Rick “Poppa Dawg” Halisheff (guitar and vocals) plays at the Vernon Jazz Cub Saturday

Poppa Dawg wails the blues at Vernon Jazz Club

Kelowna blues giant Rick Halisheff leads his band to the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, Dec. 10.

  • Dec. 7, 2016 7:00 p.m.

Candice McMahon

For The Morning Star

Get ready for a howling good time when Kelowna’s Poppa Dawg wails to the delight of the audience at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday.

Rick Halisheff (aka Poppa Dawg) and his former band, Dogskin Suit, are receiving worldwide airplay thanks to internet streaming radio.

Halisheff is a blues man with energy and enthusiasm that runs deep. He has worked and shared the stage with many blues luminaries and Juno Award winners, including Tony Coleman (B.B. King), Sonny Rhodes, Fathead and (Mr. Downchild) Donnie Walsh, Jeff Healey, Jim Byrnes, Powder Blues Band, Sherman Doucette, and many others.

He has the stage experience and presence of a true journeyman.

“Halisheff (is) a bear of a man with the surest hands since Roy Buchanan grabbed an amplified six-string and (has) a voice that can evoke a myriad of emotions,” said Mike D’Amour, with The Calgary Sun.

Armed with a versatility rarely seen, hard-core blues fans will love Halisheff’s’s ability to channel the energy and sound that has echoes of Albert King and Howlin’ Wolf.  He can bring the slinky grooves reminiscent of Dr. John and the hard-hitting edge of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Guitar fanatics will be at the edge of their seats as he delivers each song as if he is living and breathing it from the inside out. Of special note are the rare songs in which he employs the little used “voicebox” popularized in the 1970s by Peter Frampton.

In the house with Poppa Dawg will be Luke Pittman, on bass and backing vocals, and Brian “Skip” Maguire on drums, who will also enrich the sound with even more backing vocals.

The Vernon Jazz Club is “a gig I always look forward to: wonderful audiences and caring organized staff – (a) nice to return to our neighbouring city, Vernon,” said Maguire on his Facebook page.

Now working with Concept Entertainment, Halisheff hopes to travel more and let folks hear for themselves that his love for the blues comes through loud and clear. With four critically acclaimed CDs to his credit, this Dawg is still on the prowl.

“Great singing, tones, playing, songs and a refreshing variety of approaches  make Dawg’s self-release Same Dog, New Suit a winner,” said Tom Hyslop, with Blues Revue Magazine.

Poppa Dawg takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St. above Nolan’s) Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15 p.m. Cash only bar on site. Tickets are $20 online at www.vernonjazz.com and at Expressions of Time (2901-30th Ave.), with a $5 rebate at the gig for VJS members.


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