Musicians tune in for teeth

Tunes for Teeth to raise funds for Community Dental Access Centre Society, which is about to open its new clinic on 31st Avenue in Vernon.

Denman Island’s Ashlea Jonesmith and Oliver Wives perform along with local bands at the Tunes for Teeth benefit concert for the Community Dental Access Clinic

Denman Island’s Ashlea Jonesmith and Oliver Wives perform along with local bands at the Tunes for Teeth benefit concert for the Community Dental Access Clinic

Local musicians are giving their time to give the gift of a smile to those in need of dental care.

Tunes for Teeth is a fundraiser for the Community Dental Access Centre Society, which is about to open its new clinic on 31st Avenue in Vernon.

The concert takes place Thursday, June 14 at the Powerhouse Theatre, with proceeds going to the non-profit dental clinic, which supports low income residents in Vernon, Enderby, Lumby, Falkland, Armstrong and Spallumcheen in accessing dental care.

Renovations are almost complete on the building where the clinic will be housed, however, funds are still needed.

“The idea for a concert started when a resident was in need of emergency dental care. A friend, who is a musician, offered to do a concert to help,” said Julie Harmer, a clinic volunteer who is helping organize the concert. “The clinic is still in need of money in a big way, so we thought instead to do a big concert. All the musicians are donating their time and talents to put this on.”

The evening will include musical entertainment provided by visiting and local artists as well as a 50/50 draw, raffle baskets, door prizes and more.

Taking the time to travel to Vernon from Denman Island is folk/alt.country artist Ashlea Jonesmith, who will be performing with her bass-wielding companion, Oliver Wives. (The duo will give a sneak peek of their live performance with an intimate show at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo on Sunday.)

The duo is making its way around southern B.C. on the release of a new EP, released in December.

“We are now in the midst of a fit of song ideas, and are looking forward to taking our new material on the road,” said Jonesmith, who is originally from Bracebridge, Ont., and met Wives while living in Nelson.

After a move back east followed by a tour out west, the two ended up settling on Denman Island, where Wives’ parents live.

“This has been an excellent way of exploring (our) new home province while getting the music out to listeners,” said Jonesmith, who when not touring, maintains a blog where she talks frankly about her life as a singer/songwriter and touring performer contrasting it with her life as a modern-day pioneer, homesteading off the grid on a regenerating clear cut on a small island.

On her own, Jonesmith has written for and recorded a full-length album and an EP, and has played such renowned festivals as the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival and the Mariposa Folk Festival.

Together with Wives, the duo performs a collection of feisty attitude-rich folk-blues songs and heart wrenching ballads full of haunting melodies and meaningful themes.

Other musicians giving their time to perform at Tunes for Teeth include Vernon-based acoustic trio Steel Wound, who have more than a century of musical experience between them and an obvious enjoyment for the music they make: a repertoire of original tunes and semi-obscure alt.-roots, jazzy country blues.

Also on the roster are locals Kath and The TomKats who have been playing their bluesy, rockin’ jazz mix throughout the Okanagan for the past 12 years.

A newer local band is rounding out the performers.

Feet First is a configuration of guys who have been together for the past two years, and bill themselves as a classic rock band who perform both recognizable and dance-able tunes.

Tickets for Tunes for Teeth are $20, available at the  Bean Scene, Blenz, Talkin’ Donkey and Discovery Shoes. They are also available at the door to Powerhouse Theatre, which opens at 6:30 p.m. Music starts at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.communitydentalaccess.ca.