GWNtertainment #44 by JAIMIE VERNON

The world was sent reeling March 25th, with the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. He had become a seminal part of Dave Grohl’s self-declared rock and roll machine. At age 50, it was a shock to see a man so vibrant and on top of his game lose to what appears to have been a substance battle.

GWNtertainment Spotify playlist #44

Taylor seemed destined for stardom, and his salad days were both powered by two CANADIAN female singers. In 1994 Hawkins, while working in a music store in California, was told about an audition to drum for Canada’s Sass Jordan – who had been living in L.A. trying to push her own career forward following the success of her second solo album ‘Racine.’ The new release, ‘Rats,’ was ready to be unleashed. It was grittier and heavier at the hands of guitarist Stevie Salas and Sass’s patented gasoline-soaked fuelled vocals. They needed a drummer that could keep up. Taylor auditioned and hit the road with her all that year which included dates in Europe.

Following the Sass Jordan tour, Hawkins was approached by Alanis Morissette and her management team to be part of the touring band to support Morissette’s third solo album ‘Jagged Little Pill.’ No one knew at the time that the record would explode and keep the band on the road starting in June 1995. Though he didn’t play on the album, he did appear in the videos for “You Oughta Know,” “All I Really Want,” and “You Learn.” He also appeared on Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill, Live’ concert video. Hawkins would leave Morissette in March 1997 after a phone call from Foo Fighter’s leader Dave Grohl who was looking for someone to replace Foos drummer William Goldsmith. Hawkins joined the band March 18, 1997 and continued with the band until his death 25 years and seven days later on March 25, 2022.

Here’s a clip from better times when the Foo Fighters played Toronto, and Sass Jordan and Taylor Hawkins reunited for a song. May he rest in peace.

* If you’re an independent artist looking for top-gear professional graphic designs for your logo, t-shirt, posters, or album art check out Get Seen Graphics. They specialize in designs for music.

* Rush continues the celebration of the 40th anniversary version of their ‘Moving Pictures’ album with a ‘Behind The Cover’ segment where the album’s graphic designer, Hugh Syme, discusses the artistic decisions behind the iconic cover art.

* Tom Wilson‘s (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings) book ‘Beautiful Scars’ is now a film and is heading to Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto this year. Updates will be available through Tom’s Twitter page

* Congrats to Winnipeg’s Brothers Landreth whose song “Made Up Mind,” the lead track from Bonnie Raitt’s upcoming ‘Just Like That…’ album, has officially reached #1 on the Billboard singles chart.

* Canadian-Filipino singer Carolyn Fe has been diversifying her resume in recent years. Currently she stars as the grandmother in a version of the long running children’s TV show ‘Blues Clues.’ An animated video from the show features Carolyn’s character as a CGI’d Nona for the song “3 Little Ducks” which is an updated version of the live action version she appeared in several years ago.

* The music community this week mourned the loss of Canadian music critic Peter Goddard whose reviews and views were a staple in the Toronto music scene through the 1970s and 1980s. RIP Mr. Goddard. Condolences to family and friends.

* Tom Patton (aka Tomcattt), who performed on ‘Canada’s Got Talent’ last week has a new single/video out called “Try This.” 

* Catherine MacLellan stirs up warmth during a Canadian winter with a homespun video for “Winter Spring.”

* JUNO & GRAMMY Award winning producer Chin Injeti mixes feel good vibes with old school synths in the newest single “YUH” featuring Iman Wamboi.

* Ottawa’s HOROJO Trio (pronunciation: HO-RO-JO, as in HO – Think Santa Claus; RO – “Row Your Boat”; and JO – “Joe”) have finally released their debut album ‘Set The Record.’ The first single, “Hard As I Can” was featured in GWN in February, the new single is the title track.

* Alt-Country Rockers Foreman & Co. take a look at our tumultuous times with the release of the song “Sun Still Rises” from the album ‘Waiting For A Sign.’

* Vancouver, BC-based rock group Son of James is exploring these two sides of love love from a personal perspective with back-to-back singles and videos, “I Need You” and “Have You Been in Love.”

* The pandemic threatened to destroy relationships the world over. But Matt Zaddy understands what it means to hold onto those sacred; the ones who we treasure deep inside our hearts. His new single, “A Dear Friend,” is a song that emphasizes the importance of keeping our loved ones close — even in distance, isolation, or time apart. The song comes from the album ‘Be.’

* Another new single has been released from the Bryan Adams album ‘So Happy It Hurts’ entitled “Always Have, Always Will.” The video features Adams being backed up in a performance by Keith Scott (guitar) and Pat Steward (drums).

