Delta Stone and the Wardogs opening for April Wine

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: PROVIDED BY RYAN MCNEVIN
(Left to right): Ryan McNevin (keyboardist), Nick Houle (guitarist/vocalist), Ian Hebert (lead guitarist/lead singer), Warren Stinson (drummer), and Mark Irmler (bassist) of Delta Stone and the Wardogs, who will be opening for April Wine on Oct. 11 at the London Music Hall.

A local band with connections to Fanshawe College will be opening for an iconic Canadian Rock band.

Delta Stone and the Wardogs is set to open for April Wine on Oct. 11 at the London Music Hall. Both keyboardist Ryan McNevin and lead singer/guitarist Ian Hebert are graduates of Fanshawe’s music industry arts (MIA) program. Interrobang interviewed both members of the band via email.

McNevin grew up listening to April Wine because his parents loved the band, and he got to see them in concert a few times.

“To open for a legendary rock act (a Canadian one in fact) is something a lot of up-and-coming bands look forward to doing somewhere along in their career,” McNevin said. “We are truly honoured to be given this opportunity.”

For Hebert, it will be his first time seeing April Wine in concert.

“The closest I’ve got to seeing them live is playing their songs myself in the clubs for years,” he said. “So this is a great treat to share the stage with them as my first April Wine experience.”

Delta Stone and the Wardogs have played at local events like the Forest City London Music Awards, International Food Fest, and Western Fair’s I Love Local Stage this year. McNevin said that 2019 has been a great year for the band so far.

“We work hard, we put in three rehearsals a week, and treat it like a business,” he said. “London has great energy and it’s always nice to put on a great show for a hometown audience.”

Hebert said that the band’s got a loyal local fan base.

“It’s a hard feeling to describe when I see them walk in with a Delta shirt on,” he said. “They’re always excited to see us on new stages which is really cool, and the band feeds off that as well.”

Both McNevin and Hebert found that Fanshawe’s MIA program shaped them as musicians. Hebert said the program taught him how much he wanted to be in the business.

“I’ve progressed immensely as a player and writer since then by focusing on a musician’s craft,” he said.

McNevin, who graduated from the program in 2007, said that MIA focused on the business and production aspects of the music industry when he was a student. He said the program taught him professionalism, expanding his knowledge of musical genres, and networking. He still keeps in touch with faculty, students, and alumni.

“My time in MIA felt like a brother/ sisterhood. We were all there to learn because of our passions for music. Long-lasting friendships were formed and I am so proud of all my friends that went through this program and are out there doing what they do best,” McNevin said, adding that fellow alumni went on to become performers, managers, producers, engineers, and more.

Doors for the Oct. 11 April Wine concert open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 with additional fees and can either be bought at the London Music Hall box office on 185 Queens Ave or The event is 19+. Backpacks are prohibited.

After opening for April Wine, McNevin and Hebert said Delta Stone and the Wardogs will perform in Brantford, Sarnia, and Toronto for a few more shows before 2019 ends. Then, the band will concentrate on their plans for 2020. The band is expected to go on tour in the early spring and hold a single and music video release party at the Eastside Bar & Grill on March 28, 2020.

Check out Delta Stone and the Wardogs on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and YouTube.