Little Bones was formally named in 1995 when the members of Ottawa-based 'Conflict of Interest', playing many Hip songs since 1991, progressed to focus on paying tribute to the music of The Tragically Hip. We offer a full repertoire of songs by The Hip, but are also known for our 'Young & Hip' shows which include classic Neil Young.
Gord Downie noted, a novel written by Canadian author Timothy Findley, entitled The Last Of The Crazy People contains a cat character named Little Bones. This, and the song Little Bones, inspired the name and image of our band.
Why play Hip music? Simple. In our opinion, there is no band that rocks more than The Tragically Hip! We take pride in supporting original acts from Ottawa, as well as Charities for kids. These little bones will always be close to our hearts. Charities supported include The Bear's Children's Fund, The Heart & Stroke Foundation, ALS, Easter Seals, Alzheimer, United Way, CHEO, Canadian Cancer Society, and The Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer .
We are proud to have shared the bill with Canadian acts such as April Wine, Junkhouse, The Sky Diggers, Big Sugar, The Northern Pikes, Barney Bentall, Yukon Blonde, Big Wreck, Trooper, Sass Jordan, and others...
After over a quarter of a century playing tribute to The Hip, we were the same original five members until late 2017 when Yvon retired -- so for four of us, 'We are the same'.
Dan Hilts (Vocals)
Dan, originally a bassist and then vocalist in Ottawa-based cover band 'Conflict of Interest', has been the sole lead vocalist for Little Bones for over 29 years. Little Bones is not a tribute band that attempts to emulate the appearance of The Tragically Hip (respect to those that do), so you will not see Dan with a shaved-head or sporting colored leathers and feathered hats. That's just not him. You will see him enjoying the experience of the music, and respectfully recreating the sound of Gord Downie's vocals to the best of his abilities. Coincidentally, Dan is from Belleville, not far from Kingston, and was also a Goalie in his minor hockey days.
Dan has also recently retired from his 'day gig' as an Information Technology Director at Bell Canada , where he was for 42+ years.
James Frew (Guitars)
James grew up in Timmins Ontario, and recalls the Eilleen Edwards / Shania Twain days. He takes pride in recreating the exact sound of Rob Baker. Rob's leads are so creative - and James' ability to reproduce is so accurate - you will often feel part of the song. Like most members of Little Bones, James has been recreating leads since the beginning.
James is also an Engineer with a Masters of Science in Computer Information Systems, both of which are put to good use at Bell Canada when not on stage with Little Bones.
Dave Schroeder (Bass & Vocals)
Dave is a bassist, guitarist, composer and educator based in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. After completing his Bachelor of Music Honours degree in 2004, Dave was awarded a Senate Medal from Carleton University. In 2005, he began studying at the graduate level at the University of Manitoba. In 2006, Dave relocated to Florida to study at the world-renowned University of Miami. He completed a Master of Music degree in Jazz Performance in 2008 and was awarded a full scholarship to pursue Doctoral studies. In 2011, Dave received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami, becoming the only Canadian electric bassist ever to attain this honour. He has also spent time studying at Berklee College of Music. Dave currently teaches music at Carleton University, and is very active as an in-demand session bassist and guitarist.
Don Richard (Drums)
Don has occupied the drum chair for Little Bones for over 29 years, and has also played with numerous other acts in the Ottawa area. When not laying down good time with Little Bones, Don is often part of a duo with guitarist, singer and song writer, Al Tambay.
Between beats, Don was also an IT professional, specializing in database programming - but has recently retired from that.
Jeff de Valk (Guitars & Vocals)
Jeff joined Little Bones in early 2018, and in addition to bringing down the average age of the band, he also leads or is involved in several other projects in the Ottawa area.
He leads and plays guitar for the Ottawa soul band The Hornettes, regularly performs around town as a solo artist and as part of the Jeff deValk Trio, and is the lead guitarist for the pop act Highway Four Seventeen.
An avid record collector, you can also catch him performing as DJ Breakthru.