Music Biz Headlines, Aug. 31, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Singer-songwriter Bahamas went to Nashville and came back with a country album, as one does

“I never said, ‘Let’s make a country record,’” says Canadian soft-rock star Afie Jurvanen. But make no mistake: Afie Jurvanen has made a country record. It is called Bootcut, out Sept. 15, released under the singer-songwriter’s stage name, Bahamas. It was recorded at Nashville’s storied Sound Emporium Studios. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

A look back at Blue Rodeo’s ‘Five Days in July’ 

As Blue Rodeo’s bestselling album celebrates 30 years, Jim Cuddy recalls how it was made on Greg Keelor’s farm and what it meant. Recorded in 1993, the effort ended up becoming the group’s all-time bestseller, moving 600,000 copies and yielding a multitude of hits. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


R.I.P. John Grove, musician and illustrator who designed Exclaim!'s logo

John Grove, a musician and illustrator who designed Exclaim!'s early logo as well as many of our '90s magazine covers and countless concert posters, has died. He was 60 years old and will be remembered with a celebration of life concert on September 3 at the Horseshoe Tavern. – Alex Hudson and Ian Danzig, Exclaim!

Obituary: Bill Lawrence was beloved and longtime host of ‘Tiny Talent Time’

Dundas resident hosted popular CHCH show for 35 years. – Daniel Nolan, Hamilton Spectator

Canadian musician explores Scottish roots and connection to Robert Burns

With one of his ancestors featuring in Tam o’Shanter, the roots of award-winning Scots-Canadian musician Jason Wilson go back a long way. However it was only when he rediscovered his late father’s 8mm films, which captured life in Ayrshire during the 1960s, that Ontario-based Wilson decided to embark on a musical journey to explore his heritage. It has resulted in a new album. – Nan Spowart, The National Scot

Drake went clubbing with Malia and Sasha Obama in Los Angeles and nothing was the same

Four p.m. in Calabasas? More like 4 a.m. in West Hollywood. – Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times

‘It’s been great’: Country fans not bothered by rain or mud at YQM Festival

For the third straight day, over 20,000 country music fanatics gathered in a grassy, and muddy, field in Dieppe. Concert-goers at the YQM Festival have seen some of country’s biggest names, and they’ve also experienced some wet weather. – Derek Haggett, CTV Atlantic News


Music copyright is still a mess after 500 years. Can we finally change things before AI takes over?

Controlling the distribution of music — and thus making sure composers get paid for their labour and talent — has been a problem that dates back to the invention of the printing press. – Global News

Every big show happening in Halifax (and beyond) in September 2023

Joel Plaskett, Jann Arden and The Wiggles headline shows in Halifax this coming month. – Martin Bauman, The Coast

The Weeknd adds Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane stadium shows

The Weeknd has added dates to his Australian AFTER HOURS TIL DAWN tour with second stadium shows added for Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in Nov. Special guests for the shows are Mike Dean and Chxrry22. – Paul Cashmere, Noise11

When Charlotte Cardin’s romance was at risk, she created the musical diary ‘99 Nights’

As Cardin and her partner were at a crossroads she wrote the bulk of the album, which oscillates from party anthems to eviscerating balladry and everything in between. – Jonathan Dekel, Toronto Star 

Hilario Durán triumphantly returns to big band with new album Cry Me a River

Cuban-Canadian pianist and composer Hilario Durán leads a 19-piece ensemble on Cry Me a River, his first big band recording in 17 years. Along with Durán and his Latin Jazz Big Band, the album also features special guests Paquito D’Rivera, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, and OKAN. – Adam Feibel, JAZZFM

The Top 10 Andy Kim songs 

The top 10 Andy Kim songs were mostly hits that were released between the late 1960s and the first half of the 1970s. In 1969, he first became an international star with Baby, I Love You. Other smash hits included Rock Me Gently and Sugar, Sugar. –  Classic Rock History


Toronto venues facing major hit from striking Film Festival no-shows

With A-listers unable to promote their films, local party spots, restaurants and their suppliers expect a muted boost from TIFF: "It’s the only time of the year we get that global recognition." – Etan Vlessing, Hollywood Reporter

The Blackburn Brothers show their sweaty Canadian grooves on ‘Soulfunkn’Blues'

Their reputation certainly precedes them as do three generations. This band of brothers (five of them) are descendants of Elias Earls, an early traveler on the Underground Railroad. The family patriarch, Bobby Dean Blackburn performed in the city for over fifty years and has passed it on. So, these brothers have extended the family legacy with their intoxicating mix of soul, blues, and R&B. – Jim Hynes, Glide


