David Clayton-Thomas takes on Junos for snubbing his album
TORONTO - Rock musician David Clayton-Thomas is calling out the Juno Awards for snubbing one of his latest albums.
The former lead singer of Blood, Sweat & Tears took to Facebook this week and complained that 2016’s “Canadiana” was ignored by Canada’s top music awards.
“We were absolutely certain this record was such a quality piece of work by a group of fine artists that it couldn’t escape attention by the Junos,” ,” Clayton-Thomas said in an interview
But the album didn’t garner any notice on Tuesday when organizers revealed this year’s slate of nominees.
The 75-year-old Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee said he’s baffled over why “Canadiana” couldn’t even muster a single nod.
“I don’t know who the Juno jury is, but I don’t think it’s made up by working musicians,” he said.
A diverse group of performers were assembled for “Canadiana,” a collection of covers of songs by homegrown musical legends including Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen.
The songs are reimagined in new styles; Young’s “Heart of Gold” has a reggae vibe, while Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” was recorded as a duet between Clayton-Thomas and jazz singer Laila Biali. Other unique takes include a version of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” sung by ClaytonThomas with an assist from cellist Shauna Rolston.
In his post on Facebook, ClaytonThomas pointed to the album’s diversity of genres as one reason he believes it didn’t make the cut. He said his record label struggled to confine it to a single Juno category.
“Finally they submitted it under adult alternative, whatever the hell that is,” he added.
Clayton-Thomas worked with producer George Koller for nearly a year, envisioning “Canadiana” as a gift to the country for its 150th anniversary.
He said voicing his feelings on the lack of Juno accolades isn’t something he’s doing for personal gain. He’s already been honoured by the Junos before, he said.
“I’m offended for my fellow artists who all gathered around us and contributed their time, heart and talent to making a truly great record,” he added.
Representatives for the Canadian Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences, which organizes the Junos, said they contacted Clayton-Thomas to respond to his concerns. In a statement, they also acknowledged the album represents “a significant personal undertaking.”
“CARAS did not determine or guide David on which categories he should submit to,” they said. “It went through the nomination process like all other artist submissions.”