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Big Daddy has nothing to prove

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 06:00 am

This Saturday, Big Daddy and the Blueshounds will be bringing their  blend of rock and blues to LB's Pub in St. Albert. The band features 'Big Daddy' Randy Forsberg on bass  guitar, 'The Tone Master' Shaun Cooney on guitar, Gerry Pearson on  harmonica, St. Albert legend Mark Ammar on drums and Jim Dyck on  vocals and guitar.
This Saturday, Big Daddy and the Blueshounds will be bringing their blend of rock and blues to LB's Pub in St. Albert. The band features 'Big Daddy' Randy Forsberg on bass guitar, 'The Tone Master' Shaun Cooney on guitar, Gerry Pearson on harmonica, St. Albert legend Mark Ammar on drums and Jim Dyck on vocals and guitar.
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The five 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.”

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.

Their show starts at 9:30 p.m. No cover charge.


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