Bluesman David Essig returns to the 2017 Roots & Blues Festival, which runs Aug. 18 to 20 at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds. Earlybird tickets sales close on May 31.

Festival celebrates deep roots

B.C. Interior artists get chance to be mentored and perform at festival 2017

Blues has always been a big component of Roots and Blues and four new additions to the festival lineup will strengthen that tradition.

Blues veteran David Essig came to Canada as a young man and honed his blues style in the early 1970s.

He has delivered brilliant interpretations of blues classics and original blues numbers over the course of his half century as a touring musician.

Essig has also worked extensively as a music producer in a multitude of traditional folk styles. He was a pioneer in the Canadian independent roots music scene as a label owner and is a brilliant roots performer and songwriter.

As well as his solo concert at Roots &Blues, he will host a tribute to his friend, the late great tunesmith Willie P. Bennett, with guests Stephen Fearing and Claire Lynch.

Michael Jerome Browne arrived in Canada with his parents in the 1980s and, as a young boy growing up in Quebec, he was influenced by the province’s rich culture and arts scene.

This musician sings the blues but has also perfected his style of old-time, Cajun, country, and swing music, and is equally adept on slide guitar as he is on mandolin and fiddle.

Browne has been a nominee and winner of many Canadian Folk Music and Juno Awards.

Travelling across the Rockies from Alberta, the Boogie Patrol will be bringing their fresh, contemporary blues style to the festival.

Led by vocalist and harmonica player Dan Shinnan, the group inspires audiences with its unique blend of blues, rock, soul and funk.

Following up on a last year’s success, the 2017 Roots and Blues Festival will again feature its own House Band – comprised this year of Winnipeg blues guitarist and singer Brent Parkin, Vancouver drummer Chris “The Wrist” Nordquist, Calgary keyboard wizard Garth Kennedy, former K.D. Lang and Colin James bassist (and Vernon resident) Dennis Marcenko and Edmonton Folk Music House Band saxophonist David Babcock.

The House Band will headline the stage on August 17, backing one-time Muddy Waters guitarist John Primer, and will be hosting blues workshops with artists like Chicago’s Keith Scott.

Note to music fans: Earlybird ticket sales end at midnight May 31. To get yours, call 250-833-4096, or go to www.rootsandblues.ca.

NEW, new new

Here’s the chance for the Interior to win a spot on the stage.

Creative Okanagan and the Salmon Arm Roots &Blues Festival have partnered to create an opportunity for an emerging artist in an area from Penticton to Revelstoke, to the Shuswap and over to Kamloops.

Artist(s) performing music within the roots and blues genres, and capable of playing a 40-minute set in a professional manner will be eligible. Acts of all sizes will be considered. Acts of all sizes will be considered and music performed may be mostly covers and selection will be based primarily on quality of performance.

The winner will receive:

• A meeting with Creative Okanagan creative director prior to the festival to do a performance review, go over what to expect at the festival and to consider performance opportunity details;

• Two 40-minute performance opportunities on the Wednesday or Thursday night prior to the Roots &Blues Festival, a Friday night workshop or Saturday morning brunch outreach event;

• Weekend and back-stage passes to the festival;

• A 40-minute media training session guided by Creative Okanagan executive and creative director in partnership with a media sponsor on the Saturday or Sunday at the media tent on the festival site opportunity to see other musicians interviewed by the media;

• A tech walk-through with an experienced stage manager, on the Saturday or Sunday.

Roots &Blues will try to provide accommodations for band members, which may be a billet situation.

In order to qualify, artists may not have previously been hired by the Roots &Blues Festival and must submit a brief statement on goals as a musician and a CV including recent activities as a musician – tours/shows/albums/digital activities/website link.

Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, June 15 at 9:30 a.m. at http://www.creativeokanagan.com/roots—blues-artist-development-application.html.

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