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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hamilton's Bucket List Band Isn't Kicking The Bucket, But Filling It

If there’s a lesson to be learned from watching the Winter Olympics it’s this: Don’t quit, and remember everything you’ve learned.
SHIT - I fell!
It's all over!
We watch a figure skater fall. We imagine their thoughts: “SHIT. I fell. It’s all over.”

But no! Get up! You still have a chance.

Or we watch a snowboard cross race. Someone falls. We imaging their thought: “SHIT. I fell. It’s all over.”

But no! Get up! You still have a chance. (Someone else might fall.)

Or we watch a hockey game. Someone gets scored on. We imagine their thoughts. “SHIT. We’re down one. It’s all over.”

But no! We can still get a lucky bounce. Or a power play.

The common thread is obvious. The psychological game is the real game. Not giving up, but getting up, is the key to survival, and the doorway to the next step.

After a fall, it’s no longer about victory; it’s about sanity.

“Dammit. I’ve worked too hard to lay down and quit. I’m gonna finish this. Damn right I will!

Look at eight Hamilton musicians, all over the age of fifty. In an age of almost non-existent gigs, they aren’t giving up. They’re getting up. They’re ramping up all of their musical skills to make something happen.

They call themselves Bucket List. None of them is planning to kick the proverbial bucket anytime soon, but after watching these guys rehearse, you guess a strange force of “purposeful desperation” may be driving them forward. Founder and vocalist John Staley says, “Forming a band like this is something I’ve always wanted to do. Now that we’re all here and participating, it’s evolving into its own thing.”

Dave, Ralph, John, John, Ron, Jack, Glen
Photo: Ivan Sorensen

Bucket List is in pre-production for its first EP to be released later this year. The group already stretched its wings performing as a featured act last November at The Hamilton Blues Society Sunday Showcase, and continues to refine its sound using test recordings at various venues, including Burlington's B Town Sound and Hamilton's Porcelain Records.


Bucket List's list embraces and reinvents classics such as Mustang Sally, Crossroads, My Own Way To Rock, Move It On Over, Bo Diddley, Sweet Home Chicago, Midnight Hour, Hold On I'm Coming, The Letter, and even One Scotch One Bourbon One Beer. Tenor saxophonist John Godek and Ron Baker (trumpet) have been working out the horn parts, while the rhythm section of Staley, Glen Brown (drums), Dave Dalgleish (keys) and Ralph Lefevre (guitar) hold separate sessions. Carl Korody (trombone) and Jack McLaren (baritone saxophone) complete the roster.

With four horns, the Bucket can sound pretty full and damn powerful. Hard to carry lest the contents slosh over and make a mess, the men are being careful to not overuse or overplay the horns, while at the same time keeping them in reserve for those pull-out-the-stops moments. With flexibility and no shortage of grit, the Bucket List is aiming to entertain for full-out corporate shows, big weddings, fund-raisers, festivals and whatever else they can conjure.




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