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The best kept secret in music


Through working my way down the list of potential profiles, I have learned a lot about local bands that I may not have heard before, as well as new things about some that I am familiar with. This profile will focus on one band that I can certainly claim as one of my personal favorites on the go today. FOREVER were playing local bars for a short while before I actually had the opportunity to hear them live. And even though I had reviewed their debut CD, WELCOME TO FOREVER, and considered myself a supporter, as their sound was so professionally produced, I had to wonder how close to that perfection any band could deliver on stage.

All reservations were put to rest when I finally got to hear FOREVER as they opened up the show for 80’s icons HoneymoonSuite at the Savoy. Though the headliners quickly faded into a distant memory, FOREVER staked their claim as a force to be reckoned with on the local musical scene. It’s tough for any band, especially rock oriented, to capture and keep the attention of a soft seat audience, but FOREVER proved that assumption wrong from their first note played.

I would later hear the band on other occasions, including the Rock the Dock event in the summer of 2003, but it was the band’s JOURNEY tribute that certainly solidified their credentials in the minds of anyone present. Lead vocalist Dereck Johnson simply owns the stage, whether he is belting out an original FOREVER song or the tough talking Creed and Nickleback hits that have become staples of the FOREVER line-up of songs. For this band, the days of depending on covers are long past, but fans appreciate the variety that Johnson is capable of sharing with his audience, so he willingly obliges when requested. His voice, no matter the style of song, is flawless.

Guitarist Bernie Eagles, like his band-mates, brings an impressive resume to the band, and their shows are regularly attended by his students, past and present. Rounding out the group are Stan Johnson on keys, Peter Christmas on bass, and Keith Dawson, who definitely stepped to the forefront during their recent Savoy date with his blistering drum solo. FOREVER has it all, great sound, stage presence, and an obvious appreciation for their supporters. This is a great band!

And the news just keeps getting better. They have continued to be recognized by industry professionals as the band to watch on the east coast. FOREVER has been nominated in the Aboriginal Artist of the Year category at the East Coast Music Awards in St. Johns Newfoundland in February 2004. This, after having recently won the MIANS Music Award for Aboriginal Artist of the Year, as well, the guys were nominated for a North American Music Award in Albuquerque New Mexico, for their video, Without Your Love.

Their success thus far is based on their debut Welcome To Forever, which included three hit singles, and pushed the band to the status of being the most played Atlantic Canadian rock band on Atlantic Canadian radio between October 2002, and January 2003. The latest single Eternity, has just been released to Canadian radio.

The future has certainly only begun for this high powered local band, setting a fine example of how it is done for others who are paying attention.

FOREVER is in negotiations with a major Canadian label for national and international
releases. Stay tuned!

You can catch FOREVER as the Savoy celebrates ECMA 2004 nominees with a send off concert February 8th 8pm. Tickets $15.00
- Wanda Earhart

