Music Biz Headlines, March 21, 2018

Rod Stewart has a soft spot for Canada, SXSW remains relevant, and Johnny Reid is back on the road. Also making the headlines are Lorde, Canadian country acts, Pussy Riot, Katy Perry, Nels Cline, Superorganism, Pharis and Jason Romero, Sir Ringo Starr, vintage T-shirts, and a musical Soviet spy.

Music Biz Headlines, March 21, 2018

By Kerry Doole

'A lovely country to come to': Rod Stewart on Canada

The 73-year-old U.K. music legend plays Toronto's ACC on Thursday in advance of new album Blood Red Roses – Jane Stevenson,

After 31 years, how does SXSW stay relevant?

There was a political edge to the Austin festival this year and a genuinely impressive gender balance – Toronto artists also made a splash – Mar Sellars, NOW

No tent needed for a Johnny Reid revival

"As long as people keep showing up, I keep being there," says the superstar singer Johnny Reid – Jeff DeDekker, Regina Leader-Post

Lorde's US tour has flopped – but it might be the making of her

The New Zealand star is playing to arenas that are only a third full. But dropping out of pop’s upper echelons may give her the long future she deserves – Laura Snapes, The Guardian


The eight best contemporary country singers from Canada

The list includes Corb Lund, Brett Kissel, Whitney Rose, and Lindi Ortega  – Bobby Moore, Wide Open Country

There’s a new app to tell you which festival is perfect for you

A new tool analyses your Spotify listening and tells you which festival you should be going to this summer – Nick Reilly,

Pussy Riot protest against Putin election with new song

The punk provocateurs release a statement alongside new track Elections, attacking corruption, censorship and the erosion of democracy in Russia – Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian 

American Idol treats Katy Perry’s flirting as a joke. Some viewers aren’t amused

For some, Perry’s ogling of one contestant, kissing of another and offer to ‘hang’ with yet another strike sour notes in the age of #MeToo – Emily Yahr, Washington Post

State legislation addressing sexual harassment in music business is  killed

Attorney Alex Little: 'Hollywood is standing up for its own. It's time Nashville did the same'  – Cari Gervin, Nashville Scene

Guitar genius rolls from intensity to subtlety, between rock and jazz

"I have the luckiest life because I get to work many different dynamic and stylistic parameters" – Nels Cline – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

How the indie-pop behemoth Superorganism achieved the impossible

They’re the first new band from this generation who sounds like no one else and make exhilarating, meaningful music for every damn age – Ryan Bassil, Noisey

Pharis and Jason Romero prep a new album, Sweet Old Religion

The acclaimed Canadian roots music duo has had a difficult couple of years, having lost their instrument shop to a fire in the summer of 2016 – No Depression


Sir Ringo Starr is now a Knight! Prince William awards the Beatle a royal title

The drummer joked that he would wear the insignia “at breakfast” –  Simon Perry, People

Got some old band T-shirts at home? You might be sitting on a goldmine…

A rare Led Zeppelin shirt fetched $10,000 – and others go for hundreds as nostalgic memorabilia market booms – Rob Davies, The Guardian

Glamorous harpist is believed to be a Russian spy

She performed a 'stern-faced' concert at a provincial British church after arriving in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes –  Daily Mail

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award
Marc Thususka Photography

Allison Russell accepting the Billboard Canada Women in Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year award

Music News

Allison Russell Named Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year

The Nashville-based musician from Montreal has been having a huge year, including her first Grammy and her first Hot 100 appearance. Accepting the award on June 19 at the iHeartRadio Canada studio, she talked about her LGBTQ+ advocacy work and the importance of playing with underrepresented musicians.

It was a special Juneteenth for Allison Russell.

Not only did she serve as the special Toronto opener for Sarah McLachlan on the Canadian icon’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 30th anniversary tour, but she earned another big honour: Billboard Canada Women In Music Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

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