Editors Choice

Cavendish Beach Music Festival Makes Major Lineup Announcement

The Cavendish Beach Music Festival made a pair of major announcements on Tuesday, with a massive lineup addition, and the news that a fourth day is coming to the 10th anniversary of the festival.

17 artists were added to the 2018 festival lineup, joining previously announced Sunday headliner, Luke Bryan. And, in a major twist from tradition, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival has embraced a non-country music spotlight, with pop superstar Shawn Mendes announced as the headliner on the new fourth day of the musical long weekend.

Joining Mendes on Monday, July 9 will be Broods, Lauv, Cashmere Cat, Alec Benjamin, and star country duo, Dan + Shay. It’s certainly a new direction for the festival. But, it’s a change that does nothing to take away from the country music that they have a great history of showcasing over the last decade.

In keeping with their tradition of presenting great country music, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival has a mix of Canadian talent and American stars coming in 2018. With a combination of big stars and homegrown talent, the festival has curated a solid Friday, Saturday, and Sunday country music lineup. Stay tuned for more names to be added before we get to July.

In fact, seven of the 13 country acts announced so far are Canadian, which is fantastic to see. And, we’re happy to see female representation with Meghan Patrick, Lindsay Ell, and Grand Ole Opry member Terri Clark all headed to PEI this summer.

Note: It was also announced Tuesday that one of the three finalists in the newly presented SiriusXM Top of the Country contest will be playing at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival in 2018.

Now, let’s have a look at the lineup so far, broken down by day, and with more names to come…

Learn more about the Cavendish Beach Music Festival and find tickets here -> cavendishbeachmusic.com

Friday, July 6, 2018

🏖 Brett Eldredge

🏖 Chase Rice

🏖 Meghan Patrick

🏖 The Road Hammers

Saturday, July 7, 2018

🏖 Chris Young

🏖 Dallas Smith

🏖 Terri Clark

🏖 Lindsay Ell

Sunday, July 8, 2018

🏖 Luke Bryan

🏖 Granger Smith

🏖 James Barker Band

🏖 Petric

Monday, July 9, 2018

🏖 Shawn Mendes

🏖 Dan + Shay

🏖 Broods

🏖 Lauv

🏖 Cashmere Cat

🏖 Alec Benjamin

6 days ago

SiriusXM and Canadian Country Music Association Announce Top of the Country Contest

SiriusXM and the Canadian Country Music Association are ready to give emerging country artists from coast-to-coast a chance to make it big with the announcement and launch of Top of the Country!

The contest, sponsored by the country’s leading audio entertainment company, has some amazing and invaluable prizes available up for grabs, including $25,000 and an invitation to a SOCAN songwriting camp in Pender Island, BC.

And that’s not all.

Entrants from across the Canada are invited to enter the Top of the Country contest, with three (3) artists each from Western, Central, and Eastern Canada, as picked by a jury of industry professionals, moving forward. These artists will record in-studio videos with SiriusXM for Canada-wide voting.

After Canadian country music fans have their say, three (3) finalists will emerge. These homegrown country talents will receive a stage spot at one of three major country festivals in summer 2018 (Big Valley Jamboree, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, plus one SiriusXM sponsored festival in Ontario), as well as an invitation to Nashville for a SOCAN songwriting camp.

The CCMA’s Interim President, Tracy Martin said this about the new Top of the Country program… and we’re happy to hear it!

“We were focused on expanding our Discovery Program and our new artist development efforts, and we have done just that with our partner, SiriusXM. We are very excited to launch Top of the Country.”

The Top of the Country contest culminates at Canadian Country Music Week (September 2018) in Hamilton, Ontario where the three finalists will strut their stuff on stage as opening acts for a headlining star, live on SiriusXM – with industry professionals and audience votes coming together to crown the Top of the Country 2018 winner!

The chance to make a splash in a Canadian country music career is something that a lot of people dream about. And this year, with the help of some heavy hitters, there’s a chance for someone to take a big step forward.


