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Biography

  • Born

    23 August 1951 (age 67)

  • Born In

    Yorkton, Rural Municipality of Orkney, Saskatchewan, Canada

McLean was born in 1951 in Yorton, Saskatchewan. His father was a Presbyterian minister, and he in lived Moose Jaw, Manitoba, before relocating at the age of ten to Winnipeg. His brother Grant had an extensive record collection, and when McLean was a teenager, his brother introduced him to folk, jazz, and blues music. McLean told LeBlanc, "I was a big Bob Dylan fan and really liked Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Lead Belly. We also listened to … Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, and (Rahsaan) Roland Kirk and to Lead Belly and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, who did country blues and folk songs. When I heard … Mance Lipscomb, Robert Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, Bukka White, and Yank Rachell, that's when the door really opened. All my friends would go, `C'mon man, let's go see Led Zeppelin." I'd go, C'mon over my house and listen to Sleepy John Estes or Furry Lewis'."

Quintessential blues singer and guitarist Big Dave McLean contributed primarily to the blues frombehind-the-scenes between 1970-98, but it was his 1998 release, For The Blues … Always, that pushed him more to the forefront of the blues arena. The Canadian-based singer/guitarist released one other album before 1998, titled Muddy Waters For Presiden., It was recorded in 1989 at the Bud's on Broadway club in Saskatoon. Billboard's Larry LeBlanc wrote in 1998, "At 45, the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based singer/guitarist has done more to shape western Canada's blues scene than perhaps any other artist. He has been a significant influence on such leading Canadian blues-styled acts as singer guitarist Colin James, who produced For The Blues…Always, and young Atlantic Records trio Wide Mouth Mason." James told LeBlanc, "Dave's so good at the that acoustic stuff. He's something else with a National Steel (slide guitar)." Wide Mouth Mason singer/guitarist Shaun Verrautt added, "Any aspiring blues musicians from west of Winnipeg has likely seen Big Dave perform several times. He's the real deal."

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