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From blues to folk to fiddle, Vernon stages top talent

Brandon Isaak opens the fall season of the Folk-Roots Music Society
Brandon Isaak plays the Vernon Jazz Club Sept. 17 as he kicks off the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society season. (Christian Kuntz Photography)

Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society is back!

After a COVID-driven hiatus, the society is excited to announce their 2022 fall lineup.

Thanks to an arrangement with the Vernon Jazz Club, many of the shows will be presented at the venue located above Nolan’s Pharmacy.

Artistic director Bob Oldfield has certainly had his hands full, trying to reschedule artists who had their original shows postponed, and lining up new acts to fill the gaps.

Despite the challenges, Oldfield is proud of the diverse offerings this fall: from blues to folk to fiddle, and some of the hottest and brightest talent performing in Canada today.

Kicking off the season is Brandon Isaak, aka Yukon Slim, Sept. 17.

The Whitehorse native comes by his talent naturally: his father and brother are also professional musicians, both of whom have appeared on a variety of his recordings.

Isaak spent many years at his dad’s clubs, sitting in on rehearsals, picking up the guitar when the musicians were taking a break. That led to being asked to sit in on sessions, and eventually playing on stage with many great blues masters.

Now he has four solo CDs to his credit, with enough material to begin recording a fifth next spring.

Isaak’s newest release is Modern Primitive, which gained him a nomination for the 2022 Blues Artist of the Year by the Western Canada Music Alliance.

No stranger to blues fans in the Okanagan, Isaak is looking forward to spending more time in the valley this fall, teaching songwriting at the second Penticton Dream Blues Camp in mid-October.

Isaak opens the Folk-Roots Society’s 2022-23 season Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 6:45. Local artist Kailee McGuire will open the show. Tickets are available at Expressions of Time and through More information at

The Society then presents Norm Strauss Oct. 15 at the Jazz Club.

Irish Mythen plays the Towne Theatre Nov. 9.

April Verch will entertain Nov. 27 at the Jazz Club.

Tickets for all shows are available through Ticket Seller and at Expressions of Time.

“The 2023 winter and spring lineup promises to be even more exciting,” said Oldfield. “Stay tuned for more concert announcements.”

Folk-Roots Society president Rob Nichols welcomes new members and volunteers to help out behind the scenes and at the shows. Membership is $30 annually (September through June), and members receive a $5 rebate on ticket purchases. Memberships will be available at each concert.

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The Vernon Folk Roots Society is bringing music back with its upcoming season including artists such as Tiger Moon. (File photo)

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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