Maple Blues Music Awards Guitarist of the Year 2019 Sue Foley will play main stage and side stage workshops at the 2019 festival. (Alan Messer photo)

Top blues talent joins festival roster

Salmon Arm’s Roots and Blues adds stellar Canadian acts to 2019 event

Blues fans are in store for another red-hot, memorable year at the 27th edition of Roots & Blues.

Organizers are working hard to replicate the great blues, acoustic and electric, that fired up the CBC Blues Stage, the Barn, and the Main Stage, which came to a volcanic crescendo with Colin James’ dynamite finale.

“Looking at what went on at the annual Maple Blues Awards on Monday, Feb. 4, in the heart of Toronto, it looks as though Roots & Blues is on the right track to provide blues fans with more electrifying moments,” says Peter North, the festival’s artistic director.

Read more: Valdy to bring his folk music magic to Roots and Blues

Ottawa native and Austin, Texas resident Sue Foley took home Guitar Player of the Year award due, in part, to her great instrumental performance that dominates her latest album The Ice Queen.

Moments after receiving the award, Foley returned to the stage and brought down the house with a stinging performance of the title track of that same album. Roots & Blues fans will have the opportunity to hear this terrific artist who will be playing main stage and side stage workshops at the 2019 festival.

“And that’s only the tip of the iceberg for The Ice Queen as Foley was recently nominated for two Blues Music Awards stateside – Song of the Year (Ice Queen) and the Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female Artist),” adds North.

Also nominated for Guitar Player of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards, as well as Recording of the Year, was Toronto’s Jack de Keyzer, one of the great veterans of the Canadian blues scene.

Read more: Jim Cuddy to return to Roots and Blues stage

That recording is Checkmate, the guitar playing singer and producer’s tip of the hat to the groundbreaking electric blues that came out of Chicago courtesy of artists like Willie Dixon and Otis Rush.

De Keyzer will be loading his gear onto the Roots & Blues stages and burning it up with longtime friends like Al Lerman, who was blowing harp and sax in the Maple Blues Awards House Band, and who will also be playing acoustic and electric blues for Roots & Blues patrons this August 15 to 18.

Read more: Roots & Blues adds four more acts to 2019 festival

The founder and leader of the Juno award-winning band Fathead, Lerman is also a disciple of acoustic blues. His presence at Roots & Blues will add a lot of substance to many workshops, whether they be built on country-blues or lean towards R&B.

Adding to the depth with Canadian blues at Roots & Blues 2019 is one of the hottest young artists in the nation, Ms. Jenie Thai. This piano playing, singing, hellbent entertainer wowed the Maple Blues Awards crowd with a rollicking attack on the late Jane Vasey’s Trying to Keep Her 88’s Straight, which was a hit for the Downchild Blues Band back in the late ‘70s. A classy move indeed by the young artist, originally from Edmonton who is now making her home in Toronto.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

Okanagan dancing to the beat of many drums at the Pow Wow Between the Lakes

Day two of the Pow Wow Between the Lakes featured a vast array of dancers of all ages

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

Kelm wins Okanagan Ogopogo tubbing championship

Robbie Kelm edged out Dr. Lloyd Westby to take the Great Ogopogo Bathtub race title

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Most Read