Big Daddy and The Blues Hounds
The Six musicians in Big Daddy and the Blueshounds have nothing to prove. With a total of about 200 years of experience, these veterans have done it all.
“I don’t like to date myself, but when it comes to the blues, you have to put in a few years before you get it right,” explains lead singer/guitarist Jim Dyck.
“The musicianship isn’t that hard. The structure of blues is simple — three chords. But there’s a lot of feel and soul and it’s also very fluid. There’s a lot of listening involved. Everybody has to listen and respond, and that takes experience.”
The fivesome is not afraid to drip a bit of sweat during a gig if it means taking the music where it needs to go. And the quintet plans to raise the temperature tonight at LB’s Pub for one of their rare local gigs.
“We’re solid. We’re like five pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that got plugged into together and they fit.”
The Blueshounds were actually pulled together about 18 months ago after Dyck, bassist Randy Forsberg, harmonica player Gerry Pearson and guitarist Shaun Cooney came on their own to check out drummer Mark Ammar’s renowned open jams.
“We all hit it off because our musical styles are similar. Most blues bands play the traditional Chicago blues that originated from gospel. The Blueshounds sound more like the British blues of the ’60s. It’s more of a rock ’n’ roll blues than the traditional blues.”
Dyck goes on to expand on the different musical styles. “Bands like the Rolling Stones heard the traditional blues and gave it their own twist and it caught on. It was picked up by John Mayall, Eric Clapton, the Animals, the Yardbirds and a bunch of others.”
Tonight, the band has planned four sets of blues funk with an almost jazzy feel — tunes such as Chuck Berry’s Nadine, Delbert McClinton’s I Need to Know and Fleetwood Mac’s Watch Out.
But it’s the band’s instantaneous chemistry that fuels an unstoppable energy, and each musician makes an invaluable contribution. Pearson, the band’s historian with one of the largest record collections in the area, creates a rootsy feel with his harmonica.
Forsberg, one of the busiest bassists around, has honed his skills providing support for the likes of Bo Diddley. “He is one of the most skilled musicians around. He does all sorts of funky runs that don’t clutter up the music.”
With Cooney, fellow musicians always run up to him after a set eager to know how the tone master plays a certain chord. “It’s magic how he gets the guitar to sing.”
Larry Kehl lays the keys with his hammond adding another bluesy dimension to Big Daddy and The Blueshounds.
And last, but not least, Dyck lauds Ammar’s sensitive ear, rhythm and perfect timing.
“The blues draw people in with emotion and passion. It’s like soul music. It gets to you.”
Although the Blueshounds have no recordings available, Pearson tapes their live performances and uploads them onto www.reverbnation.com/gerrypearson.
Jim Dyck Guitar and Vocals
In his late teens, Jim was in an eleven piece soul band in
Winnipeg playing keyboards. That was in 1967 - 68. He relocated to
Vancouver in 1969 and took up playing guitar. The first album he
practiced guitar to was John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric
Clapton. After hearing Eric Clapton, Jim was hooked on the blues. His
first gigs in Vancouver were in a 3 piece band The Buster Brown Blues
Band as bass player and vocalist. in 1978 he relocated to Vancouver
island and played in numerous bands including Stoop Solo, the Funguys,
and Tom Cat. Since moving to St. ALbert in 2009, Jim has been a
regular at the Tuesday night Blues Jam at LBs Pub. With over 40 years
of experience, Jim has been through many gigs and loves to perform
with fellow veteran musicians.
Shaun Cooney Guitar
Shaun grew up listening to Beatles and influenced by the guitarists of the great British rock bands. Big fan of Beck, Blackmore, Johnny Winter, and more recently
Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes. Played in bands when he was young took thirty years off and in the last couple of years have got back in to playing just for the fun of it.
Gerry Pearson Harmonica and Vocals
Gerry Pearson has played Blues Harmonica for over 40 years. Influenced by Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, John Mayall and James Cotton. Gerry is originally from Montreal where he. his brother, and local friends played their original music in their band "Sky". Gerry's passion for blues harmonica has allowed him to play with many seasoned musicians in the Edmonton Area. Big Daddy and the Blues Hounds is the most recent band and while still blowing his harmonicas he is enjoying singing the blues as well.
Mark Ammar Drums
Marks drumming passion started as a child in the 60's listening to his parents arabic music and watching them play hand drums.
Taking in styles from influences in the 70's and 80' such as John Bonham,Keith Moon,Stewart Copeland and Manu Katche gave Mark a few styles to integrate into his always play by ear style. Marks interest in fusion,jazz and blues in the 90's sparked a completely different approach behind the kit where dynamics and how to use a kit became very important to his approach in playing. His biggest influence came when he saw drummer Ian Froman perform. Appearing 130 to 180 nights a year on stage ,has given Mark the ability and experience to fit in with most styles live and a reputation as a feel groove push drummer. Mark plays a major role in keeping the live music scene happening in and around the Edmonton area and he has been hosting Ammars Tuesday Moosehead Open Stage in St. Albert Alberta since March 2004.
Larry Kehl Piano
Larry has been playing piano since the age of six when his father brought home the family piano from his grandparents and soon after began to play guitar as well. His influences have been diverse, the the keyboard players of the sixties and seventies, rock bands, folk, country and blues artists. Larry was a former keyboard player for the classic rock band Crosstown Traffic. He has recently been working with the Mary Thomas Band and sits in with numerous other musicians as a Guest Player.
Randy Forsberg (Bass/vocals)
Randy comes from a very musical family, and has been playing bass since the age of 9. His talent has enabled him to play many different styles of music but his heart is with R&B, blues, Motown and funk. He has shared the stage with such acts as April Wine, Prism, DR. Hook, Chilliwack, Jeff Healey, The Headpins, Nick Guilder and Sweeney Todd, Farmers Daughter, Prarie Oyster, the legndary Wilf Carter ( playing alongside his dad Neale), and was the bassist for rock'n roll hall of famer Bo Diddley for two short Canadian tours.
Randy prides himself as being a solid bass player regardless of what type of music he's playing, but most of all, enjoys the company of fellow players and being a nice guy!