Call to Arms
The band was formed in the early 1990's when a couple of Civil War re-enactors started to play some songs around the campfire for their personal entertainment. After a while, they decided to put a little effort behind the songs and arrangements launching their first CD, 'Boys Of Ccompany C' whcih was recorded and released in 1995. Since then, there has been a few changes with Ollie, Leigh and Andy being original founding band members. The music has expanded outside of Civil War tunes and focuses on music of the 18th and 19th century. There is still a strong committment to writing arrangements with strong harmonies and driving instrumentals. With three recordings behind them, they are working on material for a fourth CD. Oliver Claffey was born and raised in Manchester, England. Got my first 5 string banjo when I was 14. I have lived in Ontario since November 1969 and have worked in the Animal Care Department at the Toronto Zoo since 1974. Love to write songs on my Fender Villager 12 string guitar which I have had since 1973. Growing up in the Manchester Irish community, I was never far from music My Dad played the button accordion and was a strong musical influence on me. Andy Desjardins was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Andy grew up in a musical family resulting in music being a large part of his life. Playing in a number of bands as a teen and young adult, he got his musical influences from Country, Rock, Folk, and traditional styles of music. Some of his all time favorite bands include the Beatles, Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Kingston Trio, Rush, and Deep Purple just to mention a few. Now Stan Rogers and Great Big Sea are among his favorite performers. Variety has always been important and Hardtack & Harmony provides the opportunity to continually learn and expand both musically and as a performer. Andy now lives in Burlington, Onario, with his wife and works in Sales and Marketing. He's an active member of the community, is involved with the Chamber of Commerce, and a volunteer with Burlington's Sound of Music Festival. Leigh Robinson is the band's Hammered Dulcimer player and vocal arranger, is a member of the founding class of Humber College's Music program and one of their first five graduates in 1975. Leigh spent the next 10 years of his life touring North America and Europe with a variety of bands before 'giving up the road' and settling down to a 'real job'. Leigh saw his first hammered dulcimer played at a 'Blue Gray Ball' held by the American Civil War Historical Re-enactment Society, and as a percussionist thought 'Gee, a stringed instrument that you hit with sticks - I could do that!' Although he still considers himself to be a student of the instrument, he has mastered the art of tuning the hammered dulcimer - which he seems to do almost as much as he plays the darn thing! Dave Goddard was born and raised in the east end of Toronto, Dave started playing bass when he was about 13. While in high school (Riverdale Collegiate), he played bass with the Stage band. Later infulences include Rush, Kiss, Max Webster and Genesis. During his early years as a member of various local bands including 'Praying for Rain', he played a number of local venues such as 'Larry's Hideaway'. A couple of independant tapes and one Indy 45 release enjoyed airplay on some of the smaller local radio stations. Dave is now married, has one daugter and lives in East end Toronto and is an ECE Child care teacher. He is passionate about history and is an American Civil war, War of 1812, and a WWII reenactor.