The Master Cape Breton Fiddler Buddy MacMaster dies at 89

The Highland Clearances were horrific events in Scottish history. In the 19th Century Crofters were forcibly evicted from their homes in the Highlands of Scotland and those that survived starvation and death ended up scattered all over the world. “It was an ill wind that blew some good” and this “ill wind” was responsible for the Scots settling in Cape Breton. With the new settlers came all the elements of the Scottish Highland Culture. It included the Gaelic language, music, dancing and story telling and some say this transplanation of culture is responsible for the survival of the Scottish Fiddle tradition not only in Canada but in Scotland itself. By the time the CBC aired a TV show called “The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler” in 1971 the Cape Breton style of fiddling had been in existence for well over a hundred years. The CBC show lamented the decline of the tradition and predicted the inevitable demise of the Cape Breton fiddler. Boy, were they ever wrong with that conclusion. Within a few short years of the airing of the show the tradition became revitalized and went though a period of explosive growth. As well as a whole cadre of older and younger fiddlers,  part of the positive change can be laid at the feet of at least two master fiddlers, Jerry Holland and Buddy MacMaster. Jerry past away in 2009 and in this past week at the age of 89 he was joined by Buddy MacMaster. Hugh Alan, or simply ‘Buddy,’ began playing the fiddle at the age of 12 and secured his first paying gig at 14. It was the start of a career that would introduce the world to Cape Breton music. In his adult life Buddy had a real job as a station agent and telegrapher for the Canadian National Railways and it wasn’t until he retired at the age of 65 that he became a professional musician. Although by that time the professional prefix was probably just an after thought. His playing was never anything short of professional. Buddy MacMaster died at his home in Judique, Nova Scotia on August 20, 2014. He was 89. His niece Natalie MacMaster is one of the many young fiddlers who have inherited Buddy’s legacy and along with this whole new generation of fiddlers the tradition lives on. MacMASTER

check the links The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler  and Natalie and Buddy MacMaster

“Simply amazing how good they are together….Thank God for Buddy MacMaster,if not for him the Cape Breton fiddle may have died…”



A Strong Breeze from “The Windy City” at the Key Theatre

25 or 6 to 4 : THE CHICAGO STORY , Saturday August 16, 2014, 8pm at the Key City Theatre in Cranbrook chicago_keycity

Normally I don’t pay much attention to the pop/rock genre of music. In fact I have lived through whole musical eras and been oblivious to the music that has often become the soundtrack of a particular generation. I have always worked on the assumption that if the music is any good I will get to hear it eventually. Well, Saturday evening was a moment of “eventuality” that put the music of Chicago front and center. Their record, no pun intended, speaks for itself. The band was formed in 1967 and this year, 2014, they are releasing their 36th album. During that 6 decade run they have had 21 top-ten singles, 23 Gold, 18 Platinum and 8 multi-platinum records (see the Wikipedia Link. ). Their claim to fame is their innovative use of a horn section within a rock and roll environment. This tribute band, and I hesitate to call them a tribute band because the music sounded so fresh,  seems to have been pulled together by saxophonist Rick Lingard and is a fine aggregate of local musicians. The line up includes, front and center the horn section with Keith Todd on trombone; Dave Ward and Tim Bullen on trumpets and, of course, Rick Lingard on saxophones and vocals. The front line is supported by Doug Stephenson on bass, Colin Spence on keyboards, Tony Ferraro  on drums and Darren Mahe on guitar. Arron Nelson is the male vocalist who doubles on congas and, the frosting on the cake is the three well turned out female vocalists Melody Diachin, Lisa Backus and Sydney Galbraith.  Of course they beg the question why do the ladies make such an effort to look so good on stage and the guys don’t seem to bother ? 25 or 6 to 4114. Horn Section

This may be a tribute band but for me there was no element of musical nostalgia. The only real elements of nostalgia were the slide show on the back curtain. That was nice touch. The repertoire was all new to me. As befitting a twelve piece fully amplified power house band they nearly blew the walls out and in the process put on a great show.  It was probably one of the better shows I have witnessed at the Key City Theatre in recent memory. This was a follow up to their performance at the Kaslo Jazz Festival a few weeks ago. I hope that we get to see and hear this band again in the near future. Here are more images from the evening:

