The sonny Bios

Kevin Bader

guitar/vocals

Kevin began playing guitar when he was six. His first paid gig was in grade nine when his split was $11. He freelanced on stage and in the studio as a guitarist/vocalist around the country music scene in Vancouver before returning to the Kootenays and co-forming The Sonny Boys in '93.

Kevin's influences include Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Albert Lee, Rush, and Fleetwood Mac.

His gear includes Yamaha, Fender, Godin, Ampeg, Rivera, Marshall, Line 6, Boss, Ernie Ball, and Genz-Benz.

The Sonny Boys have seen a few changes over the years -- not many -- but one thing has stayed a constant: a nice group of talented guys that devote some of their weekends to jumping around on stage, helping their clients throw a fun party.

These days, Kevin also plays acoustic solo gigs around the Okanagan, is on a worship team at his church, plays with The Bees, is part of Rob Dinwoodie and Open Range, and sits in occasionally with other bands on guitar or bass.

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Chris Bader

drums/vocals

Chris began his musical journey at the age of 9 playing piano, before the love of drums entered his life. Playing in many live situations from age 13, he played in numerous bands until forming The Sonny Boys. His early drumming influences came from progressive rock bands such as Rush, Yes, and many classic rock bands, after which time Chris also fell in love with various styles made famous by country/bluegrass studio legends....blues and jazz greats as well. Chris has also been an accomplished lead and backing singer in various projects for years.

"I have a great love for music and the deeper spirituality that it can bring out. It communicates on so many levels with people and where they are at in life... it gives me great satisfaction to see the smiles on people's faces, young and old, when we perform." Chris plays Pearl 50th anniversary Masters Studio birch kit, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and Yamaha pedals.

Jon Buller

guitar/keys/vocals

Growing up in a musical family, Jon Buller learned trumpet and piano and quickly fell in love with electric guitar and Eddie Van Halen's musicality as a main influence in younger years. Later on Buller formed many bands, and new influences emerged including Sting, Martin Sexton, Switchfoot and many more. He took his solo music career all the way to the Juno awards in 2000, with a nomination for Best Gospel Recording.

A newfound love of both classic and modern country music where stories come alive in songs came at the perfect time. Jon Buller stumbled into the Sonny Boys 'experience' somewhat accidentally, because of his friendship and mutual love of music with the 2 brothers in TSB, Kevin and Chris. He somehow convinced bass player Russ Holitzki that retro moves like standing on amplifiers and jumping high enough to risk injury could be cool again. Or maybe not...

But Buller shares the same enjoyment of music and good times as TSB and so became an official member of the band in 2012. His iPod and musical repertoire will never be the same, and that's a good thing.

Russ Holitzki

bass/vocals

Russ’ love of music originates from the influence & musical talents of his family. At an early age, he took up the electric bass due in part to an appreciation for the works of progressive bass players of the 70’s and 80’s. There was something about the blending of percussive attack with rich, fat rumble that drew him to explore the lowest of frequencies.

Russ played bass, as well as trumpet throughout his junior and senior high school years. Sheet music was discarded on weekends, and as early as 14 he began playing in live situations with his family and musical friends. Following college, Russ continued to perform in local bands, lending bass and vocals to collaborations of various genres.

In 1999 Russ joined TSB, the premier party band in Southern BC. After 20 years and countless performances, Russ remains proud of TSB’s musicality, energy, and ever-expanding repertoire. Russ says, “Client satisfaction has always been an important consideration and there is very little that TSB can’t do given the wide range of vocal prowess and musical diversity. We strive to have fun on-stage, create great music, and connect with our audiences”.

Russ is the Kootenay connection to the Sonny Boys. Feel free to email for inquiries or bookings.