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Off The Record



December 14, 2017

Have An Ounce Of Prevention This Christmas

The busyness of the holiday season is distracting, leaving us more vulnerable to “Christmas crooks” if we’re not careful.

“This is one of the most important times of the year to be extra vigilant, no one wants their holidays ruined by becoming a victim of crime,” says Linda Annis, Executive Director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers.

“Someone somewhere always knows something about just about any crime, so we want to encourage anyone with information to contact us by phone, by text or online,” Annis says. “All we want is the information about the crime to pass on to police, not information about you. Your anonymity is actually guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada. Please don’t hold back and let someone become a victim, especially at one of the most festive times of the year.”

Annis also suggests being proactive about protecting your own property and your loved ones. Don’t leave your bags visible in your car when parked at the mall, for example - lock them in the trunk.

“Statistics show burglaries and vehicle break-ins typically spike around this time of the year. It’s also darker out, so your car is especially vulnerable in a parking lot, when it sits unattended for hours at a stretch.”

Here are 10 more tips from Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers to help you stay safe during the holidays. Some of them are new, others are tried and true:

1. Did your shopping online? Don’t leave packages sitting on your porch
Busy delivery companies are even busier this time of year. Often they can’t wait for someone to come to the door, so they’ll leave your package on your doorstep. Guess who might be watching. Try to make sure someone’s around to receive the delivery, or ask a trusted neighbour to watch for anything left on your porch. You can also return the favour one day.

2. Recycle the gift boxes? Yes! But…
When that pile of cardboard outside your house advertises you have a new 60-inch TV, video game consoles, tablets or computers, it’s like waving a flag for crooks. Take a look at your home through the eyes of a thief – and be honest, is what you’ve left outside too much of an invitation?

3. When it comes to outdoor lights, better to be an “outie” than an “innie”
When plugging in your outdoor lights, use an exterior electrical outlet. It might seem convenient sometimes to plug them into an indoor socket, but it also means leaving the door or window open a crack for the cord, which anyone with a crowbar could pry open. It’s drafty too.

4. Keep an eye on your “Frosty” – use home video and motion censors
Lawn displays get pretty elaborate this time of year. It’s not unheard of for inflatables or other large ornaments to be pilfered. Use motion sensors to activate lights and arm your burglar an alarm in case someone’s snooping around your home.

5. Who’s that knocking at my door?
Be wary of crooks posing as door-to-door donation seekers. Sure, carollers and others drop by to collect donations for worthy charitable causes this time of year – but how do you know they’re for real? Be wary. Don’t give out personal information like when you might be away from the house, and don’t give out any money without seeing proof of who the callers really are.

6. LOL! I’m away on #vacay!
When you post online that you’re away on a winter break, especially after posting all those pictures of the cool stuff you got on December 25th, thieves can see your posts too. Avoid posts telling everyone about the valuables that may be sitting unattended under your Christmas tree. If you are going away, also tell a trusted neighbour or family member to keep an eye on things.

7. Watch who you’re bumping into
Public transit and malls get pretty crowded during the holiday shopping season. Keep purses and wallets where you can keep track of them and thwart pick-pockets looking to take advantage of the holiday rush.

8. Keep the window shopping at the mall – not at your house
Make sure gifts inside the house aren’t visible from the outside. Peering through the window and seeing piles of gifts sitting beneath a Christmas tree is irresistible to burglars. Remove temptation. Keep the gifts out of sight.

9. Take it easy shopping - don’t be in a rush and lose your credit cards
Slow down and be thorough when shopping. People in a rush sometimes leave credit cards behind at the store, or drop them on the way out. Or a mix up at the till could mean you get the wrong one back. Also watch for identity theft. Check your credit card statement during the season to make sure no one else is charging things to your card.

10. Mine! Mine! All mine!
Etch your property with your driver’s license number, and photograph valuables and their markings showing make, model and serial number. If it’s stolen and later found by police, there’s a better chance that you’ll get it back.
The Vancouver Police Department has created an especially handy “Log It or Lose It” app for you to keep track of your valuables. Download the app, or print off the “Log it or Lose It” form from the VPD website to record details about your valuables – everything from cameras and jewelry to bikes and power tools. You never know when it will help.


