The Star Combo
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The Star Combo

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"Thunder Bay Blues festival 2005"

It certainly isn't difficult to understand why Roy Young has so many fans in Thunder Bay. Young became a local celebrity after last year's festival and the rock 'n' roll trail blazer returned with another large helping of his infectious boogie-woogie keyboards. Young injects plenty of warm personality into his music and there's not one note of pretension in anything that he plays. The vision of hundreds of people arms raised high over their heads as they sang the Beatles classic, Hey Jude, is indicative of the effect that Young has on an audience. - Thunder Bay Blues Society-Ken Wright

"Rock Family Trees"

"The real heroes and pioneers were not the Tommy Steeles and Cliff Richards but the Howie Caseys , the John Lennons and the Johnny Gustafsons" - Pete Frame

"Band on the Run CD"

Howie Casey, an old mate of Paul McCartney’s from Liverpool (Howie Casey and the Seniors were the first Mersey beat band to gain a London recording contract), was brought in to craft sax solos on “Bluebird” and “Mrs. Vanderbilt”, thus rekindling a friendship that led to Casey’s involvement in all of the Wings’ subsequent concerts. - Mark Lewisohn




Roy Young
Lead Vocals, Keyboards

One of the world's greatest Rock and Roll/Blues/Soul singers, best described as a mixture between Little Richard, Ray Charles and Joe Cocker. His pounding boogie-woogie piano trademark makes him one of the world's most incredible entertainers. During Roy's appearances at the Star-Club, a dynamic friendship began between Roy and The Beatles, and before long they enlisted him to play keyboard and sing back-up vocals with the band. Brian Epstein approached Roy with an offer to return to England to procure an international record contract with them. It was this record that ultimately thrust The Beatles into international superstardom. Roy later formed The Roy Young Band and recorded and toured with such names as Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Klause Voorman, Chuck Berry, The Who, David Bowie, Ian Hunter and many more. His explosive voice will rock the STAR COMBO.

Tony Newman
Drums, percussion

Professional drummer since the age of 17, influenced by Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Buddy Rich, and Louis Belson. One day he heard Little Richard's "Lucille" and his life changed forever. He was to become and continue to be a world renowned rock drummer. His first hit record was "I'm Going Home" by Gene Vincent. More recordings and tours followed with Brenda Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, BB King, Sam Cooke, John Lennon, Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope for the USO. He also toured with the Beatles, including the Shea Stadium concert. He has performed by request for the Queen of England and five US Presidents. Tony is a very vital formidable component of the STAR COMBO.

John Gustafson
Bass, Guitar, Vocals

Long reputed to be one of the finest bass players, John also possesses great composing and song writing skills. His bass line contribution to "Love is the Drug" by Roxy Music, penning The Status Quo's 1982 Number 1 hit "Dear John" and the impressive vast discography is evidence of his phenomenal gift. He has performed globally with Roxy Music, Ian Gillan Band, Roger Glover, Tracy Ullman, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ian Hunter, Brian Ferry, Andrew Lloyd Weber, Dave Edmunds, Rick Wakeman, Shawn Phillips, Tim Rice, Spencer Davis Group, and countless others. John will deliver the ultimate bottom end to the STAR COMBO in addition to his amazing vocal skills he brings to the party.

Howie Casey
Saxophonist, tenor, alto, baritone

This ace sax man started his long career in Liverpool back in 1959. Howie Casey & the Seniors were the first Mersey beat band to gain a London recording contract with an explosive mixture of Rock and Roll. Casey spent a long time on Hamburg stages and is known throughout the world. His playing technics have made him one of the most sought after saxophonists by most of the international stars of today. He has most notably recorded and toured with Paul McCartney and Wings but has also recorded, toured and or shared the stage with The Who, Ringo Starr, Rick Wakeman, Mott the Hoople, Peter Townsend, Jon Lord, John Entwhistle, Roy Young Band, Roy Wood, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Ruffin, Lee Dorsey, Wilson Pickett, Marc Bolan, ABC, Paice, Ashton & Lord, and many more. Howie promises to add a very special dynamic to the STAR COMBO.

"Griff" Griffiths

Deemed one of the great Rock and Roll guitarists by most international stars of today, "Griff" started playing guitar at the age of 13. One of his first big shows was at the Liverpool Stadium Show with American Rock and Roller Gene Vincent. In Germany his band, Derry and The Seniors, became the first Liverpool band to play the Kaiserkeller, The Beatles following later. He became close friends with them and started teaching George Harrison and John Lennon some ideas on their solo work. Griff also had the opportunity to play with The Beatles. He toured with the Hollies, the Animals, the Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Little Richard etc. Brian Epstein approached Griff to join The Big Three, known as the power house trio. He later joined up with Maurice Gibb, (Bee Gee's), to do some studio work. This "guitar players guitar player" will add a smokin' edge to the STAR COMBO.