Big Soul is Big Music

There’s a band in town that generates heat.

The kind of heat that comes from dancing so hard, steam rises up off the dance floor and hovers just overhead; the kind of heat that comes from a band that focuses on rhythm and blues, soul and funk.

In fact, that’s why the musicians in Big Soul came together. As Dave Haddock, lead singer, said, “Scott Wilson came and said we should put together a band to put on a good show.

“We chose those genres because it’s great dance music, we were wanting to have a good dance band to provide a bigger show and do bigger venues.”

Big Soul is so big in fact, that all lead singer Dave Haddock has to do is sing. And that’s a novelty for him.

“I get to sing all these great songs without having to play an instrument,” said Haddock. Often, as it turns out, the reasons for having the singer play an instrument are purely practical, trying to cover as many bases as possible so the pay stretches further.

You could say the band is full of undercover shape-shifting musicians, people who play different roles and genres in many different bands. Take the horn section: Don Bishop on trumpet, Colleen McCarthy on trombone and Scott Wilson playing tenor saxophone.

Bishop and McCarthy blend in, that is, until they bring their instruments up to their mouths. Then they stand out, as they did in the recent Varietease house band, notes piercing and interweaving, their body language flowing in a C curve from the soles of their feet up and out, finding voice through their instruments.

The rhythm section consists of Lonnie Powell on drums, Paul Stephens on bass, Roger Gillies on keyboards and Jim Holland on guitar. Powell, who also plays in the Whitehorse Blues All Stars, was the drummer of the Varietease band, switching from torch songs to metal with ease, an easy smile never far from the surface.

Big Soul is full of musicians who are versatile and like to play. As Haddock said, “It’s just so much fun to play this sort of music. We do a couple of Marvin Gaye tunes, any of them I particularly like. Well, I like them all, I mean, I picked most of the tunes.”

In addition to Marvin Gaye, Haddock has picked songs by Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Wilson Pickett and a little bit of a Blues Brothers vibe.

Haddock himself wears many hats. Also a member of the Whitehorse Blues All Stars and a solo performer, he has played since he was about eight years old, with piano and voice. “I’ve been singing since I can remember, I started singing in Sunday school.”

Big Soul plays for private parties and events. It’s a set-up that works well for the members: “Everybody is so busy doing all the things they do, this is something fun we can do here and there,” describes Haddock.

Haddock says in April, Big Soul will do a double bill at the Yukon Arts Centre with Jesse Peters’ band, Paramedic, with a plan to record live on CBC. The catch?

“They want us to play all-original music. So we’ll be working on that,” said Haddock.

Information on the band is available at [email protected] or 633-6118.

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