We can’t wait to see and hear all of the talent that takes the chance to enter, and push themselves and their careers to the next level.

This is going to be fun to watch, and a game changer for some very talented Canadian country music makers!

6 days ago

Gimme Time: Last Bullet Ends the Rock & Roll Dream

It’s not easy being the band that loads into the bar to play a set of loud rock and roll for 12 people. And it’s even harder to keep doing it for a decade.

At some point things have to move in one direction or the other. Either there’s going to be a breakout hit, a label that’s willing to take a chance, or a hard decision to make about the future and the reality that doing the thing that you love more than anything isn’t the thing that you’re going to do for the rest of your life.

For thousands of bands over generations and around the world, the decision to pack up the gear and move on has been the one that ultimately gets made. Most recently, we’ve seen it from Toronto rockers, Last Bullet.

Bryan Fontez, Brenden Armstrong, Michael Silva, Will Shannon, and Chris Galaz played the band’s last gig together after more than eight years. They released three EPs (Last Bullet, Love. Lust. Illusion, and 80-69-64), earned praise from respected industry insiders, and did what they loved. But on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, they played their last show.

“Filthy Rock N’ Roll from Toronto”
– Alan Cross, Radio Broadcaster / Music Writer

“One of the hardest working bands I’ve ever worked with. Their live show is incredible.”
– Brian Moncarz, Producer (Our Lady Peace, The Trews, Circa Survive, Moneen, Yukon Blonde)

“Last Bullet provide everything you could want from a rock show. They are flawless”
– Jamie Gutfreund, Journalist / Host at CP24 News

Like I said, the story isn’t an original one, it’s been played out a thousand times before, but it remains captivating because it’s never the ending that anyone planned for. A band doesn’t hit the studio, the stage, and the road for years with an end goal of playing one final show on a winter Saturday night and not making it to the top.

The story that we all love, the one we want to tell and that bands want to live can be found in the first half of Almost Famous. Yes, it’s a movie, an act of fiction, but it’s all right there… Lester Bangs says, “Tell him, you know, it’s a think piece about a midlevel band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom…” and it sounds like the band is in bad shape (and they were). But they were also on the road, with a hit, and t-shirts, and fans, and groupies and the cover of Rolling Stone.

Last Bullet didn’t get their cover.

We talked to the band before their farewell set in Toronto, and asked them about the decision to hang ‘em up. We also asked about their highlights, the things they’ll remember fondly, and what might have been different.

We started our conversation with the awkward, but undeniable, elephant in the room… Why?

The guys told us that it wasn’t an easy decision to make, and it’s a little different for everyone in the band. But, when you boil it down and try to explain it, they’re burnt out from the heavy grind and stress/work/uncertainty that comes with the rock and roll business.

Indie artists like Last Bullet aren’t the glitz and glamour rock stars we see in the movies. These guys work 9 to 5 jobs to pay the bills and invest in their careers. They rehearse and write and play gigs on evenings and weekends and vacation days. They put everything they have into the thing they love in less than half of the time that they wish they had to do it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For Last Bullet, it became too much. We asked the guys if they ever felt like they were ‘this close’ to making it, to finding that level of success they wanted/needed to get to, and they said no. And not because they never had great reviews or features (TSN World Junior Hockey placement, Alan Cross endorsement, 97.7 HTZ-FM Rock Search, etc.), but because for years they heard industry insiders, radio reps, A&R pros, and others tell them that they were ready, that they had what it took, and that they’d call them on Monday to make it happen.

No matter who you are, that many broken promises can take a toll on you. It’s like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the football. And if you don’t know what that means, here’s a helpful gif.

And while we were all at The Horseshoe Tavern to bid the bad adieu, we weren’t all in a bad place. The band talked to us about the good times, and about performing, and about what comes next for them.

The guys talked about performing and their unwavering dedication to the show. They were proud to tell us that no matter how hard things were behind-the-scenes, they always came out and put on the best, loudest, most fun, rock and roll show that they had in them. And as we watched later in the night, they brought that same dedication, with maybe even just a little bit more, to the stage for their last show.

