Neighbours Band Winter Collection

Spring is at least a month late this year in Canada. But it’s time to close out the Winter collection of pre-releases. As well as going through the SongStories Blog, you can view/listen to the 7 songs in the winter collection in a playlist here: 

The playlist is a nice way to hear/see all seven songs in a continuous series. No ads. Enjoy!

Winter Song

It’s April. In Canada, that’s a struggle between winter and summer, with spring days once in a while. There might be heat one day and blizzard the next night. Winter Song is about getting through the tough times supporting one another. It features lyrics by Barry Hodgson, who often travels from Quebec to Vancouver Island – seeing much of our Canadian weather smorgasbord. Music and singing is Neighbours John Little – a multi-talented lead/bass and mandolin player. Enough of winter – its time for spring. But there is beauty there!

God I Want to Sing You a Lullaby

Neighbours is not a gospel band. But all of us have a spiritual side. It’s Good Friday. The Christian God is one of the most famous fathers in the world, and he is crying today.

Many spirits in the world try to point us towards good, whether through organized religion or simply our awe for our world and its life. Whatever your higher spirit, some days they could use a lullaby.


Why Do We Have To

If Night in Ukraine (re-released today) is about courage and defiance, Why Do We Have To (Say Goodbye) is the flipside of sadness and grief in the face of separation.

The song is relevant to Ukraine. But the original was written for two dear friends.

Rob Hobby (deceased 2022) was a lifetime friend who we saw one Thursday night and who was suddenly gone within days. He introduced me to fishing, kayak building, storytelling, and good humour. A late-in-life back to the lander, he was living off-grid and innovating on his 30 acre lakeview retreat in the BC Interior. I regret never getting there, but heard many stories. Rob raised Ted and Kara with spouse Pat, and they are out changing the world with his pride and blessing.

The other person in the back of my mind is Ron Reid – a dear brother who is very much alive and active, while being at very high risk. A fish and wildlife grad from U of Guelph and recently an honourary Doctorate, he has dedicated his life with spouse Janet to conservation causes, founding the Couchiching Conservancy.  Thanks, Ron, for being my guiding star in environmental causes. You will live forever!

All of us – Ukrainian, Russian, anyone anywhere in the world – are losing someone. If we keep them in our hearts, we don’t have to say goodbye.

Night in Ukraine

It’s April 5, 2023 and it still goes on. We’re re-releasing Night In Ukraine now that we’re more online.

February 25th 2023 means a full year of war in Ukraine. My spouse is of Ukrainian Canadian heritage. The tragedy strikes deep here, but is nothing compared to the suffering there. Wherever you are – fighting for peace –  or fleeing for peace –  this song is in support of you and Ukraine getting through this nightmare.

Love In This Bar

Love In This Bar became a song tribute by the Neighbours Band to the strong community spirit of rural Montana – and neighbourhood bars and pubs everywhere. A chance stop by for supper bumped in to an annual rodeo afterparty. Everyone was there – all creeds, colours and cultures – and they all celebrated being together again. It was an honour to witness.

This REEL version for social media is to honour our local Lantzville Pub – a key part of our heritage here on Vancouver Island. Neighbours Band is a gang of friends – and love having a good time with our friends at Lantzville Pub. From Saint Patrick 2023.

(We’ll Get Over the) COVID BLUES

Who would have thought we’d be three years into a pandemic? We’ve been lucky – just a minor Covid infection that meant no trip to a family wedding. Thankfully people around us are vaccinated so much they glow.

Times are better, but there are still too many sick and dying. Please take care of your health and community. But while we’re at it, is it ever too soon to laugh at danger? We’ll (slowly) get over the Covid Blues.

What We Came From

Neighbours Band is Canadian. Therefore the Maple Leaf logo, and the .ca website extension, to differentiate our identity from many ‘neighbours bands’ around the world.

Our ancestors are mixed European, but mostly Celtic. The ‘What We Came From‘ lyric video and song are a reminiscence of family and community heritage of immigrants in rural and small-town Canada – specifically from Kintyre in Scotland to Cantire in Canada.

Our ancestors brought lots of good values from the old country, but also lots of European bias and national jealousy, some racism and intolerance, and an epic ignorance of Indigenous Canadians. Thankfully, the good values have lasted, and the questionable ones have faded or disappeared over the generations.

This one is to our families and lifetime friends, and the communities they sustain . . . Love ya.

23 Stories Album

Draft Album Cover

Neighbours Band in Canada has been kept at home during the pandemic, like everyone. With dramatically less live venues, there is a silver lining – we have been given the time and energy to songwriting. What has resulted is over 20 original songs. Each one is a story. In winter 2023, we’ve been recording. To help focus on the story in each song, we’ve been creating lyric videos. We’ve started pre-releasing some of our developing songs and videos. All this is working towards a planned fall 2023 release of a double album.

The Draft Album Cover combines several concepts: 23 stories in 23 songs; it’s the Year 2023; and Neighbours Band members have been playing together 23 years as of fall 2023.

We’re pre-releasing song videos in four groups: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall 2023. Please follow us on this blog, or through our Youtube Channel or Facebook.