• James Parry

Hudson band Happenstance all set to launch third album

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PHOTO COURTESY BRIAN GALLAGHER

Happenstance founder, Brian Gallagher, and new vocalist, Tamara Clark, took time out from recording the band’s new album, Everything changes - to be launched at Hudson’s Le Château du Lac on September 19 - for a pic for YLJ.

They say that everything comes in threes. And this is certainly true when it comes to the eagerly-awaited third album by the renowned Hudson band Happenstance that got its start at the Hudson Music Festival back in 2008 as an acoustic trio, with several changes in the line-up since.

A fact of life reflected in the title of the album, Everything changes, to be launched – in keeping with tradition - at Le Château du Lac in Hudson at 8 p.m. on September 19 as has been the case with the band’s two previous CDs, Happenstance (2011) and Rain (2012).

It is a title that takes on even greater significance, however, for band founder, Brian Gallagher, who last year successfully underwent a serious operation to remove a tumour growing under his right arm.

Explained Gallagher in an exclusive interview with Your Local Journal this week, “The correct name for it is Multiple Osteochondromatosis. It is a hereditary disease that creates benign tumours at the joints of the body’s long bones causing them to grow abnormally, impeding motion and causing pain.

“I have had over 20 operations because of this disease since I was five And while it normally will stop creating tumours after adolescence, in the summer of 2013 I was diagnosed with one growing again, which is rare and can mean that the disease may be turning to a different cancer called Chondrosarcoma. I have to be checked regularly for this now.”

How did he feel upon receiving the news and knowing how serious it was? Said Gallagher in his inimitable, sensitive, laid-back style, “It was unfortunate to find that I was one of the rare few who have this disease start up again later in life but I have always been resilient and positive in my outlook. I felt that if I couldn’t play guitar anymore then I would accept that but as well look to new challenges and opportunities in life. Take whatever you are given, appreciate the past, and look to the future. I even threatened my wife, Nikki, that I would learn how to play the kazoo!”

Well, fortunately, it never did come to that but Gallagher says he will never forget waking up in post-op and the very first thing he did was to wiggle all of his fingers and lift his arm a few inches. “It was the most relief I have ever felt in my life!”

Comprising 10 songs, all written by Gallagher himself and for the most part recorded in his Hudson home, this latest album features new vocalist and Vaudreuil-Dorion resident, Tamara Clark, whose musical experience runs the gamut from performing in rock bands, musical theatre and film, as well as other media.

Said Gallagher, “Upon first meeting her late last year, we both knew that we had the chemistry and the vision to take Happenstance to a whole new level. Her positivity is absolutely infectious and brings incredible energy to the project. It’s still folk/rock but this time it’s a bit edgier and electric.

“To be truthful, this album has been the biggest emotional and physical journey for me. I feel that it has so much of me in it, not just because I play almost every instrument but that it is very personal as well and that these songs have been a part of me for so long it is a little bittersweet for it to be finally done.”

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