“There’s a rich harvest of Island music, and most of it sounds wonderful,” said John, a former journalist turned author.
Island Toes A?Tapping (Cairns Media, 2006, 240 pages, $9.90, distributed by Kindred Spirits of PEI) has some special features:
? A guest introduction by Fiddlers? Sons lead singer Eddy Quinn, PEI?s male vocalist of the year in 2005 and 2003;
? A special commentary by the late Urban Carmichael, a PEI Music Awards lifetime achievement winner in 2005; and
? A six-page section for collecting musicians’ autographs.
?Ideas for the book crystallized after a Fiddlers? Sons concert in 2004 as I spoke to Eddy Quinn outside the Benevolent Irish Society?s hall in Charlottetown,? John said. ?Research and interviews began in 2005.?
An Islander by birth, John grew up in Lower Freetown. Originally, he arrived at Summerside?s now-demolished Prince County Hospital. Later he graduated from the similarly demolished Athena Regional High School and then the (still-standing) University of Prince Edward Island.
After stints as a newspaper journalist in Ontario and Saskatchewan, John moved to Hong Kong, where he lives on an outlying island with his wife Eva, four cats and a dog.
Ideally, John returns to PEI each summer. While some visitors gorge on lobsters and fresh farm products, he feasts with his ears on Island music. His own musical skills extend only to playing radios or CDs.
“I’ve heard PEI described as ‘heavenly’ based upon its scenic beauty, good food and friendly people,” John said. “But the most divine aspect is fantastic music. I doubt if the real ‘heaven above’ could offer better listening.”
Previously, John published two novels: High Degree of Atrocity in 2004 and Dog-Gone Cat Case in 2005.