Shania making her grand entrance at Ottawa's Grey Cup game yesterday
Shania making her grand entrance at Ottawa's Grey Cup game yesterday

Music News Digest, Nov. 27, 2017

The Argos may have stumped the Stamps, but it was Shania Twain who wowed the audience of 36K snowy Grey Cup fans bundled up at Ottawa’s TD Place Sunday. Canada’s crossover country queen entered the snow-covered grounds on a dog sled and looking like Goldilocks wearing a red fur coat, boots and a sequined catsuit. Having made a grand entrance, she was then escorted to the stage by red tunicked Mounties, following which she launched into “That Don’t Impress Me Much” which had the exact opposite effect on her mid-game spectators.

She also sang "Life's About to Get Good" from her new album and topped her show with "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!"

— SonReal performed in the pre-game show, and Toronto group Choir! Choir! Choir! led the crowd in the singing of “O Canada.”

– “Favourite Sweater” is a co-write by Calgarians Danny Vacon (front-man for The Dudes) and Ellen Doty and featuring Brett McDonald on clarinet (video by Valour Films). All proceeds from the sales of this song are being donated to the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre to help out those in need this Christmas.

– Former Sony and Interscope Urban Music president Steve Stoute has raised a $70 million Series A led by Google’s corporate umbrella Alphabet and has launched UnitedMasters, a startup that promises “to give musicians an alternative to exploitative record label deals.”

– Julian Taylor Band is returning to its musical home, performing at The Horseshoe Tavern on Dec. 21. Taylor and bandmates are asking guests to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Daily Bread Food Bank. So, catch the groove, and help feed a family in distress during the season of giving.

Kenora post-punk band 1971 has released a video for the song "Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario)," which apparently stands as one of the band's final recordings. The group decided to disband in the wake of the death of founding member and bassist Cameron Glen Cranston who died unexpectedly earlier this year in Thunder Bay at the age of 25.

– Christian rock band For King & Country puts some high-octane juice into their version of the classic Christmas song “Little Drummer Boy”. The ensemble, helmed by Aussie brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, base themselves out of Nashville.

— Toronto folk-rocker Edward Sayers released his debut album, Underdog Overlord, last week, launching it with a show at The Piston in Toronto. He has upcoming gigs at Fitzroy's in London (Dec. 6), The Gladstone in Toronto (Dec. 7), and Streets in Petrolia (Dec. 15).

— ShiftChange: Festival Perspectives from Atlantic Canada and Beyond will take place February 23-24, 2018 at the Atlantica Hotel in Halifax, NS.  Organized by the  Atlantic Presenters Association, it features festival-focused professional development and networking. Further announcements will follow.

— Toronto duo The Darcys has released an original Christmas song, entitled “Another Log On The Fire." Written, recorded, and produced by Jason Couse and Wes Marskell, and mixed by Matty Green (Coldplay, Rihanna, The Weeknd), the group explains the festive note as "a pretty simple concept: Who doesn’t want to keep the fire burning a little longer this Christmas?”

RIP

Patrick Bourgeois, frontman for Les B.B., a popular band in Quebec in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, died Sunday at 55. He had been battling cancer. His partner, Mélanie Savard, posted to Facebook that he had endured "a long illness, but his body couldn't anymore. He died peacefully in my arms." Former Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau and Tout le monde en parle host Guy A. Lepage posted their condolences to Savard.

They celebrated a 20th anniversary in 2009. In 1990, Les B.B. won three Félix trophies from the Quebec music industry, for group, rock album and rock concert of the year. Their first two albums were immediate hits and went on to sell more than 500K copies in the province.

John Francis Coates Jr., an American jazz pianist, composer and arranger who regularly performed at the Deer Head Inn and the Celebration of the Arts in the Pocono Mountains for over 50 years, died Nov. 22 at age 79. Over the years he played with many greats, including Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Bill Watrous, Eddie Gomez, Ron Carter, Woody Shaw, and Zoot Sims. He also recorded a number of albums for Omnisound and debuted on Savoy in 1956.

Tommy Keene, American power-pop singer-songwriter, died on Nov. 22 at age 59. The cause of death, for now, is unknown. Keene had an alternative radio hit in 1984 with “Places That Are Gone,” and he released a dozen albums (on Geffen, Matador and smaller indie labels) over the course of a career that stretched back to the late 1970s.

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