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"The only way to move forward is to have good energy" Chilliwack's Bill Henderson

Updated: May 16, 2023

by Janice Stobie-Rushton

pics by Eric Saide

Recently, NSMZ had the pleasure of chatting with one of Canadian classic rock icons, Bill Henderson of Chilliwack, about his band's upcoming Show as headliner at Chester Fest on Saturday, September 11 in Prince Albert .

Speaking from his home on Salt Spring Island, Bill was looking forward to playing the first Chilliwack gig in over a year at BC place during the Lions halftime show. It’s back to rehearsals and practice again.

One of the many things he has on the go is a side gig with long time collaborators Claire Lawrence, formerly of the Collectors, and renowned Haida Gwaii resident Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson. Together, they are working to develop a greater understanding of indigenous music. “We need to be able to heal our minds, our hearts and spirits, and keep as intact as possible.” With what has been in the world lately, with Lytton, with all the devastation and social and political divisions “the only way to move forward is to have good energy and do the best we can,” Henderson explained.

One way to help is through music. The album Grizzly Bear Town is available on ITunes.

Influenced by past and current events, Bill teased some new music that he hopes to debut at Chester Fest. "Dusty Old Guitar" is a song he started writing in 1974/75, going back through his old tapes he was drawn again to the 1st line “picked up my dusty old guitar, how long since I played it?” The guitar he is referring to was built in 1967, in the midst of a musical revolution.

“It was a very different time…it was a big part of me. It was really important what was happening then, the music was exploding at that time, it was just so exciting. To be part of that was really incredible and at the same time there was social changes going on that were incredibly powerful and also very exciting. Martin Luther King (jr) and all of that, and now with Black Lives Matter it comes back around. That’s what it’s all about…they tried to kill the dream but some dreams never die. And here we are again, we’re right back and doing this. I think we’ve come a bit of a distance that no one was really aware of, we have changed and it’s sticking more than it did then,” mused Henderson. It's a really powerful idea.

Chilliwack is one of the great bands to see live. They know what the audience wants and that’s what they deliver. With so many hits and fan favourites to choose from, they make it a personal experience, playing with the purpose of having a great time. After Chester Fest, Chilliwack is scheduled to play Casino Rama in November but so far no other dates have been released. Single day tickets as well as weekend passes are still available for Chester Fest. Passes and tickets can be purchased here:

Chester Fest FULL lineup:

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