This special memorial entry was written by Banjo Duncan Fremlin, Whiskey Jack co-founder and singer and tremendous FOTM. My condolences go out to Dunc.
My best friend, my lifetime partner in music, a lovable man if ever there was one...Bob McNiven, died yesterday, May 4, 2020.
I don't know enough about his story to write a book but the material is there. It would be a great read. From singing gospel music up and down the East coast of the U.S. with his mom, dad, sister and brother in The Singing McNivens.... to Open Road, country rock at a very high level...to the power trio, Derby Saunders and McNiven... to his 40 years with Whiskey Jack...what a story! Guitar player, banjo player, songwriter, fantastic singer, an ear for harmony like no other...vibrant and joyous onstage personality....missed profoundly by me, his collaborator for 40 years.
A few months ago, I emailed everyone about Bob's plight and the difficulties he had dealing with the ravages of ALS, every hour of every day. It's such an awful disease. Your generous response provided him with a few comforts (not the best word for this) for him and his wife, Judy. On their behalf, I thank you all.
I'm very sad that we cannot assemble with his hundreds of followers and musical collaborators to celebrate his music in style. His songs and classic performances featured on Youtube and on his recordings will live on until a get-together can be arranged. Sometime soon, we will host a Bob McNiven musical celebration.
The emails and social media responses I've read describe Bob's charming personality so perfectly. He touched us all with that infectious smile and his passion for the song.
Whiskey Jack alumni, former bass player and singer Cam MacLennan described Bob perfectly ..."I always loved Bob’s confidence and poise on stage. He loved the music, his fellow musicians and his audience with balance and grace. He got the job done with a natural charm and genuine joy."