Musician Ken Tizzard pays tribute to his idol Ron Hynes in a touching musical celebration and things appropriately begin right here at home
While Ken Tizzard makes his home in Ontario these days, his heart is still always linked to this province and its music. It’s little wonder considering the musical legacy he’s long been a part of.
“When I was a child growing up in Newfoundland we had a couple of channels that were on the old TV in the house and I think one of the first ever musical experiences I ever had with anybody local would have been watching the Wonderful Grand Band,” he begins.
Touring with Ron Hynes
That’s when he first became aware of the Man of a Thousand Sons, Ron Hynes. “I later met Ron as a teenager and I was a young punk and he was always a bit of a loner. Two misfits maybe,” he laughs at their early connection.
“As years went by we got to know each other and he texted me a few years ago and he had a tour across Newfoundland and this was his comeback tour after his first battle with cancer.”
Tizzard remembers Hynes had a vision for that tour, and, along with (Paul) Boomer Stamp, they hit the road.
“We had a lot of fun out going around and during that tour we really got close and we shared many things. We had lost common friends over the years and Ron and I spent time reminiscing about all the times we had spent with friends who had passed and that brought us really close. Just the two of us in the car driving to show after show and then after the Newfoundland shows he ended up coming up to Ontario and we did stuff up here.” Tizzard quietly shares that he always felt the two lived similar lives.
“It was really interesting because I’ve played music my whole life, but most of my musical peers have found their way into day jobs. For me to have the experience to spend time with someone who was 20 years or almost 20 years my senior who was still doing music for a living was inspiring to me. It gets to be kind of a lonely profession after a while and the only people you can sort of relate to is people younger than you starting out.” Tizzard says it was great to have someone older to look to for advice and guidance. “Ron was great for that.”
A Good Dog is Lost
After his musical hero’s death, Tizzard felt he had to do something. He recorded 11 Ron Hynes songs (plus another treat) and put them on an album titled appropriately, A Good Dog is Lost.
Tizzard and his four piece band will be performing the entire album at Ship Pub in St. John’s on October 13 at 8pm. Tickets are only available at the door.
“It’s the first show on the promo release tour for the new album so we will be doing songs off A Good Dog is Lost: a Collection of Ron Hynes Songs and I can’t wait to see how it’s received,” he shares.
Why the title? “I always loved that song and really like the way it came out when we recorded it so it just kind of seemed logical. Ron is no longer with us and it just seemed like a fitting title.”
Tizzard says that Hynes’ music connects him to home, and it links his daughters to this place as well. “My wife is a teacher. When I retired from rock (leaving his band, Thornley) and finding different kinds of music to do, my wife suggested we buy an RV and tour around in the summers that way.”
Tizzard was used to being away. This way they could tour together and have a little vacation and family time at the same time. “I was gone a lot and I really wanted to be around my kids because they were growing up.”
They travelled the country and into the U.S. as well. “It was a great way to spend some time together and there were campfires and my daughters Caitlyn and Cassidy were there and we’d sit around the campfire and play simple songs and sing.”
The songs included some Ron Hynes classics, of course. Before one show, while in rehearsal, the girls joined in, for fun, on Sonny’s Dream.
Sonny’s Dream Realized
“I went, the girls know this pretty well, so we came up with some harmonies and it was in Halifax and I invited them up on stage and the audience loved it and the girls loved it so for the rest of that tour, including the show I played at The Ship that year, the girls came up and sang with me and they’ve been singing that song with me ever since.” It seemed only fitting that for A Good Dog is Lost, the girls joined in for Sonny’s Dream. “My daughters didn’t grow up in Newfoundland and any Newfoundland culture they will be exposed to will be through me. To have them know Ron Hynes’ catalogue the way they do and sing on a song like Sonny’s Dream keeps that bond to Newfoundland with my kids, even though they were not born there, through music.”
Limited copies of A Good Dog is Lost will be available at the Ship Pub on Oct. 13. The album will be officially released Nov. 6. For more visit: kentizzard.com