Saturday May 28, 2016
atView full line-up
The Groove Project is a dynamic, entertaining collective with a big soulful sound. Their bluesy, engaging music just makes you want to jump up and move. Individually these artists have appeared or performed with a who’s who of soul, blues, R&B, and jazz including James Cotton, Wilson Pickett, Dutch Mason, Matt Minglewood, Ronnie Hawkins, Dianne Heatherington, Dinah Christie, Buffy St. Marie, Marty Robbins, The Oakridge Boys, The Bellamy Brothers, Jennette Brantley, Joey Hollingsworth, The Majestics featuring Shawne & Jay Jackson, Tony Flaim, Gary U.S. Bonds, Curley Bridges and many others.
The Groove Project is a collection of veteran musicians from Central Ontario who have been performing live together since 1996.
The original band members got together in March of 1995 when Wayne reunited with former organist and long time friend Bob Federer. Next to join forces with Wayne and Bob was bass player and vocalist Charlie Hinkel and lastly it was Dennis King who accepted an invitation to become the band’s regular drummer. The band’s first live performance was on Saturday, May 9, 1996.
After performing in Ontario’s Simcoe County in the Georgian Triangle for almost four years it became evident that it was time for the next phase. So in February 2001 along with some musician friends like Mike Roberts, Ronnie Douglas, Steve Thomas, Simon Wallis and Paul Robillard the band began production of their debut CD entitled WAITING. The response to date has been positive with plenty of radio airplay on blues broadcasts worldwide. John Taylor of Blues On Stage magazine wrote: The title track is a heartfelt ballad of heartbreak, stunningly effective in its straightforward simplicity. Maple Blues magazine’s John Valenteyn writes: “Waiting”, the title song (by Hinkel) and “Are You Doin’ It Alone”, with its acoustic intro, (by Buttery) are the best. “Waiting” is a well-written tender ballad done as a duo by Hinkel & Buttery and “Doin’ It” is a mid tempo blues with a nice vocal and slide guitar parts. John Swartz of the Orillia Packet & Times explains: The band put together a very polished performance, one that deserves to be in your CD collection.
Shortly after the release of WAITING, three new members were added to the band’s line-up as an optional horn section. Trumpeter Paul Robillard, Russ Strathdee on tenor and baritone saxophone and John Shand who played alto saxophone, guitar, bass and vocals. It was around that same time when Larry Kurtz was added as a harmonica player and vocalist.
LIVE AT TWISTERS is the band’s second CD offering and features a sold out live performance recorded on December 1, 2002 at Twisters Roadhouse in Orr Lake near Midland, Ontario. Wayne and the guys had some fun recording mostly cover material on this live performance CD with the only non-cover being a John Shand R&B original entitled My Baby Got The Love.
Tragically on November 2, 2006 John Shand passed away. John was an incredibly versatile and intense musician. He always delivered a solid performance on guitar, bass, lead vocals, and saxophone. John’s contributions as a songwriter were second to none. John will truly be missed by all who knew him.
Larry Kurtz was later replaced by Brian (Harp-boy Jake) Jago on harmonica and vocals.
Bob Federer now calls Berwick Nova Scotia home and although we still collaborate to this day for recording purposes he is no longer a regular performing member of “The Groove Project”.
Taking Bob’s place was Mark Rutherford, a consummate pianist and keyboard player who’s contributions were well documented over his almost seven year rain as keyboardist. Unfortunately, Mark lost his thirteen-month battle with leukemia on the Morning of Friday, December 31, 2010 at approximately 3:10 a.m. Mark will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Roly Platt performed his harmonica wizardry on the release of “Tangled Roots” by Wayne Buttery & Roly Platt in August of 2010. Roly is also the harp player of choice on Groove Project recordings.
Since the unexpected passing of Mark Rutherford, “The Groove Project” continued performing with Louis Lefaive who was filling in for Mark while he was undergoing treatment. Although Louis is a great musician and vocalist in his own right, he still has other commitments with his own musical projects and more impotently, his teaching career. Therefore, we decided to search for a suitable replacement for Mark. Not an easy task as Mark’s was big shoes to fill. Peter Boynton, of “Red Ryder” fame played briefly with the Groove Project and was later replaced by organist, Gabor Szepesi.
Gabor Szepesi is a great fit musically and personally. He likes to play his Hammond B3 organ whenever the opportunity presents it’s self. Otherwise, he’s content to play his Nord C2D organ, a portable and digital alternative for the Hammond B3. Once again The Groove Project is complete and ready to perform live, make recordings and simply enjoy making music together.
Wayne Buttery & The Groove Project official website