Celebration for local Big 8 radio legend part of Open Streets Windsor

Windsor’s annual street party will this year pay tribute to a local radio pioneer and hitmaker remembered as the “girl with the golden ear.” Open Streets Windsor — “The Big 8 Kilometre Edition” — will feature a community celebration for Rosalie Trombley. – Taylor Campbell, Windsor Star


Why bringing the legends back to life through AI is good for the music industry

Music giants that once fought the scraping of song catalogues are now negotiating how to make a buck off of licencing those libraries to fans for AI song creation. – Daniel Tsai, Toronto Star

From paper checks to $10B: SoundExchange celebrates 20 years of royalty payments

SoundExchange's president/CEO on hitting a royalty payment milestone on the organization's 20th anniversary. – Steve Knopper, Billboard

Live Nation’s Rapino enjoys widest CEO-to-Worker Fortune 500 pay gap, says study

Live Nation Entertainment President and CEO Michael Rapino got the largest compensation package of any Fortune 500 executive last year at $139 million. During that same period, the median paycheck for Live Nation employees was just $25,673, representing a 5414x CEO-to-Worker pay gap. – Hypebot

What’s going on with Scooter Braun’s artist roster?

Scooter Braun is one of the most recognizable names in the music business for his singular work as an executive and entrepreneur. Here’s what we know and what’s still speculation about the roster of the man crucial to  the success of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. – Maria Sherman, AP 

Scooter Braun’s fall from grace

The manager who caused Taylor Swift to rise like a phoenix from the ashes is being left without artists to represent. Justin Bieber’s agent recently lost clients Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande, while Swift, now his arch nemesis, is triumphing by re-recording the songs he took from her. – El Pais

Bob Dylan Center announces annual Songwriter Fellowship 

Two recipients will receive the annual award, which includes a $40,000 project stipend and dedicated time with Dylan’s archives. – Pitchfork 


San Francisco’s music scene in the 1960s and ‘70s takes center stage in an MGM+ docuseries

 Janis Joplin’s first rehearsal with the rock band Big Brother & The Holding Company was apparently a loud affair. So loud it was alarming. – Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

Elite music tourism is the latest 1 Percent flex

Music festivals were once a cost-saving solution for fans; now wealthy concertgoers are looking for more than just a show, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience. – Vanity Fair

Brian Eno on the loss of humanity in modern music

In music, as in film, we have reached a point where every element of every composition can be fully produced and automated by computers. This is a breakthrough that allows producers with little or no musical training the ability to rapidly turn out hits. – Open Culture

Jason Mraz is feeling free and curious - in music and in love

Jason Mraz is freer than ever, and that liberation has allowed his curiosity to get the best of him — in the most optimistic ways. – AP

One-hit wonders and the stories behind their flashes of fame

Every band dreams of making it big. But among those that do, some can’t seem to replicate their success more than just once. You know these ten one-hit wonders, but you probably don’t know the stories behind them. – American Songwriter

Rich Men North of Richmond singer condemns Republicans after song used in debate

Oliver Anthony, the writer and singer of the mega-hit Rich Men North of Richmond, hit out at Republican candidates for president who discussed his song in the debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday. – Martin Pengelly, The Guardian


Alice Cooper hits the 'Road' again with touring-themed concept album

Seventy-five-year-old Alice Cooper has more miles on him than a 1968 Volkswagen, and in any given year, he’s probably on tour somewhere near you. That's the theme of “Road,” the latest album from the shock rock king who's been losing his head onstage for half a century. – Wayne Parry The Associated Press

Connect Festival: Scots music heavyweights Franz Ferdinand and Primal Scream rock main stage

CONNECT Festival doesn’t hold the typical sights of a UK music festival. Held in Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Showgrounds, there’s no drama at the security gates, no drunken riots and barely any queues to get a beer. Franz Ferdinand proved why they are stars here. –The Scottish Sun

ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd delivered crowd-pleasing Southern rock — but Skynyrd is now a glorified tribute band

Still, the Budweiser Stage crowd welcomed this version of Lynyrd Skynyrd with open arms, as well as the two-thirds-original trio of ZZ Top. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Vanessa Heins


Music News

Alexisonfire Are Releasing a Live Album from Their Hometown Born & Raised Festival

The St. Catharines, Ontario band are bringing the festival back this summer, and they'll release LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON just in time for fans to hear it first.

After a two year hiatus, Alexisonfire are resurrecting their hometown festival Born & Raised on July 5 and 6 at Montebello Park in St. Catharines, Ontario. Just in time, they're releasing a live album from the last time they held the festival, in 2022.

The album, LIVE Born & Raised 2022, St Catharines ON, captures their career-spanning set from the inaugural edition of the festival. In front of their hometown fans, they played songs from throughout their more-than-two-decades long career.

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