Nanaimo-based musician David Hallam has released a 2012 song dedicated to Salt Spring Island activist Ken Rouleau, who died of ALS. (Photo courtesy AMO Photography)

Nanaimo-based musician David Hallam has released a 2012 song dedicated to Salt Spring Island activist Ken Rouleau, who died of ALS. (Photo courtesy AMO Photography)

Nanaimo-based record label releases new album featuring 18 Island artists

Nanaimo musician David Hallam unveils unreleased song for friend who died of ALS

The latest release by Nanaimo record label Mighty Speck Records concludes with a song that pays tribute to a Gulf Island activist who died of an incurable disease.

On June 1 Mighty Speck released Out of the Woods. The record includes songs from 18 of the label’s Vancouver Island-based artists, including Nanaimo’s David Hallam, who goes by Hallam Highwater. Hallam’s contribution to the record, May You Live Long, was originally recorded in 2012 for his friend Ken Rouleau, a Salt Spring Island activist and bookstore owner who died of ALS in 2015. This is the first time the song is being released.

“He lived until his very last days as somebody who was provocative and always trying to help the disadvantaged,” Hallam said. “He genuinely gave his whole life to it.”

Hallam said Rouleau aroused the ire of “the people who rule Salt Spring” when he allowed people sleeping in his shop’s covered entry to sleep inside instead. Despite the disapproval, Hallam said his friend “wouldn’t back down.”

When Rouleau was diagnosed with ALS, Hallam wrote and recorded May You Live Long with 30 other Salt Spring musicians and performed two benefit concerts, or “Ken-efits,” for Rouleau, raising around $7,500 to assist in his family’s living expenses.

All Mighty Speck artists are asked to support a charity, and for Hallam the ALS Society of Canada was an easy choice. He said another friend, a mother of three, has been living with the disease for 15 years.

“She’s currently confined to a bed in a hospital in Toronto and can only move one eye and one finger and yet she continues to have a full life with her kids. She’s expert on the computer so all her communication is done that way,” Hallam said. “Currently she can’t even see her family of course because of COVID and without making too much of it, she’s my hero.”

Out of the Woods is available here.

WHAT’S ON … Mighty Speck artists perform live from the Duncan Showroom on June 7 at 5 p.m. and June 10 at 7 p.m.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

A sample of some of Lou-ann Neel’s jewelry.
Lou-ann Neel wins the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

Originally from Alert Bay, Neel’s family is steeped in renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists

Most Read