Just Shoot Us

On Saturday, August 22 Grateful We're Not Dead entertained at Five I's Farm near Drummond Centre in Lanark County. Seeing as it was a pleasant, sunny day we decided to have a few somewhat formal pictures of the band taken prior to our performance in the evening. Don's niece, Laurie Latham, agreed to act as photographer and we proceeded to pose at different locations in the farm yard. Following are some photos from the shoot.

Grateful We're Not Dead
Bruce, Gord, Don and Al wielding the instruments they play best.

GWND and Silverado
Bruce,Gord, Don and Al with their new found friend, Silverado.

Going To The Country
Bruce, Don, Gord and Al in front of the old maple sugar shack.
Maple sap is still boiled down into Maple Syrup
for the family in this building each Spring.

The Think Tank
Don emerges from the Think Tank with a new
Grateful We're Not Dead song
after many, many hours of meditation.

Bruce and the GWND Guitar
Bruce and the Grateful We're Not Dead guitar
which he built himself shortly after he retired.
Notice the inlay on the headstock, fingerboard and pick guard.
Beautiful work. And this is an impressive sounding guitar
which gets even better as it ages and is played.

Finally, I should mention that the refreshments at the party were fantastic. Pork, beef, beer, baked beans, corn on the cob, beer, salads, cheese, beer, rolls, desserts, etc. Did I mention the keg of beer? John and Tracy, please feel free to invite us to entertain anytime you decide to throw another party like that one. We'll be there in the shake a lamb's tail.

If any of you would like a closer look at the photos, you can find them on the Grateful We're Not Dead Flickr account.

See y'all later.

Canada Day for Natasha and Misha

For the first time in four years, Grateful We're Not Dead did not entertain at the Ariel Court Canada Day Street Party. Instead, we were booked by Ottawa Valley Aid for Chernobyl Children (OVACC) to entertain at a fund raising Chicken BBQ at the North Gower Recreation Centre. The benefit was on behalf of Natasha, a young lady from Belarus who has been coming to Canada for 13 years. Unfortunately, Natasha is slowly going blind and is in dire need of surgical procedures to save her sight. OVACC has located a clinic in Toronto capable of treating her and funds are being raised to pay for related expenses.

Grateful We're Not Dead had the pleasure of meeting Natasha after our performance and having her picture taken with us.

Natasha and Grateful We're Not Dead
Bruce, Gord, Natasha, Al, Don

It was an honour to have been invited to participate in such a worthy cause on Canada Day for such a lovely young person. We will be waiting patiently to hear the outcome of the procedures which will be carried out in Toronto later in July. We wish Natasha all the best and hope to see her again.

If any of you reading this article would care to make a donation to help pay for Natasha's surgery, you can do so through the OVACC donations page at CanadaHelps.org. And in advance, Grateful We're Not Dead would like to thank you for your support.

We also enjoyed meeting Misha another youngster from Belarus. Misha started coming to Canada in 2007 when he was 10 years old. Misha graciously agreed to have his picture taken with the old guys in Grateful We're Not Dead although I don't imagine that we play the type of music he'd be most interested in.

GWND With Misha and Natasha
Bruce, Gord, Misha, Natasha, Al, Don

And by the way, the BBQ chicken was delicious and was totally sold out.

Grateful We're Not Dead sincerely hope we can help OVACC again in their fund raising activities.

Hope to see you somewhere soon.

Grateful We're Not Dead: The Videos

"They're gonna put me in the movies.
They're gonna make a big star outta me."

Well not really a hope in Hell of that.

However, Grateful We're Not Dead now have a bunch of videos up on Youtube. When we performed at St. Paul's University on February 16 for the Women Building Peace conference we were captured for posterity on video. We obtained a DVD copy of the concert video and extracted the relevant clips featuring Grateful We're Not Dead. Those video clips are now on Youtube. If you are at all interested in seeing us in action then just pop on over to the Grateful We're Not Dead Youtube account and subject yourself to the experience of a lifetime.

And if you're not so inclined to visit us over there, then here's a little sample to whet your appetite or totally destroy it.

The groupies can line up to the left.

Weez b on U2b

As most of you know, Grateful We're Not Dead entertained at the COAT's protest against the 2009 CANSEC Arms Show at Lansdowne Park. The performance was in Southminster United Church, Ottawa on May 27, 2009. Musical entertainment was also provided by Just Voices and The Raging Grannies.

