Jason Blaine
Jason Blaine

Music News Digest, March 18, 2020

CIMA has sent out a survey to gauge the severity of the COVID-19 virus's impact on the Canadian music industry as a whole and provide "an understanding of the effect current global situation is having on your revenues, your employees, your businesses and your careers." All answers will remain confidential and will be shared in aggregate only with key decision-makers in government. The purpose is to give the government a quick snapshot of the impacts and to encourage them to provide immediate and long-term relief to the industry. Fill out this brief questionnaire here by noon, Thursday, March 19.

– Entertainment One Ltd (eOne) has announced the direct signing of Ontario country singer Jason Blaine. Blaine has won a Canadian Country Music Association award for Single of the Year (2012’s They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore), has earned three SOCAN Awards, and written hits for Madeline Merlo, Chris Jansen, and others. His current single Drink Too Much is out now and a new EP is slated for release in the coming months.

– With the coronavirus crisis shutting down the concert business, Neil Young is amongst those artists turning to live streaming. He made the announcement on his Neil Young Archives site, posting that “Because we are all at home and not venturing out, we will try to do a stream from my fireplace with my lovely wife [Darryl Hannah] filming. It will be a down-home production, a few songs, a little time together. We will soon be announcing the first one right here at NYA in the Times-Contrarian and on the Hearse Theater schedule, as well as social media except for Facebook."

– Applications for the fifth edition of Project WILD are now open. This is a professional development program designed to educate, promote, develop and launch the careers of some of Alberta's up and coming country and roots artists. This year, 12 Albertan artists will be awarded a $5K Development award and will participate in a career-changing one-week music and music industry boot camp. The project is administered by Alberta Music (Alberta Music Industry Association) and funded by WILD 953 - Calgary's New Country. Apply here by April 5.

– In other Alberta Music news, Kristen Olson has been named the org’s new Program and Communications Co-ordinator.

– Legendary Toronto rock producer Bob Ezrin was at the helm for the upcoming album from Rock and Roll Hall Of Famers Deep Purple. The band’s 21st studio album, Whoosh!, comes out on June 12, available as a Standard CD, a Digital Album, a Limited Edition CD+DVD Mediabook (including the 1-hour feature Roger Glover and Bob Ezrin in conversation), and a Vinyl 2LP+DVD edition (earMUSIC). Whoosh! marks Deep Purple’s third album produced by Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd). 

– Veteran Canadian roots-rockers The Sadies reach into their extensive archives for a new release.  Archives Vol. 1 Rarities, Oddities and Radio: 1995-2019 compiles material that includes collaborations with other artists. That star-studded list features Garth Hudson, Greg Keelor, Rick White (Eric’s Trip), John Doe (X), Mary Margaret O'Hara, Gord Downie, Andrew Scott (Sloan), and more. The exclusive vinyl package comes out March 27 via Dine Alone Records.

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