John Lee’s Hooker is bringing a new look and a familiar sound to The Drift

John Lee’s Hooker is bringing a new look and a familiar sound to The Drift

Rossland’s John Lee’s Hooker are bringing their dirty rock ‘n roll sound to The Drift this Friday for  a free show.  The Rossland-based duo of Brad Mackay and Austin Delaye have been playing together for a few years now, but their musical history goes back much further.


Brad Mackay (vocals, guitar) has been performing on stage since he was 9 years old.  Austin Delaye (percussion), whose father is also a drummer, has always been immersed in music.  The pair met while both working at The Flying Steamshovel five years ago and started making music together shortly thereafter.


Over the years, there have been different versions of the band, with different members coming and going.  One of their first incarnations was called “Five Horse Death”, which contained two other local musicians.  This last season saw pieces added and removed, which produced different sounds, but Delaye and Mackay maintain a sort of ‘signature sound.’


“It’s not mathematical, shredder kind of playing.  It’s a lot of feel and heart.  We know what we’re playing, but it’s never the same every time you’re playing.  There are different energies to it.  That’s why it’s dirty rock,” said Mackay.


“It’s not your Grandma’s blues-rock,” added Delaye.  


The two recently held ‘auditions’ looking for a bass player.  When the right fit didn’t appear, they decided to go it alone.


“Now with just the two of us, it’s more of a challenge, and puts it on us to make it interesting.  We’re challenging ourselves to do more with less,” said Delaye.


“It’s fun playing with two people.  It challenges you in a different way, musically,” said Mackay.


Mackay took a trip down to California for a music festival in the spring, and since then the creative juices have been flowing.  “I got this whole breath of fresh air, with this different kind of music.  I called Austin right away when I got back, and right away, all these songs started coming out.  It comes and goes in waves, but right now, I’m writing everyday,” he said.


The crowd can expect a high energy, event on Friday, with perhaps a hint of unpredictability.  The band has played at The Drift before and always enjoys the atmosphere.  The doors open at 10pm, and as mentioned before, it is a free show.  Another duo, made up of Geoff Ross and Darce Munce will be starting the night off.


“We’re both pretty laid back dudes, but once we’re on stage it’s a different story.  The energy takes over and the show gets a life of its own,” said Mackay.


“Playing shows is the best part of being in a band.  You can play songs in a basement a hundred times, but when you play on stage, it’s the best high you could experience,” said Delaye.


The band has a facebook page, as well as a website, where their music can be streamed or downloaded at no cost.  Check it out, and we’ll see you at The Drift!