The Chucky Danger Band
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The Chucky Danger Band

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The best kept secret in music


""Solid debut for Chucky Danger Band""

By Doug Gallant

A number of promising young pop/rock groups have surfaced in P.E.I. over the past year or two, but few impress me more than The Chucky Danger Band, a five-piece act out of Charlottetown whose popularity has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent months.

There’s a good reason for their growing reputation, and you’ll find it on the band’s debut album, Live at the Guild/Two Brothers, Two Majors and a Minor.

This is a relatively young band, but that’s not the impression they leave you with on this set, recorded at the Arts Guild in Charlottetown by David Rashed and Phil MacLellen.

Had I not seen them live, I certainly would have expected the 10 original songs on this set to come from musicians with a few more years under their belts.

Their highly melodic brand of pop/rock, which reflects influences both old and new — collectively they cite their influences such as Dave Matthews, Coldplay, Fleetwood Mac, The Police and James Brown — is reasonably well-crafted with some great little hooks.

And they deliver that material with a fair bit of gusto on this set.

Their vocals are solid and there are some good young players in the lineup which features brothers John and Robbie MacPhee on guitar and bass respectively, Colin Buchannan on lead guitar, David MacDonald on drums and Keith Baglole on keyboards. MacDonald is the only member of the band who doesn’t sing.

Going with a live album at this point in a career is a gutsy move, but everything here seems to have gone smoothly.

Having people on deck with as much studio experience as Rashed and MacLellen certainly didn’t hurt their chances of coming up with a quality product.

This album should serve them well. Choice cuts here include Living Forward, Cry an End, Freeway or Flight and Hear and Now.


- The Guardian

"A Stream in the Desert"

(Friday, September 17)
By Sally Cole

When John MacPhee was working in Cambodia, feelings of loneliness often sent his thoughts speeding towards home.
"In this South East Asian country I was in a culture where no one spoke English and it was really hard to relate to people," says the Belfast man who taught basic cooking skills during his six-month stint with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) this past winter.
Every day after his kitchen shift had ended, he'd head back to his room and start writing.
"It was a comfort to get out my guitar. I found the best way to release the emotions that I was dealing was through poetry and singing songs," says MacPhee, who was counting the days until he returned home.
In spite of the homesickness’s, something wonderful happened. He found his voice.
"Songwriting was something that I had never done before. It was like receiving a divine revelation," MacPhee says.
He who wrote eight songs in Cambodia and two more upon his return to Canada. Now he's getting ready to share them with an audience.
He's a member of the Chucky Danger Band.
The newly-formed group, which includes his brother Rob MacPhee, bass; Colin Buchanan, lead guitar; and Dave MacDonald, drums, will launch their demo CD, Two Brothers, A Major and a Minor, on Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Confederation Court Mall, at 4:30 p.m.
The band came together in a most gentle of ways.
"John and Rob are brothers and I'm their next door neighbor. We've been playing together all our lives. So (when John came home) it was just natural for us to get together," says Buchanan, adding that MacDonald was quickly added into the mix.
Since it began three months ago, the Chucky Danger Band has been getting plenty of exposure. The group made appearances during Canada Day and Gold Cup Parade day and performed during their own Sunday night concert series at the Arts Guild. Earlier this week, they played at UPEI's The Wave.
Their first single, Living Forward, is on rotation on Magic '93.
Everywhere they perform, they get rave reviews.
"This group is outstanding,” says John Matthews, a Magic '93 radio personality.
"What struck me most was their sound and their original material. They have found something special," he says.
What makes this group unique is that it has a variety of influences.
"Collectively the band's mentors include the Dave Matthews Band and Coldplay. Individually, our influences are much broader," says MacDonald.
One of his personal favorites is Cher.
"Her influence has made its way into our music through Sweet Symphony, for example," he says.
Whether its their high energy, uplifting music or positive lyrics, this group is a crowd pleaser, says Fran McBurnie.
"I am thrilled with their music. Not only are their songs refreshing, I was struck how tight they are as a group. They're focused and professional," says McBurnie, a music teacher and fan.
As a special project this summer, the band has been involved in a fundraising campaign for the P.E.I. division of the Canadian Cancer Society. They plan to raise $1,000.
"We're looking for a downtown venue to run a concert, right now.”
"We want to give all the door proceeds, as well as 10 per cent of all the CD sales as a final push towards the goal," says MacPhee.
It's a cause everyone can appreciate.
"We've all known someone who has been touched by cancer, at one time or another," says Buchanan.

