GWNtertainment #8 by Jaimie Vernon

We’re into March and the weather continues to be as unpredictable as NHL hockey.  Live music is still down the road and hopefully will see some growth when the weather gets better. Until then we have to satisfy ourselves with live streaming and new music releases from Canada’s greatest undiscovered and perpetual talents.

* GWN wants to apologize to Dan MacLean Jr. for messing up the link to his cover version of Squeeze’s “Tempted” in GWNtertainmanet Magazine #7. The correct link to view the video is here:

* A long-lost recording from the Toronto Blues scene of the 1990s is finally seeing the light of day. Chuck Jackson And The All-Stars ruled the scene during this time. The scaled down version of this act was known as Mr. C. & The C-Notes (sans horn section) to play smaller venues around Southern Ontario. That included Guelph, Ontario’s Wally Tavern. The band was recorded one night there in the late 1990s by Mike MacDonald and John Lee. The band carried on and the tape eventually forgotten. Fast-forward 25 years and MacDonald re-discovers the tape. With new recording technology the performance has been preserved and the 11 songs now available as Mr.C. & The C-Notes featuring Chuck Jackson. The performers include 4 members of Downchild (at the time): Chuck Jackson (lead vocals), Pat Carey (tenor & alto sax, backing vocals), Michael Fonfara (keyboards, backing vocals), Garth Vogan (bass, backing vocals), and Jim Casson (drums, backing vocals).

* Multiple JUNO Award nominee John Sketch has been barred from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra after violating the VSO’s COVID-19 safety protocols by hosting a maskless gathering of 14 people at a party at a West End Vancouver apartment. The event was discovered on YouTube after Sketch posted an 87 minute video to the Flat Earth Focker site. The VSO is currently investigating.

* Edmonton musician Lucette will be streaming live on Sunday, March 14 at 1:00 pm M.S.T.  from The Black Dog Freehouse. The show is sponsored by Kinaxis in partnership with The Canadian Live Music Association. Details here:

* In January the reformed Universal Honey – Johnny Sinclair and Leslie Stanwyck – re-issued their 3rd album Universal Honey digitally to all streaming services. The duo are currently assembling bonus tracks for a re-master of their 2001 album Fearless for the same digital re-launch. Release date TBA.

* Chantal Kreviazuk is doing another @sessionslive show Saturday, March 13 at 3:00 pm EST. The show will feature fan meet’n’ greets and a set list based on fan requests compiled sense her last performance. Go to for more information.

* Coming soon on streaming, CD, and vinyl is the Spoons compilation Repeatable: 1980-2020, a best of covering 40 years. The digitally re-mastered album will include, for the first time in a digital format, the singles from the Anthem Records years (1986-1988) taken from the albums Bridges Over Borders and Vertigo Tango albums.

* Congratulations to Canadian musician/bandleader/songwriter Paul Shaffer for his song “It’s Raining Men” being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Shaffer, former band leader of Late Show with David Letterman, co-wrote the tune with Donna Summer songwriter Paul Jabara, who also co-produced the song alongside Bob Esty in 1982 and became a hit for The Weather Girls.

* A live show by The Pursuit Of Happiness from The Ahoy club in Rotterdam on September 25, 1989 surfaced on YouTube this past week. The sound quality isn’t too bad. Check it out here:

* Meanwhile, Ralph Alfonso’s Queen Street Punk Walk recorded in 2011 by Henry Martinuk has been uploaded to YouTube and features Mr. Alfonso (manager of the Diodes and an authority on the early Toronto punk scene) visits many of Toronto’s seminal punk haunts and tells the story of Toronto’s punk progenitors.

* Many Canadians grew up in era when their first exposure to live music was when touring artists played their high schools. It was a circuitous route for struggling musicians in Canada but many of them survived to become stars. There’s now a Facebook page where people can share stories about the music they saw up close and personal in their schools whether it be Rush or Teenage Head or some unknown that gave it up for a life of accounting.

* Apparently, the Irish Real Life Festival is still a go from March 6 – 17th in Waterloo, Ontario. The Festival showcases food, lifestyle, dance, and music.

* LEAHY returns with the third single off their new album Good Water entitled “Tears.” Both the single and the album were released February 26 to all major digital platforms. The album was produced and mixed by Grammy Award-winning Canadian David Bottrill (Peter Gabriel, Afro Celt Sound System). The song “Tears,” stands out on Good Water as an epic, melodic pop song that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Celine Dion album – but with rockin’ electric guitar by Nick Johnston.

* Lorette West, Manitoba folk-pop artist Kevin Roy Kratsch – better known as Mister K – has dropped his debut album In Event Of Moon Disaster along with its first single “Tamarack.” The artist co-produced the record with the help of engineer Rusty Matyas (The Sheepdogs, Imaginary Cities). The nine-track,
34-minute album is reflective of the works of Neil Young. It was written solely by Mister K and recorded at Paintbox Recording Studios in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

* Ottawa, Ontario-based rockers Taming Sari have just released their fourth single “Gone and Run Away.” Taming Sari is lead singer Warren Meredith, drummer and backing vocalist Adam Ouellette, guitarists Joe Fraser and Miguel Brunette-Kingsberry, as well as bassist Alex Pellerin-Auprix. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the group is based between Ottawa and Gatineau, Quebec. According to the eclectic band, “Gone and Run Away” is a song for “rockers and lovers.” They describe it as a story about jealousy, heartbreak, and “the emptiness one can feel when a person is gone after a relationship comes to an end.”

