Neville Wells, Frank Koller & Maureen Young

2:00pm Sunday, November 20, 2022
Close to Home - Local & Valley Sounds come to MERA

Music at MERA is proud to present Close to Home, a country and folk music tribute to the sounds and history of the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County on Sunday, November 20th at 2:00 pm.

CLOSE to HOME is the creation of Neville Wells based on his 7 decades in country music … an afternoon of songs written by performers from the Ottawa Valley, about the Ottawa Valley.

Joining Neville is Frank Koller. Frank was a well known and respected guitarist in the Ottawa area and beyond in the 1970's and 80's. Work as a foreign correspondent for CBC interrupted Frank's music career for several decades but he has come full circle, back playing county music for the love of it.

Accompanying the guitar duo will be Maureen Young, a well- known local piano player and member of the house band for the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame. Over the years, Maureen has played for many Ottawa Valley musicians as well as for international performers such as Stonewall Jackson, Marty Haggard and Georgette Jones. 

MERA did not hesitate to say yes when Neville and Frank approached us about this show as it is certain to appeal to a great number of folks in the area. 

Come join us with Neville, Frank and Maureen for a wonderful afternoon of songs and stories with a local flavour.

Tickets are $25.00 plus service fees available through
The MERA schoolhouse is located at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A, McDonald’s Corners, ON.

Neville Wells .... “one of Canada’s most accomplished country music artists”, has been performing for 7 decades. In 1984, he was named Person of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association and inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017. Neville’s recordings have been hits many times, he toured regularly across Canada with his band Sweetwater, and was a founder of Canadian Country Music News.

Born in Newfoundland, Neville was raised in Ompah, Ontario, a few kilometres from McDonalds Corners, where country music was always part of his life. In the 1960s, while studying Spanish literature at Carleton University, Neville was at the heart of Ottawa's folk music explosion, at the famed coffee house Le Hibou. He was in bands with his friends Sneezy Waters, Bruce Cockburn, David Wiffen and Bill Hawkins; as the Children, they opened for the Rolling Stones in 1965 in Ottawa.

Through the decades, many Canadian country musicians recorded Neville's songs. Most recently, he was lead singer (along with former Almonte resident Peggy White) of One More Last Chance, an 8-piece traditional country music band based in Ottawa


Frank Koller …. has been playing guitar since he stole his cousin’s battered acoustic in 1962.

A decade later, surviving a slew of garage bands while studying engineering, Frank turned professional: his first gig was in October 1972 with Neville and Sneezy Waters in Shawville, Quebec.

Frank was soon hailed as a “session-guitarist extraordinaire” by the Globe and Mail, playing for Canadian and international performers including David Wiffen, Ian Tamblyn, Sneezy Waters, Colleen Peterson, Anne Murray, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdick, Bobby Vee and Roy Rogers. For three years, he was music director of the Canada Day TV shows on Parliament Hill. His 1980 pop-jazz LP Single Malt won rave reviews across Canada.

From the mid-1980s to 2015, journalism distracted Frank. As a foreign correspondent for CBC News, he covered the democracy protests in Tienanmen Square, the fall of Asian dictators, and New York City on 9/11. He wrote an acclaimed book on labour economics.

Frank is now happily back where he started, playing country music. He was the founder of One More Last Chance, an 8-piece country band featuring Neville and other fabulous Ottawa musicians: sadly, a casualty of the pandemic.

He did not steal another guitar to begin playing again.