DOC SPAN BLUES BAND
Doc Span is renowned for his unique smokey voice, expressive tone, inspiring dynamics and exciting stage presence. His blues style is drawn from a personal pilgrimage through the blues with years of jamming with many of Chicago’s Blues greats while a paramedic at the notorious Cook County Jail – hence the “Doc“.
There, he met Eddie Newell who invited him to play with Willie Kent and the Beehives, at Ma Bea’s, a club on the windy city’s west-side. Doc was hooked! These influential formative experiences set the scene for Doc’s special sense of blues as he learned, first hand, the intrinsic history, dynamics and feel of the genre.
A veteran traveller, Doc had a stint in the US Navy, then hitchhiked alone around the United States south to Peru acquiring many Latin influences, finally making Santa Fe, New Mexico his base for touring with his own band. The band performed extensively throughout the Rockies, Canada and Alaska.
Home in Australia since 1987, except for a few sojourns back to the States to play, Span has been up with the leading edge of Oz blues performers. Doc‘s harmonica playing is passionate, soulful and obviously from the heart of blues culture.
In the late eighties Doc’s Sydney based band, The Doc Span Blues Band, played gigs around the country. The band members included luminaries of the Australian music business, including Mark Kennedy, Glynn Mason, Dennis Wilson, Mark Punch, Jimmy Doyle and James Rattray.
The charismatic, American born Span has been thrilling Australian audiences for over two decades with a uniquely expressive harmonica tone, a magnificent, warm, grainy voice. He lays out a truly exciting stage show that‘s ‘direct from Chicago’! He and his harp are one, as is evident by his interaction with the instrument. Doc wails with passion and resonates a special intimacy.
A ten year partnership with Ross Williams led to several albums and awards, including Entertainer of the Year, winners of the Noosa Song Contest and a Sunny Award for their collaboration, “Last Train”.
He has gone on to collaborate with UK producer Matthew Cang on The Treatment and Something for the Pain, and, Andy Cowan on 10.30 Thursdays. Most recently Doc has contributed to Kevin Borich’s Totem and Louie Shelton’s Bluesland.
When: April 7, 2017
Where: Main Stage