Legendary Southern blues/rock guitarist Tinsley Ellis brings his scorching stage show to town for the Vancouver Island Blues Bash on Sept. 1. Photo by Flournoy Holmes

BLUES BASH: Help celebrate silver anniversary at Ship Point

Legendary guitarist Tinsley Ellis, Davina and the Vagabonds headline weekend shows

It’s been 25 years and the Vancouver Island Blues Bash is celebrating this Labour Day weekend.

From popular local acts to some veteran visiting artists, this annual festival staged by the Victoria Jazz Society features a little of something for every blues and R&B taste.

Tinsley Ellis, whose scorching guitar work has thrilled live audiences for more than 36 years, headlines the Saturday night ticketed show Sept. 1 (7:30 pm, $29) at the Ship Point outdoor stage. Ellis, touring in support of his newest album Winning Hand, is an iconic figure in the blues hotbed of the South and has shared stages with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, The Allman Brothers, Albert Collins and many others.

Rolling Stone Magazine has described his playing as, “Feral blues guitar … non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor’s edge … he achieves pyrotechnics that rival Beck and Clapton.”

The Sunday night show at Ship Point (7:30 pm, $29) sees high-energy acoustic quintet Davina and the Vagabonds, led by smoky-voiced Davina Sowers, bring a New Orleans and Memphis flair to their performances. Sowers has been compared to Etta James, Amy Winehouse and Janis Joplin but many say her unique vocal style defies comparisons.

The VJS is offering a special discounted package price for the two concerts of $45, a deal only available through the Society office at 977 Alston St. in Vic West.

The freshly remodeled and rockin’ Rubber Boot Club on Store Street below Swans Brewpub hosts a pair of hot bands, starting with Brickhouse on Friday, Aug. 31 (9:30 pm, $15). Known for years as the Yale Pub’s house band in Vancouver, they blend classic and modern rock with ease and injecting the occasional funky original into their sets.

Another Vancouver-based act, Juno Award-nominated Adam Robert Thomas, has been a prolific writer and performer with his band since 2015, cranking out a funky feel-good vibe reminiscent of Ray Charles, Donny Hathaway, Al Green and Steely Dan. Thomas, who hits the stage Sept. 1 at 9:30 pm ($15 cover) is touring in support of this year’s self-titled debut album, which rose to #11 on the U.S. R&B charts.

Ticket are available through the Victoria Jazz Society (250-388-4423 or 977 Alston St., no service charges) and the Royal & McPherson Theatre Society box offices (250-386-6121, online at rmts.bc.ca).

Free performances by local bands go from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday at Ship Point. For a full lineup, visit jazzvictoria.ca/blues-bash.

– Monday Magazine staff

Blues Bash

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Pacific Opera takes music to the streets

Artists travel around Capital Region District this summer for live performences

SKAMpede goes live in July

Beloved annual event returns with changes, pre-registration online

Victoria Flamenco Festival goes virtual for 2020 event

The show will go online from July 23 to 26

Campbell River teen produces quarantine musical

Ryver Santos Cegnar performed for friends and family over Facebook

Nanaimo Art Gallery summer camp moves programming online due to COVID-19

Teenage artists have until the end of next week to apply to Dazzle Camouflage

Symphony pop-up concerts coming to central Vancouver Island

Only 40 tickets available for each Vancouver Island Symphony private backyard show

Courtenay theatre gets support for livestream ‘hybrid’ shows this year

Island Coastal Economic Trust funds help Sid Williams Theatre with infrastructure, training

Virtual film industry career fair offers chance to talk with the experts

Experts in 11 different departments, three film union representative will be in attendance

Victoria Classic Boat Festival cancelled due to safety concerns

Organizers say Inner Harbour doesn’t provide enough space for physical distancing

Infringing festival finds a way to dance during pandemic

Nanaimo’s Crimson Coast Dance Society holding drive-in, micro and physically distanced events

Coastal scenes at the forefront for July shows at Victoria galleries

From sculpture to landscape paintings, summer art is about nature

Most Read