The FYI Bulletin: Oct. 6, 2022

– The Canadian Live Music Assoc. released its 2021-2022 annual report that can be viewed or downloaded here.  The doc was officially released at the org’s Sept. 29 AGM.

– The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) has named Elyssa Macri as the org’s new Director of Communications and Industry Relations, reporting to CMRRA and SX Works President Paul Shaver. She will join CMRRA on October 17, based in Toronto.

She previously served as Director of Marketing and Communications at CARAS and holds a Media, Theory, and Production dual-degree diploma program between Western University and Fanshawe College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media, Information, and Technoculture, and a diploma in Radio Broadcasting.

– Rebecca Webster, CMRRA's former industry relations and communications director, has taken a similar position with the PRS in the UK, based in London.

– The Songwriters Assoc. of Canada has named Tiffany Ferguson as its new Executive Director. Prior experience includes 10 years with Bell Media as a program manager and leading the artist grant funding org MuchFACT. She also spent two years as a director of Women in Music Canada, and more recently developing brand partnerships for Contra Researcher.

– The Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA) has named Michael Dawson as its new Executive Director, taking the helm of producing the BreakOut West festival and conference and the Western Canadian Music Awards. Dawson has been the artistic director of the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange, a talent buyer, artist manager, producer and recording artist with his band Library Voices and, currently, a solo artist. He sits on several creative industry boards including executive roles with the CCMIA, WCMA, and local host committees.

– Anthem Records CEO Helen Murphy has announced a new global distribution agreement with Canadian artist, entrepreneur and founder of Joyburst and the No Sugar Company. The long-time champion of health and wellness culture has tied the announcement to the release of his new single It’s A No For Me, a song cautioning listeners to be mindful about their sugar consumption; it follows Joyburst, his debut single released earlier this year in collaboration with American rapper Vanilla Ice. From the PR release, we are advised that Bradgate has managed over 600 employees, launched over 750 products, and distributed them to more than 75 countries since the launch of his entrepreneurial career 22 years ago. Below, is a YouTube video announcing the deal. It’s kinda fun and different.

– Canada’s Black Music Business Collective (ADVANCE) has started a visual podcast series highlighting 7 individuals per. Here is the first spotlighting media personality Jesse Jones, entrepreneurs Ebonnie Rowe and Jermaine Clayton, artists DJ 4Korners and DJ Lissa Monet, and publicists Randy Phipps and Jamelia Campbell.

– Rocket Norton’s incredible rallying of west coast music talent for the F*Cancer concert at the Hard Rock in Vancouver on Oct. 1 was a howling success, although we’ve not seen any media reviews (and we reached out to one of the participants and as yet have not heard back). Prism’s Al Harlow posted on Facebook if you are interested. The show has been captured for posterity and Rocket or his handlers will be seeking broadcast interest. One can reach Rocket through his website.

– Indie Country music acts are wondering what the fallout will be with CBC Country’s demise on the Sirius network. As of Sept. 30, Sirius XM has launched Top of the Country Radio on the same channel (171), promising “a perfect blend of the songs you know and love from the ‘90s and 2000s, all the way to emerging country superstars you’re about to fall for.”

So, the big question is, how shortchanged burgeoning CanCountry indie acts going to be with the new show that suggests it's now selling hot hits and name-brand acts? CBC programmer Julian Tuck is replaced by Sirius’s Siobhan Woodrow.

– Another shocker for indie and niche genre acts is Greg Torrington’s unwanted departure from Stingray where he programmed an eclectic mix of channels playing Folk-Roots, Blues, Bluegrass, Alt-Country, Gospel, and managed Galaxie’s Caribbean channels. He’s seeking new horizons and can be reached on Facebook and LinkedIn. We wish him the best and mourn his loss as he is ever knowledgeable and always accessible.

