George Bedard & The Kingpins

If you like rhythm and bluesy swing, surf, cheap garage thrill music, blues, rock and roll, and a group that is meticulously true to these genres, you'll love George Bedard and the Kingpins.

Note: George Bedard & The Kingpins helped the Callahan Brothers make it through their college years. Many, many, many evenings were spent listening to the band at various haunts around Ann Arbor and the Westside. The Brothers consider Mr. Bedard to be one of the finest guitarists to ever rise from Michigan.

This event gets a big thumbs up and recommendation from the Brothers!

George Bedard has been a seminal figure on the Michigan roots rock scene for more than 20 years. A member of the Silvertones in the 1970s and Tracy Lee & the Leonards in the 1980s, Bedard has been increasingly attracting the attention that his energetic guitar playing and gutsy vocals deserve as leader of his own band, the Kingpins. Goldmine recently called Bedard "one of the best rockabilly pickers on the planet," while Record Roundup wrote "Bedard may not become the next trendy thing, but as far as this kind of music, he's already the next cool thing."

The Kingpins, featuring Randy Tessier on bass and Rich Dishman on drums, have developed a reputation as one of Michigan's best bands since their formation in the early-'90s. Their debut album, Upside, was named Blues Album of the Year by CD Review in 1992. Upon the album's release, Guitar Player referred to it as "a brainy composite of blues phrasing and rockabilly bad-boy twang." Their second album, Hip Deep, followed in 1997.

- Craig Harris, Rovi

Rockabilly, blues/rock. While other youngsters in the 60s were listening to British Invasion bands and wishing they were on the Ed Sullivan show, a young George Bedard was in his basement teaching himself guitar, playing along with records by blues legends Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, and Muddy Waters. By the early 70s, Bedard was teaming up with blues harpist/guitarist Steve Nardella to form the Silvertones, one of the finest Ann Arbor, MI, blues/rockabilly bands of the 70s. Combining genres is a path Bedard has pursued relentlessly, working in groups both as a soloist and sideman, covering a wide range of styles from country to jazz to rockabilly and back to his first love, the blues. There's not much Bedard can't play extremely well in any of these idioms, his style always informed by taste and economy. Though his solo recordings have been few, George Bedard remains a guitar hero's guitar hero.

Bedard's 1992 debut album, Upside, features great originals and a rollicking textbook approach to everything from rockabilly to T-Bone Walker-style blues. Worth is just for the explosive solo on "What a Shame".

-Cub Koda

Tickets available at Door ... Doors Open @ 6:30pm ...

Off Sale

Ann Arbor's GEORGE BEDARD returns to CALLAHAN'S to celebrate the release of his great new CD "Further On." The disc was recorded "Live" at CALLAHAN'S and mix by Peter Jay. Tonight's KINGPINS are the quartet of Chris Codish, Pat Prouty, and Skeeto Valdez.

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