Richard Wood with Darla Chaisson (keys) & me (guitar & vocal)
This trio was, to my mind, the group I was in that had the best chance of "making it big". Richard is immensely talented and a charismatic performer. This was matched by Darla's brilliant stage presence playing her piano while standing, with her red curls bouncing. We started playing together at the Olde Dublin Pub in Charlottetown in 1996. Through an agent who already knew of Richard, we toured in the UK in the spring of 1997. Our first show was at "The Lemon Tree" in Aberdeen Scotland, and it was a live BBC radio show hosted by Phil Cunnigham. The photo right is at the Shetland Folk Festival in 1997.
Richard and I were joined at the Canada Games in Brandon Manitoba by Robert Deveaux from Cape Breton for one show that August.
We were able to recruit Brad Fremlin who was instructing at the College of Piping in Summerside. Another amazing talent on piano and percussion, he started with us on a short overseas tour that took us to Scotland, Wales and Denmark.
Richard Wood played with Shania Twain on the "David Letterman Show" and "Good Morning America" in December of 1997. He was then asked to join her touring band for a year, but turned it down because his own career seemed to be taking off. As it turned out, 1998 would be the busiest year so far for him.
The year started in January with an extensive UK tour. For the first part of the tour, our trio was supported by another Prince Edward Islander, Teresa Doyle with Chris Corrigan on guitar and Roger Greaves on percussion. The photo at left is all of us with our tour manager Mark Ringwood at Loch Ness in Scotland.
In April of 1998, Richard & I toured in Newfoundland along with the Ennis Sisters and Evans & Doherty.
In May of 1998, the trio and Richard`s dad Terry did a driving tour across Canada with 16 dates in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
July 1st Canada Day 1998 in Ottawa. Live CBC broadcast from Parliament Hill to a crowd of over 100,000! Others on the show included Buffy Ste. Marie, Paul Brandt, The Ennis Sisters, Suroit, Elvis Stojko and Pagliaro.
Later in July, we played the Winnipeg Folk Festival
A seven week overseas tour in the summer of 1998 included England Scotland, Ireland and Wales and another visit to the Tønder Festival in Denmark. We finished the 35 show, seven week, tour still friends and loving to play together, but all thought it was a little too long.
The year continued with some Atlantic Canada dates in October and another three week overseas junket that included England, Scotland, Wales and Belgium.
-January Theatre dates in Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick
-"Winterlude" in Ottawa in February
-"Voyageur Festival" in Winnipeg in February
- UK tour in April
- Ontario tour in May
- Canadian summer festivals in Canso and New Glasgow NS, Quebec City, Ottawa and Owen Sound ON, Yellowknife NWT, Canmore and Edmonton AB, Harrison Hot Springs, Mission, and Salmon Arm in BC.
- "Team Canada" Mission to Tokyo Japan with Prince Edward Island Premier Pat Binns in September. Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chretien and most of the other Canadian Premiers were there along with the Emperor of Japan. Pretty honoured!
- Ontario in October
- one more UK tour in November into December
- Millenium New Year`s Eve in Fredericton New Brunswick