Downtown Blues Band
High Energy Rhythm-n-Blues from Fredericton, NB www.thedowntownbluesband.com - Home
a DBB review
  Bios
 

The Downtown Blues Band:

  Paul Campbell   Vocals
  Dee London   Vocals (1952 - 2004)
  Rick Hutchins   Vocals and Harp
  Tom Blizzard   Drums and Back-up Vocals
  Chris Browne   Lead and Rhythm Guitar
  Dave Cunningham   Bass Guitar
  Gordon Thomas   Keyboards and Vocals
  Conrad Mead   Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Vocals
  Lloyd Bragdon   Tenor Saxophone
  Dave Nightingale   Guitar
  Jeannine Gallant   Trombone & Vocals
  Kelly Waterhouse   Saxophone & Vocals
         
         
 
   
 

Paul CampbellPaul Campbell -- Vocals
Bury n' The Remains was Paul's first music project, a four-piece unit that played the NB college and high school circuit in the late 60s and 70s. As well as protest songs like "The Eve of Destruction", it was during these early days that he got hooked on classic Rhythm n' Blues.

Bury n' The Remains backed Anne Murray on her first demo record, which was not picked up by any record labels at the time, unfortunately ...

He carried on with solo gigs at CoffeeHouses, Revues, Bars and Jamborees in the 70s and early 80s in Halifax. It was during this time he met Al MacDonald, the noted Nova Scotian singer/songwriter who exposed him to every kind of music, in particular the music of Cape Breton and Pictou County, NS.

With a number of hits such as Al's "Heading For Halifax", Campbell fronted The MacDonald Brothers Band for several years, sometimes playing low-end venues like Dick Turpin's Pub where one Saturday afternoon a drunken sailor told him he wasn't screaming loud enough.

Armed with this knowledge, he returned to New Brunswick in 1984.

In 1987, Joy Peterson asked him to help with music for a Big Brothers/Big Sisters Benefit at the Club Cosmopolitan. Tim MacTavish provided a lot of beer tickets, which was legal at the time. Paul called Hutch who knew the 3 J's - Jon Weaver, JoAnne Rooney and Joey Kilfoil - and the DOWNTOWN BLUES BAND was born.

The rest, as they say, is All About The Love.

Paul received "The Dutch Mason Blues Award" from the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in 1995, joining such Maritime Blues Luminaries as Carson Downey, John Campbelljohn, Joe Murphy, Hot Toddy and Dutch himself as contributors to the Maritime Blues Scene.

   
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Dee London
All Hail The Goddess of The Blues

Dee London (1952 - 2004) -- Vocals
Diane Louise London started playing acoustic blues and folk as a teenager in the coffee houses of Moncton. A true artist, Dee's varied career in the arts included 14 years with the Calithumpians Theatre as a writer, musician, director, drama teacher and performer, as well as five years with Theatre New Brunswick as Tour Manager and Publicist. The Dee-va rocked the Blues Band after joining in 1994.

Diane left us during the Full Moon in August 2004. We know we will never be the same without her, and we thank her for sharing Her Love and Caring Nature ... and her Unrelenting Desire that People Have a Good Time ... "All Blessings to You, Goddess of the Blues."

   
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  Rick HutchinsRick Hutchins -- Vocals and Harp
Rick Hutchins is one of the original members of The Band. Hutch plays harmonica and sings soul numbers that take you to the place where James Brown meets Tom Waits. Hutch is the founder of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton and has created a number of other blues projects over the years, including the "Bubba" Trilogy and the George Street Blues Project. A true impressario, he also founded the River Jam events that raise money for local young people and musicians and is one Great Big Party every June at the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in Freddy Beach. Hutch believes the Downtown Blues Band is therapy of the greatest kind.
   
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  Tom BlizzardTom Blizzard -- Drums and Back-up Vocals
If bands were baseball teams, Tom Blizzard would be Matt Stairs. Blues, Soul, Rock 'n' Roll - even a little Country -since the Swingin' Sixties. Friendly, courteous service, with plenty of free parking; the man truly is a legend in his own mind.
   
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  Chris BrownChris Browne -- Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Chris Brown, Sideshow Bob, Circus Pete, hails from Oakville, Ontario but has lived in Fredericton since 1995. He picked up the guitar in 1981 and played in bands throughout High School, but decided to focus on art and teaching, becoming an art teacher in 1992. It was a part time teaching gig that brought him to Fredericton, where he ended up teaching Paul Campbell's daughter, Rose. When Paul asked his daughter about her guitar playing teacher, she is rumoured to have replied "He's way too good to play in your Band, Dad!" Fredericton was meant to be a short stop along the way, but marriage, fatherhood and the Blues Band have made it home.
   
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  Dave CunninghamDave Cunningham -- Bass Guitar
Dave Cunningham is part of the infamous TMR Connection. No fewer than 3 DBB members are natives of the Town of Mount Royal, PQ. It was there in 1968 that he acquired his first bass, and the rest is history. Classic Montreal bands like The Ste. Agathe Flyers and Short Notice were anchored by Dave's intricate ostinatos.

The lowlight of his career at this time was perhaps playing Olympic Stadium as an opener for the long forgotten Human Fly. Yes, the man who would be doubling Evel Knievel's record for clearing buses on a motorcycle that night was only warming up for his next stunt - a rocket powered hop over the English Channel. It is cruel to say the band played a Killer Set that night, but have you heard tell of the Human Fly since?

Anyway, a 'blue' period in Hogtown saw Dave just jamming with a few local cats. The fact that two of those cats lived with dancers who knew every other dancer in the city was incidental. The parties were not.

Arriving in Keswick Ridge in '89 with a '77 Stingray (the bass, not the car) Dave unleashed his Quebecois wasp soul on the locals. His recidivist style has been heard with The High Divin' Act, All Bloozed Up, Blind Dog, A.J. and the Red Hots and some others too embarassing to mention. He is currently also one of the bookends of the acclaimed band Soul Purpose - an awesome soul unit that adds new meaning to the term "tighten up your Merkin!"

Dave also served an early '90s term in the Downtown Blues Band, in the old days before tattoos when bass players were less gray but not as bluish.

   
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Gordon ThomasGordon Thomas -- Keyboards and Vocals
Gordon was born and raised in Fredericton, specifically Nashwaaksis. Gordo started playing piano at the ripe age of six years old and ended up in music lessons for a number of years squeezed in between hockey games. He started his first band with some friends at age 14 and as they slowly perfected their act they began playing school dances and coffee houses. After becoming of legal age they began touring clubs in New Brunswick with a few stops in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.

This lasted for five years until the band was quite burned out and decided to split. Gordo took a rest for a year and got married and had kids. The love for music was still nagging him so he began playing Legions, Curling Clubs and rural dance halls with another group. This lasted for approximately seven years and then for a few years Gordo played in various groups playing different styles of music such as country, old rock, rhythm & blues and some modern hard rock. He has been a member of Excalibur, Brickhill, Mixed Nuts, Cat in the Hat and has also sat in with other local groups.

Gordo joined the Downtown Blues Band in 1997 and has remained there to this day. He continues to enjoy all sorts of music and spending time with his family and friends.

   
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  Conrad  Mead Conrad "KingRat" Mead -- Trumpet, Flugel Horn and Vocals
Conrad is a Boat Person (from Iowa) who landed in Canada in 1979 as a poor immigrant musician with only a green trumpet, a toolbox and a '76 AMC Gremlin to his name.

His playing career began almost by accident, as his real goal in life was to become a plumber. However, he couldn't seem to keep the metal pipes out of his mouth. Someone soon recognized his penchant for getting crude and rude sounds out of metal pipes and suggested he try playing the trumpet. "Sure, he said, but can a trumpet plug a leaking pipe, or patch a hole?" And so it was, his plumbing career was put on hold ...

In the late '60s and '70s, Conrad toured extensively throughout the USA, Canada and Mexico, recording, making beach movies and living on a bus with 10 hippies and a dog. Conrad has played with such groups as The Library of Sound, Oddessy, The Fabulous Flippers, Festival, Sun Machine and The Mighty Pope to name a few.

