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Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue”

Bringing It All Back Home

Bringing It All Back Home

“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” is a song written by Bob Dylan and featured on his “Bringing It All Back Home” album released on March 22, 1965. The song closes out the album, which marked the start of things to come for Dylan and for popular music in general. “Bringing It All Back Home” is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most important albums in the history of popular music. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006.

On the first half of the album, Dylan is backed by an electric band – a move that alienated him from some of his peers in the folk music community, as well as many fans. The second half of the album contains songs played with his more familiar folk instrumentation. Lyrically, the album is a sharp deviation from his early days and brings to the forefront Dylan’s exploding consciousness at that time, often associated to the use of hallucinogenic drugs.

Alrick Huebener

Much speculation has surrounded who or what is the “Baby Blue” that the song bids farewell to. Coming as it does on the very last track of the album, Dylan’s farewell is so unapologetic and brutally final that it felt, at that time, like he was bidding farewell to an era. And perhaps he was.

In a mesmerizing sequence of how the creative process sometimes works, Willie Dixon (1915-1992), who acted as producer, talent scout, session musician and staff songwriter for Chess Records, started things off with his magnificent composition “Hoochie Coochie Man”, first recorded by Muddy Waters (1913-1983) in 1954. This recording in turn inspired Bo Diddley (1928-2008) to write and record his blues standard “I’m A Man” in 1955. The same year, Muddy answered Bo with his recording of “Mannish Boy.” All three of these very similar blues songs and their magnificent beat inspired rock ‘n roller Gene Vincent (1935-1971) to write and record his song “Baby Blue” in 1958, which in turn inspired Dylan as he was writing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” in 1964. What a journey!

Roch Tassé

Dylan later described the writing of his song by saying “I had carried that song around in my head for a long time and I remember that when I was writing it, I’d remembered a Gene Vincent song. It had always been one of my favorites, Baby Blue… ‘When first I met my baby/She said how do you do/She looked into my eyes and said/My name is Baby Blue.’ It was one of the songs I used to sing back in high school. Of course, I was singing about a different Baby Blue.”

Here is a priceless live clip of Gene Vincent and his band The Blue Caps playing “Baby Blue” in 1958. The Blue Caps featured guitarist Cliff Gallup, one of the more influential instrumentalists of the 1950s.

After the release of “Bringing It All Back Home”, many artists followed Dylan’s path by fusing folk music with rock instrumentation, most notably The Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel and Gordon Lightfoot. In the process, they created a genre that would later be labeled as “folk-rock” music.

I’m lucky to be able to rely on the talent and professionalism of Roch Tassé and Alrick Huebener when recording several of my projects. I’ve known Roch since we were teenagers and he even played on my first recordings in the 1970s. Alrick has contributed his wonderful upright bass on several of my recordings for over six years.

Richard Séguin – voice, MIDI programming (electric piano)
Alrick Huebener – upright bass
Roch Tassé – drums

To hear the song, click on the title below.

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 : allowance is made for « fair use » for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

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Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom”

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan wrote “Chimes of Freedom” in 1963 and the song was released as part of the 1964 album “Another Side of Bob Dylan.” The album deviates from the more socially conscious songs that created Dylan’s original impact of the folk music scene in 1962, substituting the more lyrically abstract and introspective character of his new compositions. It is certainly Dylan at his most compassionate. The change prompted criticism from some influential figures in the folk community, even though Dylan still recorded and performed the song as he always had others, singing while playing an acoustic guitar and harmonica. The furor over Dylan’s move to electric instruments waited in the wings.

The song marks a transition between Dylan’s earlier “protest song” style (a litany of the down-trodden and oppressed, as in the second half of each verse) and his later more free-flowing poetic style (the fusion of images of lightning, storm and bells, as in the first half).

The song has been covered many times by different artists, including The Byrds, Jefferson Starship, Youssou N’Dour, Bruce Springsteen and U2. I have always found the song to be profoundly solemn and chose a more sober arrangement.

Richard Séguin – voice, MIDI programming (organ), audio sampling (percussion), electric 12-string guitar

To hear the song, click on the title below.

