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50s-60s cover band to hit Kempenfest in August
The Dreamboats set sail for Kempenfest in August (Photo contributed)

Dreamboat: does anyone use that word anymore?

Well, a quartet of sharp-dressed guys from Mississauga hope to re-vitalize the word and make it part of our vocabulary in the age of Bieber, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

Appearing at Kempenfest in August, the Dreamboats are offering up their distinctive 1950s and 60s sound to reach listeners whether they remember songs of that era or not. Chris Hummel, one of the lead singers, tells BarrieToday what a gas it was to be recognized in their own backyard – as they were a few weeks back – with Mississauga Arts Council’s MARTY award, “for the fact that we were nominated against so many of our musical peers, and we know how hard they work as well as recognize all of their accomplishments leading up to the awards show.”

Given the popularity of TV shows like Happy Days, and movies like American Graffiti and Grease, Hummel says the appeal of songs from the 50s comes from the gut level.

“It’s really hard to put a finger on what makes the 50s and 60s so special, but it’s evident to what joy it brings when you play the songs everyone knows from that era. It really made us want to push in that direction creatively. You just can’t help but dance or tap along with it.

“We like to bring a youthful energy to our live performances that keep the essence of these rock ‘n’ roll classics alive.”

But, Chris is quick to add, they’re not just a straight cover band. “With our original music, we emulate a retro style and try to push that sound forward with modern production.”

Hummel then salutes his band mates; first, Bryan “Fliggers B.” Lewis, vocalist and bass player extraordinaire, “the best singer and songwriter I know personally; all around an amazing dude, and a big brother to all of us musically.

“Johnny G. Whiz drives our sound with his amazing drum skills, and definitely the funniest member of this group without a doubt. He’s always making the ladies smile.”

Then, there’s Matt Best, “one of the most electrifying guitarists coming out of Mississauga right now. His stage presence and showman antics get more and more unpredictable with every show.”

Ritchie Hummins rounds things out on rhythm guitar.

Now, the 50s provided a treasure trove of stick-in-your-head rock’n’roll. How do you pick one favourite song from that decade? Chris Hummel picks Los Lobos’ cover of We Belong Together, a Ritchie Valens song, featured in the Valens 1987 biopic La Bamba.

“That scene where this song is featured will be one of the most nostalgic memories and in some ways a defining moment in my life, as corny as that sounds. That movie makes you want to be a rock star, buy your mom a house, and in the end, get the girl.”

The Dreamboats had such a good time playing last year’s Kempenfest that they’re itching to come back, which they will Monday afternoon, Aug. 6. “Such a great stage and an amazing response from the local crowd at this festival. We look forward to putting on a high-energy show. Can’t wait to play some of the new covers and original music we have been performing since our last time in town. We love to have a good time up on stage and keep track party going.”  

And Canada can’t hold them for long; the band is booked for a month-long California tour in October, not to mention a new Extended Play (EP), set to drop in the months to come.

To learn more about the Dreamboats, click here.


Glenn Wilkins

About the Author: Glenn Wilkins

Glenn Wilkins, in a 30-year media career, has written for print and electronic media, as well as for TV and radio. Glenn has two books under his belt, profiling Canadian actors on Broadway and NHL coaches.
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