When Colin Amey and The Remedy take the stage at the Stampede Ranch in Guelph, it is the perfect marriage of an “A” band playing in an “A” club. Both the venue and the artist are professional calibre, and both are committed to the same thing: making sure that the audience has one heck of a party. The backbone – and back beat – of the band comes from drummer Don McDougall, whose storied past includes the Ranch and a long history of playing country music.
Starting at age two, McDougall was forever banging on the pots and pans with wooden spoons. His parents thought it was a phase that would pass – as no one in their family had musical talent, or even an interest in music. Much to their surprise, the “phase” continued for years until they signed him up for drum lessons at the age of six. He took to it immediately, and started playing to every different type of music that he could find. Soon, he found that he had developed a love for jazz that confused his parents and his friends alike. While the other kids in his class were staying up late to watch movies, McDougall was bugging his parents to stay up late and watch the Tonight Show, when the musical guest was Tony Bennett or Buddy Rich.
Don followed his passion to Humber College, studying music and diving even deeper into the jazz pool. After graduation, he played in a number of bands with a varying degree of success. Then one day, when he was between bands, he got a call that would change his life. The call was from Canadian Country great Larry Mercey, who had heard of McDougall’s drumming prowess and asked if he wanted to play in the Larry Mercey Band. Humbled by the offer, McDougall accepted, and slowly morphed into an accomplished country drummer. The band played at the Ranch, and it was then that Don learned how great the party can be if the club cares about the music as much as the artist. Years later, when it was time to play in a different band, the goal became to play back at the Ranch.
As part of accomplishing that goal, McDougall started playing with some of his best friends, behind various lead singers. When Colin Amey joined the group, the chemistry seemed complete, and the band was born. When it came to naming the band, one of the members suggested “The Remedy”. When asked what they were the remedy to, he quipped “The work week!” The name stuck, and the group has been bringing the party to Canadians ever since. They play great country music in a great venue to a packed house who wants to party. That sounds like a Remedy for sure!