November 27, 2017

King Size

.......performed by THE TRIALS OF JASON HOOVER

Peak Month: January 1969
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #8
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart


Drummer David MacPhail founded The Epics in 1963 after meeting guitarist Jimmy Harmata in Vancouver’s Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret. In 1964, 15-year old bassist, Bob Kidd, was added and later tenor saxophone player Gunther Klaus and keyboard/organ player Bill Gibson. The Epics first vocalist was Barry Collins. Jayson Hoover joined the band in late 1964 after he was approached by David MacPhail at the Smilin’ Buddha where Jay was singing. In the spring 1965 Jayson Hoover had come from Alberta on a vacation to see Vancouver. But once he got to Vancouver he chose never to return home. He first met Bob Kidd and Jimmy Harmata at the Shanghai Junk on Main Street. The Epics featured Barry Collins and Jayson Hoover under the name ‘The Soul Brothers.” This was a take-off on the Righteous Brothers. Barry Collins left The Epics around 1965. The Epics rehearsed daily after high school during the week and also on Saturdays and Sundays. And on the evenings over the weekend they’d go to hear other groups in concert. At that time The Epics were still known as The Epics featuring Jayson Hoover. It was only in their later years that promoters began to pitch The Epics as Jayson Hoover & The Epics.

A few months after “King Size” was recorded Jayson Hoover, Jimmy Harmata and Bob Kidd left The Epics to start the Anvil Chorus. The Epics continued for another year with David MacPhail, Bill Gibson, Gunther Klaus and a new guitar and bassist.

The Anvil Chorus, a group with a psychedelic sound popular for awhile in the late 60’s, only lasted a few months. In 1968 they changed their name to The Trials Of Jayson Hoover.

Jayson Hoover and The Epics played the concert circuit in Vancouver along with other groups like The Spectres, Howie Vickers and The Vicounts and Little Daddy and The Bachelors. Jayson Hoover and The Epics performed at many venues including The Hollywood Bowl in New Westminster, the Renfrew Community Centre and at Clinton Hall (on East Pender) both in Vancouver. Bruce Fairburn of the Spectres remembers Jayson Hoover and The Epics “always were known for a great feel, always a classic band who had a great groove to them.” The Epics were a West Coast Vancouver sound that was an answer to bands in the USA like Booker T. and The MGs and The Funk Brothers.

The Trials of Jayson Hoover formed in 1968 and disbanded in 1970. Jayson Hoover was an Afro-Canadian musician who helped spearhead a West Coast soul sound, along with other Vancouver acts like Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers. Jayson Hoover had earlier headed Jayson Hoover and the Epics formed in 1965. Jim Hamata and Bob Kidd both remained with Jayson Hoover in the transition from the Epics to The Trials of Jayson Hoover. Ian Hood, formerly of Blured Vision, became one of the bands two drummers. The other drummer from the New Breed was Randy Bushby who was in the band very briefly, leaving the drums to Ian Hood going forward. Keyboard player Steve Cartmell was also playing through his years with The Trials of Jayson Hoover with another band named Kentish Steele and The Shantelles. From October 1968 to February of 1969 Trials of Jayson Hoover played several local clubs, Diamond Jim’s, Lasseter’s Den and as the house band at Phaoroh’s Retreat.

“King Size” was released on local musician, Tom Northcott’s, New Syndrome Records in December 1968. It peaked at #8 in Vancouver.


King Size by Trials Of Jayson Hoover

I’m on the blues, ya’ll, in the evening when the sun goes down.
I’m in my shoes,’til all the soul is gone.
(Can you dig it baby, alright. Come on baby, get it.)

Got to have it king size (bring it on out)
Got to have it king size (bring it on out).
(cool it baby, cool it).

You babe, always knock me down.
Who are you, ya’ll, bring trouble when you’re around.
(come on baby, do it one more time. Give it to me).

Got to have it king size.
Got to have it king size.


“King Size” is about seizing the moment, dancing to the max and hanging out with someone who is a knock out (“you babe, always knock me down”). It could, plausibly, be interpreted as being knocked down, as synonymous with being criticized. However, the lyrics in the song clarify “come on baby, do it one more time, give it to me.” If the singer was complaining about being knocked down, they wouldn’t want more of the same. The song is about being infused with soul and having someone who is sexy to dance with. The song was co-written by one of the bandmates, Jimmy Harmata.

