Being a part-time musician has its unique set of rewards and challenges and all across Canada many musicians are pursuing music as a part-time endeavor.
Today we will take a look at Dax and Crew, an experienced local band that gigs in our area with a gig coming up at Full Beard Brewing this Saturday, Jan. 27.
Dax Chenier previously co-fronted Fibreglass Moustache, with Kyle Côté, a popular club band formed in 2008.
They played top 40 rock, funk and blues at weddings, winter carnivals and bars. Their motto was, ‘You never know what we’ll play next,’ and they have a surprise up their sleeve for Saturday’s gig at Full Beard.
Dax and Crew, formed less than a year ago, is Chenier (guitar, vocal), Rick Tremblay (keyboard) Chris Moulton (drums) and Vladimir Govorov (bass).
I caught up with Dax earlier this month via an emailed interview.
John: All of the band members have been playing since you were kids, what has been the most rewarding aspect of that?
Dax: I would say the number one best reward is to get to learn by playing with all kinds of different players and being inspired by the best there is to offer. To play and have a great time with some of the greatest players in our city is all I ever wanted.
John: Collaborating with your band members fosters a sense of camaraderie. Does everyone enjoy playing gigs and rehearsing and how often do you practice?
Dax: It’s always a good time to play a gig or to collaborate so everyone can show their talents. We practice once a week overall. Having said that, sometimes it’s a great rehearsal and sometimes our day jobs just drain us. Oh, the joys of getting old.
John: Do you guys play any original songs live and if not what type of sound and covers does the band play live to your audience?
Dax: I’ve written many originals over the years with other guys in town, “Weaselbone” in particular and we do those songs. We are working on more. We like to play blues and rock-country, but overall the songs we play at gigs I would say are kind of a jam vibe and open to interpretation.
John: Does everyone in the band have a full time job?
Dax: Yes we all work in Timmins and this is more of a pastime to bring a good time and fun to, sort an evening out type of concept. That’s why when we play out it starts early at 7 ish and is done by 10 ish. Let’s be honest everyone I know doesn’t party like it’s 1995 anymore. Ha!
John: Social media platforms offer a multitude of promotional opportunities. Do you guys use Facebook band pages etcetera, to promote your gigs?
Dax: We use Facebook and Messenger to book gigs and to see what the gig will involve to set the prices and PA systems. If we bring our own PA system, mics and lights we charge different. Sometimes it’s supplied by the club, but may not be to our liking. Sometimes, we have a sound crew. In that case, establishments will pay extra because the sound crew fee is added.
We’ve played birthday parties, bar gigs, tent parties and the list goes on. This band is new, only less than a year old.
As individuals we all have been playing for 40 years each and we just want to play and have a good time. And we do feature other players for a couple of songs. The first gig at Full Beard we had Brian Jones on sax and this time we will have Gabriella Dampier who will be joining us.
We will feature her original songs and the next time we play out— well, you will have to wait.
We like to keep it a surprise.
Dax Chenier and Crew with special guest Gabriella Dampier play Full Beard Brewing Saturday, Jan. 27. Tickets are $5 at fullbeardbrewing.com, $10 at the door. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. 219 Wilson Ave. (705) 268-0444.
John Emms is the bandleader for The Shaftmen, a musician, a published music writer for 30 years, and Maple Blues Panelist.