Born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, but his tenth living in Winnipeg, Manitoba is singer-songwriter Dave McLean for more than thirty years a member of the Canadian blues scene. Through the plates from his brother as a teenager he discovered the blues music. In 1969 the two brothers travel to Toronto at the Mariposa Folk Festival, where they are introduced to singer John P. Hammond, who gave him some initial guitar instruction.
McLean began his musical career at the Regina Folk Club, where his mother worked as a volunteer in the kitchen. Here he meets Colin James, who was the producer of his album "For The Blues ... 'Always'' (1998). McLean's debuted earlier "Muddy Waters For President" (1989). In 1998 he performs with Tim Williams during the Calgary Folk Music Festival.
On his album "Blues from the Middle" (2003) Sue Foley and Duke Robillard told the guests. "Faded But Not Gone" came out in 2014 debut on Black Hen Music. This album worked Colin Linden, Colin James, Kevin McKendree, Ann and Regina McCrary it.
Big Dave McLean's sixth album is called "Better The Devil You Know." It is again the familiar names who participated: multi-instrumentalist / producer Steve Dawson, drummer Gary Craig, bassist Jon Dymond, pianist Kevin McKendree, violinist Fats Kaplan and backing singers Ann and Regina McCrary.
Outside songs McLean brings extensive tribute to his predecessors. Blind Willie Johnson's "You'll Need Somebody On Your Bond" is a gospel which he vocally supported by the sisters McCrary. Another traditional Johnny Shine's "Pet Rabbit". It's a song he all the way in the style of the 30's and with which he closes the album. "Talk About a Revelation" is an original song, inspired by the terrorist attacks in Paris. McLean sings very emotional about people working together for peace. The first Muddy Waters' cover is "You Can not Lose What You Is not Never Had". McLean's version is very sincere. He is very handsome on piano by Kevin McKendree. The second Muddy song "Deep Down in Florida" is one of the two pure Delta blues songs on the album. B. B. Gordon McLean's deceased bassist cherished this number. In "Angeline," a country blues song about the already mentioned Blind Willie Johnson, Johnson complains when he leaves his wife with "nothing but the blues." The second Delta blues song is "The Side of the Road". It is a song by Steve Dawson (vs. banjo guitar) Delta blues man Skip James. "Where the Music Comes From" is a swampy song McLean wrote after his visit to Clarksdale, MS, where they ran a documentary about him. In "Old Time Religion" sing Ann and Regina McCrary again the choirs and "Swingin 'On Heaven's Gate" is a country gospel, led by mandolin Dawson. McLean wrote the song in 2000, a good friend after the death of his father.
Larry LeBlanc of the renowned Billboard magazine wrote about Dave McLean: "Dave HAS done more to shape western Canada's blues scene than perhaps any other artist ..." What should I add on to say himself. "Better the Devil You Know" is my blues album of the week!