Roots & Branches:
Timelines & connections from Ptarmigan to Monte the Beaumonts’ reunion of 2007:


Monte & the Beaumonts with the Hot Shoe Horns: Clockwise from top left: Monte Nordstrom, Jeremy Sagar, Bill Winter, Doug Rhodes, Dave Rowse, Brent Hutchinson & Nick “Stix” Jarvie
Monte began writing songs in the late 1960s and soon developed a unique guitar style. In 1970 he was invited by singer / recorder player, Glen Dias to join the Vancouver Island ensemble, 'Ptarmigan'.

The band toured the coffeehouse circuit across Canada, opening for legendary guitarist Lenny Breau for two weeks at 'le Hibou' in Ottawa in early 1972. In 1973 international jazz master, Paul Horn produced the music of Ptarmigan at Mushroom Studio in Vancouver and Columbia Records released the LP in early 1974. BTW: The Ptarmigan album was recently re-released on CD by an American specialty label, The Lion Productions, which is also planning a vinyl edition. This new CD version is now available through this website.
In the mid-70s Monte began recording original demos with bassist Jeremy Sagar, drummer Mike Harney & saxophonist, Dave Rowse; using Ron & Brian Sherwood’s sound-on-sound system. Eventually Monte & his band recorded his first solo album at Ed deBree’s Little Fosch Studio in Duncan.

The musicians who backed Monte on this recording were, Jeremy Sagar, Dave Rowse, Barry Dayman, Dennis Lelonde, Michael Bieling, Raymond Bruvold, Jim Shain, Lee Paterson & Tina Anderson. “Silhouette of Our Insanity” was completed in 1978 but was never manufactured. This album including several live tracks from a septet performance at Simon Charlie’s Festival of the Sun is slated for an upcoming release, also by the Lion Productions.

Relocating to Edmonton with bassist Ron Sherwood in 1980 Monte reconnected with Mike Harney, recording a collection of new material for a radio broadcast called CKRA Alive. Jeremy Sagar relocated to Edmonton during this time & performed with Monte on the Alberta bar circuit for a period of time. Another CKRA session took place in 1983 with Mike Harney, Toben Holm Pedersen, Steve Duben, Gord Nicholson & Peggy McClarty. These two Pat Stradeski produced sessions were eventually made available together on CD by Monte’s own label, Groovedigger Records.

After a 2 year stint residing & performing in Banff as a solo & in a duo with Doug Rhodes, Monte returned to Vancouver Island & once established on the local music scene started a band with Bill Winter & Wes Kane, initially known as the Boogie Brothers. When Wes Kane retired due to a bad back, Mike Harney enlisted as drummer, soon to be joined by bassist Keith Washington & saxophonist, Brent Hutchinson. This ever changing ensemble known as “Monte & the Beaumonts”, were the host band at the Brigantine Pub in Maple Bay, performing every Sunday evening for 10 years. By 1989 Monte started a new recording project with the Beaumonts using Jim Kent’s Lisen Communications Studio.


Doug Rhodes, Brent Hutchinson, Dave Rowse, Nick Jarvie, Jeremy Sagar, Monte Nordstrom

During this time dozens of different players worked in the band. Saxmen Wayne Diggins & Doug Rhodes & bassist Will Cardinal were in the line-up during the completion of the next recording phase which resulted in the 1992 cassette release of “Nothing More Better”, eventually issued on CD by Groovedigger.

The year 1994 saw the release of the self titled “Monte Nordstrom” CD & the live recording “Sunday Healing Service”, both albums featuring an expanded line-up of the Beaumonts. In 1996 Monte recorded “Northstream” with his nephew Kelly Nordstrom, drummer Donny McGillvray & several guest musicians, including Bill Winter, Dave Spinks, Dave Allen & MaryAnn Nordstrom.

Nordstrom's most recent (2004) release, 'After All...' was the culmination of four years of production. The career-defining CD features introspective & powerful material written over the span of 35 years. You can see the in-depth story of this project elsewhere on this site. It was a major catharsis for Monte, who had recently celebrated his 50th birthday.

In 2005 Monte recorded the song “Soul Mate” at Zak Cohen’s Woodshop Studio with Larry & Virginia Blatchford, Jeremy Sagar, Nick Jarvie & MaryAnn Nordstrom. The performing lineup of this band was also called Soul Mate & they made several appearances during 2005. Several other bed tracks were started with Jeremy Sagar & Nick Jarvie at the Woodshop & this project remains a work in progress. Stay tuned…
    




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