She sings, she writes, she’s from Alberta and she’s real: in the words of Lynda Steele a “triple, quadruple, quintuple threat.”
She’s Canadian music icon Jann Arden.
Earlier this afternoon she joined Lynda on the Lynda Steele show to get personal about the challenges of having a parent with dementia, along with her latest projects.
“We have one thing in common,” Lynda told Arden this afternoon. “We both just lost a parent to dementia this fall.”
Arden says it’s been a tough season. Her father passed away on her mother, who also has Alzheimer’s’, birthday.
But she says it hasn’t stopped her form seeing the beauty in life.
“Out of some really bad hard stuff always comes joy, always comes inspiration. It’s just life.”
Arden says finding humour in the day-to-day, and in the challenges- like finding the TV remote in the dog food bag- are what keep her going.
Arden says watching her mother cope with the disease has been bittersweet. On one hand, she sees it take her mom away, but on the other, it made her father’s passing easier.
“I don’t think she notices as much. The Alzheimer’s sometimes steals sentimentality. Where my mom’s at right now, she doesn’t dwell on the past. So when he passed away that was it, it was done, and we’re moving forward. And so it’s been a blessing in that way, Lynda.”
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“I have to tell you I kind of cheated. I went on the internet and I googled the top 200 Christmas songs of all time.”
Arden says she wanted an album that balanced the secular and non-secular, while keeping in the holiday spirit.
And she says the album came with a holiday suprise of its own – a starstruck moment when Rod Stewart stepped forward to promote it on CTV’s The Social, which Arden occasionally co-hosts.
“I know the word Icon is thrown around too much these days, but he really is. There’s a handful of these guys left, that really define music, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s.”
On top of singing, songwriting, and occasionally co-hosting live TV, Arden says she’s also working on a book – one she hopes to have finished by Christmas.
She says the project, to be published by Random House, has been a three year labour of love, and is a coming of age story about a girl raised by her grandparents.
“There’s talking cows… and there’s mystery and murder and mayhem and there’s horrible cruel… I loved writing it. It may end up in a box somewhere thrown over a cliff, but I’ve enjoyed it.”
Listen to Jann Arden’s full interview with Lynda Steele: