The Vernon Jazz Club will be getting down and bluesy as the Harpdog Brown Band takes the stage Saturday night.
The band will be covering all the classic blues men from the mid-‘50s such as Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Jimmy Reed and Howlin’ Wolf, as well as performing some originals.
Harpdog will be joined by Art Edmonds on guitar, Scott Grant on drums, and world class bassist Dennis Marcenko.
Hailing from Edmonton, Brown has been a part of the Canadian blues scene since 1982. With six albums under his belt, he has toured throughout Canada, northwestern U.S. and Germany.
His album, Home is Where the Harp Is, won the coveted Muddy award for the best NW blues release of the year and was also nominated for a Juno for best blues release in Canada.
Another CD, Naturally, was voted #1 Canadian blues album of 2011 by The Blind Lemon Survey.
Brown has recently released his latest creation, What It Is, which Holger Peterson, host of CBC Radio’s Saturday Night Blues, coins as “Harpdog’s best work yet,” adding, “Harpdog is a great blues man. He is in total command on stage.”
And it’s not only Peterson who has taken notice of Harpdog’s band. West Coast Entertainment Magazine writes: “They play the blues naturally and without gimmicks or pretension, and when you combine that with their talent, it places them at the top of their trade… You won’t find a better blues band in Canada.”
When asked what drew him into the world of blues, Brown replies, “I guess I stumbled into the blues by way of The (Rolling) Stones. Like most kids my age it was The Stones or The Beatles; me it was The Stones.”
“The further I looked into the music and the source of what The Stones were and came from, the closer I came to the blues. I still love The Stones, but man, the blues is where my heart is, and always will be.”
Since those early days, the blues has become the driving force in Brown’s life.
“Well, I believe in the power of blues. Love and humour combined, that is a powerful force. I guess you can say, in some ways, I don’t think of myself as merely a musician, but more of a businessman, and people are my business, music is my vehicle, and blues is to me the truth of life to those who will lend an ear,” said Brown.
Joining Harpdog Brown is Edmonds, a young guitarist with a rare touch and grip on the old approach to the blues. Since beginning working together in 2013, he has played alongside Brown in an electric duo as well as all of Brown’s other ensembles.
Grant is the owner and operator of the Modern Drum Room in Kelowna. He has played with Grammy nominated artist John Lee Sanders, Maple Blues award winner David Vest, Grammy award winner Donald Ray Johnson, and Juno and American Music Award winner Alfie Zappacosta.
Marcenko is a world-class bassist who has been in the music business for more than 40 years. He has toured and recorded with both Colin James and k.d. lang.
You can check out the band at harpdogbrown.com.
The Harpdog Brown Band takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup, and at www.vernonjazz.ca.