Music Biz Headlines, June 22, 2023

Music Biz Headlines, June 22, 2023

By Kerry Doole

Life’s constants: the sun, the moon and Bruce Cockburn

An insistent sage at age 78, Bruce Cockburn just released his 27th album, O Sun O Moon. The record is calm, magical and intensely human, with moments of sparkling lucidity that hark back to his 1979 masterpiece Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws. From his home in San Francisco, he spoke about critics, the fate of troubadours and the benefits of staying vertical. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

Dee Daniels, Denzal Sinclaire bond over gastronomic delights, slow blues burn for new album

Two award-winning vocalists bond over spiritual songs on new record. – Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun

Canadian icon Joni Mitchell launches against-the-odds comeback

Billed as her first ticketed concert in 20 years, the event was born out of the private jam sessions at Mitchell’s Los Angeles home organized by Carlile after a brain aneurysm in 2015 left the Canadian icon unable to speak, walk or play guitar. – Max Mertens, Globe and Mail


Canadian Artists Recommend Must-See Acts at This Summer's Music Festivals

Owen Pallett, Status/Non-Status, Colin Stetson, Begonia and many more reveal which performances they can't wait to watch. – Exclaim!

The Weeknd talks ‘Live at SoFi Stadium’ documentary, the impact of ‘The Idol,’ and more 

It is an interesting time to be Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. the Weeknd. This summer, he’s watching the reactions to the deeply controversial show The Idol while criss-crossing Europe on the second leg of his international tour, which will move to Latin America and Asia into next year. He’s also doing press for the Emmy campaign for his HBO concert documentary, “The Weeknd: Live at SoFi Stadium.” All the while, he’s been recording, as he always is. – Jem Aswad, Variety

Halifax band Mama’s Broke plays first hometown shows since NPR Tiny Desk appearance

Celebrate the folk duo’s recent success with gigs in Dartmouth and at Full Circle Festival. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast

Amanda Marshall makes a triumphant homecoming at Massey Hall

She blew the Massey Hall roof off its rafters. Wearing a “Toronto For Life” T-shirt and glittery silver pants, Amanda Marshall made her highly anticipated hometown return that was 20 years in the making — and didn’t disappoint. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Brott Music Festival’s 36th season openers presented with Indigenous focus

The first work on the bill is Vivaldi’s evocative ‘The Four Seasons,’ scored for solo violin and string orchestra with harpsichord or organ.–  Leonard Turnevicius, Hamilton Spectator


Jenn Grant has 99 problems, but Champagne isn’t one of them

“Do you think people will care about the record?” she asks from her home in Lake Echo, N. S., where she lives with her musician-producer husband, Daniel Ledwell, and their two small children. “I’m a woman over 40. If they care, I think it would kind of be a miracle.” – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

D.O.A. answers a long-standing question with a 40th anniversary reissue of War on 45

Nearly 40 years after the release of D.O.A.’s War on 45 we finally have an answer to an enduring question: was it an album or an EP? It’s understandable that fans were confused. Released in 1982 on Alternative Tentacles, War on 45 served up eight songs, with four tracks on each side. Suggesting the  “EP” designation was the required 45 rpm setting. – Mike Usinger, Georgia Straight

Drake is going on summer tour and saying farewell to Toronto like he’s going off to war

Drake posted a treacly farewell to Toronto as he starts his tour. Is his hometown love getting clingy? He’s going to Memphis, not Mars. – Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

How Reservoir Media is revolutionizing the music copyright business

Canadian-owned Reservoir has grown since 2007 from a songwriting-copyright investment company to one of the most nimble independent players in an increasingly concentrated music industry. – Josh O'Kane, Gobe and Mail


Catch a free performance by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at Sunset Beach

What's better than a day at the beach? A sunset at the beach, with a free orchestral performance to boot.  The VSO has announced its plans for this year’s Symphony at Sunset, an annual event that has the ensemble playing for a crowd of over 15,000 attendees as the sun goes down over the Pacific.– Georgia Straight

For Ed Sheeran’s Mathematics Tour stop in Toronto, Shawn Mendes was his plus-one

“I hope you felt entertained,” Ed Sheeran said to a full house at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Saturday. It was toward the end of a dynamic and endearing two-hour concert, after Shawn Mendes had made a two-song cameo appearance. A pair of pop superstars for the price of one. Do the math – you know Sheeran has. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail


Have a ‘Wail’ of a good time at the Festival of Friends

Iconic reggae band The Wailers coming to Gage Park festival (Aug. 4-6) with Bahamas, James Barker Band and Lighthouse, Graham Rockingham writes. – Hamilton Spectator

Every big show coming to Halifax in 2023

An ever-updated list of concerts, comedy shows, live performance, theatre and more. – Morgan Mullin, The Coast


An AI music platform that streams fake Drake tracks just raised $20M

WAVs AI has just raised $20M from a New York-baseded investment company, Regal Investments. In a press release, WAVs AI is described as “a rising star in the music tech scene” and that the startup is “making compromises with record labels and artists in the AI music revolution, harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to provide users with personalized creations of music, curated playlists, and a seamless discovery process”. – Murray Stassen, MBW

Reliving the Taylor Swift catalog sale saga and following the money

With the dust now relatively settled on the cacophonous fallout from the Scooter Braun/Ithaca/BMLG/Swift deal, MBW has in the past few weeks – via multiple sources close to the key transactions involved – done our darndest to follow the money in this narrative. We’ve been able to shed new light on who got paid what, when, and by who. – Tim Ingham, MBW

Paul McCartney's unseen photographs revealed

As the "final Beatles record" is announced, personal photos of the band are revealed, chronicling an extraordinary time, as witnessed through the eyes of one man at the heart of it, writes Deborah Nicholls-Lee. – BBCNews

A new Beatles song will be released later this year with a little help from artificial intelligence

Paul McCartney broke the news last week. It's the latest example of how creative industries are using the fast-evolving technology as lawmakers and regulators begin to grapple with the ethical and legal issues it raises. – Forbes

Paul McCartney says he used AI to create ‘the final Beatles record’

 A new and final Beatles recording using artificial intelligence will be released later this year, Sir Paul McCartney has announced. – The Guardian

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Steve Martin, co-founder, Paladin Artists

Steve Martin is revered in the global live music sphere. Over nearly five decades with the most genre-bending artist rosters of any North American agent, he may well be one of the shrewdest talent agents in the sector with clients renowned for helping redefine contemporary music. – Larry LeBlanc, Celebrity Access

Hillsong sells its soul for Rock and Roll – Festival Hall is back

Melbourne’s iconic Festival Hall is back in the hands of the music industry with Live Nation taking over the management of the historic venue now owned by Hillsong Corp. – Noise11


Muddy Waters MOJO Museum gets $1M grant for programming and restoration plans

The South Side residence Muddy Waters called home is getting more than a million dollars to help with plans to make it a museum. The $1.1 million grant is from the Mellon Foundation's Humanities in Place program. – CBS Chicago

Film composer Hans Zimmer proposes to his partner on London stage, prompts raucous audience response

As his performance at the O2 arena was drawing to a close Thursday evening, the 65-year-old German asked his partner to join him on stage — and then proceeded to declare his love. – AP

Jesse Malin suffered a rare spinal stroke. He’s determined to walk and dance again

The New York troubadour has been paralyzed since May: "There's moments in the day where you want to cry, and where you're scared." –  Rolling Stone

Decoration Day' At 20: How Drive-By Truckers Dialed Back Satire, opened their hearts

On their divorce-themed fourth album 'Decoration Day,' the brilliant, perennially misunderstood Drive-By Truckers got realer than ever about family, divorce and the consequences of our choices. – Morgan Enos,

Bruce Springsteen has recorded a follow-up to his 2022 soul covers album Only the Strong Survive

In a recent interview with Mojo, the original E Street Band member keyboardist David Sancious said. revealed that a tour was being planned in association with the release, expected in 2024. – Ultimateclassicrock.

Martin Phillipps of The Chills: ‘There’s common link between New Zealand and Ireland.’

The golden rays of commercial success may never have shone on Martin Phillipps and The Chills, but what wonders he worked in the darkness.–  Irish Times


The Idol viewers left ‘appalled’ by ‘sickening’ Jeffrey Epstein joke in new episode

They’re boycotting the series built around The Weeknd after one controversy too far. – Jacob Stolworthy, The Independent

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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