Blind Dog Reunion! Bruce Hughes talks to CCM

 

(CCM) I heard there is a Blind Dog Reunion coming up soon! Tell us a little about Blind dog. How did the band get together and in what year?

(BH)B lind Dog was an evolution from our band “Disorder At The Border” (1989 – 92).  Alan Morris and I were old friends & helped teach me to play guitar. We met Chris Chimick (drums) & Billy Lowe (bass) up in Carleton county, started playing parties, bars, small shows  We debuted at Harvest Jazz  & Blues Festival (HJBF) under that name in ‘92 but changed shortly after that show.  Craig Daigle replaced Billy on bass in the early 90’s & returns to the reunion to help on my guitar parts.

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(CCM) Who are the original members of the band?

(BH) Besides Alan and I. Chris & Billy for sure, Kevin Maddox came in to play bass, also Dan Schneider came in to play drums, sometimes we went with them both as in ’92 HJBF.  By ’93 David Cunningham (bass), Wayne Blanchard (drums) took over the rhythm section, then in ’95 Allison Hovey took over on drums.  In 1999 Doug Bulmer came in and took over lead vocals for awhile.

Been fortunate to have some special guest at those HJBF show, like Thom Swift (vocals/guitar), Rob McFee (guitar), Big John Little (vocals/guitar), John Alphonse (drums), Steve Hill (Hill Bros-harmonica) and Dave Bedford (harmonica), fun times with great musicians.  As well we got to share the stage opening for the likes of Eddie Kirkland, Studebaker John & The Hawks with Pinetop Perkins, Toni Lynn Washington, Mighty Sam McClain, The Love Dogs and Dawn Tyler Watson.  Life was good!
(CCM) Where is your reunion taking place and when?

(BH) Blind Dog returns to take the HJBF stage on Friday, Sept 15 from 8:45-9:45pm at the Cox & Palmer Blues Court, the tent besides the Justice building in downtown Fredericton. We are one of 4 NB bands on the bill, I know them all & it’s going to be a blast.

(CCM) Who were the songwriters of Blind Dog?

(BH) )  Myself & Alan were the primary writers, sometimes helping each other bring an idea or sound to fruition but Dan Schneider (drums) and David Cunningham (bass) made enormous contributions to the songs & our sound when we recorded our cassette (yes cassette) in 1994.  That line-up returned to the studio in ’97, adding Dan Robichaud (harmonica) to the mix, who also played live with the ’96-98 ensemble, making it a full sounding 5 piece.

(CCM) How would you describe the song writing style and inspiration in Blind Dog songs?

(BH) We had rock, blues & acoustic ballads, originals and covers – lots of influences, easily inspired by the people & stories around us.  We ended up in the blues genre, probably our biggest influence.

 

(CCM) When did the band dismantle? What have the members been doing since?

(BH) We packed it up in 1999, after a decade of playing around the region the business side took the fun out of it.  We all had day jobs, most had families. Personally, I had enough, told the boys they could carry on but they agreed it was time.

Everyone has continued to play somewhere.  David & Allison are well known & busy, each playing with numerous projects in the past & present. Alan continues to write, play solo acoustic or go electric when sitting in with one of his brother’s bands.  Both Al’s brothers and one of mine have gotten up to play with us at HJBF.  I came out of musical retirement in 2010 for a 6 month stint in the Kevin Chase Band, then in 2013 co-founded The UnHeard with Vaughan Evans (guitar/vocals) & Bob Fitzgerald (bass/vocals), later adding Allison Hovey, now Charles Wilby on drums.

 

(CCM) What made Blind Dog decide to have a reunion?

(BH) Been thinking about it for a decade.  We haven’t played together since Jan. 2005 and not on a HJBF stage since 1999.  Everyone was available for rehearsals, so we said let’s do it.  HJBF accepted our application & we were off to the races.  Very excited to say the least.

(CCM) Will there be future projects for Blind Dog after the reunion?

(BH) I can’t say, as you know on May 31, I suffered multiple strokes.  I am happy to report I am recovering well ahead of schedule & will join the band for a few songs to end our set.  Going to be a lot of fun that night but let’s get through this one first.  Hoping I get my skills back & continue to play with The UnHeard, although I would never turn down a chance to play with my Blind Dog brothers.


Tune in on Thursday Sept 7th for the extended Live Interview with Bruce Hughes on Carla’s Country Mile on HGB 

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