Chimes of Freedom

Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 : allowance is made for « fair use » for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

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Jimmy Buffett’s “Biloxi”

Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett

I had been thinking of recording Jimmy Buffett’s song “Biloxi” for quite a few years when he forced my hand by dying on September 1 of this year. Buffett lived for sun, sand and surf and, perhaps not surprisingly, died of complications from skin cancer which had been diagnosed four years earlier. Buffett was 76 years old.

Jimmy Buffett did more for the tourism industry than any other man alive. His entire repertoire, over 30 albums, was populated by anthems to leisure, the beach, the ocean and the occasional beverage. Consequently he was a very popular and endearing entertainer, thanks to his 1977 mega-hit “Margaritaville.” At the time, it seemed that it played continuously on every single radio in North America.

Buffet was a shrewd investor in his own brand and launched several business ventures to sell his lifestyle to his fans, including restaurants, record labels, beer, casinos, retirement communities and cannabis. Buffett’s net worth was estimated at $1 billion at the time of his death. Buffett was also active in environmental conservation, disaster relief and played many charity performances for diverse causes.



The song “Biloxi”, written by Jesse Winchester, was released in 1977 as part of Buffett’s landmark album entitled “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”, a perfect summation of his credo. The town of Biloxi is in Mississippi and its beachfront lies directly on the Mississippi Sound, with barrier islands scattered off the coast and into the Gulf of Mexico. Its humid subtropical climate draws many holidayers to the area.

Richard Séguin – voice, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, DX synthesizer (MIDI), electric bass guitar, audio samples (tambourine, floor tom), mandolin.

To hear the song, click on the title below.


Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 : allowance is made for « fair use » for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

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“Aux Natchitoches”, a song from the 18th century

Richard and Roch

In 1714, Fort St-Jean-Baptiste de Natchitoches was established by French Canadian explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis (1676-1744). Natchitoches was part of Louisiana, a large tract of land in southern North America named in honour of King Louis XIV of France. The outpost was near a village of the Natchitoches indiginous people, after whom the fort and later the city were named. Early settlers were French Catholic immigrants and creoles (ethnic French people born in the colony). Natchitoches was founded on the Red River for trade with Spanish-controlled Mexico. These political divisions predated the formation of the United States – the original 13 colonies were only incorporated into the United States after the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The various ethnic participants in Louisiana led to many wonderful tangents in cuisine and music

Alrick Huebener

France had controlled the Louisiana territory from 1682 unti it was ceded to Spain in 1762. In 1800, Napoleon, the First Consul of the French Republic, regained ownership of Louisiana in exchange for Tuscany as part of a broader effort to re-establish a French colonial empire in North America. However, France’s failure to suppress a revolt in Saint-Domingue, coupled with the prospect of renewed warfare with the United Kingdom, prompted Napoleon to consider selling Louisiana to the United States. The acquisition of Louisiana was a long-term goal of President Thomas Jefferson, who was especially eager to gain control of the crucial port of New Orleans. U.S. representatives quickly agreed to purchase the entire territory of Louisiana and Jefferson persuaded Congress to ratify and fund the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

Downtown Natchitoches today showing the brick streets

The City of Natchitoches was incorporated on February 5, 1819, after Louisiana had become a state in 1812. It is the oldest permanent settlement in the land acquired by the Louisiana Purchase. Today, Natchitoches is a beautifully maintained historic site for tourism in the entire area.

Ed et Bee Deshotels

Ed and Bee Deshotels

The song “Aux Natchitoches” dates back to the early 18th century. It speaks of two languishing lovers, separated according to Catholic dogma where the man never works on Sundays but works the other six days of the week. The song was recorded by a number of Cajun artists but I heard it on a recording by Elby “Bee” Deshotels (1920-1988), who sang it a cappella (without accompaniment). Bee Deshotels often performed in the Ville Platte and Mamou area of Louisiana with his identical twin brother Ed (1920-2003), a fiddler.

As always, I must mention the extraordinary devotion that Roch and Alrick bring to the projects on this site.

Richard Séguin – voice, mandolin
Alrick Huebener – upright bass
Roch Tassé – percussion

To hear the song, click on the title below.

Aux Natchitoches

Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 : allowance is made for « fair use » for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

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Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”

Neil Young

Neil Young

Neil Young was born on November 12th 1945 in Toronto, Ontario. He started his musical career as a singer-songwriter in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the early1960s. During his career, Young has received several Grammy and Juno Awards and was inducted twice:in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1995 as a solo artist and in 1997 as a member of the band Buffalo Springfield. Young was awarded the Order of Manitoba in 2006 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009.

