Doug Varty wears many hats. A life-long Canadian musician, songwriter and recording artist, Doug has toured the world with his music since he first left home at age 17 to join a recording and touring band in Toronto. Over the last four decades, he’s opened for rock legends like Tina Turner, Rush, Bob Seger, Meatloaf, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Rick Derringer, Roy Orbison, just to name a few. He plays acoustic and electric guitars, bass, harmonica, keyboards, mandolin and vocals and teaches privately during the week. His own band, the Doug Varty Band won the Labatt’s Blue Band Warz in 1990 – a nationwide contest to find the best of the best – and they’ve recently released a new CD, “Feel Free”. Doug performs with many different musical units – as a solo act, a duo, his own three-piece unit, a five-piece band with his daughter Bizz Varty and, of course, he fronts the POWERHOUSE Band as Rod Stewart.
“When my band and I used to play Rod Stewart covers in pubs, people would often ask me if I was lip syncing to a track because of the striking similarity between myself and Mr. Stewart’s voices.”, says Doug. “When I assured them that it was really me, they’d insist that me doing a Rod tribute show would be a big hit. Though a little reluctant at first to wear the wig and the shiny suits, I started out in the tribute biz about twenty years ago and quickly learned to embrace the opportunity to become someone else, just for a while.” The initial reaction was so positive, that Doug has carried this on to other tribute acts like Bryan Adams and the Police.For Doug Varty, it’s always been about music. His dad played the piano, and he claims that he responded to it in the womb. Before he was born, his mother had a reading from a fortune teller, who said that her son’s whole life would be music. “She couldn’t have been more right,” he says, with a smile. Doug had his own turntable and records as a baby, and started playing ‘music’ as soon as he could on the living room piano. Once Doug heard the Rolling Stones, it was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with rock’n roll and electric guitars. He started his first band at 13 and left home to join his first recording band at 17.Doug has tried to stop playing and, as he puts it, ‘get a life’ now and then along the way, but for him there’s no biz like the “puttin’ on a show” biz. When Doug’s not performing himself, he’s teaching others how to play. He sees about 30 students a week for private lessons in vocal, guitar, bass and harmonica. Doug says that to his happy surprise, teaching gives him every bit the buzz that he gets at centre stage.
Doug and Carlo, the Powerhouse leader, vocalist and trumpet player have known each other for 40 years. So when Powerhouse went looking for a new face to front their Rod Stewart Tribute show, it was to Doug Varty that they turned. From day one, his professional, yet easy-going attitude was an instant blend with the band. After a few short practices, he opened with the band at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto in the fall of 2014.“As some of the live music audience gets a little older, they want to go to something they know and understand will be a good night out. They want to go to a sure thing. A well-reviewed tribute act is just that. They may not know who Doug Varty is but they know what they’re going to get when they see me as Rod Stewart. You don’t have to convince them to have a good time.”Doug has been performing his Rod Stewart Tribute show for over 20 years and taken it to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Las Vegas and throughout North America. “I started New Year’s in Bermuda, went to the Cayman Islands, Arizona and a lot of other fun and sunny destinations. It’s been great,” he said. His work with the Powerhouse Band has been great, as well. We look forward to many more shows with ”Forever Young - The Rod Stewart Tribute by Doug Varty.”Article compiled from these sources:http://www.dougvarty.com/http://music.cbc.ca/#!/play/artist/Doug-Varty-Band/Upsetterhttp://www.londoncommunitynews.com/whatson-story/5683507-london-rocker-doug-varty-still-wears-it-well/http://www.hydeparkrotary.org/Stories/who-is-doug-varty