GWNtertainment #3 by Jaimie Vernon

Here we are with Issue #3 of GWNtertainment magazine. How do you like us so far? We’re catching and reporting all the Canadian music ephemera that may have evaded your gaze in the last week.  Here’s the stuff that caught our attention on this, the 50th anniversary week of Canadian content on radio!

• Guitarist Greig Foster passed away January 15. Greig started playing guitar initially with The Continentals before moving on to St. Catharines band The British Modbeats who were signed to Red Leaf Records and released a handful of singles and one album in 1967. GWN offers condolences to friends and family.

  • Congratulations to Rob Frith whose record store Neptoon Records in Vancouver is celebrating 40 years in business – making it the oldest independent record shop in Canada. Rob currently runs the 3561 Main Street store with his son Ben. The store is pandemic prepared and is still open for music fans of vinyl, CDs, and music memorabilia.
  • Veteran Canadian blues guitarist Paul James just celebrated his 70th birthday (!!!) and was recently the guinea pig for the reboot of the El Mocambo Club’s streaming video production service. Paul has released a clip from his show where he discusses his early performances at the club and performing with Bo Diddley.
  • A recent internet viral video by The Longest Johns from TikTok of the sea shanty “The Wellerman” from 1830 has inspired a global explosion in streaming and downloading of similar songs from a variety of artists. The Irish Rovers have been the recipients of this new fad and their very old recording of “Drunken Sailor” entered the Spotify Viral Chart at #46 on January 18th.

On January 16th Canada’s longest-surviving hair-metal band, Harem Scarem, posted three words on Facebook: “Here we go!” Attached was a photo from a computer scream that simply reads ‘Harem Scarem -16’ underneath the image of a file folder. GWN is going to go out on a limb and assume this means that the recording of the band’s 16th studio album has begun. We look forward to another incredible rock record by singer Harry Hess and guitarist Peter Lesperance sometime soon.

Recorded over the period of March 1990 to March 1991, Moving Targetz’ second full-length album, ‘eMpTy’D,’ saw the culmination of recordings and material that began in 1988. Though it’s not a concept album, it covers a period of growth and expansion for the songwriting team of Ivan Judd, Sharon Judd, Jaimie Vernon, and Glenn Belcher. Here for the first time in its complete digital form is the 30th anniversary remaster from the original analog tapes. It includes 12 bonus tracks of early mixes and outtakes. This digital package also includes a 25 page PDF of liner notes, lyrics and photographs from the time period.

Valyear from Oshawa continues its hard rock/metal growth with a brand new video for the song ‘Beneath the Machine.’ The band features vocalist Chad Valyear, guitarist Geoff Wilson (ex-Sharon-SISTER/Spare Parts), bassist Joe Patrailia, and drummer Nick Mavroukas. The single is the follow-up to the 2020 track “Fall Too Far.” Both songs are expected to be on their sophomore release later in 2021.

  • Dale Harrison (Headstones) announced that his new project 6ft. Social Band have mixed and mastered two new songs for release coming soon – with a full-length album due in spring/summer.
  • Slipping in under the radar last December was the new single/video by Serafin LaRiviere which is a slow, piano-oriented cover of A-ha’s “Take On Me.” The song is from the upcoming album ‘Unravel’ Recorded at Number 9 Studios in Toronto by Aaron Fund Salem.
  • Another video we missed last year was “Meredith Palmer” by Moscow Apartment – the duo featuring Brighid Fry and Pascale Padilla. The song comes frOm their album ‘Better Daughter’ on Hidden Pony Records.
  • Hamilton act Only Human (Geoff Carmichael and Joe Conti) have just released a lyric video for the song “Can’t Sleep” off of their album ‘Hong Kong.’
  • Canadian Prog-Rock mainstays, Saga, returns March 12 with a new socially distanced album called ‘Symmetry.’ It appears to be a recreation of some of the band’s most beloved songs in acoustic, extended form. The second video, “Wind Him Up (Acoustic),” from the release dropped January 15th.

* Veteran Belleville, Ontario act Bentwood Rocker (featuring former members of 1960s act Sands of Time) have been busy keeping their chops up by recording an entire video album from the stage of that city’s Empire Theatre. They’ve been releasing songs weekly and have two on their YouTube page so far. Check out “I’m Not Taken” here.

  • On December 23rd, 2020 the 12th Annual J.R. Digs Acoustic Christmas was live streamed to raise money & awareness for important local Hamilton charities. The closing track of the night was a collaboration between The Trews and other performers from that evening – Jon Harvey of Monster Truck, Tim Hicks, Tom Wilson, Luke Bentham of The Dirty Nill, Tyler Kyte of Dwayne Gretzky and Melissa Marchese – performing the Joe Cocker arrangement of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Check it out from The Trews’ Facebook page:

This issue was brought to you by the Canadian Snorkel Museum and Arboretum. 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:

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. 

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