Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Meet Marty Bernard.

He's the nicest guy in the world and a crazy good guitar player. He writes his own music and can really play anything in any style. I love his country licks that come from years on the road with 'Diezel.' Marty also has an inner headbanger probably from playing with the heavy metal band 'Catfish' for years and opening for the likes of Iggy Pop. I'd like to say his playing is inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hendrix but really what's so special about Marty's style to me is that it is completely unique and his own. He can play whatever you need him to play and will, but when he's given the freedom to express himself, his sound is entirely his own and that's why I love working with him and respect him so. 

He's got his own band called 'The Bloo Zebras' and freelances when he's available. He's really quiet and shy so this blog will embarrass the crap out of him but I don't care because the world should know more of Marty Bernard. I'm looking forward to hearing his upcoming album which is in the works and ready to be completed. 

This is a song from his last album.. he wrote it about his wife.. she's got a beautiful head of red hair. 

Marty plays the Kingfisher in Maple Ridge every third friday of the month with The Bloo Zebras.. and has other gigs around town too. He's a Dirty Swing Band member, and I'm proud to share the stage with him, and call him a friend. It took him over a year to say more than two words to me :)  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


There is only one way I can describe this past weekend.. well maybe a few ways actually.. It was exhilarating, rewarding, but mostly musically DIVERSE. My Weekend started off with a two hour solo stint at the Christmas Farmers Market. I love being a part of my local community and want to share the best I can offer in entertainment. They asked for Christmas carols, SO I grabbed a fake book from the local music store and spent a good solid week brushing up on the infinite charts of current to ancient songs. Loved it. Got to be background music and noodle away on guitar and even sing classical again. Pleased to report that a few private solo Christmas party jobs came from the gig. Community involvement is a blessing! 

The night went on to include a last minute call at Falconetti's .. called out the Dirty Swing Band to my favourite little sausage factory and vibrant nightlife spot on Commercial Drive. Apparently there was a 75 person reso for the night + regular clientele and the  room was on fire.. haha! they had been on a pub crawl since noon.. so imagine THAT! 

The next morning involved waking up early to perform the brunch show at The Heritage Grill. This is a new time spot for me.. and a very pleasant way to share a different side of my repertoire with again, a community involved venue that cares for and nurtures the art of live performance (not to mention their delicious breakfasts- my mother is a poached egg connoisseur and APPROVED). I am able to pull out Jazz standards as well as my newer and some older original ballads.. contemplative songs inspired by Paul Simon about love and heartbreak and moving on and growing stronger.. strange but true.. yes my songwriting is evolving.. I am greatly inspired by this direction and thankful for having a platform to share and express this.

Then a last minute gig at Guilt. Where do I start? None of my usual Dirty Swing Banders were available for this except the drummer.. so I really needed to pull something out of my hat. I will never turn a gig down at this venue I love it so much!! I felt like the luckiest gal in Vancouver when Mr. Paul Pigat agreed to come down and fart around for an unrehearsed.. mostly original show of my old dirty cowpunk songs and low down filthy blues. I can't speak highly enough about Paul. I have known him for years and have always been a big fan. He's a gentleman of the highest standard and a musician through and through. I was humbled to play guitar with him and in awe of his ability to play original music that he's never heard without a chart.. and for those of you who know my cowpunk repertoire.. IT AIN'T STANDARD if ya know what I'm saying... Regardless.. last night was pretty magical and that line-up will DEFINITELY happen again.

So! from solo, classical, dirty swing, jazz, folk, roots to badass cowpunk slide This weekend has been a whirlwind of last minute gigs and beautiful people. Playing my original music with folks I look up to and respect is my true musical calling.  I love this life and Life is a Gift. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bandmates and Heartaches

Haven't blogged in a while.. busy on a Steven Spielburg Dreamworks Show.. and the fun filled drama of being a bandleader has kept my tongue under wraps for fear that I may publicly declare damaging or hurtful words. So dust has settled and emotions are clear and in check.. Getting ready to record a  whack of new tunes and finish my first CD. The day-job has definitely been delaying this process.
Cut to the chase. Way too much ego in this industry. Now that I've re-arranged the line-up of players in the Dirty Swing Band I am thrilled to say that I am so on track with my original goals of sharing creative expression and what comes from within with others who enjoy original music as much as I do.

