Joe Breen

By the time Joe Breen joined McGinty in 2011, he was a veteran of several bands from folk rock to swing.

Originally from Chatham, New Brunswick, the multi-talented Breen started playing guitar at age eight. He picked up the bass at 16 and by the time he was a student at St. Thomas University was drumming with the school's big band, The Thomists.

After some success with his acoustic trio Boondoggle, Breen moved to Halifax in 1997 to play with Michael Forbes and 1749 and from there worked with King's Ransom, Dave Stone and the Crew and numerous other bands.

Breen was asked to join McGinty as bass player and vocalist following founding member Dave Hickey's passing in 2010.

"I have always had the best time playing with McGinty," says Breen. "They're just great guys having great fun doing what they love to do. That's my passion. That's why I joined McGinty."

In terms of keeping the group relevant after three decades, Breen says the most important thing is whether they're having fun.

"Does that come across in our performance and is the audience having fun along with us? That's all that matters.  We take the music seriously, we just don't take ourselves seriously."

Joe plays a Peavey US Cirrus 5-String bass guitar and the NS Designs NXT-5 5-String Electic Upright Bass (, and he loves both of them.