|The Stickmen keep on wowing them at Toronto’s famed Orbit
Room every Friday night.
Formed in January of 2002, leader Bernie LaBarge wanted
to assemble a unit to play the unstoppable groove music of New Orleans
Funk. What he got was much more.
band gelled quickly and became an Orbit Room favourite. While teaming up
with Brent Barkman, LaBarge found a gifted songwriting partner and
their infectious compositions are found throughout their recordings. With
long time friend Gene Falbo on bass and blues veteran Jim Casson
on drums, The Stickmen developed a killer rhythm section. Orbit Room
owner Tim Notter describes them as "the best band that’s ever played
Recorded in the summer of 2002 at Toronto’s Tattoo Music,
their debut CD, “Side One” also features Cassandra Vasik on
background vocals, and a duet with LaBarge on ‘Til The Sunrise.
The Stickmen’s “Side One” is a collection of hum-able, sing-able,
dance-able songs performed in the way that only a seasoned line up can
Their sophomore release, “Side Two” is not just
a sequel to “Side One”, but it also presents a second side to the
band showing the inevitable maturation that another year of constant performance
“Side Two” still features the unforgettable song
writing of LaBarge and Barkman, and also some unusual remakes. Original
songs “Hey There She Goes”, “2.3 Eugene”, and “When She
Cries” vary from rocker to funk to smooth Philadelphia style soul.
Another original, “Hey Bop A-Rebop”, (co-written with Spin Doctor,
Schenkman), features rock legend Alex Lifeson from Rush
guitar. The band puts there on spin on the quirky 60’s, Horst Jankowski
hit “A Walk In The Black Forest”, and Bernie LaBarge shows why he’s
one of the top studio guitarists in Canada with his rendition of the Santo
and Johnny classic “Sleepwalk”.
“Side Two” starts where “Side One” left
off and then goes to an even higher level.