Forever’s New CD Is Really Something To Dream Of…
Written by: Erica R. Reid

They pound sound, shock rock, and leave every ballad you’ve ever heard of blowing in the wind. Every song on Forever’s new CD, “Something to Dream Of” sparks with a dynamic mix of unparalleled creativity and raw energy.
That’s right, local rock gods Peter Christmas Jr., Keith Dawson Jr., Bernie Eagles, Stan Johnson and Derek Johnson are back!
And “Something to Dream Of” will have a giant CD release party Friday, September 17, at Smooth Herman’s Cabaret in Sydney.
The new CD is a follow-up to the band’s 2002 debut album, “Welcome to Forever”, which still gets airplay on radio stations all over North America. “Welcome to Forever” also received airplay around the world in Australia, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and Holland. No doubt this much anticipated second CD will meet, and possibly exceed, the success of its predecessor.
All of the songs on “Something to Dream Of” were written and composed by various members of the band, with other local artists contributing on several songs. “All of My Love” was written by band mates Keith Dawson Jr., Derek Johnson and Bernie Eagles, along with former Real World member, Jamie Foulds. The talented Tom Bell helped write “My Way” and “Beside You”.
The CD was produced by Dawson and Foulds (who also engineered the album) at Foulds’ studio, Soundpark. Foulds also contributed keys, acoustic, and some background vocals.
In addition to Foulds and Bell, other experienced local music professionals worked on the album including Slowcoaster percussionist Darren Gallup and Eric Sheppard who recorded the drum tracks on the CD.
“Something to Dream Of” possesses songs that suit a wide variety of musical styles and tastes. For those infatuated with romance, there are tracks like the aforementioned “All of My Love”, which offers stirring melodies and poignant verses like: “Well you came into my life, Just like a gentle breeze, You taught me how to fly, And to believe in dreams”.
For the upbeat rocker in you, there are such rollicking tunes as “One More Time” and “My Way”, which proclaims “It’s my life and I’m gonna live it my way, And no one’s gonna take it away from me”.
The band has its own favorite tracks on the CD. Dawson says that the band collectively favors “Breathe”. “My favorite song on the CD is “End of Time>“ It’s a very powerful song that exudes a lot of emotion”, he states.
Christmas, who also acts as manager and DJ for C99 Radio in Membertou, likes all the songs, particularly “Free”. He exclaims, “It’s got a lot of bass in it and it sounds a little like Black Sabbath’s style, which I love”.
Along with their new CD release, Forever plans to wow audiences far and wide with a 14-city tour of China, their first overseas tour. The tour is tentatively planned to run in late May and early June of 2005 and the band is frankly “stoked” about the trip. The tour is sponsored by the Huihuang Business - Boardwalk magazine

Forever - Something To Dream Of

Multiple award winners Forever, are composed of five experienced musicians. Within the group one will find decades of combined experience, strong song writing capabilities, vast touring experience as well as great musicianship. For example, lead guitarist Bernie Eagles has played with Helix, Peter Criss, and Esther Young (Neil's sister). Drummer Keith Dawson and keyboard player Stan Johnson were both members of the ECMA and JUNO nominated band, "Eaglefeather". Lead singer Derek Johnson received an ECMA nomination in 2001 as a member of "The Relatives". Peter Christmas plays the bass and sings backup vocals and has received JUNO,ECMA,and North American Music Award nominations as well. The new CD is entitled "Something To Dream Of" is a follow-up to the band's already popular 2002 debut album, "Welcome to Forever". "Something To Dream Of" contains eleven vocal tracks and three instrumental tracks giving it a nice even and balanced total of fourteen tracks. You know the saying "It brings music to my ears". Well if you've ever heard that before, Forever's music would be the soundtrack playing in my head, as I utter those six words. Forever's musical style bares a strong resemblance to their musical backgrounds. Sporting a mix of modern rock, 80's rock, hard rock, progressive rock with touches of country and pop, the band creates music that can be appreciated by any listener. I also admire the fact the music doesn't sound rushed. The band seems very comfortable with each other's talents and sounds unstoppable when playing together as a solid unit. Derek's vocals are absolutely amazing and stay in the mid-rock range. They don't deviate high or low causing them to sound off-key and distorted. The rest of the instruments flow nicely together, giving the music a very smooth and polished sound. As I like to say in a lot of my reviews this album has a good variety. There are the slower, catchy, and pop-rockish sounds of 'Again', 'One More Time' and the album title track 'Something To Dream Of'. The upbeat and excellent driving song 'My Way', which has Creed sounding guitars. Pushing things to the extreme with the hard rock, heavy guitar and aggressively influenced 'Full Circle', 'Breathe' and 'Free'. The album also features the slower paced, sure-to-be hit love ballad, 'All of My Love'. This would definitely be an excellent choice for a wedding song. The album also features three instrumental tracks that pose as excellent interludes to break up the album. The nice sounding, harmonic, melodic guitars of 'Kris' to the catchy Spanish, Carlos Santana sounding 'Sloppy Taco', to the hard hitting, in-your-face guitar licks of 'Guitar Thang'. My personal favourite track on the album would have to be 'End of Time'. This song has all of the elements that make for an attractive song. Slow yet powerful piano blended with nice guitars and killer vocals, complete the recipe for a hit song. As the recipients of numerous world-renowned awards, this band is not just another one hit wonder. They have what it takes to get down to business and have proven themselves both musically and successfully time and time again. I see absolutely nothing more Forever needs to add to their already stellar arsenal that's going to help make themselves more successful. They posses the right combination of musicianship, personality, creativity, and flair to succeed. Rating: 5/5 - Matt the appraiser

News and Comment
by Tehaliwaskenhas - Bob Kennedy
Turtle Island Native Network

February 16, 2004

The Mikmaq rock band Forever, won the Aboriginal Recording of the Year, for their Welcome to Forever, at the East Coast Music Awards.

There was quite the spoof in their performance. As CTV reported, " . .the band had the sell-out crowd at Mile One Stadium cheering with their parody of Janet Jacksons Superbowl strip down. Band mates whisked Peter Christmas off the stage during the pre-show after tearing his t-shirt open to expose a flat, nipple-ring-free right breast".

The Mikmaq rock band from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was formed less than three years ago. They were the first Mikmaq band to have a professional music video for their song Without Your Love.

On the road they are billed as Canadas premier Tribute to the rock group Journey. "Our fondest and dearest memories of the famous group Journey were in the early 80s but now Journey fans wont have to wait for the original five-piece band to re-assemble and come to Cape Breton."

Forever is Canada's only Journey Tribute.

The band members include, bass player Peter Christmas from Membertou First Nation, Derek Johnson on vocals, Stan Johnson on keyboard, and drummer Keith Dawson of Eskasoni First Nation, lead guitarist Bernie Eagles from Glace Bay and Graeme MacCausland of New Brunswick.

Forever was among five nominees for the 2004 ECMA Aboriginal award, including Spirits Dance by Debbie Randii Michelin - Psycho Dancing by Everett Hunter - The Lumberjack Reel by Mooney, and Red Suga by Red Suga.[/quote]
- Turtle Island Native Network

FOREVER By Wanda Earhart
It has been said that the best things in life are well worth the wait. For the band members of FOREVER, as well as their fans, this notion has certainly proven to be the case. After decades of separately working on their individual talents, who among them could have known that they would eventually join forces to create one of the most influential, and respected made in Cape Breton exports in decades.
The recent release of FOREVER’s follow up album, Something to Dream of…., leaves no doubt that this band should settle in for the long haul, as they simply continue to blast their way up the charts, and onto the disc players of an ever growing fan base. Friends and I had the pleasure of attending the CD release party at Smooth Herman’s, where the guys ripped through the new material, some favorites from the debut, Welcome to Forever, as well as some rockin covers from their heavy duty playlist, such as Journey, and such sounds. As if the tunes were not enough, the incredible light show was only fitting for a group that strives for perfection in everything they do. The entire effect was stunning! Something to Dream of…. is absolutely breathtaking. Lead vocalist Derek Johnson, no doubt about it, could sing the phone book to me any day and get two thumbs way up. His ability to convey the emotions of each composition leaves the listener forever waiting for each and every chorus. Surely I cannot be the only one asking where this phenomenal voice has been all of these years, but no matter, we will certainly be listening well into the future, no doubt about it. But a great voice, can only be enhanced by combining a fabulous band along with incredible songs, and this is definitely where Something to Dream of… stands above all, mixing touching love tinged ballads, emotionally charged life events, and a serious helping of rock induced supporting instrumentals. It’s just plain perfection.
End of Time, is one song that just grabs at the heartstrings of any breathing being, with its promise of never ending devotion, building ever slowly from a soft intro to the powerful conclusion, that is guaranteed to please several musical preferences, all in one composition. I could never grow tired of hearing this cut!. From the moment I began to listen, Breathe stood completely out, for its undeniable Forever sound. Though the subject matter may be disturbing, the message is delivered with such passion, anyone can relate, if only to understand anothers’ experience relayed with such conviction. One listen lets you know why the single One More Time was first out of the gate, and onto the top of local countdowns for its singalongability, and unforgettable melody. For the more weighty side of Forever, take a listen to Full Circle, and you will witness all of the bands’ collective influences from years past, all strategically placed into one song for a high impact sound. Guitarist Bernie Eagles shines, not only on the entirety of this collection but on two very solo inclusions, the first, Sloppy Taco brings a whole new calypso dimension and a bit of fun to an otherwise rock album. Ole! The second, and final cut on the recording is Guitar Thang finishing things off in fine style, for a blast worthy of finale status. Completing this outstanding group are Keith Dawson on percussion, who’s live and ‘lively’ performance makes the price of admission to a Forever concert well worth admission in itself! Pete Christmas on bass, and Stan Johnson on the keys, make for just about the most humble and co-contributing musicians ever to grace a stage together. These guys deserve everything positive and rewarding that is sure to come their way. Forever is definitely worth checking out both recorded and especially live. Nothing to dream of here….Forever is the real Cape Breton deal.
- CB Publishing


