Songwriter creates piece in aid of Neville-Lake family

July 17, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons

A Canadian singer-songwriter has penned a special piece, in aid of the Neville-Lake family.
The Neville-Lake children – Harry, Daniel and Milly – along with their grandfather Gary Neville of King, were killed in a drunk driving collision Sept. 27, 2015.
Canadian folk artist Abe Drennan released a new single in honour of the Neville-Lake family, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the not-for-profit organization Many Hands Doing Good.
He first recorded the tune in his kitchen in Inuvik, Northwest Territories in November 2015.
Abe Drennan and Jason Manns spent a weekend in the iconic Iglu Church in Inuvik in the spring of 2016 recording “Spirits Soared.”
The song begins, “The day their spirits soared was the day that driver poured too many drinks. Four spirits rose to the ringing bells of heaven.”
Drennan, a family friend of the Neville-Lakes, remembers seeing a video online of the children dancing and playing together.
“The music playing in the background of the video had a lyric with the word paradise, this was the moment that the song began to form,” he said.
He felt the tragedy and the injustice were so great that he was compelled to capture the joy of the children, the love of their grandfather and bring attention to the issue of drinking and driving in the song.
Drennan said from first seeing the kids dancing in the living room, to going through the process of writing such a song in a way that would not offend but provide hope for the family was a challenging one.
“But it was a journey I knew I had to take, because it is a story that must be remembered,” he said. “I felt the pain of the tragedy as did all of us and I tried to use words that showed solidarity and compassion as well as bring attention to the issue of drinking and driving.”
He recorded the song with Jason Manns, which was an amazing opportunity for Drennan as an artist to “grow my skills and have a mentor to help me along.
“I’m incredibly grateful for him and all he provided. The family faced this with incredible courage and grace in creating Many Hands Doing Good. My hope is to continue to see this organization do its good work.
Abe and Jennifer met at the library in Bancroft in October 2004. They got to chatting and discovered their parents worked with each other at a nursing company. They’d see each other around town from time to time. When Daniel-William had his baptism in June 2006, Abe and his family attended. Abe and Jenn lost touch for a bit but Jo and Abe, both being musicians, stayed in touch. When Jenn’s family was killed Abe reached out and asked Jenn if she minded if he wrote a song about what had happened. Jenn gave her consent, Abe created a song and sent it to her in late fall of 2015.
Drennan writes folk music and I draws his inspiration from experiences living in northern Canada and from everyday interactions. “I also pay attention to issues that affect me and others and try to tell stories of hope and healing for the future.”
He’s been writing and recording since the early 2000s.
Drennan’s first album is available on iTunes and on his website at His new album titled, “The Iglu Sessions,” will drop on Aug. 1 on all platforms. The new single, “Spirits Soared” can be downloaded at:
Drennan said he loves all of the creative process.
“From the beginning inspiration to the finished product is a journey that I love to go on. I never know where it’s going to take me and almost always its a good one.”
Right now, he’s looking forward to sharing the single far and wide and also to releasing his full album.
“My goal is to keep writing what I know to be true in my heart and telling stories that dig deep into current issues but also see the light and hope that I believe is inherent in all things.”



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