The Trials of Jayson Hoover were contracted by promoters to be the open for a concert at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on December 28. The headlining band was Vanilla Fudge. Earlier that fall Vanilla Fudge had a song on in the local Top Ten, a cover of The Supremes “You Keep Me Hanging On.” Since The Trials of Jayson Hoover had “King Size” on the CKLG pop chart they were getting a buzz around town. A factor in the promoters decision to add Hoover’s band to the concert was that they would let Vanilla Fudge and Led Zeppelin use The Trails of Jayson Hoover’s Hammond B3 and leslies.

The Trials of Jayson Hoover opened the concert. A largely unknown group from England, Led Zeppelin, followed. Vanilla Fudge closed the show. CKLG promoted the concert with clips of “You Keep Me Hanging On” featured in the ads. In December 1968 no one knew who Led Zeppelin was. The band had only arrived in North America to go on tour just before Christmas Day. FM stations had not yet received any advance promotional copies of their debut album, Led Zeppelin, until 20 days later on January 17, 1969, following the album’s release on January 12, 1969. Consequently, Led Zeppelin received only limited mention on air with no airplay by the local DJs in the week just before the concert. It would be later in January that local FM radio listeners in Vancouver began to hear tracks from the album including “Dazed and Confused,” “Good Times, Bad Times,” and “Communication Breakdown.”

In March and April of 1969 the Trials of Jayson Hoover played six nights a week at The Palm Gardens in Portland, Oregon. In late spring and the summer 0f 1969 they performed in concert across British Columbia and Alberta. During this time they shared the stage with Uriah Heep in Vancouver and The Guess Who in Edmonton, Alberta.

Following “King Size” the band released “We Were Happy,” which peaked at #20 in Vancouver in February 1970. From January 1970 t0 November 1970, Trials of Jayson Hoover changed their name to the Anvil Chorus. This was to allow the band to explore a heavier rock ‘n roll sound. They changed their lineup and name back to Trials of Jayson Hoover in November 1970. From February 1971 to mid-April ’71, the Trials of Jayson Hoover played at a club in Honolulu and were billed as The Night Train Revue. From mid-April and through May, 1971, the band played at the Cirque Electrique night club, in Quebec City.

The final iteration of the Trials of Jayson Hoover lasted until 1971 when they had a final Top 20 hit in Vancouver titled “Freedom Train.” Hoover went on to sign with Mushroom Records billed as Jayson Hoover n Stuff in 1975. Hoover released a number of singles including “She’s My Lady,” a Top 20 hit in Winnipeg in 1975. Jayson Hoover n Stuff disbanded in the spring of 1976.

Jason Hoover and the Epics did a re-union concerts at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver in 1991, 2001, and on other occasions. Jayson Hoover has played more recently at the Vancouver Blues Festival in 2010 at The Yale pub, which featured Jayson Hoover Jr. and Christine Best, Jimmy Harmata and David McPhail. The Epics were in concert at the Biltmore Cabaret in 2011.

Bass player, Bob Kidd, died in 2000.

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.

Ray McGinnis





October 18, 2017

Excuse me, what was that you said?

LINDA MCRAE singer songwriter formerly with the SPIRIT OF THE WEST makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee these days. Her busy touring schedule takes her from coast to coast in America as well as her home and native land, Canada.

Recently in an off the cuff posting on FACEBOOK Linda started a tsunami wave of responses.

The question whe posted was "How do you handle hecklers?

Here's what happened:

i knew a pro wrestler who wore a mask. He was called The Destroyer. His best comeback ............. if i had your face i`d wear a mask.

Middle finger usually works lol.

Tell them, "I'm sorry but I don't do mental combat with the unarmed".

"People like you are why the gene pool should have lifeguards".

"Ss an outsider, what do you think about the human race?"

Im sorry...Am I interrupting?

If you only knew how important I am, you'd have more respect!

Hey! I don't come to where you work and tell you how many pickles to put on the big macs do I?

I usually say "Dad, I asked you wait in the car!"

Play a song by who??, he doesn't do any of mine !

It is recommended not to drink while on your meds

We take requests we just don't take them seriously.

Last time I saw a mouth that big it had a hook in it.

I Don't Come to Your place of Business and Ask if You can Supper Size those Fires for me,.. Do I?

Say to your audience 'I remember my first beer too!' Or 'the mushrooms must be kicking in' or 'every village has one'

Do I look like a goddamned jukebox?

We weren't planning an open mic tonight, sorry

I always tell them that I get paid to be on stage and you paid to see me, and I also say when you get your record deal I'll return the favor.



August 16, 2017

The Washboard Union - Rockin "The Rock"

L-R Chris Duncombe, Aaron Grain and David Roberts were the founding members and principles of The Washboardf Union

Tomorrow evening (Wednesday) THE WASHBOARD UNION bring their travelling country music show to the sandy shores of White Rock for a giant Canada 150 Party.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with CHRIS DUNCOMBE co founder, vocalist and banjo player for the group during a rare break from touring and a pit stop at his East Vancouver home.

Chris The Washboard Union is currently on a hectic tour schedule across Canada in support of your new single “Shine” from your sophomore CD. Tell me about some of your summer highlights.

We have had a very busy summer on the road, I think we are in the middle of around 26 summer shows right now which has seen us share the stage with Jason Aldean, Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Old Dominion and more.

You and your bandmates literally exploded on the country music scene with your debut CD which interestingly was produced by Canadian Music Hall of Famer GGGGarth Richardson. RICHARDSON up to that point was known internationally for his work with some of the world’s top hard rock acts. How did you come to work with RICHARDSON and where did you record your debut?

Garth literally saw us play one night and said to us point blank " Your music makes me smile and you're one of a kind". We were so honoured to be able to work with Ggarth and that he would produce our first record. He is truly one of Canada's greatest talents in the music business.

In short order you began to collect hardware at British Columbia and Canadian Country Music awards shows. How many awards have you garnered and is there a particular award that has special meaning to you and the boys in the band?

6 awards so far: 4 BC Country Music Awards and 2 Canadian Country Music Awards last year for Rising star and Roots Artist of the year. We are up for 2 more CCMA's this year. We are so honoured to have been welcomed in by the Canadian Country Music community and supported so strongly from the BCCMA. These are people who care for, and foster talent to help them grow their careers and for that we are very grateful. I think that winning Rising Star was a huge moment for us as we were together with our wives on national TV for that win and could not believe that it was actually happening. It was an incredible moment for us and our families.

Though the band has five members you and AARON GRAIN and DAVID ROBERTS are the focal points of the group. How did THE WASHBOARD UNION begin?

6 actually and sometimes more.

The 3 of us were songwriters first and that remains the core of everything we do. David, Aaron and I have a love of songwriting in addition to country music, Bluegrass, and more. We began by learning and playing early bluegrass and trucker tunes together long before we were the Washboard Union. Like nearly every band it all began in a basement. For us and old mansion in point grey that we and a bunch of other musicians lived in and wrote in. We have shared the stage with some great musicians along the way in both RUN GMC and The Washboard Union. We still feel every day like we're just getting started.

In the short period you have been on the music scene you have had the pleasure of performing with a long list of country superstars. Tell us a bit about some of the acts you have had the pleasure of sharing a stage with?

We have been fortunate enough to play with alot of great country acts but a few favorites would definitely be : Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Old Dominion, Jason Aldean, and more

Did you pick up any pointers from doing shows with these veterans?

Every single time. We actually very early on got to spend some time with Zac Brown and ask him a ton of questions we had about being in a band. You can learn things from guys at that level that no one else can teach you about becoming a successful band and running your business as a band. We have played with them a few times now and they have been great mentors for us. Our manager Ron Sakamoto is also a big mentor for us in addition to being in the Country Music hall of fame so we learn from him pretty much every day .

Your tour schedule has been incredible since you arrived on the music scene. Though making records and touring are two very different facets of your career what are some of the aspects of both lives that you enjoy?

Bands get to go through so many different cycles in the course of making and promoting a record that we love diving into each one whole heartedly. When we're writing its all we think about, when recording the same, When its time to promote the records, shoot videos and tour we can't wait for that part too. What we find now is that all of those various stages just come at you much faster than ever before.

The culmination hearing a crowd sing back the lyrics your wrote in some little kitchen or studio in Tennessee is the greatest gift a musician can ever receive so when we get to perform our songs live as we are right now....That just might be the best part of all

The band has become known through extensive radio play and cool videos. Tell us a bit about the making of “Maybe It’s The Moonshine” and “Shot of Glory”

(click here to order your copy of IN MY BONES)

Both of those songs were actually 2 of the last 2 written for the In My Bones EP.

Maybe its the Moonshine we wrote with some pals of ours from One Arm Train in the kitchen of a tiny house on the outskirts of Nashville. That tune for us was always about getting back to what really matters and finding your way back to it as often as possible . To get back to what's truly important beyond the lights of the city that surrounds you.


Shot of Glory is an interesting one. Some songs are like a wrestling match to write and some come very easy. Shot of Glory we wrote in about 2 hours with our friend "Boots" and seem to just show up for us and make sense. Not only that but when we went to record that song at RCA studio A in Nashville we did it with the band in 1 take. That certainly has never happened for us before. The music you hear on that track is literally that 3 min and 30 seconds live.


I have to also ask about the cover of The Eagles song “Seven Bridges” with special guest Meghan Patrick.

That is a song that meant alot to Meghan and the 3 of us. With Steve Young, who wrote the song and Glen Frey who made it famous with the eagles both passing away in the same year we wanted to pay tribute to the song and to what they both brought to music. Meghan is not only a label mate of ours on Warner Music but is a very close friend of the band. We somehow managed to rent a church on a Sunday in Kerrisdale and record it. We try to perform it live whenever we are lucky enough to share the stage with Meghan on the road. People really seemed to enjoy our version of it

A lot of industry experts deem the popularity of today’s country music has moved into popularity to a new generation that normally would tell you they don’t like country music. When you look out at the audience at your shows what do you see?

We just see people who are fans of music and just came to have the time of their life. Ask anyone with a phone to show your what they have on their Spotify or Apple music account people listen to more kinds of music than ever before. We have so many people now come up to us and say " I'm not a fan of country music but I love you guys". I think we were such fans of such varied music that it found its way into our sound. The great thing about country is there are more sides to it than ever before so there's room for all kinds of sound and fans.

Your current CD “In My Bones” is now a couple of years old. One would have to think the band is working on new material. Do you have any plans for future recording?

Yes in fact "SHINE: our new single is the first single from a brand new Washboard Union record that we're in the middle of writing and recording that will come out in 2018. Warner Music heard that song shortly after we wrote it and was so excited they wanted to put it out right away. We have so much new music for this record that we are excited to show the world. This new record picks up perfectly where In My Bones left off.

“In My Bones” was recorded in Nashville. What was your impression of Music City USA.?

We spend alot more time these days in Nashville and surrounding area lately and we absolutely love that city. I remember thinking that Nashville must be a gigantic place for all the music that comes out of it, but Music Row is literally 2 streets of small houses filled with songwriters and artists working day and night writing songs. As fans of old country music it is a special place to get connected with Country music's past too. We stayed in a house in Berry Hill owned by Jason McCoy while we were recording In My Bones which bordered Woodlawn Cemetery where both George Jones and Marty Robbins were buried which was a place David and I stopped by a few times to say thanks.

You have been chosen to appear on the nationally televised Canadian Country Music Awards show live from Saskatoon in September. The love you feel nightly from the big festival shows you have been doing this summer along with this industry certification, does this all mean THE WASHBOARD UNION HAS ARRIVED?

Live on CBC TV September 10

We are just so grateful to everyone who comes out to see us play or watches our videos or listens to our music. Every day brings a new set of adventures for us and we are having the time of our lives. We can't wait for CCMA's and for all of the shows we have coming up.

CHRIS thanks for taking the time to preview tonight's show. Do you have any closing thoughts for the readers of The White Rock Sun?

We rarely get to play at home these days so being invited to come home and play in Whiterock is really exciting for us as a band. We're BC boys and are very proud of where we come from. We want to thank the City of White Rock for hosting us as you celebrate Canada 150 this year.


See THE WASHBOARD UNION live tomorrow (Wednesday evening @ 8 p.m. next to the museum on Marine Drive on the White Rock waterfront.)




Editor/David Chesney


David Chesney - Editor/Publlisher




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