Darrin Beaton

Multi Instrumentalist


Darrin was born into a house of music. The grandson of Cape Breton transplants who brought with them the tradition of a good kitchen party, Darrin comes by his love and talent for music quite honestly.

Darrin, commenting on his roots in St. Catharines (his hometown) says:
“You don’t have to dig very deep to see the connections to music in this city, and a lot of the older generation I have spent time with over the years recall many a night spent in one of my Grandfather’s service stations where after hours the tools would be put aside and the tunes would ring out late into the night. Most of them can’t believe I am still playing the very guitar that he brought with him from Cape Breton. This old Gibson once floated down the Mira River……”
When asked about when and how he began his playing career, Darrin recalls the afternoons that stretched into evenings when his parents would have friends over who all enjoyed playing and listening to music.

“As early as about 10 years old, I would sit at the top of the stairs for hours just listening to the tunes coming up from down below. Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, Neil Young, and of course the eternal Doc Watson, among many others.... I’d memorize them and then race home from school the next day and sit on my bed and practice for hours until I got the melodies right.”

It wasn’t long before Darrin’s drive and talent got him involved with more than a few local bands. As with most budding musicians, he toured the bar scene of Niagara, slowly acquiring a stage presence and a large and varied repertoire.

A natural aptitude for electronics and a stubborn desire to understand what exactly produced the sound he was after developed Darrin’s passion for audio and electronics repair. Soon he wouldn’t play a gig without doing his own sound.

“It’s absolutely essential. Take icons like Neil Young or Jerry Garcia; the sounds they have created , to me, are truly inspiring. Their tones cannot be reproduced with regular, off-the-shelf gear; I know because I’ve tried. You have to understand the components of your circuit – how it reaches that first gain stage, and what it does once it gets there. Then, you can customize and tweak parts of that path to achieve the best possible sound your equipment can offer you.”

Darrin was honored when his father passed on the old J45 to him that he still plays to this day, although he has retired the instrument to home use only. A close call during the Canadian Country Music Awards in Calgary (which happened to coincide with the Twin Tower attacks) put a stop to travelling with the guitar and a huge debt of gratitude to Freddy Gabrsek at Freddy’s Frets who lovingly and painstakingly doctored her back to health.

In 2003 Darrin was awarded a performance scholarship to the prestigious East Tennessee State University Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program, and in 2011 was awarded ‘Guitar Player of the Year’ by the East Coast Bluegrass Music Association for his work with the band Bluegrass Tradition.

Now residing in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Darrin is a graduate of the NSCC Kingstec Electronics Engineering Technician Program (2010), freelancing as a session musician, is working in the Air Force Reserves as an ATIS technician, and is in the process of starting up a home-based instrument and electronics repair shop.

Use the contact page to send Darrin requests for quotes or for bookings.

Visit Darrin’s Gallery page to listen to some audio clips and view photos from previous performances.

Check back periodically as this site is continually being developed!