About The Band
The core group consists of Susan Miller at vocals; Blaise Arsenault, guitar and vocals; Todd Silas, bass guitar; Cliff DeManty, keys and vocals; and Michael "Mikey G" Gillan, drums and vocals.
Blaise Arsenault (guitar/vocals), having spent his early life in upstate New York, has spent the past 22 years living and performing music between Bozeman, Mt. and Brattleboro, Vt. He has been a member of local groups Jawbone Railroad, Power Wagon, Sleeveless Lizards, Banjo V, and is a founding member of Doctor Gravy, as well as appearances with local singer/songwriter Joe Knapp and the group Moth. Blaise is very excited and honored to be on the Swamp Dawg soul, blues, funk, and groove train!
Cliff DeManty (keys/vocals) Cliff was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area but moved to Southern California to pursue a career in music and to attend college at UCLA. After leaving school, he toured with several Los Angeles bands then a twenty-five year stint in sales management at Casio, Inc and Yamaha Corporation. Upon retirement in 2015, he and his family moved to Bozeman where he was been heavily involved with the local music scene playing keyboards for The Ty Stevenson Band, Kate and the Alley-Kats, EDIS, and Sharon Iltis. He considers being chosen to be a part of Swamp Dawg as a golden opportunity, and is honored to have the chance to play with such an amazing group of musicians and performers.
Michael Gillan (drums/vocals) cut his musical teeth in the richly diverse music mecca of the San Francisco Bay Area. After his relocation to Montana in 1976, "Mikey G" has gone on to be a founding member, and often times the main instigation, for such local groups as Big Caboose and the Soul Penetrators, Montana Rose, Backburner Jazz Quartet, Poco Loco, The Dave Walker Band, and Bad Betty Organ Combo. Michael has also been called upon to provide percussive backing for National and Inter-National artists Tracy Nelson, slide guitarist Roy Rogers, Huey Lewis, The Drifters, The Platters, and several others. Swamp Dawg is Mikey G's brainchild, having delved heavily into the New Orleans Second Line style of drumming over the past several years.
Susan Miller (lead vocals) originally hails from Illinois, but is happy to call Montana her home. Susan got her start as an actor in Chicago, and since moving to Montana has sung with local area groups Poco Loco, L-Town Blues, and now Swamp Dawg. She stays involved with local theater.
Todd Silas (bass/vocals) came west to Montana from Ohio in 2007 after having played music throughout the Eastern US. Over the years he has backed artists such as Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, Leslie West, NRBQ, Joe Bonamassa, Koko Taylor, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Mojo Nixon to name just a few. Since coming to Montana he has kept busy with Tracy Nelson, Montana Rose, Russ Nasset and the Revelators, Ian Thomas and the Band of Drifters, Shufflebums, Wade Montgomery, Kostas, Dave Walker, and many other projects. Todd's mantra might be " the more you love music, the more music you love" and his wide ranging musical interests have helped him cover many styles over the years but he has always held a special place in his heart for the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. He is excited to join up with Swamp Dawg to play good music with, and for, good people.
Swamp Dawg will continue to grow and morph, with new members being added, and special guest artists being invited to add their special talents to the gumbo that IS Southern Soul and Funk.