Ron Hynes

Ron Hynes

 Nanaimo, British Columbia, CAN
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Biography

RON HYNES

One of Canadas premier singer-songwriters, Ron Hynes has created beautifully crafted signature songs for more than 35 years. His fall 2010 release, Stealing Genius (Borealis/Universal) marks his eighth solo recording, and his third project with award-winning producer, Paul Mills. Inspired by works from some of his favorite authors and poets (including Donna Morrisey, Des Walsh, Stan Dragland, Randall Maggs, Al Pittman and Michael Crummey), Ron Hynes has crafted a collection of remarkable songs that not only echo a life in Newfoundland and Labrador, but resonate with people everywhere.

The release of Stealing Genius came hot on the heels of the world premiere of The Man Of A Thousand Songs, a feature-length documentary, of which Hynes is both subject and star. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wm D MacGillivray and co-produced by Terry Greenlaw (Picture Plant) and Jordan Canning (Get Set Films), the film premiered to capacity crowds at the Toronto International Film Festival and subsequently garnered Atlantic Film Festival Awards for Documentary, Director and Audience Favorite.

Best known for his folk classic Sonnys Dream, Ron Hynes' songs have been recorded by artists world-wide including Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, Christie Moore, Denny Doherty, Murray McLauchlan, John McDermott, Prairie Oyster, The Cottars, Hayley Westenra and many more.

With eight solo albums and numerous collaborative projects to his credit, Ron Hynes is a six-time East Coast Music Award winner, a Genie Award winner, and a past JUNO, CCMA and Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee. He was recipient of the 2008 SOCAN National Achievement Award for songwriting career success, and holds an Honorary PhD from Memorial University for his contributions to the cultural life of his beloved Newfoundland and Labrador.

In the words of author, Donna Morrisey, Ron Hynes is a grand voyeur in this rough, sweet life, a melody writer of the first order, a story teller, a philosopher, a poet and a kick-ass performer that makes my hair stand on end.

Ron Hynes tours regularly throughout Canada and abroad, attracting enthusiastic audiences wherever he performs. For more please visit:

www.hynesite.org
www.sonicbids.com/ronhynes
www.myspace.com/ronhynes
www.themanofathousandsongs.com

RON HYNES - CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

1972Released the album Discovery (World Records/Audat) that was the first recording of completely original material by a Newfoundland artist.

1973...Toured Ontario and Newfoundland playing soft ballads in loud bars.

1974-1976...Was the in-house composer for the Mummers Troupe. Composed music and lyrics for East End Story, Dying Hard, The IWA Show, and The Price of Fish. Wrote Sonny's Dream while touring western Canada in September '76. There are currently more than a hundred cover versions by various artists worldwide.

1977...Starred as the famous Newfoundland songwriter Johnny Burke (1851-1930) in The Bard of Prescott Street.

1978-1983Co-founded The Wonderful Grand Band with Members of Codco and Newfoundland musicians. The band did six years of television/radio/touring and two albums, The Wonderful Grand Band (Clode Sound) and Living In A Fog (Grand East Records).

1984Wrote music and lyrics for the Resource Centre for the Arts production of High Steel, which was directed by Mary Walsh.

1985-1986...toured as a solo concert artist and as a musician/actor with The Best of Codco.

1987Starred as Hank in Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave in Ottawa (York Street Theatre production) and in St. John's (resource production directed by Janis Spence). Wrote and recorded Small Fry: The Ron Hynes Album for Children.

1988Starred in and hosted The Island Opry Show, a country showcase at the Opry in PEI that featured National and International country stars.

1989Wrote and produced The Lost Island Opry (LSPU Hall). Toured Newfoundland/Labrador with Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave. (Cultural affairs/Cauldron Production)

1990-1991...Had a principal role in feature film "A Secret Nation", winning the Genie Award for best song with "The Final Breath". Elected vice-president of the Songwriters Association of Canada and signed an exclusive writer's contract with TMP: The Music Publisher.

1992-1997...Signed with EMI Music Canada and released two critically acclaimed albums, Cryer's Paradise (1993) produced by Declan O'Doherty, and Face To The Gale (1996) produced by Chad Irschick. Toured extensively throughout Canada and the UK/Ireland.

1997...Released 11:11 Nfld. Women Sing (songs by Ron and Connie Hynes) featuring Newfoundland's best female artists. This project also received the 1997 MIA SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award.

