A group blues music lovers have formed a society in hopes of bringing more live acts to the region.
The Fraser Valley Blues Society (FVBS) is hosting its first show April 26 at Abbotsford’s Eagles Hall, which will feature the musical talents of the internationally known Harpdog Brown Band.
The Saturday night event will serve as a launch for the band’s new CD, What It is. The band features the talents of frontman Harpdog Brown, John R Hunter (drums), Jordan Edmonds (guitar) and George Fenn (bass).
Brown, who legally changed his name to Harpdog last summer, is 52 and sings and plays the blues harp. The music has been described as similar to 1950s Chicago blues.
Harpdog has released six CDs. In 1995 his Home is Where The Harp Is won the Muddy Award for the best Northwest Blues Release of the year. Also that year, that CD was nominated for a Juno for the best Blues Release in Canada.
Teamed up with Graham Guest on piano, the CD, Naturally, was voted the number one Canadian Blues Album of 2011 by The Blind Lemon Survey.
The FVBS came together this past December, said Mac MacDonald, one of the founders.
He said the core group found each other “going to blues festivals here and around the Pacific Northwest. We’re just very interested in the genre.”
There are few venues for live blues in the Fraser Valley, said MacDonald, and the society hopes to change that, as well as interest younger people in that style of music.
In keeping with engaging youth in music, the FVBS has partnered with the Devon Clifford Music Foundation, and will be raising funds for that organization. The foundation formed in 2010 and gives youth who might not otherwise be able to an opportunity to pursue music.
Society memberships will be for sale at the show.
Tickets to the April 26 show are $20 and available at the Eagles Hall (33868 Essendene Ave.) or by calling 604-850-3653 or 604-615-1300. The doors open at 7 p.m., and the show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight.