Ken Tizzard spreads the gospel of Ron Hynes

Musician Ken Tizzard is clear about how important legendary singer/songwriter Ron Hynes is to him.

"I just think it's part of what I need to do on this planet right now, is play his songs," said Tizzard.

Tizzard's new album, A Good Dog Is Lost: A Collection of Ron Hynes Songs, features many of Hynes's well-known tunes, such as Sonny's Dream and St. John's Waltz, but also lesser-known fare such as Boy From Old Perlican and 1962.

Longtime fan

Tizzard, who is best known through his work with Canadian rock band the Watchmen and through his own work as an Ontario-based singer/songwriter, grew up in St. John's.

He first discovered Ron Hynes through the Wonderful Grand Band's CBC Television series in the 1980s.

Courtesy Steve Dagg

Later, Tizzard and Hynes knew of each other through mutual acquaintances in the music industry.

Tizzard was pleasantly surprised when, nearly a decade ago, Hynes asked him to play bass on his solo tour of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Culture Centres.  

School of Ron 

At that time, Tizzard was transitioning from playing in rock bands to becoming more of an acoustic singer/songwriter.

It was just me staying close to him, and continuing to learn from him after he was gone. - Ken Tizzard

"Being exposed to him, I don't think I can ever explain how much of an impact it had on me as a songwriter and as a person," said Tizzard.  

"Everything from how to tell a story on stage … [to] how to interact with the audience, and then play these amazing songs that reflected the stories."

Staying close

After Hynes died in 2015, Tizzard continued learning and playing Hynes's songs, even developing a one-man show called Hynesight.

"It was just me staying close to him," said Tizzard, "and continuing to learn from him after he was gone."

When Tizzard performs across North America with his own music, he continues to mix Ron Hynes songs into his sets.  

"I am pleasantly surprised when people come up to me after my shows and say, 'What was that guy's name again? I gotta get some of his music.'"

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