Lyrics

House

Written By: Ron Hynes and Stan Dragland

I loved this house
When we moved in
This house meant everything
So sad a tale does lost love write
That I am reading here tonight

This house leaks in heavy rains
Moans and groans in hurricanes
But what a comfort it would be
If you would sit and talk to me
In this house

And for all that we,
all that we invested here
We settled in, we nested here
So sad the days
Sail slowly by
With no sun in this harbour sky

Or in the kitchen window, living room,
In the fireplace, In the evening bloom
No one in that room upstairs
Love no longer lives up there
In this house

And I loved this house
When we moved in
I gave this house everything
So sad a tale, so sad a tale does lost love write
That I am reading here tonight

This house leaks in heavy rains
And it moans and groans in hurricanes
But what a comfort it would be
If you would sit and talk to me
What a comfort it would be
If you would sit and talk to me
In this house

Ron Hynes - vocal, acoustic guitar Al Cross - drums Alec Fraser - bass
Lenny Solomon - first violin Adele Armin - second violin Nick Papadakis - viola Wendy Solomon - cello
String arrangement - Paul Mills

My Father's Ghost

Written By: Ron Hynes

Again inspired by Donna Morrissey’s What They Wanted and also by The Wreckage, written by one of my truly favourite writers, Michael Crummy.

My Father's Ghost

He was sitting on the stairway
And my heart filled up with dread
His hands were clenched
his clothes were drenched
I knew that he was dead
And I turned away a moment
And I looked and he was gone
I went and woke my mother
I said mother something’s wrong,something’s wrong

“He was here but for a moment”
Those were the words she spoke
“I thought that I was dreaming
But it was an hour ago I woke
I swear I heard him call my name
And a horrid grinding sound
I fear my dear he’s lost his way
His ship has run aground
He’s run aground"

Go in and wake your brother
And your baby sister too
Say nothing now of what’s occurred
But say I’ve things to do
There’s short-wave radio up the cove
For ship to shore distress
Go down and make some breakfast
And I’ll get up and get dressed
Hmmm Hmmm Hmmm

The dawn was fairly breaking
As she headed down the path
Where the water crashed across the rocks
With all its rage and wrath
But her heart had gone to ashes
And the ice chewed thru her bones
And her footsteps fell like granite
As she came back home alone
Hmmm Hmmm Hmmm

She stood inside the doorway
And she turned towards the cove
She took down the blessed crucifix
And she burned it in the stove
And we all stood in the kitchen
Like travellers in the rain
Waiting on some platform
To board some lonely train

All that was sixty years ago
My mother’s in the ground
Brother sister moved away
And left me the house and land
And I sell my socks and sweaters
To the tourists from away
There’s a monthly old age pension
And it keeps the wolf at bay
And I count the days

And when the night comes stealing
He drifts in on the mist
He sits quietly there in his rocking chair
So he won’t disturb my rest
And when I awake with morning light
He’s gone to sea once more
I go downstairs I light the stove
Mop salt water from the floor
I mop salt water from the floor

Ron Hynes - vocal, acoustic guitar Al Cross - drums Alec Fraser - bass Tom Leighton - accordion
Burke Carroll - pedal steel

Blood And Bones

Written By: Ron Hynes and Donna Morrisey

Inspired by the novel, What They Wanted, the most deeply personal examination of the effect of resettlement
on one family. Great work from Donna Morrissey.

Blood and Bones

You’ve done your best
Now it’s time to go
This is for the children now God knows
Nothing left on sea or land
You’ve done everything you can
Let us leave before we turn to stone
Let’s lock it all up, find another home
You can’t pawn blood and bones

I remember clear to yesteryear
Our last day in the cove
As the ocean died like late night embers in a stove
We watched him slowly slip away
Dying deep inside
Friends and brothers gone away
Nothing left to him but pride
She crossed the floor
And she lifted up his chin (and she said)
Do I have to say these words again

You’ve done your best
Now it’s time to go
This is for the children now and God knows
Nothing left on sea or land
You’ve done everything you can
Let us leave before we turn to stone
Let’s lock it all up, find another home
You can’t pawn blood and bones

She stared hard toward the southside
Where the house she’d grown in stood
But it was buried there in darkness
It was gone for good
She held her rosary to her heart
But she found no comfort there
And all that lay behind her eyes
Were the ashes of despair

We crossed the bay in the warm evening rain
She held his hand and she said those words
She said those words again

You’ve done your best
Now it’s time to go
And this is for the children now God knows
God only knows you’ve done everything you can
There’s nothing left on sea or land
So let us leave before we turn to stone
Let’s lock it all up, find another home
You can’t pawn blood and bones
You can’t pawn blood and bones
You can’t pawn blood and bones

Ron Hynes - vocal, acoustic guitar Paul Mills - electric guitars Al Cross - drums Alec Fraser - bass
John Sheard - Hammond organ Pat Carey - tenor sax

Sawchuk

Written By: Ron Hynes and Randall Maggs

A fabulous book of prose/poetry entitled Night Work: The Terry Sawchuk Poems by Randall Maggs. Elevates hockey to an artistic height... a combination of “ballet and murder”. Randall’s book was truly the inspiration for the entire project.

