Sharing our passion for music and entertainment.
THE THUNDERING VELVET BAND
The Thundering Velvet Band is a multi-genre indie band based on roots music with 90% being original compositions. Between the four musicians, they have 160 years worth of music. They love to share and entertain music lovers everywhere.
BEHIND THE MUSIC
Meet the band
Firehouse Harris has been an active performance player since the late 70's. 55 years piano player. He also plays many instruments such as slide guitar, regular guitar, mandolin, bass, piano, organ, keyboards. Singer songwriter with many songs to his credit. N.F. is a church musician at St. Stephen's Anglican Church in Stratford, Ontario and has played throughout Canada and the US. He has played with The Wayne Mack Band, Cheryl Lescom, The Terraplane Blues Band, Lois Scott and friends, King Biscuit Boy, Orville Prophet, Ron Weir, Steve Adair, BJ Shaver and many countless gigs with many countless folks in the sands of time.
Tim Adair was born and raised in Stratford. He started his musical life learning how to play drums and percussion in the Stratford Concert Band with his dad, Keith, when he was nine years old. Throughout his life he has flowed easily from Concert Band repertoire to Country, Latin, Pop, Jazz, Rock, Celtic and Big Band music. He has also been in the pit orchestras of the St. Mary's Community Players, the Stratford Community Players and The Community Players of New Hamburg.
He is also in demand as a drum instructor and has taught many kids rudimental and set drumming for the past forty years.
Mike McCullough is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Stratford, Ontario Canada. Over the years he has played in several bands and as a solo act covering several genres of music including country, rock, folk, blues, rhythm and blues and big band.
He has toured as a bass player with Canadian Country music singers Sonny Sinclair, Roni Sommers and Canadian Country Hall of Fame artist and Juno Award winner Carroll Baker. He also plays guitar, harmonica, dobro, lap steel, mandolin and fiddle.
While working with Roni Sommers he honed his song writing and production skills mentored by Canadian Country Hall of Fame member Dallas Harms who was producing the band’s recordings at the time. During that time period the band scored 10 charted singles including two number ones, several of which were written or co-written by Mike.
In 2015 Mike released his first solo album entitled ‘It Is What It Is’. The record includes 5 of Mike’s original songs as well as covers of other singer songwriters.
Biff Mingus (Lee Helperin) started playing guitar at the age of nine, inspired by watching The Johnny Cash Show. That show with it’s wide mix of musical styles and artists would prove to have a lasting effect on Biff’s expanding musical pallet.
From 1980 to 1983 Biff played guitar in “Straitjacket“ (formerly “The Tarts”) who were quite active in the regional bar scene. Subsequent groups included “Dither”, “Bohunka” and Mumbo Jumbo Shrimp”, groups that were more alternative than mainstream. A 1985 graduate of the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology, he retired from active musical participation in 1989 to help raise a family and concentrate on being a responsible adult.
Emerging from musical retirement in 2001, Biff was asked to join Bobbi Lee Justice and The Scepters, in which he stayed until the fall of 2009 when he had the good fortune to join Big Jon & The Honkin Swans. In all of these experiences Biff got to meet and play with a diverse and extraordinarily talented pool of musicians, and coming off such a long hiatus, all of them were invaluable in pushing him further into unexplored musical territories.
It was in the Scepters that Biff met Firehouse Harris. Both Biff and Firehouse joined with Mike McCullough in the Honkin Swans and in 2016, at the end of the Honkin Swan’s run, Mike and Biff joined Firehouse in his dream concept which ultimately became The Thundering Velvet Band. The Thundering Velvet Band was complete when Tim Adair joined as our percussionist.
Biff Mingus’ musical journey has sort of come full circle (though it is far from complete). From the variety of artists seen on The Johnny Cash Show, through to inspiration from bands such as the Velvet Underground, Joy Division or Husker Du to discovering deep R&B influences with the Scepters and the wide pallet of covers played in The Honkin Swans, being a member of The Thundering Velvet Band is the best culmination of a lifetime of music. Within each song, most of which are originals, everyone brings their own musical past and a new collage of sound is created. And that is a pretty special thing.