Great Dark Wonder: Celebrating Our 5th Birthday – Part 3


Happy September 30th to each and every one of our friends and readers out there!!!

Today we officially reach the milestone – our fifth birthday, or anniversary, call it what you will.  Lesley and I are incredibly proud (and pleased as punch) to celebrate this occasion, something we never envisioned when setting up our little online music scrapbook and journal back in 2016.  It has been fascinating to take this journey, and to look back at how the site has grown in content, coverage, and number of writers and contributors.  Incredibly proud is an understatement, and we couldn’t do it without the encouragement of you all.

Anniversary 1

With our 4th birthday article last year, we were happy to share the kind words we received on our social media pages from some of the artists that we covered here at GDW.  The gratitude and feedback from the music community is always grateful and well received, fueling our fire to keep going, to do more, share more, and seek out new artists, new bands, new sounds, and new talent that deserves to be shared.  Artists were very generous with their kind words once again over these last twelve months, so another selection of their comments can be found scattered throughout this article.

Anniversary 1

This annual article has always provided an opportunity to share a recap of our Canadian excursions and concert-going adventures both ‘up there and down here,’ but of course, neither has really been an option over the last year.  So, no stats about the number of shows attended, or the number of miles driven in pursuit of live music to share this time around.  At least we are encouraged to see that the Canadian border is once again open to fully vaccinated travelers from the US, and we hope to finally load up the car for a northern road trip to our ‘second home’ again sometime soon.  Just to reconnect with good friends, to visit some of our favorite restaurants, towns, and attractions, and of course, to catch some great live music from some of Canada’s finest.  So, let’s place these thoughts (hopes, dreams) on hold for now, and remain optimistic that should we be fortunate to celebrate our next birthday in 2022, this report card shall be overflowing with highlights to share.


Team GDW welcomed another two writers to the family since our last annual review.  Joining us back in February, Richard Clark became our first regular contributor from across the pond (my old stomping grounds).  Living in Nottingham, and proudly supporting his beloved Leicester City F.C. (The Foxes – reigning F.A. Cup Champions), Richard is actively involved in the music world as both a songwriter and producer.  With a strong knowledge and passion for the roots-Americana scene, he has already cost me a small fortune in vinyl purchases from his recommendations alone.  And joining us just a couple of weeks ago, from here in PA, we welcomed singer-songwriter Matt Wheeler to the team.  Lesley and I actually first met Matt back in December, 2016, who was performing at our great local music venue, The Thought Lot.  Matt happened to mention between songs that he was a huge fan of Canadian band Great Lake Swimmers, and so naturally, we soon struck up a conversation and have been good friends since.  Matt has performed across many US states and on local television, and back in 2018, had his first taste of touring in Southern Ontario, something he hopes to repeat one day.


And, of course, I have to take this opportunity for my annual shameless plug – that if you enjoy reading the contributions from our team members, and fancy dabbling with a little writing about great Canadian music too, we are always looking to add aspiring volunteer reviewers to our family.  No experience necessary – if you like music, and feel that you can put your thoughts to paper, what’s stopping you?  We do have a current ‘wish list,’ and would love to bring in writers from The Maritimes and out in Western Canada – and hey, why not stretch it a little further and see if we have any interest from folks in Australia or New Zealand.  Canadian music travels the globe, and some ‘local’ perspectives from overseas would make for great articles.  Whether you wish to submit a couple of reviews per year, or be considered as a regular contributor, go ahead and submit your request and details to us today via our Facebook page.  And as always, we are first and foremost a music blog, written by fans, for the fans – so don’t be shy, the GDW team would love to get to know you and enjoy with you this shared passion that is outstanding music.


We have enjoyed shining the spotlight on our active team members these last few days; learning about their tastes in music and experiences through the random questions posed to them.  To bring our birthday celebration to a close, we shall share one more question that they were all kind enough to answer – something a little lighthearted and fun, and one that puts a smile on my face each time I read their responses.  From Lesley and myself, we extend our gratitude to Steve, to Douglas, to Jess, to Richard, and to Matt, for taking this journey with us.  We value your contributions, and we love having you along for the ride. We are also grateful to all of the artists, publicists, agents, and new-found friends who reach out to us; who place their trust in us with their work, and for the opportunities given for us to share their music on our pages.  And, of course, we thank each and every one of you, our readers, who enjoy our work, ‘like’ our articles, ‘comment’ on our social media pages, and help spread the word about who we are and what we do.

Question: You accidently walk into a karaoke bar, somebody puts the mic into your hand, and you have only five seconds to pick your tune.  The doors are locked, and you can’t leave until you’ve completed your song.  What do you go with, and why?  Better yet, have you ever???

(SM) It depends on what they have, and as much as it pains me to say ….. yes, I have: Velvet Underground, “Rock and Roll” – The Strokes, “Last Night” – The Smiths, “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.”

(DM) If I only have five seconds, probably “Mustang Sally.”  But “Love Minus Zero,” one of the most inspiring singer-songwriter written tracks of all time from Bob Dylan if I was given more time to search.

(JL) Okay, so there was this one time that I sang karaoke, but this will be the first time it’s been spoken of since that night.  It was many moons ago and I probably (definitely) had a little too much whiskey and was somehow talked into it.  But I sang a duet with my friend Robbi to Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” which was not good, not even a little bit.  This was not one of my proudest moments, but there it is, and I will probably never sing karaoke ever again! Ha!

(RC) Ha, well I’ve never sang karaoke, but it would be “The Wonder of You” by Elvis for no better reason than I perhaps know all of the words.  Maybe also “Alone Again, Naturally,” by Gilbert O’Sullivan, because I associated the song with losing my grandma, but I might not be able to sing it through the tears.

(MW) Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic.”  I have not sung it for karaoke, but I did perform it as part of my audition for The Voice in Brooklyn in 2018.  Somehow three of my five answers all involved 2018 – it was a good year.

Five years of GDW are officially in the books – let’s take a crack at making Year Six another great one!  Cheers, Salut, and Merci.

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.

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