Award-winning blues harp player is about to wail in Vernon

Blues harpist Harpdog Brown is rolling into Vernon with his Travelin’ Blues Show at the Prestige Hotel ballroom Saturday, March 19.

Two-time Maple Blues winner Harpdog Brown blows a mighty fine wind on his harmonica when he brings his Travelin' Blues Show to the Prestige Hotel ballroom in Vernon

Two-time Maple Blues winner Harpdog Brown blows a mighty fine wind on his harmonica when he brings his Travelin' Blues Show to the Prestige Hotel ballroom in Vernon

Local blues fans are about to enter the Doghouse.

Blues harpist Harpdog Brown – yes, that’s his real name as can be attested on his passport – is rolling into Vernon with his Travelin’ Blues Show to perform at the Prestige Hotel ballroom Saturday, March 19.

“The Travelin’ Blues Show is a one-of-a-kind show that showcases authentic early electric blues. It’s kinda like when rural blues came to the big city,” said  Harpdog, calling from his Vancouver home. “I look forward in bringing this new show to the good people in Vernon.”

A familiar face to blues fans here, Harpdog has performed at both the Vernon Jazz Club and at the Winter Carnival Blues Festival, and is known as one of the finest blues wailers on harmonica.

In fact, he is one of the few Canadian musicians to win back-to-back awards at the Toronto Blues Society’s Maple Blues Awards – a feat he accomplished when he won Harmonica Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015.

The announcement of that most recent award came unexpectedly, said Harpdog.

“It woke me up from a nap,” laughed the  Edmonton-born musician. “Someone sent me a text and said ‘you won’.’’

The album that delivered Harpdog his first Maple Blues award was What It Is, which Roots Music Report listed as its Top 100 Blues Albums of 2014. The album, along with two if its songs, Whiskey Bottle and In My Younger Days, also made it onto blues and roots charts.

Being noticed for his recordings is nothing new to Harpdog.

Back in 1995, his debut album, Home is Where The Harp Is, won the coveted Muddy Award for the Best North West Blues Release from the Cascade Blues Association in Portland, Ore. It was, and still is, the first time a Canadian artist has won this award.

The album also received a Juno nomination for the Best Blues Release in Canada.

Harpdog is hoping for the same success with his next album, which he is currently recording with producer/musician Little Victor Mac in California. The album has a very special guest on it in the form of  American electric blues harmonica player Charlie Musslewhite.

“There’s lots of new stuff on the go,” said Harpdog. “We just recorded some tracks in San José and then returned back home March 2 before playing on the island.”

Joining Harpdog and his band at the Prestige Ballroom will be local guitarist/recording artist Les Copeland.

Doors to the March 19 show open at 7 p.m. with music starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, available at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grill in the Prestige, East Side Liquor Company and 30th Avenue Pawn shop.