St. Paddy’s Day saw Grateful We’re Not Dead back entertaining the troops at Carleton Place Manor. Actually, it was 3/4 Grateful We’re Not Dead because Gord is off to Tanzania for a much needed vacation. Needless to say, Al, Bruce and Don rose to the challenge and kept the joint rocking (or jigging) for a full hour of Irish songs.
Following the gig, Grateful We’re Not Dead and friends adjourned to Ballygiblins Restaurant and Pub in Carleton Place for some liquid refreshments and food. The band has adopted Ballygiblins as their official watering hole anytime they are entertaining in the area.
Before we leave we’ll give you a wee taste of the music from Saturday.
Hope you enjoy the videos and we’re looking forward to seeing you in our travels.
Grateful We’re Not Dead
Don, Gord, Bruce and Al
Last night, February 28, Grateful We’re Not Dead got together for their weekly practice/jam session even though we’re not sure it does any good – but at our ages we have to pick up the guitars frequently in order to remember which way to point the strings.
Don had purchased a Zoom H2n digital recorder earlier in the day and it was mounted on a tripod in the middle of the living room. After the recorder was turned on and the jam started, no one paid much attention to the device. After listening to the material we felt it was only appropriate to subject our tens and tens of fans to more aural abuse so we posted a few numbers on the Audio Files page. If you feel brave or are tone deaf then we suggest you hop over to the page and have a listen.
Hope your ears survive.
Grateful We’re Not Dead
On February 14, Valentine’s Day, Grateful We’re Not Dead had the great pleasure of entertaining at Carleton Place Manor, a seniors’ residence in Carleton Place, Ontario. The occasion was a two hour Valentine’s Dance for the residents. Now it’s not very often that Grateful We’re Not Dead gets to play for a dance. Usually, we are booked to do a one-hour shows in seniors’ residences so it was an enjoyable experience for the band to see people up dancing to the music. As far as we can gather, the oldest lady dancing was 93 years old and the oldest one in attendance was 100 years old.
Mary Perkins, the Entertainment Co-ordinator at the Manor, greeted and welcomed everyone in attendance. Then the band, whose members had exchanged their normal black shirts and silver ties for red shirts and red ties covered with white hearts, swung into an evening of mixed material – slow tunes, waltzes, rock and roll, material from the 1930s and 40s – and mixed genres – country, rock, blues, MOR. The floor was immediately filled with dancers, walkers and canes were forgotten and the dance was on.
It being Valentines, the band felt that the ladies in attendance that evening were entitled to a special treat. As a result, they set up and artist’s easel with a framed picture hidden by a pink towel covered with red and white hearts. At the one hour break the band announced that Grateful We’re Not Dead had gone to great lengths to have an unique gift for the ladies of Carleton Place Manor and hoped that it would bring joy to their hearts. With that, the following photo was unveiled and passed around the room amidst uproarious laughter. (Sorry about the laughter Gord). With the interest being shown in it, we were almost afraid that we wouldn’t get it back.
As a little aside, it was Gord’s wife, Evelyn, who bought the tie and took the picture a year ago. Gord pointed out to the ladies that Evelyn wanted Gord to wear tie when she gave it to him so he had felt that the appropriate attire was tie only and he was sure this would lead to an entertaining evening. To his disappointment, the only response from Evelyn was to take the picture and the response from the ladies of the Manor was laughter instead of sympathy.
And we’ll leave you now with one more picture showing the action as the band rocked.
See you again soon.
Grateful We’re Not Dead
2011 is quickly drawing to a close. And what an eventful year it has been. Grateful We’re Not Dead was slow off the mark owing to some health issues for band members but we came back with a bang. Even though we didn’t get started until April, Grateful We’re Not Dead will have entertained at 18 events during 2011. Now that may not sound like many but when you consider the fact that we entertain for free and pay all our own expenses, the costs can mount up, especially when you factor in the cost of transportation.
