Tuesday, December 1, 2009

BIG CHILL Back at the Rooster

We are proud to be playing back at the Rooster, Saturday December 12th 2009.

The band last performed on Bank Street's best Live musical venue back in October. If that gig was anything to go by, then it will be yet another, rocking, fun loving, dancing Saturday night at the Rooster.

Recently awarded the "Best night out in Ottawa", by the Ottawa Express publication, Big Chill are happy to be a part of the regular fantastic, atmospheric, Entertainment that The Atomic Rooster keep providing.

With Donny, Kim and the rest of the staff, looking after the great service and Big Chill dishing out the licks, groove and beat, rest assured you will be in for a night to remember. Come on Down to 303 Bank Street, and join in the frolicking with the rest of the gang.

Cheers and see you there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Forty Years Of The Fender Stratocaster
by Richard R. Smith

Leo Fender had worked as an accountant and radio repairman before
taking up musical instrument manufacturing during the waning days of
World War II. Riding on the double wave of post-war prosperity and the
guitar's rising popularity, his novel, tradition-breaking designs quickly
became popular with working musicians who played western swing,
country, and rhythm and blues--the roots of rock and roll. He started
designing the Stratocaster in 1953 for these cutting-edge musicians
destined to shape popular music's next forty years.

Fender's intention was more than simply adding a new guitar to his
successful line, which already included the highly popular Telecaster.
Packing his new model with the latest "Fender Firsts," he hoped to outdo
all other guitar inventors and make all other electric guitars obsolete.
Besides looking streamlined and modern, the deep cutaway body
balanced the instrument, made the high frets more accessible, and
reduced weight. Musician Rex Gallion had once implored Leo, "Why not
get away from a body that is always digging into your ribs?" The
Stratocaster's contours allowed a snug fit to the player's body.

The Stratocaster's advanced, built-in vibrato put shimmering, sustaining
sound effects at the player's fingertips. The distinctive Fender headstock
design let the strings pull straight over the guitar's nut, minimizing the
only real source of de-tuning friction. Surpassing earlier designs, Fender
made each individual Stratocaster bridge section adjustable for length
and height. To get the best tone, he tested a wide variety of pickup coils
and pole pieces with different lengths and diameters.

Musicians soon discovered that by carefully positioning the Stratocaster's
switch between settings, the signals from two pickups mixed and
produced snarling nasal tones that redefined electric guitar sound. These
unintended tones were reminiscent of a muted trumpet or trombone, but
with the sting of downed power lines. Fender's new guitar offered much
more than he anticipated.

Fender's business partner, Don Randall, came up with the new guitar's
name. Fender Sales shipped the first few commercial units by May 15,
1954. No one envisioned the Stratocaster's eventual commercial success
and historic impact. Considered by many an instrument for
teenagers--bandleader Lawrence Welk often introduced Buddy Merrill as
"our teenager"--the Stratocaster sold well in the 1950s, but did not
dominate the market. Dick Dale first explored the Fender's high decibel
capabilities playing surf music in the early 1960s. Beatles George
Harrison and John Lennon had matching Stratocasters heard on the
single "Nowhere Man" and numerous album cuts recorded after 1965. Of
course, Jimi Hendrix revolutionized electric guitar playing with his
Stratocasters and proved the wisdom of Leo's original design--which
stood up to almost every abuse except a match and lighter fluid. For the
next two decades, the Stratocaster's popularity grew almost unabated.

In 1987 Guitar Player magazine hailed the Stratocaster as the
"undisputed Guitar of the 1980s." The Stratocaster, recognized by
players for its wide-ranging, versatile tone, had become the most
commercially successful and copied electric guitar design in history. The
almost endless list of Stratocaster-playing stars included Eric Clapton,
Jeff Beck, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour
and Mark Knopfler. While many players had turned to vintage
Stratocasters in the 1970s when CBS owned the Fender company (Leo
Fender and Don Randall sold the company to CBS in the mid-60s) an
increasing number of 1980s guitarists discovered new Stratocasters
made by a revitalized Fender company under new ownership.

In 1985, the Fender company was purchased from CBS and in fact, a
new chapter of Stratocaster history was being written. In 1990 the
company offered a single-spaced index that included 31 different
Stratocasters on the first page alone. The 1992 literature pictured 44
different Stratocasters. Players failing to find production models fitting
their needs could consider a top-of-the-line custom-built guitar from the
Fender Custom Shop. John Page, the shop's manager, sums up the
company's philosophy quite well: "Old guitars represent a starting point,"
he said. "Vintage (product) is something you learn from. Then you go on
and design something for tomorrow."

Leo Fender designed the original Stratocaster to outdo all other electric
guitars. In 1954, it was a guitar for tomorrow. Astonishingly, after 40
years, it still is.

A former working guitarist, Richard R. Smith has written extensively about vintage guitars and guitar company history. He is guest curator for the Fullerton Museum Center's show Five Decades of Fender: The Sound Heard Around the World. His articles and columns have appeared in Guitar Player, Guitar World, Guitar (Rittor Music, Japan) and Bass (Rittor Music, Japan) magazines. In addition, he is the author of The History of Rickenbacker Guitars (Centerstream) and a forthcoming book about Leo Fender and the Fender Electric Instrument Company.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Big Chill Rocked the Rooster

Saturday night saw the return of Big Chill to the Atomic Rooster Saturday August 22nd. After a two month break from the Band friendly bar, Big Chill let loose with new Drummer Jim Hurcomb and at least a set worth of new tunes. Manager Kim Ramji was celebrating her birthday and the "Chill" along with a crowd ready to party, helped her celebrate in style,

Next gig for the band is coming up in September, at the brand new Royal Oak pub in Barhaven, Manager Debbie brown was happy to book the band, based on a very successful Thursday night gig at the Original Royal Oak pub situated at 318 Bank St. (downtown)

September 26th is the date for the Barhaven debut, and "The Chill" look forward to meeting and playing for the regulars at The Royal Oak Pubs newest addition.
Big Chill is looking to start playing gigs in all the Ottawa areas rather than keeping the party focus on the downtown core. keep checking back to this site for more gig information, or send us an email to bigchill@mail.com to be added to the gig distribution list.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Royal Oak Gig July 23rd 2009

What a fantastic turnout and a great night. Big Chill want to thank The Royal Oak and all that came to see the band, what a Great time!. With the construction right outside the door and foul weather not adding to make things comfortable, The night was a rocking success at the Royal Oak pub 318 Bank Street. Bringing in Jim Hurcomb on drums for his first gig with the band, was a hit from the first beat. This was Big Chill's first gig at the Royal Oak and we intend to play that location again and a few others (watch this space)
Next gig (at the moment) will be at The Atomic Rooster, August 22nd, It's a Saturday night and we intend to start early and finish late so came prepared to party.
We will keep updating this site with more gig info as it comes in, and once again thankyou all for letting us have fun playing for you