The Co-Dependents


Tim, Ross, Billy and Steve

Live Recording Event Poster

“A roots band in the true rock and roll and honkytonk traditions ” and “the Co-Dependents throw all of the branches of the Americana music tree - country, bluegrass, blues, rock and rockabilly - into a heap and spark it with Billy Cowsill’s superb vocals” are ways that music of The Co-Dependents has been described. To quote Tim Leacock “Billy likes to say ‘It’s music by dead guys with a few originals thrown in,’ but it goes deeper than that. We’re not slick, but we know how to play and we enjoy playing together; that always comes across to the audience and we always win over the crowd."

“The group features impeccable vocal harmonies, playing and great showmanship. Material ranging from originals to Dylan to Hank Williams with stops in the Mississippi Delta courtesy Arthur Crudup and Otis Blackwell. An indefinable quality that makes the sum of its parts greater than the contributions of the individuals involved may be closer to the truth.”

The band was formed after Billy moved back to Calgary from Vancouver in the 1990’s. Fellow bandmate, Tim Leacock, tells the story this way in a 2003 interview. “I met Billy Cowsill when I was with the Burners about 15 years ago. Billy produced the Burners record and we’ve been buddies ever since. We’d share couch space. When Billy was in Calgary with the Blue Flames he’d flop at my place and I’d do the same in Vancouver. He’s been a musical mentor of sorts for me. We started working as a duo, Steve (Pineo) began sitting in occasionally and then Ross (Watson) joined in. It was sort of an organic progression. At first when Billy moved to Calgary, he didn't play at all. On a personal level, yeah, we’d been friends for almost 20 years and we started working together, well we made records together long before he moved here but when he did move here, his idea wasn’t to come here to try and play, it was to try and shake off sort of the effects of his last band. And 30 years of music had really just worn him out. He was looking more for companionship than a bass player. Finally he said, 'Look, you got a car and I need to work, so you better get a bass (guitar).' We started playing as a duo and it was awful at first because I had never really played bass and here I am trying to back up this guy. He'd just play whatever he felt like playing and he'd be choked that I didn't know some obscure George Jones tune."

The Mecca Café and Karma in Calgary were two places that saw frequent shows performed by The Co-Dependents.

Neil MacGonigill continues the story: "He started playing at the Mecca. And the Mecca was out of the way, in the woods kind of thing and that’s was good for Bill because he was – he was just timid at that point in time. So he enjoyed going out there on Sunday afternoons and doing that little gig. And Tim and Billy would do it and then Steve started coming out and hanging and then Ross came out and started playing the snare drum behind them. That became a 'magical couple of years' through The Co-Dependents recording. One night during the recording of The Co-Dependents at The Mecca (backed by Calgary builder Abe Epps) somebody said that the Trans-Canada Highway runs for 4500 miles and tonight the best place on it is The Mecca Café. And it was true. Every Friday night when Billy and those guys played there it was best place on the Trans-Canada Highway."

The main recordings by the The Co-Dependents came from live shows performed at The Mecca Café on June 27th, 29th, and 30th, 2001. Two CD’s were released from these sessions packed with unforgettable songs.

Unfortunately due Billy's increasing health problems he became unable to play with the Co-dependents and they started doing shows without him (eventually calling themselves The Joe-Defendents)

Up front honoring their bandmate leader, Steve, Tim and Ross, played at Billy's memorial, On The Floor Of Heaven, in Calgary Thursday, May 18, 2006.

I found it fun that the Co-Dependents also took a photo like The Cowsills once did.


The Co-Dependents

The Cowsills

Billy Cowsill - Vocals, Acoustic guitar
Steve Pineo - Vocals, Electric and Acoustic Guitars
Tim Leacock - Vocas, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar
Ross Watson - Drums


Date / Company
The Co-Dependents - Live Recording Event - Volume 1
December 2001 / Indelible Music
Recorded at the Mecca Cafe June 27, 29 and 30, 2001
The Co-Dependents - Live Recording Event - Volume 1
December 12, 2005 / Indelible Music
See above
Beautiful Dreamers
May 14, 2007 / Indelible
Includes The Co-Dependents' song "Baby It's You"

One of my MANY favorite Co-Dependents songs is "Only The Lonely"

Only The Lonely

Here are chords for a couple songs that The Co-Dependents performed.


I Just Want To Be Your Teddy Bear

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