Since the beginning of his solo career, often with backing by the band Crazy Horse, his recordings have received widespread critical acclaim. While working the Canadian folk circuit, Young met Stephen Stills and Joni Mitchell, artists who were both instrumental in expanding Young’s career. He moved to Los Angeles in 1966, forming the folk-rock group Buffalo Springfield with Canadians Bruce Palmer and Dewy Martin, along with Americans Stephen Stills and Richie Furay. In 1969, he became a member of the hugely popular group Crosby, Stills Nash & Young.

Taylor XXXIn late 1992, Young released his album « Harvest Moon »  to massive critical acclaim. The music website Classic Rock Review named « Harvest Moon » its album of the year for 1992. The album also earned the 1994 Juno Award for album of the year. The album continued Young’s commercial and critical resurgence, eventually outselling his previous records.

The song “Harvest Moon” topped the AARP’s list of “16 Songs Everyone Over 50 Should Own.” The song is a tribute to Young’s wife Pegi.

Richard Séguin – voice, acoustic guitars, mandolin, MIDI programming (bass, organ)

To hear the song, click on the title below.

Harvest Moon

Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976 : allowance is made for « fair use » for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research.

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Bob Dylan’s “Visions of Johanna”

Ma guitare Godin Seagull


In June 1966, Bob Dylan released one of his most popular albums, enigmatically called “Blonde on Blonde.” A double album, the recordings featured some of Nashville’s very best session musicians Many of the songs on this album have been recognized as some of Dylan’s finest and, in particular, “Visions of Johanna” has left its mark on our popular music culture.

Alrick Huebener


When Dylan originally wrote the song, it was under a working title of ‘Freeze Out’, which seems to support claims that it was written during or close to the East Coast blackout of November 1965, which affected parts of Ontario, Connecticut, Deleware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Over 30 million people and 80,000 square miles were left without electricity for up to 13 hours.

Several critics have hailed “Johanna’s Visions” as one of Dylan’s greatest achievements and the media are full of evaluations from amateurs which, not surprisingly, go from the very top to the very bottom. Certainly, the evocative and subtle language of the piece leads to large-scale interpretations. Songs like this have contributed greatly to Dylan’s 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.



Listening to the song over the last 55 years, it hasn’t faded from my mind. It still fills me with the same sense of wonder as when I first heard it as a teenager. The words “The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of his face” or “The harmonicas play the skeleton keys in the rain” will haunt me forever.

As always, I must point out the help and exeptionel musical support of Alrick Huebener (double bass) and Roch Tassé (drums).

To hear the piece, click on the title below.

Richard Séguin – voice, acoustic ghuitars, electric 6-string guitars, electric 12-string guitars
Alrick Huebener – upright bass
Roch Tassé – drums

Visions of Johanna

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The summer of love

The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 mostly young people converged in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. Referred to as “hippies”, these people were known for the widespread use of hallucinogenic drugs, an anti-war stance and a free-love policy. Although centered on the West Coast of the United States, the hippie culture spread as far away as New York City and, to a lesser extent, North America and Europe.

During this time, there was an emphasis on sharing and community and a number of free stores and free medical clinics were established. Musician Scott McKenzie recorded the song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” and it served to promote and popularize the “flower children” of San Francisco. Released in May of 1967, the song was an instant success. There followed a bevy of American rock groups with wild, psychedelic names like The Strawberry Alarm Clock, The 13th Floor Elevators, Vanilla Fudge and The Electric Prunes. The more serious bands were Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, The Doors and The Byrds.

The media’s coverage of the hippie culture drew the attention of people from different age groups and political affiliations and the sociological theory of a generation gap first came to light in the 1960s, when the younger generation seemed to go against everything their parents had previously believed in. Music, values, governmental and political views as well as cultural tastes were all conflicted. The generation gap also created a parallel gap in language throughout society, creating complications within day to day communications at home, in the workplace, and within schools. As new generations seek to define themselves as something apart from the old, they adopt new language and slang, allowing a generation to create a sense of division from the previous one. Combined with the different music and different sensibilities, the latter part of the 1960s saw a general upheaval throughout all levels of society.

