Music News and Views

A big part of my music is rooted in the rock, soil, and identity of my Western Canadian home. This is why I have put words and music to many historical events and narratives that shape my identity. One of these songs is “The Manitou Stone.”

This song tells the story of this remarkable object that is now in a place of honour in the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. However, when I wrote the song, recorded it, and created the video, the Manitou Stone was still being called the “1866 Meteorite.” I am working on an update to my song given the new developments in the story of this invaluable piece of our history and identity.

The photo here shows how the Manitou Stone is on display today in its own room (still far away from its original location that you can see in my video.) Here is a link to my 2010 video release. Thanks to Gary Koliger who produced the song for me at the legendary Beta Sound Studios. Have a great day, friends. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

It has been a while since I have been back to Alberta (due mainly to our travel restrictions). And while I love where I live (Vernon, BC), one thing I miss seeing is the sight of a massive grain train pulling across the prairie and wide open blues skies of the “Princess Province.” This song came to me one day as I was watching one of these very common sights and it remains one my most requested songs. Enjoy friends! The world can always use another train song! Cheers! (Photo of VIA Rail train at Jasper Station. A few years back, I entertained the passengers travelling across Canada on this particular train. That was very cool trip!) Thanks also to my friend and colleague, Les Sawyer who made this video of this song for me. Follow this link to see the video!

Here’s the link to the video for my new release, “On the Road To Toronto”. Thanks, in advance, for watching/listening. I had a lot of fun putting this together! This project allowed me to look back on so many years of playing music professionally (44 years now, by my count) and just following my own dreams and somehow being compelled to keep on playing and writing songs and performing in spite of all the changes and all the millions of things that can get a person down in this business of music. Of-course, I am a long way away from the much younger man who nearly did exactly what the principal character in this song did (go to Toronto), but I can still feel that feeling and hope that I have captured it here in this song and video.

My thanks to all the wonderful players who I have performed with over the many years. It would be a book-length saga to get into all that and impossible to put into this short video.

January 24, 2022

January 12, 2022

Hi Friends,Here’s a song I recorded back in the 2000s and have been playing live lately! This song was inspired by songs like Lightfoot’s “Song for a Winter Night” and poems like Frost’s “Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening.” I am also heavily using Pachelbel’s “Canon” for the chord structure.It’s a Western Canadian Full-on Blizzard and the character in the song is feeling feelings that can only come at such a time. The street in North Edmonton where I grew up was wide and open with high street lights. When a blizzard would blow in, the street-view from my parents’ big, 60s-picture window was magical! The air would seem to come alive with the falling and blowing snow glowing and sparkling in the bright street lights. Thanks for listening, friends!

January 9, 2022

Sorry to hear of the untimely passing of Harpdog Brown. I, like so many others, am saddened and shocked to hear this news. I knew him for many years as a fellow performer and recording artist based out of Edmonton. He and I shared many laughs and good times together off and on stage. I used to call him my favourite harp player and indeed he was. My favourite memory is a time he was managing a tavern in Mirror, Alberta, and he booked me and my band to play for a couple of nights. Well…putting Dog (that’s what he wanted to be called) in charge of the bar was a bit like putting a coyote in charge of a henhouse. It was mayhem—and so much fun. He joined us on stage both nights and, as was his typical style, “blew the house down” with his performances. To see all the outpouring of grief, love, and admiration for him is good to see. Being a performer, recording and touring artist is a rough road and not too many of us can appreciate what it takes to do what he did—and make look easy. But, we all know and can feel that hole in the fabric of our lives that he touched and filled with music aches with the echoes and reverberation of those notes that now can only live on in our memories. Take care, friends and be sure to make the most of each moment of miracle that is life and keep live music alive in our lives as I know Dog would want more than anything else.

December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas Friends! I just released this collection of some of my favourite Jesus-Themed Christmas Songs

December 21, 2021

Merry Christmas Friends!

Here’s a new release for the Holidays. Cheers!

December 17, 2021

I will be at the Vernon Farmers’ Market today 11:00-3:00 at Kal Tire Place for readings and book sales–and I’ll bring along my guitar to play a few tunes as well. Maybe see you there! Cheers, Friends. And, please note that you can purchase books, readings, or live music through me for Christmas gifts for yourself or others as mentioned below.

