GWNtertainment MAGAZINE BLOG #53

Well, here we are dear readers – our last blog of the year. We want to thank you for following along all year and sending us your suggestions for new artists and new music. To that end, we won’t waste this one on a year end round-up because there’s still more music to shout about leading into Christmas. We’ll be back January 9th with an overview of 2022 in Canadian music and most certainly have to some early bird 2023 releases to pass your way. Have a safe and memorable holiday season and be sure to check out this week’s Spotify playlist featuring all the artists mentioned here. [just click on the icon below]

Lemmon Entertainment is releasing the Lemmon Holiday Mixtape – available now – featuring a wide variety of Canadian artists spreading Holiday cheer for an excellent cause. 100 percent of the mixtape’s proceeds will go to the MusiCounts Band Aid program. Available from Dec. 9 through Dec. 30, the mixtape features Jessica Moskaluke, Bif Naked, Josh Bogert, Olivia Penalva, Andrew Allen, Maggie Szabo, Jim Bryson, Pavlo, Zach Oliver, Ellen Doty, Chris Hadfield, Cassie Dasilva, The O’Pears, Helix, Chris McKhool (Sultans of String), Myles Goodwyn (April Wine) and more. The compilation will be available for purchase on S!NG for $9.99 CDN.

On December 2nd The James Clark Institute began recording the follow-up to 2021’s The Colour of Happy album at Union Sound Company with producer Moe Berg and engineer Darren McGill.

Canadian blues master (BIG) DAVE MCLEAN was awarded the Order of Canada on December 14. McLean has been cited as an influence on both Colin James and members of Wide Mouth Mason. He is seen here in a ceremony with Governor-General Mary Simon.

BENJAMIN RUSSELL and ROB STUART‘s debut album is complete and in the pipeline to drop on January 18. Something In F Minor is now available for pre-sale here

Canada has lost another phenomenal musician. Vancouver musician Andre Kunkel passed this week. No cause was announced. Kunkel had been most recently playing in the band Dr. Strangelove, but he found fame briefly in the 1980s in the Virgin Records signed act AGENT.

David Wilcox, Murray McLauchlan, Shirley Eikhard – 2009 – photo: John Fraser (c) GWN.
Canadians were saddened to hear the news this week that folk artist and hit songwriter Shirley Eikhard had passed after complications from cancer. She was 67 years old. Those unfamiliar with Shirley – who friends have called shy but always gracious – she is best known for having written the hit “Something To Talk About” which was covered by Bonnie Raitt. Among Shirley’s other accomplishments was her own hit version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Say You Love Me.” Shirley is survived by her likewise legendary mother, The Queen of the Fiddle, June Eikhard who recently turned 90.

We were also saddened to learn that founding member of OCEAN, Greg Brown, had passed away unexpectedly. The band is best known for the million selling Canadian hit “Put Your Hand In The Hand” written by the late Gene MacLellan. GWN offers its deepest condolences to family, friends, and fellow musicians.

As mentioned in Issue #52, LEE AARON has released her new album Elevate. It’s available on CD, streaming, and coloured vinyl here.

Canadian band TORONTO got an unusual pop culture shout out this week during Episode 4 of Canada’s Drag Race Vs. The World when Victoria Scone had a rematch against Silky Nutmeg Ganache in a lip-sync battle to Toronto’s “Your Daddy Don’t Know.”
Check out the highlights here:

For those interested in music theory and the minutiae of music production check out Atlanta-based Rick Beato’s YouTube channel where this week he did a casual one hour interview with Canadian producer DAVID BENDETH. Bendeth started as a jazz/fusion musician and later worked for CBS Records Canada where he oversaw the success of both Platinum Blonde and Gowan before moving to RCA Records in the USA – and was responsible for the creation of the #1 hit compilation ELV1S 30 #1 HITS and its #1 single “A Little Less Conversation” (which Bendeth remixed with Junkie XL).

TERRY DRAPER‘s new album Bread And Cirkus is finally available. The album is dedicated to the late graphic designer Ted Jones – whose artwork graced the covers of Terry’s old band KLAATU and Terry’s other solo works. The album even features a song about him called “The Tale Of Ted” featuring Jaimie Vernon on backing vocals.

Speaking of JAIMIE VERNON, he has a brand new Christmas track available on YouTube. Check out “The Angels Sing Merry Christmas.” The song was written 42 years ago, and will be included in his upcoming anthology project No Time Like The Past in 2023.

