Hookahman began as a Tuesday night Jam session in 1992 Wes & Frank's house. 9 unique members of Edmonton's vibrant artistic community met and jammed for no reason other than to play and hear music that they liked. Eventually they performed publicly at an Edmonton City Council public forum on the use of "radioactive waste to speed the decomposition of river sludge". Hookahman wrote and performed their hit single "The Nuclear Song" for that gig. Since then, their open improvisational technique has led them to play with such Canadian legends as Juno Award winner Bill Bourne, The Hard Rock Miners, and The Raging Grannies. Most recently, Hookahman recorded their first album "Oh Hut..." etching their own brand of Post-Industrial-Accoustic-Folk-Fusion-Trouser-Rock for all time in a string of ones and zeros concentrically stored via optical laser technology in the delightful CD format. Due to the overwhelming popularity of "Oh Hut...", they are currently working on a follow-up with Aria Award winning producer Dave Mockford.

Hookahman sounds like "Jonathan Richman leading The Pogues on a rampage through Canadian suburbia, rearranging The Rankin Family's Lawn Ornaments along the way."
- Gene Kosowan, See Magazine

Hookahman is comprised of Joe Bird , Wes Borg Joel Finnestad, Jeff Page, Jason Kodie, Frank Bessai, Cathy Derkach, and Dove & Larry ( the former rhythm section of Jr. Gone Wild).

Bios of the noodlers...

(four of the hookah noodlers are parents, can you guess which ones?)


Frank Bessai is a classically trained gone Hookahman violinist who spent his life jamm'in all over the world. Frank's knowledge of languages and skilled trombone quacks are at the core of the hut. When Frank finds time away from the busy Hookahman schedule, he can be found dancing around a gymnasium dressed as the enchanting duckman fiddler, Canard Rouge. His message is political, he is irie.

An explorer in the realm of the slide mandolin, Jeff Page has been playing music ever since he tried to fool a substitute teacher in 6th grade band by playing snare drum instead of his trumpet. He soon gave up the trumpet, but can sing most of the White Album from memory.

Joe Bird once won an award for playing the oboe in elementary school. Having travelled to distant lands since then, he often writes upbeat dance ditties about depression and love. He can play many instruments, and does so frequently.

Dove Brown is probably best known for his ten odd years as the bass player in Jr. Gone Wild. He is nearly as well known for his long sexy legs and original Albertan appeal.

Joel Finnestad once played drums in bands with names like The Demon Pit Thrashers and Ruptured Duck. Since joining Hookahman, however, he has re-acquainted himself with his old friend the saxophone, and begun writing songs with lyrics like "bootgum rye and a chicken and a pea."

Wes Borg began playing the banjo in earnest when he realized there was the potential for seven rhythm guitarists in Hookahman. Since picking up the blasted thing, he has kicked his comedy mistress out of the house (although he still pays for her apartment). Wes is happy most of the time.


Cathy Derkach is just about the most daring yodeller in all of Western Canada. She plays every instrument in the Hookahman arsenal, and played a five hour gig on New Year's Eve 1997 while nine months pregnant. She jams.

Jason Kodie loves Flaco. Mr. Bombo, as Mr. Kodie is sometimes called, once sported a full head of natties. Having played the accordion since he was very small, his hands have formed keys and buttons of their own.

Larry Shelast plays drums for Hookahman. He has told us little of his past.

 


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