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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Burlington Guitarist Barry Smallbone Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Burlington guitarist Barry Smallbone. He was a member of SwingLine and various other groups. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

SMALLBONE, Dr. Barry William B.Sc. Ph.D.
Unexpectedly in Hamilton on Sunday, December 16,2018 at the age of 66. Son of Margaret Smallbone (nee Peace) and the late Sidney Smallbone (October, 1999). Beloved husband of Nora Chen. Loving father of Laura Smallbone, Emily Ramsay (Arthur) and Colin Smallbone. Cherished grandfather of Daisy and Ella Ramsay. Brother of Randall Smallbone (Sandy), the late Mary-Ellen Iverson (Bruce), who by tragic coincidence died the same day and Heather Krick (Charles). He will be dearly missed by his nieces and nephews. Barry had a Ph.D. in biochemistry and was a talented guitar player. He will also be remembered for his love of car races. Cremation has taken place. Visitation at SMITH’S FUNERAL HOME, 1167 Guelph Line (one stoplight north of QEW), BURLINGTON (905-632-3333), on Saturday from 3-5 and 7-9p.m. Service of Remembrance will be held in the funeral home chapel on Sunday, December 23rd at 11a.m. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Barry are asked to please consider the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation
His daughter Laura Anne posted the following on Facebook:
My Dad had a PhD in Biochemistry and worked most of his life to make sure the city of Hamilton had clean, safe drinking water. I got my love of Science from him. He loved the guitar and was a very talented musician. I regretted not learning how to play from him and I had asked him to teach me this summer. He also loved watching car races and I loved going with him when I was a little girl. He loved little kids and always reminisced about how much fun he had with my sister, brother and I when we were small. Over the past year my Dad struggled with crippling mental illness. He is at rest now, hopefully watching us from heaven as he plays away peacefully on his guitar. I love you Dad, please rest in peace.
Frequent musical collaborator Shari Vandermolen had this to say:
Saddened to learn of the passing of Barry Smallbone. I enjoyed making music with Barry - he was a sweet soul who always played guitar by my side in SwingLine. Rest In Peace Barry and I hope you’re enjoying playing with some of the greats up there. Sending much love to his family and friends in this difficult time.
If anyone knows of any YouTube videos featuring Barry, please email us at and we will post them on this page. Thank you.

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  1. Saddened to hear this news. Barry and I played in the Resurrection Blues Band in the early 70s. He was a dear friend for years, he taught my wife a lot on playing guitar. My sincere condolences to all his family and his many friends in the Hamilton area music scene. RIP Barry.

  2. down to the crossroads. spent many afterschools in his basement listening to blues , formed a band Memphis Biscuit with Nick D, Steve W ,Darin O play all the RRs his signature move was playing while on his back kicking his feet, I loved him and will miss him dearly ,Its a blue blue blue blue blue Xmas Barry Easterbrook

  3. Barry and I grew up together and had a blast experimenting and just hanging out in the 60's. He had a contagious laugh and his philosophical comments always wrang true. He had a strong determination and accomplished quite a lot. He played with all the blues greats such as Ronnie Hawkins and Jack Dekyser. He took up jazz guitar later in his life and it was always a pleasure to hear him play. My condolences to his mum, and to Nora, Anne and his kids. I'll miss you pal.

    1. I forgot to mention the time Barry and I went to hear King Biscuit Boy in Hamilton where we sat up near the front. The lead guitarist was sick or was having some issue. Ritchie Newell immediately came to Barry to ask him to fill in. Barry got up on stage and effortlessly finished the show for him. Aldo