Recent History – 2000
Oct. 13, 2000
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Roy Forbes, one of the Mile Zero City’s favourite musical sons, knows that there’s no place quite like home.
Forbes said that when he takes to the stage at the Kiwanis Arts Centre on Saturday, Oct. 21, the show will have an extra significance.
“It’s hard to explain,” he said. “It makes it a little more special because that’s where I grew up, that’s where my roots are.”
Now living in North Vancouver, Forbes knew for a long time that he wanted to pursue a life in music. “I always knew from when I was a little guy, that this is what I wanted to do with my life,” he said. “And hey, 30 years on, I’m still doing it.”
Along the way, Forbes has established himself as a big name in Canadian folk music with several recordings to his credit, as a singer-songwriter, guitar player, and producer.
His most recent effort, “Crazy Old Moon” earned him a nomination for a 1999 Juno award in the best roots and traditional solo album category.
It was the second time he’s been nominated. The first time coming back in 1976 for his first-ever album, “Kid Full of Dreams”. He was 22 at the time, and playing under the moniker “Bim.”
And his youth spent in the Dawson Creek-Rolla area had plenty of influence on that first album and his next two. “On the early albums, the Bim albums, you know, those ones that came out on eight-track, there were quite a few songs,” he said.
And the themes remain as relevant today as they ever have been. There’s “Farmer Needs the Rain.”
“If the local radio station isn’t playing it, they should be for local farmers this year,” he said.
And “Colder Than Ever” is about trying to get into a dance at the Elks Hall.
Forbes was like every small town kids with big dreams. He was ready to leave as soon as possible, but something keeps drawing him back.
“When I lived in Dawson Creek when I was a teenager I couldn’t wait to leave, and this was before the days of the Internet, now the world is available at the click of a mouse,” he said.
“I couldn’t wait to go because I had fish to fry, I was going to go out there and play my music and do my thing.
“And then, when I had been away for six to eight months, I started to realize what it really meant to me and that came out in a lot of my early writing, the fact that I really did value my home and my roots, those Peace River hills.”
Even a song from “Crazy Old Moon” has a Dawson Creek tinge to it. Based on a poem written on his mother’s 75th birthday, The Raven is about taking flight in the Lower Mainland and landing in the Peace.
“When I sing the song, I sort of imagine I’m a bird and you see that map of B.C. and you’re going through the Fraser Canyon and then through the Pine Pass,” he said. “It just reminds me of a quick flying trip to Dawson Creek.”
Although Forbes played at the Sweetwater Moon festival a couple of years ago, he said it’s the first full-fledged show that he’ll be putting on in the Peace in about five years.
Tickets are available at the Kiwanis Arts Centre and Turn The Page bookstore.