GWNtertainment #20 by Jaimie Vernon

The music continues to fill our lives with joy and hope. Canadians have stepped up to the plate, and against all adversity, been able to produce more than their share of sweet, beautiful audio for the likes of us mere mortals to enjoy. We are 6 months into 2021 and the music is flowing unabated.

* Jane Bunnett, Heather Bambrick, Reg Schwager, Neil Swainson, Laura Hubert, Rebecca Hennessy, Alexis Baro, Nathan Hiltz, Donovan Locke,  Jesse Ryan, and Caity Gyorgy will perform at JazzinToronto Live: A Community Celebration Live-Stream July 20th – 23rd. Event information, including how the festival is raising funds to pay for production, is here.

* Christopher Ward‘s had a busy couple of months. He released his new album Same River Twice, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (with co-writer David Tyson) for the Alannah Myles hit “Black Velvet.’ As part of the JUNO Awards’ 50th anniversary celebration he debuted a new performance of the song with assistance from Serena Ryder and Damhnait Doyle.

* Bazil Donovan of Blue Rodeo posted a note this week on social media: “There is a go fund me page to put a plaque on Queen West to pay tribute to Dave Bookman.  As he was instrumental in helping so many musicians get their music heard I think this is a great idea.  Apparently the city (has) given the green light to go ahead, but they need to raise 7 thousand dollars. All donations big or small are greatly appreciated.”

*Last week we saw the fan-made video tribute to the late Paul Humphrey of Blue Peter. The band’s Chris Wardman unveiled a newly edited, but previously incomplete, video for 1981’s “Chinese Graffiti” featuring singer Sherry Kean – now in 4k with re-mastered audio.

* Join JUNO-nominated Jaffa Road and special guests David Wall and Joel Visentin for an online June 17-20 in-studio concert including sneak-peeks of songs from their upcoming album Until When (due October 2021).

* Styx singer/keyboardist, and lifetime Scarberian, Larry Gowan premiered another new track from the upcoming Styx album Crash of the Crown entitled “Reverie.”

* Country Music News’ Larry Delaney reported this week that Ottawa-based bluegrass legend Mike O’Reilly passed away June 1, 2021 in Ottawa at age 77. O’Reilly also fronted a long-running cabaret-styled musical group called Bolt Upright. RIP Mr. O’Reilly.

*The latest release Sandra Beth SB Mackhigh Stanton is “Spencer’s Song (In Your Father’s Eyes)” – a tender Country Rock ballad about the loving relationship between a father and son, and how that bond endures after the unthinkable happens.

* k.d. lang has a new album out called Makeover that features dance remixes of some of her best-loved songs from 1992 – 2000. It’s available on streaming services and blue translucent vinyl. Here’s the remix of “If I Were You.”

* The Glorious Sons’ new album is Daylight and the lead-off single is “Young King.”

*Irish Toronto-based singer/songwriter/rapper Robbie Finnegan has a new track out called “Karma.”

* The Talbot River Band is Pete Bergen (lead vocals, guitar, backing vocal, keys), Josh Morrison (lead vocals, backing vocal, acoustic guitar, banjo, harmonica, mandolin), Andrew Waugh (bass), Greg Gordon (lead guitar), Steve Waugh (drums, keys). Their new single is “Up on a Plane.”

* If you enjoyed Sloan‘s first volume of B Sides Win (covering 1992 – 1997), check out the second collection of rare tracks covering 1998 – 2001. This volume contains ten extras, bonus tracks and/or b-sides released during the era that covered the albums Navy Blues, Between The Bridges, and ‘Pretty Together.

* The Naysayers have a new one out called “Yesterday” with a great video consisting of home movie footage.

* Corey Hart continues releasing a steady stream of new singles. His latest is “Morning Sun.” The video doesn’t feature Hart – but another famous 1980s Canadian singer-songwriter.

* Toronto cover-band-turned-originals Lovers & Lunatics have a new track out called “Deception.”

* Sum 41 – featuring vocalist nothing nowhere – has a new powerful video/song about mental health awareness called “Catching Fire.”

* DINO has a new one called “Onterrible” which features 300 video clips from all over the province. The track features David White, Caroline Cyr, Maureen Green, Mike Landoni, Andrew Sowka, and Ben Legget.

* Kenny Kirkwood will be bringing us something new this coming week. “It’s a critical time in Canadian consciousness about Reconciliation, and my FB live-stream music video premiere and Indigenous-led roundtable on Fathers, Sons, and Pride, June 17, 7PM. It’s a music and Reconciliation event standing at the intersection of Indigenous and Pride month. “Spirit You” is another track from Kirkwood’s DEBWEWIN Heart-Truth album project featuring Kenny (vocals, sax), Louis Simao (acoustic guitar, bass) and Anthony Michelli (drums, mixing). All the details are here:

* Wayne Madder‘s new All That Madders project has released a new single/video “Know That I Love You.”

* Vancouver punk act The Thing has a teaser video out for their upcoming EP called Scavengers to be released soon on Emocat Records.

* Beaverton, Ontario’s Jenn Hisko has released her new 11-track album Aura Nova.

* Jerome McPeek (Daddys Of Eden) has released a new 6-song EP entitled 6 From The 3rd under his nom de plume Rome.

* David & Marla Celia have released a new video filmed in the beautiful Roncesvalles United Church entitled “Same Train.”

* Peterborough’s Kenny DesChamp has released his new album In Pursuit of Chaos. The title track is the first single/video.

* Timid The Brave has released the single “Magnolia” on the Canadian indie label Other Songs.

* Canadian producer Kayliox returns with his latest Tipsy Records release entitled “Lighter” in collaboration with Miami-based singer/songwriter Jessica Chertock. The track is co-produced by Morocco’s Mariline.

* Toronto metal band Famous Underground (featuring Nick Walsh and Laurie Green) have released the first single off their forthcoming June 25th EP In My Reflection. The track/lyric video is “The Dark One of Two.”

* Gary Kendall has released his third archival project in as many months with Dusty & Pearl Revisited – Volume One featuring Jay Douglas, Suzie Vinnick, Judy Brown, John Mays, Johnny Wright, John Dickie and more. Remixing and re-mastering by L. Stu Young. Available on digital platforms or on CD from

* Hot on the heels of Kele Fleming‘s single “Compassion Machine” is the second single off her album The Song I’ll Write For My Whole Life entitled “Vanishing of Bees” featuring a live video for the track.

* Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter John Allaire has released his 15th career album Paint It All In Blue. The full-length album is available on vinyl, CD, and digital download.

*The Tragically Hip have released an official video for the new song “Ouch” off their just recently released Saskadelphia EP. The video features comedian Rick Mercer and Hollywood star Jay Baruchel (How To Train Your Dragon franchise) and is littered with dozens of TH Easter eggs related to previous lyrics, song titles, etc.

*The new single from the Robert Farrell Band is “Cold Cold Heaven” and is expected to make some noise on Rock radio starting this week. Robert Farrell has been called Canada’s answer to Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, and Sonny Landreth. With Andrew Lamarche (drums), and Stephen Clarke (bass), the Robert Farrell Band has put out six albums, EPs, and single tracks since 1996.

* Toronto singer/songwriter Frank Patrick is proposing unity in his new George Floyd-inspired single, “The Almighty We” from the 10-track album of the same name. The track features Ed Michael Roth- accordion, Ian de Souza – bass, Rebecca Campbell – vocals, Sweet T & Stephanie Coveart – BG vox, Frank Patrick – vocal, guitar, brilliantfish – drums, percussion, keys, horn arrangements, vocals, Michael Menegon – street whistling.

* Samways – the folk act that puts old poems to music with sweet female harmonies – is back again with their new track “The Mother” based on The Mother by poet Wilfred Campbell.

* Hired Guns are from O’Leary, PEI, and have a new track out called “Snow Queen.”

* Ottawa-born, Toronto-based pop singer/songwriter Amir Brandon brings us the debut single, “champagne.”  “My drive for success is a testament to Canada’s culturally diverse music landscape, and my music is an inspirational platform for young artists walking a similar path.” “champagne” is from the multi-instrumentalist’s forthcoming debut album Lonely Club.

*East-coast rockers Arsenal Mills – as seen here last week – has thrown us another new track called “Songs About Love.” It’s something a little softer for lovers.

* Multi-instrumentalist Rob Kemp – he of 1990s funk-rock act Brass Bikini – just premiered a teaser track from a new solo project in the works. The instrumental is called “release.”

* Friend of GWN, Luke Jackson, has new music again after a long absence and we’re happy to hear it. The first new song in many years is “The Air You Breathe.”

* Dan Mangan has teamed up with string quartet The Fratless to do a new version of the song “Trouble Mind” originally found on his 2018 album More Or Less.

*Quebec’s ThankYouDear has a new 5 song instrumental EP out entitled Horizon.

* Kay Howl is a musical force to be reckoned with. Catch her solo, in the S’Aints, with Sarah Smith, and as a session musician and vocalist or a dueling pianist across Southwestern Ontario and the American Midwest. Her new 11 song album is called Pink Trees.

* Another stellar guitarist that’s been missing in action for a long time is Rick Santers – he of his namesake band Santers – and he just released a brand new single this week entitled “Lovesick.”

* Continuing the theme of “Whatever happened to…” Henry Small (ex-Small Wonder, Prism) has emerged with new solo music beginning with this beautiful ballad entitled “Are We Ok?”

* Alberta’s The Nico Tobias Band has a new track out entitled “Cowboy Trail.”

*VVC is a sophisticated jazz fusion trio featuring Jim Verutis (guitars), Bill Verutis (bass), and Greg Ceci (drums). They have a smooth new instrumental out called “Seventy Five.”

* Following their live team-up 5 months ago on the song “Blue Moon Drive,” singer iskwē and Tom Wilson return with a new single/lyric video entitled “Starless Nights.”

* What happens when Jamie Prokop – the son of drummer Skip Prokop – gathers his musical friends together? They become the Canadian Cover Crew and record Skip’s Lighthouse hit “Pretty Lady.”

* Rhianna Barr-Beaumont emerges from British Columbia with a dreamy harmony filled interpretation of Tears For Fears’ “Mad World.”

* A cappella vocal group Quayside Voices has covered Canadian artists Jocelyn Alice and Hello Moth’s song “Jackpot.” The video was filmed at Anvil Centre, New Westminster, British Columbia.

This issue was brought to you by the new movie Beach Blanket Bong Water “…where it’s safe to go in the weeds.” 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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