R. Allison Inch
R. Allison Inch was born May 16, 1937 in New Jerusalem, New Brunswick. He lives in Grand Bay, New Brunswick with his wife, local artist Guila (Collings). He is a long time employee of NBTel as an Engineering Technologist.
He was introduced to music very early by his parents, Ronald D. and Elsie (Machum), who were both fiddle players. By the age of seven he was on stage playing his first tune “Pop Goes the Weasel.” By nine years old he was taking violin instruction and a year later he was playing his fiddle with his mom and dad at concerts and talent shows around his community. Allison was a big hit at dances, concerts and talent shows because along with the fiddle he step dances and played a set of wooden spoons. He later taught himself to play mandolin.
As a teen he joined well known New Brunswick artist Art Marr as a band member and stayed for twenty-five years. He was the favorite back-up player for guest singers at the popular Art Marr Country Jamborees (partner and performer) in Saint John in the sixties.
Allison has played back-up for Nashville stars such as Left Frizelle, Ernie Ashworth, David Rodgers, Dick Curless, Mary Osbornes, George Morgan and Minnie Pearl. He played on the Maritime Farmers television show with one of his idols, New Brunswick fiddler, Lionel Poirier. He also played second fiddle at concerts and on records with his other idol and long time friend, North America’s Fiddle Champion, Ned Landry.
He is in demand all over the province with shows like the Gary Morris Valley Jamboree, Randy Vails Jamboree and the Fredericton Playhouse Jamboree, to name a few. Even with that Allison finds time to entertain at nursing homes, hospitals and seniors with local musician friends.
Vance Patterson first started playing professionally in 1947, around the St. Martins, Bains Corner area. In 1951 he came to Saint John and joined the “Joe Hachey and The New Brunswick Ramblers” band.
Vance played on radio two-three times a week. In 1955 he joined Art Marr’s band. From 1951-1959 he played on radio and 1955-1956 they were on CHSJ television. They toured Nova Scotia and the Maritimes in 1955 to 1964, including many long term engagements at local clubs.
Also he was involved with the Art Marr Country Music Jamboree as part-owner and promoter.
Royal B. Hicks
Royal was born October 4, 1937 at Sackville, New Brunswick. His musical career began at age nine when he learned to play the harmonica. Since that time, he has learned to play spanish, hawaiian and steel guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, bass, accordion and his favorite instrument, the fiddle.
He has played a wide variety of music including country, bluegrass and old time fiddle and has played with such groups as June Eickhart and the Tantramar Ramblers, the Whalen Sisters and Ray Crawford and the Eastern Valley Boys. For the past several years he has led his own band specializing in Country and Western and Bluegrass. Royal has performed on radio and T.V. and shared the stage with international stars such as Mac Wiseman and Doug LaValley. One of his most memorable experiences was in 1984 when he played before Her Majesty the Queen of England during the Sackville Bicentennial.
Royal has won a multitude of fiddling contests. He has composed numerous fiddle tunes, and some of them are included on his cassette, “Fiddling for Friends.” He also is active as a fiddle teacher and contest judge.
He held the office of Vice-President for the Maritime Fiddler’s Association for New Brunswick for several years prior to being elected to the office of President and a member of the editorial committee responsible for the publication of the official newsletter.
Royal and Margaret L. (Goodwin), a fine pianist, were married in 1958 and have resided in the Mount Whatley area since that time. They have two children, Sherry and Bernard and two grandchildren.
Matilda Murdoch was born in Loggieville, New Brunswick January 30, 1920 and still resides there beside the Miramichi River.
She started playing the violin at age nine and was self-taught until the age of sixteen. Matilda then took music lessons from a teacher in nearby Chatham to learn how to read music. Matilda has composed numerous tunes which include clogs, jigs, reels, two-steps, waltzes and waltz clogs. She recorded two albums of these tunes for the Ottawa Valley School of Dance: Volume 1, Matilda Murdoch Play Some of Her Own and Volume 2, Matilda Murdoch.
Long recognized as the Queen of Down East fiddling, Matilda won many firsts in competition as far away as Guelph, Ontario and has guested on such shows as the Don Messer Jublilee and Up Home Tonight.
Joan Kennedy, the youngest of eight children, grew up in Douglas Harbour, New Brunswick. Music was always a part of her life as they all sang in the church choir, and in the kitchen at home.
Joan can be described as the province’s latest superstar and now has had a full decade in the public spotlight. In 1983 she won the Canadian National Talent Competition at the Academy of Country Music Entertainment in Regina. Afterwards she formed a band Country Clover and went on the club circuit throughout the Maritimes. She recorded three albums during this period – I’m a Big Girl Now, A Christmas to Remember and Family Pride. Family Pride won a nomination for the 1997 Canadian Single of the Year and Joan a nomination as the year’s Top Female Vocalist.
In the last three years Joan has made appearances with such Nashville stars as Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis and Glen Campbell, a tour of Holland, appearances at the Grand Ole Opry and last summer a major guest appearance at Country Music Week in Edmonton, Alberta.
And, of course, during her first few months under the Diamond wing, there was the launch of her own ATV Thursday night half hour, The Joan Kennedy Show, which has been renewed for a third year. A new album Candle in the Window was also released on the Atlantica label.
Joan now has two Toronto produced albums in the mix and a full calendar of appearances across Canada and into the Unites States ahead of her. She also wants to work harder on writing her own material.