One year of N.B. music: Week 40
Marc Little has big plans.

Nelson Hansen
Published Thursday October 4th, 2007
One band, one goal. Live the tradition." That's what it says on the back of t-shirts available on Moncton musician Marc Little's website. His band The Watermen are set to release their debut CD October 5 with what he says will be a fun-filled evening at Moncton's Rockin' Rodeo.

So just what is the tradition?

"It's to play music," Little explains. "We'll leave it at that." The veteran of the East Coast music scene laughs. "I've basically been doing this all my life. After settling down and getting a family started I decided I had some songs ready to record and that I was going to make an album that's pretty unique for out here."

Over the course of his music career Little has toured with Canadian hitmakers like Ray Lyell and the Storm and studied opera under the tutelage of Helix frontman Brian Volmer ("Gimme an "R").

"Working with Brian taught me so much," he says. "I learned proper technique to hit the big notes. I had no idea I was doing it all wrong. Volmer's power is amazing and I learned how he does it." A fixture on the East Coast bar band scene during the '90s, Little amassed a solid fan base and notable kudos including wining the region's biggest ever battle of the bands, the $20,000 Ultimate Deal at the legendary Misty Moon in Halifax. Eventually Little had to plant some roots and after the kids, the cars and the mortgage, Little found himself looking for a bit of artistic release.

"I play with a bunch of guys at corporate gigs and bars on the weekend. After I had decided I wanted to make a record I called the guys and we went to work in my home studio. I stick to it. Life is too short so I go for it. I decided I was going to make a CD and that's what I did," The result is a full-length collection of radio friendly pop and rock songs with Spanish guitar to set the Watermen's sound apart from the competition. Well connected in the industry, Little has secured national and international distribution with indie distribution giant Magada Distribution. Currently Magada has 150 artists on its roster and will be key in getting the Watermen's music to the people.

While flamenco style guitar sets the sound apart, Little is most proud of the batch of songs he's cooked up for the disc. In particular a song inspired by a relatively unknown element of East Indian culture the Dabbawala.

"I saw a program on TV about these amazing people in India called the Dabbawala. They bring people lunches in boxes and always get the orders right. It's hard to explain, it's totally low tech but now Western catering and food delivery companies are studying their methods to learn how to get it right. It's such an interesting story that I wanted to write a song about it and it came out really good. The cool thing is I'm having it remixed as a dance single by a DJ in Halifax and adding tabla drums to it to give it a real global feel. I'm really proud of that one." Little's CD with his band the Watermen is but one facet of his artistic and entrepreneurial endeavours. A visit to the band's website reveals that if Little can put a Watermen logo on it, he'll sell it. Along with the CDs are hats, t-shirts, bumperstickers and DVDs. Little is unabashed about getting merchandise and his music in front of customers. "What can I say? I am an opportunist. I carry my Blackberry with me everywhere and even if I hear of an opportunity for the band, I am all over it. If there's a battle of the bands or a contest or a chance to play or get our music heard I e-mail, call, whatever it takes. I believe in our music. I don't have a problem with that.." The Watermen release their debut CD at Moncton's Rockin Rodeo October 5.

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