Glenn Domina started me on this journey by volunteering to produce and play on my first two recordings. Glenn has been playing rock&roll for decades and really knows his stuff. He is a great guitarist, a perfectionist in the studio, a strong rock vocalist, songwriter, gearhead, and music enthusiast. He leads two bands: Second Wind, which focuses on recording originals by Glenn and longtime collaborator John Delo; and The Grabbies, in which Glenn and John are joined by Glenn’s wife and son to do wonderful cover versions of classic rock tunes. Neither band plays live very much, but we did have the privilege of having them join our River Rock festival for several years. Second Wind were my backing band when playing my first two singles live, and it is this group that features in my “live” video for “I’m Coming Over Tonight”.
The Grabbies on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/grabbiescovers
Second Wind is on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-694437853
What can I say about Andrew Smith? A brilliant acoustic guitarist, sympathetic and multi-talented producer, and all-round nice guy. Andrew runs Lake Studios in Kelowna and took me on as a recording project in 2020. Andrew’s fingerprints are all over my recordings, from multiple guitar tracks, a bunch of other instruments, backing vocals, and production touches. Many of the guitar solos in my recordings are straight from Andrew’s imaginative fretboard. Andrew performs and tours on occasion, playing solo, with his son Zachari (who plays drums on most of my songs), or with others (e.g. Neil Fraser in the Smith Fraser Duo). You’ve never seen someone play tap guitar the way Andrew Smith does!
Lake Studios: https://lakestudios.ca/
Carol McCartney is both a professional singer and a good friend, who created great vocal backing on a few of my singles. Carol had a professional career as a singer in commercial revues, fronting big bands, recording traditional jazz, and as a solo performer. Her solo work is as a jazz / pop singer, but there is a hidden Country album in her past! Carol’s skill and enthusiasm in the recording studio was a real pleasure to see!
Jesse Collins Jr. is Carol McCartney’s son and has impressive creative chops, both as a singer/songwriter and in musical theatre. Jesse contributed backing vocals to a couple of my recordings, and we see him around a lot as he and our son are good friends.
Jesse has a home on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JesseCollinsJr
Tim Smith at Lowe’s School of Music in Mississauga is a brilliant classical guitarist, and was an essential guide on my musical journey as my guitar teacher for many years. My fingers and brain resisted Tim’s best efforts to turn me into a guitarist, but I definitely made progress! Many of my originals had their chords and solos worked out through our weekly lessons. Tim also played at our River Rock festival several times, to great acclaim.
Patrick Gough is a fantastic drummer, and I was thrilled to have him contribute the backbeat to my first six singles. Just listen to “What? Why?” and you’ll hear his skill. Patrick was a co-worker for a few years and as we became friends I discovered his rich musical background in the Washington D.C. postpunk scene. He has toured widely, played in a bunch of bands (Pitchblende, Imperial China, Outerloop, and more), recorded, and still gigs whenever he can. He just loves to play!
Imperial China’s youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5xhvrce6o5oRMhtHvf4alw
Our friends Betty-Anne and Rod Heikkila are a lot of fun to be around, and they bring that joy to both their bands – Rude Awakening and Smokin’ Bass Band. Smokin’ Bass plays cover tunes to fairs, Legion Halls, and outdoor gigs around southwestern Ontario, while Rude Awakening plays a more rock repertoire on occasion.
The Smokin’ Bass Band on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNHgfZ8HnUik2UqCmJapXug
A couple of Rude Awakening videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeZzW1IvysHhuMMuFzLn6lA
Another friend from Port Credit days, Chase Stevens is tearing up the indie Country music charts these days with a string of hit singles. Chase has been working on his craft for years, and loves to play singer/songwriter nights and collaborate with his musical peers. It’s good to see his commitment pay off!
In Kelowna, we have hung around a bit with Jim and Kim Rhindress, who are both committed to full time music work – Kim as a vocal coach, Jim as a guitar tech, and both as performers and recording artists in at least three guises – the classic rock band Cover2Cover, as an acoustic duo in Smitten, and recording originals as Rhindress. Super skilled, comfortable stage performers, and nice people – what’s not to like!?
Rhindress band web site: https://www.rhindressmusic.com/
A great friend of Jim and Kim Rhindress is Tony Koenen, who is a true musical character – as a former professional musician and veteran of hundreds of performances, a multi-instrumentalist of astounding variety, a songwriter, and raconteur, the guitar is sure to come out when hanging around with Tony for an evening. He plays just for fun now.
Tony’s web site: https://tonykoenenmusic.com
Celeste Ireland is a young singer/songwriter who has performed at our River Rock festival a couple of times. Her dad was in Second Wind for years. Her heartfelt originals are great!
I met drummer extraordinaire Ed Troscianczuk at Lowe’s School of Music in Mississauga, where he was teaching. I dragged him into my friends’ jam band (“Blunt Instrument”) and he played with us for a few years both in the basement and on stage. I was delighted to discover that Ed was the drummer for Toronto’s legendary ska band Skaface (which still surfaces for the odd gig and recording). Ed also plays locally in the Port Credit Revival Band, and probably in a bunch of other outfits I don’t know about! A nice guy and a rock steady drummer.
And finally, as Vice President of the Lantern Folk Roots Society in Kelowna, BC, I am working with a volunteer team to bring folk / roots performers to Kelowna for house concerts, garden performances, and small venue shows. We are non-profit and the performer gets 100% of the gate. Lantern has put on dozens of great shows over the past decade; if you’re in the area, join the society and come see a show!