In 1972, The Fabulous Flippers were named 'Entertainers of the Year' by the Entertainment Operators of America (EOA) and were later enshrined in the Iowa and Nebraska Rock N' Roll Halls of Fame in the late '90s. Their early '70s release of "Harlem Shuffle" met with regional success and their arrangement was later picked up and released by The Rolling Stones.

Conrad has had the opportunity to share the stage and/or venues with such groups and musicians as The Rolling Stones, Chicago, Kansas, Little Richard, Bobby Vinton, Black Oak Arkansas, Aretha Franklin, Cold Blood featuring Chaka Kahn, Dr. Music, Deep Purple, Elf, Gloria Gaynor, Spiral Staircase, and others. Generally these opportunities came about as an opening act and on a few occasions as a contract musician hired to play in the back-up bands/orchestra for clubs and concert venues.

Retiring from the road in 1978, Conrad moved to Canada, married a lovely Acadian woman, got a haircut, a real job, raised a family and put his music aside for 18 years. Rick Hutchins later discovered his shady background and enticed (blackmailed) him out of retirement with promises of fame and fortune playing with the Downtown Blues Band for the HJ&B Festival in 1997.

Although Conrad never attained his real dream of being a licensed plumber, he can still on occasion be seen grabbing a microphone stand, jumping from the stage and screaming, "I got a plug for your hole right here, Buddy!"

The rest is, as they say ... therapy ...

   
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Lloyd BragdonLloyd Bragdon -- Tenor Saxophone
"The Lloyd is my Shepherd - I shall not want."

Paul likes to say this about Lloyd - because Lloyd doth lead him to Green Pastures ...

Lloyd is the Consummate Musician. Raised in a musical family, he started playing clarinet at age 5. At 14, he was playing saxophone in military bands under the direction of his father, Bandmaster Stub Bragdon - a Carleton County music legend.

He played Legions, County Fairs and Dances with "The Bragdons" - his family band that included his dad Stub, cousin Paul and Paul's dad, Uncle Al.

Lloyd jammed with the Howard Brook Band and played his horn with The Beechwood Beaters for many years. He hooked up with the Downtown Blues Band at the Carleton County Toy Run in 1997, and the rest ... as they say ... is all about 2000 bikers going crazy.

As a professional musician, he is the proprietor of Bragdon Music Ltd. in Woodstock. So if you really want to know what The Music is all about - Call Lloyd!

Bragdon Music Ltd.
Upper Woodstock, NB
506-328-2151

   
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Dave NightingaleDave Nightingale -- Guitar

Dave Nightingale formerly from Liverpool, was the 7th Beatle. Raised by BB King and Liz Taylor in a small town outside of Minto. Spent most of his younger years picking guitar and eating steamed hot dogs. Realized that beer tasted good when he was 9 years old and worked for Budweiser for 17 years as a taste tester. Toured throughout the Grand Lake area with Buster Hymen & the Penetrators for many years.

   
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Jeannine GallantJeannine Gallant -- Trombone & Vocals

Jeannine Gallant -- or Jah-9, as her reggae fans dub her -- or J9, as the rest of her fans call her -- or Rare Earth, as Soupy calls her -- started playing trombone when she was 11 years old. Though she is a product of the school band program, she never did get to go to band camp, but remains one of the cool kids all the same. Cool enough, in fact, to have been welcomed into the lovin' arms of the DTBB. J9 has spent many of her horn-tootin' career doing anything but sitting around and waiting for the low brass part to come in. She does New Orleans jazz stuff, reggae stuff, dixie stuff, Bernstein stuff, Vile stuff, latin stuff, blues stuff, cross-generational alt-rock stuff, ECMA-nominated stuff, big band stuff, wailin' rockin' out plugged in stuff, soft and languid quiet stuff, and helicopter noises. She likes to do all that stuff with her voice, too, actually. And dance to all that stuff. Have you ever danced to helicopter noises? Well, she has. That's how cool she is.

   
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Kelly WaterhouseKelly Waterhouse -- Saxophone & Vocals

Kelly Waterhouse is a local music teacher and professional musician. She graduated from Mount Allison University in 2005 with her bachelor of music and has been playing and teaching ever since! She feels very fortunate to be able to play with The Downtown Blues Band and all of the fantastic musicians in the group!

 
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