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Reader Spotlight: Will Cardinal

Will CardinalMeet Will Cardinal, a bassist from Nanaimo, Canada, and our player in the spotlight for September 14, 2010.


I’ve been playing bass since 1965. I’ve played in a few early Canadian recording bands, Ronnie Hawkins-’68/9, The Bells ’73/4, Lisa Hart Band ’75, and Ocean ’76. For those old enough to remember The Bells, I played and sang harmony on the Pisces Rising album, from which we had three singles go top 40.

These days, I live on Vancouver Island and recycle speakers, play some bass and resurrect songs I like.


Nanaimo, B.C. Canada

Day gig:

I do community service work.

Years experience:

41 years

Bands & Gigs:

I have a band called Milestones. We are spending a crazy amount of time on arrangements of quazi-jazz stuff, well some would call it eclectic, but I can’t spell ecklectic!


  • 5 string Warwick Jazzman, modified!
  • Eden Traveller 300, very updated, basically rebuilt!
  • An old Trace Elliot 2×10, an MB150 and a Baby Blue II
  • 4 string fretless Godin Acoustibass
  • These are the things I’ve wanted. I’ll have to start a new list sometime!

Why I play the bass:

My first band had three guitarists, so I ordered a bass from a catalogue and learned to play it when it arrived on a Friday afternoon for a gig that night. It’s been uphill ever since!

My bass superpower/claim to fame

For what ever reason, I know how to make the beat roll, not sit, but move forward. It tends to pack the dance floor, which is one of my main reasons for playing!

I go for growl, punch and motion, interplay with a decent drummer is very sexy! Also, because I’ve been arranging music for many years, I can sit in with people I’ve never met and still sound like I’ve rehearsed with them.

My influences

Everyone that doesn’t play soprano sax, rap or “mainstream” country! I try to listen for feels rather than artists. Anything that isn’t over produced or heavy testosterone, or falsetto punctuated melodies, which seem to be popular these days. I miss old Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix, and Robin Trower. That music worked for me. There are a number of Beatles songs that are my favorites, and later The Eagles stuff. I used to like Sting/Police… the reggae stuff, not the melodramas.

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