- The Guardian

"Island musicians rise to challenge at ECMAs"

(Monday, February 21)
By Doug Gallant

You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

As clich as that may sound, it is not without a grain of truth. And it is particularly true at music industry events like the East Coast Music Awards where literally dozens of artists vie for the attention of the promoters, managers, record label executives and talent buyers who can take their careers to the next level with the stroke of a pen and a phone call.

In a charged environment like that all it takes is one bad song to dispatch that audience you've tried so hard to impress to the next venue where somebody else looking for that same big break is waiting for his or her chance to impress.

Trying to deliver your best work under that kind of pressure takes focus, determination and commitment.

One P.E.I. act to rise to that challenge this past weekend was Charlottetown's Chucky Danger Band. These four young players, dressed in tailored black suits and ties, capitalized on every opportunity made available to them.

They charmed audiences in the P.E.I. music suite at The Cambridge Suites, on the 72 Hour Jam stage at Dooly's and more importantly in the Sennheiser Lounge, a delegates-only venue where top East Coast artists like Gordie Sampson, Joel Plaskett, J.P. Cormier, George Canyon, Mir and others played late-night sets to a capacity crowd.

The Chucky Danger Band wrangled a spot in the 4 to 6 a.m. open stage slot and so impressed their hosts they were invited back the next night.

Not bad for a band that arrived in Sydney relative unknowns, save for those ECMA delegates and fans from P.E.I. who had seen them perform at home.

Band members were understandably thrilled with the response and the encouragement they've received in Sydney.
- The Guardian


LP Demo - "Two Brothers, Two Majors and A Minor"
Single - "Living Forward" (studio version for radio)
Single - "Sweet Symphony" (studio version for radio)


Feeling a bit camera shy


In the spring 2004, John MacPhee returned from Cambodia to his home on Prince Edward Island. His time spent in the Third World country had been physically, mentally and emotionally taxing, and he dealt with this the only way he knew how. He wrote music. After his return to Canada, it wasn’t long before John presented his new material to his brother Rob and neighbour Colin Buchanan. Both Rob and Colin were highly impressed by the music and the three immediately began turning the acoustic guitar pieces into layered melodies ready for a full band to play. A short time later, after being approached by a family friend offering a free concert venue for the summer months, the trio enlisted a fourth member. The Chucky Danger Band was formed with John playing acoustic guitar and singing lead, Rob playing bass, Colin playing lead guitar, and David MacDonald playing drums. It wasn’t long before this “very impressive band” (Daniel Robichaud, Sony Music Canada) began wowing audiences and critics around the Maritimes.
Although together for only several months, “this young, energetic band... has made the radio industry sit up and take notice…will become a driving force in the music industry across Canada” (Paul Alan, Program/Music Director, Magic 93.1FM) Their “high energy and uplifting” (The Guardian) live CD, Two Brothers, Two Majors and a Minor, has been warmly received and was recently listed in PEI’s major newspaper, The Guardian, as one of the top five Island albums of 2004. The CD was recorded at the Arts Guild in Charlottetown, PEI, on August 15th by David Rashed. “We really wanted to seize the energy and emotion that’s only found on stage. So we decided to record live.,” says front man, John MacPhee. This recording has set the stage for the production of their highly anticipated first studio album due out later in the year.
In fact a studio version of the bands’ first single, Living Forward, was recorded by Jon Matthews at The Blue Room in Charlottetown. Living Forward quickly became the most requested song on Magic 93.1 FM, leaping to the top of the nightly chart show, The Top 9 @ 9, in its’ first week. A second single, Sweet Symphony was released in early December. The song was immediately picked up by Magic 93.1 FM, and like its predecessor, made it onto The Top 9 @ 9 in its' first week of play. Sweet Symphony has also been added into rotation on K94 in Sydney, Cape Breton.
Just recently the band travelled to Sydney, Cape Breton for the East Coast Music Awards. Dressed in trademark tailored black suits and ties they set in motion a major buzz with their high-energy delivery and distinctive music. At the prestigious Sennheiser Lounge showcase they so impressed their hosts that they took the unusual step of inviting the band back for a second showcase the following night. As well the Sennheiser group has offered to sponsor The Chucky Danger Band in their future activities, a solid vote of confidence in this young band’s abilities.