The instrumentation and personality make for an engaging performance. Together they create a unique sound that is inspired by the Tex-mex and the avant garde traditions. A combination of hilarious proportions. A carnival of improvisation... a tragedy of unfortunate notes...some laughs...and a really twisted wedding band....that’s what we are......“If we could only get a wedding gig, I could die a Happy man” Jean Martin
We are an eclectic quintet, featuring Justin Haynes (defretted guitar), Jean Martin (drums), Nick Fraser (drums), Ryan Driver (street sweeper bristle bass) and Tania Gill (melodica) taking a fresh look at improvising, combining elements of song and free playing. The pieces explore aspects of jazz, folk song, texmex and the avant garde.
The group plays mostly original music and some classic Mexican traditionals.The music is created, by incorporating various elements; songs, composed melodic material, drums, fretless guitar, glockenspiels, melodica and the street sweeper bristle bass.
THE ORIGINAL BLAH GUITAR - B6
The fretless guitar was made by Justin and is simply a cheap guitar with the frets removed crudely with a pair of vice grips. This instrument is possibly the most dangerous and difficult to play of all.
This is the intrument that started it all, this home defretted electric was the inspiration to create this group and is virtually impossible to play. Justin gives it a good try.
The Streetsweeper Bristle Bass is also a home made device, made from a metal bristle of a Toronto street sweeper. Ryan Driver invented this one. This 6 inch metal bristle is strummed with one hand and tuned with the other. This instrument has a particularly charming sense of tuning and is also impossible to play.
The melodica is played by Tania Gill and serves as our pitch reference, unfortunately the more it is played the wider the tonal center gets. Not the most stable of pitch references but charming none the less. The melodica is also known as the blow hard for blah enthusiasts.
Skins is the name for percussionists Jean martin and Nick Fraser. Each drummer has a snare, glockenspiel, sock cymbal and both share one bass drum. Together they create an exciting and cohesive sound. Their interplay is inspired by vaudeville antics, tex mex bands of the 60's, the avant garde and french café house pit bands.
BLAH BLAH 666
Jean Martin (skins) - drums, Tania Gill - melodica, Ryan Driver - Street sweeper Bristle, Justin Haynes - blah guitar, Nick Fraser (skins) - drums