Being surrounded by supportive and encouraging friends and players is the greatest feeling and truly a gift I appreciate more each and every day.

My research on swing music has become a full blown obsession and I can only move forward with faith in the many talented folks I am influenced by. As soon as this film contract is up I can finalize a date and get into the studio in order to offer my soul to all those who are interested and understand my message. LIFE IS A GIFT

Come down this Sunday and hear the new originals before anyone else. These Sunday brunch shows are lovely.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Okay folks! It's been a long time since I blogged so let's keep ya'll INFORMED!! I've had some tremendously fun and creative experiences with some amazing local music legends including a night of jazz and blues featuring Jack Stafford on sax and flute.. (there will be more of that!) as well as a wedding with jazz greats Henry Young and Doug Louie. I am spoiled! The Dirty Swing Band is as tight as can be and lately every venue we've been at has had the dance floor packed with music- loving party animals. Thanks be to the boys.. Jack Lavin, Dave Webb, Marty Bernard and Mr. John Nolan.

I'm now at the level of the dreaded agent... up until now its been a labour of love for me and a rush to book the best rooms in town all by my little old unknown self.. and I'm proud of the fact that I shamelessly sell and promote the band BECAUSE THEY ARE DAMN GOOD!! 

Some agents are knocking, some are peeking around the door to see what the Biscuit is up to next. I feel like I need to be two steps ahead of it all because being the original weirdo that I am, I'd rather fall into obscurity than be pigeon- holed into a role or genre that doesn't fulfill my heart and soul.. 

All I want to do is put smiles on people's faces and take them away from their troubles for a few hours in the evening- make them feel safe and create an atmosphere that is based on freedom of expression and all- inclusive enjoyment of life!

All this who's who and what are they up to? The undercutting and back- talking is doing a number on my head so I'm taking to the ethereal quill to vent something that's been gnawing at me for only a slight while. I promised to be honest. I promised to stay true to my dream of reaching out through the medium of music to tell a story and stay sincere and try my best. 

Being a professional musician pays like shit at the best of times.. but now I'm encountering the insidiousness of so- called business men who lock down venues simply so they can profit off the bands they hire. So far I have been able to do everything and more than any agent has ever offered me. Or, perhaps I have yet to meet the right one for me. Regardless..... 

STAY THE COURSE BISCUIT!! (the voices say)

Friday, June 29, 2012


My brain is through the roof.. I have have so much in my head and quite a bit more to add to it. I'm looking forward to all my upcoming gigs.. the dirty swing band is a tight ship. I'm digging the challenge of building a solo act as well. I can confidently pull off one set.. two sets is a little more work.. I bet all the old veterans would laugh at me right now, cause they all know what it's like to sit up there and keep the crowd entertained and the music flowing for hours on end.. i'm pretty new at performing solo.. unless you count busking on Granville and Seymour for french fries and  green hair dye back in the early 90's. (i will always maintain that i made good money busking!)


July 7th The Heritage Grill (my birthday)
July 9th Music on the Wharf
July 21st Kingfishers Grill
August 3rd The Cellar Jazz Club
August 24th The Fairview

and a bunch of solo acts in between .. particularily happy to do a solo act with the Downtown Maple Ridge noon hour concert series.. just me and my guitar and the folks of 224th st at Memorial Park :)

a couple of interesting projects coming up at the Railway Club and a live radio broadcast.. I'll keep you posted..

and The Hardrock Miner's Singalong this Mon. July 2nd.. but that's a whole new blog ....

Monday, June 25, 2012


The music business is a tough place.. where I'm at anyway.. I'm learning how to hustle 
and it ain't easy. Lotsa bands, fewer and fewer venues. When I started this blog I wanted to keep a journal of my learnings 
and i haven't stopped learning yet.

#1 - when they all told me years ago to keep believing in myself they were right

#2 - nobody's gonna do anything for you so 
be thankful for everything because its a 

#3 - listen to the bass player

#4 - grow the thickest hide possible and reinforce it with good faith

#5 - take risks and hope for the best

 I play music because I love it and I love 
the folks I play it with. Everyone will 
always have an opinion.. music is fairly subjective and we all know what we like. I just want it to be as good as it can be. Some folks support you, others don't, so don't 
rely on others for continued success. Don't stop promoting cause  a quality product is worth it. Life without performing live music would suck, so I'll carry on thank- you, I've still got some stripes to earn......

