Victoria fiddler extraordinaire Daniel Lapp will hit the Roots & Blues stage this year. (File photo)

Roots & Blues fill out their roster

Festival rounds out lineup with B.C. talent

Salmon Arm Roots & Blues is pleased to announce one last blast of artists appearing at the 26th edition of the festival. The common ground with these artists is that they all make B.C. their home, and home-grown is the way they like it at Roots & Blues. These artists come from every corner of the province, and collectively they add more diversity to this popular event.

Two are hardcore blues acts. Big Hank and The Blue Hearts come to the festival from Victoria. Hank Leonhardt is a muscular blues singer who has fronted popular groups such as Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and The Toasters. Hank’s Blue Hearts are guitarist Mark Comerford (another veteran of the popular Wiggly’s band) and respected session drummer Andy Graffiti.

Also joining the Roots & Blues roster is Brother Ray Lemelin, a resident of rural, central B.C. Lemelin is a guitar-playing singer who is influenced by the blues of B.B. King, the grooves of James Brown and the vocal sounds of the Staple Singers. Brother Ray will be joined by accordion virtuoso Howard Chapman, a Calgarian who lays a cool sonic sheen on the blues.

Saltwater Hank will be one of the surprises at this year’s festival. Born in Prince Rupert and a member of the Gitga’at community, Saltwater Hank resurrects stories of the land, loss and absurd circumstance.

He shines them through a sepia lens, bearing witness to ageless characters with hearts and lives on the line. A great raconteur, Saltwater Hank will be performing songs from his new album, Stories from the Northwest, and he’ll also be heard as a member of Kym Gouchie’s Northern Sky.

Borealis recording artist Chris Ronald is another impressive story-teller. Chris will be focusing on material from his fourth album, Fragments. Backed by two B.C. roots music heavyweights, guitarist John Ellis and fiddle ace Mike Sanyshyn, this Vancouver resident will share emcee duties on the main stage Friday night.

One of the hottest kids’ acts in the country is Kelowna’s own Oot N’ Oots.

A family band in all senses of the term, the group is 11-year-old vocalist Ruth Cipes , her dad Ezra (guitar) and uncles Ari (guitar), Gabe (bass), and Matthew (drums). Ruth’s voice has been described as having “the smoky sounds of a jazz chanteuse.” Drawing on diverse influences from the history of rock ‘n’ roll,

The Oot n’ Oots are a band with chops, soul, and swagger, and the group will be performing songs from their new album Electric Jellyfish Boogaloo.

From Vernon come The Creeks, a fine folk trio comprised of two ex-pat Brits and a Canuck.

The Creeks share a love of great contemporary and triad singer-songwriters while producing a mixture of styles and impressive harmonies. Tim Boulter, Dave Moore and Bob Oldfield will be playing Thursday night’s Music Crawl and the festival on Friday.

Rounding out this slate of B.C. artists is the great Daniel Lapp. Originally from Prince George but a long-time resident of the west coast, Daniel’s resume is as impressive as they come. The fiddle and trumpet player has released seven solo albums, and he toured or recorded with Spirit of the West, Rickie Lee Jones, Jim Byrnes, Mae Moore and Steve Dawson. He’ll be performing solo and in a number of workshops throughout the weekend.


 

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jodi.brak@saobserver.net

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Big Hank & the Blue Hearts, a group of blues singers and guitar slingers from Victoria, will hit the stage at the 2018 Roots & Blues festival. (File photo)

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