The 2018 Summertime Blues festival may be five months away, but the Nanaimo Blues Society is already at work on this August’s event.
There are services to purchased and acts to be booked and the organization is hoping music fans show their interest in the festival by attending the Springtime Blues Fund Raiser.
“This fundraiser goes a long ways to supporting that festival because in order to get a good lineup for that festival you have to start now,” said Nanaimo Blues Society board director Doug Fetherston.
The spring fundraiser takes place at Beban Park auditorium on Saturday, March 24. The evening will feature alternating sets by Vancouver blues guitarists Steve Kozak and Jason Buie and their bands. Both musicians have played at Summertime Blues in the past. Kozak was at the first one in 2011.
“They’re award winners, they’re great blues musicians and they’re just not someone that the locals have seen in a little while,” Fetherston said.
“And the blues community is so good. Those guys are always willing to help out the society.”
Buie is coming off a good 2017. He releasing the well-received album Driftin’ Heart and followed that up by taking home the Toronto Blues Society Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist.
“That’s pretty cool after hammering away for 25 years at it to be recognized,” Buie said.
The last time Buie was in Nanaimo was for the Summertime Blues after-party last year at the Queen’s. He said his band will be “rocking.”
“I have huge respect for the Nanaimo Blues Society. They put on one of the best blues festivals in Canada, really, and every year it just keeps getting better and better so I’m really happy to be part of the fundraiser,” he said.
Kozak’s last Nanaimo appearance was also at Summertime Blues.
“That’s a great festival. I’ve done it a few times and we always enjoy going over there when we get the chance,” he said.
Kozak will be performing tunes from his latest album, It’s Time. Part of the arranging for the record was done in Nanaimo with Harbour City resident Shawn Hall of Vancouver blues duo the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer. Hall’s bandmate Matthew Rogers produced the CD.
Anyone wanting to sponsor the Summertime Blues festival or submit items for silent auction may contact Dough Fetherston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHATS’S ON … Nanaimo Blues Society Springtime Blues Fund Raiser takes place at Beban Park auditorium on Saturday, March 24 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 available at the door, Delicado’s and the Cranky Dog in Parksville.