Boogie Patrol: Rott’n in the Free World 

Thursday 02nd, November 2017 / 10:00
By Dan Tyler   

‘Rott’n’ Dan Shinnan likens himself to a monkey among silverback gorillas.

CALGARY – There is so much energy and excitement bottled up in Alberta blues band Boogie Patrol that within the first few seconds on the phone with BeatRoute, lead singer ‘Rott’n’ Dan Shinnan had already excitedly recounted his recent purchase of a new harmonica (check out Rott’n Dan’s intensity getting down on the harp with “Mainstay Woman”).  

Boogie Patrol is a funk/rock & soul quintet that, along with Rott’n Dan on vocals, features Yuji Ihara and Chad Holtzman on guitar, Nigel Gale on bass, and Emmet VanEtten on drums and backing vocals. Their brand of the blues features lots of lead guitars, heavy on the rhythm that kick into restless leg syndrome with their relentless live performances. 

Their most recent recording, Man on Fire, was released in April and contains a mix of energetic rock & soul with more downtempo, blues-adjacent outings. Tracks like “Shaker Down Below” and “Just Wanna” are strong divergent moments that do well to illustrate the band’s tonal range. 

While still a young band, especially in the prestige-oriented blues scene, they have already accumulated tremendous accolades. The group has traveled to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge three times already, finishing in the semi-finals the last two trips down.  

The live energy of Boogie Patrol is “definitely not a façade,” says Shinnan. ” We really do enjoy playing together. Playing live on stage is something that adds to that, and the style of music we play is all about getting down… For me as a front guy, I’m totally inspired by what other front guys do. What does a front guy do but study other front guys? He adds it was “just a natural thing to get up on stage and go hard. You can’t help but get into it.” 

In their ten years playing and travelling all across North America, Boogie Patrol deliberately embrace the spirit of blues and soul legends. “I am hugely influenced by Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Otis Redding, powerhouses like that,” reveals Shinnan. “Those guys are the silverback gorillas, those are the kings. Joe Cocker inspired me vocally, but I’m not saying I emulate him. You definitely don’t see me doing the splits like James Brown either.” 

In addition to his artistic style, Shinnan is a well-rounded professional who understands giving people what they paid for. “I actually used to have a business card that used to say ‘Head Monkey Man.’ It’s a monkey see, money do kind of world.” 


Boogie Patrol performs Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Edmonton Blues Society Memphis Payback, Friday, Nov. 10 at the Blues Can (Calgary), and Tuesday, Nov. 14 at Blues on Whyte (Edmonton).

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