Doug joined FullCircle in 2001 and has remained an integral part of the group ever since. He is the group's bass guitarist and offers significant input into the group's instrumental arrangements and repertoire. He also has a keen ear and interest in the technical side of performing and was a great asset during the making of the band's first CD "No Straight Lines".
Doug was born on January 19, 1949 in Toronto, to parents Bill and Irene Hutchinson. He has two sisters, Gail and Pat, and a brother, Ron). Doug's earliest musical interests were groups and singers in the fifties such as Bill Haley, Andy Williams, Gene Krupa, and Elvis Presley. However, his interest in music escalated with the arrival of the Beatles on the scene in the early sixties.
Doug opted for music studies at high school and promptly got "stuck" with a fiddle. Since he didn't play violin very well, it was fortunate for him, but more so for the other kids in the orchestra, that he was able to later switch over to the string bass. During the sixties, one of Doug's high school chums, Phil Groves, who was already in a local band, asked him to come to one of their rehearsals. The regular bass player wasn't there so they asked Doug if he would sit in. Part way through, the manager showed up and watched for a while as they played. Doug recalls that the band asked him to come again the next night. He happily agreed, not knowing that they were actually auditioning him. The next evening, the group asked him to join the band, and thus began Doug's first experience with the band that became known as the James Stafford Set (JSS).
The JSS played R&B music in local clubs, bars and high schools and their musical interests eventually evolved into their own arrangements of rock and psychedelic music. Regrettably for Doug, this promising group disbanded when high school ended, and his career as a musician was put on the back burner.
Doug went off to York University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Sciences. Shortly after graduating from York, he got a job with the Department of Weights and Measures which he intended to be an interim job until he found something more in line with his qualifications. Thirty years later, Doug is still with Measurement Canada working as a Senior Program Development Officer!
For almost two decades, Doug's musical activities were limited pretty much to that of a hobby. In the fall of 1983 while on a French training course at OISE College in Toronto, Doug met Gayle Herrington, and they married in the summer of 1984. Gayle began singing with a local church choir; the Mount Zion Singers, directed by J.C. Coolin. Later, Doug joined the choir playing bass guitar. The choir performed once a month at the Mount Zion Church near the village of Balsam and also did performances at some other churches and venues in the neighbourhood. These music nights also included musical guests. On one such evening in December 2000, FullCircle was one of the guests. This was where Doug met Reid, Don, Barb and Norah for the first time. Doug remembers being impressed with the group and, after the concert, he jammed with them for a bit. (Although Doug said he didn't have much experience with folk music, the group remembers being very impressed by his bass guitar skills.) They liked the rich sound that a solid bass player added to the group. Doug recalls "When they asked if I would like to perform with them I just couldn't say no". So in February of 2001, Doug officially joined FullCircle and he has been an integral part of the group ever since. During the recording of "No Straight Lines", Doug's technical skill and acuity came to the fore and added greatly to the sound of the final mix.
Performing with FullCircle has for Doug, like the others, rejuvenated his interest and passion for the musical expressions of his youth. He has particularly enjoyed the process of recording and perfecting the FullCircle "sound" on the CD and hopes that listeners will enjoy the final product as much as he has enjoyed participating in the making of it.