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Band Blues Americana


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The best kept secret in music


"Local legends play the blues on new CD"

There are few songs more associated with the music of New Orleans than Earl King's R&B classic Trick Bag.

So it only made sense that drummer Paul Panchezak and guitarist Larry Feudo would name their band Trickbag, after the song.

The two loved the New Orleans sound. It's what drew them together almost 30 years ago performing in bands with King Biscuit Boy and Crowbar's Kelly Jay.

You can hear the influence on Trickbag's new CD, Tricknology, on songs like Jumpin' the Gun on Mardi Gras and Get There When You Get There. It's an album of 15 mostly original songs recorded at producer Michael J. Birthelmer's Chatham Gardens Studio in Hamilton.

The only cover song is I Never Fool Nobody But Me, a classic from the New Orleans' songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mac Rebennack (a.k.a Dr. John).

There's also a fine blend of other sounds, including Delta country blues, Chicago blues, Memphis string band and old time gospel.

These songs may come as a surprise to local fans who have been following Hamilton's premier blues band for more than 20 years. During that time, Trickbag earned a reputation more as a jump-swing band, closer to Louis Jordan than Professor Longhair.
That reputation rose out of the band's first record deal back in 1995 with a Vancouver-based label called Peerless. The label held the rights to the popular Powder Blues band.

"Because the owner was associated with Powder Blues, he wanted a jump band, with horns and backup singers," explains Feudo. "We didn't mind that music, either, so we were happy to oblige."

That first self-titled album gained national distribution and did fairly well for a Canadian blues record, but the label folded soon afterward, and Trickbag never got a chance to record in the studio again until now. They found themselves returning to the mixed bag of American roots music they originally planned to record for the first album.

There's some lovely acoustic interludes, plenty of virtuoso slide guitar from Feudo, strong vocals from Donna Panchezak, Little Walter style harmonica from Les Smith, nifty piano rolls from Jesse O'Brien and Denis Keldie -- and no horns.

"We could put out 10 jump-band records tomorrow," explains Panchezak. "But this is more like what we were into from Day 1. It's more Trickbag than our first album was." Tricknology features some remarkable songwriting, especially Smith's tender Piece By Piece. There's also some extraordinary musicianship, notably on the Ry Cooder-inspired instrumental Angelina, written by Feudo for his dying mother.

"We've all paid our dues playing God knows where," Feudo says. "This is not a vanity project, and we're not in it for the money ... . Hopefully if you do something long enough, you get good at it."

Trickbag's new CD, Tricknology, will be available at the band's CD release party Saturday at The Corktown. It will also be available through Dr. Disc, Picks And Sticks, Cheapies, Looney Tunes (Burlington), Records On Wheels (Dundas) and at - Graham Rockingham The Hamilton Spectator


Trickbag (Self Titled debut) 1995
Trickbag "Cacti Redux" 2006

Trickbag "Tricknology" 2008
Tricknology has recieved national radio play on CBC and Satelite radio station "Bluesville". Audio clips may also be found on CD



It might be more convenient to name the musicians that the members of Trickbag
haven't worked with than those with whom they have, at one time or another, crossed
musical paths. Trickbag, together and individually, have shared the stage and recording
studio with the likes of the King Biscuit Boy and Kelly Jay (of Crowbar), Guitar Mikey,
Michael Fonfara (Downchild Blues Band), Ken Whitely, Chuck Berry, Ronnie Hawkins,
Leo Sullivan and Steve McDade (the Butcher Boys' Horns), Denis Keldie (The Lincolns,
The Boomers), David Essig, Rita Chiarelli, Sonny Del Rio and Jeff Healy.
The band's first CD, self-titled “Trickbag”, on Peerless records received notice in
publications as far flung as California's Living Blues and the record industry bible,
Billboard. Fans now praise the most recent follow up Album, TRICKNOLOGY. Long
standing favorites in their home town, the group has been a popular part of community
events like: A Taste of Hamilton, the Hamilton Sesquicentennial Celebrations, the
Downtown Mustard Fest, The Burlington Rib Cook Off, The Hess Village Jazz and Blues Festival and the Festival of Friends.