Newfoundland’s The Fables are a supergroup in every meaning of the word.
Spawned from several successful acts such as Wonderful Grand Band and The Irish Descendants, this band came together in 1997 and had an immediate impact on the Atlantic Canadian music scene with an energetic live show as well as an award-winning debut album that effortlessly mixed traditional and pop/rock elements.
Since the late ‘90s, The Fables have thrived in the midst of numerous personnel changes, an extended hiatus, and a vastly altering music business. All four of their studio albums have received numerous accolades and have produced radio hits such as “Heave Away,” “Tear the House Down,” “St. John’s,” and “Mauzy Monday.” Much to the delight of fans across Newfoundland and beyond, the original Fables line-up of Glenn Simmons, Billy Sutton, D’Arcy Broderick, Dave Fitzpatrick, and Clyde Wiseman has reunited for a string of summer 2015 dates.
Glenn Simmons is the lead singer and principal songwriter of the group, with a high-profile career spanning forty years. He spent much of the ‘70s on CBC Television performing in numerous variety shows. In 1979 he became one of Newfoundland’s most recognizable faces as vocalist and lead guitarist for Wonderful Grand Band. On the strength of this band’s wide-ranging influence, Simmons has experienced success as a songwriter as well as a producer, receiving a Canadian Folk Award nomination for his work with The Navigators’ Soldiers and Sailors in 2012. In 2015 he received the ECMA Musician’s Achievement Award for lifetime contribution to east coast music.
Fans were first introduced to D’Arcy Broderick in 1982 when he joined Sons of Erin, and again in the early ‘90s when he formed Juno-winning group the Irish Descendants with Con O’Brien. Signed to Warner Music Canada in 1993, this band went on to see national acclaim throughout the ‘90s before he left to form The Fables. Broderick’s talents as a vocal balladeer and his skill as a fiddler are key elements to The Fables’ sound.
Also a former member of Irish Descendants, multi-instrumentalist Billy Sutton is The Fables’ secret weapon. He has a masterful command of bouzouki, fiddle, mandola, and accordion, and more. In addition, he currently plays drums for Shanneyganock as well as bass guitar for Ron Hynes. Billy is also an in-demand studio engineer, working with artists such as Kim Stockwood, Ennis Sisters, and Matthew Byrne. His playing has been featured on countless award-winning albums, and he is one of Newfoundland’s most recognizable musicians.
Sutton is not the only multi-instrumentalist in the group. Dave Fitzpatrick is The Fables’ drummer, but as a solo artist and producer he has played guitar, bass, and drums on over 100 recordings in a career that has spanned 30 years. A veteran of the road, Dave brings a wealth of experience to the band and contributes an important vocal harmony element as well.
Rounding out the group on bass is Clyde Wiseman. His live and studio credits include John White, Ron Hynes, Frank Maher, Kelly Russell, and The Newfoundland Kitchen Band just to name a few. His fluid bass style and baritone harmony vocals contribute greatly to the signature Fables sound.
The original reunited lineup of The Fables is currently in rehearsals for an ever-increasing number of 2015 summer dates across the province. Look for them on festival rosters in all corners of the island.