Big Otter Creek isn’t just a band, it’s a waterway that cuts through founding member Daniel Gagnon’s family farm. Everybody has fond memories of canoeing it yearly during Canada’s Victoria Day weekend, May 24 to Ontarians. For newest member of BOC, drummer Frank Locicero, 2014 was his first trip.
Frank’s grin says it all. “It’s a great weekend.” Frank joined the band in late 2013, bringing his hard rock drumming chops into BOC’s world of energetic folk country rhythms. “It was fun switching gears, we’re having a blast onstage.” It’s not hard to see Frank provides the ideal anchor to the varied styles within BOC’s sound.
For Jake Saenz and John Bridgens 2014 was the most recent of several canoe trip weekends in SW Ontario. Many BOC songs have been debuted, rehearsed and perfected ’round the evening campfires in late spring. Plenty of BOC’s music has been shaped by the curves and banks of the creek, the smell of the tobacco fields and the laughter heard by the fire. Hence the name.
Daniel, John and Jake founded Big Otter Creek in 2011 after years of performing under varied names as a trio acoustic act. Back in ’08 Dan recalls hearing a fan state “you and John were born to perform together.” A challenged accepted, considering John was on an extended stay in Canada, still making Auckland NZ his home. A year later, hearing Jake on bass, singing harmonies in the trio format, that same fan turned good friend Iain Young declared Jake to be the ‘missing piece’ – that the three of us together were a perfect fit.
As Dan puts it: “I don’t know what I did to find the most amazing friends and musicians for Big Otter Creek but I’m extremely grateful they are in my life. It’s nearly impossible to find four guys who are so completely connected and happy onstage.”
The rock solid rhythm section allows John and Dan to write in a wide range of styles within the general roots rock genre. They tend to split the lead guitar and harmonica parts between them, singing harmony to each other’s melodies and creating a warm, Eagles-style three-part harmony driven country rock / folk sound that has come to be expected from the group.