Jim Creeggan

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Jim Creeggan
Jim Creeggan in 2008
Background information
Birth nameJames Raymond Creeggan
Born (1970-02-12) February 12, 1970 (age 49)
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsDouble bass, bass guitar, guitar, vocals, percussion, dobro, violin, cello
Years active1990–present
Associated acts Barenaked Ladies
The Brothers Creeggan

James Raymond Creeggan (born February 12, 1970) is the bassist for Canadian alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies (BNL) and occasional back-up vocalist for the rock band Ottawa Valley Heavy Pucks. His most used double bass is named "Grammah", after the Ladies' tour manager nicknamed him "Grampah" for always complaining and not wanting to get up. [1]

Bassist musician who plays a bass instrument

A bassist or bass player, is a musician who plays a bass instrument such as a double bass, bass guitar, keyboard bass or a low brass instrument such as a tuba or sousaphone. Different musical genres tend to be associated with one or more of these instruments. Since the 1960s, the electric bass has been the standard bass instrument for funk, R&B, soul music, rock and roll, reggae, jazz fusion, heavy metal, country and pop music. The double bass is the standard bass instrument for classical music, bluegrass, rockabilly, and most genres of jazz. Low brass instruments such as the tuba or sousaphone are the standard bass instrument in Dixieland and New Orleans-style jazz bands.

Barenaked Ladies Canadian band

Barenaked Ladies is a Canadian rock band, formed in 1988 in Scarborough, Ontario. The band quickly developed a cult following in Canada, with their self-titled 1991 cassette becoming the first independent release ever to be certified gold in Canada. Their debut with Reprise Records, Gordon, featuring the singles "If I Had $1000000" and "Brian Wilson", was released in 1992.


Early life

Creeggan was born in Scarborough, Ontario. His mother taught piano lessons to neighborhood children, which Creeggan credits as part of the reason for his interest in music. [2]

Scarborough, Toronto Place in Ontario, Canada

Scarborough is an administrative division in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Situated atop the Scarborough Bluffs, it occupies the eastern part of the city. Scarborough is contained within the borders of Victoria Park Avenue on the west, Steeles Avenue to the north, Rouge River and the city of Pickering to the east, and Lake Ontario to the south. It borders Old Toronto, East York and North York in the west and the city of Markham in the north. Scarborough was named after the English town of Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.


Creeggan has played the double bass since he was in school. He was a member of a variety of school bands, as well as local youth symphony groups. He also attended the University of Toronto for bass performance, [3] though he did not complete a degree. Creeggan, along with his brother Andy, was invited to play with Ed Robertson and Steven Page (then performing as Barenaked Ladies as a duo) at a Christmastime show in Toronto, [4] and the pair was asked to join the band permanently. Creeggan has been with the band ever since, while his brother left the band in 1995. He and Andy formed a group together named The Brothers Creeggan before Andy left BNL. They continued to play following his departure, and went on a hiatus in the early 2000s.

Double bass Acoustic stringed instrument of the violin family

The double bass, or simply the bass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra.

University of Toronto university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, located on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in the colony of Upper Canada. Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed the present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises eleven colleges, which differ in character and history, each with substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs. It has two satellite campuses in Scarborough and Mississauga.

Andy Creeggan Canadian musician

Andrew Burnett "Andy" Creeggan is a former member of the Canadian alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies. He is also a member of the trio The Brothers Creeggan, and a solo artist having released three albums.

He regularly plays a double bass, both bowed and pizzicato. He has also played Electric double bass (including a Zeta bass circa Maybe You Should Drive , and a couple Ned Steinbergers later on), and bass guitar for BNL. He won the 1999 best male bassist award from the Gibson Guitar Corporation. He uses a French bow for his double bass. He has occasionally played guitar on some Barenaked Ladies songs; mainly on songs which he sings lead (though he also plays bass on some of those). Creeggan has also contributed to albums with each of the other members of the violin family, and has orchestrated musical charts for various band instruments to be recorded by session musicians.

In music, a bow is a tensioned stick with hair affixed to it that is moved across some part of a musical instrument to cause vibration, which the instrument emits as sound. The vast majority of bows are used with string instruments, such as the violin, although some bows are used with musical saws and other bowed idiophones.

Pizzicato Playing technique for string instruments

Pizzicato is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument. The exact technique varies somewhat depending on the type of instrument:

Electric upright bass

The electric upright bass (EUB) is an instrument that can perform the musical function of a double bass. It requires only a minimal or 'skeleton' body to produce sound because it uses a pickup and electronic amplifier and loudspeaker. Therefore,a large resonating structure is not required to project the sound into the air. This minimal body greatly reduces the bulk and weight of the instrument. EUBs must always be connected to an amplifier and speaker cabinet to produce an adequate audible sound. However,the EUB retains enough of the features of the double bass so that double bass players are able to perform on it.

Creeggan made minor contributions to the writing of the band's first two albums, in the form of several co-writes. His first major songs contributed to an album was for the band's third release, 1996's Born on a Pirate Ship , which featured both "Spider In My Room" and "In The Drink"; two songs written exclusively by Creeggan, and both with him on lead vocals. He would record another song, "Inline Bowline" for 2000's Maroon , but the track was left off the album (later released as a b-side/bonus track). The band instituted a new, more open writing process for their next album, and several of Creeggan's song ideas were expanded into songs featured on 2003's Everything to Everyone .