Sunday, May 20, 2012


So I've been digging into jazz standards and I've re-ignited an older passion.

I have wanted to be a lounge singer for as long as I can remember. They wear stunning gowns and quietly croon away beautiful melodies from the corner of the room.  

The music seems so thoughtfully written, I've fallen in love with every new song I've learned. I'm looking forward to performing some classics from Count Basie, more Billy Holiday, Sinatra, Anita O'Day, Julie London, Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Fats Waller and my very first favorite: the Gershwin brothers :)

A little departure from my 'blues muse' Memphis Minnie but I know what the old gal would say.. 'Do what makes you happy.' Well it all makes me happy but there's a calling that I simply can't ignore. More recording shall soon commence..and it's going to be a bit of original jazz.. a bossa nova and a a little jive tune inspired by mr. ray ayotte..(he knows the one) 

It's getting there and I can't wait to give her a run!

Summer is here and the 'Dirty Swing Band' will all over the town. My usual and wonderful boys- Jack Lavin, Dave Webb, Marty Bernard and John Nolan..(joining us at The Fairview will be the great Jack Stafford on saxophone!!).. hopefully Mr. Koliger will grace a few of the stages as well..

May 26th- Falconetti's East Side Grill
June 1st- Blues on Broadway' at The Fairview 
July 7th- (MY BIRTHDAY!!) Heritage Grill
July 9th- Music on the Wharf (Maple Ridge)
August 3rd- Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz Club

Not to mention my first solo job EVER right here in Maple Ridge Thurs May 24th 7:30pm @ the Haney Public House. Now that should be interesting!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Many talented musicians have come very close to my heart this past year.. I am indeed fortunate to have such a wealth of creativity and encouragement amongst my companions, old and new. One man in particular has pushed me beyond my comfort zone and raised the bar of expectations to new proportions that i never dreamed of. That man is Jack Lavin. 

I have always had a love affair with the bass clef.. that's where i learned to read music- in the cello section of the Vancouver Youth Orchestra pit. I rely on the solid pulsing rhythmic foundation so heavily.. it's the first thing i hear when i sit down to learn a song, and almost the only thing I hear when I'm singing on stage. The bass line always tells me where the music is going and provides a stability that makes me want to curl up in it's blanket of comforting vibration and go to sleep.  It's no surprise that I place an especially great value to the relationship I form with my bass player.

When Jack picked me up out of the blues jams I did not know what to expect. Nor did I ever dream that I would not only gain a great teacher and mentor, but also a solid friend-  not to mention the fact that he is truly a great and knowledgable musician. When all's said and done.. I trust my bass player :) 

He has introduced to me to so many wonderful folks.. as he tends to surround himself with the highest calibur of humans inside and out.. musical or not. Whenever I need help, he's usually already addressed my concerns before I even ask. Hell, he produced my five latest originals and he produced them well! 

Speaking of music production.. He and his talented friend Gary Koliger have just released a new album. "Jake and Gate" is my new favourite band and I can't wait to get my hands on my copy of "I Got Your Back" They have a series of CD release events coming up in May and they deserve nothing but the the best reception for this labour of love, soul and songwriting. 

May 16th- FALCONETTI'S East Side Grill on Commercial Drive
May 18th- THE COTTAGE BISTRO on Main Street (I can't wait to see Eugene again)
May 19th- KINGFISHERS WATERFRONT GRILL In my own hometown of Maple Ridge

Anyone who has ever met Jack Lavin, or heard him on one of the many stages he's performed on (pretty much every stage in Vancouver) will know that he is capable of only the best in entertainment quality, musicianship and production.

get your copy on itunes or CD Baby!

Congrats on the new release, Jake and Gate! I am a fan for life.   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Harrison BC is ALWAYS a blast. I love getting the call from my good friends at Rockamole's... this time I got to do things a little differently simply because I can! Because it was only a duo backing me up I thought it might be fun to take the pressure off Dave Webb on keys and bring a guitar to the ensemble.. Now I 'm not a blues player, nor am I a soloist nor am I ANYTHING really.... but because I feel like I'm surrounded by family when I'm up by the lake I wanted to show them a different side of me. 

