Jaimie Vernon – GWNtertainment Issue 02

The response to our first issue of the reborn GWNtertainment Magazine last week

(https://bobsegarini.wordpress.com/2021/01/11/jaimie-vernon-gwntertainment/) has been positive and encouraging as I’m now getting artists and their reps sending news releases and links to new music. As it should be. Keep those cards and letters coming, kids. Now we go live where our Polar Swim Team is about to cross the Bering Strait in their birthday suits…

• Former Frozen Ghost member LEN MIZZONI returns following last year’s well-received Christmas track “Mistletoe Kisses” with his self-titled, jazz-inspired, fourth album. It features two simultaneously-released single ballads in “Sleep Away” and “When It Rains.” “Sleep Away” was produced by Diane Delin and “When It Rains” was produced by Alexander Dedov and Len Mizzoni. All songs on the album are written by Len Mizzoni, except for “Sleep Away” by American Jazz pianist Bob Acri. Len was so moved by this timeless instrumental track that it inspired him to add lyrics which he hopes will introduce this Jazz standard to an entirely new audience. Other songs covered on the album include “Autumn Leaves,” with music written by Joseph Kosma and English lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and “The Shadow of Your Smile,” with music written by Johnny Mandel and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Check out the full album stream here. https://soundcloud.com/len-mizzoni/sets/my-new-self-titled-album-len-mizzoni

• Canadian JUNO Award-winning group LEAHY is hot on the heels of their acclaimed first single “Good Water,” (from the forthcoming album of the same name), with the follow-up single “Little Moon.”  Produced by Grammy Award winner David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, Rush, Smashing Pumpkins), “Little Moon” is an instrumental original, and offers an excellent example of Leahy’s progressive sensibilities as they bring their roots-based instrumental prowess into modern-day focus. Co-written by siblings Erin and Angus Leahy, and originally arranged for violin and piano, Leahy introduces electric guitar by featuring Canadian rock guitarist, Nick Johnston. Get more information here https://leahymusic.ca/

• The new single from Canadian synth-pop band CHURCH OF TREES, is “World’s A Bitch,” featuring Carole Pope (Rough Trade). The single captures the global angst over the COVID pandemic and the desperate need for vaccine distribution. The JUNO award-winning Pope, who pushed the boundaries of sexuality and sexual politics both in Rough Trade songs and on stage, says: “I think the song encapsulates how we’re all feeling about being locked down… and you can dance to it!” Church of Trees founder Bernard Frazer brims with excitement describing his experience with the rock icon. “She was delightful! They say to never meet your heroes because they’ll disappoint, but Carole was extraordinary, and in such fine form!” Pope’s connection to the synth-pop band was orchestrated by former Spoons/Honeymoon Suite keyboardist Rob Preuss, who now resides in New York City. While working separately with both Pope and Church of Trees, Preuss had a light bulb moment and suggested that Frazer write something that might suit Carole’s voice. “World’s A Bitch” was written by Bernard Frazer (synths, drums, backing vocals), Carole Pope (lead and backing vocals), and Rob Preuss (synths, additional drum programming). The track was produced by Jordan Zadorozny (guitar) and Bernard Frazer and also features Tara Hope on background vocals. Check out the track here. Bernard says the song will be part of Church of Trees’ next full-length or EP release called ‘Pause’ later this year. https://churchoftrees.bandcamp.com/track/worlds-a-bitch-ft-carole-pope

• Singer/multi-instrumentalist Drew Arnott confirms that STRANGE ADVANCE‘s new album ‘4‘ is complete and ready for release any minute. The first single, “Way Past Midnight,” snuck under the wire just before Christmas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfrpEA0d5p0

The band rebooted a few years ago with the notion that they’d go on tour last year. That didn’t happen, but they did manage to complete a full album while in lockdown. You can pre-order the record here – https://www.strangeadvance.com/shop

  • Singer/multi-instrumentalist Ivan Doroschuk posted on social media on Saturday that MEN WITHOUT HATS has finished their new album ‘Men Without Hats – Again (Parts 1 & 2).‘ It is currently off to the mastering facility in preparation for a spring release. The album will feature twelve new original songs plus five cover tunes. The album was recorded over two years at Sho Murray’s Fifth Wheel (affectionately called Trailer Park Studios) outside of Mission B.C., Gary Proknow’s 2-Track studio in Vancouver, and the MWH’s mobile facility on top of the Malahat on Vancouver Island. Visit the official site for updates: http://safetydance.com/

