Monday, June 13, 2011

An Invitation from the Victoria Blues Society...

By Deb Rhymer, President Victoria Blues Society 
Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is just a short ferry ride away from western Washington in Canada. Our American friends talk about its quaint charm and welcoming people. We like to think of our home as a blues lover’s paradise!

The city has a number of live music venues that feature blues bands much of the time. Swans Brewpub, Bartholomews Bar and Grille, Hermann’s Jazz Cub, and The Upper Deck have recently featured James Cotton, Monkeyjunk, Honeyboy Edwards, Coco Montoya, Harmonica Hinds, etc. The Victoria Blues Society, a 375-member association which produces shows four or five times a year, keeps a calendar of blues events.Check it out at: www.victoriabluessociety.ca.

In February, the Victoria Blues Society sent our own Bill Johnson Blues Band to compete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. While the band didn’t win the blues challenge, their recently released album, Bill Johnson - Still Blue recently won the coveted “Blewzzy Award” for best CD. It was the first time in the history of Mary4Music.com, the internet’s most comprehensive Blues and Indie music network, that the same artist
won in both categories of best album and best song for the song “Half the Man”. You can learn more about Bill at http://www.myspace.com/billjohnsonbluesband.

On Labour Day weekend each year, The Victoria Jazz Society hosts the Vancouver Island Blues Bash. This will be the seventeenth year of one of Victoria’s best-attended and most-loved annual events. Over three days, September 2-5, 2011, the festival will feature all styles of blues and R & B at scenic Ship Point in Victoria’s inner harbour. Daytime performances are by donation and there are ticketed shows on Saturday and Sunday night. The whole weekend feels like the best outdoor party you ever attended - musicians mingle with their fans at the beer tent and the dance area by the stage is packed during every show. This year’s
line-up will be posted soon at www.jazzvictoria.ca.

Every Sunday afternoon from 2-6 pm the Sunday Blues Jam is Hosted by the Deb Rhymer Band at the Strathcona Hotel. This very popular free event showcases some of Victoria’s best musical talent. If you want to join in, bring along your instrument.

The Garden City of Victoria is one of the world’s favorite year-round destinations, and we love visitors. Consider leaving the car and the stress behind by using the Victoria Clipper direct from your harbor to our harbor. They have weekend packages to Victoria that offer two nights at a good hotel for such a great rate, it’s almost like getting the Clipper trip for free.

Come up for the Blues, the fresh air and our lovely cityscape. Your Canadian friends would love to show you a great time!

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