David Henman – You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

David Henman worked with Myles Goodwyn. One of the greatest Canadian songwriters in history. David Henman is no slouch himself.

Ritchie and David Henman

Beginning with April Wine – David Henman has been a part of the music landscape in Canada since the 1960’s. The Wackers, The Dudes. The Debutantes and Prism. To name a few.

There is no question, David Henman has left a mark on Canadian music.

Please listen below to part two of my chat with David and hear the reasons (in song) why David Henman is quite possibly, the most overlooked figure in this country’s cultural heritage.





David Henman of The Dudes – The Influence of David Bowie

In the early seventies, Montreal and various ‘other’ places benefited from two bands. One evolving into another. Each one took David Bowie’s courage, songwriting and performance style onto themselves.

th (10)

Please listen below as David Henman, co-founder of April Wine and member of The Dudes ( among other bands) , discusses Bowie’s influences, Ian Hunter and how the band chose the name based on a David Bowie tune.



Thanks for listening ! Talk soon …








David Henman – ‘ Me and Cousin Jim Wrote Our First Song When We Were Twelve …’ Part Two

David, Jim and Ritchie Henman – along with Myles Goodwyn; formed April Wine.



Following stints with bands such as Prism ,The Dudes, and The DebutantesDavid Henman has never stopped playing music.

Please listen below in Part Two as David speaks on many things.

Stay tuned for part three.







Click Here!
Click Here!


Click Here!
Click Here!


sceen card







David Henman – ‘ Me and Cousin Jim Wrote Our First Song When We Were Twelve …’

David, Jim and Ritchie Henman – along with Myles Goodwyn; formed April Wine.

Following stints with bands such as Prism ,The Dudes, and The DebutantesDavid Henman has never stopped playing music.

Please listen below as David speaks of his last two projects.

Stay tuned for part two.





Click Here!
Click Here!


Click Here!
Click Here!


sceen card







Jerry Mercer – As The Years Go By; Part Four

In this ongoing saga which is known as the Jerry Mercer story – the drummer discusses the differences between the days of yesteryear and today when it comes to ‘the life of a musician’ in Montreal.

He also talks about some of his memorable moments including opening up for Steppenwolf at the Montreal Forum …

Please enjoy the interview and come back for more. Thank you.

Jim Henman – Co-Founder of April Wine. Part One

Jim Henman is very happy with the way his life turned out …

Considering some people would have regrets for leaving a rock band that would go on to become one of Canada’s largest, Mr. Henman went on to a very productive life with nothing but feelings of pride for his old mate; Myles Goodwyn.

A life that is more productive than ever. Musically and movie-wise. Say what?

Jim … Take it away …

Please visit Jim’s Site Here!

Jim Henman – The Man who Placed Myles Goodwyn in April Wine

If you want to make it as a Canadian rock star – Upper Canada Village is the place to be …


At least that was what April Wine co – founder Jim Henman thought in 1969.

” I do recall wanting to quit university and approaching my cousin David with the idea of starting a band and try to make it.” Says Jim from his home in Nova Scotia.” David came up with the name and asked me to try to bring Myles Goodwyn on board.”

He continues.

“I went to Antigonish where Myles was living at that time and told him our plan. I thought he might want to join but I was not sure until about a week or so later.”


Seven days later, Myles did join and April Wine was born. It marked the second time Jim Henman and Goodwyn played together. The duo were once part of a group named Woodies Termites between the years 1965 – 67. It was in that band, Jim and Myles wrote  songs together for the first time. It was not the first time for Jim however.

“I had been writing songs since I was 12 or 13.” Says Jim. “I don’t know when Myles started but we both wrote for our old band and we collaborated with one of the other members … ” He continues. “I still have that tune on tape. It reminds me of the Animals’ sound.”

It was around that same time when Myles wrote “You Won’t Dance With Me” – a hit for April Wine later on.

Jim Henman grew up a bIg fan of country music and the blues. All types of blues …

“In the 50s, I was listening to country on the radio. Jimmy Rogers and the Singing Brakeman, which was white country blues from the 20’s and early 30’s. In the 60’s – I was mystified by the McCartney / Lennon and Richards / Jagger compositions. I lalso enjoyed the Loving Spoonful and especially John Sebastian’s writing.”


