Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 29, 2021

Massey Hall (pictured) reopens with Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie speaks out, and insurance rates emperil music venues. Also in the headlines are Genesis, industry awards, Leeroy Stagger, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, The Edge, Adele, Courtney Barnett, and Bob Dylan.

Music Biz Headlines, Nov. 29, 2021

By Kerry Doole

Gordon Lightfoot makes ‘emotional’ return to Massey Hall as iconic Toronto venue reopens after renovation

Closed three years for $184-million dollars’ worth of renovation and expansion, Toronto’s Massey Hall reopened on Thursday night with a concert by Gordon Lightfoot. The  83-year-old told the crowd about the steel plate in the wrist he had recently broken. The things we do to keep our beloved relics from falling apart. – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail 

Massey Hall reopens after massive modernization that preserves iconic music venue's magic

Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy says revamp of historic hall 'marries beautifully with what I loved about it.' – Greg Hobbs, CBC News

Buffy Sainte-Marie talks about her storied career & residential schools ahead of her Massey Hall show

While Sainte-Marie, a multi-hyphenate talent whose numerous aptitudes range from actress and activist to educator, philanthropist and visual artist, enjoys living in isolation, she’s the cat’s meow when it comes to the gifts she’s bestowed upon the world, especially as a catalyst for promoting Indigenous issues. She has been a pioneer on many fronts. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star


How industry awards are changing to be inclusive of trans and non-binary talent

A number of awards shows are doing away with gendered categories. – Jenna Benchetrit, CBC News 

'Untenable' insurance policies could silence live music venues

For those who've survived the lockdowns and capacity restrictions, there's now a new threat: many small-and-medium-sized venues are facing remarkably high increases in their insurance premiums. "You can get insurance if you're willing to pay, in some cases 4,000 per cent higher than what you may have paid before," said CLMA head Erin Benjamin. – CBC

Star of Céline Dion-inspired 'Aline' on taking liberties for the unofficial biopic

Portraying a version of Quebec's beloved songstress Céline Dion on the big screen was a risky prospect for "Aline" star Valérie Lemercier, a French actress and standup comic who stars, co-wrote and directed the film.–  Virginie Ann, CP

Leeroy Stagger’s Rebeltone Studio flooded in November storm

Victoria musician Leeroy Stagger’s Rebeltone Studio suffered extensive flood damage during the atmospheric river storm the weekend of November 14. A GoFundMe campaign has started to lend support. –VictoriaMusicScene

A Friday song for B.C.: "Before the Deluge"

With the catastrophic floods hitting B.C., it's a reminder of one of Jackson Browne's big hits from the mid 1970s. "Before the Deluge" included some lyrics that seem made for the times we're living in. We're in deep shit. It's okay to feel a sense of grief...and the violin in "Before the Deluge" just might bring it on. – Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight


'Absolutely extraordinary': Saskatoon woman featured on Rod Stewart's new album

A Saskatoon woman, living in the U.K., can be heard on six tracks on Rod Stewart’s new album. Melissa Veszi-Gawanas remembers getting a call last year from her choir director asking how fast she could get ready to sing with Stewart. “I got changed faster than I’ve ever gotten changed in my life,” Veszi-Gawanas said, laughing. – Laura Woodward, CTV News

Bryan Adams says he has once again tested positive for Covid -19

Adams issued an Instagram post on Thursday saying he had tested positive “for the second time in a month” after arriving at the Milan Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy. – CP


U2’s Edge leading rock memorabilia sale to help New Orleans musicians

The U2 guitarist is promoting his Music Rising charity and its Dec. 11 auction of famous guitars and other rock memorabilia to support New Orleans musicians hit hard by the pandemic. Founded by Edge and producer Bob Ezrin, the charity was started in 2005. – John Carucci,  AP

Adele is right – an unshuffled album is the proper way to listen

By getting Spotify to discourage the mixing up of an album’s song order, Adele is standing up for artistic vision even as the very nature of streaming erodes it. – Michael Hann, The Guardian


Concert review: Collins can’t dance, but Genesis walks the walk at Bell Centre

Phil Collins has been on the farewell tour circuit for nearly two decades and has teased retirement, but this time around, it felt different. – Erik Leijon, Montreal Gazette

Genesis shows Toronto fans that nostalgia is the balm that heals all wounds in show at Scotiabank Arena

For what was potentially its second last performance ever in Canada, Genesis turned it on again for the Toronto crowd for the first of two shows at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday night. It was a bittersweet event. – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Claudia Lennear, the inspiration behind ‘Brown Sugar,’ regrets song leaving Rolling Stones’ live set

Claudia Lennear has been widely credited as the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones’ increasingly controversial classic rocker “Brown Sugar.” Bill Wyman confirmed her role in one of his books, and she’s always taken pride in that, calling the track “one of the greatest rock songs of all time, and not because I had anything to do with it.” – Steve Appleton, Spin


Rolling Stones wrap up tour in Florida facing an uncertain future

The Rolling Stones played their final concert of their recent No Filter Tour last week. the band ditched the huge stadiums that they performed at during the tour in favor of wrapping up their No Filter Tour in an intimate setting at the Hard Rock Live Casino Theater in Hollywood Florida. – Brian Kachejian, Classic Rock History 

‘Dancing kept me sane’: how black British youth found a home in northern soul

From winning dance competitions to confronting Nazis, black veterans of the 70s soul all-nighters share their stories – and counter the idea that the movement was exclusively white. – Lanre Bakare, The Guardian

Courtney Barnett takes her time

Alt-rock icon Courtney Barnett calls me from the desert. “I’m finding a lot of inspiration from nature recently,” she says in a rich Australian accent, explaining her locale. “It’s nice to be out of the city. I’m finding that very inspiring.” – Rayne Fisher-Quann, NEXT

Bob Dylan artwork show opens in Miami, new cinema paintings

Bob Dylan has been telling stories through songs for 60 years. But recently America’s master lyricist has also captured moments in a new series of paintings that, just like his songs, are intimate and a bit of a mystery. The most comprehensive exhibition of the Nobel laureate’s visual art to be held in the US goes on display onTuesday in Miami at the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. 40 new pieces by the songwriter will be showcased for the first time. – Adriana Gomez Licon, AP

Jayda G
David Reiss

Jayda G


Fresh Sounds Canada: New Songs from Jayda G, Claudia Bouvette and More

This week's discovery roundup of new Canadian songs also includes Indigenous songwriter Celeigh Cardinal and Quebec acts KROY and Mon Doux Saigneur.

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.

Jayda G, “If We Only Knew”

keep readingShow less