Taking another ride with Rapid Transit

Hamilton jazz-fusion band reunites for a special May 10 concert at the Cotton Factory, Graham Rockingham writes.

Full Article by Graham Rockingham

Thirty years ago, Hamilton’s Hess Village was filled with live music. Its clubs provided a staging ground for a vibrant local music scene that mixed blues, rock and retro R&B.

One band — a five-piece outfit called ‘Rapid Transit’ — dared to venture into the world of instrumental jazz fusion.

Founded in 1988 by Dave King, a young drummer from the east Mountain, and featuring an extraordinary guitarist by the name of Brian Griffith, ‘Rapid Transit’ honed its craft during a weekly Wednesday night residency at the Gown and Gavel. They developed an irresistibly funky sound.

The band would go on to record three critically acclaimed albums and perform two successful tours of Europe before breaking up in 1994.

King would go on to explore many more musical projects, producing albums from his home studio for local Juno-winning artists like Steve Strongman and Tomi Swick, as well as recording four of his own pop-rock albums, two under the name the Heavy Dream.

Last year, King started pondering a new project, one where he wouldn’t need to listen to his own vocals, something instrumental. He stumbled upon some long-forgotten recordings of Rapid Transit. Maybe it was time for a revisit?
On Friday, May 10, 2024 ‘Rapid Transit’ returns to the stage for a reunion at the Cotton Factory (270 Sherman Ave. N). Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with an art and photography exhibit featuring the work of José Crespo and Terrence Kramer. Advance tickets can be purchased through the band’s website rapidstransitmusic.com.