As the 70’s commenced, Jim discovered the likes of Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Neil Young and Arlo Guthrie. He also uncovered some real blues from the 20s and 30s. As the 70’s commenced, Jim also discovered the bad side of music …

” I was very attracted to the dark side of rock and roll life … the destructive side. It was dangerous for me and I developed problems very young. I really was not serious about having a “career” as a working musician nor did I have the first clue on how to do it. The party side and a poor work ethic worked well together. After 2 years of that I was lost, depressed and confused. The only way to fix everything was a job and geographical change.”

After stints playing in three bands – Prism, Termites and Wine, Jim left the music business and went into Medical Laboratory work, the furthest thing from songwriting. After all these years, he holds Myles Goodwyn in very high esteem.

“I respect what Myles has done with his talent.” Says the father of two full grown children. “He lived his dream and did it well. If I had stayed I would have died. I have no regrets about leaving.”

Jim Henman married in 1977 and has lived near Martinique Beach on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia since 2001. He is very close to his cousins David and Ritchie. He also was close to the late Jimmy Clench, the bass player who took his place in April Wine. Wine’s former drummer, Jerry Mercer, is also a close friend since 1970 and Jim has known Brian Greenway since 1977.


Henman, since 1990 – has stayed with old blues as his music of choice. The Delta and Piedmont styles mostly. He played bass out of necessity in the old days and was a self- taught and simple player. Over the years, he has played bass in studio sessions and with a few small dance bands but sees the acoustic guitar as his instrument now.

Henman’s proudest musical moments have come more in the past twenty years. More specifically – his proudest songwriting moments.

I wrote a song called “I Will Get Over You” for Jeannie Beks CD “More Than My Share ” in 1992. “Journey”, a tune from the Musical I co-wrote in 1999 called “Death The Musical ” which has gone on to take on a life of it’s own.”Down’s Really Up” which I co-wrote for the Special Olympics, and “Starting Today ” a tune that was a single released in 2008 for a local band here in Halifax. I have a few of my own compositions on my new CD which are simple but I like them melodically and lyrically.”

“Say Hello” and “Just Between You And Me” are two of Jim’s favourite Myles Goodwyn songs and he is very good friends with Myles. The two are close to being the Canadian version of Jagger and Richards in terms of longevity. Myles and Jim met at the age of fifteen. The only other Canadian artists with a long span are Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush along with Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings from the Guess Who.

“I once challenged Burton Cummings to an arm wrestle while I was drunk.” Adds Jim. ” I lost …”

Myles, according to Jim was supposed to play on his recent cd; “Same old Feeling”.Unfortunately, things did not work out as planned. The pair of “Woodies Termites” exchange emails, phonecalls and visit after shows whenever they can.

If only they could meet in Upper Canada Village. That would be poetic, just like writing a song.

“Just between Jim and Myles” …


Please visit Jim’s site. jimhenman.com

The CD; Same Old Feeling is available at iTunes and through Busted Flat Records

Photos courtesy of Jim and David Henman

David Henman; The Man behind the Wine – Part Two

David Henman, despite having a non – household name and not being known as a ‘star’ in the music world; is a very prolific  songwriter.

David - Age 12

Commencing with April Wine, where all of the members ( except Ritchie ) were excited about the songwriting process, David has been penning tunes for over four decades.

‘Drop your Guns’ was his first commercially successful song. It was included on April Wine’s second disc; On Record. That song remains a staple to this day during an April Wine concert. A song which remains close to Henman’s heart.

“As a victim of bullying when I was very young, I came to abhor all forms of violence at an early age. “Drop your guns” was an expression of that anti-violence mentality, which has become a huge part of my philosophy. I wrote both the music, which was inspired by a band called Humble Pie, and the lyrics. The song was a top forty hit in Canada, but wasn’t released in the USA for fear that it might be perceived as an anti-Vietnam war protest song. Duh! The song seems to have a message that resonates with people and continues to resonate decade after decade. I know this because, roughly six months after events like Columbine, 9-11 and the war on Iraq, my royalties for the song take a sharp spike upwards.”

April Wine

Another song Henman wrote with April Wine which instills pride in the songwriter is also included on Wine’s second album. The track was inspired by a book Henman read at the time. Herman Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf and particularly the line ‘ for madmen only’ is the reason for the song ‘Refuge.’

“Songwriting is a curse.” Says David attempting to explain a life- long habit. “It’s an addiction. An obsession going back to the early days of April Wine. I was very anti-commercial. I thought pop music was all bubblegum, the lowest common denominator and all that. When Myles wrote “Fast Train” and it became a hit, I thought;’Hey! I can do that!’ Now – it is forty plus years later and I am still trying.”

Henman’s artillery of tunes is vast. The guitarist has or continues to write in many different genres …

“Over the years, my influences have accumulated, so you will hear elements of old rock, classic rock, heavy rock, country, folk, celtic, latin, world and even dance in my writing.”

Henman may have referred to Goodwyn’s ‘Fast Train’ as a symbol for something he attempted to strive for yet that does not mean the Nova Scotia – born singer has ever written for the FM or AM airwaves …


“I don’t consciously write for radio. Every song I write starts out innocently enough yet if a song I write does seem to me to be radio-friendly, I try to at least not get in it’s way.” David continues. “I have written a lot of songs. Some great. Some not so great. The proof is in the recording in regards to it’s commercial potential.”

In addition to writing songs, a huge part of David’s focus is on recording them in a way that make people want to listen.

Listening is what people from David’s generation did well. He was a young man at the start of the 1960’s, an era which introduced the world to the British Invasion and the birth of one of the most enduring periods in rock n roll …

Although Henman realizes he grew up in a wonderful time – music wise, he does not agree the music today is not as good as his generation.


“I steadfastly refuse to fall into that idiotic trap of claiming that the music of my generation is superior to the music of the current generation. This happens in virtually every generation. I clearly recall my parents’ generation, back in the fifties, whining that the music I loved was garbage.”

Henman continues.

“That’s not music, that’s just noise!’ Then they would say the music of THEIR generation was all about quality; melody, lyrics, proper singing etc.”

“Before I was a teenager, I vowed I would never be that ignorant, that closed-minded.” Henman goes on.” Yet, that is precisely what happend to my own generation. I find myself virtually inundated by people my age, and younger – much younger, whining about ‘kids today’ and the music they listen to. I have only one thing to say to those people: get over yourself!”

David also realizes the record business is no longer what it once was. He believes there is ‘good and bad’ in the changes.

The David Henman Band

“The music industry I once knew and loved seems to have choked on its own greed. On the downside, music – especially live music, has been devalued. People no longer believe they should have to pay to own it. On the plus side, with no music industry to speak of and the advent of the global internet, we now have the potential to reach millions of people on our own initiative.”

David has released two CDs lately to ‘reach people’ and believes all his previous records with his older bands have been discontinued ( April Wine excluded) The two current ones are titled; The David Henman Band and Long Ride Home. The single ‘ Long Ride Home’ will be distributed to country radio in September.

David Henman is not playing live very much these days yet when he does – it is usually with his partner Rose. Instead, his concentration lies on writing and recording new material.

In search of his very own; ‘Fast Train’ …


*Ritchie Henman lives in Dorval,Qc with his wife and is not currently active in music.

*Jim Henman resides in Nova Scotia and has just released a new cd titled ‘Same Old Feeling’ . A cd which David Henman believes will be a classic.

*Jim Clench passed away in 2010 from lung cancer.

*Brian Greenway resides in St.Lazare is still playing guitar for April Wine.

*Myles Goodwyn remains the leader of April Wine and resides in St.Lazare as well.

David Henman can be reached through his website; http://www.davidhenman.com/

Photos courtesy of David Henman

David Henman; The Man Behind the Wine – Part One

Once upon a time …

In a galaxy far, far away from iPods.

