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April Wine performs in Halifax

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A legendary Canadian band from the Maritimes is returning to the region and will perform Saturday in the province where it all began – to fulfill the wish of one of the group's founding members.

April Wine is a staple of classic Canadian rock music and has a very special meaning for the Maritimes: the band was formed in Nova Scotia almost five and a half decades ago.

Brian Greenway joined the band in 1977, making him the longest-serving member, and he says people will be part of something very special at their show on Saturday.

“I remember seeing them for the first time and I was impressed because they were the only band that played really good original material, and that was Jimmy and David and Richie and Miles,” Greenway said in an interview with CTV's Katie Kelly on Friday.

Founding member Myles Goodwyn retired from touring with April Wine last year, but made it clear he wanted to continue with the group. Goodwyn also spoke out in favor of Montreal-based musician Marc Parent as the band's new singer.

“I grew up in Ottawa. In the '80s I was in a band called Eight Seconds,” Parent said.

But has Parent always been an April wine fan?

“Sure,” said Parent with a smile.

He officially joined the band last spring and says he had a lot of fun.

“It was incredible. It was unbelievable. Absolutely. I mean, it's a dream come true,” Parent said.

“We started rehearsing and he had the ability to copy everything perfectly, the guitar work and the vocals, uncanny, just like Myles. I couldn't have done it,” said Greenway.

Both members say it is a blessing to know they are fulfilling Goodwyn's wish.

“That it is approved and that it is what he wanted and that we are fulfilling it,” Parent said.

“It gives me a sense of responsibility to do my best at every gig and out of respect for what he's done. I see how the music touches everyone and that makes me realize, 'Okay, you better do your best out of respect for, you know, the legacy of this band.'”

Marc Parent and Brian Greenway admire an exhibition by Myles Goodwyn at Casino Nova Scotia. (CTV/Katie Kelly)This seems to be an attitude that fans are happy to reciprocate.

“There was a little bit of apprehension up front, but after the third song they were there,” Greenway said.

“The response is very strong. I couldn't ask for anything better at this stage of the game.”

Although the group formed in Nova Scotia, Saturday night will be the first time this April Wine group has performed in the city.

“We're going to rock, we're going to rock like we do everywhere we play. We want people to get up, dance and have fun. We just want people to reminisce and enjoy the songs and the music,” Parent said.

April Wine will perform at the Bruce Guthro Theatre at Casino Nova Scotia on Saturday night.

With files from Katie Kelly of CTV.

For more news from Nova Scotia, visit our dedicated provincial page.