The seeds to Hemingway Corner were first planted in 1992, when Johnny Douglas met David Martin in Nashville in 1992. Douglas was doing some session work, and by this point was already a seasoned road vet, having been a member of Rowan Brothers, Dancer, and John Stewart’s band, and also had a pair of solo albums to his name. Martin, a native of Georgia, was living in LA at the time but looking for new challenges.
Martin moved to Canada and the two began writing some material together. Within a few months they were turning heads as they performed as a modern folk duo on the Toronto circuit, and even landed a string of gigs opening for Gowan.
They signed a record deal with Sony and immediately began work on a debut album, resulting in their eponymous first album in 1993. It spawned two singles, and both “Man On A Mission” and “Love Love Love” did well on the charts. Three more singles found some chart action – “So Long JFK,” “Ride It Out,” and “King of New York.”
But the strains of being on the road for as long as they had been led Douglas to pack up his bags and head back to LA to pick up where he’d left off as a songwriter and producer. This happened as the duo was about to record a song for the Neil Young tribute, BORROWED TUNES. The label wanted Martin to keep the name Hemingway Corner, and so he hooked up with guitarist and engineer Scott Dibble (ex Watertown) and multi-instrumentalist and Edmonton native Mark Sterling, who he’d met recently in the studios. The newly formed trio decided to cover “Tell Me Why” for the project, which they took to #18 on the AC chart.
Encouraged, they followed that up later that year with the new album, UNDER THE BIG SKY, which consisted largely of material Dibble and Sterling had written ahead of time. The album The song “Big Sky” proved their breakout single, topping the charts and staying in the top 10 for over two months. It fuelled a cross-Canada tour while “Watch Over You” made it to #7. The following spring, “Make It Up as You Go” went to #13 and was featured on an episode of “Party of Five,” and was followed by another top 40 hit on both the AC and the pop charts, “Wild Honey.”Their efforts also earned them a Juno nomination in ’96 for Best New Group while the album made it to #37 and was certified gold (50,000 copies).
But longing for a different direction, Douglas dissolved the band a year later, and started a new project called The Beat Prophets. Sterling meanwhile went on to record three solo albums from 1996 to 2009, and worked with other artists as a studio musician and songwriting partner, as did Dibble, when he wasn’t touring as a professional golf player.
The trio reformed in 2010 and released their comeback album called SPEED OF LIFE, which featured the lead single “Think About Love,” as well as other well-rounded pop rockers like the title track, “Watching Cars Go By,” and “Angela.” Although the single failed to chart, it sparked a reunion tour that saw the band play throughout Canada through most of the rest of the year. But by the summer of 2011 everyone had once again drifted off to their own individual projects.