17 March 2021

17 March 2021 - Spirit Of The West - Home For A Rest

Spirit Of The West aren't a band most Americans have heard, but were wildly successful with their Irish-tinged music in their native Canada.  So, this article is going to hit a certain number of you more in the feels than others.

That statement should sound familiar, and yeah, this story doesn't end better.

In 2014, the band's frontman, John Mann, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease.  He continued with the band as long as he could, but it clear he was not long for the music industry.  He passed away in 2019, at the age of just 57.  

This song was an anthem of the band from 1990, but wasn't released as a single until 2014, when it was released in a limited manner on Record Store Day.  In the wake of the announcement of Mann's illness, it was quite a bit more poignant than the drinking song it was originally intended to be.  

The first time the band played at the famous Massey Hall was on June 6, 2015 - and it was one of their last shows.  Mann actually forgets the lyrics for a bit during the song - but the audience had his back.  It is one of the greatest moments in Canadian music history.

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