19 September 2008


Print Email

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

Site Search

Trickbag E.P.K.

Click Here to download the latest Electronic Press Kit of the band; a source for bios, demo tracks, pictures and more.

Upcoming Gigs