Since 2001, The Foggy Hogtown Boys have been delivering the goods to bluegrass fans across North America and around the world. What started as a weekly bar gig among friends has grown into one of Canada's most popular roots music acts.
The FHB are known for having a sound that, although not bound to traditional conservatism, doesn't sound like a bluegrass band trying to make new country or pop hits. They are noted for having the ability to slide between being a bluegrass band or an old-time band with remarkable ease and authority. Even a casual listener can tell that the FHB owe as much to the country music that happened pre-1945 as to the golden age of bluegrass.
The band's personnel reads like a who's who of Canadian roots music, with members having played in some of the genre's most influential acts; (Jughead, Heartbreak Hill, The Creaking Tree String Quartet, The David Francey Trio, New Country Rehab). Recognized and respected in the profession, each player in the FHB is a sought after session musician.
These days, it's rare to see a band that keeps the same personnel for even a few years. With the exception of one change in 2007, The FHB has had a constant line-up going on 11 years now. This is a testament to the friendship and deep musical bond that is shared between the members of the band – something that becomes obvious to anyone who attends a live FHB show. There are no stars in the band; each member is a featured singer and instrumentalist, whose strengths are supported by the rest of the ensemble.
Andrew Collins plays the mandolin, sings lead and harmony, and plays twin fiddle with Showman. Collins plays mandolin with an adventuresome spirit that is backed by virtuosic technique. Although he is at home playing jazz or classical music on the mandolin, his playing in the FHB is firmly rooted in the Monroe school. An in-demand sound engineer and producer, Andrew has recorded the last 4 projects by The Foggy Hogtown Boys. (Visit Andrew's website)
Chris Coole plays guitar and claw-hammer banjo, and sings lead and harmony in the FHB. He brings a solid command of the oft overlooked, but irreplaceable rhythm guitar styles most often conjured by the bluegrass guitar elders. To compliment, Coole possesses a compelling understanding of old-time music and has contributed trustworthy, original songwriting; songs whose plaintive clarity are beginning to find themselves sung, and recorded, by respected peers in the business. (Visit Chris' Website).
Max Heineman plays acoustic bass, and sings lead and harmony vocals. Max grew up surrounded by music – his father is a noted jazz musician and his mother sang on The Tommy Hunter show. This deep musical background shows in his solid bass playing, but especially when he sings - there are simply few vocalists with his power and emotional commitment to song.
Chris Quinn plays bluegrass banjo and rhythm guitar, and sings bass. Quinn is among the finest traditional bluegrass banjo players. Quinn brings that much talked about, but elusive, drive to the music. When it’s old-time, Quinn picks guitar while Coole plays claw-hammer. (Visit Chris' website)
John Showman plays fiddle and sings lead and harmony. Classically trained in violin since childhood, Showman has folded the sheet music, and emerged as one of the most dynamic, original, and exciting fiddlers in bluegrass music today. John also has the rare ability to understand the subtleties of old-time fiddle as well: which is why he won 1st place in the 2011 Fiddle Contest in Clifftop, West Virginia.
(Visit John's website)
To date, the band has recorded 6 albums. The latest, “The Hogtown Sessions”, is a collaboration with Portland, Oregon based dobroist Ivan Rosenberg.
The band continues to tour, record, play festivals, clubs, as well as teach at music workshops around the whole wide world.