Master musicians to combine their talents in Ashton Creek

Harmonica player Carlos del Junco is joined by bottleneck blues guitarist Rick Fines at Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek on May 15.

Harmonica whiz Carlos del Junco will be joined by blues guitarist-singer Rick Fines in concert at Lorenzo’s Café Tuesday

Harmonica whiz Carlos del Junco will be joined by blues guitarist-singer Rick Fines in concert at Lorenzo’s Café Tuesday

Carlos del Junco doesn’t want to toot his own horn, actually a harmonica in his case.

Instead, the Cuban-born, Canadian-raised musician wants to talk about who he is performing with when he returns to the North Okanagan next week.

Del Junco is currently on tour with Rick Fines, a veteran and respected fingerstyle and bottleneck blues guitar player, and the two will be paying a visit to Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek on Tuesday.

The two musicians met approximately 15 years ago through the blues community, and although they’ve performed alongside each other in the past, this is the first time they have been able to tour together.

“He has his own projects and I have my own, so it’s been a long time coming for us to do some shows together,” said del Junco, calling from his home in Port Hope, Ont. before setting off on the tour that includes two dates in Vancouver as well as three in the Okanagan.

The men are also on Hornby Island this week to teach and perform at the Hornby Island Blues Workshop, which del Junco describes as four days of intensive workshops with concerts in the evening.

Besides being a finger-style and bottleneck guitar player extraordinaire, Fines, a native of Peterborough, Ont., is also an accomplished singer and songwriter.

His song, Riley Wants His Life Back, won first place in the blues category of the 2003 International Songwriting Competition, with blues icon B.B. King as one of the judges.

Fines’ last CD, Solar Powered, won the MapleBlues Award for Songwriter of the Year this year, and he has been named MapleBlues Acoustic Act Of The Year twice (in 1998 and ‘99).

His work with the band Jackson Delta, whom he played with for 15 years, brought nominations from both the Juno and the Handy Awards.

Fines also has a long list of collaborators. He has performed with the late legendary blues piano player Pinetop Perkins, songstress Colleen Peterson, folk icon Penny Lang and fellow blues guitarist Suzie Vinnick, with whom he recorded the album Nothing Halfway.

A master of the diatonic harmonica, del Junco’s music is all over the map.

“It’s a meld of roots-related music, jazz and Latin that is grounded in the blues,” said del Junco, adding “I once submitted a CD to the Junos which wasn’t accepted because they couldn’t fit it into a genre.”

Last at Lorenzo’s in support of his 2011 album Mongrel Mash, del Junco says he will this time accompany Fines in playing some traditional blues in more of an acoustic show, although they may plug into an amp for a few numbers.

“We’ll be playing mostly his stuff. Rick has a great singing voice, and although I sing, I’ll be sticking to the harmonica. Between the two of us, we’ll be moving a lot of air.”

Del Junco and Fines play Lorenzo’s, 901 Mabel Lake Rd. Tuesday at 8 p.m. Call the café at 250-838-6700 to reserve.