The first Canadian blues record to ever to sell gold (100,000 units, at the time), “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost)” – written by The legendary Downchild Blues Band’s leader and co-founder, Don Walsh – will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019.
The song skyrocketed to international fame when it was covered by The Blues Brothers’ Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi, who were heavily influenced by the Canadian group, which was founded in 1969. Eighteen albums later, after countless awards, and sold-out tours around the world, Downchild Blues Band (now known simply as “Downchild”) are considered the trailblazers of blues in Canada, and one of the premier blues bands in Canadian history, and a catalyst for the genre’s renaissance in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
The song induction will take place during the band’s 50th Anniversary Party in Ottawa, featuring special guests Dan Aykroyd, Tony D (of MonkeyJunk), Suzie Vinnick, and Andy J. Forest.
“It’s such an honour to have ‘I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost)’ chosen to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame,” said Walsh. “When you write a song, you have no idea what kind of effect it will have on people, and for some reason this song really connected with fans… “As a songwriter, it’s the ultimate to have one of your songs selected to be in the Hall of Fame, alongside some of the greatest songwriters of our time, not only in Canada but internationally – like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young. It just doesn’t get any better than that!”
Downchild first released “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost),” on their Straight Up album in 1973. Their label GRT remixed the cut in 1974 as a 45 RPM single, titled “Almost,” as a follow-up to their infectious first single, the Top 40 hit “Flip, Flop and Fly.” “Almost” quickly became a favourite of radio stations. The song led Downchild to tour clubs and colleges extensively in Canada.
The Blues Brothers version was released on their 1978 album Briefcase Full of Blues, and their performance on Saturday Night Live propelled “Almost” to Billboard’s No. 1 position in February 1979. From there it went two-times platinum, bringing the song to millions of listeners. The international success of the song paved the way for artists such as Jeff Healey and Colin James to forge their own blues identities at home in Canada.