GWNtertainment #27 by Jaimie Vernon

The collision of tornados, hurricanes and wild fires on both coasts tells us that summer’s now officially over. How was yours? Did you manage to see any live music with the start-stop-start live music scene? It’s back to school time and with it comes more moderate weather, and a chance to catch what we hope is the restorative powers of a healthy, re-activated live music scene. Remember to wear protection and never share beer bongs with total strangers. GWN is back from a well needed break and we present to you the remnants of August’s new releases and a peak at what’s coming up.

* Award-winning Toronto-based musician, educator, and “folktivist” Kenny Kirkwood‘s 3rd single from the album ‘DEBWEWIN: 13 Songs For 13 Moons’ is “A Oneness Without Sides” and feature singer/activist Alana Bridgewater.

* Inuk hip-hop artist Shauna Seeteenak has released the powerful new single “See The Light” as a preview to her forthcoming debut album, ‘Therapy Sessions.’ Shrouded in uplifting pop-piano chords and dance-worthy bass lines, the song’s “truths,” as Seeteenak calls them, include “mental health, sobriety, breaking stereotypes, overcoming barriers, surviving the north, and trying to heal.”

* Months after this year’s long-awaited release of his third-ever solo studio album, Consider Me Undecided, Canadian pop-rock country artist Barry Haggarty [Ronnie Hawkins, Bentwood Rocker] has released a music video for the song “Moments.” The song was co-written with Cyril Rawson and features backing harmonies from singer Kate Suhr.

* Earlier this year we posted the video for Paul Manchin‘s track “Gratification.” Paul has let us know that the song is finally streaming on all the usual platforms and comes with an instrumental B-side as well.

* Montreal/Toronto Rapper/songwriter Patrik Kabongo is generating his own heat wave with the song “98 Degrees.” The single is fresh off the 2021 album ‘High End Pack.’

* Toronto dancehall artist Fokus has a new single out entitled “Sweet Tooth.” The beat was produced by Yeong Chino.

* Speaking of dancehall beats Toronto dancehall and R & B Artist Omega Mighty has released the new single – and dance – “Whine Masta.” The track was conceptualized after Omega Mighty found herself drawn to creating a song that would promote confidence and sensuality. With that idea fresh in her mind, she recalls “(I) really wanted to push the boundaries with the beauty looks. As a beauty professional, I always want to incorporate clean beauty elements with non-traditional elements…” That crossover has come together in more ways than one; “Whine Masta” is poised to work with beauty supplier, Cloré Beauty, for the next few weeks as shoppers and fans will have the opportunity to both save while shopping, and win by participating in the “Whine Masta” dance challenge. Check out the video – which breaks down new ground in the dancehall genre.

Canadian artist Tobin James Stewart, and his rock project Carpet of Horses, unveils a new synco-pop, low-fi, indie offering with the new single “Honeybee” taken from the album ‘Ballroom.’

* With the release of “Homesick”, producer Kayliox and vocalist/songwriter Rachel Woznow bring you a fast-paced post-pandemic future house banger that is 100% Canadian Content.  “Homesick” highlights the past times that have been spent with friends and encourages you to get lost in all the fun memories. Rachel’s committed and edgy vocal marks her return to Tipsy Records after last year’s brilliant collaboration with France’s Wizzay on “Hooked”. Kayliox follows up his recent Tipsy Records releases “Don’t Want Perfect” (with Robbie Rosen), “Lighter” (with Jessica Chertock), and “Lost Control” (with Victor Perry).

* Ottawa-based singer/songwriter Francine Honey has a new single called “Lightning” produced by Grammy nominee Neilson Hubbard at Skinny Elephant Studios ahead of her upcoming 4th album due in the Fall. The new track features some of Nashville’s top players: Megan McCormick (lap steel, backing vocals), Will Kimbrough (guitars), Danny Mitchell (keyboards), Dean Marold (bass), and Hubbard (drums).

* Nobleton, Ontario singer-songwriter Matt Morson has captured the spirit of summer, and more, with his new single “Tailgate Patio.”

* While Canadians were largely at loose ends self-isolating during the lengthy series of pandemic-related lockdowns, prolific folk singer/songwriter James Gordon hunkered down and got busy creating his 40th album, ‘When I Stayed Home.’ That’s right: Four. Zero. The 13-track full-length release also features Gordon’s powerful and timely musical response to the national residential school tragedies with the song, “We’ll Bring You Home.”

* Stony Plain Records has announced October 22 as the release date for ‘Pinky’s Blues’, the new album from award-winning Canadian blues guitarist/singer Sue Foley. Featuring several Sue Foley originals, as well as songs from some of her favorite blues and roots artists, the album was recorded at Fire Station Studios in San Marcos, Texas. Joining Sue Foley (guitar, vocals) for the recording sessions were Jon Penner (bass), Chris “Whipper” Layton (drums) and Mike Flanigin (Hammond B3 organ), who also produced the album. The first single is “Dallas Man.”

* Canadian contemporary pop, R&B and soul artist Ezra Jordan (son of Marc Jordan and Amy Sky) has released his new single “dollarama” and an accompanying short film (Chapter 1 of 4 upcoming segments).

* The new single from Canadian singer/songwriter Mena Hardy is “Man I Love.” The song combines Mena’s past musical influences, in conjunction with a spiritual, and emotional, connection to Indigenous culture. The combination of “Southern Rock” with Indigenous influences, satisfies a longing for those with Native ancestry. By the time you read this the video should be live on YouTube at this link.

* Canadian orchestral Pop-Rockers Daniel Monte have released a music video for the classically influenced Hard-Rock single, “S.O.S. and Send.”

Set to inspire a magical dance of nature spirits celebrating the change of seasons,  award-winning Canadian group ViVA Trio (Anna Bateman, Erin Fisher, and Katya Tchoubar) have released their first foray into folk music with new single, “Solstice Jig.”

* Just before COVID shut down the music scene, and sent audiences into reluctant seclusion, BigMotorGasoline had everything planned and financially invested to release their CD, ‘The Way Things Used To Be.’ But the band was undeterred and took to social media to get the album heard. GWN has covered the previous singles and the guys have now released single/video #4 with “Feelin’ Alright.”

* Following her breakthrough debut EP, ‘Identity,’ bilingual Canadian songstress velours brings us a new single called “Whatever That Means.”

* Canadian rocker Kevin Towill may have planted his roots in the punk community, but his new EP, ‘After The Party Is Over’ – showcases the depths of his ability to bend genres and colour outside the lines. Kicking off with lead track, “The Contemporary American Dream,” the Calgary-based artist’s move to write a solo album followed Towill’s decision to re-prioritize his ‘9-5’ life, shifting focus from working solely at a gig he picked up when his former punk outfit, The Reckless Heroes, disbanded in 2017, and gravitating back to music. “Music was far too important and self-identifying to abandon completely,” he explains. Towill then set out to lay the tracks of his breakthrough solo project.

Fresh from her breakthrough debut EP, ‘From My Eyes’, Toronto-based indie artist Astrid Tanton‘s new single “Jury” comes from a place of learning and hurt. Her message is ageless – there is their version, your version, and…somewhere in the middle is the truth. And Tanton isn’t afraid to expose it. “There’s a reason people always say there’s two sides to a story,” she says. “People will twist and tell a story to benefit themselves. “‘Jury’ explores that relationship of being placed as the ‘villain’ or the ‘bad guy’ in a story.

* Toronto Alt-Psych rocker Rise Carmine has released a new single called “Be The Only One.” The track was produced by Grammy Award winner Dave Schiffman. The song will be featured on Rise Carmine’s forthcoming debut album, ‘No Coup For Anyone.’

* Colin James will return on November 5th with his landmark 20th album on Stony Plain Records entitled ‘Open Road.’ The lead-off single is “Down On The Bottom.”

Until now, Downtown Exit has solely existed as the fictional 1970s-era band, Levi Jaxon and The Downtown Exit; it’s the moniker #1 best-selling author Glenn Dixon created for his new book, Bootleg Stardust. Also a musician and songwriter, Dixon and his real-life band of top notch, Calgary-based musicians and songwriters, usually known as the Barrel Dogs, wrote and recorded seven songs as a soundtrack for the book — including this era-faithful cover of Neil Young’s classic “After The Goldrush.”

This issue was brought to you by Werner’s Sausage Silo in Albuquerque, New Mexico – “Our schnitzel goes deep.” 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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