Blues musician Poppa Dawg is coming to Penticton to perform at his favourite venue in the Okanagan – the Dream Café.
“I’ve been there as a musician and in the audience – and the interaction is so immediate,” he said “It’s not like a big giant bar where you can’t see the people in the back; you’re right there. You can have a personal conversation with like, 100 people.”
Such rich conversations rarely occur at other venues, he said.
“Dream Café is a pretty special place. My favourite thing about it, not a TV set to be found. You want to watch TV? Go home. Want to play keno? Go to the casino. I hate that stuff in bars. But this place – it’s all about the music.”
Nonetheless, he said all live performances offer invaluable feedback.
“They either clap, boo or tell you to go home, so you get that instant satisfaction. It’s really hard to translate that to recording. A live performance is something you share with the audience.”
Poppa Dawg’s songwriting, he said, often makes tongue-in-cheek observations about the mundane.
“I like writing songs about people I know,” he said. “My song Nobody Here Feels Sorry for You is about somebody who was whining and bitching about their first-world life. ‘You complain an awful lot, like every day.’ And I thought hmm, this’ll be a good song.”
Blues music has proven itself as the only avenue for Poppa Dawg to share his work, though it wasn’t until he was in his mid 20s before he could fully appreciate the genre.
“I was playing all kinds of music on the road; new age punk, classic rock.”
He said after a few years playing for a band called The Psychedelics, which put heavier emphasis on the visual aspect of his performance, it was time to shift his focus.
“I got tired of it. It wasn’t doing anything for me and the blues did.”
He especially became interested in the rich histories which are intertwined into blues music.
“It’s real stories. I don’t care if I don’t make any money doing blues, this is the only music that speaks to me. There’s something earthy about it, something real about it.”
In telling a story of his own, Poppa Dawg wrote a song about JW-Jones, a successful Canadian blues musician, who’s often referred to as ‘Dub’ as a shortened version of JW. At the time he was unaware of the emerging electronic genre of music and titled the song Dub Step.
It wasn’t until after he recorded Dub Step that somebody told him about the style of music with the same name.
After orally imitating the sounds of electronic music, he said he never had a clue that it existed, and then joked about a collaboration with Skrillex.
His show begins at 8 p.m. on Oct. 2. Tickets cost $12 and can be purchased by calling 250-490-9012.
“Of the thousands of talented people out there playing blues, rock, funk soul jazz, I just want to encourage people to please go out, pay the cover charge and support any type of live music.”