– Jeffrey Latimer, manager of Canadian operatic supergroup The Tenors, has forever been able to pull rabbits out of the proverbial magician’s hat when it comes to furthering the career of this oddball popular operatic ensemble that was once a quartet, then a trio and now again a quartet. The ensemble recently performed with Lang Lang at the Hollywood Bowl and later this month they perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London. More on this later, but below, is the new line-up with Mark Masri and Alberto Urso performing Miracle–the latest single with a video shot in Sicily that is nothing short of spectacular.

– In 2010, UK-based Iranian outcast Sepp Osley and his band Blurred Vision released their remake of Pink Floyd’s protest anthem Another Brick in The Wall Pt.2 and dubbed it, Hey Ayatollah Leave Those Kids Alone–produced by Terry Brown. The song and video went viral on social media and went on to win several notable awards on the international film festival circuit, and earned praise from Waters. Last Friday, Osley received another message from the song’s author, Roger Waters, expressing further solidarity for the people of Iran, along with a new action call to support citizens of that country who now face another crisis brought on by an increasingly repressive regime. To this end, Osley and the band, along with Brown, recorded a new version of the song and this time with Waters’ participation.

– Nickelback has released a video for the second single from the Nov. 18 Get Rollin’ album, the band’s first long-form release in five years. The lyric video revs up nostalgia for an earlier, gentler era embedded in the song’s title.

– On his latest album, Bill King delves into the moods, notes and history behind blue in music, starting with Claude Debussy, the French composer and impressionist. You can listen to Paradise Blue on Bandcamp, and below is an explainer video about the making of…

– Greg Hambleton, once a powerhouse in Canada’s nascent indie recorded music scene, keeps the Axe Records brand alive with a couple of recent digital releases … (brother) Fergus Hambleton’s notable debut album, All the Right Noises, and a pastiche collection of unreleased and early recordings by Thundermug that includes Orbit, the London, ON ‘70s band’s first hit single.

– Musician Michael Waite, known to many Torontonian vinyl enthusiasts for his old-school- Danforth Ave. emporium, Mike’s Music, has closed his shop after 50+ years of selling vinyl, CDs and concert DVDs. The same goes for Bob Sagman’s Yorkville Song & Script that for 60+ years earned a strong rep for its specialized inventory of Broadway musicals, soundtracks and sheet music. Waite, meantime, is back after a 40-year hiatus in releasing records with Knights of the Mystic Eye, an acid-blues album recorded with Paul Greig that came out earlier this year. Here's the just-issued second single from that album shot in the Danforth shop before it closed. A Cameron House gig is anticipated ASAP.

– Elmvale, ON greenhorn Country singer Dayna Reid has signed a record and management deal with Ron Kitchener’s Open Road Recordings & RKG Ent, resulting in the release of a 3-song EP and a lead single entitled Back To the Trailer.

– BPI, Deezer and the Royal Philharmonic jointly collaborated on a report that digs into the demographic profile of Classical music listeners and the results are extraordinary, showing a big spike in youthful engagement and a growing appetite for the genre. Perhaps unsurprisingly radio was far down the list of listening sources. The significant new interest in the multi-faceted genre ties in with the expected launch of a new Apple Classical music app. Ludwig van delves into the details on his newsletter that is available online.

– There’s been a lot of competitor mudslinging and idle speculation about the financial independence and integrity of outlier Merck Mercuriadis and his Hipgnosis Song Fund (HSM). MBW puts an end to the nay-sayers with a report of a US$700M debt package that puts air back in the company’s song chest and, separately, according to an insider, MM’s deal with investment firm Blackstone continues to be rock solid.

How this stacks up in the current bidding for Pink Floyd’s oversized $500M ask for the sale of their recorded music catalogue remains to be seen. With rising interest rates, it’s possible the splintered band is now facing resistance and has missed the bubble when bidding wars pushed acquisition prices beyond imagination–but Blackstone is at the table, along with a small pocket of well-heeled investors.

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