One of the selections by Grateful We're Not Dead was As One, written by Geri Childs, an Ottawa jazz singer currently living in Seattle. We would like to give a great big Grateful We're Not Dead hug and thank you to Geri for giving us permission to use her song. We would also like to thank Bill Clennett for posting a video of the performance on Youtube.

So without further ado, here is the Grateful We're Not Dead video. Enjoy or not.

Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures

Over the last week I've been scouring the hard drives for photos that we might have of Grateful We're Not Dead and friends. These are pictures that have been taken at various functions on everything from point-and-shoots to cell phones. Some are good and some are so-so. I've uploaded as many as I could locate. Now if you're willing to take the chance of possibly going blind or, in the case of the ladies, swooning when gazing upon our inordinately handsome visages then drop on over to the Grateful We're Not Dead Flickr account.
Original Grateful We're Not Dead
Original Members: Gord, Bruce and Don

What We've Been Up To

Where has the time gone. I planned on updating this blog back in mid-March but the plans of mice and men... etc.

OK. Let's see. What has Grateful We're Not Dead done since the beginning of the year. March and April were busy by our standards. Us old timers don't want to be tied down too much to this fame and fortune thing especially when we're at the age where we'd appreciate the services of a roadie more than those of a groupie. (Gord just told me to speak for myself).

Monday, February 9
The band entertained the residents of Park Lane on Merivale Road. This was a slightly early Valentine's Party and the music provided tended to of a more romantic theme than raunchy.

Monday, February 16
The band was part of the entertainment at a concert held at St. Paul's University for the Women Building Peace conference. Many talented artists performed that night including Christina Marchant and friends, Evelyn Voigt and Peggy Friday, Kristine St. Pierre, Ross McNaughton and Marguerite Bilodeau. Grateful We're Not Dead performed a number of songs as well as providing backup vocals and instrumental accompaniment for the poetry of Evelyn Voigt.

Grateful We're Not Dead
Christina MarchantPeggy FloridaEvelyn Voigt
Ross McNaughtonMarguerite Bilodeau

Saturday, February 28
Grateful We're Not Dead joined with the improv comedy group, Something's Missing, to entertain at a dinner and comedy night, Desperate For Laughs?, at the Perth Civitan Club in Perth, Ontario. The evening was sponsored by Something's Missing and the Civitan Club as a joint fund raiser in support of Perth Community Support Service and Perth Union Library Kindergarten Reading Program. The band provided instrumental material prior to the dinner and then played a set of their boobs and beer music during the show.From the laughter it appeared that the material was well received.

Saturday, April 4
The beginning of April provided Grateful We're Not Dead with an interesting experience. We were one of the two bands booked to play for the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Stuart and Joyce White in the Carleton Place Community Center. (Stuart and Don are first cousins). That night we had the pleasure of working with the Bowes Brothers, an extremely popular country band out of Carleton Place.

Grateful We're Not Dead does not normally work with a drummer as we usually play shows instead of dances. However, that night we had the good fortune to have another cousin of Don's, Dave White, sit in on the drums for our first set. (Thanks, Dave)

Grateful We're Not Dead

Saturday, April 18
For the third year in a row GWND became the ad-hoc house band for a night of entertainment for St. Brigid's Parish. This year the event was held at the church hall in Enniskerry, Ontario.

Thursday, April 23
One thing you can never turn down is an invitation to perform for 200 women. The Perth Lionesses invited Grateful We're Not Dead to entertain at their Spring Fling in support of the Perth and District Memorial Hospital fund . The band played instrumentals while the ladies arrived, bought their drinks and got settled at their tables.

This event was an evening of enjoying drinks, home made desserts and comedy. The only men present were the bar tenders, servers, one comedian and of course, Grateful We're Not Dead. The other entertainment included a lady clown and three standup comedians from the improv group Something's Missing. Grateful We're Not Dead was the final act and we started our show with a bit of a handicap: the organizers had asked us to not play Puking in the Parking Lot. Seems they were worried about all the drinks and dessert that the ladies had consumed. However, we did include most of our other "Socially Significant" songs including Grateful We're Not Dead, Over Sixty Blues, At Least Once Every Minute, Ain't Never Gonna Do That Again. And of course, we finished the night with J.D. Wilson's Boob Song. I can only imagine what some of these ladies were thinking as we performed, seeing as the entertainment for the previous two years had been the author, Mary Cook.

At the beginning of the evening, the Lionesses had given us an envelope containing $100 to cover travelling expenses. In order to not destroy our reputation of only playing for food and beer, the band donated the money to the hospital fund at the end of the evening. We quite enjoyed the evening, ladies, and hope to see you again.

