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Steelin' Crazy Rhythm

Bios

Tom Hammel 
pedal steel guitar, accordion, electric and acoustic guitars, ukulele


Tom's musical start was on the accordion at age 10, and he has been playing guitar and singing for decades. He took up the pedal steel guitar in 2008 after trying to emulate its sound on the electric guitar in an alt-country band he was playing in at the time. He has performed on pedal and lap steel guitars in country/rockabilly/roots bands Derbytown, The Palomars, The Neon Stars, Alex & The Airstreams, Mac Pontiac, Dan Challis, Jesse Waldman, Speeding West (Luca Benedetti) and The Ploughboys. Notable performances include appearances at Folk on the Rocks Festival (Yellowknife), Nashville Boogie (Nashville) and East Van Opry (Vancouver).

 

He regularly does sideman work on pedal steel guitar for other singer-songwriters and bands. His pedal steel playing can be heard on albums released by The Dovetails, The Neon Stars, Jesse Waldman, The Tired Sunday Choir, and Dan Challis. His production credits include studio albums released by Vancouver bands The Palomars (two albums) and Derbytown (one album).

 

Tom’s pedal steel guitar influences include Herb Remington (Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys), Speedy West (pioneer in country and swing music of the 40s and 50s), and Buddy Emmons (helped standardize the instrument in the 1960s and define its role in country music)


Paul lends his guitar mastery to this album on five of the tracks. The immediately recognizable sound of his distinctive guitar playing has led to him compiling a list of credits that would be the envy of anyone in the music business. Paul has shared the stage and lent his guitar mastery to some fine musicians over the years such as Jeff Beck, Jackob Dylan, Michael Kaeshammer, Albert Lee, James Burton, Brian Setzer, The Reverend Horton Heat, Neko Case, Jim Byrnes, The Sojourners, and Carolyn Mark.

 

When he’s not out with Cousin Harley, Boxcar Campfire or any of the many other projects he’s involved in, he can be found inspiring students at international guitar workshops, conducting master classes or teaching privately. His three critically acclaimed instructional DVDs have earned him the respect of the guitar world and have sent many a young picker on the path of musical development. He’s never shy to share his knowledge and love of music.

Alex Pangman 
Vocals


Alex Pangman is featured on the new album in the classic western swing song “It’s All Your Fault”. Hammel has been a big fan since her debut album ‘they say’ was released in 1999. Proudly known as ‘Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing’, her natural vocal abilities and deep appreciation for the classic jazz era have earned her a place in our nation’s heart. With pipes aplenty, Juno nominee Pangman possesses the requisite taste, talent and the historical knowledge of an avid record collector to breathe new life into the sturdy standards of the classic jazz era.

 

A superb song stylist with growing compositional chops, the gifted Toronto scenemaker has built a loyal fanbase amongst jazz listeners and dancers. She has performed with her band, The Alleycats in nightclubs and concert halls across Canada including three stellar showcases at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. She has also opened for Willie Nelson (a big Bob Wills fan) and recorded with Bucky Pizarelli.

 

Jeremy Holmes
Upright Bass

 

Jeremy is a bass player and songwriter who has recorded and played with such diverse artists as David Hidalgo, Jim Byrnes, Big Dave McLean, Joey (Sh*thead) Keithley of DOA, John Hammond, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Russell DeCarle, Roxanne Potvin, Colin James, Jill Barber, Kat Danser, Cousin Harley (Paul Pigat), Michael Kaeshammer, John Reischman, Aaron Pritchett, Christa Couture, CR Avery, Hannah Georgas, Matt Patershuk, Haram and Michael Buble. He has recorded, toured, and worked on many award-winning projects with Steve Dawson for over a decade. He has also worked with producers including Howard Redekopp (Teagan And Sara), Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mother), Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq), John Raham (Frazey Ford), Chon (DOA) and Darryl Neudorf (Neko Case).

Photo: Anita van Weerden

James Badger
Drums

 

Sadly, we lost James suddenly in November, 2020. He was a true talent, friend and supporter of the arts in Vancouver, BC.  Specializing in roots-style music, he enjoyed playing old country, blues, rockabilly, New Orleans-style, R&B and old rock & roll. His nickname  was “Hollywood Jimmie” because he’s so NOT Hollywood. 

Performance and recording credits include: Juno-nominated James Buddy Rogers, Long John Baldry, Jimmy D Lane, Juno-winner Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Harpdog Brown, Steve Kozak, JJ Lavallee, The Rocket Revellers, DerbyTown, Lonesome Sinners, Bill Hills & The Fabulous Aces plus many others.

Musicians added for live performances

Simon Kendall
Accordion

Simon spent 15 years as music director for Doug and the Slugs. They released 4 gold albums and performed as one of the decade’s premier Canadian touring acts. During a band hiatus in 1989, Simon returned to his pre-slug roots in film and theatre, music-directing plays and composing for film and TV. He has won Jessie, Leo, & Genie awards for composing and music direction. In 1994, he formed the instrumental R&B group ‘Sharkskin’ with three members of the Odds, who ushered in the millennium opening for Tragically Hip.

He has also performed and recorded with numerous acts including: Cowboy Junkies, Colin James, Barney Bentall, Jim Byrnes, Chad Brownlee, East Van Morrison, Baba Brinkman, Illiteratty, and the Boom Booms. Five years after the untimely death of Doug Bennett, the original Slugs re-formed with singer Ted Okos and have performed for delighted Doug & the Slugs fans everywhere.

On a very different note, Simon has released 3 solo piano albums of introspective, soulful original music: Sweet Compulsion, Voyages From the Left Coast, and most recently, Postcards from my Piano.

Pat Darcus
Upright bass

Pat is a sought-after upright bassist and has played with numerous local roots and blues acts including Brandon Isaak, the Deadcats, Boddyholic, Harpdog Brown, Wendy Biscuit, Leonard and the Lab Rats and Rollin' and Tumblin'