Tom's musical start was on the accordion, and he has been playing guitar and singing for decades. He took up the pedal steel guitar in 2008 while playing with alt-country band, The Acuff Roses. He has performed pedal and lap steel guitars in country/rockabilly/roots bands Derbytown, The Palomars, The Neon Stars, Alex & The Airstreams, Mac Pontiac, Dan Challis, Jesse Waldman, Speeding West (Luca Benedetti) and The Ploughboys. Performances include appearances at Folk on the Rocks Festival (Yellowknife), Nashville Boogie (Nashville) and East Van Opry (Vancouver).
In addition to being one of the founding members of DerbyTown, he regularly does sideman work on pedal steel guitar for other singer-songwriters and bands. His pedal steel session work is on album releases by The Dovetails, The Neon Stars, Jesse Waldman, The Tired Sunday Choir, and Dan Challis. He has played lap steel guitar on recordings for The Palomars and The Deadcats and has studio production credits, having recorded 2 albums released by Vancouver band The Palomars and demo recordings for Derbytown and The Ploughboys.
Sean Schonfeld (Guitar and lead vocals)
Sean's first live song was a Dylan song, and Sean’s been mining the vein of Americana music ever since, like '90s alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks. He played guitar and sang in various local original music bands in the 80’s, including alt-pop-rockers Tombstone Etiquette (TE), who debuted at a dubious “stolen gear” benefit in '88 for the Rheostatics at DOA's infamous Plaza digs. TE also played Seattle’s Bumbershoot and seminal Bellingham Club Speedy-O Tubbs, before downsizing to an acoustic alt-country/folk trio Ne’er Do Wells, who played Vancouver clubs in the early to mid 90’s.
Sean’s long running group Token Rhyme, released a self-produced CD of folk-rock originals recorded at Turtle Studios in 2010, which included putting music to legendary Beat poet Michael McClure’s "Berkeley Song" poem. He had a 5-yr Grateful Dead cover band project, Walk-on Dead, where he sang and played guitar in the improvisational spirit of that genre, gigging in Squamish, Pemberton, Whistler, Bowen and the Sunshine Coast. DerbyTown finds him back to the music that digs the deepest, the soulful country-roots-Americana that has been a part of everything he’s done. Having this common ground right off the bat with DerbyTown co-founder, Tom Hammel made getting started pretty easy. His guitar playing finds the supportive role, lead or rhythm, and the shared lead vocals resonate in the way that only happens when you’ve been playing these songs a long time.
Bob McIntosh (Bass and background vocals)
Bob’s musical journey started back in Montreal where he played trombone in the high school band. At the age of 16 he started to play the electric bass and took lessons from Paul Harwood of Mahogany Rush. In college, Bob played in bands that gigged the bars on Montreal’s Crescent Street .
In 1981 Bob packed up his Fender bass and drove across Canada to Vancouver. During the early eighties he played in several Feldman bar bands touring BC, Alberta, NWT and the Yukon. For two years starting in 1989. Bob was a member of the Legends of Rock and Roll show that toured Canada and the US from coast to coast. He also played bass for rockabilly legend Buddy Knox for several Vancouver shows.
Bob left the road to stay in Vancouver and worked a day job for many years. In 2013 Bob was one of the original founding members of a Heart tribute band called Barracuda that toured Western Canada and the Pacific North Western US for 5 years. He also toured with several other tribute bands such as All Fired Up (Pat Benatar), The Hip Show ( Tragically Hip), and local bar band Catch 22.
Bob has an alter ego called Biff who played bass, wrote songs, and recorded with Vancouver’s only power pop middle aged punk band , The Dadolescents.
Rick Chapman (drums)
Rick comes from a musical family and has been playing music since childhood. His father is a guitar player and performed/listened to old school country while Rick was growing up. Rick migrated from Nova Scotia to the left coast of Canada back in the 90’s. Starting in high school, Rick has gigged with several bands across the country including the Halifax Wharf Rats, Whiskey Jane, Curtis Lane and the Legends and regularly plays with the Pat Chessell Band. Aside from the drumkit, Rick also plays guitar, mandolin and cajon.
Sadly, we lost James suddenly in November, 2020. He was a true talent, friend and supporter of the arts in Vancouver, BC. Specializing in roots-style music, he enjoyed playing old country, blues, rockabilly, New Orleans-style, R&B and old rock & roll. His nickname was “Hollywood Jimmie” because he’s so NOT Hollywood.