Brandon Isaak brings plenty of excitement to the stage as this photo shows. (James Dittiger photo)

LEXI BAINAS COLUMN: Top Canadian blues, a sultry songfest with Summer, lots of Wednesday fun during July and August

There’s plenty of entertainemnt going on in Duncan this month. Look around, you’ll almost trip over it

Another showing of A Just Society by filmmaker Nick Versteeg will take place at Duncan United Church on Wednesday, July 10 starting at 7 p.m. The subject is “Addiction and Homelessness: What lies beneath?” and it is done with Versteeg’s usual attention to detail.

Spiritual and communal determinants of life are definitely part of the subject, too.

Come to view the film and then join a lively conversation afterwards with a panel. Entry is by donation at the door with funds going to cover costs of the film and the United Church’s Homelessness Prevention Fund.

***

Zimbabwe Music Society presents Brandon Isaak with Pat Darcus Friday, July 12 at the Duncan United Church. From 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. you can enjoy the sounds of two of Canada’s top blues musicians right here in the Cowichan Valley. Seating is limited so get those seats right now for $20 at www.zmsociety.com. Brandon Isaak brings a firebrand style of guitar stirring vocals and Pat Darcus is a world class upright bass player. Together they present The New West Coast Sound and create award winning music.

Mark that date and bring some friends for a special evening of Canada’s best blues music.

***

Arbutus Roots are inviting you to their album release show July 13 at the 39 Days of July at Charles Hoey Park Saturday, July 13 at 6 p.m. CDs will be $5 afterwards so zip along to the bandshell and enjoy an evening of good tunes.

***

Summer with Doug Blondeau’s The Third Degree is a great reason to make your way to the Osborne Bay Pub on Friday, July 12.

From 8 to 11 p.m., big-voiced Summer and her band, Doug Blondeau’s Third Degree, are a definite cool breeze on the coast when you’re feeling dusty and rusty.

She can really get your attention with that sly, sexy, sultry growl in her delivery. Summer has teamed up with Saskatoon blues man Doug Blondeau and his band Third Degree. From Texas to New Orleans, to Chicago, with a stop in Memphis, they take you on a musical tour of blues, R&B, and funk, that slides easily between the “Stax records” sound and “straight Texas boogie”.

The seven piece band consists of Summer on vocals, Doug Blondeau on lead guitar, Buddy Love (Summer and the Sinners) a gentleman of the blues on rhythm guitar, Ian Cox (Dawn Pemberton) on keyboards and vocals, Brent Hutchinson (Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and RCA recording Act) on sax and vocals, Dan Fehr (The Time Benders and Consenting Adults) on bass and Ross Hembling (Bryan Adams) on drums.

Sounds like fierce high energy to me.

Tickets are $10.

***

Henry Locke and Jennifer Cleough are appearing together as a duo on the Buckerfield’s Stage at the 39 Days on Wednesday, July 10, from 7-9 p.m.

It’s been quite a while since these two have performed together. It’ll be pared down and acoustic. Why not drop by and welcome them back to the stage?

***

There have been some pretty strong comments from both sides on one change at this year’s 39 Days of July but did you know that others have also been brought in?

First, there will be a food vendor on site daily from noon till 7 p.m. The Duncan Showroom will be providing the concession stand this year with hot dogs, pop, ice cream bars, and potato chips every day.

On site at Charles Hoey Park this year as well, except July 25-28, the CUPE #358 potable drinking water station will be up and ready to quench your thirst.

Finally, there’s a night patrol at the festival site this year.

The idea is “inclusion instead of exclusion”.

Various people who ride their bikes around all night “believe this community should not be tarnished,” says the 39 Days brochure, “so a core group agreed to patrol the site, to instruct others if need be why the festival tents and areas should be off bounds to any problems that would affect the festival negatively.”

***

Walkabout Wednesdays is one way that The 39 Days of July likes to showcase the city core.

Presented by the Duncan Cowichan Festival Society and Moo’s Pizza, it’s an invitation to stroll through the streets of town, joining the community as they gather in City Square to sit back (or dance your shoes off) enjoying various local and touring acts. Bringing along a lawn chair (and maybe one for a neighbour) is a good idea.

On July 10, at 7:30 p.m., it’s Eric Harper, followed at 8:30 by Downtown Mischief. On July 17, it all starts at 7:30 with Andrea Smith and Marisha Devoin, and finishes up with Rick Scott and Nico Rhodes in Roots & Grooves.

By July 24, the Porter Brothers are up first, followed by countrified singer/songwriter Ridley Bent. And on Wednesday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m. you’ll hear Groove Social, followed at 8:30 p.m. by Shuffle Demons, who spend half their time playing in the audience.

Don’t miss out. Grab your chair and hit the Square.

In August, there’s an event called “Wine Down Wednesdays”.

On Aug. 7, 14, 21, and 28, you can listen to a series of amazing acoustic guitarists at City Square starting at 7:30 p.m. while enjoying wine tasting from local wineries, hosted by The Old Firehouse nearby.

Who’s playing? Calum Graham (Aug. 7), Daniel Champagne (Aug. 14), Brad Prevedoros (Aug. 21) and Eric Harper (Aug. 28).

Swing on by.

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