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Nova Scotia Classic Rock


George Cook Jr.: Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Ace Briand: Drums, Vocals
Wolf René: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Krys Val Lewicki : Bass, Vocals

   Although they are not based in Nova Scotia, two of their members are from Cape Breton so I've decided to include them on the site. The following is written by their manager Mary Brown who is originally from Bridgewater.

   Skarecrow formed in October 1971 with all personnel still intact: Wolf René - lead guitar (from Sudbury, wrote "Good Ol' Newfoundland") Ace Briand - drums (from L'Ardoise, Cape Breton) George Cook Jr. - rhythm guitar (from New Waterford, N.S.- voice like Orbisons) Krys Val Lewicki - bass (born in England, Toronto now home. Does the arrangements). They have criss-crossed Canada innumerable times, blending humour into their stage act and featuring their original material geared to display their marvelous 4-part harmony. All four men write, and sing lead on various songs, with the others doing the backup. Skarecrow has performed with Charlie Pride, Harry Hibbs and backed up the legendary Jimmie Rodgers for an album he was recording in western Canada.

   They have appeared on tv several times, had a song "(We Don't Need) Rene Levesque" confiscated by the R.C.M.P., and are listed in "Profiles Of Canada's Pop Music Pioneers" (Canadian Music Fast Facts). Skarecrow was presented with the Ontario Country Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award and Krys was named Songwriter of the year in 1996. They have received congratulations from both provincial and federal governments for their longevity in the music business.

   The group has survived various heart attacks, amputations, and surgeries to release two new CDs;"Surfing In The Maritimes" and "Cool Wheels".The title cut "Cool Wheels" refers to the wheelchair George is now forced to use after having both legs amputated due to diabetic complications. However, this contains a positive, upbeat message and attempts to de-stigmatize the concept of people using wheelchairs - they are the same as before, only the means of locomotion has changed. This song was adopted by the Golden Horseshoe Wheelchair Athletes after Skarecrow performed it live outside the Ontario Legislature to kick off the wheelchair marathon. George had just undergone the second amputation a few weeks before. "Bullets And Books (don't mix)" is a very hard-hitting acoustic message about the repercussions of mixing education and violence. Several Regional police departments and the Canada Safe Schools Network are using this with their in-school presentations. "Surfing In The Maritimes" is a fun-packed tribute to the Canadian east coast. The title cut is a Beach Boys-style and is being played (and ordered) all across Canada. There is a myriad of styles on this CD including blues, doo-wop motown, and ballads. It touches on the history, culture, and joy of life that is the Maritimes.


   It's with a sad and empty feeling that I have to announce George Cook Jr. of Skarecrow passed away Monday August 26/2002. He was only 55 and had developed further diabetic complications after having his right arm amputated a few weeks ago. George was subjected to 10 amputations in the last five years, all intended to "be the one that stopped the infection". It never was.



   1995 Skarecrow

   1999 Cool Wheels

   2000 Surfing In The Maritimes


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