132. Rick Lingard    Keith Todd    Dave Ward Melody Diachun       Lisa Backus      Sydney GalbraithTony Ferraro  Arron Nelson     Colin Spence     Darren Mahe    Rick Lingard     Keith Todd     Rick Lingard    Sydney Galbraith   Arron Nelson  Dave Ward   Dave Ward and Tim Bullen      Melody Diachun  240c. Lisa Backus  Dave and Tim     Sydney Galbraith Melody Diachun    Horns and Melody Melody Diachun  Lisa Backus   Arron NelsonKeith Todd   Arron Nelson     353. Aaron and LisaLisa Backus Sydney Galbraith    Rick Lingard    Aaron Nelson  Melody, Lisa and Sydney  Darren Mahe    136. Rick Lingard    Horn Section Sydney Galbraith   Congas


Swamp Music at the Byng

Dark Fire Cloud and the Lightning Band  at The Byng’s Legendary Road House, Friday August 15, 2014, 10 pm to whenever

DARK CLOUD POSTER“Swamp Music” !! It’s not a derogatory term. Otherwise known as Zydeco it is the Creole music of Louisiana and is a musical descendent of the Acadian music of the Canadian Maritimes. Way, way back the French speaking Acadians were expelled from  Dark Fire CloudEastern Canada and settled in Louisiana. One person’s loss (Canada) is another person’s gain (USA). Dark Fire Cloud (Thadeus Prejean) comes by the music honestly. Although he now resides mostly in Switzerland he is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana. If his driving vocals, slide guitar and Cajun accordion inspired harmonica playing doesn’t get the feet tapping then the West Indian / Reggae beats of Shuggy Mulligan on drums should do the trick. The frosting on the cake is Jake Buttle’s absolutely rock solid acoustic bass. If none of that works then you are either comatosed or dead.  The band returned to the Legendary Byng Roadhouse to recapitulate their blow out performance off several weeks ago. With such tunes as Jumbalaya, Buffalo Soldiers, Zydeco (Have Mercy!), Mr Pitiful, I Love You any Old Way, Twiddle Dee, A Pain in My Heart,  Lets Talk It Over and Sweet and Dandy how could they fail?. Dark Fire Cloud is on his way back to Switzerland at the end of the month but the band promises to back in the area around June next year. Look forward to it ……… Dark Fire Cloud and the Lightning Band  Dark Fire Cloud  Shuggy Mulligan   Jay Buttle Dark Fire CloudGuitar and slide   Disco BallShuggy Mulligan Dark Fire Cloud    Dark Fire Cloud   Dark Fire CloudJay ButtleShuggy Mulligan    Jay and Dark Fire CloudDark Fire Cloud Shuggy Mulligan     Dark Fire Cloud    Jay Buttle

The band did us all one big favor. They had a member of their crew videotaping the performance and the first thing he did was remove all the colored gels from the over head stage lights. Vola!!! we could actually see the band. I don’t know who insists that the colored gels enhance a performance. In my experience they do the exact opposite.  The last time I was in the Byng was for one of my favorite bands (60 HERTZ) and the light was so bad I could barely see the band and I didn’t get one decent photo of the evening. I left the performance very dissatisfied with a promise to myself not to come back to the Byng. Hopefully some one will lose or destroy those pesky gels.

On a technical note. Jay and Dark Fire Cloud both play acoustic instruments “amped” up to the heavens and yet there is little or no feed back. That’s quite an achievement considering the high volume level. Jay informed me that it is a real challenge and throughout the performance they are on the edge of what is sonically possible. It is only by paying close attention to their technique that they manage to pull it off. Great job guys.