• we’ve been following the musical comings and goings of ex-The Soles leader DIN SKYSINGER for the last few years. Din tells us that he’s in the finishing stages of a two part album cycle – one side acoustic, the other electric. Due to the pandemic, the band tracks will have to wait until production can begin anew farther into the year. However, he’s given me a sneak preview of the completed acoustic tracks which at times reflect old school singer-songwriters like James Taylor and Jim Croce while his modern vocal style leans in on more contemporary male singers. These tunes will be released in March to coincide with the year anniversary the pandemic lockdown in Toronto. Look for it under the title ‘F-105 II: Side B.’ Keep checking in on the project page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/f105music/

• the family of late Canadian singer-songwriter JIM HUFF have seen to the completion and release his final recordings as an eight song album called ‘American Dog.‘ The multi-platinum selling Canadian songwriter/producer, guitarist, and composer for film and television, passed away on September 24, 2019 following a battle with prostate cancer. Initially making in-roads in the Canadian music business with his early-1980s band Mannequin, he found commercial success after being signed to A & M Records in the late 1980s with his band The Works (later evolving into Wall of Silence). He later moved to Los Angeles to become a producer and songwriter for Edwin, Donica Knight, Joe Bonamassa, Jocelyn, The Mudmen, and Holly Brook (Skylar Grey) as well as working on soundtracks for TV and film. The new record can be streamed here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6I36LMpnQlyDBziiH9SgCH

• Attention Canadian punx! The Eh! C.A.B. Benefit Compilation, 8 months in the making, has finally shipped! It features 14 bands including Ripcordz, Random Killing, Hippiecritz, Artificial Dissemination, Broken Yolks, Harsh, The Sham, T.S.F., Terminal City Rats, Crooked Books, D.T.F., Dysruptive, Dirty Bird, and Chips Ov Oi. Comes with a poster insert! All proceeds go to the CCLA, an association that advocates for the rights of marginalized groups across the country. Visit the comp website at  https://ehcabcomp.bandcamp.com/album/ehcab-comp-vol-1

This week we lost celebrated Ojibway singer-songwriter Curtis “Shingoose” Jonnie – an inductee in the Manitoba Music Hall of fame in 2012 – died of COVID related complications on January 12, 2021. The residential school, and Sixties Scoop survivor, put his energies into music to tell his stories and those of First Nations people. Aside from his prolific and lengthy solo career, he worked with Buffy Sainte-Marie and Elaine Bomberry to push for the creation of an Aboriginal music category at the JUNO Awards in the 1990s to raise the profile of First Nations artists. Jonnie’s passing is a blow to the First Nations community and Canadian music in general. Shingoose was 74. GWN offers condolences to friends and family. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1oEpTppRFY

The Toronto music community was shocked to find out that producer/bassist Guenther Kapelle had passed away from a heart attack on January 11, 2021. Guenther was best known for championing and becoming music director for guitarist Toney Springer’s long running band Wild T & The Spirit. Bullseye

Records released Wild T’s ‘True Bliss’ album in 2003. Guenther spearheaded three national tours to promote the album and its two singles: “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” featuring the late Jeff Healey, and a remake of “High School Confidentially” as a duet with Carole Pope. Guenther is remembered as having inexhaustible energy, an endless smile, and nothing but support for (and from) all the artists he worked with over the years. GWN offers condolences to friends and family. https://bullseyecanada.bandcamp.com/album/true-bliss/

Toronto area drummer Myk St Cyr passed January 11th as well after long battle with cancer. Michael Leonard St Cyr was born in 1966 and found small success in Oshawa band Minotaur back in the 1980s (guitarist Pete Lesperance would go on to international success with Harem Scarem). In recent years, St Cyr was working with the band Union of Us. GWN offers condolences to friends and family.

Conflicting stories emerged last week about the passing of legendary Canadian drummer Duris Maxwell. Reports say he died January 4, but a Wikipedia entry states he passed November 26, 2020. Regardless, GWN would like to acknowledge his life and career. Maxwell, born William Edward (Ted) Elgin Lewis was June 15, 1946. His career found him playing for such Canadian artists as Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers, Powder Blues, Skylark, and Jerry Doucette (that’s him on “Mama Let Him Play”). He would also do work with The Temptations, Jefferson Airplane, Devin Townsend, and Heart (that’s him on “Dreamboat Annie”). GWN offers condolences to friends and family.

This issue was brought to you by the Canadian Puffin Preservation Society and Gift Shop. Send us your news, views, and all manner of CANADIAN musical releases to promote and wave a flag for. Join the GWN Facebook page and drop us a message: https://www.facebook.com/gwntertainment

Keep up the fight!
Jaimie Vernon, 2021


Jaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 41 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 24 years. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jaimie+Vernon 


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