All-star bluegrass concert benefits festival

Get a taste of what’s to come at the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival at a fundraising concert this weekend at Oak Bay United Church.

Get a taste of what’s to come at the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival at a fundraising concert this weekend at Oak Bay United Church.

The March 30 event features some very well-known performers. The Sweet Lowdown will be bringing original tunes from the acoustically-based trio, The Moonshiners will woo you with their powerful three-part harmonies, The Riverside Trio will inspire you with their soulful gospel, and The Clover Point Drifters will charm you with their repertoire of tunes.

Funds raised will go towards supporting the various operational aspects of the annual Sooke River Bluegrass Festival.

According to the event’s website (sookebluegrass.com), the “line up consists of an inspirational group of local musicians who have set out to create musical fusion between bluegrass, old-time and gospel. The event aims to be a unique event that inspires its audience with style and originality.”

Eric Day, the previous co-ordinator of the Sooke Bluegrass Festival, said that some of the best pickers in Victoria will be playing at this All-star event.

“Mike Kraft (of the Clover Point Drifters) is one of the best banjo players in the area,” says Day. The group’s website (cloverpointdrifters.com) refers to Kraft as “one of Victoria’s secrets that don’t involve underwear.”

Bluegrass is an American-rooted form of music that incorporates elements of country, folk, jazz and blues music and is usually performed on acoustic stringed instruments. The six core traditional instruments are the mandolin, guitar, fiddle, banjo, upright bass, and dobro (also known as the resonator guitar). The term “bluegrass” comes from Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, who are credited with first popularizing this style in the 1940’s.

Sooke, according to Day, is well-positioned to become a Canadian Bluegrass hub given the high calibre of local talent coupled with the fact that Sooke hosts an established annual festival.

The uniqueness of a bluegrass festival holds tremendous appeal for those in the know, says Larry Statland, a board member helping co-ordinating both events.

“Bluegrass festivals are unusual and unique. One of the things that differentiates bluegrass festivals from other music festivals is they are more participatory. So people will come to the festival and their intent isn’t just to see the band — and sometimes they don’t really go to see the bands at all — it’s to meet other musicians.  So a lot of action happens in a bluegrass festival after the bands stop playing, in the campgrounds afterwards.”

According to Statland, the festival has negotiated new terms with the Sooke River Campground, and they are tuning up for a fine show.

The Sooke River Bluegrass Festival runs on the Father’s day weekend, from June 14 to 16 at the Sooke River Campground. This year the Festival has grown to a three-day event. According to the website, “the festival has nurtured a generation of bluegrass audiences, enriched the cultural life of bluegrass and old-time musicians, introduced the music to the mainstream and contributed to Canada’s bluegrass scene.”

The all-star event on March 30 can serve as a great introduction to anyone interested in discovering Island bluegrass talent. And for the regular fans and supporters, it will be lively and entertaining soiree that is guaranteed to get your toes a tappin’ and hands a clappin’.

Tickets for the All-star Bluegrass Celebration are $20 at the Royal McPherson Box office (rmts.bc.ca, 250-386-6121), the Oak Bay United Church office, and at the door on the day of the event. It starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday March 30.

Visit sookebluegrass.com for more information.

Just Posted

Number of SD62 kindergarten registrations about same as last year

Approximately 850 kindergarten registrations for 2019/2020 school year

UPDATE: Missing 12-year-old girl found

Victora police say missing youth has been found and is safe

VicPD faces ‘significant pressure’ following Victoria’s 2019 budget decision

Chief Const. Del Manak says council continues to micromanage his department

Work set to begin on removing Sooke’s derelict boats from waterways

Seven boats earmarked to be removed this spring

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training for

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Most Read