Billy Joe Green
Calgary Bluesfest (2005, 2006, 2017)
Billy Joe was scouted & yanked away from school boy drudgery at age 16 to join an all Indian rock & roll band The Feathermen, performing with them for a year; including a command performance for the then Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau in December of 1968. The band broke up soon after, but a determined Billy Joe began carving out a career, with a 2 year stint at the infamous Brunswick Hotel on main street in Winnipeg.
With that tour of duty accomplished, Billy Joe moved west to Vancouver & San Francisco with his young family, acquiring a recording engineer diploma from the College for Recording Arts. Strict musician union problems had his family moving back to Winnipeg in 1980, where he performed & mentored under the late, great Percy Tuesday for almost 10 years as guitarist/sound-man.
Billy Joe became a bandleader in 1992, performing & recording 6 albums of original music, 3 of which have been nominated for Juno Awards. Additionally winning Best Male Artist at the 2001 CAMA Awards & Best Aboriginal Recording at the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2006. Billy Joe's music has also garnered 3 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards over the last decade. His blues band also swept the winnipeg.com Blues Awards, with 8 awards in 2009.
&quto;Billy Joe Green's signature guitar & musical style - inventiveness, technical facility, soulfulness & humour, has remained intact. For a musician who has worked for four decades on the dusty & unforgiving Canadian musical landscape, his musical presentation is no vanity project or "been there, done that" exercise. It is instead, a portrait of an artist investing renewed creativity & independence - his proud Anishinabe roots backed by accomplished musicians & performing with joy, purpose and refreshing musical individuality." - Len Kruzenga
Drummer Brad (Chang) Meadmore is a Winnipeg treasure & iconic musician - based solely on his playing experience & not by his age. He displays a 'childlike' approach to music & to life. Chang & Billy Joe have been friends from the moment they met, performing together only occasionally in the last 15 years. He's played drums on Green's Juno nominated Muskrat Blues album. Meadmore has played for a prolonged period & has toured the planet with Veal alongside Luke Doucette, who's won a 2016 Juno with Whitehorse. He's done a stint with George Belanger & Harlequin, and kept time for & with The Chocolate Bunnies From Hell. He's been a favourite of drummers of Green's to work with simply because of his feel & intensity on his instrument.
Bassist Jimmy Guiboch is one of Green's favourite blues musicians. He originally hails from up the road from Green, i.e. Snow Lake, MB. He's lived for quite a while in Edmonton, where Green first met & worked with him in many capacities after 1996 when Billy Joe moved there for a time. Included in their work together would be music workshops with an Edmonton stay school program in the late '90s. He's also been my go to guy whenever Green performs in Alberta. In the not too distant past, Guiboch played bass for Green at the Calgary Blues Festival in 2006 and also at the North Country Fair in 2007. He's also appeared with Green at all my appearances in Peace River, Alberta for the Blues Society there, on 3 different occasions. Jim's also a Bandleader in his own right, taking his long working band Jimmy & the Sleepers to band competitions in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as playing their original music on the blues circuit throughout western Canada.