the Swell Guys

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The Swell Guys Biographies

Alex Vaughan - guitar and vocals
Ken MacKay - woodwinds and vocals
Pat Riley - bass and vocals
Scott Ferguson - drums and vocals

Alex Vaughan
(guitar and vocals)
Hailing from Windsor, Nova Scotia, Alex began playing guitar and piano when he was 8 years old and started writing songs shortly thereafter. At 17, he was runner-up in the NS Government's "Listen To The Sounds" contest. A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Alex enjoys playing many styles of music and besides The Swell Guys, he performs in the dixieland combo,The Dixie Rovers, the popular dance band, The Aviators, and the children's duo, Audrey & Alex. He was musical director for a number of segments of the CBC TV program "Who's New" and won the 1st annual CBC Atlantic Song Contest in 1984. In 1997,Alex won his 2nd East Coast Music Award for his work with Audrey & Alex. Alex's leadership, musical depth and odd collection of sneakers enable The Swell Guys to handle any request!

Ken MacKay
(woodwinds and vocals)
'Diverse' is the word best used to describe Ken's musical background. A native of Truro, NS, the list of his professional credits is impressive. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Al Martino, sax legend Ernie Watts, Max Weinberg (Late Night with Conan O'Brien), The Temptations and jazz/blues guitarist Robben Ford are just a few of the artists Ken has performed with. Ken's ability to play a variety of musical styles combined with his rollicking personality has established him as one of the most exciting sax players in Eastern Canada. He is also in charge of the Swell Guys' "Hat and Nose Department" and has been known to wear a disguise or two!

Pat Riley
(bass and vocals)
Originally from Saint John, NB, Pat's music relocated him to PEI to perform with Gene MacLellan and later to Toronto where he formed RCA's "Scrubbaloe Caine" with Paul Dean (Loverboy) and Henry Small (Burton Cummings). After a move to Vancouver, Pat arrived in Halifax, studied through correspondence with BerkIee College of Music and co-founded "Ram" (with Terry Hatty) co-writing much of the group's Casby nominated album. An accomplished songwriter, he wrote two of Sam Moon's single releases and received a Factor grant to record three of his compositions. Pat, a father of five, has also found time to produce recordings by McGinty, several gospel artists and three of Q104's "Homegrown" albums. Besides his musical duties in The Swell Guys, Pat is in charge of displaying the ever-expanding collection of dumb signs!

Scott Ferguson
(drums and vocals)
Ontario born and Cape Breton raised ('Homeville' to be exact), Scott is a graduate of the St. Francis Xavier jazz program where he completed an honours degree in music performance. After moving to Halifax in 1984, Scott performed with such jazz artists as Peter Appleyard, Oliver Jones and Warren Chaisson and later broadened his horizons to work with such diverse talents as Ronnie Prophet, Catherine McKinnon, Symphony Nova Scotia, Joan Kennedy and The Rankin Family. In 1985, he received a Canada Council grant to study his craft in Toronto with well-known drum instructor, , Jim Blackney. Lately Scott has been wearing his producer's hat with projects including John Chaisson's ECMA nominated CD and Kendra MacNeil's latest realease. He also holds the Swell Guy record for "Most Consecutive Meals"!

the Swell Guysthe Swell Guys -1 - Click to Enlarge Photothe Swell Guys -2 - Click to Enlarge Photo

the Swell Guys -  Beach  Party the Swell Guys -  Oompah
the Swell Guys -  Formal
the Swell Guys - At the Hop
For bookings or more information, contact
Alex Vaughan at: Phone: (902) 435-0618
Fax: (902) 442 - 1202
Snail Mail: 137 Green Village Lane,
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
B2Y 4V5