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Shades and Degrees as young Boys_edited.

Shades Is an extremely talented guitarist, pianist, producer, composer and vocalist.  He was born in the tiny hamlet of Meat Cove on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island.  His father was a marine biologist who was a research scientist, and also an associate professor with Dalhousie University in Halifax.  Unfortunately, when Shades was only five years old his father was kicked in the head and killed by a wild horse while studying the biological impact of the proliferation of grey seals on Sable Island in the North Atlantic. 

His mother, a former beauty queen from the Republic of Georgia, was left a young widow at only 23 years of age.  Having little work experience, and three children under the age of six to take care of, she moved her family 240 kilometers along the coast from Meat Cove to Big Pond, where she was hired by Rita MacNeil to work in her tea room and to sing traditional Georgian Folk songs on Wednesday Nights.  Rita soon developed a soft spot for young Shade's, who's perfect pitch and ambidextrous thumbs allowed him to learn how to play his mother's balalaika before beginning elementary school. 

Ms. MacNeil took Shades under her wing, giving him vocal lessons and sharing her secrets of songwriting with him until he was in his final year of high school, at  

which point he joined a heavy metal band called HGPD, breaking away from the roots, blues and folk music he had been raised on.  Shades left HGPD just before the release of their first EP, 'Mercury Poisoning', blaming artistic differences between himself and the bands bassist, Storm Thumb.  After spending a season working on a lobster boat off the coast of Yarmouth N.S. Shades ran into a high school friend at his uncles kitchen party.  While Shades was exhibiting his expertise on the balalaika his high school friend John Wheatherstone, joined him with his tin whistle, playing a set of traditional maritime folk songs.  The pairing was magical, and the two young men toured the Maritimes from Lunenberg N.S. to Come By Chance Nfld over the next few years, building their skills and reputation along the way.  While performing at the Come By Chance Lions Club Canada Day Celebrations they met the mayor of Dildo Nfld, Isdaby DaBildubote, who had been judging the Screech Tasting competition for most of the afternoon.  In addition to judging the Screech Rum tasting, Isdaby was also searching for live talent for the grand opening of the Dildo Area Interpretation Centre, and had previously heard about Shades and John from a friend of his who had raved about them after seeing them in June at the Squid Jigger Lounge near Witless Bay.  

While performing at the Lions Club Canada Day Celebration in Dildo, John met Mary Figgyduff, a contemporary jazz singer from Hearts Delight, a small town just north of Dildo.    Shades, John and Mary spent the rest of the Canada day weekend sampling screech and jamming together.  The three piece combination which they named, Two Guys and Mary, was undeniably fresh with a uniquely east coast flavor and a healthy mix of folk, rock, jazz and blues.  For the first anniversary of their meeting with Mary,  John wrote the lyrics for the song, "I Come by Chance to Meet My Hearts' Delight in Dildo", which Mary loved, and which became a regional hit for Two Guys and Mary on Maritime radio stations.  Not long after the release of  I Come By Chance to Meet My Hearts' Delight in Dildo, Mary became pregnant, John proposed to her, the two got married and John got a job on Mary's Dads' Atlantic Salmon fishing Trawler.  After the wedding, Shades headed back to Nova Scotia to live with his mom and focus on his song writing.  

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