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Nov. 25, 2020 | Wednesday
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Beedles & Knash: NOTL duo deliver folksy cheer in daily music videos
A screen capture of Roger Beedles and Wally Knash perform "When Will I Be Loved".

When the COVID pandemic forced Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Roger Beedles to return from a trip to Wales in March earlier than planned, he says he wasn’t going to do so quietly.

And he’s been making noise, performing songs with friend Wally Knash and posting a new video online every single day since.

Beedles says he and his wife Anne made the trip back to NOTL early after recommendations from the Canadian government. After arriving home, they quarantined for the designated two weeks, but boredom quickly began to take hold.

“I was just bored out of my mind,” he says.

With a music room downstairs, it wasn’t long before he began playing some tunes on his guitar and singing by himself to pass the time. Beedles has been a musician his entire life, playing in several different bands in the U.K. Since moving to NOTL, he says he’s been playing with a few friends at various retirement homes throughout the region every weekend.

When the pandemic put a stop to that, he still wanted to bring some joy to people through his music. Now, Beedles and Knash have recorded and posted more than 180 videos. And he says the response has been incredible.

“We get now two, three, four thousand views on nearly every song now,” he says.

Initially, the duo was just publishing songs on personal Facebook pages. After he was introduced to a Facebook group called the Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party (COVID-19 Edition), he began uploading his videos there as well. Since then, he says the views have skyrocketed.

“They've (the Facebook group) been doing a great thing for us. They've been featuring sometimes as many as 20 of our numbers one after the other. It's been available for anybody to look at any time,” he says.

There was a bit of a learning curve when it came to recording and posting the videos, he says, but after working through the kinks the pair can power through several songs a night and save them up to be published throughout the week.

The two get together once or twice a week to record their songs, Beedles says. And as more people are catching wind of their online performances, he says requests and positive comments have been flowing in.

“Some have turned around and said, 'We were dancing around the kitchen, singing this because it reminded us of when we were children, and our mother used to sing that to us.' ”

He says Knash and himself are “both willing and happy” to keep it going, with no plans to slow down.

“I'm I'm 78 and Wally, he's over 80 so I mean, we're not young. We've been in the music business a long time,” he says.

Mostly, the pair sticks to their roots, which is country and folk music. He says they feature two fiddle tunes a week. Sometimes one of them is a gospel tune or a hymn, but they are always willing to learn something new or take requests, he says.

You can find videos by Beedles and Knash on the Nova Scotia kitchen party Facebook page or his own personal page by searching for Roger Beedles. 

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