Roots, blues & traditional music form the basis of this group’s work. In less that a year, they have gone from four distinctly different ‘styles’ to a unique blend. All members sing and play, contributing to a dynamic stage show.
Original songs (Zach de Jong & Doug Smith) are supplemented with some covers (JJ Cale, Rolling Stones, Wood Brothers, Elliot Brood, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch…) with a sprinkling of fiddle tunes to get your feet stomping.
vocals, songwriter, rhythm guitar, mandolin, harmonica
Singer, songwriter, walker of dogs. DOUG SMITH is a multi instrumentalist with nigh on 20 years in sound design, for some of Canada’s biggest recording acts. Doug was born and raised in Richmond B.C. Doug was a member of Richmond’s own Alleged Band and was also house soundman for the Musical Expressions concert series for most of its run.
Doug has been involved at many levels of Canadian songwriting, such as teaching and supporting up-and-coming songwriters and creating outlets for new performers and established touring acts. In the summer of 2009 Doug and his wife settled in Squamish where he met the folks who would become Tantalus Pass.
When not performing, Doug continues his pursuit of the perfect bottle of wine, using the music of Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits, Steve Earle and Keith Richards as his guide and inspiration.
Doug is a frequent performer at festivals and supporter/volunteer at the Rick Hansen Man in Motion and Terry Fox Run charitable events.
fiddle, vocals, djembe
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Nikolai began learning the violin at the age of three. Nikolai continued training in classical music until 17, when a small and evil conductor threw a phone book at him and would not allow him to play ever again. After a near ten-year hiatus Nikolai returned to his violin, began playing with friends, and made the treacherous transition into the world of the fiddler. In Tantalus Pass Nikolai plays the fiddle, the djembe, and adds his voice to the mix. When Nikolai is not playing music he is busy as hell teaching for Squamish Montessori School, collecting mud on the Squamish mountain bike trails, finding fresh lines around Whistler, or drinking a beer to the accompaniment of Mashiter Creek just below his home.
Hymns, camp songs and CKLG 73 comprise the music Rita loved in her youth. Solos began in kindergarten; choral work after a piano teacher taught her the alto line to a hymn when she was seven. Growing up, a piano was always at home to work out popular songs and singing with friends at bible camp highlighted summers, but only after learning to play guitar in midlife did she begin to perform on local stages. In the meantime, it was inevitable that lullabies & children’s songs would become an important part of family and work life.
Today Rita works with several music groups, including hosting a monthly acoustic jam at the Brackendale Art Gallery near her home in Squamish. Collaborating with the talented men in Tantalus Pass is her great delight, playing bass and working out harmonies. Her dream? One day the scraps of lyrical content scattered about her home, car & guitar case will form something cohesive and performable!
Zachary de Jong
songwriter, vocals, lead/slide guitar, harmonica
Zack grew up in the wild hills of Caledon, spending his time among some very talented musician friends. They enjoyed playing rock and roll in barns, hay wagons and seedy Brampton bars, until he came out west. He shines most as one of the main writers for the band, displaying a natural talent for musical composition and well-crafted lyrics. Zach plays lead guitar and harmonica, and contributes to the growing vocal arrangements of Tantalus Pass.