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Kitchener musician releases song just in time for 'high holiday'

Musician Kevin Westphal sits in a van, holding a blue guitar. (Submitted: Danny Bailey) Musician Kevin Westphal sits in a van, holding a blue guitar. (Submitted: Danny Bailey)
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A Kitchener musician has released a new song as people around the world celebrate all things cannabis.

Kevin Westphal, also known as “The Canuck”, released his latest song called, appropriately, “The Marijuana Song.”

He released the song and accompanying video just a few days before April 20, a day known as 4/20 to cannabis enthusiasts.

Westphal’s lyrics call for unity in the face of dark times, featuring lines like, “I’m done with politicians and political feuds, you know the world’s much better when we all get along. Maybe in the next verse, we could fire up the bong.”

By 4:20 p.m. on Saturday, the official music video had garnered over 3,200 views.

“As a musician, an entertainer, I spent many years playing in nightclubs, and private parties, and restaurants, and hotels, and taverns, and honky tonks, and farm fields, and cemeteries, and you name it. I’ve played these places and there’s always been marijuana wherever you go.” Westphal told CTV News Saturday afternoon.

“I’ve always noticed that culture, I’ve seen it. I’ve been around it my whole life. It was something that went on wherever there was live music.”

He said when he was writing the chorus he used expressions he had learned through the years from people who smoke.

“The world is much better when we all get together”

Despite being called The Marijuana Song, Westphal wanted his tune to be about more than just getting high.

“I can sense that tension among the people. And I thought wouldn’t it be nice right now if something in the world could unite people instead of having people divided? It kind of stirred me inside. I got thinking about how I missed the world before the pandemic and over the years, when people would have fun and politics wasn’t always at the forefront of everything,” he said.

“If we all love each other and come together – we don’t need politicians. We can make the world a beautiful place. It’s not us that put us in the situation that the world is in. We didn’t do that to ourselves.”

His message of a desire for unity is clear in his lyrics, despite the silly nature on the surface.

“The Marijuana Song was written to unite people and I want them to know the world is much better when we all get together, when we’re loving one another, having fun. So let’s have a hoot, a puffy, puffy toot-toot and all sing the Marijuana Song.”

A community comes together

When it came to filming the music video for The Marijuana Song, Westphal said it started off with a very ambitious vision, but it all came together thanks to support from the community.

“Of all the projects I’ve done in the past, this had to be the most work, but it was the easiest because everybody wanted to be involved with it right from the beginning,” he said.

He had a clear idea of the kind of venue he wanted to film in – a big space, with high ceilings so anyone who wanted to partake in some cannabis could feel free to do so. At first, it seemed like a daunting task, but a farmer from Mapleton came forward and offered up one of his buildings, providing the perfect venue.

Westphal said someone else offered to help find the people featured in the video, someone else made the signs, and a sound and lighting guy even donated his equipment.

Mother Nature almost scuttled the whole thing when a snow storm blew through the area on the day they were set to film, but Westphal says everyone still made it out, and they had a great time.

A familiar face

Westphal may be a familiar face to many people in the Kitchener area after his song “The Gas Song” rose to prominence in the early 2000s.

The song was an ode to the frustration being felt at the pumps at the time. It was a song that resonated with people, and was heard on many radio stations across the country, regardless of the genre they usually played.

And the song also led to an inspiring friendship years later.

“A good friend of mine played lead guitar for Stompin’ Tom Connors. They went out on tour one year and they brought back that old Gas Song that I did. Gas prices went up all across Canada over the summer and the Stompin’ Tom Show was getting ready to go out on tour and my friend that played guitar for them sang that song on the tour. It was through that tour that I actually got to meet Stompin’ Tom,” he said.

“From 2005 to 2012 I got to know him. I didn’t actually play with him and he didn’t actually do any of my songs, but we became friends.”

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