Forty-two years after debuting

Forty-two years after debuting

Myles Goodwyn and April Wine have no problem playing hits from their 42-year career

Forty-two years after debuting, April Wine is still a potent brew — especially for the legion of fans who grew up with You Won’t Dance With Me, Oowatanite, Roller and litany of other radio-friendly ’70s hits.

Forty-two years after debuting, April Wine is still a potent brew — especially for the legion of fans who grew up with You Won’t Dance With Me, Oowatanite, Roller and litany of other radio-friendly ’70s hits.

When asked what keeps the band going some 18 albums and thousands of concerts after the group’s original members first relocated from Halifax to Montreal in 1970, founding member and frontman Myles Goodwyn gets a little philosophical.

“An artist needs to paint, a musician needs to play,” said Goodwyn, who noted his band isn’t the only one continuing to perform and write new music towards the half-century mark.

“There’s the Eagles, and I’ve seen Paul McCartney the last time he came to Montreal. . . . (You) perform partly because of ego and also because there’s fun and excitement to it.”

Simply speaking, musicians thrive in front of an audience, added Goodwyn, whose group is embarking on a tour that stops at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre on Monday, April 2.

Besides Goodwyn, April Wine also features guitarist Brian Greenway, who’s played with band off and on since 1977, as well as more recent additions, drummer Blair Mackay and bassist Richard Lanthier.

If you don’t count Canada’s seven prime ministers since Pierre Trudeau, the dramatic increase in house prices and average incomes, or the ups and downs of the Canadian dollar, Goodwyn believes only a few essential things have changed since April Wine first began touring.

“We don’t do bars anymore — we don’t want to do that to our fans,” he said, referring to the notorious late-night starts of musical acts in taverns.

April Wine still plays new music, as well as the nostalgic favourites longtime fans are waiting to hear. “We still make records that still do well. Our songs might not be played on Top 40 radio, but people can still hear them on the Internet and on adult contemporary stations,” said Goodwyn.

He quipped that his band doesn’t care if fans tend to favour old songs over new — “We play them anyway!” But the main difference between now and then, Goodwyn joked, is that instead of encountering young women who throw themselves at the band, “now they run away from us!”

In truth, April Wine is likely to have fans of both sexes approach to reminisce about the songs that made some kind of impact on their younger selves.

Goodwyn plans to deliver some of those tunes the way they were first written — with acoustic guitar accompaniment when he performs a solo opening set for the band at the Red Deer concert. “I’ll be playing some songs all stripped down and simple” because certain ballads just work better that way, he explained.

Not only does playing unplugged create a more personal, intimate connection with the audience, but listeners will hear the lyrics and sometimes interpret a song in a different way than when they heard it played on radio.

One of the acoustic ballads that Goodwyn will play will be a tribute to the band’s former bassist Jim Clench, who quit the group shortly before dying of lung cancer in 2010.

You Opened Up My Eyes is one of Clench’s more touching songs that the former bassist never wanted to perform live for some reason, said Goodwyn. “We might have (played it in concert) in the ‘70s, but it would have been a very, very long time ago.”

April Wine will deal with more ballads, such as Like a Lover, Like a Song and Come on Down and Talk to Me, when Goodwyn gets behind the keyboards later in the concert.

The singer, who’s the father of three, including two children working in the music industry, said he still enjoys playing the old songs as much as fans like hearing them. “I don’t think we’ve ever done anything that we don’t like. If it’s a pain, we won’t play it.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Innisfail RCMP arrest man following ‘lengthy pursuit’

Innisfail RCMP say a “lengthy pursuit” through a rural area ended with… Continue reading

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan speaks in the Alberta Legislature on Wednesday in this image from his Facebook page.
Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan sounds off on socialism in anti-lockdown speech

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan has applauded his government’s COVID-19 response, saying… Continue reading

(Photo by Paul Cowley/ Advocate Staff)
Mask bylaws not popular in rural areas

Red Deer and Blackfalds bylaws requiring masks in public places kick in on Monday

A GoFundMe campaign to support a Stettler couple following a fire has raised more than $3,000. (Contributed photo)
Family pet dies in Stettler fire

GoFundMe page has raised more than $3K so far

Canadian Olympic gymnast and National Sport School alumni Kyle Shewfelt announces his retirement in Calgary, Thursday, May 21, 2009. Calgary's board of education will close the National Sport School that has produced Olympic and Paralympic champions for 26 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Calgary’s National Sport School to close, looks to join a different school division

Calgary’s National Sport School to close, looks to join a different school division

Canada's Erica Wiebe, left, celebrates after defeating Nigeria's Blessing Onyebuchi, right on the ground, to win Gold medal in women's FS 76Kg wrestling at the Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast, Australia, Thursday, April 12, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Canada’s Olympic champion wrestler Erica Wiebe eyes return to competition

Canada’s Olympic champion wrestler Erica Wiebe eyes return to competition

Louisiana-Lafayette running back Elijah Mitchell (15) is tackled by Coastal Carolina linebacker Enock Makonzo (43) and safety Cameron Mitchell (49) during the first half of an NCAA football game in Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. It's already been a season to remember but Canadian Enock Makonzo and the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers will chase two more firsts Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Kieu
Canadian Enock Makonzo, Chanticleers chase Sun Belt East regular-season crown

Canadian Enock Makonzo, Chanticleers chase Sun Belt East regular-season crown

Atlanta United's Mo Adams, right, challenges Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo during first half MLS soccer action in East Hartford, Conn., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. Toronto FC's Alejandro Pozuelo says he finished the season with an injured leg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jessica Hill
Toronto FC ready to refocus on future as long, hard season comes to an end

Toronto FC ready to refocus on future as long, hard season comes to an end

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart speak to the media during a visit to the Molson Overdose Prevention Site in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Thursday, January 16, 2020. City councillors in Vancouver voted unanimously this week to ask federal officials for an exemption to Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, a decision advocates hope will blaze a trail for the decriminalization of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use in other municipalities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Advocates aim to shape ‘Vancouver model’ for drug decriminalization

Advocates aim to shape ‘Vancouver model’ for drug decriminalization

Senator Murray Sinclair appears before the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples in Ottawa, Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Sinclair is planning to leave the Senate early next year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Sen. Murray Sinclair, former head of TRC, set to leave the upper chamber next January

Sen. Murray Sinclair, former head of TRC, set to leave the upper chamber next January

Carolina De La Torre, right, owner of Arepas Ranch in Calgary, poses for a photo with her husband in this undated handout photo. The Venezuelan woman who believes she was used as part of Jason Kenney's argument not to lockdown restaurants in the province remembers her encounter with the premier as a lot less dramatic than he suggested. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Carolina De La Torre *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘No crying’: Venezuelan refugee Kenney cited says interaction was less dramatic

‘No crying’: Venezuelan refugee Kenney cited says interaction was less dramatic

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question from a reporter during a bi-weekly news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

Trudeau feels most Canadians could be vaccinated by September 2021

Most Read