<i>Born on a Pirate Ship</i> 1996 studio album by Barenaked Ladies

Born on a Pirate Ship is the third full-length studio album by Barenaked Ladies (BNL), featuring the songs "Shoe Box", "The Old Apartment", "When I Fall" and "Break Your Heart." "The Old Apartment" would become BNL's first US hit in 1997 and began the process of winning many new American fans. As for tradition, the band recorded one song, "Back", completely naked.

<i>Maroon</i> (Barenaked Ladies album) 2000 studio album by Barenaked Ladies

Maroon is the fifth full-length studio album by Barenaked Ladies. The album was the follow-up to 1998's Stunt, the band's most successful album in the United States. Maroon debuted at No. 1 in Canada and No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard 200. In its first week, the album sold 17,800 copies in Canada and just under 128,000 in the U.S. It has sold at least 1 million copies in the U.S. alone. With keyboardist Kevin Hearn's leukemia in remission, and with an instinct to play down the jokey reputation they were so known for, BNL deliberately created a more serious and sophisticated album. The album spawned three hit singles : "Pinch Me", "Too Little Too Late" and "Falling for the First Time".

<i>Everything to Everyone</i> 2003 studio album by Barenaked Ladies

Everything to Everyone is the sixth full-length studio album by Barenaked Ladies. It was released in 2003 and was produced by Ron Aniello. Singles from the album include "Another Postcard", "Testing 1, 2, 3", "For You", "Celebrity" and "Maybe Katie". The content of the album is noted for its increased political commentary over previous albums. This was their last album with Reprise Records before switching to a more independent label, Desperation Records.

2004's Barenaked for the Holidays featured a holiday tune, "Christmas Pics", sung by Creeggan, and 2006's Barenaked Ladies Are Me features Creeggan singing lead on "Peterborough and the Kawarthas", among other Creeggan co-written songs included. The band's 2008 children's album, Snacktime! features Creeggan co-writes "Louis Loon" and "Pollywog In A Bog", the latter of which he sang. Creeggan wrote and sang lead on two songs from the band's 2010 album All in Good Time , "On The Lookout" and "I Saw It", as well as a bonus track titled "She Turned Away". Creeggan wrote and sang a song for 2013's Grinning Streak , titled "Who Knew?", that was left off the album and released as a bonus track. Creeggan wrote and sang a song titled "Narrow Streets" for the 2015 album Silverball.

<i>Barenaked for the Holidays</i> 2004 studio album by Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked for the Holidays is a holiday-themed studio album released by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies on October 5, 2004. The album includes Christmas and Hanukkah songs as well as "Auld Lang Syne", which is traditionally sung on New Year's Eve. There are also several songs that are simply about the winter season. The album was the first album recorded at Steven Page's studio, Fresh Baked Woods and was the first released independently by BNL's Desperation Records label. It was the band's first studio album for which a "naked track" was not recorded. This album achieved Gold status in Canada.

<i>Barenaked Ladies Are Me</i> 2006 studio album by Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies Are Me the seventh full-length original-material studio album by Barenaked Ladies. It was their first original-material album since 2003's Everything to Everyone. It was released in September 2006 internationally. The album was also the first full-length original-material album from the band following their decision to become independent rather than re-sign with Reprise. The cover art was created by a group of artists called Team Macho. The name has been cited by the band as a double entendre for "Barenaked Ladies Army".

<i>Snacktime!</i> 2008 studio album by Barenaked Ladies

Snacktime! is a children's-themed studio album by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies released on May 6, 2008 by Desperation Records. A companion book was written with artwork by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn, who also contributed artwork for the album. It is the final Barenaked Ladies album to include Steven Page, who departed the band on February 25, 2009. He was subsequently quoted, saying of the album, "[i]t was a lot of fun to do, but it wasn't my idea. I was along for the ride."

In their first show since the 2009 departure of Steven Page from the band, Creeggan took over some of Page's harmony vocals, and his lead vocals on the song "Maybe Katie"; a song Creeggan originated with vocals split between Page and Robertson.

Creeggan has played bass as a guest on a number of albums; mostly of Canadian artists. He also commonly joins artists opening for Barenaked Ladies who do not play with a full band. He has done this on the band's Ships and Dip cruises as well.

Personal life

Creeggan married his wife Anna in 2003. They have one son, Finnian Davies Creeggan was born in November 2004, and a daughter named Chloe was born in October 2007. They live in the Trinity-Bellwoods neighborhood of Toronto.[ citation needed ]

He enjoys yoga, and has practised it on tour before. [2] Creeggan also enjoys using bicycles as transportation in the city.[ citation needed ]

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  1. CBC FUSE radio show - February 24, 2007
  2. 1 2 Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Tyler Stewart (2004). The Barenaked Truth (Television documentary/DVD). Take 3 Productions/Casablanca Media Television.
  3. Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Steven Page, Ed Robertson, Tyler Stewart (2007). Talk to the Hand ("behind the scenes" feature) (DVD). Morningstar Entertainment/Desperation Records.
  4. Moll, George (executive producer) (2000). Behind the Music (TV-series). New York, NY: VH1.