The first single from the new CONEY HATCH album Postcard From Germany is out now entitled “Devil’s Deck – Live!” The full album will be released in early 2023.

VILIVANT (aka Julia Gentile) has released her follow up to the “Running On Empty” single entitled “Drown.”

Songstress TONIA CIANCIULLI looks back on her Grandparents’ loss of a child on the new single “Churchyard Roses.” The song is inspired by Tonia’s own personal family tragedy– In 1935, her grandparents Chesley and Elsie Dyke lost their four-year-old son Edward when he drowned in their Newfoundland ocean backyard.

Like it did for so many others, the pandemic allowed for a time of deep reflection, and Toronto-based veteran pop-fusion artist LESLIE TAYLOR combines memories of a brutal past with the sweetness of being 16 and awakening to one’s sexuality in her new single “Look But Don’t Touch.”

THE MAPLE BLUES BAND has released their unique reworking of the Elvis Presley Christmas classic “Blue Christmas” featuring Kenny Brown.

2022 Humanitarian Award recipient SUSAN AGLUKARK has released the “Tikitaummata” single from her most recent release The Crossing album.

Singer-songwriter SARAH SMITH recently relocated from Ontario to British Columbia and has finally released brand new music with the single “Beautiful Mess.”

Toronto’s SAM CASEY‘s new single “Good Fight” was written to punch through self-doubt and industry toxicity.

Brantford/Toronto, Ontario artist JAYLEN BRADLEY has captured the acute pain of being burned twice in love with the introspective track called “Games.”

RUSH continues to be embraced by artists the world over. Check out this version of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” as performed by Erie, Pennsylvania’s First To Eleven.

Our favourite song interpreter, REID JAMIESON, is back with a wintery album called Songs For a Winter’s Night where he tackles cold and wintery tracks from the likes of Nick Lowe, Steve Miller (a spectacular version of “Winter Time”), Gene MacLellan, Gordon Lightfoot, Willie Nelson, and Bruce Cockburn’s “Coldest Night of The Year.” There’s some fine original tunes as well.

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 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.

GWNtertainment MAGAZINE BLOG #52

Hello fellow Canadians!! Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Do you observe a different celebration in December or in January. GWN wishes all faiths and denominations a healthy, happy and prosperous holiday season and New Year celebration. It’s amazing to live in a country where this can happen and we hope that people share in everyone’s joy as it’s been another challenging year. To help you count down to 2023 we bring you more new and old music (as we always do). You can click on the video and Spotify link in each paragraph, or go right to the GWN 52 playlist on Spotify by click the icon below.

Toronto’s SHUFFLE DEMONS have announced they have a new album coming soon, but in the meantime you can grab some great new swag for the Christmas season from their website. It includes stylized Shuffle Demon graphics on coffee mugs, hoodies, T-shirts, and
“Saxytime” underpants here.

Speaking of swag and merch, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS have launched their online store and are offering up some nice items for this holiday season here.

The GRIEVOUS ANGELS are getting together this week to begin arrangements of songs for their upcoming album Last Call for Cinderella. It will be their 9th album, and will be out in 2023.

The previously released RIK EMMETT (Triumph) and Sam Reid (Glass Tiger) collaborative album The Spirit of Christmas is now available on coloured vinyl for the first time here.

Video animator Vince Collins has created a new video for an old SIMPLY SAUCER tune (with the band’s permission) called “Instant Pleasure” from the band’s 1989 album Cyborgs Revisited.

A new LEONARD COHEN book is now available entitled Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows (Inside His Archive) in time for the opening of the exhibition of the same name at the AGO in Toronto. Says project co-ordinator Jim Sheddon in a press release on social media this week, “I think it’s safe to that if you’re a huge Leonard Cohen fan, you will want this book. I’m also happy to say that if you don’t know much about Leonard Cohen, this is a great introduction to his life, his work, his ideas, and his influence.” He went on to say, “The Leonard Cohen Family Trust made the whole project possible: we benefited greatly from the knowledge and insights of Robert Kory, Robert de Young, Ran Kory, and Cheryl Cordingley. Essayists and other contributors from Alan Light to Michael Petit, Laura Cameron, and Joan Angel added depth to our broad sweep through the archive. Most of the images in the book were derived from the Leonard Cohen Family Trust, but we are also grateful for access to the University of Toronto Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Michael Petit, Ted East, Kristina Ljubanovic, the AGO’s Edward P. Taylor Library and Archives, Sharon Robinson, Kara Blake, and George Fok.”

