Every 2 years Lee Ritenour and his team put on the world’s biggest guitar competition. Last time I was #6, this time #4, so I’m assuming based on that I’ll win it in 4-6 years. Congrats to fellow canuck Carter Low for placing first!
Gary Cain – Guitar / Vocals
Gary Cain is one of the most exciting guitar-slingers on the blues scene today. As a child he spent entire days in his parents’ basement learning AC/DC songs note-for-note on a cheap classical guitar. “Eventually I think they thought ‘It’s time to get him into lessons.’ I still laugh when I think back to me as a 12-year old kid trying to explain to my Mom the intricacies of Angus Young’s solo on the live version of Whole Lotta Rosie.”
After studying guitar at Humber College’s world-renowned music program, he played in several bands, eventually landing a gig in Dubai in the house band for The Lodge, one of Dubai’s largest nightclubs. The four-sets-a-night, six-nights-a-week pace eventually led to a vocal injury that sidelined him. “I wasn’t sure what to do, no seemed to be able to tell me what the problem was. When I finally got into see a specialist that could tell me, it was a relief to know it was something I could come back from.” Now, back in action with a style he calls Twang-a-Delic Blues-o-Phunk, he’s backed by a rhythm section featuring two incredibly well-rounded, experienced, and talented musicians. “It’s great to be able to play with guys that can draw from so many styles. It gives us a lot of freedom to stretch out of the typical blues box and into a lot of cool different places.”
In 2014 Gary placed 6th in the world in the blues category of Grammy Winner Lee Ritneour’s Six String Theory guitar competition, judged by such greats as Joe Bonamassa, Ry Cooder, and Joe Satriani. He is also an Official Fractal Artist.
Tom Nagy – Bass
Tom Nagy has performed all across the country, appearing most recently with Genesis tribute group G2R, Mahavishnu Orchestra tribute group Vital Transformation, Boston tribute group Hitch A Ride, and with his own jazz quintet. He is a graduate of Humber College’s world-class music program, where he also served as Assitant Engineer in the Humber recording studio. Tom is also the Technical Director of K-W’s top live jazz venue, The Jazz Room, and composes soundtracks for television and film projects.
Don McDougall – Drums
Don McDougall is a graduate of the Humber College Music Program. He began studying drums at six years of age with noted percussionist Gary Tomlin – who went on to become one of Don’s musical mentors. At the age of 17 he began his professional career with local heroes Opus II, a nine-piece show band and over the years has worked in productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square; Drayton Entertainment’s “Cinderella” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”; Royal City Musical Productions “Blood Brothers”, “Willy Wonka”, “Nunsense” and “Seussical”. Don has performed or recorded with some of the giants of jazz, including Pat LaBarbera, Peter Appleyard, Jane Bunnett and blues great Mel Brown. Don appears on and also co-produced CDs by jazz vocalist Cathy Menard. He has been playing and instructing for over 30 years and is currently Second-in-Command and Assistant Director of Music for the Ceremonial Band of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, performing here in Canada and in the United States. He also performs with a number of other groups, including Tim Louis, and New Country band “The Remedy featuring Colin Amey”.
Recently did some recording for the good people at Mano a Mano Radio for their “Electrifying Adventures of DJ Jeff E Jeff” Webcomic, and got a mention in Bryan Reigate’s podcast (@~18:00), along with members of 54-40, Limblifter, Age of Electric, Cursed Arrows, Hot Hot Heat, and The Gay Nineties.
So many of my favourite musicians come from, or have a strong connection to Austin. None better than Stevie Ray Vaughan, so it was great to get a chance to visit his statue along the shore of the Colorado River. I’ll never forget the first time I heard him play – it literally changed my life. Pretty cool that a city has statues of SRV and Willie Nelson – beats dead politicians any day in my books!
Also got a chance to check out the absolutely killer B3 player, Red Young. Great to be in a city that prides itself on live music, and rightly so!
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