Gerry Barnumm performs Saturday.

Blues and roots at Coffee House

This month the Sooke Folk Music Society’s Coffee House brings back blues/roots singer/songwriter, Gerry Barnum

This month the Sooke Folk Music Society’s Coffee House is very excited to be bringing back blues/roots singer/songwriter, Gerry Barnum on Saturday, March 16 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church at 1962 Murray Road.

Gerry Barnum is a well-seasoned musician with over 30 years of performing experience in venues as diverse as clubs, festivals, coffee houses, house concerts, stadiums and major theatres and studios. He describes his style as “soulful roots/original.”

After a dozen years steeped in the Vancouver music scene, along with some cross Canada touring, Barnum returned to his hometown of Parksville.  Barnum has recorded five CDs since being back and divides his time between teaching and performing.

He plays guitar and harmonica and his vocal style is smooth yet visceral and soulful. He is often referred to as a ‘musician’s musician.’ Barnum’s deep feeling for blues and gospel have become the foundation for much of his songwriting and his songs range from tender to footstompin.’

“My time in Vancouver was a rich musical experience. I was playing a lot, live fronting a band as a sideman and I was doing a fair amount of studio sessions as well. I opened for some of the artists I grew up listening to such as John Mayall, Spencer Davis Group, John Hammond, Delbert McLinton, Lyle Lovett, as well as touring Canada with country rocker Sue Medley.

“That’s where I got a taste of playing for some big crowds —  opening for a Dwight Yoakum cross-Canada tour and playing the Big Valley Jamboree in Craven, Saskatchewan. I was writing then but still honing and finding myself… it wasn’t until I moved back to the Island that I really came into my own with my material. acoustic and intimate… and so came my first CD, Pickin up the Pieces,”   said Barnum.

Three more CDs followed,  Harmony and Stand By Me and Live at the Blues Underground.

Live at the Blues Underground, was a tribute to my roots — my interpretations of some classic blues songs… Yeah, I definitely shifted into some new terrain. I would say it’s still roots and rhythm but this recording was definitely influenced by some altered  guitar tunings that I’d been exploring and writing around. Also sonically it was a much larger landscape with the addition of Darcy Phillips’ keyboards and Rick Salt’s production.”

Gerry completed his fifth recording Step on In” featuring 12 original songs, released in 2011.

“Some of the tunes I’ve written a few years ago and some I’ve written this past year.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 and Gerry Barnum at 8.