More About Grateful We’re Not Dead And The CD
Grateful We’re Not Dead was formed in 2003 by Bruce Penniston, Gord Breedyk, and Don White. Al Owler became a full-fledged member in 2008. The purpose for the band, other than just having fun, was to participate in raising money for charities and other good causes and to entertain at peace events. The band covers all its own costs and as of August 12, 2023, Grateful We’re Not Dead has been involved in raising over $306,000. We hope to continue the project for another few years.
About The Music
Eight tracks were written by Don White, either between 1958 and 1988 while playing with the Mississippi River Boys (a country dance band out of Lanark County, Ontario), or during his current retirement career as lead vocalist and guitarist with Grateful We’re Not Dead. The Children’s Peace Plan was written and performed by Ottawa poet, Evelyn Voigt. The instrumental for the poem was written by Bruce Penniston.
- Grateful We’re Not Dead (Don White)
- The Cowboy And The Lady (Don White)
- Tomorrow Maybe I’ll Cry (Don White)
- The Children’s Peace Plan (Evelyn Voigt, Bruce Penniston)
- I Don’t Know Where I’m Going (Don White)
- Over Sixty Blues (Don White)
- I Ain’t Never Gonna do That Again (Don White)
- I Don’t Like Mermaids (Don White)
- At Least Once Every Minute (Don White)
- Children’s Peace Plan (Reprised) (Bruce Penniston)
Don White (Vocals, Guitar)
Bruce Penniston (Lap Steel, Guitar)
Al Owler (Bass, Vocals)
Gord Breedyk (Vocals)
Evelyn Voigt (Poem)
Grateful We’re Not Dead
Don wrote this as the band’s theme song. He claims he came up with the lyrics on the morning of June 8, 2008 while standing in the shower. However, it took a few more months before the music came together and it was adopted as the band’s theme song in 2009.
The Cowboy And the Lady
Don wrote The Cowboy And The Lady sometime in the mid or late 1970s. He says he has no clue what inspired it but his influences at that time were Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson so he thinks he’ll blame it on Waylon.
Tomorrow Maybe I’ll Cry
Don also wrote Tomorrow Maybe I’ll Cry sometime in the mid or late 1970s. He says he has no clue what inspired it but, as mentioned, his influences at that time were Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson so he thinks he’ll blame it on Willie. Can’t let Waylon take all the credit.
The Children’s Peace Plan
Evelyn, who wrote this piece (no pun intended), is so grateful to Bruce Penniston for his beautiful and original accompanying music. If you would like to share Evelyn’s passion for peace, she’d love you to visit Civilian Peace Service Canada.
I Don’t Know Where I’m Going
Don wrote I Don’t Know Where I’m Going in the mid or late 1970s. This is another that he says he has no clue what the inspiration was but, again, his influences at that time were Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson so he thinks he’ll blame it on Kris. Might as well spread the blame around.
Over Sixty Blues
Don originally wrote this as the Over Fifty Blues in 1990 for a friend’s 50th birthday. He resurrected it as the Over Sixty Blues in 2005 for Gord’s birthday. For anyone confused by the term Premature Kojakulation, google “Kojak” and “Telly Savalas”.
I Ain’t Never Gonna Do That Again
This is another of Don’s songs from the 1970s. Don says,
“Back in those days most of the country dance halls didn’t have a liquor licence so the bar for the band was in the back of an amplifier. Needless to say, on many a morning I woke up with a hangover. At least one of those mornings must have been the inspiration for the song.”
However, during a show he usually attributes the line to his wife after a night of heavy partying.
I Don’t Like Mermaids
Don credits his nephew, Derek Ireton, with the idea for this song. He says,
“We were sitting in the stable having a beer after a Grateful We’re Not Dead performance at an Ireton family gathering at 5I Farm near Drummond Centre when Derek came out with the line ‘I don’t like mermaids. There’s not enough woman to love and too much fish to eat’. When I got home that night I googled the line, found nothing, and a song was born.”
At Least Once Every Minute
In 2006 the Ottawa Citizen published the results of a study which claimed that ‘women think of sex once every two weeks and men think of sex every 58 seconds’. Don felt there was a song there and it gave rise to At Least Once Every Minute.
The Children’s Peace Plan (Reprised)
While doodling around on his guitar, Bruce wrote this instrumental. The chords had a nice progression to them, and the fingerpicking style lent itself to a harpsichord like background. We liked the sound and added it to the Grateful We’re Not Dead repertoire. When Evelyn Voigt was looking for background music for some poems, this instrumental seemed to be the perfect fit for The Children’s Peace Plan and, voila, the match was made.
Recorded at River Road Recording Studio, Ottawa, ON
Recording Engineer: Rick Smithers
Producer, Arranger, Mixing Engineer: Don White
Mastered online at Major Decibel
Photographer: Laurie Latham
Packaging: Don White, Doug White