Surrealistic Pillow

Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

I have chosen to feature the music of Jefferson Airplane, an American rock band based in San Francisco that became one of the pioneering bands of the era. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and was the first from the area to achieve international commercial success. They headlined the Monterey Pop Festival (1967), Woodstock (1969), the Altamont Free Concert (1969), and the first Isle of Wight Festival (1968) in England. Their 1967 breakout album “Surrealistic Pillow”, a perfect title for this era, was one of the most significant recordings of the Summer of Love. Two songs from that album, “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit”, are among Rolling Stone Magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. “White Rabbit”, with its Alice in Wonderland imagery, is in my opinion the best song of the decade.

Jefferson Airplane consisted of Marty Balin (guitar and vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), Grace Slick (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums). The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Richard Trahan et Carl Wilson

Richard Trahan and Carl Wilson

Earlier this year, I received a visit from two musicians, Carl Wilson from Québec and Richard Trahan from Germany, who, in the early 1980s, recorded an album of acoustic guitar duets taken from their favourirte composers, including two of my own compositions. The three of us have been friends ever since. During their visit, I played them my recording of “Coming Back To Me” and Carl played Jorma Kaukonen’s guitar instrumental “Embryonic Journey” on my electric 12-string guitar. Both pieces are from the “Surrealistic Pillow” album and both are featured below.

To hear the pieces, click on the title below.

Carl Wilson – electric 12-string guitar

Embryonic Journey

Richard Séguin – voice, acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric bass guitar

Coming Back To Me

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Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

In September 1962, I started my last year of grade school. I didn’t know what to expect when I would start high school the following year – I was very much an isolated, innocent boy but I loved the quiet and comfortable life I had in my beloved home town. Then, the following month, the peace of the world was removed by faceless men from foreign countries, one a neighbour, the other halfway round the world. These men decided that they would be the ones to determine the fate of the world.

On 14 October 1962, an American spy plane took photographs of Soviet ballistic missiles being installed in Cuba. Equipped with nuclear warheads, the missiles could hit targets in the United States and Canada. US President John F. Kennedy rejected calls from his military advisers to launch air strikes against the missile sites. Instead, he mounted an immediate naval blockade of Cuba. The Cuban Missile Crisis lasted for 13 days and the world’s two atomic superpowers came closer than ever to nuclear war. The stand-off ended on 28 October with the help of UN diplomats, in particular Secretary General U Thant. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to dismantle and remove the Soviet missiles, in return for Kennedy’s promise not to invade Cuba. Although the crisis had been defused, the US military remained on heightened alert for three more weeks as it monitored the removal of the missiles. As part of the resolution, Kennedy also secretly promised to remove US intermediate-range Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey, an agreement which did not become public knowledge until the late 1980s.

In Canada, Prime Minister Diefenbaker had won the 1958 election with the biggest landslide in Canadian history but his hesitant response to the Cuban Missile Crisis led to the downfall of his regime. In the wake of the crisis, the US accused the Diefenbaker government of lying and avoiding its military duties. The Minister of National Defense Douglas Harkness resigned in February 1963 to protest Diefenbaker’s opposition to stationing American nuclear warheads in Canada. The resignation precipitated a split in the Conservative government and Diefenbaker lost to Lester B. Pearson’s Liberal Party in the 1963 election.

For a 12-year old kid, this was a very, very rude awakening. I was outraged that people completely insignificant to my life could yet decide its fate. I developed a profound hatred for the politics of belligerant nations. To this day, I hope that all belligerant people meet the death they inflict upon others. Every time I hear news of deadly conflicts in the world, I rejoice in the knowledge that belligerent people, on both sides of any conflict, are reducing their numbers in the gene pool.

An early Bob Dylan with singer Joan Baez

In 1962, I was certainly not the only person who carried hatred and indignation in his heart for war and belligerence. That year, Dylan released “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” an album that included the song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and other “protest songs” partly inspired by Woodie Guthrie (1912-1967) and influenced by Pete Seeger (1919-2014). Dylan’s song is modeled on “Lord Randall”, introducing each verse with variations of the introductory lines to this 17th century Anglo-Scottish border ballad. The song is often interpreted as a reaction to the Cuban missile crisis, but Dylan himself denounced this excessive simplification since he had performed it publicly a month before the crisis.

