Canadian singer-songwriter Bill Bourne is hitting the stage at the Grist Mill and Gardens once more this Friday.
The multiple Juno Award nominee and winner describes his music as influenced by roots, bluegrass and mountain music, as well as a having number of different traditional influences from around the world.
“A lot of my music is based on traditional music. It’s bluegrass, mountain music in some ways. My parents played dance when I was a kid. They played in dance halls. That was a big huge influence on my music,” he said.
“I am still learning lots of stuff all the time. I am now even diving into flamingo guitar and I play a bit of banjo. I’ve been using stomp box for about 20 years. I play with my foot. It’s kind of like a one-man band.”
Bourne said he finds it interesting how his music has evolved over a 20-plus year career. Each day he learns more and more about his passion.
“To me, it’s really about energy and the benefits of musical energy that people tune into and when live music is being performed, it’s quite different from when music is being recorded,” he said.
“There is a real expansion of energy and everything tunes in and it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of. It’s an honour, as a musician, to be able to play music live for people. There’s a real joy and it’s like nutrients, good nutrients. It’s really good for your health.”
This is not the first time Bourne has performed in Keremeos. He was at the Grist Mill three years ago. This year’s concert is part a series of popular artists being hosted by the Grist Mill in June, July, August and September at its historic site.
“It’s great that they have developed the area into a venue out in the park like that. It’s fantastic. Kudos to all the people behind that. It’s fantastic for them to be bringing live music to the town,” Bourne said.
Those attending the concert on July 19 will hear old and new songs, such as Ole Buffalo and many songs from his album, Dance and Celebrate, he said. They will also be treated to some songs Bourne has never recorded before as well as performances on his flamingo guitar.
Keremeos resident Margan McLean said she is such a fan of the musicians that are performing, she wants those in the region to make the effort to come out.
“He is freakin’ amazing,” she said of Bourne. “If you have Friday the 19th off, please come. Because this guy, I’ve been following him for some time. I’m a fan of his. And it is amazing that they got him to come. For him, it is about the music, it’s not about how many people he can get. He is an amazing musician. His music is so fresh and wonderful.”
The calibre of the musicians they bring in is incredible, she said. The bonus is that the venue is in the Similkameen Valley so people living there don’t have to travel to Penticton for great music.
“Really, honestly, honestly, you need to come and see Bill Bourne,” she said. “It’s just an incredible opportunity.”
Doors open at 6 p.m. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20.