Ottawa-based band MonkeyJunk plays a blend of swamp-rock roots and blues that in the relatively short time has earned them have won a collective 20 Maple Blues Awards, two Canadian Independent Music Awards, a Blues Music Award (USA), and a JUNO Award in 2012. Monkey Junk is three musicians who individually had established careers prior to forming MonkeyJunk. Steve Marriner, the trio’s vocalist, baritone guitarist, harmonica and organ player, was well known as the ‘go-to’ guy as a producer, sideman and session player in Ottawa. He’s also toured the world performing alongside Harry Manx and is a consummate musical networker and stage guest, having been invited to join many artists inconcertsuch as Randy Bachman, Colin James and Big Sugar.
At the age of 19, lead guitarist Tony D performed for three nights in Buddy Guy’s band. In 1982, he opened for Stevie Ray Vaughan. These events helped propel him into a long-standing career with his own popular project, The Tony D Band. He has also toured with some of this country’s greatest musicians, including the late Dutch Mason. Before MonkeyJunk, drummer and percussionist Matt Sobb was a very busy session drummer around Ottawa and has backed up several regional, national and international artists live on stage, touring and in studio over the last 24 years such as Kim Wilson, Jeff Healey, Tom Wilson (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), The Tony D Band and his brother's band, MartySobb and The Mobb, among many others.
They record with Stony Plain Records, which released their latest album, Moon Turn Red,last month, produced by the band and Ken Friesen, with additional production on one track by Colin Cripps of Blue Rodeo. This is their fourth CD for Stony Plain and many say it's their best. We shall see this Friday.