The Diving Ducks Band was once "the best kept secret" on the Southern New England blues circuit. Now they are the blues band of choice. They don't sound like any other blues band because they don't want to sound like any other blues band.
Their style is high energy blues with rock overtones including tunes from Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The J Geils Band, Eric Clapton and the blues greats of the past and present.
The Band is named for a famous blues line in the song entitled. "Diving Duck Blues: "If the river were filled with whiskey, I'd be a diving duck, I would dive to bottom and drink my way up."
Examiner spoke with guitarist Paul Thomas to find out more on this band.
Examiner: Can you tell us about the members of the band and how you came together?
Thomas: "I was friends with Kevin Doyle, our bass player ever since we were in our teens. We had lost touch over the years so one day in the late 1990's I decided to look Doyle up. It was then that we decided to have a jam session. The first song that we played was a blues standard entitled, "Diving Duck Blues." We decided that night that we would become a band and that would be the name of our band.
We basically laid the ground work for a hot blues sound. I've definitely sold my soul to the blues and always play a show like it's the very first time. "Reverend" Tom Shaheen plays blues harp and is our lead vocalist. He toured with the Hellhounds Blues Band and the Muddy Wolfe Blues Band. The outstanding drum work of Fred Larson III rounds out the band nicely. Larson is also currently working with So Many Rhodes, a Tribute to the Grateful Dead and previously worked with the Maynard Silva Band and The Senders in the 1980's."
Examiner: Do you play any original material or have any videos?
Thomas: "No, we play covers and all that we play, we tend to put our own signature on to make it our own as well as rearrange them. The Ducks do covers with a set list that includes tunes from Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The J. Geils Band, Eric Clapton and the blues greats of the past and present. We don't need original material because the blues isn't songs, it's all about feelings. There's so much excellent material waiting to be interpreted our way so we won't start doing originals until we've covered all of them. That should be in about 500 years give or take. You Tube has many of our videos or you can go to the band website at: www.divingducksbluesband.com."
Examiner: What's your biggest wow moment in this business?
Thomas: "Our biggest wow moment is always the last gig. Every gig is wow, as in take nothing for granted. We are blessed to play and all the band members feel like brothers, not just a bunch of guys out to play a gig, that's what makes a duck a duck. Individually we've all had Wow moments but as a band I think opening for James Montgomery was a Wow.
Meeting Muddy Waters and James Cotton back stage at a gig was also a special moment for Rev. Tom when he was with `The Fabulous Hellhounds Blues Band."
Examiner: What are your upcoming dates?
Thomas: "We have dates scheduled through May which you'll find on our website if you can't make any of these shows. We play regularly in Massachusetts and Rhode Island."
Friday, March 7, 2014, Murphy's Law, 2 George Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island