Trooper set to perform for Corn & Apple

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The Corn and Apple Festival will feature Trooper as the headliner this year and the band said they’re excited to perform Aug. 24.

“We do love performing in smaller towns, especially when the community is as tight-knit as it is in Morden,” McGuire said. “Smaller shows feel more personal.”

Lead singer Ra McGuire said he met Brian Smith, long time music collaborator and member of Trooper, in 1967.

At the time, Smith and McGuire formed their first group, donning the name Winter’s Green. With the songs recorded like “Are You a Monkey” and “Jump in the River Blues”, the two didn’t stop there.

Drummer Tommy Stewart and bassist Harry Kalensky were added to the line up with the band rebranding themselves as Applejack. In this form of the band, they had the opportunity to tour extensively in the Vancouver area, along with across BC. After hearing some originals, like “Raise a Little Hell”, Randy Bachman of The Guess Who signed the group to his label, “Legend”.


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Since the creation of Winter’s Green, the band morphed, gaining and losing members, finally settling on the name Trooper after signing on with Bachman. This was when the band released their first 1975 album also called Trooper. “General Hand Grenade” was one of their first hits under their current name, gracing the ears of Canadians across the country.

McGuire said the name needed to reflect the band in who they were and are.

“Trouper is a word that was coined to refer to a member of a vaudeville troupe who kept on performing regardless of what happened.” He related the bands work ethic as partly influential in picking the name.

“We were playing a lot of shows and working very hard. It seemed appropriate.”

After 44 years playing under the banner, McGuire said musical and lyrical inspiration can come from anywhere and is very thankful when it does show it’s face.

With a large focus on touring, the band has gained their fair share of experience performing around the world.

McGuire said the bands career has been jam packed with highlights spanning the previous four decades.

“After this many years, there are way too many memorable moments to pick out just one or two. We get so many opportunities to have a lot of adventures and do a lot of really fun stuff.”

McGuire said that he and the other members are very close and it shows both on and off the stage.

“We’re a band of brothers at this point. I think people can tell how much we enjoy playing together. I think that’s what makes it work for us.”

The band has gained many achievements in recent years.

Dan Brisebois of wrote, “They’ve won practically every Canadian music award possible and they’ve been dubbed ‘Canada’s Greatest Party Band’ . . . and rightfully so.”

Trooper does their best to keep up to date with their fans.

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