A life in music is practically unavoidable when you’re born into a family of musicians. Max Heineman was weaned on Country music in the rural wilds of Ontario, through both the radio and his mother’s work as a background vocalist on the Tommy Hunter Show. By the age of twelve he was performing as a singer and bassist with his family band on a weekly gig in Toronto’s Cabbagetown. He got his first upright bass in high school and played gigs in his dad’s jazz trio throughout his teens. He later moved to NYC with his brother to facilitate songwriting, recording and gigging with his cousins, Caleb and Josh Heineman. In 1998 he discovered Bluegrass and Old Time on a local college radio show and, drawn to the rich soulful harmonies and the depth of the tradition, he’s been hooked ever since.
Max is highly respected as an intuitive and seasoned bass player; he also plays both clawhammer and Scruggs style banjo and rhythm guitar, which inform his overall understanding of the unique rhythms of Bluegrass, Old Time and Country music. He is renowned as vocalist – his powerful voice and ability to sing with an emotional commitment to the song leave the listener feeling truly connected. The rich soulful environment of a Bluegrass vocal ensemble is a home away from home for him.
Since 2006 Max has been playing with the Foggy Hogtown Boys and touring the U.S., Canada, Israel, Ireland, England and most recently Germany’s Bluegrass Jamboree. In 2009 he founded The Lonesome Ace Stringband with fellow Foggy Hogtown Boys John Showman and Chris Coole, and in 2012 began recording and touring with Canadian artist Annie Lou.
A sought after musician in the thriving Toronto roots music scene, Max plays with numerous bands around town. He has been teaching bass and vocal workshops across Canada since 2007, and his ability to create an environment for learning that is both comfortable and challenging allows students to flourish. He is looking forward to many years of great music down this ever evolving road.