Beats Workin blends the talents of 3 life-long musicians – Mark Johnson, David K. and Bob de Wolff
Mark Johnson has been playing music since he was able move his hands and bang the keys of his family piano. He took up bass in his teenage years and has been performing professionally since. He has always been a roots musician at heart but is also deeply attracted to the mysterious, colorful harmonies and grooves or Jazz and world music.
On any given day depending on his mood Mark can be found listening to Old Western, Blue Grass, Piano Jazz, Classical and even Rabindra Sangeet (Folk Music of India)… Mark loves it all. His main influences on the bass come from Ray Brown, Jaco Pastorious, Victor Wooten, Les Claypool, Alain Perez and John Patitucci. Mark keeps finding new musical influences every day in his quest to become the best musician that he can.
Mark’s main source of music education comes from the streets however in the 2000 he decided to take his quest for musical knowledge and earned a diploma in Jazz performance from Grant MacEwan College. Next he traveled the world on Holland America Cruise Line for two years and a Bassist in the Jazz Band. Since then he has played in many groups and toured through Canada, the US, and Europe.
Marks influences come randomly from life experience. It could be a beautiful nature scenery, a crying baby or the wagging of a dogs tail… He believes everything deserves to be translated into a song!
Somewhere out there is a crossroad where old jazzy blues collides with country, and there you’ll find David K, creating his unique blend of acoustic music. David K has toured extensively across Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Ireland, impressing audiences everywhere on his Guitar, Acoustic Steel Guitars, and Mandolins, plus his great singing. He is a dynamic solo performer, songwriter, and side-musician, whose performances have been highly praised on both sides of the Atlantic.
As a solo performer David’s fine instrumental work perfectly supports his strong original songs and helps him breathe new life into old blues and country tunes. Now in the new band, Beats Workin, more of David’s versatility comes forward, along with lots of swing in the mix.
David K has also been a key musician and producer on CDs by many Canadian, American and British recording artists, and has performed and toured with them in Canada and abroad, most notably with the Juno Award and Canadian Folk Music Award nominated Eileen McGann, Britain’s Mrs. Ackroyd Band, and as one third of Canada’s outstanding vocal group Trilogy.
David’s musical influences are many. From the 1920s recordings of the Carter Family, through Bob Wills’ western swing of the 30s & 40s, Hank Williams’ hard core country/blues and right on to the honest, vital songwriting of Joni Mitchell and Steve Goodman. But no single artist or group has had a greater impact on David’s music than . . . of course . . . . The Beatles.
Bob de Wolff is a seasoned musician with a lifetime involvement in music and the arts. He has been a singer and guitarist who has been playing in musical groups since the mid-1960s. His current musical love is the swing music of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, in particular, the music of Louis Jordan, Slim and Slam and Bennie Goodman. That, and an abiding love of roots music.
Since 1980, he has been studying and playing music from ‘the American Songbook’. His mentors and idols include guitarists from Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery and Charlie Christian to lesser known Dakota Dave Hull, Guy Van Duser, Pierre Bensusan and Mike Dowling. “A lifetime goal is to become more and more musical each week for as long as I live, and to share that with others.
Bob has been actively supporting live music for over 30 years with leadership positions at The Nickelodeon Music Club (Calgary), the Calgary Folk Festival, and more recently the Deep Cove Folk Music Society (N. Saanich).
WHY Music? “I love to do something that is transitory … You put the music out to the world, and it creates a feeling (or it doesn’t), and then its gone.”
WHAT Inspires Me? “I have to play … if I don’t play it feels like I’ve had a limb amputated. Many things inspire me: world events; seeing & hearing other folks playing & singing; my Heiden guitars – their beauty and the way they vibrate against me; even my cat, Mr. Dave.”