We asked about great memories, and tours, and whatnot, and Last Bullet wasn’t short on those. They look back fondly on the chances to share the stage with acts like Buckcherry, One Bad Son, The Wild, The Lazys, and more. They have great memories of the east coast, with friendly Canadians, great parties, and good times while they worked – and of the west coast, hitting Banff and playing in one of the most beautiful places they’ve ever been. Last Bullet at SounDrive's DriveWire at Brampton's Rose Theatre

On that same night in Toronto we caught up with Crown Lands, an up-and-coming rock and roll duo that had shared billing with Last Bullet at The Horseshoe Tavern. Their stories are contrasting, with one band on the way up and the other on the way out, but even still they are connected.

We talked to Cody and Kevin of Crown Lands about it, and they told us that they owe a bunch to bands like Last Bullet who have put in the hours and shows and proved that live rock and roll is an industry that can survive and works. They recognize that opportunities that they get will be (in)directly related to the efforts of bands that came before them (both indie and mainstream) in the industry.

Crown Lands - Kevin Comeau and Cody Bowles at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern January 2018

And that Friday on stage, with Crown Lands rocking out, leading into Last Bullet coming on to take it to the end of the night in one of Canada’s most legendary venues, they were most definitely connected.

During our conversation with Last Bullet, we asked if there was anything they wish they had done differently or tried during their tenure. The one big thing they pointed to was taking a shot at the US market. For a variety of reasons (budget, time, opportunity, etc.) the band never loaded up a van to go south of the border on a tour to introduce their music to American audiences.

And while there’s no guarantee that going would have been a difference maker in their career, we completely understand where the band is coming from in wishing they had taken the chance.

Last Bullet Interview at the backroom bar in Toronto before their last show February 2018 with Joshua Murray

Here’s the thing about musicians… they rarely stop being musicians. And it looks like that’s the case with Last Bullet too.

Bryan, Michael, and Brenden all told us that they’ll continue to have music in their lives in one way or another. Whether it’s picking up a guitar after work to play around with a lick, or as Bryan told us, working on songs that weren’t marked for Last Bullet to see if there’s another project in the future.

In the end, the members of Last Bullet may or may not step on stage again to sweat and sing in front of a live rock and roll audience… but either way, the shows, memories, and years that they put into their dream can’t be taken away.

Bryan Fontez, Brenden Armstrong and Michael Silva of Last Bullet Interview at the backroom bar in Toronto before their last show February 2018

7 days ago

Canadian Music Week Announces Lineup for 2018

This week Canadian Music Week gave us a sneak peek into the lineup for 2018. The festival, which runs May 7- 13 this year, is a great way to welcome spring in Toronto.

There’s a focus on local music, followed closely by Canadian content, after all, it is “Canadian” Music week. One of the many things CMW does a fabulous job of is bringing music from multiple genres to the festival for our listening pleasure. After a quick glance at the list of artists, we see R&B, indie/folk, rock, emo, alternative, punk, rap, country, pop, Americana, hip-hop, electropop, singer-songwriter and so much more! There’s something for everyone.

Joining Lindi Ortega and Keys’n’ Krates, who were announced with the initial lineup in December are some of our favourites including Ben Hudson, Birds of Bellwoods, Crown Lands, FXRRVST, Goodnight, Sunrise, Mad Caddies, and The Dirty Nil. If you’re wondering if your favourite band is appearing, you can check out the current, full artist listing here.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This year, Toronto’s longest running multi-venue discovery festival includes a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square featuring Sloan on Saturday, May 12th.

In addition to the music festival, there’s the music conference, the comedy fest and the film festival also running over the week. These events feature authors, guest speakers, panels and more. If you haven’t checked them out before we highly recommend you have a look at what they’ve got going on.

Wristbands are currently on sale at early bird prices, but they won’t last for long. Still wondering what to get that special someone for Valentine’s Day, give the gift of music, you can find out all about tickets here.

Keep an eye open for our upcoming CMW coverage as the festival gets closer. We’ll have previews, interviews and our must-see lists!