Richard and Roch

Dylan’s earlier songs all came from a time when the folk revival which was taking New York City by storm was also spreading throughout North America and the world. This phenomenon preceded all the technological advancements in our lives. Invariably, Dylan’s songs were recorded alone, with just his voice, his guitar and his harmonica. Our arrangement is slower and more modern and, in the spirit of brevity, does not include all the lyrics of the original recording.

Richard Séguin – voice, acoustic 6 and 12-string guitars, electric guitars, MIDI programming (organ)
Roch Tassé – floor tom

To hear the song, click on the title below.

A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

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The musical culture in Rockland, 1950-1975 / “Long Black Veil”

50e anniversaire de mariage de mes grand-parents, Joseph Séguin et Rose Délima Blanchette, 1955. De G à D, Jean-Guy Séguin, Marielle Séguin, Gabriel Séguin, ma cousine Gisèle Labrèche et mon cousin Réjean Labrèche

50th wedding anniversary of my grand-parents, Joseph Séguin and Rose Délima Blanchette, 1955. From L to R., Jean-Guy Séguin, Marielle Séguin, Gabriel Séguin, my cousin Gisèle Labrèche and my cousin Réjean Labrèche

As far back as I can remember, my hometown of Rockland has been filled with amateur musicians, in the sense that no one paid them to make music. They played because they loved to play. However, they were talented. I’ve always thought that music played simply out of love is as pure as this art form can be.

The Happy Valley Boys à l'hôtel Windsor. De G à D, Gerry Sharp, Paul Labelle, Gabriel Séguin

The Happy Valley Boys at the Windsor Hotel. From L to R, Gerry Sharp, Paul Labelle, Gabriel Séguin

When I was a boy, there was always music in our home. My brother Gabriel formed a band called The Happy Valley Boys, with his friends Paul Labelle and Gerry Sharp. They often played at the Windsor Hotel on the corner of Metcalfe and Queen in Ottawa, and even played as far as Maniwaki. My extended family followed them everywhere. Paul and Gerry were always with us when Gabriel was alive, brothers those three. They ate under our roof, slept under our roof and my parents loved them as their own.

One of our famous local musicians is Gaëtan “Pete” Danis, an excellent guitarist who played for decades behind Bob and Marie King, a very popular duo, especially in Quebec and eastern Ontario. The group was completed by Hughie Desmond on electric bass and Gilles St-Laurent on drums. Gilles also played with The Happy Valley Boys on occasion.

Michel Rondeau of Rockland is a trumpeter and graduate of the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec, who composed more than 200 works including 35 symphonies, and transcribed and arranged more than 900 choral and organ works, as well as pieces for various combinations of instruments and voices. When I was a young man, I often went to Michel’s home with my guitar to accompany him while he played popular trumpet pieces of the time. He was particularly fond of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and Henry Mancini.

La fanfare de Rockland

The Rockland Marching Band

Michel Rondeau, like many boys and men from Rockland, also went through the Rockland Marching Band. My brother Bob and I were there for a few years. A friend of Bob’s and a member of the Marching Band, Jacques Drury, came over to practice his saxophone while my brother played his guitar.

The Lalonde family of Rockland formed an orchestra composed of Pat Pilon, singer and guitarist, Aurèle Lalonde, proclaimed the best fiddler in Eastern Canada, his brother «Tit-Bus» on bass, Gaston Leroux on drums and an excellent steel guitar player from Bourget whose name is lost in history.

In Rockland, there was always someone to help a young person learn music. Roch Tassé, an excellent drummer and friend of mine who has often collaborated with me to produce the pieces presented on this site, was often visited by his uncle Ubald Pilon, a fiddler, accompanied by his musician friends. Pat Pilon was there as well as Gaston Leroux, who taught Roch the drums. His uncle Ubald taught him the basics of the guitar. The Rockland Pilon family also formed an orchestra led by Fernand Pilon, who had a heating oil delivery business in town. His younger brother Denis Pilon played drums.

A band called «The Royals» had been formed to be the orchestra in residence of the King George Hotel in Rockland, but they also played in Thurso, Que. The members were André “Gus” Gosselin, an excellent drummer and singer, Denis Tessier, a superb guitarist who influenced me a lot in my early days, Jean-Pierre Ménard, guitar and Michel Chrétien, another former student of the Rockland Marching Band on the saxophone.

