November comes to an end with a mixture of fog and blankets of white. Even the weather man’s confused. We’re trucking toward the holiday season, and there’s a hustle and bustle as projects are rushed to completion to meet year-end goals. Over the horizon is what we all hope is a new, more prosperous year. But there’s still a bit of nitro at the bottom of the music barrel for 2022. There’s more new music, there’s more news, and there’s a sense of accomplishment for a year fraught with economic woes and global instability. Music, especially Canadian music, is an unstoppable force. Take a listen to all the great material in this blog. You can even stream it on Spotify by clicking on the playlist icon below.
Highway lifer, Tom Cochrane, has entered into a partnership with a company called Sacori to bring a new generation of eyeglasses to the fore. The partnership promises to offer a collection of eyewear “that is proudly Canadian, much like its designer. The lenses, hinges and frames showcase exceptional quality, and—as is the case with Cochrane’s music—each pair is composed with the utmost care and a keen eye for detail The glasses feature blue light coating to ease eyestrain.” More info available here.
Photo: Bill King
This week the Canadian Music community lost a legend, advocate, and endless supporter of Canadian music. Alexander Mair passed unexpectedly at the age of 82 and he has left a hole in our collective psyche. Among Al’s biggest claims to fame were his stint as Gordon Lightfoot‘s manager (1968 – 1976); his co-founding of Attic Records with partner Tom Williams who brought acts like Fludd, Lee Aaron, Ken Tobias, Killer Dwarfs, Goddo, John James, The Nylons, Raggadeath, Teenage Head, Anvil, and so many others to the world; and his co-founding and board seats on many of Canada’s most important music industry associations and committees. This past summer Al received the Order of Canada. Condolences to his family and friends.
Cursed Blessings Records has announced that metal legends, SACRIFICE, will have a new single out that’ll be released on vinyl, CD, and cassette (!!!) very soon. Check the label’s website starting December 4th for details on the bundles and pre-order info here.
Trooper has been getting plenty of soundtrack work in the last year with previous placements in Bandit and Drinkwater. Their 1978 hit “Raise A Little Hell” now appears in the new Quebec film Rosie which is set in Montreal in 1984. The trailer, interestingly, features “Falling” by Toronto’s Blue Peter.
Ottawa’s FIST has announced that their 1983 album In The Red has been remastered and re-issued on Bad Reputation Records out of France. The new album variation contains the additional bonus track “Rock Ride.”
Neil Young‘s back with Crazy Horse. Their latest album is called World Record. And if you want to stream it you won’t find it on Spotify – but on Amazon Music.
In 1969, Toronto music promoter John Brower had an idea for a Rock and Roll Festival to be held at Varsity Stadium in Toronto featuring history’s great progenitors of rock and roll – Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Gene Vincent. The show was also to feature headliners The Doors with newcomers The Alice Cooper Band among others. But the fervor for legends of the past weren’t quite selling tickets the way he’d hoped and Brower made a historic phone call a week before the show – asking John Lennon and Yoko Ono to MC the event. How that changed Brower’s life, and the history of rock and roll can now be seen in the new documentary Revival69. Watch the trailer here.
A video has materialized for the 1982 Karla DeVito’ & Robby Benson Christmas hit “Santa Clause Is Coming…To My House.” The singers/actors aren’t Canadian, but while filming the movie Running Brave in Alberta that year, they utilized a Canadian backing band affectionately called The Royal Canadian Dismounted Band which included Tommy Banks (piano); Jeff Sawatzky (bass/electric guitar); Phil Young (drums); Robby Benson (guitar); and Jim Pinchin (saxophone). It’s a fun clip and features footage of the band backing DeVito.
Canadian singer/songwriter Lisa Hartt has released her new heart-wrenching single “Don’t Tell Me How I Feel” in advance of her upcoming EP Arrival.
VVC is Jim and Bill Verutis along with Greg Ceci who marry a smooth jazz fusion hybrid. Their latest single is the environmentally conscious activist anthem “Just Don’t Sit There!”
Kit Vale is the solo project of Toronto-based singer/songwriter Jen Simpson, whom you may know as the stunning voice of Canadian rockers Neon Bloom. “Pet” is Simpson’s second single under the Kit Vale moniker and was produced by the legendary Rob Sanzo.
“Made Of The Storm” is the third advance single from Canadian band Universal Honey‘s forthcoming album, following the success of the first two singles, “Is This The Real Thing?” and “Hush A Word.”
Toronto-based rockers A Short Walk To Pluto, endorsed earlier this year by Howard Stern on his top-rated SiriusXM show, illustrate that poetically in their folksier but no less tight new single “Give Me Grace.” Formed in 2018, the group consists of members Emma Armstrong (vocals), Danny Moriana (bass/vocals), Max Kaiser (guitar), and Jake Biggs (percussion/vocals).
Montreal’s Lirah Linda (Proctor) has decided to celebrate Eurythmic’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this year by recording a cover of the band’s sleeper album track “I Need You.”
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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 44 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 26 of those. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jaimie+Vernon