PARK BENCH & THE MICKIES· is a six-piece Rhythm and Blues band with a wealth of experience playing throughout Simcoe County, Muskoka and Toronto. Formed in the late 80’s, the Mickies have been known as a band that features strong vocals, saxophones, guitar, drums and bass. This band has performed at all of the local ski clubs, including Blue Mountain, Osler Bluff, Craiglieth, Toronto Ski Club and Georgian Peaks. Park Bench and the Mickies were hired as the house band in Founders Lounge at The Georgian Peaks Club for many years.
Park Bench has also played at several Lobsterfests and street dances in Thornbury and Collingwood. Toronto venues include the St Lawrence Market, Rosedale Golf Club, The Cricket Club, The Granite Club, Toronto Music Hall and Queen’s Quay & Ash Bridges Bay Yacht Clubs.
The high energy, dance-able music played by this band is suitable for a wide range of ages and musical tastes. Spanning genres from Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Reggae, Ska and Rock and Roll, this band plays it all. All members are seasoned veterans and are well known in the area.
Brandon Besharah– Acoustic finger style guitar, saxophone, hurdy gurdy, clarinet and banjo player extraordinaire. Brandon has performed with Don Thompson, Oliver Schroer, Don Ross, Haygood Hardy, Guido Basso, Marie Moore, Pat LaBarbara, to name but a few. He has also shared performances with Jeff Healey, Colin James, Lighthouse, Albert King, Michelle Wright, Jane Bennet and many other well-established artists. Judy and Dave also featured Brandon’s instrumental prowess on the 1998 Juno Award winning album.
Darrell Dennis – Drummer – One of the original Mickies, Darrell is an accomplished percussionist and has a wealth of experience with many musical collaborators over the last 30 years. Versed in several varying musical styles, including Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Ska, Raggae and Rock and Roll. He is known for his creative fills and rock steady meter. Darrell has been seen sitting in on drums with bands such as Touch Of Vinyl, Strange Potatoes, River & Rock, Horseshoes & Handgrenades, The Sportswriters, Jamie Ciotka & Friends, The Jason Redman Band, Ian Halworth and is regularly involved in musical projects throughout Grey & Bruce County.
Peter Montgomery – Baritone Sax, Bass. Peter is an accomplished baritone Sax player who has many years of performing experience. A founding member of Park Bench and the Mickies, he also was a member of the Baytown Big Band, out of Owen Sound.
John Miller is an accomplished guitar player who also is adept at playing the violin, banjo, harmonica, accordian and penny whistle. John is one of the founding members of the band and he also plays with local band Strange Potatoes.
Wayne Fennell – Vocals. Known for his powerful vocals and musical diversity. An accomplished singer for 40 years in the area and founding member of Park Bench and the Mickies and local band Frankie and the Favorites.
Erik Vandeweerdhof– Bass and guitar player. Erik is a competent player who can keep the rhythm and heartbeat of a song beating strong. Erik has performed on bass for many local groups, including The Jason Redman Band, Craig Smith Band, David Russel, Karla Crawford, the Aaron Garner Band, Jamie Ciotka & Friends, The Gators & Ian Hallworth.
Park Bench and the Mickies derived their name from the late Teddy Grimes. A member of Eugene Smith’s Warm up Band, Teddy was a very talented trumpet player who organized a jam at the Comfortable Pew restaurant in Heathcote. Many of the members jammed at this location on Saturday nights and developed a love for Rhythm and Blues. Inspired by Mr. Grimes, a horn section was assembled to give the band it’s unique sound.
The Band’s Logo was designed and developed by fellow Mickie Bandon Besharah.