Local band gets a ‘Second Wind’ on the Grand Bend Beach

On Wednesdays, Beach Parking is free after 7:00 p.m. and Main Street Parking is free after 5:00 p.m.

Second Wind performing on the beach in 2016. Picture left to right: Dave Robinson, keyboards, vocals; Jack Van Engelen, bass guitar, vocals; Bert Roy, percussion; Ken Williams, guitar, vocals; Dale Fisher, drums; Jerry Beernink, guitar, bass guitar and vocals; Don Pearson, lead guitar, vocals. (Photo provided)

Last summer, the band Second Wind played a pop-up concert on the new Rotary Stage on Grand Bend’s beach. The evening was so successful, they were invited back as part of Wednesdays’ Familiar Favourites concert series, on Wednesday, August 16 at 7:00 p.m.

In a bid to see the Rotary Stage used more often, Mary Alderson organized the event last summer. After the success of that concert, she was persuaded to volunteer and arrange a series of concerts this summer. Second Wind was an automatic choice for a Wednesday night line-up.

Second Wind bills themselves as “party” music. “We all have varied tastes and we tend to pick songs we enjoy listening to,” said band member Jerry Beernink. “The ’50s and ’60s, classic rock, pop, country, classic western, and Celtic folk, we cover many genres.”

The group reaches back to its ’70s roots with songs like The Eagle’s Desperado. Other crowd pleasers include songs from bands such as Great Big Sea. The band tailors their line-up to what the audience enjoys, with many appreciating their selection of Canadian classics or favourite oldies.

Back in the early ’70s, Jerry Beernink and Don Pearson formed a high school rock band playing concerts at North Lambton Secondary School in Forest. After graduating, the guys went their separate ways.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and the idea of a rock band once again had its appeal. Beernink and Pearson had played together on and off, then Dave Robinson joined them, and later Ken Williams came on board for a church talent night.

“The four of us played together for a St. Christopher’s Church fundraiser at Taxandria in Arkona in the winter of 2000, which we consider our first gig,” said Beernink. “The name Second Wind seemed fitting.”

Robinson was drumming, but wanted to move to the keyboard, so Michael Pearson played the drums for a while until Dale Fisher joined the band. Then Jack VanEngelen joined within the second year. Bert Roy started coming out to practices four years ago and fills in with percussion and drums.

Second Wind has been on hand in Lambton Shores for many occasions, such as the opening of The Shores Recreation Centre in Forest and The Legacy Recreation Centre in Thedford. They also played 10 consecutive “Relay for Life” events for the Cancer Society, sometimes playing all night, ending at 6:00 a.m., without repeating a song.

Organizer Mary Alderson encouraged everyone to come, and she asked that you please pay what you can.

“Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the beautiful Lake Huron sunset,” Alderson added.

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