For four years I had a 'dirty bluegrass' band.. not really a band.. me on guitar, Wayne Evans on bass.. Petrina Baptist singing melody and myself singing harmony.. we called ourselves "Hawkin's Revenge" and we had a lot of fun and entirely too much rye whisky.. anyway.. I wrote about 40 songs for that group and they have mostly been sitting dormant since our dissolve.. Sept 2010

Last Saturday I decided to give the good folks of Harrison BC a taste of 'Wendy Biscuit Solo'.... I wasn't nervous as much as I was hoping that they would understand my own unique brand of original music. The tunes came out as they always used to, and my guitar stayed in tune... my timing stayed on track (thank god!) and the audience appreciated it. WELL! now thats a relief.. putting out heart and soul in the form of original music is always a risk but those who are driven to write and perform really have no choice.. and now that I know it worked.. i'll offer it in other venues as well... 

Mr Webb encouraged me to play ensemble for a few tunes and that made me feel so good! I've always received flack and criticism because my rhythm style is my own and self taught.. but you know what? it worked with these guys! and i liked it! they liked too!! ( i thought they were just saying that to my face but then i heard them commenting about it on a recording my mother took while i was on stage- my heart began to swell..) Have I mentioned that I love the players in my band??? 

Anyway.. it's always a journey and although i love to play guitar and i love my catalogue of past original projects.... I also love just being the singer and being able to pour everything i have into the lyrics, melody and stage performance. However! next time you come to a Wendy Biscuit show... you may just catch me being my own opening act simply because it seemed to work .. :) 

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It's been a busy week of firsts.. next week promises more of the same. It's amazing that when put in perspective, what may seem like grand accomplishments are really nothing more than simple validation that really hard work and a whole lot of faith and hope can give back a bit.. This little tune plays a part in that script.. 

I'm both relieved and anxious to report that as of next Friday March 30th.. this song, 'Crossroad Friend' combined with the wonderful folks at 'Warner Bros' officially gives me the title of 'published composer.' Talk about happy dance! Only a year ago I was fumbling through a shaky set list and trying to gain confidence to be a competent band leader (still working on the band leader thing) It's only being used as background music on the hit series 'Supernatural,' but every small step feels like a giant leap considering all that i've learned recently.

Also had my first encounter with the press.. yes it's only the local paper, but i'm humbled by what it takes to have even a small measure of success in this business.. i look to my peers and those who I look up to and think "Wow, this is a lot of work for little pay-off and you've been busting it for thirty years??" My respect and admiration continues to rise for the full-time musicians of Vancouver...anyway.. I hope the gal who writes the column doesn't include all the stupid things that probably came out of my mouth.. i'm biting my nails a little on that one..

Lotsa gigs this week.. me and the boyz are playing 'The Cellar Jazz Club' Wed. the 28th... i'm terrified that the room will be empty..then a local haunt with great live music on the weekends..'Kingfishers Waterfront Grill' in Maple Ridge Friday March 30th.. I'm worried the locals won't dig my brand of jazz and blues.. i'm not a 'standards' girl in any way.. (won't be able to watch my song air because of this gig but rest assured the DVR will be set to record 'Supernatural' @9pm on CW) Finishing off the week and month is a Saturday night at Falconetti's on Commercial Drive. I look forward to consuming a half- price sausage as much as I do performing...whew..

Nothing on the calendar for April, and I think I may keep it that way as I've been brewing up another little basement- based project in a different direction that for now shall remain close to my chest...  :) 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Not to rock the boat or anything cause I'm really just an ankle bitin' blues biscuit.. but I've been thinking lots about this whole "release your first CD thing." Seems like that's the question on many minds and although I understand the sense of accomplishment and completion that goes along with producing a so- called 'creative icing on the cake'..I'm not so sure it's what I want to do.

Will I be taken more seriously as a performer and recording artist if I put out a complete album? Should it matter to me what others think of my decisions regarding my music career? Most indie albums are produced at the expense of the artist and barely sold these days.. "here sir! have a free drink coaster with some of my original soul lazered into the grooves"..Not to dis the process..I have unlimited amounts of respect for the many multi- talented and productive musicians in this town but I'm feeling it in a totally different direction. 

Yes I want radio airplay, yes I want to share my music on a massive scale and yes I would love to make even a little bit of money off my labour of love. I'm simply unsure if having stacks of cracked plastic jewel cases gathering dust in thrift stores is worth the energy when it runs the risk of de-railing me from live performance and interacting with other music lovers..which happens to be my true passion and driving force.