The Jazz Council Reunion at the Studio/Stage Door

The Jazz Council Reunion Concert, at the Studio / Stage Door Friday August 15, 2014 8pm

Jazz_Council-8869Here are some brief words from their press release to get the ball rolling:

“Cranbrook, BC – It’s reunion time! Two years after their last concert together, the 072a.original members of The Jazz Council are bringing their infectious swing, magnetic energy, and new original tunes back to The Stage Door in Cranbrook on Friday, August 15 at 8 PM. Drummer Sven Heyde, pianist Tim Plait, saxophonist Bernie Primbs, trumpeter Laurel Ralston, and bassist Joel Kroeker have been honing their skills and exploring new musical horizons – here in the Kootenays, across the country, and abroad. They Bernie Primbs are thrilled to meet back at home this summer and pick up where they left off – making great music in their signature style.The Jazz Council has given over 40 performances since forming in 2010, and released their successful debut album, Dawn, in 2011. They are renowned across the Kootenays for their unique sound and blend of instruments, skillful playing, and irresistible stage presence. The Jazz Council firmly believes that jazz is, at its core, popular music, and can be both authentic and accessible. Their original compositions and their covers weave together many different strands and sub-genres of jazz, giving the listener’s ears a well-balanced diet, while their ability to select sounds from a specific palette gives them a unique, clear sound that is all their own.”

In the meantime there are a lot of images to browse:

Laurel Ralston  Bernie Primbs    Sven  Tim Plait          Joel Kroeker  Joel Kroeker  Tim PLait  Laurel Ralston  Bernie Primbs  Sven Heyde      Joel Kroeker     Laurel Ralston Sven Heyde

The Jazz Council kicked off this concert with Bernie Primbs ode to his wife with Quiere Casarte Conmigo followed by the Miles Davis tune Four. That first tune was off their CD Dawn. So that set the pattern for the night – a mix of tunes they had recorded and mostly new and original material. Their playing was very “snappy” and precise with lots of swing, so much so that it was hard to believe that they have not had many, if any, opportunities to practice together over the past two years. In her never ending search for technical and spiritual inspiration Laurel has been dipping into to playing of Booker Little. The results of her research was her rendition of Booker’s composition Bee Tee’s Plea (check the YouTube link  Bee Tee’s Plea ). Booker was a disciple of the Jazz trumpeter  Clifford Brown who died in a car crash in 1956 at the age of 25. Booker was only a couple of years later and was only 23 when he died of the complications of uremia. Considering how short their respective careers were it is amazing that here in this day and age, 50 years after their deaths, these two musicians are still exerting a significant influence on new generations of trumpet players. Other compositions played were Drifting (Herbie Hancock), If I was a Bell, A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square (a piano trio outing with some nice brush work from Sven). No night of jazz would be complete without at least one Thelonious Monk’s tune and the band did the honors with the jazz standard Well You Needn’t. The original compositions presented were Laurel’s Broken Drill Bit Blues  and Cinder; Joel’s 5/4 romp  Rainy Night Caper  and his funky January 29th;  and Bernie’s “creepy Jazz Style” On the Prowl and for the encore his Everybody Could Use a Minor Funk. There was lots of humor in the evening and it was evident that these musicians really enjoy what they are doing. It is a pity we may not get to hear them more often. Laurel is heading back to Ottawa, Tim to Edmonton and Joel to Fernie. That only leaves Bernie and Sven around town. Too bad.

 Bernie and Laurel      Bernie Primbs     Joel and Sven   Sven, Bernie and Laurel   Sven Heyde  VERY YOUNG & VERY HIP BABELaurel Ralston - STANDING UP FOR JAZZ902. A hip Fan



Read any good books lately? (#4) – wandering down memory lane

I don’t know how I stumbled on these two books. Possibly by net surfing on Amazon or Kindle. Either way both books set up a buzz of resonance in my memory cells. Both books are essentially travel books. The first one caught my eye because it was about recent travels in Australia and the second one because it was about the Old Indian Trails in the Canadian Rockies (just around the corner from where I live).

TRAVELS OF AN ORDINARY MAN AUSTRALIA by Paul Elliott (published in April, 2013) available on Kindle for 99 cents. At that price how could you go wrong?

All of us at some time or other have become frustrated with our jobs, our life and our relationships and yearn to just toss it all in and head out into great blue yonder. Paul Elliott is one of us. A job that was going no where and a girl friend who was a professional driver (“she had driven me up the wall, driven me around the bend and eventually driven me to the point where I needed to leave everything behind for the foreseeable future”). His answer was to jump on a plane and head down to Australia, specifically to Cairns in Queensland. In this day and age, from Heathrow you fly over Europe, Russia and drop down to Tokyo, Japan and then change planes for a direct flight to Cairns in Queensland.