1 week ago

Codes: The Launch’s Jayd Ink Interview, Review, and 5 Quick Questions

For the fifth week in a row, The Launch put a spotlight on Canadian music, and one talented music maker was given the opportunity to take their career to the next level. And it very much looks like Jayd Ink is on her way to a new level with Codes.

Scott Borchetta and his week 5 mentors, Grammy nominees, Julia Michaels and Ian Kirkpatrick, found something different in Jayd Ink, a more R&B feel than they have been used to in the series, in a singer who knew exactly who she was as an artist, and what she needed from a song she was going to record and release.

We caught up with Jayd Ink to talk about the show, the song, and what’s coming next from her.

Like many of the singers on The Launch, she isn’t new to the music business and this isn’t the start of her career. Jayd Ink has played shows all over Toronto, and as far away as Japan, releasing her 2015 EP, Invitation Only, as well as 2016 singles, Truth Is, Deep Under, and Darkskin. But even with that experience under her belt, she admitted that the audition on The Launch was different.

She knew that she was walking into the room with a chance to do something special… and told us that the feeling she got from Borchetta, Michaels, and Kirkpatrick was really warm and receptive. She also told us that she had to get used to the room and process, working to ignore the cameras all over the place and focusing on her job as a singer and performer.

We asked Jayd Ink about making music and her favourite part of the process. As a songwriter first, it was no surprise to hear her tell us that the creation of a song is her favourite part. Creating and putting together melodies and lyrics is number one for her, followed by taking a song to the recording process, the completion and the realization of her thoughts, feelings, words, and art.

While we were on the phone with Jayd, we got her to play a round of 5 Quick Questions with us. Here we go…

5 Quick Questions with Jayd Ink

Q1) Do you remember the first song you performed?

Jayd Ink) She couldn’t remember the name of the song, but it was a reggae track… and she was able to sing me a few bars on the phone.

Q2) What was the first album you bought?

Jayd Ink) The Roots

Q3) Do you have a dream collaboration partner?

Jayd Ink) Pharell Williams

We talked about Pharell’s ability to evolve and work with all kinds of music dating back to N.E.R.D., and on a year-to-year basis now. It’s no surprise that Jayd Ink would want to work with Williams.

Q4) Is there a City or Venue at the top of your wish list?

Jayd Ink) Air Canada Centre in Toronto and Madison Square Garden in New York City

Q5) Is there an artist that you think people should be listening to more?

Jayd Ink) Sabrina Claudio, who has a great sound and vibe, and she believes that people should be listening to her music.

We asked Jayd Ink about her music, what comes next, and what she wants people to hear. She told us that she’s been working tirelessly on new music to release, making trips to New York to record, and putting a plan in place for a release. She knows that this next step is an important one, and that following up Codes with something that is fully prepared and polished and ready for the world is required to capitalize on this momentum.

She also told us that she hopes people will find and enjoy her previously released tracks, including Darkskin (September 2016) which she counts as an important, personal, and powerful record.

Have a listen…

As an independent artist, Jayd Ink is used to working closely with every single thing she does in music. It’s why it was so important to her to collaborate (much like Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine did on Ain’t Easy) on Codes, to make it feel like it was her song, to find the compromise between pop and R&B (which she is grateful to Ian and the team for allowing her to find).

She told us that she does feel like Codes became hers and that she really loves what they were able to do with the bridge. And as music fans, and supporters for artists, we’re glad that she was able to make that happen and find that compromise on the song.

Codes was written by Meghan Kabir, Frequency, Ferras, and Jayd Ink, and produced by Ian Kirkpatrick.

1 week ago

2018 Juno Award Nominations Announcement

The 2018 Juno Award nominations have been announced, setting the stage for the winners to be crowned March 24-25 in Vancouver at the 47th annual celebration of Canadian music excellence.

We would like to congratulate the nominees across all 42 categories, and recognize the work, love, and dedication that went into creating the music that landed them on this list. While artists will tell you that they don’t make music to win awards, we all know that it’s fantastic to be nominated for them… and to win them.

