News / Winnipeg

Winnipeg band made up of street-involved members putting out second album

JD and the Sunshine Band hopes to fundraise to create second album after successful debut.

JD and the Sunshine Band are hoping to put together a second album.

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JD and the Sunshine Band are hoping to put together a second album.

JD and the Sunshine Band is getting ready to produce its second album, but the band needs financial support.

The band formed three years ago out of Sunshine House, a drop-in and resource centre used primarily by drug and solvent abusers as a safe, judgment-free space.

“We were doing a project here some years back for street folk. It was called the Solvent Users Recreation Project,” said JD Ormond, Sunshine House project co-ordinator.

It went so well that when the project ended, they continued the band and recorded an album, said Ormond.

“We made it to No. 1 on the local charts,” Ormond said.

The band has also done live performances, including a nurses’ conference in Yorkton, SK and opening for Dwight Yoakam. On Feb. 12, some band members will have their first opportunity to go to Festival du Voyageur when they play there.

Band member James Cook said they’re not in it for the money or to become stars, although they enjoy the recognition when their friends see them on TV.

“We feel like we’re somebody. We’re not just bums down the street. We’re people,” Cook said. “We’re just trying to make people happy and prove it to them that we’re somebody.”

The songs JD and the Sunshine Band play are based on the stories and jokes of people who use the centre.

Ormond said the band will put together a personalized song for everyone who donates at least $250 to a FundRazer campaign it launched to raise $8,000.

“That’s just going to cover our costs of recording,” Ormond said.

Ormond said they’ll go ahead with producing the album even if they don’t raise all the money.

Band member Gilbert Spence agrees. Regardless of the fundraising campaign’s outcome, he said they’ll start recording in February to get fans a new album by the summer.

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