iography

Denis and Bert have been doing charity events and local concerts since shortly after Denis arrived in Clarenville in 1992.  The boys are mostly known for their powerful vocals, but Denis tries to play the guitar and Bert’s become a decent bodhran player (we know, we know – if there’s any such thing!)  Doug, who comes from a long line of accordion players, started to play it a fair bit more frequently after building a house next to Denis in ’99. 

Over the years, a regular Tuesday night jam session of up to 10 or more Clarenville would-be-musicians turned in to practice time for those interested in playing on stage for a number of charity requests.  This is where Curt (playing the mandolin and guitar) and Greg (playing lead guitar) became part of what was now becoming a band. 

The name Sláinte which is Gaelic for ‘good health to you’ or the equivalent of our ‘cheers’ was a sort of last minute moniker in preparation for one such charity event.  The organizers were looking to put our name on a poster advertizing the event.  All that was needed up to this point was Bert and Denis.  It didn’t seem quite practical to list Bert, Denis, Doug, Curt and Greg.   So we tossed around a few names and went with the Irish toast as it fit our group in a variety of ways, if you know what we mean! 

It was a little while later that the varied talents that Carl Winter brings to the stage were added to the band with bass and superb vocals and harmonies.  Carl can actually play every instrument in the band and a few more to boot, but he makes us feel included by sticking to the bass for the most part.
The rest is history - in the making.  Hopefully you’ll get to be part of it with us sometime soon.

Sláinte!!

Denis Sullivan

Denis Sullivan

Denis Sullivan (Vocals; Guitar) was born and raised in Calvert on the Southern Shore, the Irish Loop.  And like many from that region he has developed a lifelong attachment to Irish music.  His earliest memories are of his mother and grandfather singing in the kitchen.  Most of the time there wasn’t even an instrument playing, just the wonderful tones of great voices telling wonderful stories of love and loss and happiness. 

This immersion in the ‘oral tradition’ is what Denis credits with his ability to learn and retain so many songs.  And a good thing too – he figures that’s the one thing that keeps him in the band.  He’s the only one who can remember all the words!  Denis insists he’ll never consider himself a musician, but admits that the title of ‘entertainer’ is a bit closer to the mark, especially when he’s teamed up Bert at the next microphone.

Denis and his wife Pam enjoy living in Clarenville where the weather is much better than their native Southern Shore but they’re still not too far away to miss out on all the good parties back home.

Bert Roberts

Bert Roberts

Bert Roberts (Vocals; Bodhran; Lead Comedian) is a native of Upper Island Cove, Conception Bay and has been living in Clarenville since 1989.  While his musical roots run fairly deep in the country soil (the man knows every song George Jones ever recorded) his love of Irish and Newfoundland music is evident in his powerful vocal performances.  We’re not sure the crowd in Island Cove knew how well he could sing, but we think he could have been right up there with the other Island Cove Canadian Idols of Jason Greely and Craig Sharpe.  Always the joker, Bert keeps the audiences entertained between songs as much as during them – he just hopes you’re not the sensitive type!

Bert teaches challenging needs children at Clarenville High School and enjoys camping with his wife Paula and their son Ian.

Doug Fleming

Doug Fleming

Doug Fleming (Accordion; Banjo; back-up vocals) is from Petty Harbour, on the far end of the Southern Shore, just south of St. John’s.  Doug’s father played the accordion, and his grandfather, Jack Fleming was one of the best accordion players of his time.  While Doug didn’t pick up the instrument in earnest until he was in his late 20’s, he’s made up for lost time in a hurry. 

We don’t know anyone who enjoys playing music more than our Dougie!  And he’s our back-yard mechanic to boot!  The man can ‘put an arse in a cat’ as the saying goes here in Newfoundland, and Doug does it all with a smile on his face.

Doug and his wife Tracey are parents to three wonderful young girls: Emily; Abigail; and Paige.

Curt Blackmore

Curt Blackmore

Curtis Blackmore (Mandolin; Guitar; Vocals) is from George’s Brook, just 10 kms or so North of Clarenville.  Curt’s always been a very active volunteer in his community and an accomplished athlete in his day. His interest in music is quite varied and he can play and sing all types of music from Alan Jackson and Johnny Cash to Billy Joel and Tom Petty.  However we keep his special mandolin plucking out the celtic tunes (for the most part). 

What’s so special about his mandolin you ask?  Well, it’s locally made by Kip Strong of Clarenville and its body sports the colors of the Newfoundland Republic Flag, our beloved Pink, White and Green.

Curt and his wife Sherry (the unofficial band photographer) live in Georges Brook with their three children: Dillon; Emma; and Joseph

Greg Harnum

Greg HarnumGreg Harnum (Lead Guitar; back-up vocals) is the one band member who was actually born and raised in Clarenville!  Greg has been playing guitar since he was in high school and is proficient in playing all genres of music including classic rock and roll, but he is a true convert to traditional music.  In his own words “I love it!”  We’re all waiting with eager anticipation to the day when we can add ‘banjo; and fiddle’ to his list of instruments played.  From his expert picking ability we know he can do it if he can just find time enough to practice between his volunteer time as a Shriner and running his own business (Harnum’s Plumbing and Heating – for all your plumbing and heating needs...)

Greg lives in Clarenville with his wife Janice and their two lovely girls Kiana and Jada.

Carl Winter

Carl Winter

Carl Winter (Bass; Guitar; Mandolin; Vocals) is a native of Gander and is head of the Science Department at Clarenville High.  A wonderful musician and vocalist, Carl was the last to join the band but was certainly a key ingredient in filling out the sound the band was looking for.  He plays every instrument we’ve put in front of him and a few more so we’re told.  And he actually thinks we know enough about harmonies to do different ones than he’s doing!  Don’t tell him the difference!! 

Carl’s whole family is musically inclined as a matter of fact.  His wife Debbie, daughter Kristen, and son Joshua are all accomplished musicians in their own right.