Canadian based roots, rock, reggae band.
Chalawa was formed in 1975 by John Forbes and Alex King. The original line up consisted of John Forbes on keyboards, Alex King guitar, Leroy Sibbles bass, Dopey Smith, drums, Mike Balm, trumpet, flugelhorn and valve trombone, and Dick Smith, tenor sax. Pete Weston sat in on funda and repeater. This is the line-up for their first album project, the classic Deepest and Darkest, recorded at Springfield Sound. Leroy Sibbles left to pursue his solo career and was replaced by John Hewson, who played on many of the earlier Stranger Cole/Callander Sisters recordings with Chalawa. Dick Smith departed, to be replaced by Greg Barns, who played sax and flute on “I’m Living” with Stranger, then by Wimpy Zankowski. This configuration recorded the albums The First Ten Years and Capture Land.
John Hewson left the band to pursue his studies, and Dopey Smith was replaced by superstar drummer Anthony (Benbow) Creary, with John Forbes playing bass and keyboards in the studio.