Is it a rite of passage to produce a CD?  Is it a token of gratitude to the listener or an homage to all the other artists who have put tremendous amounts of time, talent, not to mention MONEY into what seems to become nothing more than a ritual process? Where do those albums really end up anyway, other than popped into the computer, downloaded then transferred to a digital device of some sort. 

What means more to me than anything is connecting with my audience and earning the respect of my peers and all the other players around town who I look up to and learn from. Somehow I don't think they would care one way or the other. The question seems primarily industry- based and I'm not convinced that impressing the industry is a priority for me right now. I just wanna play good music with great musicians. I'm fortunate enough to be doing that now so I guess I'll stay the course!

Speaking of great stages and great audiences..the next show is at Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz Club and I'm honoured to share such a stage with my amazing 'Dirty Swing Band' Jack Lavin, Dave Webb and John Nolan.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


My only regret in regards to my latest musical endeavour is that my own father never got to be involved with my little project.  Besides my own inner passion to perform well and succeed, he is the main reason I pursued music with such vigour in the first place. Countless hours of practising Bach and Brahms on my cello with him hovering over my shoulder telling me to "play it again and play it better, biscuit!" Prompted me to refuse practising in his presence altogether as a teen. 

John Daniel Le Van Jr. never played an instrument, but sang a deep encompassing baritone that filled the church every Sunday. Singing the bass lines of the hymn book, we were embarrassed as children by his booming, reverberating  vocals. Yet he loved the attention from all the old church biddies, and performed for them from his pew with heart, soul, perfect pitch and timing.

He would wake us up every Saturday morning much to our dismay crooning 'Ramona' at the top of his lungs, drowning out our groans of discontent....

He was a French Hugenot from the Ozark Mountains of Springfield Missouri. He never knew a life without music and wanted nothing more from me than to become a professional musician. How terribly disappointed he was when I quit the cello in the mid 1990's and took a detour from music altogether just a few years before he died. 

He gave me the moniker 'Wendy Biscuit' the day I was born apparenty because i was fat and round like the southern breakfast staple...'biscuits and gravy' He even composed a little jingle and sang it to me every Sunday morning while we walked to church. Here's how it went...

Little bitty Wendy Biscuit
Little bitty Wendy girl
Daddy gotta biscuit
Little bitty baby girl

As a teenager he embarassed me further by calling me "biscuit" in front of my punk rock friends who snickered and poked fun at my hated nickname. Only since last year have I learned how precious were the gifts he gave me. I can boldly say that the Wendy Biscuit Blues Band is an offering to his memory and I mourn the fact that he will never be in the front row where he always said he wanted to be.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Well, Still chugging away on the Biscuit Train. 
'I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN' has a whole new meaning for me. 

Building a musical project in this unforgiving town has been a steep hill with a heavy load..but I have no room for self doubt and CHUG CHUG CHUG! (That goes for the booze too)

Fortunately, I am surrounded by many talented, kind players and well- wishers who have all been tremendously patient while I figure this out. Believe me, there's lots more figuring to do!

Jack has been a dream..assisting with set list construction, producing the beginnings of my first jazz and blues CD-  not to mention being a great friend and the best damn bass player around. John Nolan is such a gentlemen...and newcomer Dave Webb adds some seriously fun dynamics on stage as well as incredible competence...nice to have you on board, Dave! I really don't deserve such a great band..I don't know enough yet. So I thank my lucky stars and try to do right by them. I've learned to shut up and listen lots..

My calendar is as full as I want it to be. My goals for 2012 include booking a tour.. just a small one..but I don't really know how to do that yet, so hopefully its not too complicated.. naive right?

The new tunes are getting out there on two radio stations..and the next live performance is tonight at Guilt and Co. I love playing there. I'll keep posting the new bookings as they come up..

Until then, ALL ABOARD!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012


I'm finally feeling better. looking forward to my next show at falconetti's. I need to concentrate on healing the vocal chords, they feel damaged. That was a terrible flu. Searching for new tunes to add has been stimulating- there is so much amazing music out there past, present, inside and out. 

Its my mom's 70th this January. Any folks who know my mom are also invited to join us in the celebration of music, friends and fun.


HAPPY  2012!