Live music is better. Bumper stickers should be issued!
From the village of Lion's Head on the Northern Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula, woe11er sings songs about the land and lived experiences as band mate, tree planter, community developer, father and partner. woe11er: try it up here is his first release as a solo artist.
My story begins in St. Lambert Quebec, when the Beatles filled the airways and aparently my first words were Yea, Yea, Yea. Then in North Toronto, Captain Fantastic, Court and Spark and 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus entered my musical frame. By 1979, we’d moved to London, Ontario and I was working weekends at Music World. London Calling had dropped that Christmas and locally, the Demics, the Regulators, the Zellots, Blue Peter...amazing talent played at the Cedar Lounge - their words and music going straight into my head and heart. With all this information I met other musicians like Lisa (Edna) Patterson, John (Chent) Charlton, Richard (how will we get there) Lawler, Mark Goodwin, Marc (Pie) Paille, Brian (Remo) Hodgeson, Greg (Z-Man) Moore, Iian (Iian Demic) Atkinson-Staines, and formed bands like Objects of Desire, Bully and Brownie and Wild Eyed Young Men.
At Guelph in the 1980’s, I played in a duo with Steve Andrews under the crafty management of Smiley Chapman. Eventually we hooked up with Mike (Monty) Bush, Fyl Bennett, Tannis (T) Slimmon, Lewis (Uncle Lew) Melville & Chris Terhune to form an alt country seven-piece called Big Smoke. We recorded a cassette album at Uncle Lew's Sound Emporium, StephenSteve & Big Smoke, and played rooms across Ontario and summer festivals across Canada with airtime on CBC and campus radio. We made friends with Toronto bands like Rheostatics, Skydiggers and Grievous Angels and rode on VIA Rail all together in an attempt to save passenger rail service in the North. We played from the steps of Queens Park in support of the Temagami Wilderness. Big Smoke included new members: John (Ells) Elliot, Richard Gregory, Steve Sinnicks, Les Cooper.
In the 1990s, with John Charlton and Tannis Slimmon, we formed Benji and released two critically acclaimed CDs. We played live shows and festivals around Ontario. But...like so many great musical relationships, Benji was over before it really got started.
In the 2010's with Trace (the Real Stacey McCoy) MacKay, we started and continue to perform as Ingersoul - a tribute to the Southwestern Ontario town where she grew up.
These past several years have been spent living, working, reflecting, writing and recording. Thanks to a musical muse who visits often enough - and great encouragers: my brother Dave, Andrew McPherson at Monastereo Studio in Guelph, David Chevalier at Wiretone Records in Owen Sound and James Cook at Roseander Main in Toronto — the time is right to share some new work.
try it up here is meant as an encouragement to my peers, friends and family. Despite these dark days, I think there are still lots of things to look forward to, so many reasons to be hopeful and that we should explore alternatives with little hesitation if and when we feel stuck.
Peace & Love, s
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