Sawchuk

His father was Ukrainian
He was born Canadian
1929 now boys
Under Manitoba skies
Hit the ice at the age of twelve
The first of a thousand scars he’d have
Lost a brother to a mystery pain
So he brought home the bruises then

And he never rode a train before
Conscious of the clothes he wore
A hockey jacket and his brother’s pants
Ten dollars pressed in his hands
Omaha to Michigan
Leave Winnipeg in the wind
With the Red Wings on the losin’ end
It was Terry changed everything

The air is stale, the ice is slick
So you try to see the shot before it leaves the stick
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that

Terry turned them all back
Wave upon wave they’d attack
Foil the Rocket and frustrate Hull
Take it on the chest or in the skull
Cheat the Hawks and the Maple Leafs
Leave the Habs in disbelief
Send New York whimpering
And break Boston’s heart again

Scar piles up on scar
Like he was in his own world war
It would hurt just to look at him
Like the gangster in the Howard Hawkes film
Then the mask that would hide his face
Machine gun in a violin case
Take your best shot let it come
‘Cause this sweater reads number one

Until finally the puck feels like a brick
So you try to see the shot before it leaves the stick
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that

Five years and the Stanley Cup
The crowd’s wild as they lift him up
But when you win they stand and cheer
When you lose they hiss and jeer
The hometown crowd got no respect
You give your all this is what you get
So be careful of what you wish
Sudden death got a bitter kiss

And a hostile crowd cut you to the quick
So you try to see the shot before it leaves the stick
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that

The axe falls with the Boston trade
The top of a downhill grade
Olympia in slow decline
Or something darker biding time
He’d carried all that load
He was the darkest horse they ever rode
An ancient game with ancient laws
He was the best that there ever was
The rest was a bad dream
Shufflin’ from team to team
But he was done it was all in ruin
Retired warrior at forty-one

Ballet and murder and time and space
Four hundred stitches to his face
About a week after his last game
Terry Sawchuk’s heart caves in

But he hears his brother’s voice as he lays awake
Try to see the shot before it leaves the stick
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that
Only Terry Sawchuk done that
Only Terry Sawchuk ever done that

Ron Hynes - vocal, acoustic guitar Paul Mills - electric guitars Al Cross - drums Alec Fraser - bass Pat Carey - tenor sax
Howard Moore - trumpet Steve Donald - trombone John Sheard - Hammond organ Lenny Solomon - first violin
Adele Armin - second violin Nick Papadakis - viola Wendy Solomon - cello
Horn arrangement - Pat Carey String arrangement - Paul Mills

Discography

SOLO RELEASES:

2010 - Stealing Genius (Borealis)
2006 - Ron Hynes (Borealis)
2003 - Get Back Change (Borealis)
1998 - Standing In Line In The Rain (Indie) N/A
1997 - Face To The Gale (EMI)
1993 - Cyers Paradise (EMI)
1984 - Small Fry (childrens album - Indie) N/A
1976 - Discovery (Audat) N/A

OTHER:
2012 - duet w/ Lucy MacNeil on The Barra MacNeils, The Celtic Colours Sessions
2011 - Wonderful Grand Band Volume 3 & 4 DVD (WGB Prod.)
2010 - (Re-issue) Wonderful Grand Band CD (WGB Prod.)
2009 - Wonderful Grand Band Volume 1 & 2 DVD (WGB Prod.)
2008 - duet w/ JP Cormier on JP's "The Messenger" CD
2007: (Re-issue) Wonderful Grand Band - Living In A Fog CD
2007 - Duet/co-write,"Hard Workin' Hands" on Dave Gunning
"House For Sale"
2006 - Spoken word on Grady CD "A Cup of Cold Poison"
2006 - "Savior" on "One Night In January- Songs for the IWK" CD
2006 - Duet/co-write "Only One" on Steven Bowers "Tired Light"
1997 - 11:11 Newfoundland Women Sing, Songs of Ron & Connie
Hynes (Indie) N/A
1981 - Wonderful Grand Band - Living In A Fog (vinyl) (WGB Prod)
1978 - Wonderful Grand Band (vinyl) (WGB Prod)

Set List

Ron Hynes performs songs from his extensive catalogue of original material, (with an occasional traditional/cover tune).
Concerts usually comprised of 2 x 40 minute sets.