Perth Lionesses 2009 Spring Fling

Saturday, April 25
Grateful We're Not Dead entertained at a spaghetti supper in the hall at Pierce's Corners held as a fund raiser for the Ottawa Valley Aid to Chernobyl Children. We must have been well behaved because they've booked us to entertain at a chicken dinner on Canada Day in North Gower.
GWND at Pierce's Corners

Wednesday, May 27
The band provided the sound system and some music at COAT's protest against the 2009 CANSEC Arms Show. Protest was held at Southminster United church in Ottawa. Music was also provided by Just Voices and The Raging Grannies.

Poster Advertising COAT's Protest

Grateful We're Not Dead appears for 12 seconds at the 48 second mark. Also for 32 seconds at the 1 min 32 second mark providing backup accompaniment to Ottawa poet, Evelyn Voigt. Originally, the band's name was spelled incorrectly in the video but the videographer, Bill Clennett, quickly corrected the error and posted a new version. (Thanks, Bill).

Of course, along with these outings we've also attended the monthly Music Nights hosted by Gord Breedyk and Evelyn Voigt.

So that's what Grateful We're Not Dead has been up to for the last few months. And I see that it's way past my 9 o'clock bedtime so I better find my groupie and hit the sack.

Grateful We're Not Dead Theme Song

A while ago, (seems like a year, well 10 months at least) I wrote the lyrics for the Grateful We're Not Dead theme song. My intent was to use this as the opening and closing song for performances of the band. The lyrics sat on the shelf for nine months with no progress in developing the music for it. I tried a number of approaches and nothing really caught my fancy. A few weeks ago I took another shot at it and "Eureka", it all came together. So Grateful We're Not Dead now has an official theme song. We used it last weekend for the first time and it was well received. We've specifically been requested to play it for a show we're doing in April for the Perth Lionesses. Now I know you're just sitting there on the edge of your seats, eager to hear it. So without further ado here is a 'quick and dirty' (me and my acoustic) recording of the song. Just click on the Play button below.

Grateful We're Not Dead

We're here to entertain you
We're here to drink your beer
We hope you like to listen
To dance and hoot and cheer
We've got our pasts behind us
But we like to look ahead
But most of all you've got to know
We're Grateful We're Not Dead

We're Grateful We're Not Dead
We're Grateful We're Not Dead
Yea, most of all you've got to know
We're Grateful We're Not Dead

We like to play the old songs
By Willy, Merle and Buck
'Bout cheating, lying, drinking,
Prison and pickup trucks.
But we'll also do some new songs
That came right from our heads
And that is just to show you
We're Grateful We're Not Dead


Now we may be getting up there
And have the Over Sixty Blues
But we'll still sing to the ladies
About the blue pills that we use
And if the hangovers seem harder
Like someone stomping on your head
When you consider the alternative
We're Grateful We're Not Dead

Chorus (2x)

Here's looking atcha,


Back On The E-Lectric Radio

Hey people, we did it again. Grateful We're Not Dead were back on the E-Lectic radio. Talk about getting our fifteen minutes of fame.

This time we appeared on the CBC Radio One show Bandwidth, hosted by Alan Neal. As loyal readers of this blog know (all tens and tens of you), an interview with Grateful We're Not Dead was broadcast on January 5, 2009 on the CBC Radio One show All In A Day, hosted by Adrian Harewood. Following that broadcast, CBC reporter Julie Ireton contacted us to say that Alan wanted to use Over Sixty Blues on a Bandwidth show he was preparing on Blues You Can Use. So Grateful We're Not Dead got out the beer and the Diet Pepsi, sat down around the dining room table, switched on the digital recorder and laid down a version to email to Alan.

Now we figured at most a portion of the song might be played during the show. Imagine our surprise when we heard Alan and Julie doing an introduction of the band including some of the original interview and another Grateful We're Not Dead song, At Least Once Every Minute. If you missed the broadcast you can hear the relevant part by clicking on the play button below.

We'd like to give a big Grateful We're Not Dead hug and thank you to Julie for the interest she's shown in the band and to Alan for including Over Sixty Blues on Bandwith. And to both of them for the great introduction on the show.

After this we'll be able to double our price: now it'll be two beers (or Diet Pepsi) each for doing a performance.

And as a bit of clarification, only Gord and Don have 60 in their rear view mirror. But I want Bruce and Al, the youngsters in the group, to remember this: If you think pushing 60 is hard, wait until you start pulling it.

Y'all stay tuned, eh!

