Mulligan Stew Podcast

EP 263 | Festival Time in Courtney. Also from 2019 two legends David Hood (Muscle Shoals) and Leland Sklar (LA)


We start this week with Doug Cox, the artistic director of the Vancouver Island Music Festival. Next weekend. July 14-16 in Courtney, BC This year the headliners are Sarah McLachlan, Rickie Lee Jones and The Bros. Landreth. Doug asked Roy Forbes to return to his BIM character and revisit the tracks from his Thistles Album.

Two legends are appearing. . Dave Alvin and Jimmy Dale Gilmore with The Guilty Ones. Here’s Doug Cox with backgrounds on all those artists and more events and artists. NEXT WEEK – The Artistic Directors of Folk Festivals in Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Canmore.  Also Terry Wickham reveals his lineup for Edmonton Folk Fest

The second guests on our podcast are two bass playing legends – David Hood (Muscle Shoals ) and Leland Sklar. In 2019, at the very same Vancouver Island Music Festival two of the most famous bass players in popular music met for the very first time.

David Hood – from Muscle Shoals Alabama finally met Leland Sklar from Los Angeles. David Hood was part of the legendary studio musicians at FAME and Muscle Shoals Studios who shaped some of the most famous hits ever made. For Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones, and The Staple Singers. In LA, Leland Sklar has recorded over 2000 albums for artists including Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Warren Zevon, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt and many more.

They hold the unique distinction of being “makers of memories” through the music they helped to create. Great bass players are the glue that holds the band together. What makes bass players special? Memorable bass tracks? Did they follow each other’s careers? The key to surviving and thriving for all those sessions, all those artists and those albums? Honoured to finally meet these artists.


EP 262 | The final 2 interviews with The Last DJ, Red Robinson



Red Robinson was the first announcer to play rock music on the radio in Canada. He was 16 years old.

Imagine the lives he influenced. Loved by teens. Hated and hounded by parents and adults.

Red made no distinction between black and white artists:  he just played the hits.

That drive and determination took him all the way to induction into the Rock Hall of Fame.

I’m told I did the last interviews with Red Robinson.

He was in a retirement home in Vancouver and living with his memories.

Red was directly responsible for the turning point in my career. He phoned me at CKCK in  Regina and asked “Would you like to come home.? Back to the West Coast?

One of the happiest moments in my life.

We became friends and co-workers.

His timing was impeccable.  He was the right guy. In the right place. At the right time

He got to play and then meet and interview

Elvis Presley

The Everly Brothers

Jerry Lee Lewis

Roy Orbison

James Brown

Bill Haley

Carl Perkins

Johnny Cash

Little Richard

Jackie Wilson

Fats Domino

Chuck Berry

Ray Charles

Rickie Nelson

Buddy Holly

Sam Cooke

Patsy Cline

Peggy Lee


The Beatles.

He Introduced The Beatles at their Vancouver Concert.

Started the careers of many many announcers. Me for one.

Changed the lives of millions of teens during the late ’50s and 60’s.

I have a number of interviews with Red…

The last two were Zoom interviews. The first didn’t go well. Red couldn’t hear the questions but the second and last in 2022 went much better.

This Podcast is both of those Zoom interviews back to back. The first was in March 2022 and the second October 2022.

I hope it tells some of the story of his life, the music he played, the lives he changed and his place in Canadian radio.

Red died on April 1, 2023.  He was 86


EP 261 | Bruce Allen: The state of todays music business, his roster and another birthday!


On the occasion of Bruce Allen’s birthday, I thought I’d sit down for an early morning Zoom call.

Bruce has a roster of talent that plays the World’s stages, so you can find him at 8 am just finishing a call to South Africa.

He’s a full-speed guy. Never outworked,  no matter what the project.

In over 50 years Bruce has become one of the best artist managers in the entire music business.  Bruce Allen Talent.

After a start with BTO,  Bruce decided to take a chance on a young singer/songwriter Bryan Adams. They agreed to be a team with a handshake and started to make music history.

His roster now includes legend Anne Murray, Michael Bublé (there’s a story), Jann Arden, mega-producer Bob Rock and his first band in a while The Offspring.

In the 23 minutes that I have his attention, Bruce tells tales about

The state of the current music business..