In Canada if you live in the east you are exhorted to go West. In Australia everyone lives down south so the cry is to “go north young man”. And that’s what I did in the mid- 1960’s. I had worked in my first real job for nine years and life was passing me by. I didn’t have a relationship to jetson but I did have a yen to surf the fabulous beach and point breaks of Northern NSW and Southern Queensland. So why not do that and also take a wander around a part of the country where “even the bananas bend to the right”. This was the red-neck republic of Bjelke Petersen. Bjelke, a God-fearing Lutheran minister, was the premier of Queensland at the time and was the perfect example of that curse on mankind – “A Self Made Man” – whose motto in life was “my way or the highway”. Queensland was no place for unionists, left wing agitators, surfing bums or, then new on the scene, hippies.  So after some time tooling around the surf spots, including an epic birthday surf at a place called Broken Head, and some gainful employment for a few months in Lismore it was  on “To the North! to the North! The last place God made / The contract unfinished, lost, stolen or strayed ”  (an old traditional song). I had a vague idea of maybe making it all the way to New Guinea. I arrived in Cairns from the south 30 odd years before Paul arrived from the North. I think things must have changed somewhat in the intervening interval of time. In my day Cairns was a sleepy country town on the north east coast of Australia. Not exactly the end of the earth but pretty dammed close. You would have to go further north to Cook Town to get closer to the edge. The Japanese seem to like Cairns as a tourist destination, hence the direct flight. It is a gate way to the Great Barrier Reef so that may explain it. In my day it was as hot as Hades and that doesn’t seem to have changed. Cairns no longer seems to be sleepy and through Paul’s eyes it is pretty well a party town over run with backpackers who require ample opportunities to drink beer. His adventures included bungy jumping, beer drinking, a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, beer drinking, a road trip to Cook Town, beer drinking, avoiding predatory women, beer drinking, a trip to the Daintree Rain Forest, beer drinking, a trip to Lake Barrine, more beer drinking ……. you get the general idea. Memories of the area are still in my mind. Picking tobacco in the Atherton Tablelands, the launch “milk run” to Cook Town to what seemed like the end of the earth. In reality then, and I suspect now, it is the ends of the earth. Looking north from the jetty in Cooktown the country stretches for thousand of desolate miles before tumbling into the Torres Straight and then onto New Guinea. It  was place where you meet the odd characters that always seem to populate areas on the edge of settled society.  Paul finally hooked up with some fellow travelers in a shared vehicle and headed off into the interior to get first hand experience of the “real outback”. I don’t think he was disappointed. Despite the thousands of miles of dust, desert and flies and the lonely townships on the way the spectacle of Ayers Rock and the Olgas seem to have made it all worth while. I hadn’t traveled that route so I had no actual first hand knowledge of the terrain. However, he headed south to Port Augusta in South Australia and that is an area I knew. I had passed through it several times. Once on a hitch hiking trip from Sydney to Perth and again on a road trip to the Flinders Ranges. I distinctly remember standing at the end of the sealed road outside Port Augusta as it headed north to Alice Springs. Standing there and seeing the gravel road stretching north as far as the eye could see until it was no longer visible in the shimmering heat of the day. That road is now a sealed highway. The rest of his travels through South Australia and Victoria were also over country that I had traveled so, so many years ago. In my case they were mostly solo adventures in Paul’s case he seemed to have the knack of hooking up with any number of interesting fellow  travelers. Upon reaching the “big smoke”  (Melbourne) he toyed with the idea of heading back up North to MacKay and the Whitsunday Passage. I wish he had of done that because there could have been some very interesting comparisons. In my day getting to MacKay required traveling over hundreds of miles of “The Crystal Highway” so named because of all the glass from shattered windshields that sparked in the sun at the side of the road. I distinctly remember waking up at 8 am in a truck stop outside MacKay on top of picnic table. The temperature was in high 90’s (F) and the sun was beating down and me and my monumental hangover from a re-hydration attempt at a local pub. I also distinctly remember everybody in the pub drinking beer from 5 oz glasses.The idea was to drink the beer before it got too warm.  The tables were a sea of empty 5 oz glasses. Having said that the area off the coast is one of spectacular beauty – straight out of Treasure Island. For Colin that was not to be. He was running out of time and he decided to fly to Brisbane and travel down the coast and see “The Real Australia” – the one that is most familiar to most suburban Aussies. The coastal strip is one of unending seascapes, coastal communities and empty beaches galore. He spent some time in one of my old stomping grounds, Byron Bay, just around the corner from Broken Head. He finally ended up in Port MacQuarrie. This a community somewhat the same size as Cranbrook. His experiences ambling around Port MacQuarrie sparked a lot of memories. The truth be known that he was there probably only a few years prior to my last visit to Australia. Eventually Colin made it Sydney for an opportunity to explain why his visa had expired. Luckily for him he was on his way out of the country.

