Five Questions With… Myles Goodwyn
The driving force behind April Wine will soon release his second blues album. Here he discusses the record, the recovery of his first guitar, a tribute to Ralph Murphy, and love of the East Coast.
By Jason Schneider
Legendary Canadian guitarist, songwriter and driving force behind April Wine, Myles Goodwyn still has the blues. After earning a Juno nomination for his 2018 album Myles Goodwyn and Friends Of The Blues, he’s set to release its follow-up, Friends Of The Blues 2, on October 25 via Linus Entertainment.
The new collection consists of 13 original songs by Goodwyn, along with a cover of Bobby Womack’s All Over Now by Bobby Womack. And as with its predecessor, Friends Of The Blues 2 features a supporting cast of Canadian blues scene notable names, including Jack de Keyzer, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, and Matt Andersen, as well as Angel Forrest, six-time Maple Blues Awards Female Vocalist of the Year.
Although Goodwyn’s track record with April Wine is well known—the band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with select live dates—Goodwyn is clearly enjoying the process of reinventing himself as a blues artist as he’s entering his seventies. Myles Goodwyn and Friends Of The Blues 2 is a testament to how well his writing and performing skills suit the genre and also confirms that Goodwyn is a real bluesman at heart.
Find out more at mylesgoodwyn.com
What was the process like making this new album and what songs are you particularly proud of?
Making Friends 2 was much like doing the Friends 1 recording except the new record took a lot less time, from start to finish. Friends 1 was started in 2007 and released 11 years later! This follow-up took about 12 months to write and record, and I’m really happy with how all the songs turned out. But a standout for me might be You Got It Bad, which is about a guy who sends his ex a heartfelt message when he finds out she’s fallen on bad times. .Another is Dawg Ain't Had Its Day about a guy down on his luck. Matt Andersen is a featured guest on both these tunes.
It was also a great honour to share vocals with Angel Forrest on Being Good (Won't Do Us Any Good Tonight). I wrote it specifically as a duet, and she was perfect for it. Getting to play guitar with Jack De Keyzer is always a thrill too. He’s on a couple of songs, including the album’s “bonus track” called Even Singing Cowboys Get The Blues, which is a tribute to the singing cowboys of the 1940s and ‘50s. John Campbelljohn also plays some very cool licks on it. It’s dedicated to the memory of my friend, the great songwriter Ralph Murphy, who passed away this spring. This song brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.
The story of how you recovered your first guitar last year was big news. Did that add anything special to this album?
Yes, there’s a song on Friends 2 called I Love My Guitar. I played the solo on it with that guitar, and it’s definitely one of the best moments for me on the album. It’s still a little hard to believe that last Christmas I got back this 1962 Gibson Melody Maker that I’d thought had been destroyed in a truck accident 30 years ago. But as most people now know, it was stolen. It was my first Gibson that I’d purchased in 1968 and I lamented for years that I would never hold her again.
April Wine is celebrating 50 years this year and is still playing live. Is that a bit hard for you to wrap your head around?
It is quite amazing to be popular and actively touring 50 years on. I still enjoy playing and singing the April Wine songs and performing on a limited schedule. It’s a lot easier these days to perform fewer shows, but to still sold-out crowds.
What’s been the biggest change in your life over the past year?
I’d say it’s been moving back to Nova Scotia. I left the Maritimes on April 1, 1970, and I've finally come home. I love it here; it's where I belong.
What’s your best touring story?
It’s still working with the Rolling Stones at the El Mocambo in Toronto in 1977, which has been documented pretty thoroughly. On top of everything that happened over those two days, I loved recording with the legendary Eddie Kramer on what became our Live At The El Mocambo album that year.
Label: Linus Entertainment
PR: Sarah French