BIG CHIEF is a band that expands from four to six pieces to suit the event. Formerly known as Big Chief and the Continentals the band was originated in 1989 and like good wine has grown better with age. The core members are Sam Hall, Jeff Davison, Dave Thibodeau, and Steve Lynnworth. A keyboardist and a vocalist are added as requested and both positions are chosen froma field of star players. Within the band there are three strong voices to create a unique variety of solo singing styles and harmonies vocals. The backbone of the Big Chief sound emanates from the strong rhythm section making it easy for any of the hand picked guest musicians to easily find firm footing. The band visits many musical areas including swing era classics ala Ellington and Sinatra up to and including classic soul and rock favorites with a New Orleans party number thrown in to get the dance floor boiling. Along the way dont be surprised to hear some Chuck Berry, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or even the Beatles. In short, something for everybody!
Jeff Davison - Founding Member/Drums/Vocals
After cutting his teeth on rock and roll like most American kids, Jeff got interested in blues at the age of sixteen. Following the pulse of rhythm and blues led him to meet and play on stages with many greats like Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, and Eddie Shaw. Later, Jeff journeyed to Chicago and New Orleans to learn first hand from Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Professor Longhair, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Bonnie Raitt. these influences have honed Davisons eclectic R&B tastes in drumming and vocal styles winning him recoring session work with Bob Raseros Renovators, T.J. Wheeler and folk hero Creighton Lindsay. Inspired by the aforementioned legends, Jeff played and sang with the several area bands including the Blued Prophets, Blues Over Easy, The Upsetters, and the Red Light Revue which are now part of the foundation of the local music heritage.
Dave Thibodeau - Bass/Vocals
Hailing from Providence, RI, Dave Thibodeau was a prodigy tutored by his touring bluegrass musician father and his concert violinist grandfather. Young Dave followed suite and took an interest in teh guitar at the age of ten. After moving to Maine he studied bass at the University of Maine in Augusta while enjoying memberships in diverse and revered ensembles like the Dani Tribesmen Reggae band, Joy Spring Jazz and the Kennebec Valley Boys Bluegrass Players. In his travels around New England, Dave has opened for and played with Mose Allison, Chubby Checker, Levon Helm and the band, to name a few, and was told with a heaty hug after a sting with blues great Pinetop Perkins that he would be missed. Daves keen ear, solid playing and improvisational aptitude has made him a favorite on the list of substitute musicians.
Steve Lynnworth - Guitar/Vocals
Steve led his band the Swinging Blue Matadors to be winners of the New Hampshire Blues Band Collective battle of the bands. Following that, Mr. Lynnworths band became finalists in the 1996 International Blues Talent competition in Memphis, Tennessee. Like the others in Big Chief, Steve was mentored by a diverse collection of talent, namely Boston jazz guitarist Gerry Beaudoin and legendary blues virtuoso Ronnie Earl. Steve has also shared the stage with BB King, Pine Top Perkins, Luther Guitar Junior Johnson, and showboat Shirley Lewis. New England favorite Little Jimmy Junkins was impressed enough by Steves talent to make him a Soulcat and trade licks with him on their collaborative 1998 disc Powerful Love. With a songwriting style reminiscent of Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon, and T-Bone Walked, Steves original compositions are economically arranged, well conceived tuneful numbers in which the composer possesses a telent for turning a lyric that created a powerful image with a simple phrase.
Sam Hall - Sax/Vocals
A rhythm section without a saxophone is like cake without the frosting. With that in mind, Sam Hall has more flavors then Betty Crocker. Originally from the sunshine state, Sams impressive sound was shaped by his musical education on club stages in and around Richmond, VA. With the goup Little Walter and the Bonnevilles, he appeared with the Temptations, the Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, and numerous other artists. Sams great tine and broad musical vocabulary has been further forged by jazz jams with legendary Basie and Ellington band members. Sams New England accomplishments include Bill Chinnock, the Soul Brothers, and Blue Willow.