Gerry Sharp au sous-sol chez nous, circa 1957.

Gerry Sharp in our basement, circa 1957.

The Sharp family was also very active in music. Gerry, who played with my brother Gabriel, became a classical guitar teacher and worked for a long time at Gervais Electronics in Ottawa. His brother Arthur played guitar and sang, often accompanied by my great friend Gilles “Blaze” Dessaint (1946-2019). When they played in person, Richard Rochon was their drummer.

The SynComs. From L to R, Côme Boucher, Richard Houle, Robert Aquin, Bob Séguin and Tom Butterworth

The SynComs. From L to R, Côme Boucher, Richard Houle, Robert Aquin, Bob Séguin and Tom Butterworth

In 1963, my brother Bob formed a high school band with Côme Boucher, Richard Houle, Robert “Bob” Aquin and Tom Butterworth. It was the birth of the communications era and the American Syncom progtram, founded by NASA in 1963, launched Syncom 2, the first geosynchronous communications sattelite, meaning that its orbit matched that of the earth, one revolution each day. Suddenly, the world got a whole lot smaller. Not surprisingly, the band took on the name of The Syncoms.

Tom et Richard à La chandelle. Assis dans les coulisses, Roch Tassé

Tom and Richard at La chandelle. Sitting in the wings, Roch Tassé

I joined my brother’s band in 1965. Bob loved the British band Gerry and The Pacemakers and called his band Robbie and The Trendsetters, then The Trendsetters and finally, just The Trend. The band was completed by Tom Butterworth on guitar and Denis Sabourin, a drummer from Hammond. Tom and I then played with André «Gus» Gosselin and we also played as a duo at La chandelle, a meeting place for young people in the basement of the Rockland Church. Roch Tassé directed many of the activities at La chandelle.

In 1966, a song called «Elusive Butterfly» was a big hit for singer Bob Lind and a Rockland band was formed with the name The Elusive Butterflies, formerly called The Rubies. The musicians included Don Boudria, voice and guitar, Denis Bergeron, guitar, André Parisien and Pierre Castonguay, electric bass and Pierre Lemay on drums. In 1984, Don Boudria was elected as the Liberal representative for the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell in Ontario. He held various positions in Jean Chrétien’s cabinet when he took office in 1993, including House Leader and Minister of Public Works.

Richard et Alcide Dupuis

Richard and Alcide Dupuis

I had the chance to play many times with Alcide Dupuis, a Rockland fiddler. An uncle of Alcide’s had taught him the fiddle but little else! Alcide knew neither note nor key and kept a varied and very sophisticated repertoire of tunes in his head. The problem was retrieving a tune from his memory! He began by scratching out a few notes on the the strings with his bow, looking for an uncertain melody. Alcide was also a tremendous stepper and his feet would try to find the rhythm that went with the melody. He gradually got closer to his goal, found it, and took off like a 747, all elbows, bow and feet! It was one of the most spectacular transformations I’ve ever witnessed in my life. As you can see from the photo, we had a whole lot of fun.

I was working at the time and was able to buy an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar (both Gibsons) and a Fender banjo. Tom Butterworth bought his first steel guitar and these instruments allowed us to diversify into the different genres we liked. Finally, Richard Houle (electric bass) and Pierre Lemay (drums) joined Tom and I to form a band that never had a name. In 1971, my brother Bob bought a Sony tape recorder, the height of recording technology at the time. My brother recorded us playing first in the basement of our home and, in 1972, in the basement of Pierre Lemay’s home. Nothing became of the tapes and they were stored in various places and forgotten for over 30 years.

Au sous-sol du centre culturel La Ste Famille de Rockland. De G à D, Manu, Richard Séguin, Alain Gratton, Jean-Pierre Béland

In the basement of La Ste Famille, Rockland’s cultural center. From L to R, Manu, Richard Séguin, Alain Gratton, Jean-Pierre Béland

Tom later formed a band called Beach, which also included Pierre Chénier (1953-2021) on guitar, Richard Houle on electric bass and his cousin John Houle on drums. Meanwhile, I started writing songs for guitar and banjo. My friend Jean-Pierre Béland, an expert in audiovisual productions, asked me to compose the soundtrack for a slideshow he was putting together. Jean-Pierre recorded me in the vestry of the Rockland Church where the natural reverberations are striking. The results were very well received and, in 1975, Jean-Pierre drove Roch and I to a small studio in Montreal called Bobinason to make our first commercial recordings.