To summarize our activities for the year:
- Two fund raisers for Ottawa Valley Aid For Chernobyl Children, North Gower, Ontario
- Mufindi Orphans Canada Annual Fund Raiser, Manotick, Ontario
- The Denan Project Fund Raiser, Ottawa, Ontario
- Department of Peace Fund Raiser, White Lake, Ontario
- Rahane Cowboy Classic, Franktown, Ontario
- Private Party, Seagrave, Ontario (4 hr drive from Ottawa)
- Carleton Place Manor, Carleton Place, Ontario (4 shows)
- Orchard View Living Centre, Manotick Station, Ontario (3 shows)
- Lanark Lodge, Perth, Ontario (1 show)
- Starwood Nursing Home, Ottawa, Ontario (1 show)
- Annual Music Night Christmas Party, Ottawa, Ontario
- Private Party, Ottawa, Ontario
The two major fund raising events were the Mufindi Orphans Canada event in Manotick (over $8,000 at the event) and the Denan Project Fund Raiser in Ottawa (over $6,000). When we see these returns as part of our efforts, it makes the band’s time and participation worthwhile. We’re not sure if Grateful We’re Not Dead is paying forward or paying back, but we are enjoying a lot of personal satisfaction.
So as the sun sets on 2011, Grateful We’re Not Dead would like to extend a big Thank You to everyone who has helped out during the year and to wish each and every one of you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR. With a bit of luck you’ll see us around in 2012.
Grateful We’re Not Dead
Al Owler, Bruce Penniston, Don White, Gord Breedyk
The Boob Song
Any of you who follow Grateful We’re Not Dead are well aware that one of the band’s favourite songs is J.D. Wilson‘s Boob Song. Don found this song online many years ago and when Grateful We’re Not Dead was formed the Boob Song was one of the first to go into the play book. When we’re doing a show we normally end the night wearing our Boob Hats (created by Al) and singing John’s song. If you’re not familiar with our version just watch this video of Grateful We’re Not Dead performing the song for the residents at the Orchard View Living Centre.
About J.D. Wilson
John D. Wilson is a skilled song writer with a great voice and a nice touch on a guitar. He has released a CD, Women and Booze, which is available on Amazon. The album is also available for download as mp3 files from Amazon.
Recently, John sent us a link to a video of a musical tribute to his father. This is a beautiful song and well worth a listen.
This lovely song, Thank You Dad, is also available as an mp3 download from Amazon.
Hopefully we’ll get to see more of John on the Internet. He definitely is a pleasure to listen to.
Grateful We’re Not Dead has been maintaining a low profile so far this year. One of our own, Gord Breedyk, underwent some serious surgery and we’ve been waiting for him to recuperate. You can read about Gord’s ordeal at Prostate Cancer Personal Journey. This is certainly a worthwhile read for any man and for women concerned about what their partner may have to go through.
Gord has recuperated to the point where he can play his light weight travel guitar and of course, it didn’t effect his voice. The surgeon’s knife didn’t slip so we still don’t have anyone in the band who sounds like Emmylou Harris. As you can see by the calendar over there on the right, we’ve got a number of bookings for July. Actually, more than enough for us old guys. The gig in Seagrave entails a four hour drive and an overnight stay. We’ve been asked to play for this party for three years now and decided we better do it while we still can. It should be a lot of fun.
So that’s where we’ve been for the last few month’s. Not gone, just in-waiting.
Hope to see you somehwere soon.
A few years ago I set up a Grateful We’re Not Dead Facebook group which managed to attract a fair number of members. This week I received a notification that Facebook would be archiving groups that used the old group format and suggested that we move to the new group format. After due consideration I decided to set up a Grateful We’re Not Dead Facebook page. That done, it took less than 3 hours to get the 25 Fans required to register gratefulwerenotdead as the username for the page.
If you feel so inclined and have a Facebook account, drop by Grateful We’re Not Dead Facebook page, click the Like button and become a Fan.
See you over there,
As the tens and tens of Grateful We’re Not Dead fans are aware, the band has been involved in the fund raising initiative promoted by Mufindi Orphans (.ca). Last summer Grateful We’re Not Dead entertained at a fundraiser held on August 14 in Manotick, Ontario. Over $8,000 was raised at that event. You can get an update on the results of the 2010 Mufindi Orphans campaign at Mufindi Orphans Fund Raising Update. Check it out and see how your donations to this cause benefit the community and the orphans.