Banjo Mechanics: Lewis Melville and Ian Pattison (Ontario)

Sunday, September 7th // 3 am
This performance is by donation/PWYC

The Banjo Mechanics began in 1995 when Ian Pattison and Lewis Melville laid their banjos down on the highway and successfully subdued a herd of stampeding tractor trailers. A recorded version of the event was included in the DROG “Truck Songs” compilation. In 2001, Ian and Lewis performed open- heart surgery on the 5-string with an assortment of power tools and released an audio recording of the operation. Since then, the Banjo Mechanics have continued to preach the Gospel of the Eccentric Banjo Instrumental to the world. 2014 marks the release of their first full-length album “JLP”.

Ian Pattison is a luthier, banjo player, and drummer from Guelph. Considered by many to be one of Canada’s top banjo makers, he has hand-crafted conventional and unusual instruments for artists as diverse as the Great Lake Swimmers and Mali’s Jah Youssouf for almost four decades. A player with a strong foundation in bluegrass technique, he is nonetheless dedicated to extending the range of banjo performance beyond the conventional. He has performed with Rocket Radio, Los Albianos, Bebop Amoeba, The Exceptions, The Sam Turton Band, and Jude Vadala. Currently he can be found playing with Guelph’s Neo-roots troubadors the Hoofbeats, the Banjo Mechanics, and the Exceptions.

Lewis Melville is a Guelph, Ontario, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, a veteran of the Canadian independent music scene, and a seasoned international musical pilgrim. He began playing banjo in the mid-1970s with legendary alternative country-rock band Pigbone and the progressive country folk duo The Crayons. In addition to pursuing his solo career, over the years he has performed and recorded banjo with a diverse assortment of Canadian artists (Cowboy Junkies, barenaked ladies, Skydiggers, Rheostatics, 13 Engines, Jah Youssouf, Tannis Slimmon, and many others). He is an original member of Toronto’s free-style freakout jazz orchestra the Woodchoppers Association, a founding member of the Guelph-based Vertical Squirrels free music quartet, and co-creator of the banjo instrumental duo the Banjo Mechanics.