Because the list of categories and nominees is so long, we’ve picked 20 categories to share with you here, and you can see the full list of nominees at junoawards.ca/nominees.

Leave a comment to tell us who you think should win a Juno in 2018, and who you think was left off of the nominations list this year!

Ready? Here we go…

2018 Juno Award Nominees

Juno Fan Choice Award

Jessie Reyez
Shawn Hook
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Walk Off The Earth
Justin Bieber
Alessia Cara

Single of the Year

How Far I’ll Go – Alessia Cara
Everything Now – Arcade Fire
Knocking At The Door – Arkells
There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back – Shawn Mendes
I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd

International Album of the Year

24K Magic – Bruno Mars
÷ – Ed Sheeran
DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
Stoney – Post Malone
reputation – Taylor Swift

Album of the Year

Everything Now – Arcade Fire
Revival – Johnny Reid
Nobody But Me – Michael Buble
Safe Haven – Ruth B
Now – Shania Twain

Artist of the Year

Ruth B
Shania Twain
Gord Downie
Daniel Caesar

Group of the Year

A Tribe Called Red
Arcade Fire
Broken Social Scene

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Allan Rayman
Charlotte Cardin
Jessie Reyez
Virginia To Vegas

Breakthrough Group of the Year

James Barker Band
The Beaches
The Dead South
The Franklin Electric
The Jerry Cans

Pop Album of the Year

Cageless – Hedley
Skin & Earth – Lights
My Love – Ria Mae
Safe Haven – Ruth B
Hôtel de Ville – Scott Helman

Rock Album of the Year

Feed The Machine – Nickelback
Young Beauties and Fools – The Glorious Sons
Wake Up Call – Theory
Grace Street – Big Wreck
Outrage! Is Now – Death From Above

Country Album of the Year

Game On – James Barker Band
Past the Past – Jess Moskaluke
Shake These Walls – Tim Hicks
Beautiful Freakshow – Dean Brody
Dear Life – High Valley

Alternative Album of the Year

Life After Youth – Land of Talk
Retribution – Tanya Tagaq
Everything Now – Arcade Fire
Wide Open – Weaves
Antisocialites – Alvvays

Adult Alternative Album of the Year

Twin Solitude – Leif Vollebekk
New Mistakes – Terra Lightfoot
Sincerely, Future Pollution – Timber Timbre
Panther In The Dollhouse – Whitehorse
Introduce Yerself – Gord Downie

Traditional Roots Album of the Year

Jayme Stone’s Folklife– Jayme Stone
What We Leave Behind – The East Pointers
Illusion & Doubt – The Dead South
The Willow Collection – Cassie and Maggie
Rove – Còig

Electronic Album of the Year

Tenderness – Blue Hawaii
Someone Else – CRI
Two Hearts – Dabin
Music To Draw To: Satellite – Kid Koala
Mass Manipulation – Rezz

Rap Recording of the Year

Coach Fresh – Maestro Fresh Wes
001: Experiments – Lou Phelps
Shooters – Tory Lanez
Mumble Rap – Belly
Lil Mont from the Ave – Clairmont The Second

Dance Recording of the Year

Not Going Home – DVBBS
Get What You Give – Felix Cartal
Deeper – KAPRI
Closer – Nick Fiorucci
Almost Home – Sultan + Shepard

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year

Foreign Water – Jahkoy
Kiddo – Jessie Reyez
Human – Jhyve
Unbound 01 – Keshia Chanté
Freudian – Daniel Caesar

Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year

Voice of the Void – ANCIIENTS
Relentless Mutation – Archspire
II: Vanishing – Longhouse
Strange Peace – METZ
Striker – Striker

Comedy Album of the Year

I Wanted To Be A Dinosaur – Ivan Decker
Sorry! (A Canadian Album) – K. Trevor Wilson
In Living Kohler – Rebecca Kohler
Fatherhood – Charlie Demers
[Indistinct Chatter] – DJ Demers

2 weeks ago
Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: