The Easy Club was formed by four musicians who had been playing together in Edinburgh's legendary folk pub, Sandy Bell's Bar, in 1982. The band was originally named The Bogey Brothers, but this was changed to The Easy Club, the name coming from an eighteenth century Edinburgh drinking club which had been opposed to the union between Scotland and England.
Singer Rod Paterson and guitarist Jack Evans (plus original member Norman Chalmers, who was replaced by fiddler John Martin) were members of another band, Jock Tamson's Bairns, who played in a more traditional manner. Jim Sutherland, who played cittern and bodhran, had recently arrived from Thurso, in the far north of Scotland, where he had played with local folk group Mirk.
The idea of The Easy Club was to explore new possibilities in Scottish music, by bringing in influences from more modern music such as jazz and early pop. The band saw that traditional musicians were inevitably influenced in some way by the culture of their own era. The Easy Club were happy to embrace modern styles and ideas, because this is the way that traditions develop naturally. It's actually unnatural, in their opinion, to try to play music in a ‘historical' manner, as this usually results in a fossilised, ‘heritage' culture instead of one that is living and breathing.
The band found that they could bring Scottish music and swing rhythms together very successfully, in a way that sounded completely natural. They even found a quotation from Duke Ellington, who apparently said that "There are only two types of music that swing - jazz, and Scottish music." Hearing these words from the great man was naturally very encouraging! The Easy Club went on to develop its signature style of ultra-swingy Scottish traditional music.
The Easy Club's new sound was soon very popular, for a few years they never stopped touring in Britain, Europe, and the USA. They also recorded three albums, each of which is unique in its own way. But in 1988 they tired of touring, and stopped playing altogether a year later. The Easy Clubbers all joined different bands, though they have continued to work together on different musical projects to this day.
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