It's funny how a little bit of Googling can lead one far off the beaten path. It was this very sort of situation which led me to discover a Canadian band called The Bluesers. What began as a search for lost bookmarks resulted in fine music from a band I'm sure is heading up, up, up!
Now, about this band...
The Bluesers hail from Ontario, Canada, birthplace of acts such as the Downchild Blues Band, Colin James, Jeff Healey, and Sue Foley, to name but a few. While it might seem a bit strange to think of the Delta flowing in a northerly direction, it's not at all impossible to imagine the spirit of Delta blues washing over anyone with ears and a soul. And this is how I imagine The Bluesers came to create an absolutely authentic blues sensibility.
Of course, there's more to the band than music — they're also building a damn fine family heritage in the process. You see, two of the band members are still teenagers, the youngest having just turned 14.
Being the curious sort of person I am, I just had to learn more about this group. I caught up (via phone) with John Cotton (bass), Chris Cotton (guitar), and Mike Branton (vocals and guitar) on their way home from practice one evening.
What's the story behind the Bluesers, John?
When Chris was 10, he said he wanted to learn to play the bass guitar. I got him all the gear, got him into lessons, and let him run with it. Then, he saw his cousin Mikey playing a guitar and thought it looked fun. So, when he turned his attention to guitar, I had all this gear sitting around. I thought, "Should I sell it? Let it sit around and wait for him to pick it up again?" Instead, I decided to give it a try. I took lessons, played as much as I could, and I got hooked!
I started hitting some of the local jams and, one Monday night, I ran into guitarist Mike Branton. We found we had a common interest in the blues, a lot of the same artists influenced us, and before long, we were jamming with my son Chris and my nephew Mikey Cotton (age 16 and drummer for the band).
Mondays have always been jam/practice night and eventually we got to the point where we started booking gigs.
How long did it take before you felt confident enough to pursue those gigs?