Harpdog Brown is back with his new The Uptown Blues Band, at the Prestige Inn Ballroom May 26. (Photo submitted)

Harpdog shares new uptown blues tricks in Vernon

Harpdog Brown and the Uptown Blues Band rock the Prestige Inn May 26

New digs, same old dog.

That’s the message of Harpdog Brown who is bringing The Uptown Blues Band to Vernon for his annual Prestige Inn gig May 26.

And it’s a new sound Brown, known for his classic low-down blues, is stoked to share with Vernon.

“It’s a whole different side of Harpdog Brown,” Brown said over a shaky phone line as he soaked up the sun at Lake Eyre between gigs. “I’ve been doing a lot of that uptown Chicago blues sound.”

Brown, backed by Dave Webb on the keys, Skye Lambourne on trombone, Pat Darcus on upright bass and Scott Grant on drums, fell into the uptown groove after meeting those young lads.

“These young fellas, when they were 17, they jumped in Skye’s van and drove to New Orleans to learn to play their music properly,” Brown said.

However, on their way to learn from the blues and jazz greats, Lambourne’s van broke down in the golden state.

“They busked up enough money on Venice Beach to buy a new van and continue to New Orleans,” Brown said, noting their dedication to the craft. “I met these guys five years after that.”

After making it to New Orleans, the lads learned from the best to hone their old school sound straight out of the 1930s and 1940s blues and jazz scene.

“It woke up this style of big band-blues-jazz growing inside of me,” said the three-time Maple Blues Harmonica Player of the Year.

The five-piece group makes remodelled and more sophisticated blues ditties, unlike anything people have heard before, he said.

“Now it’s a change of the guards. It’s a bit of a broader scope,” Brown said. “I’ve got a different kind of landscape I’m painting. It’s opened up another pathway for me to paint.”

Not one for downtime, Brown said he enjoys exploring that new trail.

“I never find time to be bored. To me, boredom is public enemy No. 1,” he said.

While he enjoys the unexpected, piano-driven and horn-backed sound, the dog said he will never forego his old tricks.

“I’ll always have that low-down thing,” Brown said. “I don’t want to give up what I have, just to diversify it.”

Brown and the Uptown Blues Band are in the process of capturing that sound to drop on their new album slated for this year. Because for Brown, it’s a now or never situation.

“It’s the year of the dog, so I’m planning on releasing a new album. The last year of the dog was 12 years ago and I didn’t have anything brewing. I didn’t have anything cooking with grease,” said the 56-year-old bluesman. “I can’t wait another 12 years. This is the perfect time in my life.”

Back in Vernon for his annual Prestige Inn gig, Brown said it will be a rocking night of blues.

“I’ve always loved Vernon. Every time I’ve played Vernon it’s always been stellar. Every time I come, I bring something a little different,” Brown said.

“It makes people get up and move. Come and see the unexpected. It’s going to be mind-blowing, not your average night of blues. It’s vintage, old-school.”

While he loves rocking the Okanagan, Brown only wishes he didn’t rack up 60,000 kilometres per year on his new ride.

“I guess, ultimately, I’d wish that I wouldn’t have to do all the driving,” Brown laughed. “But I think that’s all anybody can wish for.”

Because for Brown, regardless of what sound he brings with him, blues are what it’s all about.

“I just want to continue writing and performing. I’ll keep doing that until I can’t breathe.”

Harpdog Brown and the Uptown Blues Band rock the Prestige Inn Ballroom May 26 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at Bourbon Street Bar and Grill and East Side Liquor Company.

Related: Dog of the harp to play the Prestige Inn


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lumby featured on CBC show Still Standing

Filming concludes Friday with a comedy show at the White Valley Community Centre.

Author gives presentation on life in remote Nepal at Caetani House

Author Dorje Dolma presents her book Yak Girl: Growing Up in the Remote Dolpo Region of Nepal on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at Caetani Centre in Vernon.

Three Vernon-area organizations receive provincial grants

The province is providing a total of $673,124 in project development grants to support rural communities throughout B.C.

Armstrong healthcare society recruiting physician

One doctor moves to Australia; Haugen Healthcare Society looking to fill void

Shuswap Insurance Brokers joins SASCU Financial Group

Shuswap Insurance staff and location in Enderby will remain the same.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Explosion sends B.C. firefighter to hospital

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

COLUMN: Anger rising in Yellow Vests Canada movement

While the protests so far have been peaceful and orderly, there is also a simmering level of rage

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read