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Biography

“Slim Sandy” is the ONE MAN HILLBILLY BOOGIE BAND, strumming his guitar, blowing the harp and stompin’ the beat with his two feet on bass and snare drum! He plays a combination of his own compositions and rockabilly or country blues songs from the late 40’s and early 50’s. “Slim” was the original drummer for Ray Condo, from 1985-1994, and has been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist with the Crazy Rhythm Daddies since 1988. Other acts he’s backed up on drums include the Howlin’ Hound Dogs, Sophia Wolff and SUN Records legend, Billy Lee Riley. “Slim” can be seen singing the country blues in his hometown of Victoria, Bristish Columbia!

Slim Sandy was born in northern Canada in 1959 to Swedish parents. His father played guitar, and one of Slim’s earliest recollections of music was listening to his father's 78 records of 40's jazz musicians, artists such as Louis Jordan, Fats Waller, Slim and Slam, and Nat King Cole, all of whom would become musical influences. At the age of 12, Slim started learning how to play the guitar.

As a child, Slim recalls his parents bringing the family out to barn dances, in the countryside outside of Montreal, in rural Huntingdon and then Hemmingford. As a young man, Slim would attend a lot of blues shows at the Rising Sun in Montreal, and was privileged to see many original blues greats before they passed on, such as, the King of New Orleans Rhythm and Blues: Professor Longhair, Big Mama Thornton, and Junior Wells.

In 1980 Slim and his brother formed a punk band called The Paradots. Although it was a punk band, they did play some songs from 50’s rock and roll even then. Most notably were songs by Eddie Cochran like "C’mon Everybody".

However it was in the mid 80’s that Slim (later to be joined by his brother Eric) joined a band that included Ray Condo, called “Ray Condo and His Hardrock Goners”. The original line up included Slim on drums, Clive Jackson on bass, Edgar Bridwell on violin, Chris Dean on banjo, Eric Sandmark on lead guitar and Ray Condo on acoustic guitar and lead vocals. After a few years of playing music together, Ray Condo and His Hardrock Goners grew to become a cult success, receiving over-enthusiastic praise from not only roots music enthusiasts, but music lovers from all over. The bands style can be described as an energetic blend of rockabilly, Chicago-style blues, honky tonk, and Western swing. During the time with Ray Condo, they made four albums, which translated into three LPs and three CDs, played in the Hemsby festival in England in 1992, and 1993, toured Europe in 1994 and filmed eight music videos with the band as well.

“Once we played on the back of a truck (in 1993) driving through Amsterdam on their big holiday, the Queen’s Day. The streets were packed with people and we would drive fifty meters, then stop and play. At one point I heard the crowd really cheering and I thought, “Gee, they must like the music,” I turned around and saw that one of the girls from the rockabilly gang that had organized our not-quite-legal-parade had climbed on the hood of the truck and was doing a strip tease to the music!”

In 1988, during his time playing with Ray Condo and His Hardrock Goners, Slim Sandy formed a band with the other members of Hardrock Goners (sans Condo). The band started out as a five piece, all-acoustic group with no drums that featured Chris Dean on banjo and Edgar Bridwell on fiddle. However, the line up evolved with Robert Kraft playing the drums and John Davis (ex-bass player of the Gruesomes who replaced original band mate Clive Jackson in 1993) playing bass; and sometimes with Liam O'Neil on the saxophone. Playing their own hybrid of 50's rhythm and blues, western swing and rockabilly, Crazy Rhythm Daddies was very much influenced by artists such as the King of Western Swing: Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Milton Brown & His Brownies, and Spade Conley. The band’s interesting name comes from the song “Crazy Rhythm” and the Vancouver vocal trio the Undertaking Daddies.

During the first five years or so of playing with Crazy Rhythm Daddies, the band would perform double duty shows, opening up for their other band with Ray Condo. Crazy Rhythm Daddies made three cassettes, (Flat Foot Floogie, 1991, Swingcats’ Ball 1992, and One is Never too Old to Swing, 1995) and released two CDs. Their debut CD which is self-titled contains seventeen tracks and is a mixture of western swing, swing-era jazz, hillbilly, bluegrass, and rock n’ roll, which some have dubbed “rockin’ hillbilly swing.” On their second CD, the Crazy Rhythm Daddies recorded many covers such as, Louis Jordan’s “Five Guys Named Moe” and Slim Gallard’s “Atomic Cocktail”, as well as three originals. In 1997, the band was very busy, playing three major festivals: Hemsby in England, the International Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Ottawa Jazz Festival.

In 1992 Ray Condo moved to Vancouver and soon the band Ray Condo and the Hardrock Goners was to be no more. In 2000, while still playing with the Crazy Rhythm Daddies, Slim joined another band called Howlin’ Hound Dogs. This band featured singer Noel Thibault who also played rhythm and lead guitars, Johnny Slim on lead guitar, Richard Gelineau slapping the bass and Slim Sandy on the drums. Their debut album “Jitter Bop Baby” was loaded with authentic rockabilly tunes, of cover songs and originals.

The boys received praise for their energetic live shows, in cities located in Quebec, Ontario, and across the US, playing clubs such as: Bar St. Laurent, the Jive Joint, Jello Bar, Club Soda, Le Swimming, in Montreal; Hartford’s “Road Agent’s Rumble” Hot Rod and Rockabilly show, as well as Ste. Hyacinth’s “Retro Festival”, Joly’s “Retro Festival” and many of the bi-yearly Rockabilly Jams in Montreal. Artists who have influenced this band include Eddie Cochran, Johnny Burnette, Johnny Horton, Bill Allen, Sleepy la Beef and Buddy Holly.

In 2002 Slim Sandy played drums for Sophia Wolff and her Cubs, a Montreal based western swing band, featuring renown jive dance teacher Sophia Wolff singing, and with the members of the Howlin' Hound Dogs in the back up band, along with Craig Morrison on steel guitar and Bill Bland on violin, playing many live shows, including an appearance at the Road Agents Rumble and Viva Las Vegas in 2003, and recording on her CD, "Afternoon Fun."

Since 2003 Slim Sandy has played as a one-man band, doing hillbilly blues, strumming his guitar, blowing the harp and stomping out the beat with his two feet on bass and snare drums. His songs are inspired by the 50’s, Sun Records, Harmonica Frank, Joe Turner, Sonny Burgess, Papa Lightfoot, modern rockers like Ronnie Dawson.

He is currently in the process of recording another Slim Sandy CD, so keep yer ears open for some new rockin' beats!

Email: slimsandy@gmail.com

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