Around 2008, Richard Houle phoned me to tell me that he had found the 1972 tapes in a box in his basement. Richard came to visit me and gave me the tapes, which I then gave to my brother Bob. Bob still had this old Sony tape recorder and it was still working! Thanks to his digital equipment of the time, he was able to transfer our original recordings from the tapes to digital audio media. The tapes, then over 40 years old, had deteriorated and the original recordings were affected, but some were better than others. One of the best is our interpretation of “Long Black Veil”. How Bob managed to record four instruments and four voices with only two microphones I’ll never know.

“Long Black Veil” was composed by Danny Dill (1924-2008) and Marijohn Wilkin (1920-2006), two professional songwriters, and was first recorded by William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell (1928-1975) in 1959. Frizell is known as one of the most influential country stylists of all time. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1982.

“Long Black Veil” has become a standard and has been covered by a variety of artists in the country, folk and rock styles, including Johnny Cash and The Band.

This recording, lost and found, is dedicated to the memory of Richard Houle (1947-2013).

Richard Séguin – voice, acoustic guitar
Tom Butterworth – voice, electric guitar
Richard Houle – voice, electric bass
Pierre Lemay – drums
Bob Séguin – voice, analog recording, digital transfer

To hear the song, click on the title below.

Long Black Veil 1972

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Bob Dylan’s “It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry”



When I was a boy, everyone in Rockland heard freight trains at night, travelling on the far side of the Ottawa River. The trains followed the Thurso, Mason-Angers, Gatineau line, the far-away mournful cries of their whistles reverberating in the dark. There is no other sound like it.

When I started playing music at the age of 13, everyone had a train song. Johnny Cash had several, like “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Hey Porter.” Train songs ranged from the deep dark chugging of Junior Parker’s “Mystery Train”, the mournful lament of “Waiting For A Train” by Jimmie Rodgers, the irresistible funk of James Brown’s “Night Train”, to the lilting happy melodies of Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train.”

South Indian 1907

South Indian 1907

In the early 20th century, the lines of the Grand Trunk Railway crossed eastern Ontario between Ottawa and Montreal. South Indian was one of the stations and its location is now the village of Limoges. There was also a station in North Indian, which became the village of Hammond, not far from Rockland.

My personal all-time favourite train song is “Click Clack” by Don Van Vliet (1941-2010), Captain Beefheart himself, the man with a beef in his heart against this society. “Click Clack” is all motion, trains coming and going, and a girl “threatening to go down to N’Orleans, get herself lost and found.”

The most impressive train song I’ve ever witnessed is “The Rail Song” by Adrian Belew (b. 1949), a beautifully nostalgic song about his life-long love of trains released in 1983 on the album “Twang Bar King.” Adrian Belew worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads and King Crimson. Belew’s guitar sounds like everything in the world, including a guitar. He is a master of instrument design and multimedia, collaborating with the Parker Guitars company to help design his Parker Fly signature guitar. No one has a repertoire of astounding guitar sounds like Adrian Belew.



I saw Belew with his band, The Bears, in the late 1980s in a small club in Hull, Qc. At the end of one of their songs, the whole club went pitch black, like there was a power outage, all except for a tiny speck of light coming from the stage. Then, a distant feint rustling could be heard. Slowly, the speck of light grew closer and the rustling gradually became louder, train wheels on distant tracks. A far off whistle could be heard as the club began to shake from the oncoming train, the rustling now deafening, lights flashing on and off as the train leapt a crossing and swept through the club, the patrons ducking for cover under tables as the whole place shook and rattled. Seamlessly, the house lights went on and Belew and The Bears launched into “The Rail Song.” It was the kind of intro you never forget.

“It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” was written by Bob Dylan in 1965, for the album “Highway 61 Revisited” and it has always been one of my favourite songs. It has also been interpreted by Steven Stills, Leon Russell, Taj Mahal and Lucinda Williams, among others.

Richard Séguin – voice, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass
Roch Tassé – drums

To hear the song, click on the title below.

It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry

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