One of Newfoundland’s most prolific songwriters has been back behind the microphone, preparing his eighth studio album.
Port aux Basques’ Bernie Sheaves has won fans across the province with his clever and poignant lyrics and his traditional down-home sound.
Since his first recording in 2003, Sheaves has gained a loyal fan base across Canada and into the US.
Sheaves said for this album, titled “Newfoundland, My Newfoundland,” he is trying a few new things. For the first time, his wife Marina will sing harmony on a few songs.
“You’ve got to have a good woman behind you,” he said.
Marina doesn’t just help out on the album. She acts as Sheaves’ manager and she’s with him through every step of the recording process. She listens in on recording sessions and she helps get CD orders in the mail.
She will even put her two cents in on song lyrics, including the occasional disagreement over grammar.
“Sometimes we have a scattered row,” said Sheaves with a laugh.
Besides the title track, Sheaves has a wide range of song subjects. From the Relay for Life to the resettlement of Grand Bruit and one about a local war veteran, Sheaves’ fans will not be disappointed.
Sheaves plays every year at the Port aux Basques Relay for Life, an annual fundraiser for cancer research. He thought it would be appropriate to write a song about the event.
Other songs have his trademark sense of humour.
“There’s one called ‘Fire in the Furnace,’” he said.
“It’s about an older feller who may be getting older but still has a lot of life left in him. So there’s still some fire in the furnace.”
Another song tells the story of how the Caribou and Smallwood ferries met their end.
Sheaves recorded six albums with the late Sim Savoury of Simani fame. This will be his second recording done in Port aux Basques by Johnny Sheaves of Breakwater Productions.
Local musician Barry Musseau is one of the musicians backing Sheaves on the album.
“I try to find something different to put on every song,” said Musseau, who has been experimenting with mandolin on this album.
Sheaves’ songwriting skills and his tendency to write songs about true stories do not go unnoticed by his fans.
“I get calls from people all over the place ... asking me to write songs for them,” he said.
Sheaves said the album, with
12 original songs, should be available by mid-May.
While this is his eighth album, he has the ninth written and ready to go.
It will be a Christmas album. He said he just needs to record it.
To purchase an album, contact Sheaves by phone at 709-695-2406 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gulf News