Best of Bear Barrus
Steven Carl "Bear" Barrus was born in Seattle on February 27, 1960. At the tender age of five he began showing the dangerous signs of becoming a professional musician by learning to sing the popular Beatles songs of the day. He dreamed of one day living on a boat, a dream he eventually realized later in his life, but first and foremost, he loved to sing. In June of 1993 Bear formed the group "Bluetown" along with friends Jim Busch, Tim Tennis and Major Darst. After about six months, drummer Jim Busch left the group and was replaced by John Santiago. It was this four piece band that became the popular house band at the New Amsterdam Restaurant in downtown Bothell, Wa. This group played mostly on the north side of Seattle and was together for about 3 years. After Bluetown, Bear formed a group called "Giant" along with Kevin Peachy, Joe Hinchy, Major Darst, and John Santiago. In this group Bear began to widen the scope of his repertoire singing everything from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Donny Hathaway covers to Otis Redding ballads. Kevin Peachy left the group to go on the road with the band Burnin' Chicago. Kevin's replacement in Giant was keyboardist Pat Gossan. In 1996 Hans Ipsen joined the group after a 7 year stint with Little Bill and the Bluenotes. The group's name was changed to "Black Cat Bone" and featured Bear Barrus, Pat Gossan, Hans Ipsen, Joe Hinchy, Major Darst and John Santiago. This group proved to be a transitional group and was together for only 1 year. In the autumn of 1996, Hans Ipsen got the idea to add a horn section to the group. The group changed it's name to "Fat Cat" and consisted of Bear Barrus, Pat Gossan, Hans, Ipsen, Major Darst and Jim Busch. The initial horn section included Randy Oxford, Hadi Al-Saadoon and Robbie Jordan. This group was voted Best New Band by the Washington Blues Society in 1998. In 2002 Hammond B3 organist Terry Nelson was added to the group. Bear Barrus passed away on December 23rd, 2004 in Seattle. This CD is a compilation disc of music recorded both in recording studios and live music venues. Tracks 1,3 and 12 were recorded at Ipsen Studios in Bothell, Wa., engineered by Hans Ipsen. Tracks 2,4,6,9 and 11 were recorded live on March 26, 1994 at the New Amsterdam Restaurant in Bothell, Wa., engineered by Pat Tennis. Tracks 5,7,13 and 14 were recorded live on September 4, 1998 at the Mural Amphitheater in Seattle, Wa. during the Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival. Track 8 was recorded live on November 6, 2003 at Big Daddy's Restaurant in Woodinville, Wa. Track 10 was recorded live on May 26, 2001 at Jazzbones in Tacoma, Wa. Bear Barrus Lead Vocals Tracks 1 - 14 Hadi Al-Saadoon Trumpet Tracks 5,7,10,13,14 James Busch Drums Tracks 1,5,7,8,10,13,14 Major Darst Bass Tracks 1,2,4-11,13,14 Pat Gossan Voc & Keys Tracks 5,7,8,10,13,14 Brian Hartmann Sax Tracks 5,7,13,14 Hans Ipsen Guitar Tracks 1,5,7,8,10,13,14 Michael Matthews Sax Track 10 Randy Oxford Trombone Track 10 Kevin Peachy Keyboards Track 3 Trombone Tracks 5,7,13,14 John Santiago Drums Tracks 2,4,6,9,11 Tim Tennis Guitar Tracks 2,46,9,11.