Welcome to Forever 2002- Won 2 awards
Without your love - Video - Nominated "Best Video"
Singles - Here with Me
- Without your Love
- Why do you Cry
- Eternity
Something to Dream of 2004 - Won 4 awards
Free - Video - Winner "Best Video", 2005 CAMA's
Singles - One More Time
- All of my Love
- My Way
- Free
- Again
- Breathe


Feeling a bit camera shy


FOREVER is a Hard Driving Rock band. These 9 time award nominees are composed of veteran musicians with decades of road, studio, and songwriting experience. They are well known for their showmanship, technical prowess and amazing live solos. Hailing from Cape Breton, NS, their brand of rock takes elements of both classic and modern rock and combines that with vocal and musical hooks to create a brand of Rock with an East Coast Kick!

It was that combination that helped them receive Two MIANS Awards (2003,2005) and Two ECMA Awards (2004,2005) as well as a nomination for “Best Video” for ‘Without your Love’ from their debut release ”Welcome to Forever” and a CAMA award win for the video ‘FREE’ from their second CD ‘Something to Dream of’. Forever also picked “Best Aboriginal Rock Group” at this years Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

They also scored three regional top ten hits with the songs “Here With Me” and “Without Your Love” from their first CD, as well as “One More Time” from their second release, “Something to Dream of…”. They are currently climbing the charts in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. They continue to receive airplay across the country and in 10 other countries as well.

The band started in 2002 and have gone straight up from that point. Forever are currently writing material for their 3rd CD including 2 remakes of classic Journey songs 'Seperate Ways' and 'Open Arms'. The band will also be recording their Chinese tour and releasing a live Cd as well. "A live performance is what captures Forever at it's best" says drummer Keith Dawson, who was just nominated for 2 ECMA's for his solo CD 'Energy' and a drum duo CD called Project A.D.

Forever bring alot of things back to their Native communities by doing clinics, music and songwriting workshops, visiting schools and talking to the kids about the music business and all the jobs that are related to the music business that have nothing to do with being able to play an instrument. It inspires the band to be able to bring something positive back to the youth. "I rather perform for the kids than in most adult venues, the kids kick ass!" says guitar player Bernie Eagles.

Although Forever seemed to have popped up overnight and have been dominating with 2 CD's, 2 videos and 6 awards in only 3 1/2 years, it's taken them a lifetime to find this nucleus. The guys in the band have performed in bands such as Helix, Peter Criss (drummer from KISS), Esther Young(Neil's sis), Endangered Species, Eagle Feather, Vexen, Smashed'n'Dizzy and many more, and have toured all over the world. "It's been a long road, but a very enjoyable one" says Keith, "we are very fortunate to have met each other and form a band that writes so well and so easily together. The experience that every member brings to our lineup is what makes Forever strong".

With two videos, a documentary (to be aired in Canada and China), a tour in China, a “Live” CD and a new video all planned for the next year, you’ll be definitely hearing more from these ‘hard driving’ Cape Breton Rockers! With first class performance on and off the stage, and rave reviews from around the world, come and see why a “Live” performance from Forever will leave you wanting more!