Somebody Stole My Canoe
In a sometimes difficult world, this CD is refreshingly optimistic. John says we should be glad "Just to be Alive", and with a nod to Lyle Lovett, "Not from Texas" challenges Canadians to be as proud of where they live as Texans are. In "Instant Replay", he pokes fun at some of our habits like T.V. watching, and 'Northern Summer' celebrates the simple joys of summer in the Ontario north. Behind these well crafted songs are mandolin and slide guitar breezes, upright bass and the tasteful drumming of co-producer Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith). There's also accordion, pedal steel, harmonica, and Ellen's fine harmonies. Because variety is the spice, one song has only cello as accompaniment while another is an R&B tune with electric guitar, piano and a horn section. John's first guitar was an old one given to him by an uncle after he broke his leg in a motorcycle accident in Norway. During four years of wandering around the world, always with guitar in hand, he lived with the aborigines of northern Australia, studied aikido in Japan, and worked in Vietnam during the war. Back in Canada, he co-founded and taught for many years at a very successful alternative school, always performing part time in small clubs in his home province of Ontario. When someone stole John's canoe, he turned his anger into a song. When someone stole his next canoe, he vowed to make "Somebody Stole my Canoe" the title for his second album. And yes, if you have a canoe for sale, John would be pleased to hear from you.