Old Indian Trails of The Canadian Rockies by Mary T.S. Schaffer (first published in 1911). ” Mary T.S.Schaffer was an avid explorer and one of the first no-native women to venture into the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where few women  – or men – had gone before.” at $1.99 this was another steal of deal on Kindle.

There were not many of them around in the19th Century and early Twentieth Century but they were there. Women of adventurous spirits that defied convention and did what they felt they had to do. There were probably more of them out there than we will ever know but unless they documented their efforts they have faded into the blank pages of history. We are fortunate that Mary T.S. Schaffer chose to write a book about her adventures of two summers of horse pack explorations of the Canadian Rockies. Anyone travelling the Ice Field Highway these days between Lake Louse and Jasper are pretty well traversing the main route of her explorations. But, remember their trips were done  around 1911. Over two summer Mary and her guides and companions explored a significant number of side trips (left and right) travelling up the Rockies. If you spend any time checking the The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide (Brian Patton & Bart Robinson) it doesn’t take you long to realize that that these are the Old Indian Trails of her travels.

I moved to the East Kootenays in the mid-70’s. Over the years I had done a number of day trips both with the family and solo in the nearby National Parks but it wasn’t until I had been in the area twenty years that I realized that time was slipping by and this marvelous area required some personal exploration. I figured that I had about 15 years of hard core hiking and back packing left before the ravages of age and common sense slowed me down. I know it is not a sensible idea but the only way for me to achieve my desires was to go it alone. Over the next fifteen years I embarked on many day trips and and least one extended eight over-night night back packs per summer. Usually I set aside the the last two weeks of August and the first three weeks of September to take advantage of the good weather (not too hot and sometime cool to very frosty) and the diminishing summer crowds. The early trips were in the Kootenay, Assiniboine and Banff Parks with at least one foray into Yoho Park. Each summer I ticked them off the list until I needed to move onto Jasper Park. Reading Mary’s book is very Deja Vu. I was virtually following in her footsteps, maybe not in the same direction but essentially the same routes. The trip into Athabaska Pass, The Skyline Trail (Shovel Pass) to Maligne Lake and down to Jonas Pass and Brazeau Lake, Nigel Creek and so on. And of course the big trip into Mount Robson. Every summer was another adventure. Despite the fact that they were solo trips I experienced no sense of loneliness. I may have been alone but I was not lonely.

For anyone contemplating hiking in Jasper Park, Old Indian Trails of The Canadian Rockies by Mary T.S. Schaffer is essential reading.


The Billy Manzik Blitzkrieg

Billy Manzik

This time it was way different.Two years ago Billy came though town with an upright slap bass player to do a single gig in a local pub. There were less than a dozen people in attendance. This time Billy came though and blew the doors off just about every where he played. A total of six local engagements in four days. Two band gigs at the Byng, a solo gig at the Burito Grill in Kimberley; two outdoor performances in Rotary Park in Cranbook and a duo performance at The Heid Out  (also in Cranbrook). And, oh, there was quick side trip to Spokane to play a bikers bar. Needless to say by day four he was getting somewhat tired.

