about us

The Soul Shakers have entertained Victoria area audiences for more than a decade with their own brand of funky R&B dance music. They combine superb musicianship with five strong vocalists led by lead vocalist Joyce “the voice” Allensen. There is no doubt they are one of the best dance bands on Vancouver Island!

The Soul Shakers have three CDs in their original music catalogue. “Live at the Yale” was recorded off the floor at the venerable Vancouver blues club in 2009 and their 2015 release of “Love Is Love”  and 2019's album "Ready For You" the band showcases their songwriting skills on a broad range of styles from blues to New Orleans/country street beat to RnB.  

Recent performances include Victoria International Jazzfest, Vancouver Island Blues Fest, Ribest, Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, Nanaimo Summertime Blues Festival, numerous music in the park concerts as well as a regular gig at Barts pub.

Their show in undeniably entertaining and audience engaging led by powerhouse front person Joyce Allensen. The band includes Henning Kanstrup (bass), Sean McCool (guitars), Paul McLellan (drums) and Alexander B. Ferguson ( keyboards).

 

Their repertoire includes tunes from the ‘60s to current popular songs featuring artists like Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye, Santana, Etta James, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Adele, James Brown and George Michaels to name a few. All guaranteed to fill the dance floor.

 

Not to be missed, this is a polished, professional group of entertainers.

The Band

Considered one of the leading blues/soul vocalists in Western Canada, Joyce Allensen, known as "The Voice" to her musical peers, is an incredibly powerful vocalist as well as being a vibrant stage personality which she has honed over the last 30 years as lead singer for such notable acts as 605, Double Image, Mr. Puffy, and Victoria's popular R&B band Soul Station.

Joyce (The Voice)

Henning  (bass)

Originally from Copenhagen, bassist Henning Kanstrup has played with such legends as Hubert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf's guitarist) and Pat Travers. Kanstrup, whose influences include Jaco Pastorious, James Jamerson, and Jack Bruce, played with a series of Victoria bands including Soul Station, The Scorchers, and the Blue Devils.

Paul started playing at age 17 and was a member of Showdown performing on the Rodeo Song album in 1980. The album was went triple platinum in Canada, sold in many countries around the world and was nominated for a Juno award in 1982 .

Since moving out west to Victoria, in the early 80’s Paul has been a member of many local groups such as Doc and the Doo Wops, Third Avenue, The Maxx Band, Peppermint Twist,  The Waybacks and currently plays with Soul Shakers and the Freeze Frame band.

Paul  (drums)

Sean  (guitar)

Sean was born in Toronto, came to attend university in Victoria - and never left. He has played guitar, keyboards, bass, and sung with numerous pop, rock, and country bands over the years, as well as having travelled Canada and the US with showbands. He has played in the orchestra pit for plays, on cruise ships with a quartet, and led the Starlight Pops Choir Combo. Besides rocking regularly with R&B band, The Soul Shakers, performing with vocal trio, Barkley Sound, and playing as a solo singer/songwriter, Sean sings with Victoria Montessori preschoolers two mornings a week.

Alexander (keys)

Alexander Ferguson is a singer, keyboardist, composer, songwriter, sound designer, musical director, and teacher.  He has performed as a vocalist and keyboardist in many venues across the island and on the mainland with multiple rhythm & blues and pop projects.  Alexander has also worked with many theatre companies such as: Kaleidoscope Theatre, The Chemainus Theatre Festival, Charlottetown Festival, Theatre SKAM, Pi Theatre, Solo Collective, Blackbird Theatre, and Gateway Theatre.  He has taught voice, piano, and musical theatre at various performing arts schools including Kaleidoscope Theatre, Pacific Film and New Media, and Larsen music. Alexander is also the musical composer for the television series She Kills Me and the documentary film Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood (both for Less Bland Productions).  www.abferguson.ca