Phil (Boz) Rossner will be the opening act at next Saturday’s (May 7) concert.

‘Booze-less blues’ concert changes rhythm

Sooke musician Phil Rossner wants to change the tune to how we perceive blues music.

Sooke musician Phil Rossner wants to change the tune to how we perceive blues music — after all, it’s not always about lost love, tall whiskey glasses and dark bars.

More so, it’s about the art of blues music itself, something Rossner wants to emphasize at an all-blues and all-ages blues concert on Saturday, May 7 at Sooke Community Hall.

The idea is to expose more youth to blues music by removing alcohol and the barely-lit bar image entirely out of the picture.

“It’s time that this whole embedded concept of having to go to a bar to hear the blues should change,” Rossner said, adding this is a chance for young musicians to experience blues alongside their parents.

Rossner, a singer and guitar player for more than 40 years, said he was enthralled the first time he saw fellow musician and friend, Victoria-based musician Norm MacPherson, who, at just 17, blew his mind.

This is all about inspiring young musicians to pursue what they love, perhaps even take an interest in blues.

“There are a lot of young aspiring guitar players out there, and usually they can’t get into these gigs, which is too bad, because they miss out on a lot,” Rossner said.

Kicking off the night will be Rossner (as Boz and Friends) along with fellow players Martin Matychuk on bass, Jeff Germain on drums, Norm MacPherson on guitar and (Shakey) Reay Suter, a renown blues harp and harmonica player.

In the second half of the concert, the Bill Johnson Blues Band will feature some of their latest stuff from their latest CD, Cold Outside.

“I’m really excited for this and been looking forward to getting together with my band,” Johnson said.

Proceeds from the concert will go to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

All in all, Rossner hopes the Sooke community will embrace this new approach to blues music, even without the booze.

Cold beverages, coffee, tea and snacks will be available during the event.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 8.

Tickets are $20 and available at the Sooke Yoga and Wellness office at the Hope Centre, as well as The Stick In The Mud Coffee, Sooke Shoppers Drug Mart and online via Eventbrite.ca.

For more information, contact Phil Rossner at 778-922-3254.