We Now Have An Email Address

Grateful We're Not Dead has finally decided to face the threat of spam and make an email address available for anyone wishing to contact us. Instead of having to leave a comment on the blog in order to get in touch you can send an email to:


All offers of free beer gratefully accepted. And don't forget the diet Pepsi

We Were On The E-Lectric Radio

Grateful We're Not Dead have finally made it onto the E-lectric radio. Fame and fortune is just around the corner for sure.

On November 9 as we were preparing to perform at the Canadian Future Achievers awards banquet we were interviewed by CBC reporter, Julie Ireton. Late last week I received an email informing me that the interview would be aired this week on Adrian Harewood's All In A Day. Sure enough, on January 5, 2009 at 4:46PM EST there we were, the fabulous four in all our glory, coursing out over the airwaves and the Internet for the world to hear. For those of you unfortunate (or possibly, fortunate) enough to miss such a momentous event, we've made this historical broadcast available for eternity via Soundcloud. Just click on the play button below and enjoy.

A big thank you to Julie for tracking us down and preparing the material for broadcast. Thank you, also, to Adrian for using the material on his show. And I mustn't forget to thank my Plurk friends who gave up their precious plurking time to listen on the radio or via the net in real time. Finally, a thank you to everyone who found their way to this blog and then managed to sit through the entire interview. To you we raise a beer (or diet Pepsi) to salute you.

So if we're lucky we'll see y'all at the next Grateful We're Not Dead performance.

2008 Wrapup

Well another year for Grateful We're Not Dead has come to an end and we're looking forward to the New Year with enthusiasm. So many people to entertain (or abuse depending upon their taste in music and humour) and so much more beer (and diet Pepsi) to drink.

Now to catch up with the end of 2008.

On November 9 we entertained at the Canadian Future Achievers awards banquet, held at the Parkdale United Church. This was an easy evening of providing some pre-dinner background music and later, some more background music as people were preparing to leave. However, it did give us a chance to try out the sound system that was given to Grateful We're Not Dead by Mike Shea. The equipment provides excellent sound. Thanks again, Mike. As an interesting aside, Grateful We're Not Dead were interviewed that evening by CBC reporter, Julie Ireton. The last we heard the interview is to be aired in January on CBC Radio One, Ottawa. (More info to follow).

On December 12 we entertained at the 14th Annual Music Night Christmas Party hosted by Gord Breedyk and Evelyn Voigt. This is an offshoot of the monthly sing-alongs held in Gord and Evelyn's condo. Music night participants, condo residents and friends are invited to the Christmas Party. The eats are potluck. The liquid refreshments are beer, wine, soft drinks and juices. Did I mention beer? The sing-along is lead mainly by Marg Penniston. Grateful We're Not Dead is the house band and pitch in vocally during the evening with some country Christmas songs such as Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, Here Comes Santa Claus Again, Blue Christmas and Christmas In The Valley. This year we were pleased to have Vicky Streeter from Carleton Place sit in with us. She has a fantastic voice and Grateful We're Not Dead plan to work with her some more in the New Year. As usual, Marie Rakos was on the piano to help us through some of the convoluted chord structures one finds in the Christmas carols. Mel Sanshagrin sat in on acoustic guitar and vocals for the entire evening and John Hunt provided his baritone throughout the night. Many thanks to others unnamed who jumped in to help over the evening.

Guys: Bruce Penniston, Al Owler, Mel Sanshagrin,
Gord Breedyk, John Hunt, Don White
Gals: Vicky Streeter, Marie Rakos, Marg Penniston

On December 18 Grateful We're Not Dead did a Christmas show at a group residence on Merivale Road complete with our Christmas hats. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures from that event. The evening seemed to be much appreciated by the residents and we hope we can return to entertain in the future.

Most other major events that we participated in have been reported elsewhere on the blog. However, there were numerous smaller events such as birthday parties and Peace Conference sessions that we also entertained at. These events, though small, keep us on our toes and prompt us to pick up our instruments occasionally to practice (although sometimes to hear us you wouldn't know it).

I mentioned earlier that we plan on working with Vicky Streeter this Spring. Vicky belongs to the Lanark County Western Horse Club and is responsible for some of the fund raising. She has asked us to record a garage CD of her original material and Grateful We're Not Dead original material to sell to club members, friends and relatives (with a lot of stress on relatives) to raise funds. So we'll be working on that over the next couple months.

Well, that's a wrap and at this time I'd like to wish y'all a Happy New Year and a successful 2009 to you and yours from Grateful We're Not Dead.

Keep watching and if you see us coming, hide your beer!