Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society starts the new year with Poppa Dawg

Rick “Poppa Dawg” Halisheff (guitar and vocals) performs at with James Hay (bass) and Brian “Skip” Maguire (drums and backing vocals) at the Army Navy Airforce Club’s Spitfire Lounge, Jan. 14. - Photo submitted
Rick “Poppa Dawg” Halisheff (guitar and vocals) performs at with James Hay (bass) and Brian “Skip” Maguire (drums and backing vocals) at the Army Navy Airforce Club’s Spitfire Lounge, Jan. 14.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Paul Tessier

For The Morning Star

For Lake Country-based blues guitar player Rick Halisheff, aka Poppa Dawg, it all started in Grade 4 with a ukulele.

“It was the first instrument that I thought was really cool,” said Halisheff. “The first song I ever played was Happy Birthday Baby Jesus, which I ended up playing on the ukulele in front of the entire school at Christmas. I was just shaking and sweating.”

Halisheff took up the guitar at age 15 and has been playing ever since.

As Poppa Dawg, he’ll be growling the blues for the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society at the Spitfire Lounge in Vernon’s Army Navy Airforce Club Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

“We play blues, R&B, soul, Motown, funk – all that stuff,” said Halisheff. “The music we play is really geared towards dancing. Our whole thing is to get people’s butts out of their seats and get them moving.”

Poppa Dawg is enthused about bringing his trio back for another gig in Vernon.

“Our drummer is Brain ‘Skip’ Maguire. We’ve been together almost 18 years now, longer than our marriages is how we jokingly put it. He sings like a bird and he’s great to have in the band,” said Halisheff. “And on bass, we have James Hay, who’s been with us for a couple years now. He’s a very accomplished guitar player and a music teacher. James also has a duo with his girlfriend called Black Cat Soul.

“We’re all full-time working musicians. This is what we do and we love to see people on the dance floor having a good time.”

The Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society (VFRMS) is also proud to announce more great upcoming shows for the 2017 season, continuing with Ben Waters, an award winning boogie piano player from the U.K., Jan. 31 at the Powerhouse Theatre. Waters will be accompanied by his son Tom on saxophone.

Returning to play for the VFRMS, March 18 at the Vernon Lodge, is Martyn Joseph, a highly acclaimed singer-songwriter from Wales.

Also returning is award-winning folk duo from Horsefly, B.C., Pharis and Jason Romero, who will perform April 9 at the Vernon Lodge.

Roots and blues slide guitar Martin Harley, out of the U.K., will perform May 6 at the Spitfire Lounge in the Army, Navy and Airforce Club, while Paul Pigat, a rockabilly guitar slinger and singer-songwriter, now working out of Vancouver, will play June 8 at the Powerhouse Theatre.

Tickets for all shows are available at the Ticket Seller,  order online at ticketseller.ca or call 250-549-7469, the Bean Scene in Vernon (two weeks prior to show), or at the door (if available).

Get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on all shows, visit vernonfolkroots.com.


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