[This comes from sister site Geeks&Beats. – AC]
On most weekends, Jeremy Hoyle can be found at the front of a crowded bar, leading his band, The Strictly Hip, through songs from The Tragically Hip’s extensive catalog. To call them devoted fans of Gord Downie, Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, Paul Langlois and Johnny Fay would be putting it mildly.
Since 1995, Strictly Hip have played on both sides of Lake Erie, including a fundraiser event in honour of Gord Downie’s birthday last February in Toronto and a special concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on the eve of Canada’s 150thanniversary.
They were in Las Vegas last Tuesday, playing on the Brooklyn Bridge Stage at the New York New York Hotel & Casino before the Buffalo Sabres played their first game against the Las Vegas Knights.
When the news broke Wednesday morning about Downie’s passing, they were heading for home.
It’s been a whirlwind for Hoyle and his bandmates, Frank Nicastro, Alan Sliwinski, Johnny Panic and Bruce Wojick. Sunday night, Hoyle performed as part of Joel Clements’ Secret Path event in Richmond Hill, an evening originally established to honour the memory of Chanie Wenjack and further the conversation about reconciliation.
Hoyle was kind enough to answer a few questions about his enduring relationship with the Hip.