Bon Ton Roulette
George Bedard has been known on the Michigan roots rock scene for many years. George was a member of the Silvertones in the 1970's and Tracy Lee & the Leonards in the 1980's.
The 1990’s brought on George Bedard & The Kingpins, with George on guitar and vocals, Randy Tessier on vocals and bass, and Rich Dishman on drums, percussion and harmony vocals, the band developed a reputation as “one of Michigan's best bands.” Their debut album, “Upside!” was named “Blues Album of the Year" by CD Review in 1992. The album features“ great originals and a rollicking textbook approach to everything from rockabilly to T-Bone Walker-style blues.” The album features the song “Tennessee Rock ’n’ Roll” written by Irving Reid and Larry Coleman, which was first released by Bobby Helms in 1956. Upon the album's release, Guitar Player referred to it as "a brainy composite of blues phrasing and rockabilly bad-boy twang."
The Kingpin’s next album, “Hip Deep” was released in 1997. Hip Deep’s review noted “Bedard’s playing is a melting pot of T-Bone Walker blues, rockabilly, swing, jazz, country chicken pickin', '60s garage band chording, and the sleazier aspects of Chicago and Mississippi blues styles all whipped up into a most heady mix, with a scorching rendition of Elmore James’ "Hawaiian Boogie.”
Their album “Triple Crown” was released in 2000, and featured “Where Have I Been” written by George Bedard and “He’s Got You” written by Hank Cochran. Goldmine magazine called Bedard "one of the best rockabilly pickers on the planet," while Record Roundup wrote "Bedard may not become the next trendy thing, but as far as this kind of music, he's already the next cool thing."
George Bedard and the Kingpins continue to perform in the Michigan area. George is known as a "guitar icon for the past four decades and revered in the Detroit, MI area and across the planet as a "cult hero." George held a CD release party for his CD "Pickin' Apart the Past" in July 2018 at the historic Midway Tavern & Dance Hall in Mishawaka, IN.
The Silvertones started in 1973, and included George “Fun Fingers” Bedard on guitar and vocals, Carl Hildebrandt on bass, Tom McDermot on drums, and Steve Nardella on guitar, harmonica and vocals. The Silvertones were stated to be “one of the finest Ann Arbor, MI, blues/rockabilly bands of the era.” They were a strong influence in the roots-music rival that was happening in the mid-1970s, and traveled throughout the U.S. The Silvertones released the album "One Chance With You" in 1977. Songs featured on the LP include “Don’t Say That No More” written by Jimmy Reed, "Linda Lou", written by Ray Sharpe (which first appeared by the Astronauts in 1964), and “Hand Clapping” written by Red Prysock, first released with Red Prysock and his Orchestra in 1955. In 1978, Nardella reformed the band as the Steve Nardella Band, and which included George Bedard and boogie woogie pianist Mr. B (Mark Braun). The album "It's All Rock & Roll" was released by the band in the late 70's.
Biography by Kathryn Johnson
Profile photo by George Bedard & The Kingpins
Label: Schoolkids Records
Label: Schoolkids Records
Label: Joy Boy
The Silvertones- One Chance With You
Label: Blind Pig Records