Glamour Puss at a career crossroads

If you’re looking for stability, a steady source of income and job security, being a full-time musician might not be the best life calling for you.

Most of us have been dazzled by the “rock star life,” seeing our heroes come and go in limos, party with beautiful people and stay out until all hours of the night. Statistics, however, say that for every 10 bands determined to “make it big” and pursue music as a full-time career option, only one of those groups actually does make it. And typically for the one group that is successful, it is usually a matter of the right song at the right time, not necessarily being more talented or more deserving than anyone else.

After 15 years and five well-received albums, it is safe to say that Moncton blues band Glamour Puss have arrived at a cross-roads in their career. The band has unintentionally maintained a low profile over the past three years, playing the odd show throughout the Maritimes but little else. There has been no new music from the group nor any significant amount of touring to their credit. With three East Coast Music Awards on their mantle, Glamour Puss has been a celebrated part of the East Coast Music scene for more than a decade now and has also gained a fair amount of recognition on a national and international level. Since 1998, the band has been nominated for no less than four Toronto Blues Society Maple Blues Awards, six Annual Real Blues Awards while their last studio record, 2006’s Bluesman’s Prayer, received a nomination at the 6th Independent Music Awards, held in the United States. For all of the accolades received, the members of Glamour Puss has arrived at a point in their career where some tough decisions are being made as some of their longest tenured members wrestle the commitment of being in a band with “real world” obligations such as stable employment, families and more.

Even though he doesn’t say so in so many words, it is clear that Glamour Puss drummer Ron Dupuis is feeling as though he is being pulled in two different directions.

“For the past three years, it has been tough to find the time to tour to places like Montreal and Toronto. Some of the guys are much more involved with their families and enjoying their steady jobs than say three years ago so, as a band, we aren’t able to just pick up and go on tour anymore,” Ron says.

“We toured for 12 years and a very successful 12 years at that,” he continues, noting that the last tour the band played through Western Canada was one of the group’s best to date.

“Once that Western Canadian tour had concluded, we felt it was important to slow the band down in terms of the workload we were taking on outside of the region and start taking shows that were a little closer to home in Moncton.”

Over the past few years, Ron says that the band has been very fortunate to perform at a mix of public and private functions, allowing the group to maintain a public profile, albeit a much lower profile than what he consider the band’s name or its legacy roll over and die.

“I assumed the role of leader in this group,” Ron says, “and I feel that right now, we need to continue to move the band forward. I would love to find guys who are able to head out on tour and start building up the band’s profile again.

“We will often hear from people from all over the country asking when we are heading back to play for them and I would love nothing more than to start making the plans to do that.”

Despite his unhappiness with the lack of work that the band has taken on in recent years, Ron was quick to dispel the notion that it has caused strife in the Glamour Puss ranks.

“If you were to ask any of the guys in the band, they would be the first to say there are no hard feelings about the band moving forward, potentially without some of our members.

“Everything is so cool and relaxed among us in the band that I don’t believe it would be a source of tension in the least.

“But I won’t lie: it is a hard decision to keep the band going. There is a lot of work for this band to do yet though and I am hopeful that the next couple of years will prove to have a lot happening for us.”

Article published in August 25, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript