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“This band is an Alberta institution” — CKUA
“In an age when attitude
frequently overshadows substance and the tuning of instruments can be an afterthought, Edmonton's Tacoy Ryde remains
one of Western Canada's best rock bands”. Peter North — Edmonton Journal
Tacoy Ryde was first conceived almost 40 years ago in the minds of a group of twelve year olds from Stettler, Alberta
in the summer of 1967 (commonly referred to as ‘the Summer of Love’).
In 1973 they moved to Edmonton. At this time, the members of Tacoy Ryde were writing their own songs, as well as
playing covers by the likes of the Allman Brothers, The Band, The Byrds and lots of Grateful Dead tunes. Since
they were the only band in Edmonton playing this kind of material they developed a large following of loyal fans
who would guarantee full houses wherever they played.
In the spring of 1980 the band recorded their first single at Homestead Recorders with manager Larry Wanagas (k.d.
Lang, Big Sugar). The single,"Is There a Reason"/"Don't Let Me Be Alone" was released and received
These were the days of six-nighters back-to-back across the country, with a solid fan base in several major cities.
Tacoy Ryde was also becoming a fullfledged reggae band. They were now being booked to open for major reggae acts
such as Jamaica's Third World Band and England's Steel Pulse.
By 1982, the time was ripe to record an album. The band headed to Pinewood Studio in Vancouver with Claire Lawrence
(Chilliwack, Hometown Band) hired to produce the record. The album consisted of original reggae material as well
as a version of "Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley and Third World's arrangement of Gamble and Huff's
"Now That We've Found Love". The band was unable to secure a record deal so the album was shelved and
to this day remains unreleased.
In late 1983, under pressure to change their name and move in a more pop direction Tacoy Ryde became Jato and signed
with an upstart label from Vancouver, Parallel One. Jato worked with Declan O'Doherty (Idle Eyes, Rita Mcneil)
and reshaped their sound considerably to try and break into the pop market of the day. The Jato album was well
received by radio and songs like "She's Got" and "Lake of Fire" were on gold rotation across
Canada. Jato also produced two music videos for these songs which got a lot of play on Much Music. Though things
seemed to be going well, a major distribution deal was still not in the cards and by 1988 the band temporarily
Reformed in 1990 as Tacoy Ryde, the band went back to its roots and started to perform again in local clubs. Having
lost front man, Jerry Woolsey, the band forged ahead without a lead singer until meeting up with Al Brant while
performing a tribute on Jimi Hendrix's 50th birthday. Shortly after this, Drummer Bill Hobson's future wife, Dale
Ladouceur joined the band.
By 1995 the band was a regular fixture on the Edmonton club scene. Independent albums were becoming easier to produce
and Tacoy Ryde began recording their independent CD, “Here's the Picture”.
“Here's the Picture” was released in 2003 and songs like "Where's Doug" and "Ojo Grises" ranked
in the top 15 most played songs on CKUA radio.
With two lead singers who are also great songwriters, and a band that has forged a unique sound over its many years
together, the band today is poised to record a sensational new album (just in time for its 40th anniversary) and
hit a new stride in its long and colourful history.
Guitarist extrordinaire, Barrie Nighswander began his career at an early age as co-founder of Tacoy Ryde, a still
active group that has enjoyed considerable success. The band Tacoy Ryde has recorded two albums, one of which was
released under the name JATO and was nominated 'Best
album of the year' at the West Coast Music
Awards. Five singles were released from that album, with two of those released as videos.
Versatility and technical prowess in his flawless playing make Nighswander an in-demand guitarist. He has toured
Canada extensively with Tacoy Ryde and well-known Jamaican groups Third
World Band and Steel Pulse.
He has toured Germany with Cori Brewster and continues to perform with The
Bent Harbour Band, Al Brant
and the Mavens.
Duane Smith Duane is a founding member of Tacoy Ryde. He has developed a reputation for
his ability to adapt to many styles of music but one thing stays constant and that is his steadfast dedication
to the solid beat and oneness with the drummer. His soulful chops are in the pocket on every note in every tune.
Duane is an accomplished musician, songwriter and recording artist. He has played bass professionally for over
38 years and also plays guitar, keyboards and sings. Several of Duane's compositions have received national exposure
and airplay. He has played on numerous recording sessions with a wide range of artists and remains one of Western
Canada's first-call bassists.
His accomplishments include an Alberta Recording Institute Association (ARIA) award with the Eddie Patterson Project,
for "Best Back-up Band on a Recording," as well an ARIA award for a "Jimi Hendrix Tribute Album",
featuring several outstanding guitarists. Duane was also nominated in the category of "Bassist of the Year"
at the West Coast Music Awards. One of his songs was nominated for an ARIA award in the Best Video category.
Duane has performed and shared the stage with an impressive list of artists including Juno Award winners, the great
and Kenny Shields (Streetheart). Other artists include Gaye Delorme, National Guitar Warz winners, Eddie Patterson
and Bobby Cameron, Jenson
McIlwaine; blues artists Lionel Rault,
Big Hank Lionhart & rising star Roxanne
Duane's relentless pursuit of the groove provides the backbone of the Tacoy Ryde sound.
