Myles Goodwyn: Trailside Music Hall, Charlottetown
Myles Goodwyn’s evolution from fair-haired cock fronting April Wine to the affable 74-year-old appearing at the upscale Trailside Music Hall in downtown Charlottetown earlier this month is a study in contrasts.
His earlier persona fronting one of Canada’s most successful arena-rock bands helped sell more than 2-million albums in North America, teased with a seemingly endless parade of hit singles that became CHR and Rock FM format staples that helped him to earn him every Canadian songwriting award there is.
Today’s version of that once driven high-roller is noticeably mellower and vastly more spiritual, and his craft as a guitarist and songwriter more evident than ever performing as a trio with longtime friend and former bandmate Jim Henman, and bassist Bruce Dixon who has been there and done that with many of the best out there.
The Myles Goodwyn Trio offers a voice to one of Canada’s finest songwriters to share stories about his once turbulent life, and the background to a few of the many songs he has written that would become time stamps for audiences, and enduring classics in his own prolific songbook.
The minutiae about his evolution from a teenager, listing to Wilf Carter and Hank Snow on a crystal radio, to today is detailed in Just Between You and Me, a best-selling memoir, co-written with accomplished author and friend Martin Melhuish, that earned him kudos from fellow trailblazers such as Burton Cummings, Alex Lifeson, Tom Cochrane–and American superstar Garth Brooks.
The trio is one part of Myles Goodwyn’s ongoing career in music. This summer he will be playing a small number of shows with a refurbished April Wine, and then there is his more recent and successful Friends of the Blues persona that has won him accolades on tour, and enthusiastic reviews for his two albums: Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues, volumes 1 & 2.
All of this aside, what Goodwyn offers is that which is so sought after today in music and that is simply musicians playing in intimate settings and offering pure craftsmanship and a close kinship with an audience. It is becoming rarer these days to find that intimacy and simplicity and crafts rolled into one. I've found it often at the Cameron House in Toronto when Corin Raymond irregularly performs in the room and draws some of the finest musicians one can hope to hear anywhere, none of whom has found either fame or fortune but mesmerize me collectively and individually in every performance.
It's old-school style, not jumped up and over-sold as something extraordinary. It just is extraordinary and at Trailside, on the second of two show nights, the air was pure, the music precious and beautiful and the audience's appreciation real. It was the sort of show where people were watching and listening, not tweeting and capturing the performance on their cameras. In short, it was a night of magic.
Meantime, he’s opened up the cottage and started work on a new collection of songs for a new album, entitled Long Pants which contains a song he performed at the Trailside, entitled Will the Last Voice I Hear be an Angel, that captures the essence of his journey to tranquility, and unequivocally underscores the fact that Goodwyn’s talents as a songwriter and melodist stand him with the best of the best anywhere today.
That forthcoming album also will include a song he has written and just released about the horrors of war, inspired by the atrocities in Ukraine.