Kemptville – The 2020 Kemptville Live Music Festival volunteers are pleased to welcome HONEYMOON SUITE to the CHEZ 106.1 stage on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
Johnnie Dee and Derry Grehan, the principal and founding members of Honeymoon Suite, met when introduced by manager Stephen Prendergast in 1982. Deciding to work together, they formed Honeymoon Suite with Grehan’s former, ‘Steve Blimkie And The Reason’ band-mate Dave Betts on drums, plus an anonymous keyboard player and bassist.
In 1983 they decided to enter the Homegrown Contest put on yearly by Toronto’s Q107-FM radio station so Prendergast approached his friend and producer Tom Treumuth to produce a song for them. Based on the buying public’s response, “New Girl Now” won the contest and Bob Roper at WEA Canada was so impressed with the song and response that he signed the band right away.
Personnel conflicts eventually arose and the keyboardist was replaced with Toronto bred Ray Coburn. Although a session player named Brian Brackstone played bass on the album, the band soon found themselves a permanent bassist named Gary Lalonde. Originally scheduled for release on Valentine’s Day, the milestone first album was released in June of 1984.
Throughout 1983 and 1984 Honeymoon Suite toured Canada and the US, consistently headlining club gigs and opening for such acts as Billy Idol, April Wine, Laura Branigan, Jethro Tull, The Kinks, and Bryan Adams. In 1984 the band was nominated for the ‘Most Promising Group’ Juno Award but did not win.
Propelled by the success of more singles from the album, 1985 saw the band begin to headline gigs throughout Ontario and the rest of Canada. A highlight was the presentation of an award at the 1985 Junos. By this time the first album had achieved platinum sales status. Almost 22 years later the album has now sold over 400,000 units in Canada alone.
left the fold, keyboardist Ray Coburn returned to the band in time for WEA to release a ‘best-of’ compilation in 1989. Betts and Lalonde then took their leave and Coburn, Dee and Grehan began writing together again.
The trio returned to the studio in 1990 to craft ‘Monsters Under The Bed’ with Paul Northfield producing. The album featured Steve Webster (from Billy Idol’s band) on bass and Jorn Anderson on drums. Singles like “Say You Don’t Know Me” and “The Road” did well in Canada. Some US success did come their way as songs got placed on TV’s ‘Miami Vice’ and two movie soundtracks, ‘Lethal Weapon II’ and ‘One Crazy Summer’.
The original band reformed in 2015 and released their latest EP ‘Hands Up”’ (March 10/2017). This 7th album was recorded and mixed at Coalition Studios in Toronto and is the first new album in 8 years, since the release of Clifton Hill. The songs are powerful, each one different from the other, but all blending together to make one of the best albums the band has released to date. Produced by Johnnie Dee and Derry Grehan, the album is loaded with melodic hooks, powerful guitar tracks and lush keyboards. Dave Betts and Gary Lalonde are rock solid, and Johnnie Dee delivers a stellar vocal performance once again. The album also features a guest vocal by Derry Grehan’s daughter, Leah Marlene, who sings on “Market Square.”
Honeymoon Suite perform on the final day of the 2020 Kemptville Live Music Festival on the grounds of the beautiful Kemptville Campus, just a 30 minute drive from downtown Ottawa. Weekend tickets on sale 700 am Monday, December 23, 2019 at www.kemptvillelivemusicfestiva