The Bearcats
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The Bearcats

Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
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"Reviews from CD Baby"

This is a band of veteran players who work out of Owen Sound and this is their third and easily their best CD. Kevin Dandeno plays bass with Dan Jeffares on guitar and Dave Fearnall on B3. Rod Ramsay is on harp and Jeff Salem sits in on drums. The title song is first up and it's a original that should get patrons up on the dance floor and the rest of the program should keep them there. The band re-energizes Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book" and Lowell Fulson's "Bending like a Willow Tree".

"Save Your Money Baby" is the kind of song more bands should do, it's very good and sufficiently unknown (by James "Shakey Jake" Harris) to maintain interest. Originals "My Baby's Gone", "Woman, You're Hurtin' Me" and "Please Tease Me" can now proudly take their place in the set. Well recorded too, by Jerry Tupis.

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More Reviews from CD Baby
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Rating: 5 out of 5
author: Olga from Ukraine
I am deeply touched and overwhelmed listening such expressively energetic amazing music! An excellent play of all instruments especially guitars and a deep sensitive voice of great singer! I like all songs especially :I Want My Baby Back. Thanks, You All are really Great Guys!

Rating: 5 out of 5
author: Marion
Hi there! I am writing from St. Louis, Missouri - the cradle of the Blues. You guys are very good! Keep up the great work and maybe see you at the Grammy's! Stay cool!

Rating: 5 out of 5
a totally awesome experience,,,,,,love it
author: Bev Forsman
I was really impressed with the music and the vocals,,im a blues lover and you guys really know how to rock my world,,i listen to it alot and can only say,,keep em coming,,your totally awesome,,,,,,,,peace

Rating: 5 out of 5
Maxed Out has howling vocals, screamin guitar ..a great CD
author: Andrew Blake
I just listened to the CD Maxed Out by the Bearcats and was blowin away. I know nothing about Canadian Blues but these guys are great. Excellent guitar playings and tasteful, great vocals. I recommend anyone who has blues in their veins buy this CD.
- CD Baby


"The Bearcats"

The Bearcats

We welcome Journalism Honours student and self-proclaimed "big blues fan" Lori Ross as a guest freelance writer with her penning of the following story about Owen Sound's Bearcats.

"The blues are not restricted to a certain income level, gender, age or ethnic group. That is why we are as comfortable performing at a street dance in Sauble Beach, as we are in this private ski club," explains the Bearcats' lead singer, James Wayner, as he gets ready to take the stage at the prestigious Georgian Peaks Club.

A veteran of 35 years in the music business, Wayner knows how to work a crowd. This big bear of a man ambles up to the centre mic; "Good evening everyone. We're the Bearcats and this is the blues!" he proclaims, launching the band into a raunchy, down and dirty blues number that has the dance floor packed before that first song is even over.

The Bearcats are performing this night to a 40-ish crowd who worked all week in the corporate world and then drove north of the big city to unwind, to ski, and to have a good time. This audience consists of people who seek perfection and demand the best, giving their all in their professions, on the slopes and now on the dance floor. The Bearcats deliver their best. Clean and crisp.

Playing the classics like "Mustang Sally" (by request), as well as songs written by Wayner, the Bearcats have come a long way since getting together 6 years ago.

"We started out as a David Wilcox tribute band. We kept the name but have now developed our own original sound. Last summer we opened for Colin James and that was great exposure for us. Our website, (www.thebearcats.com), has received a lot of positive responses about how well our recently released CD captures our `live' sound. Touring is keeping us very busy. Canadian blues does well all over the world, which is why we are getting airplay in places like Australia." Wayner summarizes, in between sets, while wiping the sweat from his head onto the large towel he keeps slung over his shoulder. Wayner moves constantly while singing. Dancing, swinging his arms about, and even jumping down onto the dance floor to sing and dance among the crowd. He lives up to his "Mr. Blues" handle.

"I was first called `Mr. Blues' in 1968 by people in the Toronto music industry. The name stuck and I now own the legal rights to it, but to me, B.B. King is `Mr. Blues'."

The band members span an almost 30 year age difference, from the youngest member, Ed Morrow, on drums to keyboard player Dave Fearnall. Wayner and Fearnall started playing together in various bands before Morrow was born. Kevin Dandeno plays bass guitar and handles the band's business end. Rod Ramsay spent 17 years playing his soulful harmonica in every bar and club in Toronto. He even makes feedback sound good as he thrusts his harp deliberately towards his amp. Together with Dan Jeffares playing guitar leads that Albert Collins himself would certainly groove to, these six members give the band their full blues sound.

Wayner says, "Although this band comes from different backgrounds, we are all united in our goal to become one of Canada's premiere blues bands."

The second set ends and the crowd thins out as exhausted dancers head home to sleep, eager to get in another full day on the slopes. After a few more songs, the waiters start stacking empty chairs onto tables. One couple remains. Wayner tells them, "As long as you keep on dancing, we'll keep on playing."

"It's all about the fans," Wayner says, after the band wears out the last of the dancers and starts packing up. "We're back here next Saturday night with all 350 tickets sold. We love playing these elite gigs but we also make sure that we play venues where kids get to see us. It's great to see young kids getting turned on to the blues. That's why we play some of the old classics. The younger generation is hearing those songs for the first time. Kids love to go and see a band, get up and dance, and have fun. That's the essence of what we are all about. You really can forget your blues when you come to see a blues band. The songs touch people because they say, `Hey, we've all been there. You may be hurtin' now but tomorrow it's gonna get better'. So come on out, share your blues with us...forget your blues with us."

- Lori Ross
- Toronto Blues Society


Discography

check out www.thebearcats.com for a great selection of our recorded tunes and links to youtube videos

Photos

Bio

Together over 18 years the Beacats have played hundreds of gigs large and small from headliner to opener to festivals. The Bearcats can play them all. The Bearcats are releasing our 4th in the summer of 2009 with Dean McTaggart producing.

We have shared the stage with Kim Mitchell, Colin James, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Downchild, Paul James, Ronnie Hawkins, Fathead, Jack De Keyser, Mel Brown, Sue Foley, Jeff Healey and many many others.

We pride our selves on playing the best high energy Blues and R&B you have ever heard! With five of the best veteran players in Ontario and a combined 160 years experience, this band rocks the blues