local blues musicians to watch at the Festival

local blues musicians to watch at the Festival

The Unsung Heroes of British Columbia’s Blues Scene

As the sun sets over the lush forests of British Columbia, the air crackles with the unmistakable sound of blues music. From the gritty back-alley bars to the bustling city streets, a vibrant community of local blues musicians is keeping the genre alive and thriving. And at the upcoming Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival, these unsung heroes will take center stage, captivating audiences with their raw, soulful performances.

I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the blues, ever since my old man first put on a Muddy Waters record and told me, “This is the real deal, son.” Growing up in the heart of British Columbia, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the evolution of the local blues scene firsthand. It’s a community that’s steeped in history, yet constantly reinventing itself, as a new generation of musicians breathes life into the genre.

As I gear up for this year’s Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. I know that amidst the mouthwatering barbecue and the infectious rhythms of the festival, there will be a wealth of local blues talent waiting to be discovered. And I’m here to give you a sneak peek at some of the must-see acts that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Uncovering the Gems of the Local Blues Scene

To say that British Columbia is a hotbed of blues talent would be an understatement. The province has a rich musical heritage, with roots that stretch back to the early 20th century. From the gritty, delta-inspired sounds of the Interior to the more polished, jazz-tinged styles of the coast, the blues in British Columbia is as diverse as the landscape itself.

One of the artists I’m most excited to see at this year’s festival is Jenna Wallis, a fiery guitarist and vocalist who’s been making waves in the local scene. Hailing from the small town of Fernie, Jenna cut her teeth in the dimly lit bars and smoky juke joints of the Kootenays, honing her craft and developing a commanding stage presence that belies her youthful appearance.

Her music is a potent blend of traditional blues and contemporary influences, with searing guitar solos that can raise the hairs on the back of your neck. But what truly sets Jenna apart is her ability to pour her heart and soul into every note, channeling the raw emotional power of the blues in a way that’s both captivating and cathartic.

Another artist to keep an eye on is Tyrone Dueck, a harmonica player who’s been described as the “human Blues Harp.” Tyrone’s journey to the blues was a circuitous one – he grew up in a family of classical musicians, but was drawn to the raw, visceral energy of the blues at a young age. After years of honing his craft and paying his dues in the local clubs, Tyrone has emerged as a true virtuoso, his nimble fingers coaxing out the most soulful and heart-wrenching melodies from his trusty harmonica.

What I love most about Tyrone’s performances is the way he seamlessly blends traditional blues styles with a more modern, improvisational approach. He’s not afraid to push the boundaries of the genre, experiment with new sounds, and keep the audience on the edge of their seats. And when he’s in full flow, his harmonica playing can be nothing short of mesmerizing.

Celebrating the Diversity of British Columbia’s Blues Scene

Of course, the local blues talent at this year’s Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival doesn’t end with Jenna and Tyrone. The lineup is a veritable who’s who of the province’s blues scene, showcasing the incredible diversity and depth of the genre.

One act that’s sure to turn heads is the Raven Burnett Band, a five-piece outfit that’s been making waves with their unique blend of blues, funk, and soul. Fronted by the charismatic Raven Burnett, whose powerful vocals and commanding stage presence have been drawing comparisons to the likes of Etta James and Koko Taylor, the band’s sound is both deeply rooted in tradition and fiercely contemporary.

What I love about the Raven Burnett Band is the way they seamlessly weave together different elements of the blues, creating a tapestry of sound that’s both familiar and unexpected. One moment, they’ll be laying down a groove that’ll have your feet tapping, and the next, they’ll be unleashing a blistering guitar solo that’ll send shivers down your spine.

And then there’s the Dirty Dixie Deacons, a soulful, down-and-dirty trio that’s been tearing up the local blues scene with their raw, unadulterated sound. Hailing from the gritty industrial town of Nanaimo, the Deacons draw inspiration from the Delta blues of the deep South, with a sound that’s equal parts swampy, gritty, and irresistibly funky.

What sets the Dirty Dixie Deacons apart is their unwavering commitment to the authentic, unvarnished spirit of the blues. There’s no frills or gimmicks here – just three musicians who live and breathe the blues, pouring their hearts and souls into every note. And when they take the stage at the Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival, I have no doubt that they’ll be leaving the audience in a state of blues-induced ecstasy.

Discovering the Next Generation of Blues Innovators

But the local blues talent on display at this year’s festival doesn’t stop there. In fact, one of the most exciting aspects of the event is the opportunity to discover the next generation of blues innovators – the young guns who are keeping the genre alive and pushing it in new, unexplored directions.

One such artist is Liam Mckenzie, a 21-year-old guitarist and singer who’s been turning heads with his soulful, blues-infused sound. Hailing from the bustling city of Vancouver, Liam’s music is a captivating blend of traditional blues, modern R&B, and just a hint of indie rock sensibility.

What I love about Liam’s approach is the way he seamlessly blends virtuosic guitar work with deeply emotive, introspective lyrics. His songs are a testament to the enduring power of the blues, but they also showcase a musical maturity and artistic vision that belies his young age.

And then there’s the enigmatic figure of Sage Rosewood, a singer-songwriter who’s been making waves in the local blues scene with her hauntingly beautiful, ethereal sound. Sage’s music is a departure from the gritty, grimy blues of the past, drawing inspiration from the more meditative, introspective strains of the genre.

But don’t let that fool you – Sage’s music is no less powerful or emotive than the blues standards of old. Her voice is a mesmerizing instrument, capable of conveying the full range of human emotion, from the deepest sorrow to the most joyous ecstasy. And when she takes the stage at the Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival, I have no doubt that she’ll leave the audience spellbound.

The Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival: A Celebration of British Columbia’s Blues Legacy

As I sit here, reflecting on the incredible wealth of local blues talent that will be on display at this year’s Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride and excitement. This event isn’t just a celebration of great music – it’s a testament to the enduring legacy of the blues in British Columbia, and a testament to the hard-working, dedicated musicians who are keeping the genre alive and thriving.

Whether you’re a lifelong blues aficionado or a newcomer to the genre, the Roots, Rhythm & BBQ Festival is an event you simply can’t miss. From the gritty, soulful sounds of Jenna Wallis and the Dirty Dixie Deacons to the more experimental, boundary-pushing stylings of Sage Rosewood and Liam Mckenzie, there’s something here for everyone.

And of course, let’s not forget the mouthwatering barbecue that’s sure to be on offer – after all, what’s a blues festival without a healthy dose of smoky, saucy goodness? rootsnbluesnbbq.com is the place to be for a truly unforgettable weekend of music, food, and community.

So mark your calendars, gather your friends, and get ready to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of British Columbia’s blues scene. I’ll see you there, glass of cold craft beer in hand, tapping my foot to the irresistible beat of the blues.