Dale Ladouceur Dale Ladouceur has the distinction of being
one of very few Chapman Stick players in Canada. Ladouceur's work has given her the opportunity to take part in
many interesting collaborations with artists like Bruce
Cockburn, Angelique Kidjo, Artis the
Spoon Man, John Hammond Jr. and Valdy.
She has performed in groups led by The Lincolns,
Laura Smith, Laura Vinson, Lester Quitzau, Bill Bourne
and Tacoy Ryde.
Her critically acclaimed original project "Dale
Ladouceur and the Broke Ensemble",
(originally The Mavens), has received regular rotation on national and international radio.
Recently Ladouceur has branched out into writing soundscapes for a number of Canadian theatre companies and has
just finished the soundtrack for the American documentary; "50
years of Transplant History" for the
American Kidney Foundation.
Spring/Summer of 2006 Ladouceur has been composing what she describes as a "Zappaesque-Cantata" on the
pharmaceutical industry. She is also working on securing the rights to allow her to write a concept disc on the
storyline and characters of the Tom Robbins novel; "Jitterbug
Ladouceur is also a political writer and activist who has written a number of comprehensive articles that have
been published internationally. Her articles have covered such topics as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment,
climate change, ozone depletion, water privatization and exposés on the popular press and ethical conduct
in the media. Featured interviews include such Canadian icons as Peter C. Newman, Gwynne Dyer and David Suzuki.
She is on the Board of Directors of The Toxics Watch Society (www.toxwatch.ca),
the Board of Directors of the maverick theatre company Theatre Yes and has actively promoted and supported a number
of environmental non profits. In 1999 Ladouceur scored an exclusive interview with the Godfather of Rap/Hip-Hop;
Gil Scott Heron, (The Revolution Will Not Be Televised). Most recently Ladouceur went head to head with the cast
of the Canadian cult hit show Trailer Park Boys.
Al Brant Al Brant released his first solo album "Let
It Fly" in 1991, with Eddie Patterson,
and friends John Armstrong (bass) and Kelly Pikula (drums). He continues to write and record with The Stone Merchants
and one of Western Canada's longest running bands, Tacoy
Ryde. In 1996, Brant released a Factor-supported
recording produced by Jamie Kidd entitled, "Al
Brant & The Waterbirds". This recording
garnered glowing reviews and regular airplay on CKUA and CBC radio. Brant's song-writing talents continued to garner
accolades, and in 2003, he received an Honourable Mention in the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition.
Since its conception a decade ago, Brant has written songs for and performed in the "Christmas
Carol Project" — a musical version
of that classic tale — along with other Edmonton-based musicians. Bravo Television Productions is producing the
show for airing on national television, under the direction of John Armstrong and Tim Folkman
Brant is also a staff musician at the University of Alberta Hospital as part of the "Artists
on the Wards Program" funded through
The Friends of the U of A Hospitals. He has just released a new solo CD, Songs
For The Early Morning Sun.
Dennis Meneely Years ago Dennis' Mom said day after day
"Time to practice your piano, Dennis". Young Dennis, although at the time thinking he had more important
things to do, gave in and trundled off to the piano stool. Pretty soon going to the piano stool became a passion,
which culminated in 5 years at the Royal Conservatory.
All this formal training never
got in the way of his love for Rock n Roll. From his beginning, groups such as Why
Group Called Mudd and the 49thParallel,
to name a few. Dennis perfected his style and worked on his chops.
He has performed and toured with Streetheart, Jato, Kenny Shields Band, the Hootin' Annies,
Jack Semple and Tacoy Ryde.
He currently plays in several bands including Tacoy
Ryde whom he has performed and written with
for the past decade or more. He also finds time to play with 1980's rockers Toronto and locally with the up-and-coming Fist Full of Blues.
Dennis has a wealth of experience in the studio as well, having written and recorded everything from original soundtracks
to jingles and songs. His CD works include the Hendrix
Tribute as a performer as well as co-writer
and performer with Tacoy Ryde, Jato and Colored
Dennis is a perfectionist with a lot of soul. He can boogie-woogie or tickle the keys off any song as he weaves
his great feel and touch into the fabric of the tune. He sings occasionally, and is always ready with a quick quip
and some interaction with the audience which adds to the overall experience of seeing him play live.
Bill Hobson Bill Hobson has great timing. If you ask anyone who has heard him play, either
in Tacoy Ryde, the Rault Brothers Band or more recently with Big Hank Lionheart, they'll say, "That guy's
right in the pocket". Yep, that's where you'll find Bill Hobson, in the pocket. He's also very good at filling
in for other drummers when they need a sub. That's how he makes some of his living. He's good at this because he
has great sensitivity and an innate ability to interpret and spontaneously interact with many different grooves.
His favorite kinds of grooves are latin, reggae, funk and r&b and for this reason he probably should have been
from New Orleans. Eddie Bo, native of the Big Easy, was well impressed and would tell Bill, "You've got great
Bill's not only a great drummer. He likes to design and build his own recording studios. He's been recording music
in his home since the early 90s. He's worked with lots of great Edmonton recording artists and looks forward to
doing it in a new larger studio that's expected to open in 2007.
Bill's married to Dale Ladouceur and considers this to be one of his more important achievements. They work together
producing CDs for many up and coming singer-songwriters while raising their daughter, Ramsay.