— video by dave.hogerty

“In the Area”

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT — WIMBASH 2008 featured Doug and Original Sugar Hill Rhythm Section mates KEITH LEBLANC, and SKIP McDONALD, who joined him for this introductory jam. “IN THE AREA,” much more aggressive than the Hip-Hop Blueprint they drew up in the early ’80s, and as a sample of Margaret Thatcher says,  might be “TOO LOUD FOR CONSERVATIVE EARS.”

— photograph by OriginalNoise

A Short History

DOUG WIMBISH was born in Hartford, Connecticut, grew up and went to high school in Bloomfield, studied music with JACKIE McLEAN at the Hartford Conservatory, and got his first professional gig in the mid-1970s with Hartford’s popular Dance/Funk band, WOOD BRASS & STEEL.

Now, after countless world tours, appearing on hundreds of CDs, records, and albums, and establishing himself as one of the most talented, sought after electric bassists working today, he still chooses to live in an artist’s loft in downtown Hartford.

So when, in 2005, Doug was thinking about throwing what would become an annual party for his friends, familly, and neighbors, there was never a doubt about its location.


SULLY’s PUB & TIKI BAR / LENA’s GRINDERS  — Although small, Sully’s was the obvious location for Doug to host his ANNUAL WIMBASH. For decades Sully’s (and the attached Lena’s Grinders) has been a popular lunch and late-night beer bar/pizza joint in Hartford … with a couple pool tables upstairs, a well-stocked juke box, and (most importantly) LIVE MUSIC seven days a week (the only bar in the city that has). Despite many of the WIMBASH musicians being used to much larger venues and stages, there was no hesitation in Doug choosing Sully’s, wanting to honor the Hartford club that is most supportive of local musicians.

— video by dave.hogerty


It was 2004, halfway through George W. Bush’s Presidential Experiment, when Doug was compelled to call his old TACK>>HEAD mates together for a short Summer Reunion Tour. It had been 14 years since the socially conscious band had played, and it seemed an appropriate time for TACK>>HEAD to return and deliver a much needed political message. Especially after the 911 ATTACKS, an INVASION OF IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN, and a TERRIFIED UNITED STATES poised to RE-ELECT BUSH.



That August (2004), after a LIVING COLOUR tour supporting COLLIDEOSCOPE, the band’s first record after its 2001 reformation, and with a similar warning of possible doom (“Sacred Ground”/”A ? Of When”/”In Your Name”), Doug had a break in his schedule. Rather than relax, Doug chose to call his old TACK>>HEAD mates, BERNARD FOWLER, SKIP “LITTLE AXE” McDONALD, KEITH LEBLANC, and ADRIAN SHERWOOD, to see if they might be up for short tour? All were available, thought it could be fun, and agreed the time was right.
Convening at Doug’s loft/apartment/studio on ASYLUM STREET (downtown Hartford), the band spent three days reminiscing, rehearsing, and preparing for what would wind up a historic TACK>>HEAD  show, just down the road at SULLY’s PUB & TIKI BAR.

That momentous Summer night in 2004, wasn’t called “THE FIRST ANNUAL WIMBASH,” but so successful was the show, and so happy were the 200 who crammed into Sully’s to see it, that it was the night Doug had the idea to create THE WIMBASH … thingking it would be nice to make such an event an annual party, and that Sully’s would be the perfect place to throw it.

The next year (2005), Doug officially called the event “THE WIMBASH,” as he has every year since.



— August 21, 2004

— video by dave.hogerty

“KING OF THE BEAT” — The band started instrumentally with THE ORIGINAL THREE (Doug Wimbish [bass guitar], Keith Leblanc [drums], and Skip McDonald [guitar]), all hometown boys, who also happen to be the ORIGINAL SUGAR HILL RHYTHM SECTION, Musical Architects who wrote, played, and produced many of the well-known, influential  Hip-Hop Anthems, including “THE MESSAGE,” “WHITE LINES,” and “THAT’s THE JOINT.”

Despite the New York Times calling them the “World’s Finest Rhythm Section, DOUG, SKIP, and KEITH went mostly unrecognized … and later, financial disputes with SUGAR HILL, over their work on “NO SELL OUT,” the “MIAMI VICE” soundtrack, and “SUN CITY” (1984’s Anti-Apartheid Anthem) eventially forced all three to London, where they partnered with ADRIAN SHERWOOD and his ON-U SOUND RECORDS. It was there and then (1985/86) that TACK>>HEAD was born.

— photograph by camille olivia

Doug’s daughter Nova was fittingly pictured on the WIMBASH poster in 2007, the year Doug’s current musical family (LIVING COLOUR) headlined the show. With Doug’s LIVING COLOUR band mates also bringing their wives and children to enjoy the day, the 2007 WIMBASH, maybe more than any other represented the casual, family reunion, Summer picnic vibe of Doug’s annual event.


It’s a Family Affair

— video by dave.hogerty

“FLYING” — Many long-time WIMBASH attendees had hoped for the year when LIVING COLOUR would be in the middle of a Summer tour with a schedule allowing them to play Hartford. That year was 2007, between the band’s finishing a run through Europe, and the day before catching a flight to Brazil for two weeks in South America.

“Fllying” was the popular song off LIVING COLOUR’s COLLIDEOSCOPE album, a tribute (eulogy) to those who lost their lives in the Twin Tower attack on 911, and the one for which Doug’s daughter Nova learned the lyrics.

This is a recording of NOVA’s FIRST WIMBASH PERFORMANCE, as she takes the stage to help COREY GLOVER sing the song.

Also notable, and representative of the WIMBASH family picnic vibe, is drummer WILL CALHOUN’s 9-year-old son Tateich (seen in the background) adding his signature brand of percussion.


—  poster dave.hogerty

Because Doug’s 2011 schedule has him crossing the country and circling the globe time after time, with LIVING COLOUR, LITTLE AXE, MARK STEWART + MAFFIA, TARJA TURUNEN, and now LAURYN HILL, WIMBASH 2011 has been delayed to its latest date ever. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, just two days after Doug’s birthday on the 22nd, makes this year’s show …


(Saturday) September 24, 2011 @ SULLY’s PUB & TIKI BAR (Hartford, Connecticut)




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