Whatever way you like it, the blues comes alive with the magic touch of Harpdog Brown. (Submitted)

VIDEO: Harpdog Brown & The Uptown Blues Band comes to Crofton Saturday

‘Blues evangelist’ plays it like it is

The Osborne Bay Pub at Crofton is welcoming back Harpdog Brown & The Uptown Blues Band on Saturday, Nov. 9 starting at 8 p.m.

Harpdog has grown a reputation as a real-deal purveyor of classic electric blues. Think of the old Chess Records and Sun Records of the late ’40s and early ’50s and you’ll know what we mean.

These days he’s been touring more and more with the Uptown Blues Band, offering a New Orleans Blues sound featuring, piano,clarinet/sax, upright-bass and drums. It’s still a vintage vibe, just a different vintage. They perform mostly originals, but also include great songs of the masters from that era such as Louis Jordan, Satchmo, Sonny Boy Williamson, Wynonie Harris, and Duke Ellington.

He’s been called a Blues Evangelist, and it’s a fitting moniker.

“I speak the blues like it’s the truth, and it is,” he was recently quoted as saying. “Music can heal people if they pay attention to the messages in these songs. We help people forget about their issues of the moment and then they might just realize that we all have our issues, and that’s OK.”

Vancouver-based, he was born in Edmonton in 1962, an adopted child, who has felt somewhat detached his whole life.

“I feel like I was born for the circus, you know, born to travel. The blues tapped me on the shoulder years ago and said ‘this is where you belong, son’. So the blues became my circus and there’s no better way to travel than with a band!”

The performer is a gifted vocalist and an imaginative harmonica player. Piano man Dave Webb has been working with Harpdog over the years and they share an intuition that only comes with many hours and miles shared on and off stage. Billy Joe Abbott learned his craft first hand from some of the greatest clarinetists in New Orleans. Newest and youngest member of the band is Riley Bartlett on trumpet from Winnipeg. Drummer extraordinaire Bob Grant will be laying down the groove.

Harpdog has won three consecutive Maple Blues Awards for Harmonica Player of the Year (2014/2015/2016), the Fraser Valley Music Award, has three consecutive Western Canadian Music Awards Nominations, a Juno Nomination and is the only Canadian to win the coveted Muddy Award. In 2016, he was nominated for three Maple Blues Awards (Harmonica Player, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year) for his latest release Travelin’ With The Blues.

Get off the couch and some see some seriously vintage blues that’s lots of fun.

Tickets are $20 in advance. Get them online at eventbrite.ca Or you’ll pay $25 at the door.

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