Barry Wanless - guitars, slide, harmonica, vocals

Barry has been active in the Ottawa music scene since the mid-1960s, playing with such acts as "Spencer Castle", "Music Machine" (with Pat Travers), "Fat Tuesday", and as one of the original founding members of "Brighton Rock".

Background:   The inimitable and multi-talented Barry handles the role of frontman for Feat First including lead vocals and all of the guitar work, which is no small feat.   "I've been playing guitar for 40 years now and I still see myself as a hack", quoth he.   "Ol' One-eye" has indeed been kicking around Ottawa's music scene since the mid 60's. 

History:   Back in the days when every high school, community centre and church basement held dances on Friday and Saturday nights, Barry and his cronies (Spencer Castle, Music Machine {with Pat Travers} and the original Brighton Rock (co-founder 1969)) would cut their teeth on the non-union circut.  

Then came the 70's.   "We we're finally old enough to play in the bars so that's just what we did".  Brighton Rock had reformed and carried on through to about '76.   "This is about the time I discovered "Little Feat" and from that point on, I always wanted to perform their tunes live".   After a short stint with an R'n'B band called "Lazybones" it was off to T.O. to play with a band based out of London called "Westbound".   Again, shortlived.  

He temporarily gave up playing at this point and got into other aspects of the music business; booking agent, tour manager (Stampeders '81) and stage manager (Heatwave, Canada Jam, Police Picnic, et al) before finally heading back to Ottawa in '82.   It was ten years later that he finally joined The Clamdiggers.   This was the first band that started playing Little Feat tunes, and when that ended Barry joined up with Kelvin and Jerry to form "Fat Tuesday".  Over time this band is what evolved into "Feat First".   THERE !   Now you're up to date !

Gear:   I primarily play an '85 Squire Stratocaster ('63 reissue) with two single-coil and one double-coil EMG pickups.   This also has a Mighty Mite bridge for some extra sustain.   My other Strat is a natural '03 model ('72 reissue) which I've left pretty much stock.   For slide work I use an old no-name junker with a single EMG pickup.   There's also an Ibanez for additional tunings.

My amp is a vintage 1972 Peavey Classic that I just love. It's a 50 watt hybrid; transistor pre-amp and tube power stage.

Influences: Well, d'uh!   Lowell George and Paul Barriere to name two.   But it was one night at the O.H. hotel watching a band called "The Knights of the Mystic Sea" that taught me more about slide playing than anything else I can recall.   Morgan Davis was up front singing while this guitarist stood in the shadows playing the most amazing slide I had ever heard.   He went on to have a great career but is not known primarily for his slide work. That player was David Wilcox.

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