“We love playing the Vernon Jazz Club and have been performing there for eighteen years,” says Sherman “Tank” Doucette. “It’s still one of my all-time favourite gigs; been too long since my last visit.”
Doucette was born in northern Saskatchewan and left home at fifteen with a harmonica and a twenty-dollar bill in his pocket bound for the west coast. In Vancouver, he discovered the Chicago Blues style on an album featuring Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, and James Cotton.
Doucette soon began singing and playing in a series of local blues bands. By the age of 17 he had developed a style of playing greatly influenced by the late great Paul Butterfield.
It wasn’t long before Doucette was performing with the best bands in Vancouver. On numerous occasions, he had the honour of sharing the stage with such greats as John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Sonny Land Slim (Andrew Luandrew), Pinetop Perkins, and several shows with old friends Jim Byrnes, Long John Baldry, and Powder Blues Band.
Forty years ago, Doucette amazingly survived a massive explosion in a lumber mill, which left him in the hospital for six months recovering from burns to over 50 per cent of his body.
Doucette really earned the moniker “Tank” after this fight for his life. More determined than ever, Doucette embraced his true calling and began focusing all of his time and energy on his music.
“Sherman Doucette has a classic blues voice; it’s deep, gruff, gravely and oozes soul,” reviews Bob Colebrook with The Whistler Answer.
Today Doucette proudly calls the Okanagan home with his band, Tankful of Blues. They are busy performing and recording, and their groove has been captured live and on CDs.
John Modder is another long-time player with Doucette. He brings home those Blues shuffle beats on the drum set, which have become such a familiar, laid-back feel in both blues and jazz.
Playing guitar in the band is Karl Hourigan, with Gail Hourigan on bass.
The band continues to perform with all the passion and conviction few can deliver. Get ready for an incredible show.
Sherman Doucette Blues Quartet will be onstage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000 31st Street) on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m., cash-only at the bar. Tickets are $25 and only available online at vernonjazz.com.
Contributed by Paul Hunter