About Grateful We’re Not Dead
Grateful We’re Not Dead is four musicians from the Ottawa area: Gord Breedyk, Al Owler, Bruce Penniston and Don White. The band enjoys performing senior-related comedy as well as classic country, rock and blues. They perform frequently at charity events, fund raisers, peace concerts, street parties, private parties, etc.
The band was formed after the original three members met at monthly Music Nights which Gord Breedyk and Evelyn Voigt had started hosting in 1988. Bruce had been in attendance at these events for many years and Don attended his first one in May of 1998. It wasn’t long before Gord, Bruce and Don realized that they all had an inherent love of country music and they’d continue to play into the wee hours of the morning after Music Night had ended.
The Band Gets A Name
Gord and Don first ventured out as a duet to entertain at a Nepean Optimists Club BBQ. For the next major undertaking in July 2003, the trio entertained at Gord’s sister’s wedding anniversary along with Bruce’s wife, Marg. Shortly thereafter, it was decided that we needed a name if we were going to continue to entertain together. After much head-scratching Don’s son, Jeff, said “Look at the age of you guys. You should just call yourselves Grateful We’re Not Dead“. So that was who we became.
A Style Is Born
Eventually, we decided to dress in black for most of the events. Somewhere along the line, Evelyn picked up silver and black ties for us based on art work by Jerry Garcia. And then she located a Gund Jerry Garcia doll. The Jerry Doll became our mascot and travels to most events with us now.
GWND Gets A New Member
In 2005, Al was introduced to Music Night by Bruce and soon Al was sitting in with Grateful We’re Not Dead whenever he got the chance. Eventually we decided we needed a bass player and Al came to the rescue. He sat down for a few weeks with Bruce and learned to play bass. Even though Al is considerably younger than the original three members he is now considered to be a full-fledged member of the band and is allowed to wear a black hat and silver tie.
And The Band Plays On
The group still provides the music, along with many other fine musicians, at the monthly Music Night. We donate our time and talents to as many events as possible. Grateful We’re Not Dead plays for charities, fundraisers, peace concerts, etc. for free. As Don says, “We Pay To Play”. We also play for private parties with the proviso that the hosts make a significant donation to a charity of their choice. As of 2015, we estimate that Grateful We’re Not Dead has raised over $150,000 for a variety of charities.
If you have an event and require live entertainment, please feel free to contact us at the email address listed below.
It’s rumoured that the Grateful We’re Not Dead will play for food and water (but don’t take the water part too seriously).
GWND On The ‘Net
Grateful We’re Not Dead, being up-to-date techie cowboys like to keep visible on the ‘Net.
There’s our old, original blog that gets the occasional update
and a Facebook Fan Page
and a presence on Google+
We also have a Grateful We’re Not Dead Youtube Channel associated with the Google+ account.
For those who wish to suffer through earlier videos, we still have our original Grateful We’re Not Dead Youtube account