  • Thursday July 31, 2014 at 5:30 pm: BILLY MANZIK  at the Burrito Grill in Kimberley
  •   Saturday August 2, 2014 11am-2pm and 7-10pm – BILLY MANZIK , at Rotary Park in Cranbrook.
  • Friday August 1, Saturday August 2, 2014, 9:30 to closing: BILLY MANZIK at the Byng Roadhouse in Cranbrook.
  • Sunday August 3, 2014, 6-8:30pm: BILLY MANZIK at the Heid Out in Cranbrook
  • and a side trip for an engagement in spokane


Billy Manzik (vocal, guitar and harmonica) is originally from the “Canadian Heartland”, ie Thunder Bay, Ontario. The urban myth claims that “the Blues Highway” (US Route 61) starts in New Orleans, Louisiana and ends in Thunder Bay. Although not strictly true (the highway doesn’t quite make it to Thunder Bay) there is enough truth in the notion for us to believe that the classic blues tradition did travel all the way and become lodged in the musical traditions of that Canadian outpost. Bob Dylan travelled both ways on Highway 61 and performed north of the border bringing more Americiana traditions into the mix . Thunder Bay may have been the Canadian end of “the Blues Highway” and yet, in another sense, it was the beginning of yet another highway heading west to Winnipeg and Calgary and eventually all the way down to California. It is the road travelled by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to everlasting fame and fortune. Billy Manzik is the latest Canadian to follow that route. He started out in Thunder Bay and worked and performed in “The United States of Alberta” before heading down to California. Billy is a real road warrior and just looking at his itinerary is enough to exhaust mere mortals. This tour was one of his periodic Canadian visits. In this area he kicked off with a solo engagement in the Burrito Grill in Kimberley and, fortunately, he dropped into check out James Neve’s set at the Green Door. I was playing percussion for James and managed to worm my way into sitting in with Billy when he was to play The Heid Out. In exchanged I promised him a photo shoot of the gig. Billy had hired a couple of other musicians from Nelson and Vancouver to fill out the sound for a full on bar band gig at The Byng and the outdoor engagements at Rotary Park in Cranbrook. Billy’s music leans heavily on  country blues traditions. He has a voice that just fits the genre so well. His finger picking slide guitar playing is strong and so, so clean (no fret rattles here) that it is a perfect complement to his “blues harp”. He kicked off the Heid Out gig with That’s all Right Mama that owed nothing to the Elvis Presley version but was more in keeping with the original Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup version. From then out there was lots of blues and roots rock and roll tunes that included Who Do You Love?, Highway 61 (of course), Make me a Pallet on Your Floor, No Where to Run (by J.J.Cale), Bright Lights – Big City, Long Gone, Corrina (Taj Mahal), Helpless (Neil Young), Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry), Has Anybody Seen My Gal?, On the Road Again, an original song dedicated to Billy’s mother (a cancer survivor), a Gerry Garcia tune and last but not least  J.J.Cale’s classic The Breeze. It was a great evening of low keyed but intense music by an exceptional performer. Plus the fact that I got to take some great photos while I sat in on percussion. Here are some images from the evening.

 Billy Manzik   Billy Manzik  Billy Manzik   Billy Manzik   Billy Manzik 072. Billy Manzik  Billy Manzik Billy Manzik  Billy Manzik

Here is a special treat – Billy Manzik on Highway 61

Special thanks should go to the Cranbrook and District Arts Council and Louie Cupello for organizing this series of events.


MIRAGE at Summer Sounds

MIRAGE (Jim Mashall) at Summer Sounds, July 26, 2014, 11 am – 12 noon, Rotary Park Cranbrook

For those who don’t know Jim Marshall is a musician, guitarist and vocalist with several CDs under his belt. He has been active on the local music scene for many years. His strength is his finger picking guitar work that often features strong bass lines running though the performance. He recently switched to a cutaway Larivee Nylon Strung guitar thereby adding a more mellow dimension to his playing. For this particular performance he invited me (Rod Wilson) to join him on stage with a percussion set that featured three congas, Djemebe, Darbuka, Bodhran, Tambourine, Shakers,Cajon etc.). Never one to refuse an invite to bash away on anything within an arms reach I was pleased to participate in a collection of original songs and cover tunes that included Blues Jam, Dancing in the Dark, Don’t be Cruel, Crazy (Willie Nelson’s classic tune made famous by Patsy Cline), Black Cat Jack, Five Foot Two, Arabia (an original), King of the Road, I’m On Fire, Hard Times  and the Louis Armstrong hit Hello Dolly. During the hour long set there were many more tunes to enjoy before Jim concluded with La Bamba. Jim’s partner in crime (Lorraine) captured some images and video that I have included below.

Jim and Rod at Summer Sounds  Rod Wilson at Summer Sounds

and here’s the link to the video  MIRAGE at Summer Sounds