Sons of Guns may have gone through a few faces and genres over the past quarter century, but one thing has always remained the same for the Qualicum-based band: camaraderie.
“There are very few musicians that’ll stay together that long let alone still like each other,” said drummer Anthony Telfair. “We just keep positive about it.”
“We have a friendship whether we’re playing or not,” added Mike Jarvis, who plays bass.
The rhythm duo met back in 1990 at a jam session in the Frontiersman Pub in Coombs. “Musically, we seemed to click,” said Jarvis, who had just quit another band and was planning to take a break from playing music at the time. “What was going to be a six month break turned out to be no break at all.”
Jarvis was actually the last member to join Sons of Guns. The group already included Telfair, Bobby Teesdale on keyboard and Dave Brown on guitar.
Another fresh face entered the new quartet soon after forming, however, when Brown left in 1992 because he couldn’t go on the road, said Telfair. So, Maxwell Perry stepped in on guitar as Sons of Guns started their years of touring around the province and up to Alaska.
“We were a full-time band,” said Jarvis. “We were on the road, we were on T.V., we were broadcast.”
A year later, in 1993, Teesdale headed to Nashville on his own. The move more or less turned the quartet permanently into a trio, and it would be the last major change for the band until 1996 when Perry stepped down. At that point, Telfair and Jarvis brought in guitarist Bryan Plummer and that trio played together until 2007.
“It was a high point,” said Jarvis of those years.
Currently, the band’s roster has Andre Kausman on guitar and occasionally Kevin Pahl on keyboards.
Faces were not the only changes Sons of Guns saw over the years, however. The group started out performing country rock and now play a blend of classic rock, R&B, reggae, and blues.
“Imagine how boring that would be,” said Telfair of playing the same songs for 25 years.
The band is also not a full-time gig anymore. Jarvis now runs the Summit School of Guitar Building and Repair, and Telfair has played on cruise ships since 2009.
“Our life has evolved,” said Jarvis. “We picked two different paths.”
Still the band is sure to get together whenever Telfair is back on dry land. They continue to have a regular circuit, which includes Qualicum, Port Alberni and Campbell River, and Telfair and Jarvis run a regular jam session at the Fanny Bay Inn.
“It’s a never ending episode,” said Telfair of Sons of Guns. “We can take it as far as we can go.”
To celebrate the band’s quarter century of music, Sons of Guns will play its own anniversary party at the Crown & Anchor Roadhouse (6120 West Island Hwy, Qualicum Bay) on March 28 from 8 p.m. to midnight.
“We’re expecting a good crowd,” said Telfair.
Everyone is invited and there is no cover charge for the event. For more information on the event, call the Crown & Anchor at 250-757-9444.