December 16, 2021

Thanks Ingrid, for this photo from the Vernon Chamber of Commerce Christmas Luncheon on Tuesday! It was so nice to be with a big group of happy people again!!!! It felt so good! And thanks again to the Vernon Chamber for doing this and inviting me to perform. Feliz Navida!

December 14, 2021

Hi Friends, Here is a song of mine that I recorded and released released one year ago.Merry Christmas!!!Have a great upcoming holiday season. Cheers!

December 13, 2021

Sorry to hear of the untimely passing of Ron Taylor! I knew him well as a fellow performer and friend. He did the sound at my first CD release party and we recorded one of my songs together in his Ragged But Right studio. We have lost a true gentleman, friend to all, and fine performer, songwriter, and all-round musician.

December 7, 2021

Here’s a new release from my studio in Vernon: Buffalo Skinner Redux.

Read about this and listen on my website! Or on other channels. Cheers, Friends!

November 21, 2021

Here’s a video of last night’s performance for the Kalamalka Rotary Club’s Dream Auction. I love covering this classic song from the repertoire of Ian Tyson.

November 20, 2021

In honour of Louis Riel Day, here’s a song I wrote about his partner and leader of the Metis in the War of 1885. I read that after the war, and he was declared an “outlaw” who, if captured, would share the same fate as Louis Riel (hanging), Gabriel Dumont escaped to the USA where he briefly joined Buffalo Bill’s Show as a “Canadian Outlaw and Buffalo Hunter,” he said (as he looked around and saw what was happening to his beloved country), “This damn country is getting too soft for me.” I took that line and put it into my song “Barbwire Fences” where I use the voice of Gabriel Dumont. Note: Barbwire was invented in 1873. Barbwire was the invention that allowed the unthinkable (at the time): fencing-in the great North American West. Cheers, friends!

November 16, 2021

Hi Friends,Here’s a cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow–a song that I typically include in my live sets and a song that I love dearly–and love to perform. Cheers! …and happy Tuesday!

November 14, 2021

Here’s a new video I published yesterday! Cheers, friends…and have a great Sunday and upcoming week.

November 12, 2021

Just another note about this auction coming up next weekend. The new Valley FM Community Radio Station that will be streaming and broadcasting soon (planning for a December launch) is generously supported by the Kalamalka Rotary Club!

November 6, 2021

Hi Friends,Here’s a song of mine written to get you through any “badlands” that you may be travelling through. As in the song and as Winston Churchill said, “When your going through Hell, keep going.”Cheers!

November 4, 2021

Sorry to hear about this untimely passing of a friend and fellow performer. Chris Durand was an incredible guitarist and all-round great guy whom I am glad to have known and performed with on many stages around Edmonton. Condolences to his close family and friends.

October 29, 2021

Hi Friends,Here’s a new video for an older song of mine, “Canadian Whisky.” May it get your weekend off to a great start! Cheers!!!

October 24, 2021

Sorry to hear the news of the untimely passing of Dan Engelland, a super nice guy and great performer/guitar slinger. I am glad I had a chance to hear this guy play/perform and get to know him somewhat (as well as share a few stages). Dan was always humble, approachable, funny, insightful, and I am glad to have called him a friend. I am shocked and saddened by this news. My sympathy extends to his family and friends, especially to his young daughters for their immense and tragic loss.

October 8, 2021

Hi Friends…here’s the official YouTube video for this song: Love!”Reach out, you’ll see, Heaven’s waiting for you and me!”

October 8, 2021

September 24, 2021

September 21, 2021

Hi Friends,I will be the live music at the Longhorn Pub this coming Wednesday. 7:00 pm; no cover. Maybe see you there! Cheers!

August 19, 2021

Predator Ridge Patio Show, upcoming! September 14th.

July 31, 2021

Looking forward to performing tonight in Sicamous! Brother’s Pub. 8:30-10:30. No Cover.

July 22, 2021

July 14, 2021

Hi Friends! I will be performing at the Longhorn Pub tonight, July 14. 7-9 pm. No cover!

July 1, 2021

Happy Canada Day, Friends!
I am glad that my Ukrainian ancestors made the great sacrifice to come here and leave me in the greatest country in the world!