* After a two-year hiatus from the music scene, Stratford, Ontario’s Katelyn Biehn returns with the mellow single “Daydreamin’.”  Katelyn enlisted producer Roy Hamilton to master the song and create a lyric video for its official release. She began her music pursuits at the age of four as a drummer. She entered an abundance of talent shows and landed herself in the recording studio with a bunch of Nashville-based musicians at 17 years old. Those sessions inevitably led to her collaboration with Benji and the album Spark — her highly-successful 2017 debut effort. The new single will hopefully lead to a new album in the near future.

* Stuck at home and feeling a creative flash, JUNO Award-winning guitarist Erik Mehlsen called on fellow Regina, Saskatchewan-based artists — member of Little Black Bear First Nation MC Info Red, Pakistani-born MC and producer Origin of Spin, Nigerian-born singer/songwriters Nini Jegz and ADEOLUWA, and Saskatchewan-born keyboardist Ethan Reoch, drummer Cyprian Henry, and bass player Rob Lane — to create the country’s newest, and among the most diverse, acts to date called PEOPLE OF THE SUN. And so from this dynamic abundance of cultural perspective and influence plus a global health crisis both forcing and fomenting new ideas the group formally introduced themselves this past November with a six-track debut EP, Last Day of Summer. Check out the latest single “The Lick.”

* We’ve gotten a sneak peek at F-105‘s new single “Evergreen.” The song will be included on the F-105 II: Side B album release March 23. We’ll have more coverage when the album comes out. Until then, check out the socially distanced video for “Evergreen”:

* Country artist Aaron Allen‘s new single “Good Place To Start” has been getting instant radio play. The song was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by drummer Jeff Dalziel. The song also features Pete Lesperance (Electric Guitars, Dobro) and Justin Kudding (bass).

* Small-town Ontario 5-piece Long Range Hustle is back with a new single called “Comeback Kid.” The indie rock outfit is made up of Paul Brogee (co-lead vocals, guitars, violin), Jay Foster (co-lead vocals, keys, synths), AJ Fisico (drums, vocals), Mike Brogee (bass, vocals) and Ryan Pritchard (guitars). Throughout 2020, LRH channeled feverish energy – that would have been put into live shows – towards writing and recording a new album. Production was done virtually across the ocean with Scottish producer/mixer Tony Doogan (Wintersleep, Snow Patrol, Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian). The new song has been released through New York record label AntiFragile Music.

* Burlington, Ontario’s LENSE has released a new single entitled “I’ll Be Near You.” The group features Clint Marshall (vocals), Jacob Marshall (vocals, guitar, bass, keys), and Nicholas Begg (vocals, percussion)

* Toronto 4-piece rockers Doghouse Rose have released their new single/video “The Rose.” The Stomp Records recording act released their latest album, The Harder They Fall, in November. The first single from the album was “Last Time.”

* Remember those summertime commercials on Q107-FM (Toronto) back in the ’80’s for weekend-long all-Canadian Rock festivals at places like Mosport and Cayuga Speedway? Well, Stew Hooey released a song about it called “King Of The Speedway (The Ballad of Kim Mitchell).”

* July Talk is back with a brand new power pop track entitled “The News” from their latest album Pray For It.

* Toronto duo Ted Carrick & Shian Grace has released their new single, “damsad,” from the album Experiment 33. Shian is also an actress, and stars in and directs the music video.

* Marc LaFrance (Randy Bachman, Bachman & Turner) has released his latest single entitled “Angry” on Delinquent Records which was co-produced with Mick Dalla-Vee. Says Marc of the track, “The song was inspired by all the unnerving unrest in the world today. The hope is that there will be better days to come.” The video was produced by Mick’s Lake House Productions Canada.

* Singer-songwriter Jannelle Martin has released her debut single on Radar Love Records entitled “Letting Go.”

* Calgary’s The Brown Eyed Susans return with their unmistakable 1990s Brit-Pop sound on a new track entitled “Lost My Eyesight.”

* Luscious, a 5-piece from Kingston, Ontario, have finally released official product with their new single “Alone (We Are Not).” They are currently working on a full EP for summer release.

* Icelandic Canadian Sigrún Stella has a haunting new single out entitled “Ghost Of Me.” It’s a follow-up to January’s track “So Cold.” Sigrún moved to Toronto in 2001 and has been quickly developing a repertoire of great songs.

* Victoria’s Jesse Thomas Brown returns with a cover of the standard “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical ‘Carousel.’

This issue was brought to you by Mr. Freeze’s February Blues Revue. 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. 

One Response to “GWNtertainment #8 by Jaimie Vernon”

  1. Stew Hooey Says:

    Hey Jaimie- thanks for the shout out on my “King of the Speedway” song. “So You are a Star”- Cool- sounds great. (I actually guessed Hudson Brothers…) Congrats on the Sunny Days book- was just mentioning to my buddy last month it would be a good read. Cheers.

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