Tell us your Willie P Bennett stories. (click here) ยป Synchronicity

  • Trent

    Trent Big Swan's Place, Rupert's Land

    Came across something the other day, looking for something else... you know how that goes. Back in the '80's I was trying to make a living making knives. Or is that trying to make knives for a living... anyway, met Willie P. as he was booked to play at the old, defunct Willow Creek Folk Club we set up for our own entertainment (that eventually morphed into South Country Fair. Willie was there lots too and we made him Mayor of The Fair in perpetuity but that's another story). We connected on a visceral level as he did with many folks across the land, so he kept stopping in here whenever he was in the area, if not to play at least to have dinner or just tea with us and catch up. Always was a bed for him if he wanted it. One time in our cups after the show we were having a few jars in our kitchen. It was way after midnight and we all feeling alright and pretty noisy, you know it is, it was a kitchen party, when right out of the blue Willie asked me if it was easier to find synchronicity in the country or the city. Well I went on at length about how it formed naturally in the country like raindrops around a speck of dust, and how it was everywhere if you just looked for it but the city was an empty, hostile place, and on and on, and all the while he just politely listened with that puckish half smirk of his. Took me years to get the joke -- synchroni-CITY. Anyway, Willie found out I was making knives when I showed him a few I was working on, and he ordered one up. He wanted something with finger grips so I had him press his hand into a piece of firestop (non-hardening) putty, to get his hand print. That's what I came across, the imprint of Willie's right hand, fingerprints and all. And I just kind of held it there in my two hands for what seemed like the longest time, slowly turning it over and over, thinking about synchronicity...

    Came across something the other day, looking for something else... you know how that goes. Back in the '80's I was trying to make a living making knives. Or is that trying to make knives for a living... anyway, met Willie P. as he was booked to play at the old, defunct Willow Creek Folk Club we set up for our own entertainment (that eventually morphed into South Country Fair. Willie was there lots too and we made him Mayor of The Fair in perpetuity but that's another story). We connected on a visceral level as he did with many folks across the land, so he kept stopping in here whenever he was in the area, if not to play at least to have dinner or just tea with us and catch up. Always was a bed for him if he wanted it. One time in our cups after the show we were having a few jars in our kitchen. It was way after midnight and we all feeling alright and pretty noisy, you know it is, it was a kitchen party, when right out of the blue Willie asked me if it was easier to find synchronicity in the country or the city. Well I went on at length about how it formed naturally in the country like raindrops around a speck of dust, and how it was everywhere if you just looked for it but the city was an empty, hostile place, and on and on, and all the while he just politely listened with that puckish half smirk of his. Took me years to get the joke -- synchroni-CITY. Anyway, Willie found out I was making knives when I showed him a few I was working on, and he ordered one up. He wanted something with finger grips so I had him press his hand into a piece of firestop (non-hardening) putty, to get his hand print. That's what I came across, the imprint of Willie's right hand, fingerprints and all. And I just kind of held it there in my two hands for what seemed like the longest time, slowly turning it over and over, thinking about synchronicity...

  • Pat Talbot

    Pat Talbot Hamilton Ontario

    I first heard Willie's music played by mutual friends. I only heard him a few times ... at The Mermaid and The Casbah here in Hamilton, at Home County in London and playing his inimitable mandolin and harp with Freddie Eaglesmith. Breathtaking every time. Soul of a poet. Last Saturday I had the privilege of hearing his music played exquisitely by other good friends of his: David Essig, Rick Taylor, Barry James Payne, Paul Langille, Jenny Whitely, Linda McRae and Tannis Slimmon ... Also Lynne Hanson who had never met Willie. It was a tribute performed at the Artword Artbar another of the tiny intimate settings that Willie appears to have preferred . certainly frequented. It should be on major stages. I just want to thank them so much for conjuring him so powerfully. This music should be everywhere. It's quintesstially Canadian precisely because saying that sounds too pretentious ... But those songs are a deep soulful gift to hear. I am grateful for it.

    I first heard Willie's music played by mutual friends. I only heard him a few times ... at The Mermaid and The Casbah here in Hamilton, at Home County in London and playing his inimitable mandolin and harp with Freddie Eaglesmith. Breathtaking every time. Soul of a poet.

    Last Saturday I had the privilege of hearing his music played exquisitely by other good friends of his: David Essig, Rick Taylor, Barry James Payne, Paul Langille, Jenny Whitely, Linda McRae and Tannis Slimmon ... Also Lynne Hanson who had never met Willie. It was a tribute performed at the Artword Artbar another of the tiny intimate settings that Willie appears to have preferred . certainly frequented. It should be on major stages.
    I just want to thank them so much for conjuring him so powerfully.
    This music should be everywhere. It's quintesstially Canadian precisely because saying that sounds too pretentious ... But those songs are a deep soulful gift to hear. I am grateful for it.

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