Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Dave Harris has been a major force in the Blues scene in Victoria since 1977. I first saw Dave playing on Victoria's Government St. in front of Murchie's Tea Company in the early 1990s. His virtuosity and authentic blues sound were amazing and continue to impress me greatly. In December, 2018 Dave and I started playing together at local clubs and events and have created a large and loyal following. 

Dave is the world's authority on one man bands as his widely acclaimed book Head Hands and Feet clearly shows. We did a year and a half performing at the now defunct Cup of Joe in James Bay with the Hip Shake Collective. When we began the club was empty but within two months it was reservations only with a line up out the door. We featured over a dozen special guests over the course of our run there. In June of 2020 we began performing at the venerable Loft Pub as a three piece band called True Blue including Victoria's top shuffler Ross Hall on the drum kit. This is an on-going Tuesday night affair, well supported by the locals in spite of the current pandemic (all protocols in place).  

 Hip Shake (L-R) Dave Harris, Dave Gray, Jack Lavin, Sharon Wadsworth at Chemainus Festival 2019

Hip Shake Collective (L-R) Jack Lavin, Rod Deschaines, Dave Gray, Charles Gates, Bob Dalziel, Dave Harris, Ian Bennetts, Sharon Wadsworth, Peter Janz, Brad Fisher 

Long time pal and band mate, I am delighted to be reunited with Hank Lionhart here in Victoria. We perform all the best local venues and have done two tours of BC and Alberta with Hank's Blues Christmas show. (Photo credit - Johanna Vanderpol)

Kingpins (L-R) Dave Babcock, Dennis Meneely, Steve Cross, Hank Lionhart, Jack Lavin, Ross Hall

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley hail from Toronto, Ontario and are multiple winners of the prestigious Maple Blues award. Performing a variety of music including jazz, folk, swing, and blues, they are an engaging and crowd pleasing duo. I have had the pleasure of performing with them several times and we have also done a couple of video shoots. Diana is a wonderfully soulful singer and Chris is a gifted multi- instrumentalist performing on guitar, harmonica, trumpet and vocals.

Nanaimo Alliance Church - 2020 (L-R) Diana Braithwaite, Doug Pickard, Chris Whiteley, Jack Lavin

(R-L) Jack Lavin, LJ Mounteney, Ross Hall, Dave Harris

LJ Mounteney is a superb blues/jazz singer that I have performed with several times. I am slated to produce her next album in ’21 with my long time friend and extraordinary engineer, Ken Burke.

 

 

 (R-L) Jack Lavin, Marty Bernard, John Nolan

One of the most amazing and unique bands I have ever played in was Marty Bernard and the Bloo Zebras. Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, Marty has been a pro musician since leaving high school. Fronting his 4-piece band Catfish, he toured the US extensively performing his original material from 2 albums on the Eureka label out of L.A. Marty and I met in 2007 at Clancy’s Pub where I was part of the house jam band. The first time I heard this unassuming ‘jammer’ I was knocked out by the passion and expertise with which he played his Gibson Les Paul guitar and sang his songs. We became friends and formed the house band at the Admiral Hotel in Burnaby hosting Sunday jam sessions and backing local guest musicians. During the next few years we moved on to the Kingfisher Pub doing a monthly ‘Blues on the River’ and gigging around the Vancouver area. Through ‘09 Marty would drop by my home studio every Tuesday and we would write and record songs. This project turned into our first CD, Marty Bernard and the Bloo Zebras-Tuesdays with Crunchy which we released in 2010. It was an eclectic mixture of genres including jazz, rock and of course, blues. We followed this recording with another equally diverse CD release in 2013 (this one even included some cajun influence), Beetroot Salad. Marty is among the most interesting and proficient guitarists I have ever worked with and deserves to be discovered by the rest of the world.

Drummer John Nolan and I also met in ’07 when I needed to hire a jazz band for Monday nights at the Admiral. I knew that John had been hosting a jazz jam at the Fairview Pub in Vancouver, an institution for more than 20 years at the time. I went to one of their regular Thursday night jams to see if John would be interested in the gig I had to offer. On stage was a 3-piece band-sax, piano and drums. I watched these excellent jazzers play a set and when it ended Nolan got up and began to ‘work the room’. When I saw an opportunity I introduced myself mentioning that I was interested in hiring his band. He seemed enthusiastic about another regular weekly gig and accepted my offer. During the next few weeks I made a point of going to the Monday night jazz shows at the Admiral to hear these excellent musicians. John’s drumming was so impressive that I asked if he ever played other musical styles like blues or R&B. He told me that he 'came up’ playing these idioms and would love to do so again. I hired him to join Marty and I for several upcoming gigs. During our 11 year association I discovered that John had played in L.A. with the great jazz pianist Mose Allison for 10 years and during that time had also recorded and/or performed with Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, Wynton Marsalis, Stephanie Haynes, and locally with Linton Garner (Erroll’s brother), Pearl Brown, and Fraser McPherson. John’s association with Mose lasted through a 2010 performance at Vancouver’s East Cultural Centre and I had the privilege to see Mose’s last Canadian show there.

 

(R-L) Marty Bernard, Jack Lavin

The Bloo Zebra trio has backed numerous special guests as well as performing shows throughout the Lower Mainland featuring Marty. In a unique personal and musical bond, our shows featured ‘conversations’ between the instruments during extended solos allowing for some very inspired moments of creativity. Kindred spirits, there was never a cross word between us and we remain best of friends.