Wyatt Berne &
- a blues trio -
(photo by Janice Wyatt)
Above performance at The Heritage Grill, New Westminster BC, January 16th, 2014
L to R: Phil Howell (Upright bass & vocals), Stephen Berne (drums), Jeff Wyatt (guitar & vocals)
Wyatt Berne & Howell are Jeff
Wyatt (guitar & vocals), Stephen Berne (drums) &
Phil Howell (upright bass & vocals).
These musical veterans have been performing together since 2011. Their blues influenced repertoire is a combination of originals and covers, with a flexibility that extends across blues/rock/country boundaries.
For info on upcoming live performances see the Shows page.
For inquiries and bookings go to the Contact page.
Jeff Wyatt, originally from the Saskatchewan prairies, has been involved with the Canadian west coast music scene (writing, recording and performing live) since 1991, prior to his 24 year involvement with the Canadian prairie music scene. As well as being a musician he also graduated from the 'Digital/Analog Automated Recording Arts' program at Columbia Academy in Vancouver, Canada in 1992.
Being a guitarist and songwriter since 1967, Jeff has been affected by many musical influences that inevitably rear their heads in his music. But when it comes to overall preference of musical styles, he often falls back onto composition that includes some type of blues or blues/rock influence, although he would not strictly try to label himself a blues-man. Even though he tinkers with a variety of instruments, guitar is by far his specialty (electric, finger-style acoustic in standard and open tunings, and slide which he uses on both electric and acoustic guitar). Since his work is both instrumental and lyrical, electric and acoustic, it is difficult at times to strictly categorize. People compare his guitar work and vocal style to a combination of Ry Cooder, David Wilcox, Mark Knopfler, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Gordon Lightfoot, Jeff Beck and others.
Jeff’s commercially released music can be heard, and is available through the Recordings page of this website at the following link.
Stephen Berne started drumming at age 15, studying under the late, renowned west coast jazz drummer Alan Wiertz (nicknamed "Hide the One Wiertz"). By 17 Steve was playing clubs 6 nights a week on Vancouver's Hastings Street. These venues included 2 historic spots; "Smilin' Buddha Cabaret" (which once hosted acts such as Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane) and the "Harlem Nocturne".
Following these stints he performed 6 nights a week for 2 years at the "Grouse Nest", on top of Grouse Mountain. The following years took Steve on the road through British Columbia; further north to central coastal communities which Included Bella Coola and Ocean Falls.
Shortly thereafter Steve relocated to Toronto, touring and playing many of the small towns of Ontario, before returning to Vancouver to play regularly at "Rossini's" in Gastown between 2000 and 2006. Steve subsequently started drumming at "Rossini's" second Vancouver location at the foot of Yew Street from 2006 to when they closed their doors in 2010. It was there that Stephen Berne and Jeff Wyatt first met and began performing together on occasion with piano virtuoso Bob York. Both "Rossini's" locations hosted many jazz greats when they came through town. These establishments were owned by the late west coast jazz drummer Arni May who at 18 once toured with the young, 20 year old Elvis Presley on the latter’s first visit to Canada.
As well as being a member of the blues trio WYATT BERNE & HOWELL, the versatile Steve Berne can be seen sitting in on drums at clubs in and around Vancouver. He presently uses 3 different drum kits and is always seeking to broaden and deepen his musical abilities.
Phil Howell started playing guitar at the age of 12, but decided on making the switch to bass at age 20. Why? For the simple reason that there were always too many guitar players that showed up at open jams, and generally only 1 or 2 bass players. Being a bassist gave him the chance to be up on stage for longer periods (then all the guitar players), honing his bass chops.
By the time Phil was in his mid 20's his formal music studies took place at both Vancouver Community College as well as at North Vancouver's Capilano College (now Capilano University).
Phil's musical versatility is blatantly evident in the fact that he's played in a Ukrainian folk Orchestra, Latin ensembles, jazz groups and blues bands. He's even performed classical music with the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. After relocating to Veracruz Mexico, Phil worked as a full time musician.
Once again a Vancouver resident, electric bass as well upright double bass are his instruments; the latter of which being what he typically uses when performing.