It is ironic that a band that currently serves as one of Canada’s longes-running rock acts were only “discovered” five years and three albums after they initially debuted. This fact has done little to dissuade Big Sugar, who continue to crank out club-shaking rock ‘n’ roll ten years after their formation in 1991.
Big Sugar are an original band, in every sense of the word: in appearance (one member carries gravity-defying dreadlocks, one is the persona of “slick”); in sound (described as “blues-injected, reggae-tinged rock”), even in racial diversity (the band combines black and white members seamlessly). They are true purveyors of “the touring band”, criss-crossing Canada and the States, playing countless clubs in countless towns. Their shows are noted for the floor-to-the-rafters speaker system with heart-shaking bass lines and energetic frenzy.
Their first album was a eponymous debut released in 1991. Largely the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Gordie Johnson, the release featured 12 tracks, cut from the original 50 songs that Big Sugar recorded.
1n 1993 the band released Five Hundred Pounds, which managed to sell an impressive 10,000 copies despite little publicity or airtime. It sold largely on the strength of Big Sugar’s live show, which was steadily generating steam and attracting attention.
1996 finally saw the band receive the radio and critical attention it richly deserved. “Diggin’ a Hole”, off the band’s next release Hemi Vision, became an instant hit, exposing the band to a new legion of fans and making Big Sugar a MuchMusic and Canadian music scene regular.