Formed from the tatters of a retro rock band called Groove Cradle, the motivation to form Stingray came from guitar player Hamish Jacobsen's discovery of the blues, in particular the guitar feats of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Initially reluctant to sing, Hamish, with the help of brother and bass player Nick, set about finding a front person with a wailin' blues vocal. Unable to find quite what they were looking for, Hamish decided to give singing a try, and was able to overcome his self-consciousness and embrace the unique timbre of his throaty bark. Hooking up with virtuosic young drummer 'Floods', and choosing one of Stevie Ray's early nicknames as a tag, Stingray was born.
After a couple of years gigging around home-town Perth, and spending many an hour on laborious road trips to play rough and tumble hotels in country towns, Hamish left Australia to pursue a romantic notion of being a guitar slinger in the home of the blues, the USA. Once he touched down stateside, he got a Greyhound bus pass and headed south, stopping in towns, guitar in hand, and playing with whoever would let him on stage. Fortuitously, in Shreveport, Louisiana, he was able to hook up some ex-members of Kenny Wayne Shepherd's band and spend a few months gigging with them through Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. During this time Hamish learnt a lot about guitar playing, but more importantly he learned the importance of crafting a good song. This trip was the first of three, each involving playing and recording with some great musicians, including Joe Osborne, Jay Davis, and Jerry Beach (whose hit song 'I'll Play the Blues for You', Hamish and Jerry reworked and recorded together.)
In 2001 Stingray recorded limited release 6 song EP between Hamish's trips to the States. Having used the keyboard player of decorated Alligator slide guitarist Dave Hole on the record, the EP found it's way into Dave's hands. On Hamish's third visit to the US Dave Hole contacted him, saying he was impressed with Stingray's music and offering to help out in any way he could. His support has helped the band raise it's profile locally, and secured Stingray's first major blues festival appearance on Australia's East Coast - The Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival.
On returning to Aussie shores from his final stint in the US, Hamish took Stingray into the studio to record a full-length album, 'Ghosts in the Attic', whose title reflects some of the negative experiences of his time overseas.
The band, having changed parts of its line-up over the past couple of years, is due to record its next, long overdue, offering in the second half of 2007. Stingray is committed to avoiding pumping out stale and stereotyped blues-rock material. So stay tuned for the next installment!
The other current members of Stingray are:
Kat joined Stingray in 2004, initially as the keyboardist, but she has
snuck in a few songs on lead vocals, which adds another dimension to both
Stingray's performance and to the Perth blues scene, where the male-folk
clearly out number the female.
Blues has always been a huge influence in Kat Kinley's songwriting as well as in her performance. She has also played a number of blues gigs as a duo with Hamish and was also invited as a guest to play at the Blues Club Christmas show for 2007 along with John Meyer, Bob Patient, Simon Cox & Trevor Jalla.
Kat is also performing at the Perth Blues Club with her own line-up early 2008 with some original blues tracks as well as some blues classics. 2007 will be Kat's first trip to Goulburn and she'll be sure to put on a rockin' show with Stingray.
Nick Jacobsen started his musical career as a guitarist, but that changed quickly to bass as the low rumblings, grooves and rhythms suited his need for the more primal aspects of music. Since this change in 1992 Nick has played with a number of different outfits, from rock to top 40s, toured with national artists and has been recorded on numerous CDs. His true calling has been the blues and has been a pivotal member of Stingray since its inception. He cites artists such as SRV, Hendrix and Albert King as his initial guitar based influences, but the stylings of Mel Schacher, John Paul Jones, and Tommy Shannon are his main influences with the bass.
Haans has been playing drums professionally since he was in high school. After receiving a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Western Australia, he continued his studies in drums and percussion at the Los Angeles Music Academy where his teachers included Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey, Emil Richards and Mark Schulman. Haans has played in groups ranging from rock, jazz and folk bands to symphony orchestras and music theatre productions. Haans is a proud endorser of his Mum and Dads' curries.
Ghosts in the Attic (2002)
Click Here to view blues CDs & DVDs currently available from the Australian Blues Music Festival from this website or in-store at the Goulburn Visitor Information Centre. More titles arriving all the time.
Stingray featured at the 2008 Australian Blues Music Festival as part of the showcase of West Coast talent brought to you by the West Coast Blues Club.
Visit Stingray's website at: www.stingrayonline.com