Music is best when it’s live

Leave the noise behind and take in some organic, acoustic music when Blu and Kelly Hopkins play Vernon's Hub Arts Collective.

Kelly and Blu Hopkins perform their multi-instrumental roots acoustic music at The Hub Arts Collective Friday. The concert is part of an ongoing initiative to bring live music to Vernon.

Kelly and Blu Hopkins perform their multi-instrumental roots acoustic music at The Hub Arts Collective Friday. The concert is part of an ongoing initiative to bring live music to Vernon.

Leave the noise behind and take in some organic, acoustic music when Silver Creek residents Blu and Kelly Hopkins return to Vernon in concert.

Produced by Isabel Anderson, the show takes place at The Hub Arts Collective Friday.

Anderson has, so far, produced two monthly cabaret nights at The Hub.

“They are eclectic events featuring comedy, drama, dance, and music,” she said, adding the concert with the Hopkins is the first music-only show she has produced and promoted at The Hub.

“I am trying to offer musicians more opportunities to play and make money in Vernon while developing a new audience,” said Anderson. “I’m a big fan of this terrifically talented and personable duo, and I’m very excited to bring their high calibre performance to The Hub in Vernon.”

The winner of a 2007 Okanagan Music Award and a 2008 BCIMA (B.C. Interior Music Award), singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Blu Hopkins has been travelling, writing songs and performing them for more than 30 years.

A true troubadour, his influences include everything from Bill Monroe and Woody Guthrie, to Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers.

Blu’s storytelling songwriting style reflects his experience working and performing across Canada.

He has lived the songs he sings.

He has also been nominated 16 times for Okanagan Music Awards and BCIMAs in both the songwriter and folk artist categories, and with his band, Silvercreek, as folk roots/bluegrass band of the year.

Hopkins  shared the bill with many well known artists including Kelly Joe Phelps, Allen Dobb, Bill Henderson, Ben Mink, Veda Hille, Jim Byrnes, Roy Forbes, Todd Butler, Valdy, Ken Hamm, Brad Prevedoros and Gary Fjellgaard.

He has also produced and recorded several acoustic projects for other artists in his Silvercreek Studios, and hosts a weekly radio broadcast of acoustic music and interviews with songwriters and performers called The BluJay Cafe on CKVS 93.7 FM in Salmon Arm.

His partner in life and music, Kelly Hopkins is also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. Her songs range from rollicking and fun to heartfelt and poignant ballads.

An accomplished acoustic bass player, Kelly also plays and writes  mandolin compositions, which have a traditional, yet fresh, sound.

Her warm harmonies are also said to combine nicely with Blu’s smoky baritone.

Following the release of Blu’s two solo projects Never Say Never in 2001, and Canyon Wind in 2004, the Hopkins together released their duo CD Homegrown in 2007.

Described as “like a visit with two old friends, sharing their songs,” the CD was recorded live in their home studio with the help of several of their musical friends, and was the result of many folks requesting a CD of their tunes.

Their last recording, with bassist Jim Leduc and the late multi-instrumentalist Gord Milne, was  a mellow blend of feel-good tunes titled Shakin’ The Dust Off.

The Hopkins are currently recording a CD of children’s traditional songs for release in time for their summer touring.

Blu and Kelly Hopkins take the stage at The Hub, 2906 30th Ave., Friday, June 14. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, available at the Bean Scene.