Published: 15 July 2010
The Hamilton Spectator
It's too easy to take the blues for granted in this city. If ever we need a live shot of the stuff, all we need do is find out where Trickbag is playing. You'll usually find them at places like Buddy's Roadhouse on King Street East or Milner's in Burlington.
In the summer, chances are they'll be playing your local street festival. Trickbag represents the heart of the blues scene in Hamilton. Larry Feudo (lead guitar), Les Smith (harmonica, vocals and guitars), Donna Panchezak (vocals), Paul Panchezak (drums) and Mike Hickey (bass) are all seasoned musicians with roots stretching back to Crowbar and the late King Biscuit Boy.
You can have a couple of beers, wag your tail, hoot and holler, then return home until the next time. Sometimes you might want to take Trick bag home to continue the fun. Now you can.
Last August, Trickbag played a stellar performance outside at the Dundas Cactus festival. Sitting in with the band was the ever-popular Sonny Del Rio on sax and the brilliant Jesse O'Brien on keyboards.
Luckily, the band had the tapes rolling at the time and came away with a high quality recording of the show - which, with the help of Michael J. Birthelmer, the band has released on a CD entitled Cacti Redux.
Redux refers to a return to their roots - the raucous blues of Richard Newell (aka King Biscuit Boy). Aside from two Trickbag originals, most of the album consists of Biscuit Boy arrangements learned through years of backing him up.
The album also is a fundraiser to allow the band to continue work on a new studio album, consisting of a dozen new Trickbag songs, which they've been recording at Birthelmer's studio over the past few months. Trickbag hopes to have it completed for the summer. Cacti Redux is available at the band's CD release party on Saturday at Milner's in Burlington or online at www.trickbag.ca.