The loss of Gordon Lightfoot

Bryan Adams – his place today

Jann – she’s busy Mully

Michael Bublé – we trade Bublé stories. Love it

Bob Rock and Gord Downie – amazing story

The Offspring – first band he’s signed in years.

The Loss of our dear friend – Red Robinson DJ Legend.

Enjoy Big Bad Bruce. Next Week and very special feature on the early rock life of Red Robinson. His last two interviews.


EP 260 | Two culinary and cultural leaders. Ned Bell on BC Seafood Fest and Lisa Ahier on Sobo, The Book and her future.


Two very special friends. Both are culinary leaders in Canadian food.

Ned Bell.  Executive Chef and co-partner at Naramata Heritage Inn. A spokesperson for multiple culinary and seafood sustainability movements. A true force….leading by doing.

He’s the chef ambassador for the province of BC through the Buy BC Program.

Ned Bell is  a week away from launching the 4th annual BC Seafood Festival. On Mt Washington, Vancouver Island

June 23-25.

Lots to talk about with Ned and his event next weekend.

To Ned’s West on Vancouver Island is the official end of Canada. In Tofino.  A surf and food heaven.

Lisa Ahier started her SoBo restaurant as a food truck, making tacos for the surfers and then the tourists.

Her restaurant has become the epicentre of life in Tofino.

Surrounded by fancier and slicker dining, Lisa just does what her heart asks of her…give your community a place to gather, eat and celebrate how lucky you all are to be there. Lisa’s written and released her second book Together at Sobo.  The celebration continues.

In our interview, Lisa hints at what her future holds as she begins to move beyond Sobo and into our food destinations.

Two Pals. Doesn’t get much better than this.







EP 259 | The Northern Pikes/New Album Time to Time


In 2016  stellar  Canadian band 54.40 released an album La Difference: A History Unplugged. It was a brilliant reworking of their greatest hits.

You could instantly tell it was one of their songs but the instrumentation and overall sound had been changed and made fresher. It brought new life to older songs and I thought it was a great move. Clever and classic.  It takes a band working together to allow each member to express what they feel about a song they’ve been playing for years.

7 years later, here comes The Northern Pikes. They also have a nice collection of hits and the commitment to reimagine those hits and bring new life to them. Acoustically inspired.

Before Covid changed the World,  they had planned to release a 30th-anniversary salute to their landmark album Snow in June.

A collection of Pikes songs driven by one of the best radio hits ever released in Canada – She ain’t Pretty.

This interview takes us through the group think about how to carry on and what it would sound like.

The Pikes have just released an acoustically driven album called TIME TO TIME that includes 7 songs from Snow in June and three new songs.

Between my radio life and many years at Much West, I crossed paths and got to hang with Jay Semko, Bryan Potvin, Don Schmid and the “new kid” in the band Kevin Kane (also a charter member of The Grapes of Wrath)

This Mulligan Stew Podcast features a delightful gathering of Jay, Bryan and Kevin and myself. We could have filled the time just remembering stories from the late ’80s and ’90s but we had new versions of Pikes hits to talk about and play.

Girl with a Problem, a Celtic feeling Green Fields, a smashing reworking of the title track and a She Ain’t Pretty that still rocks – acoustically.

Come hang with The Pikes and their album Time to Time

EP 258 | Bob Rock on Gord Downie and their album Lustre Parfait


Two Canadian icons join forces and become partners in music.

One is/was Gord Downie. Lead singer and songwriter of The Tragically Hip.

Truly beloved. And hugely missed after losing his fight to cancer but went out in a blaze of the song with The Hip and the last Cross Canada Tour.

The other is Bob Rock. Known for his production work with Metallica, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Ron Sexsmith and The Tragically Hip.

Bob tells the story of how they became friends and how Gord contacted him and asked if he had any tracks he hadn’t used because he had  words he hadn’t used..” so let’s put them together”

The album took years to complete but when they last met. Gord says to Bob “Please finish it”

Bob Rock on Gord Downie and their album Lustre Parfait Saturday on Mulligan Stew.

EP 257 | It’s Festival Time in the West!!! Are you in?


All  5 guests are Artistic Directors of their folk festivals.

Four are in a group discussion about surviving the Covid years, this year’s artist lineups and celebrating the renewal of live music. The fifth is a single interview with Terry Wickham,  Artistic Director of the Edmonton Folk Fest.

Yes, they’re all competitors but they’re also participants and partners. So when Covid and lockdown took over our world they formed a group to help and support each other.

