The Nightkeepers represent something different on the Canadian blues scene. They’re an exciting Edmonton-based band that lights it up every night with their high-octane blues style. Their tight 4-piece line-up includes some of Canada’s finest blues players, featuring the soulful voice and wailing tenor sax of bandleader Dave Babcock, the fiery guitar playing of Alex ‘Sparky’ Herriot, the keyboard wizardry of Bruce Mohacsy on Hammond B3 and the powerful grooves of drummer Bill Hobson.
Horn man and singer Dave Babcock won the Calgary Blues Music Association’s ‘Horn Player of the Year’ Award in 2013 and has appeared on two Juno Award-winning albums. Guitarist Alex Herriot is a founding member of Maple Blues Award-winning band The Rockin’ Highliners and plays the blues with an intensity matched by few. Bruce Mohacsy’s prowess on the Hammond B3 adds to his reputation as a consummate musician and top-notch keyboard player. A co-owner and producer at Crowtown Productions, Bill Hobson is an experienced and respected drummer, best known for his work with Tacoy Ryde.
The Nightkeepers released their debut album “Dusk Till Dawn” to two sold out crowds at the Yardbird Suite in 2011. "Dusk Till Dawn" received significant airplay on CKUA Radio in Alberta, peaking at 16 in the Top 30 Album Charts in July of 2011 and finishing the year at 55 in their Top 100 Albums of The Year. Their album garnered frequent airplay on CJSR Radio in Edmonton and tracks from "Dusk Till Dawn" have also been featured nationally on Holger Petersen's "Saturday Night Blues" show on CBC Radio.
Inspired by the saxophone, guitar, organ and drum combos that topped the R&B charts in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, The Nightkeepers sound is influenced by the likes of Bill Doggett, Junior Walker & The All-Stars and Jimmie Vaughan’s Tilt A Whirl Band. Whether they’re playing in a small nightclub or on a festival stage, The Nightkeepers always put on a great show, performing their unique brand of original and vintage blues, R&B and instrumental music. Recent performances include Festival Place, the Winspear Centre, the Winter Roots & Blues Roundup III, the Underground Music Society in Peace River and the Pembina River Nights Festival.
"Babcock and his quartet have taken their cue from the golden years of rhythm and blues sounds in the mid-20th century. Some of the bandleader's favorites from that era include Junior Walker, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Bill Doggett. Filling out the album are four originals in a similar vein written or co-written by Babcock, including a new take on the bouncy song he penned with Amos Garrett back in 1989, Bert's Boogie. Touching on the innovations of the era, some tracks lean closer to rock 'n' roll or jazz but either way the sounds are delightful." Roger Levesque - Edmonton Journal, Jun. 3/11