I’m sad this morning to hear of the passing of Ron Casat.

I owe  my life as a musician to him. If you enjoy what I do, then you owe Ron a big thank you.

Musically, Ron was my brother, my uncle and my father. Everything I know about stage craft and musicianship I learned primarily from Ron. When  I was barely wet behind the ears  Ron, in that very gentle way of his, took me under his wing. Along with Gary Bird and Bill Eaglesham he taught me to be a band leader and a touring musician. He taught me how to write a song , how to interpret a tune. Like all good mentors, he did it subtly.

Ron was generous, insanely funny,and  mostly unflappable.

He’d been sick for a while and when I last saw him in February he was not in great shape, but his sister Marina brought him to my gig at the Calgary Folk Club. He had insisted. In some ways it was one of the best gigs I ever played, and I am sure that was because he was in the room, soaking it up and sending his energy our way. I could not have been more honoured that he came. We visited some and parted, as always, with a laugh.

The musical life is an endless circle of lessons learned and passed on. I try to honour Ron by lending a hand to younger musicians, because that’s how the music survives.

Tonight, sing a song for Ron.casat 2

Posted in personal history and tagged .


  1. I have fond memories of Ron Casat sitting in and playing with my Brother Terry Dubyk and myself back in the mid 1970’s. here in beautiful Calgary, Alberta. May Ron and my brother Terry who passed away in November 2014 be reunited and playing together
    ” way over yonder.”

  2. Two years later, and I have to say it is not the same Calgary scene without my old musical buddy Ron Casat. Many years have past since those early rock band years in 1969 and the early 1970’s. Ron and I started together and then helped form the Soul Men – including Thane (Hussain) Clayborn (singer+) and 3 horns Dave Stevens (trumpet), Murray Kinsley (tenor) and myself on alto. Ron was the kingpin in terms of musical talent, leadership and all round Mr. Congeniality and flowing red hair!!! Our 8 piece group Enterprise travelled with a few groupies to Montreal in 1970 and performed in a Montreal bar and the disastrous Manseau Quebec Rock Festival. Needless to say it was a remarkable period for all of us when Warner Brothers wanted to sign us up!! Ron’s musical talent kept us together for a short time longer and then we broke up. Needless to say, Ron became the quintessential Blues Man his entire career while in Calgary. Murray still performs blues professionally today with Murray Kinsley and Wicked Grin – receiving accolades these days on the Blues scene. I also participate in several community dance bands and occasionally practice with the gifted grand old keyboard master Bob Erlendson. Thanks Ron, for making our lives more meaningful.

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