April 22, 2024 – April Wine is a Canadian rock band that rose to prominence in the 1970s and became one of the country’s most successful musical exports. The band’s journey began in Nova Scotia, in 1969, when brothers David Henman (guitar) and Ritchie Henman (drums) formed a group with their cousin Jim Henman (bass). Later, they changed their name to April Wine and by then their future leader Myles Goodwyn was in the band.

In 1970, April Wine moved to Montreal, Quebec. With Goodwyn’s powerful vocals and songwriting skills, the band began to make waves in the Canadian music scene.

The group released their self titled debut album in 1971 – It only reached #205 on the U.S. Chart and didn’t even enter in Canada but it did give April Wine their first hit, albeit minor, The tune ‘Fast Train” reach #38 on the Canadian Top 40.

By the following year the band had already lost an original member, bassist Jim Henman wanted a life that didn’t include the excess’ of Rock and Roll. So, along came replacement Jim Clench who would stay in the band until their “Stand Back” album in 1975 (he did come back to the group between 1992-2006). The second record, simply titled “On Record” featured three Canadian hits, a cover of Elton John & Bernie Taupin’s “Bad Side of the Moon,” “Drop Your Guns” and their first American hit with a take on Hot Chocolate’s “You Could Have Been a Lady.”

By 1973 internal struggles had the Henman brothers, David and Ritchie, leave the band after their third album, “Electric Jewels” was almost finished. It was an interesting project for April Wine. Unlike any other album both Goodwyn and new bassist Jim Clench share the writing and vocal chores. It was almost a Lennon/McCartney deal on sharing equal billing but it would not last and would eventually lead to Clench’s exit from the group. The hits from the project were, “Lady Run, Lady Hide” sung by Goodwyn and Clench’s “Weeping Widow.”

To finish “Electric Jewels” guitarist Gary Moffet and former Mashmakhan drummer Jerry Mercer were brought in. They would both stay in the fold until 1984 with Mercer coming back for a reunion between 1992-2008.

Throughout the 1970s, April Wine continued to release successful albums, including “Stand Back” (1975) and “The Whole World’s Goin’ Crazy” (1976), which further cemented their status as rock icons. 

By the late 1970s, April Wine had become a household name, earning accolades and awards for their contributions to Canadian music. Their anthemic rock songs resonated with audiences, and they became known for their high-energy performances and charismatic stage presence.

Despite facing challenges in the ever-changing music industry, April Wine persevered, releasing albums like “Harder…Faster” (1979) and “Nature of the Beast” (1981), which produced hits such as “I Like to Rock” and “Just Between You and Me.”

While the band’s lineup underwent changes over the years, with various members coming and going, Myles Goodwyn remained the driving force behind April Wine, leading them through different musical eras and maintaining their signature sound.

Throughout their career, April Wine released over 20 studio albums and earned multiple Juno Awards, cementing their legacy as one of Canada’s most successful and enduring rock bands. Their influence on the Canadian music scene and their impact on rock music internationally continue to be felt to this day.

Check out part one of our interview with founding member and guitarist David Henman.

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