Son of Dave makes music that fuses the past and the present, as a man in a vintage suit with a harmonica shouts, stomps, and howls the blues but uses a sampler to loop human beatbox-style rhythm patterns that give his country blues-influenced tunes the gritty groove of contemporary funk and hip-hop.
Son of Dave is a one-man band starring Benjamin Darvill, who had previously won an international following playing guitar and mandolin with the Canadian alternative pop band Crash Test Dummies. When Crash Test Dummies briefly relocated from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to London, England, Darvill found himself in a new city with some time on his hands, and he began working up a solo project.
Darvill had frequently played harmonica with Crash Test Dummies and decided to explore his interest in blues; looking for a way to make a solo vocal/harmonica performance more interesting, he discovered the Akai Headrush, an effects pedal that made it easy to loop bits of sound on the spot. Using the Headrush, Darvill would create funk-influenced vocal patterns and use them as a backing track as he sang and blew harp over them, with an amplified stomp board added to help him keep rhythm with his feet. Taking up the stage name Son of Dave (because his father was named, you guessed it, Dave), Darvill developed a following for his frantic one-man shows, and when Crash Test Dummies' leader Brad Roberts announced the band would abandon touring in 2006, Son of Dave became Darvill's main project.
After producing a homemade disc he sold at shows, Son of Dave released his first proper album in 2006, simply titled 02. A follow-up, which bore the title 03, appeared in 2008. ~ Mark Deming
Article properties: Son Of Dave: Hellbound (LP, Maxi)