The guests are

Fiona Black –  Vancouver Folk Music Festival (July 14-16)

Chris Frayer –  Winnipeg Folk Fest. (July 6-9)  

Sue Panning – Canmore Folk Festival (Aug 5-7)

Kerry Clarke – Calgary Folk Fest (July 27-30) 

Terry Wickham – Edmonton Folk Fest (Aug 10-13) 

We’ll find out how Vancouver Folk Fest survived the near collapse of their festival.

How they all worked together, as a community, to support one another.

Also, their talent lineup and who they think could steal the show.

Make your plans …Summer and festival Season is upon us.

Thanks all


EP 256 | Bruce Allen on Everything & Doug Cox on Van Island Music Fest.



Welcome to the  Victoria Day May Long Weekend Edition of the Mulligan Stew Podcast..

And because it’s a long weekend, we have a longer podcast – two of them actually.

Starting things off is the birthday boy Bruce Allen – One of Canada’s most successful talent managers EVER!!

Bruce and his world-class team are responsible for planning,  leading and supporting the careers of Bryan Adams, Michael Buble, Bob Rock, Jann Arden and The Offspring. When you do  get the attention of Bruce – Watch Out! You can fire questions off in every direction. The thing is you have to be prepared to have the answers smack you upside the HEAD.

I wanted Bruce’s thoughts on the loss of our mutual friend Red Robinson – The Last DJ.  And the loss of Gordon Lightfoot as well.

Then we talked about the state of today’s music business. Like throwing a steak to a pit bull.

Bruce then launches into an update on the 2023 years of Offspring,  Jann, Bryan, Michael and Bob Rock.

Rock has released an album with the late Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip. It’s amazing. Bruce has that story as well..

Happy Birthday Happy Bruce!!

Bob Rock interview to follow soon.



The second interview is with Doug Cox, the artistic director of the Vancouver Island Music Festival. July 14-16  in Courtney/Comox.

Every year I’m fascinated by Doug’s artist lineups.

This year the headliners are Sarah McLachlan, Rickie Lee Jones and The Bros. Landreth. He asked Roy Forbes to return to his BIM character and revisit the tracks from his Thistles Album.

Two legends. Dave Alvin and Jimmy Dale Gilmore with The Guilty Ones.

Here’s Doug  Cox with backgrounds on all those artists and more.

NEXT WEEK – The Artistic Directors of Folk Festivals in Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Canmore. PLUS Terry Wickham reveals his lineup for Edmonton Folk Fest.

Have a memorable weekend – tdm

EP 255 | Paul Janeway -St Paul and The Broken Bones



Can a 3-year-old change the direction of a band?

This week the return of the force known as Paul Janeway – leader of  St Paul and the Broken Bones. Checking in from Birmingham Alabama.

We’re going to be talking about their latest album Angels in Science Fiction

Paul tells us it’s a turning point for the band after 10 years together.

Even though the core members are mostly unchanged,  this is not the soul band that swept over all of the music in 2012 with the EP Greetings from St Paul and the Broken Bones.

Now 5 albums later they’re taking their fans in another more introspective direction., The funk and groove can still be found but now Paul is writing and singing about being a father and his conversation with his wife about

“do what kind of  world are we bringing our daughter into?” They had a daughter.

Songs with lyrics like

Dust to Dust”

“Try your best to make a difference. Starting with the people around you”

Songs about denial, fear, and acceptance.

There’s a renewed sense of spirituality throughout the album.

One question I wanted to include was

“How will these songs mesh live with the horn/soul band songs that you were playing over the past 10 years”.

Lots of stories and discussions.

Two things – they play the Saskatoon Jazz Festival on July 8

And the Calgary Stampede July 9


Her name is Marigold.

EP 254 | Bruce Cockburn- Reflections on Gord & New album ‘O Sun O Moon’


The Stew is Bruce Cockburn..bringing stories of  his 35th album O Sun O Moon. Plus memories of Gordon Lightfoot and his place in the music of the World and especially Canada.

Answers the question: Was/is Gord the Sound of Canada?

Could you hear the space and place in his songs?

The Podcast is the complete interview with Bruce Cockburn on the release of his 35th album O Sun O Moon. And his thoughts on the music of and the loss of Gordon Lightfoot.

The YouTube this week is the video version of both conversations.