Order of Canada recipient, ART BERGMANN, is currently writing and arranging new songs at his farm home in Rocky View County, Alberta for an upcoming album release entitled Shadowwalk – Legacy Of Love. He has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to record and produce it.

Vancouver-based band Tom Lavin & the Legendary POWDER BLUES, formed in 1978, are finally history, in the most literal sense. The National Canadian Museum of History has just completed an acquisition of Powder Blues artifacts that will become a part of the CMH permanent collection. Items include a rare, transparent blue vinyl LP of the band’s first release in 1979, Powder Blues Uncut, the ‘million-mile guitar case’, Lavin’s custom blue D’Angelico New Yorker archtop guitar, the original manuscript for Tom Lavin’s travelogue of their 1990 tour of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, numerous historical photos, and a Canadian Recording Industry Association Double-Platinum award.  Much of the collection has never or rarely been seen by the public.

The recently released Beatles Revolver remixes – which used a technology developed by film maker Peter Jackson’s team to untangle dialogue and music segments for the Get Back mini-series – has now found its way into the hands of other producers. To wit, BOB SEGARINI‘s band The Family Tree has now had one track from its seminal debut album Miss Butters deconstructed from a two track mix and remixed into glorious stereo. It is hoped that the remainder of the album (cited by both Bernie Taupin and Elton John as a pivotal influence in their earlier songwriting careers) can be remixed the same way. The video link is the new remix, and the Spotify link is the original mix.

THE TREWS have a new Christmas track titled simply “Xmas (Merry Christmas)” featuring a new video.

In the 1990s CHRIS BIRKETT was working around the clock as the UK’s go-to-producer/engineer working on legendary projects, such as Sinead O’Connor’s album I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got, that featured the massive hit single, “Nothing Compares 2 U.” With artists and labels taking most of his time, Birkett had little to spare for his two young children. Feeling he was missing key moments in their life, the Toronto-based renaissance artist reflects on the importance of work-life balance with his heartwarming new single Hear The Angels Sing.” 

Toronto’s Roberta Battaglia is a coveted Golden Buzzer winner and fourth-place finalist on Season 15 of America’s Got Talent, whereby 90 million people worldwide watched her masterful performances. She has just released the soaring sngle “Truce” about the power of forgiveness.

Toronto-Based Jazz duo Alex Bird & The Jazz Mavericks with Ewen Farncombe explore shades of brooding on stormy new album Songwriter featuring the focus track “The Sweetest Moments.”

Toronto based alt-country quintet Gregory Childs and Heart Lung are aiming straight for what’s under your ribs with their raw and driving new single, “From the Chest.” Following up the band’s two-song debut Baby Blue EP released in late 2020, and a one-off single “Lonesome” released last May, “From the Chest” delivers a train-chugging emotional wallop and carries the band’s stylistic and songwriting evolution another several steps further along the track. 

Holy Heart Chamber Choir enjoys entering Canada’s Music Class Challenge every Fall. This year the choir decided to step outside of its choral comfort zone and performed the Trooper classic “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not A Long Time).”

HOLLY COLE has been working with Santa and his elves recently to make a fun little home video of one of Santa’s favourite new Holly Cole tracks ”Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” This recording never made the original 2001 CD release Baby it’s Cold Outside. The new re-release, Baby It’s Cold Outside And I Have The Christmas Blues has been freshly re-mastered” and includes 15 tracks on 180 gram vinyl, and 16 tracks on CD and Digital. The extra tracks come from the 1999 EP release Christmas Blues along with the never before released “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”

It’s been quite a while since GWN had something new from ALISON SOLO to bring to our readers. She is currently writing a new album of original songs, but in the meantime she continues posting some of her favourite cover tunes. Here she does a solo version of INXS’ “Mystify” on her YouTube channel.

STORM FORCE recently played a show in Hamilton Ont. Canada & paid tribute to Brighton Rock singer Gerald McGhee who sadly passed away in 2020. The band played the classic BR song ‘We Came To Rock’ to Gerald’s very enthusiastic, emotional hometown crowd.

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 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.