* Laurie Biagini‘s comeback from a long time off taking care of her health has been prolific. Her third song in as many months is “Do What You Gotta Do.”

* Painting a vivid picture of a mysterious figure with profound, drifting thoughts on an open road to nowhere, the psychedelic stylings of Canadian rock trio Of Nature are on full display with the release of their new single, “Midnight Drive.” The song can be found on their self-titled debut album.

* The Hogtown Allstars will release their debut album, ‘Hog Wild,’ this May 6th, 2022 via Stony Plain Records. Featuring eight new all-original songs, and two covers, the album was recorded throughout 2021. It’s the first release for the supergroup – a 7-piece featuring Downchild Blues Band alum Chuck Jackson, Pat Carey, Gary Kendall, Jim Casson, and Tyler Yarema alongside Maple Blues Band alums Teddy Leonard and Howard Moore. Here’s a sneak peak of the title track.

* Victoria-based singer-songwriter Frances Hope sings about the tug of war of toxic love with “Stay.”

* There are times in life when the past and present collide in such a way as to be surreal, and that’s what Canadian folk-rocker Taze Kozak captures in his new single, “Painted Pistols,” from his new album ‘Paper Airplanes.’

* Vaughn Passmore is on a new creative course where he’ll be releasing different styles of music as his writing takes him on digital platforms only (for the time being). His latest his a 3-song EP entitled ‘Junior Velocity.’ Check out “They Do What They Do.”

* Alyssa Reid brings us her latest single “Roses.”

* The Weber Brothers bring us a tribute song to Ronnie  Hawkins entitled “60 Years Of Rock and Roll.”

* Vancouver Indigenous Pop singer Alexis Lynn is back again, and not afraid to “Fall Apart” on her new single/video release.

* Toronto Post-Punk Art-Rockers AUS!Funkt want you to “Set Yourself Free” with the release of their latest single from the new 3-song EP ‘Human Response.’

* The unfortunately named duo Velvet Soviet is a synth pop band (Andrei Aleksandr and Francis James Hawkins) from Montreal have a new single out called “Winter Seeds.”

* Vancouver-Based Pop Artist Sarah Tolle has released some body-positive messaging in the song “Like It Or Not.” “I’m an actor, and one day while I was getting dressed after a shower, I started overthinking, ‘What if I’m on set one day, and I’m doing a naked scene, and a whole crew of people are all up close in my junk…?’” Tolle recalls. “Then this voice in my head said, ‘Well, Sarah, like it or not, this is how you look naked. They’re gonna see what’s there. The rest of it is all a story in your head.’”

* Toronto-based Hip-Hop family ensemble The Royaies tease their new EP with “Thus With A Kiss I Die” featuring sultry Latin guitar mixed with an 808 and drum beat.

*Acclaimed multi-genre singer-songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Angelique Francis kicks off her sophomore album ‘Long River’ with the single, “Storms From My Eyes” from her new album ‘Long River.’ The Ottawa-based artist is also set to host the 2022 Maple Blues Awards this June.

* Ontario country act One Ugly Cowboy has released their new single “I Love Watcha Do.”

* MC Pipo (Rick Alfaro) is a Venezuelan rapper based in Montreal, Canada who found himself drawn to urban music at a young age. Working alongside Pipo is Doc Filo (José Emilio Rivera) they have just released a modern-tinged cover of the generations-old classic “Bésame Mucho” featuring Marion Brunelle on vocals.

* British Columbia singer-songwriter Ron Kalmakoff‘s new single, “You Be The Leaver,” is an emotional take on a Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo) classic. The track is from the album ‘Nature.’

* JUNO Award-nominated Canadian jazz vocalist Mary Lou Sicoly is serving up a deliciously spicy take on romantic naivete with the release of her new single, “Blame It On My Youth.” Written by Oscar Levant and Edward Heyman in 1934, and recorded throughout the decades since by superstars like Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Connie Francis, Chet Baker, et al, “Blame It On My Youth” has stood the test of time as a relatable tale of guileless love.

* High-octane sonic exploration is par for the course for Jay Slay – DJ, producer, and one of the leaders at the Edmonton, Alberta-based Vibe Raiders label. A classically trained pianist with 20 years of formal studies, he has released 18 music projects to date. His newest is a cover version of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” featuring Scarlett Darling.


This issue was brought to you by: “Is It Tofu?” from the dietary conscious makers of “Is It Cake?”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, 2022


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: