. 





No joke. Comedian Jimmy Tingle seems serious about making a run at politics. He's filed paperwork indicating he plans to run for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts as a Democrat in 2018. Tingle has been a longtime social and political humorist. He tells The Boston Globe running for office would be a way to, as he put it, ``take it to the next level.'' 



The Launch

Five more music industry heavyweights have joined CTV's upcoming music competition series ``The Launch.'' 

Bell Media says Culture Club alumnus Boy George, Canadian pop star Alessia Cara and M?tley Crue founding member Nikki Sixx have signed on as mentors for the inaugural season of the show, which is now in production. 

The other new arrivals to the show are songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy Award-winner and co-founder of country-pop duo Sugarland, Jennifer Nettles. 

Previously announced mentors include Canadian country star Shania Twain, Fergie, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and music mogul Scott Borchetta. 

In each episode of the Canadian series, five homegrown singers will perform a rendition of a new tune penned by a songwriter. The four mentors then pick two finalists to work with a renowned producer and perform the song again, with the winner becoming the official singer of the track. 

Bell Media says the show is ``being readied for an upcoming international rollout.'' 




Stevie Wonder and former Steel Magnolia singer Meghan Linsey showed their solidarity for pro athletes who take a knee during the national anthem to protest racism in America. During the Global Citizen Festival in New York on Saturday, Wonder said, ``Tonight, I take a knee for America. Both knees!'' Then he knelt on the stage. Linsey sang the national anthem before the Seahawks-Titans game yesterday and took a knee as she finished. So did the guitarist who accompanied her. U-S President Donald Trump recently said that N-F-L players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired and N-F-L Commissioner Roger Goodell should order them to stand. 





Thousands of people have packed a stadium in Charlottesville for a concert intended to raise money for charity and promote unity in the aftermath of this summer's white nationalist rallies. Dave Matthews, whose band got its start in the Virginia college town, hosted the show last night and thanked the attendees and performers for coming together on short notice. He introduced Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a driver slammed into a crowd protesting white nationalists on Aug. 12th. Bro told the crowd the concert was a ``powerful and peaceful'' way to come together and turn anger into action and understanding. Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay made a surprise appearance. Other performers included Cage the Elephant, Pharrell Williams and The Roots. 





Pete Townshend is confirming what he's been occasionally mentioning from the stage: he's got a wife. Townshend writes on Facebook he quietly married his girlfriend, musician Rachel Fuller, about a year ago. They had been dating for 20 years.

Townshend says they did it at the local register's office outside London with just two witnesses: his security man and his personal assistant. Townshend says they kept it quiet because they're selfish. He describes Fuller as a ``genius,'' ''beautiful`` and ''smart.`` 





Aaron Carter says he is ``disappearing for a while to work on myself.'' Carter's representative confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that Carter has checked into rehab. Carter was arrested in July for driving under the influence and possessing marijuana. Carter tweets his ``stressors have not subsided with family'' and he needs time off. He also says, ``MY FAMILY has nothing to do with this. I've actually had to cut them all off unfortunately and it's gonna stay that way.'' Carter had a public argument on Twitter with his brother, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. Aaron Carter says he's quitting Twitter for a while but he will be back with new music. 





NEW YORK (AP) _ Musicians with Puerto Rican roots are urging support for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Jennifer Lopez joined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday to announce an aid package to Puerto Rico. Lopez pledged one-million of her own money. Marc Anthony and Luis Fonsi are asking fans to join the first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rossello, in a campaign for donations at UnitedForPuertoRico-dot-com. Ricky Martin started a crowdfunded campaign to gather donations for hurricane victims. Daddy Yankee fans answered his call for donations of diapers, bottled water, mosquito repellent and flashlight batteries. Daddy Yankee says he's sure that ``God blesses the happy giver.''






Kenny Chesney is urging fans to be careful of anyone who uses his name to raise money for hurricane relief.

Chesney says the only charity he is working with is Love For Love City, which is helping rebuild the Virgin Islands after hurricanes Irma and Maria. Chesney's vacation home there was damaged, but his concern is for the residents who lost everything. Chesney has sent planes of supplies to the islands and transported people and pets to the mainland. Chesney says he's been vetting local and national organizations to make sure any donations get to the right people. 





Lady Gaga says the most touching thing about her new documentary, ``Gaga: Five Foot Two,'' is that fame is not all it's cracked up to be. She writes on Instagram that the film shows fame is lonely, isolating and psychologically challenging. Lady Gaga says being famous is ``unnatural'' but ``complicated'' because she knows she's destined to be a performer. She says she went through a range of emotions seeing it, knowing she could not be objective about herself. However, she believes director Chris Moukarbel made an authentic film.

``Gaga: Five Foot Two'' is on Netflix now.






Cage The Elephant guitarist Brad Shultz has been producing other acts in his spare time, including his little brother's band. Shultz says his brother, Dan, is in a band called Dan Luke and the Raid. Shultz says his brother isn't running from the family connections but Dan definitely wants his music to stand on its own. Shultz says his brother is 15 years younger than him, so he jokes that Dan probably doesn't care that much for Cage The Elephant. 



(The Canadian Press)

Read 61 times Last modified on Monday, 25 September 2017 08:46

Countryfest 2018 Tickets now available for members! On Sale for the General Public November 6th!

Sunday, 22 October 2017 12:01
Countryfest 2018 Tickets now available for members! On Sale for the General Public November 6th!

Tickets for Dauphin's Countryfest 2018 are now available for members!  For the general public tickets go on sale on Monday November 6th, you can get your tickets in person at the Countryfest Office in Dauphin, call 1-800-361-7300, or order online at www.countryfest.ca. Countryfest Returns to Dauphin July Long weekend 2018, and will feature  Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, The Road Hammers, James Barker Band, Dallas Smith, Aaron Pritchett, Luke Combs, Aaron Goodvin, High Valley, Paul Brandt, Emerson Drive and more to come! 


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)