James Ryce & Top Shelf

Country, Roots

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James Ryce & Top Shelf

What do you get when you put 5 talented musicians, who all love and respect true classic country music, on one stage? 

You get James Ryce and Top Shelf, and that equates to amazing music with Steel Guitar, Fiddle, outstanding vocals, and one heck of a rhythm section! The only ones who may enjoy the music more than the crowd is the band themselves. Every time James Ryce and Top Shelf hit the stage, they do their best to perform every song as if it were the band favorite (of which the band has so many songs they enjoy playing, that is pretty much the case).

If you love, really love, classic country, then you need to come and listen to James Ryce and Top Shelf. One of Eastern Ontario’s top classic country band.

James Ryce – Rhythm Guitar / vocals
Andy Schick – Steel Guitar
Garth Bowes – Drums
Shawn Kellett – Fiddle
Dan Washburn – Bass Guitar / Vocals

James Ryce;
Although a somewhat shy and timid person, the thrill of performing on stage never grows old for James. With powerful, smooth vocals he puts his all in to the songs he sings. James’ love of good Country music goes way back to his pre-teen years. Though in those early years he performed in a number of musical groups from West Indie Reggae, Portuguese Rock, to just plain Rock and Roll, his love for the classics of Country were never far from his heart.
In his early 20’s James ventured out on the road with some fantastic musicians and traveled across Canada performing at some of the largest night spots of the time. An experience like no other. James has had the pleasure of being a part of some great shows over the years opening for a fair number of top acts as well as being part of some great song writing sessions with some amazing song writers in Nashville and elsewhere.
Andy Schick;
Andy is originally from Trenton,Ontario and now resides in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
He started playing Pedal Steel Guitar at the age of 15 and took lessons from a local musician, Phil Forsythe. In 1994 Andy was offered an audition with Universal recording artist Jason McCoy. Over the next seven years he had the privilege of being Jason’s Pedal Steel Guitar Player. During those years they toured across Canada many times.
Andy was nominated by the Canadian Country Music Association; 5 times CCMA Pedal Steel Player of the Year and 3 times CCMA Back Up Band of the Year. Andy was presented with a Gold Album from Jason McCoy and Universal Records in 2000.
In 2001 he was voted and awarded Back Up Band of the Year for his 3rd nomination.
In 2002 and 2004 Andy was awarded Pedal Steel Guitar Player of the Year by the CCMA.

When he is not performing with James Ryce & Top Shelf, Andy freelances, performing at jamborees, fairs, festivals, theatre productions, studio sessions, and private functions thoughout Ontario, Canada.
Garth Bowes;
Garth has been drumming his way around Kingston since the late 1960’s and is sought after by many of the finest musicians in the area to perform with them. Garth is the backbone of James Ryce & Top Shelf, keeping things tight so the rest of the guys can let loose and still land back on the beat.
Though Garth has always played Country music, he is influenced by many styles and it shows in his playing. It is easy to see how much Garth loves playing classic Country and performing with the great musicians and friends in Top Shelf. Many nights Garth can be heard saying “That’s it? We’re done? Dang.”

Shawn Kellett;
Shawn is a veteran of the Ontario Bluegrass and Country Music community, having worked with the Duffney Brothers, Grasscreek, Printer’s Alley and Clarendon Station. Shawn also lived in Kentucky for a time, where he played with the Kentucky Ramblers and the Grand Ole Opry act, Lonzo and Oscar. Trained in classical violin from the age of seven, Shawn was drawn into the world of Bluegrass and Old-Time fiddle by Jeff Summers of Blue Mule.
Also a well respected fiddle teacher, Shawn spent five years lending his influence to the young Abram Brothers during their formative years and is credited with helping expand their musicianship on stringed instruments and the dynamics of delivery.

Dan Washburn;
Dan started playing guitar at the age of seven, beginning with a lap steel and by the time he was ten he was playing the acoustic and wrote his first song for his mom; “Someone Like You”. His dad integrated him into the band he was playing bass for and by the time he was 13, Dan was the bass player and harmony singer for a local weekend band.
Dan was in several bands over the following 20 years, playing professionally and started doing session work by the time he was 30 as a bassist and back-up singer.

In 1989 he released his first single to radio in Canada and Europe with much success on five singles in total before being asked to audition for award winning band “South Mountain”. Dan became their lead singer/bassist and spokes-person in 1992 and they signed to Stony Plain Records in 1994; distributed world-wide by Warner Brothers. The band toured Canada and Europe extensively and were in high demand. They had a successful album “Where There’s A Will” in 1995 and had four chart successes off of it.

Dan and his wife Mary-Ellen live just outside of the small village of Stirling, ON with Noah (9). Dan has recently put an album’s worth of songs together to make a cd. He called in all of his buddies to make the recording he has always wanted to do and is planning to release the album in 2016.

Bands We Cover

Ricky Scaggs
Vince Gill


James Ryce  |  Lead Vocals, Guitar

Andy Schick  |  Steel Guitar, Dobro

Dan Washburn  |  Bass, Vocals

Shawn Kellett  |  Fiddle

Garth Bowes  |  Drums


NAME  |  James Ryce & Top Shelf

EMAIL  |  topshelfcountry@hotmail.com

WEBSITE  |  http://topshelfcountry.weebly.com/



Bedouin Soundclash was formed by students of Queen's University. Their debut album was released in 2001 called "Root Fire".

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