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 airplay regionally. 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 stopped performing.
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.