Most recently I have been working as the bass player for a new St. Johns based band called Funk Island. This band performs a mix of funk, rock, jazz, and R&B, and a selection of original tunes is a part of that mix. Funk Island includes well-known jazz guitarist Kirk Newhook, vocalist Linda Parsons, drummer Paul Bradbury, along with me on bass guitar.
I worked as the bass player with St. John's based blues/funk/R&B band 'MOJO', prior to joining Funk Island. The band has been together for nearly three years. Guitarist-singer Shawn Beresford and I are the founding members. The current MOJO lineup also includes Bruce Cooper on drums and Jon Drover on guitar. A new CD is expected to be on the streets in 2005.
Prior to MOJO, I had my own six piece blues/R&B band for about a year, called 'East of 61', which featured Gary Johnston on keys, Rich Spurrell on drums, Frank Fusari on bass, Jason Hayward on sax, Anna Stassis on vocals, and myself on guitar.
Prior to East of 61, I had another band called 'Shy Mary'. This band was an acoustic ensemble, featuring Tanya Alexander on vocals, Mary Brennan on flute, and Frank Fusari on upright bass. This band was my most successful project, with the band's debut CD gaining radio airplay for several of the songs on the disc, all of which were original songs written by me. The CD was produced by Sandy Morris and Shy Mary. The original Shy Mary music was a mix of blues, jazz, classical, and folk stylings.
My earliest blues influences date back to hearing friends of my parents play Mississippi John Hurt albums on our family's mono HiFi. As a teenager, aside from being influenced by Hendrix, I discovered many white heavy blues artists such as Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, and Johnny Winter. And later Stevie Ray, of course. My main bass influences include Ray Brown, James Jamerson, Tommy Shannon, and Jaco Pastorius. These days my favorite modern blues artist is Keb Mo (Kevin Moore). And my favorite bass player is Victor Wooten.
Music has always been an eclectic journey for me, both as a player and as a listener, but I always seem to feel the need to come home to the blues. If I was stuck on a desert island, as long as I had a generous supply of B.B. King, Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, and Keb Mo, I think I could be very happy in blues exile for a long time.