Music News Digest: Rising Country Singer Owen Riegling's New Canadian-American Management Team

This week's collection of Canadian music news stories also features the East Coast Music Awards nominees, Westward Music Festival, a concert series at the Canadian Open, and much more.

Owen Riegling

Owen Riegling

Courtesy Photo

Awards news

The biggest annual event in Atlantic Canada's music calendar, The East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) and its festival/conference, are ready roll in Charlottetown, PEI, May 1-5. Leading the nominations list are home province faves The East Pointers, with seven, followed by Jenn Grant (NS) and Tim Baker (NL) with six each, and Jimmy Rankin (CB) and Neon Dreams (NS) with four nods apiece.Check the full list here.

The Awards gala happens on May 2 at the Delta Prince Edward Confederation Ballroom and is co-hosted by noted singer-songwriter Rose Cousins and musician/CBC music host Damhnait Doyle. The show will include performances by The East Pointers, Tara MacLean, Rum Ragged, Morgan Toney, Maggie Andrew, Tim Baker, KAYO, Jenn Grant, Émilie Landry, and Lennie Gallant.


Festivals news

– Running June 22 to 23 at multiple venues in Vancouver,Westward Music Festival has announced its 2024 lineup. Headliners include L.A. dream-rockers Cherry Glazerr and noted Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, while the Canadian contingent features Polaris Prize winner Debby Friday, NOBRO, Cartal Madras, Corridor, Haley Blais, Winona Forever and 2024 ELEVATE Music Project winner Temia. The fest is produced by MRG. Tickets here.

– Noisemaker has announced the lineup for Music in the Garden, a four-part outdoor concert series at The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, ON. The all CanCon billing comprises Jesse Cook (July 3), Dwayne Gretzky (Juy 18), Donovan Woods & Hayden Desser (July 25) and Broken Social Scene (Aug.8). Tickets are now on sale here.

Industry news

– Just added to the SiriusXM Concert Series component of the RBC Canadian Open are July Talk and Lindsay Ell. Golf Canada has announced that July Talk will perform on Friday, May 31, opening for Our Lady Peace. Ell will join fellow Canadian country star Josh Ross on June 1, at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club. More info here.


– Canadian-based management and production company Workshop Music Group has announced a new partnership with talent representation company The Familie to co-manage rising young country singer-songwriter Owen Riegling. The Familie’s client roster includes Machine Gun Kelly and Avril Lavigne and it recently launched a country music division.

Now boasting over 50M global streams for his songs, Riegling won the 2022 Emerging Artists Showcase at the CanCountry mega-fest Boots & Hearts, then signed his record deal with Universal Music Canada. Last year he was selected for Apple Music’s UpNext Program and is now part of Spotify’s Hot Country Artists To Watch and Amazon Canada’s Breakthrough Artists to Watch 2024. Read more about Riegling and his Canadian small town tour this month in this recent Billboard Canada story.

– The list of music industry notables and musicians who made the trek from Toronto (and beyond) to Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton to attend the Friday night world premiere of Beautiful Scars, the musical based on Tom Wilson's memoir of that name, is an impressive one. It includes former and current record label heads Steve Kane, Denise Donlon and Shauna De Cartier, broadcasters Jeff Woods, Toronto Mike'd and Dave Hodge (in from nearby Ancaster), promoter Yvonne Matsell and assorted music journalists, testimony to the respect Wilson enjoys in that community. To date, media reviews of the play and social media comments have been almost unanimously positive. Read the Billboard Canada feature on the play here.


– A reminder that CIMA (Canadian Independent Music Association) is now accepting applications to join its Canada House event and other activities at Germany's Reeperbahn festival in Sept. To be considered for a Canada House showcase spot the deadline to apply here is May 31. The fest runs in Hamburg, Sept. 16-21, with a possible pre-event in Berlin.


Artists news

Gene Champagne is a popular figure on the Hamilton rock scene as drummer for Teenage Head and The Killjoys. He also sings and plays guitar for his own power-pop accented band, and has just released a new EP, Let's Jet. It'll be launched with a record release show at The Corktown Tavern in Hamilton, June 29, with Dave Pomfret and The Jesse James Medicine Show in support. Advance tickets here. Check out the record on Bandcamp here.

– The Dagg Sessions, the new album from Ken Tizzard & Music For Goats, is now out, and the band is launching it with two shows. They play the album in its entirety, plus a set of older faves, at The Cameron House in Toronto, May 3. The pay what you can show runs 6-8 p.m. On May 10, there is a hometown Campbellford show at The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 103. Buy tickets here. Of note: Music For Goats is the solo project of Watchmen bassist Tizzard. Here's the group's brand new video.

– Montreal alt-pop artist Laraw releases a new album, Quarter Life Crisis (Bravo Musique), on May 3. It is launched with a hometown show on May 2 at Bar Le Ritz, followed by gigs in Gatineau, Toronto and Saint-Therese. Details here.

Seasoned B.C. singer-songwriter John Gogo will soon release his sixth album, Western Balladeer, and its first advance single and video, "Larry's Grandad," is now out, and notching positive notices.

– Manitoba-based husband and wife folk duo Burnstick earned a Juno nomination for their debut album, Kîyânaw, in 2019, and earned a Canadian Folk Music Award for one of its singles. An 11-date B.C. tour runs May 5-17, accompanied by a new single. All tickets available here. A new single (below) is now out.

– Acclaimed Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico launches her latest CD, Games of the Night Wind at the CMC, 20 St. Joseph Street, Toronto, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but an RSVP is required, via Expect new music by David Jaeger ("Nocturnes") and works by 20th century composers. Petrowska Quilico also gives a solo piano recital at the conference/concert series Worlds Apart: Music, Nostalgia and Absence in Canada’s Diasporic Communities Since 1945, on May 25 at Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. The full program and link for tickets here.


– The duo of Margaret Maria and Tréson is built around Maria's cello playing and Tréson's vocals. These elements combine sweetly on a cover of the Gordon Lightfoot classic, "Song For A Winter's Night." The tune may be unseasonable now, but is well worth a listen. On May 1, the duo performs a short Lightfoot tribute set at St. Paul’s United Church in Orillia, at 2 p.m.

The Black Keys
Jim Herrington

The Black Keys

Music News

The Black Keys Cancel North American Leg of International Players Tour

The rock duo's 31-date arena trek was scheduled to launch in September and included a date at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena on Oct. 11, 2024.

The Black Keys have abruptly canceled their upcoming North American tour.

The 31-date arena trek — which was scheduled to launch Sept. 17 in Tulsa, Okla., and wrap Nov. 12 in Detroit — quietly disappeared from Ticketmaster’s website without explanation on Friday (May 24).

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