Alternative blues. Modern twists on a classic genre.
TELL US ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF YOUR BAND
The band is an ever changing organism. I started while I was in University – playing mostly solo acoustic shows. That got a bit lonely and found it limiting. I heard things that I couldn’t play. So I started to recruit people on different instruments for different shows. It blossomed into more of a blues rock sound over the years. Musicians have moved away or we’ve grown apart, others have stayed and played for years. It definitely keeps it interesting.
My very first instrument was a harmonica. My grandparents gave it to me after I watched “Free Willy.” I wanted to talk to whales like the kid in the movie. When I realized there were no whales in Alberta, I thought “maybe I should change instrument.”
Since then I’ve used several guitars. Right now I’m on a big Fender kick – I’m playing a Deluxe Start.
SELF-TAUGHT VS. LESSONS
Self taught. Every person in my extended family took piano lessons – except me. I was too stubborn. Yet, I’m the one who ended up the career musician. That either says something about me, or the music teaching method.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR SHOWS
I’ve performed all over Canada. In Australia, the U.S. And Germany. Houses, bars, grandstands and everything in between. From 1 person up to thousands.
We almost froze to death outside Fort McMurray when the van broke down in a -45 degree blizzard.
The best part of the live show is the people you meet. I have friends from all over thanks to music.
WHO WRITES THESE JAZZY TUNES?
I generally write the songs. I like to co-write with people as well. Ian Moore, Jay Semko, Troy Kokol and the guys from the band. I don’t know what sparks them. I sing a lot of ideas into my phone. Inspiration can come from anywhere. Personal struggles – life, love and frustration. Social issues and silly things. I don’t ever go in with a “plan”. The uncertainty is the exciting part. Some songs come easily and are done in 20 minutes. Others can take shape over months as we try them out on an audience.
SHOULD ARTISTS WRITE THEIR OWN STUFF?
I’ve always separated “musicians” and “artists”. Some people care more about riffs and theory than words or meaning. Most exist somewhere in the middle. Who am I to say who should write their own stuff? Personally, I prefer artists that put that personal touch on their music.
IS FAME IMPORTANT TO YOU?
“Fame” is a pretty loaded word. Are we talking about private jets and tabloid fodder? No, not important to me. But to say that I don’t want my music known by as many people as possible would be a lie. I appreciate the messages I get from fans or being recognized from the great show the night before. Is that fame?