Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Meet the Boneshakers' Band Members

      

MEET THE BAND

RUSS HIRD - on vocals and lead guitar
Rockin' the night away

He plays a great blues guitar, sings the blues with gravel in a voice perfectly pitched for Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Stevie Ray Vaughan numbers and the like - it's
Russ Hird!

Probably the quirkiest member of the band, playing the busking tramp with the Ragpickers when he's not Boneshakin', Russ started playing guitar around 13 years old.  His gigging career started in working men's clubs around the North East at the tender age of 16 with a band called 'Spirit of '59'.  His claim to fame with the 'Spirit' was backing the great fifties star, Terry Dene (remember him all you golden oldies?).

After eight years of gigging with the 'Spirit', Russ joined 'Blueshouse' where his next major claim to fame was supporting Peter Green of the legendary Fleetwood Mac on his comeback tour.

His guitar heroes are his brother, Robin, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa...and "whoever" - he just loves guitarists of any ilk!  He plays mainly Fenders and Gibsons, but he'll have a go with any guitar!
 
He's played in lots of bands over the years.  He's also fronted his own band, The Russ Hird Band and played in After Hours and The Moonlighters.

Today, as well as leading the 'Boneshakers', he plays guitar with The Scoundrels and The Ragpickers.

One of these nights, you might find yourself getting a bit of impromptu entertainment on the Metro or in the pub, from a couple of guys playing mean blues or rock-a-billy, all dressed up authentically as a pair of hobos.  Well, if that happens, it's likely it's the duo, the Ragpickers - and you can guarantee that one of them is RUSS!
Russ the Ragpicker

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RONNIE SEMPLE - on harp and backing vocals
Great Scot - it's Ronnie!

With that Glaswegian sense of humour shining in spades on stage, a twinkle in his eye, great backing vocals and the ability to make that blues harp SING - it's

Ronnie Semple!

Ronnie started playing guitar at the age of fifteen.  He joined a classic rock band at 17 and moved on to some rocky blues with another band after a couple of years.  That lasted for two years or so...and then...
"For some strange reason, I stopped playing guitar" he says, "I can't remember why...oh, yeah, I remember why.  I was rubbish!"

He left the music scene as a player, but concentrated on seeing as many professional bands as he could.  And then, around 2002, he took up the blues harmonica (harp to all you blues musos out there!) and has never looked back.  Joining his first blues band in 2003, he's never enjoyed his music so much.  He plays through a HarpGear amp and has a preference for the Hohner Special 20.  His favourite harp players are William Clark, Mark Hummell, Mitch Kashmar,Dennis Gruenling, James Harman, Big and little Walter - and his best buddy, Lyndon Anderson.  He loves all types of music, from rock to rock-a-billy - but the blues always comes out on top.

Ronnie has played harp and provided backing vocals for 'Blues Essentials', 'The Visitors', 'Kill Bill' and 'The Steve Clark Band' (recently disbanded).  He currently plays in 'The Scoundrels' as well as rockin' with the Boneshakers - and he's started doing a blues duo with Bad Bob Bates of 'Bandits' fame, unnamed as yet.

Givin' it big licks with the Scoundrels!


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DAVE HILDRETH - on bass guitar

 
You lookin' at me?

A dead-pan expression and a dead-pan sense of humour: an amazing ability on the bass guitar to play (in his own inimitable style) any type of music, with a great feel for the blues - it's
Dave Hildreth!

Dave started playing bass guitar at a very young age.  He was eleven years old when his dad, a well-known professional bass guitarist himself - and a guitar maker to boot, taught him how to play and read music.

With a lifelong interest in rock, blues and jazz, he started his gigging career when he was 16, playing heavy rock and new wave with 'Falcon', 'Mirah' and'Ice Man'.  He continued his gigging career in blues, rock and roll and soul, with, 'The Blues Cat Scoundrels', 'Counterpoint and many more than could fit on this biog.

His biggest claims to fame are three-fold.  The first memorable one was playing at a Christmas Sheffield University gig - and being introduced to the screaming crowd by the MC of the night, Edith Bowman.   The second, was being the supporting band at a Lindisfarne gig - and the third was playing support to the fabulous Commitments.

His biggest bass influences are: Jaco Pastorius, James Jamerson and Stuart Hamm.           .

He has a real crush on well-made, preferably vintage, basses.  Overwater and Fender are among his favourite makes of bass.   He's a great believer in lightweight, hi-tech amplification (He truly hates valve amps for basses!).

Dave won't sing - never sings! but he's always happy to perform with pretty much anybody!

As well as playing in the sensational 'Boneshakers', he currently plays with 'The Gatecrashers',a party pop, soul and rock band.


Dave with the Flamboyant, Gifted Gatecrashers

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GORDON SMILES - on drums

Crazy Gordon with a smile for his cymbals!

They say you have to be crazy as a loon to play drums - and Gordon fits the bill nicely  With variety and versatility in playing a mean set of drums with a great blues feel - it's

Gordon Smiles!

He makes great use of his sticks, his brushes and those crashing, riding cymbals. He'll use those sticks and brushes on every available surface - including the boot of his car!


Playin' the blues in the boot of his car!

 He suits his surname, 'Smiles', because he does - smile a lot, that is! Though it's just as easy to catch him frowning with sheer sweat and concentration when he's hittin' those drums!

Gordon's biggest drumming influences are Buddy Rich, John Bonamassa, Jim Kirkpatrick, Chad Smith and Bernard 'Pretty' Purdie.
As well as playing drums in the Boneshakers, Gordon also plays drums in the North Eastern pipe band, 101

Dig that C-R-A-Z-Y Ugly Brothers shirt, man!
Though he's played in numerous bands over the past twenty five years, Gordon's major claim to fame is that he played for two years with the fabulous, entertaining Ugly Brothers, who were never seen on stage without their gaudy, in-your-face Hawaiian shirts!  They've split up now - but that's all the better for the Boneshakers who wouldn't care to be without Gordon.
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