Dave Jonasson (guitar and vocals)
Smedley B (keyboards)
Wayne Breiland (drums and vocals)
Tom Sinkins (bass)
Glenn Jennings (keyboards and trumpet)
Mark Thibert (sax)
Looking for a slide guitarist in Thunder Bay.Ask around. No doubt. Guaranteed,without hesitation or reservation,you'll hear the same name over and over again, Dave Jonasson He has led many bands over the years, most notably the Blue Pretenders and been a popular draw at the Red Rock Folk Festival and the Trout Forest Music Festival in Ear Falls. With a passion for his craft, a heartfelt delivery, an unassuming nature and a deep respect for the music’s traditions, Jonasson is the epitome of what attracted us all to the blues to begin with. And, while the spirit of Elmore James and Ry Cooder haunt the stirring sounds of his slide guitar, he is also a great admirer of Chuck Berry rock ‘n’ roll, Fats Waller jazz and Ricky Skaggs bluegrass. “He’s a great talent … played my music beautifully,” says Rita Chiarelli of Jonasson who accompanied the blues chanteuse on recent tours of western Canada and Eastern Europe. Fans of Jonasson have been catching his regular shows in local pubs and restaurants with pianist Brad Rusnak (a.k.a. Smedley B). Rusnak began playing on the family piano in Grade 8, took lessons at the Avila Centre and went on to earn his performing and teaching certificates from the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music. It was during three years of jazz piano studies at McGill University that he discovered the blues, rag, stride and boogie keyboard styles that he loves to play. Rusnak has toured Germany, France, Scandinavia, Greece and Australia with colourful blues diva Candye Kane. Always steady and true, bassist, Tom Sinkins has been keeping the rhythm of music in Thunder Bay humming along since the 1970’s when he played with Ken Hamm and the Bay Street Blues Band. Sinkins has manned the bass line for many local groups and has shared the stage with Bo Diddley, The Mamas and the Papas, Paul James, Paul Shaffer and Jack de Keyzer. It’s been 50 years since, at the age of 7 or 8, Wayne Breiland started sneaking behind the drum kit in his parent’s basement where his older brother and bands like Mariday Park practiced. His mother soon bought him his own set. Since graduating from high school, Wayne has been the time keeper in the CPR Blues Band, Baroque Plantation, Rodney Brown & the Derailers, Slap Johnson & the Trowellers and Southern Comfort. A bit of local blues trivia, the name Slap Johnson & the Trowellers began as an inside joke revolving around Wayne’s business, Thunder Bay Concrete and the way the band “slapped” down a groove and “trowelled” it out. “Authenticity” is the operative word here. Served up with northern gusto and first class musicianship don’t miss the hearty samplings of Delta and Chicago blues, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll on Southern Comfort’s play list.