Home | The Band | The Music | The Shows | Press
Joel Gehman, Guitar and Vocals

My first experience with a musical instrument was ukulele lessons in grade five. I immediately concluded that I would never play a stringed instrument. After some progress with things you hit or blow into, at 15 or 16 my brother's band needed a guitar player, so we bought one at a pawn shop and I became one.
After steady gigging through my teens in such colourfully-named outfits as The Dormant Checker Effect, Tunnels Under This City, Stupid Head, and House of Zenon, I began what ended up being a lengthy hiatus from performing. In that time, I pursued higher education, hosted college radio shows, moved to the Arctic, worked as a sound designer on dozens of theatrical productions, moved a lot, and travelled as much as possible. I generally had a guitar with me and while in the North, I eventually learned how to play three chord songs. Earlier efforts had been sometimes catchy, but more harmonically "naive" and often numbingly complicated.

Upon returning to London (Ontario) in the late 90's, I bumped into schoolmate, James Cummins, who was looking for a bass player. He had the gear (which was actually Eggy's (Greg Rinehart's)), so I volunteered to play it. That band was the Yams, and we played hundreds of shows and put out two albums in the following five-or-so years. Shortly after that band got underway I was asked, to my astonishment, to joined an established New Orleans piano-based band called Voodoo Butter. Keyboardist Dean Harrison has a massive musical brain and over several years of collaboration on many projects I learned as much as I could absorb from him about virtually every style of music. Voodoo Butter also put me on the same stage as Mothers drummer Ted Peacock. Playing with Ted and Dean was (and is) an endless lesson in groove.

Guitar fell by the wayside as I quickly found myself a full-time bass player (with the odd mandolin gig). A list of all the bands I've played with may be posted on a separate page at a later date.

I pulled out my sadly neglected guitar to help out on Johnathan Davis' first album, J.C. Davis and the Cowboy Minstrels. That was fun, so I started weaselling my way back into the throng of guitar players. Being asked to join the Cool Mothers was truly an honour for me. These are all people I looked up to (and opened for) when I was starting out. Besides, the rule is: "You never turn down an opportunity to play with Ted."

Return to band biographies