Two cousins sat down in the Old Mill Tavern in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The year was 1969. They ordered a pitcher of beer and complained of the lack of momentum their music had gathered.


They thought of putting a new group together. A band which would consist of the brother of one of the beer drinkers on drums and the other; a former member of the other ale quaffer’s band.

They ‘stole’ the singer / guitarist away from his band in Cape Breton, started rehearsing in one of their parents’ basements in Sackville and – just like that, one of Canada’s most successful rock bands were born …

The men in question were David Henman on guitars and vocals, Ritchie Henman on drums, Jim Henman on bass and Myles Goodwyn on vocals and guitars. The name of the band …?

April Wine


” Myles agreed to join us, and we had planned to start out as a cover band. That all changed the moment Myles played us a couple of songs he wrote.” Says David Henman. “All of us have slightly different memories of how we formed but these are the basic facts.”

According to David ; Myles, long known as the leader and principle songwriter of April Wine, took control from the beginning in the songwriting department.

“He very quickly established himself as the most gifted and most driven musician and songwriter in the group. No one questioned that fact.”


April Wine hosted a lot of their own shows in the early days and one of the very first gigs Henman remembers was for a theatre group. The band had became involved with the actors at the Neptune Theatre and wrote music for a 13th (?) century play called; “The Lion in Winter.”

Aside from particular items like the above, Henman’s memories of the first four years of the group are vague. He does remember being obsessed with writing songs and recalls why he and Myles were worlds apart in their songwriting ideas.

” Myles was more commercially – oriented and I was more experimental.” States Henman on the two very different approaches to songwriting.”I was also into music like Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa while Myles was into r and b and blues.”

Goodwyn’s technique is apparent from the start of Wine’s career. ‘Fast Train‘ was one of the first songs Myles wrote and evolved into the band’s first hit. A song which to this date – remains David’s all time favourite April Wine song.

A fast train was what April Wine was now on in the music business. The year was 1970 and things were going quicky …

“We signed with Terry Flood management and Aquarius records.” Says David . “We recorded our first album; ‘April Wine’, with Bill Hill producing. The second one – ‘On Record’, was produced by Ralph Murphy and it marked the first without my cousin.”

Jim Henman, one of the founding members – left and was replaced by Jim Clench.


As the band were recording their third album; ‘Electric Jewels‘ – David and Ritchie left the band in a mutually – decided split.Myles was now the last original member when he and Clench decided to keep the band going …

“I was invited to join a reformed April Wine but my brother wasn’t.” Says David . “Ritchie and I have always been pretty loyal to each other, so I decided to abstain”. All these years later, David Henman has no regrets for his decision to not rejoin the band just before they hit it big.

“No. No regrets. I was young and given to temptation. My sense is that I ‘d have ended up a casualty ( of rock ).” Declares David.


Despite the split, David and Ritchie have kept in touch over the years with Myles. David says they are, in many respects – a family.

” I have been a fan and an admirer of Myles Goodwyn from day one. We often run into each other and these past couple of years he has invited me to join the band on stage.” An offer which Henman took with a smile.


Ritchie and David Henman’s departure from one of the-soon-to-be iconic Canadian Rock Bands did not dissuade the duo from carrying on.

The brothers formed a band named ‘Silver’ following their departure and the band played constantly for a couple of years. The music was a mixture of covers and David Henman originals. Once that music formation ran it’s course, the brothers discovered themselves playing with a familiar name to April Wine fans;

‘All the Young Dudes’, the brother’s new band which performed all originals during it’s year of existence, featured Bob Segarini and a young guitar player named Brian Greenway ( Brian eventually landed with April Wine in 1977 and remains to this day).


In 1976, David then struck out on his own with ‘The Debutantes’.

Between then and now – bands with names like; ‘Sensible Shoes’,’ Dancer’ and ‘The Business’ came and went.

Finally, in 2003, David Henman starting recording and playing under his own name. Something he continues to do in his basement studio in Bolton, Ontario.

In a galaxy far,far away from turntables!

Please stay tuned for part two and more of Henman’s story ….


Photos courtesy of David Henman

%d bloggers like this: