Jeff Ellis will hold down bass duty with Eric Day's bluegrass combo March 5 at the Legion.

Jeff Ellis will hold down bass duty with Eric Day's bluegrass combo March 5 at the Legion.

Bluegrass bonanza at the Legion

March 5 is the date and showtime is 8 p.m. A five-piece unit is well-rehearsed and ready to deliver an evening of dynamic bluegrass and old time music.This is an eagerly anticipated deal. It’s not every week Sooke is treated to a group with this much talent and experience and tickets have been moving briskly.The driving force behind this attraction is Eric Day – no stranger to bluegrass lovers in Sooke and area. The East Coast native and his wife Mary are longtime stalwarts of the local bluegrass scene, having been heavily involved in the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival as well as the regular Sunday jams at the Legion over the years.Adept on vocals and multiple instruments, Eric leads this fine ensemble appearing March 5 at the Royal Canadian Legion, Br. 54.Rounding out the lineup are: Sooke resident Mike Kraft (banjo, harmony vocals) is one of Victoria’s secrets that doesn’t involve underwear, and a member of the popular Clover Point Drifters. Besides being one fine banjo player, he also plays guitar in a variety of country, rockabilly and blues bands. Basically, any band that wants a real musician tries to snag him. He is also a former member of The Chance Brothers.Bert Jensen  plays fiddle, guitar and mandolin and sings lead, tenor and baritone. Born in Saskatchewan, Bert has won numerous old-time fiddle contests across Western Canada. After switching to bluegrass he played on stage with The Grascals at Wintergrass in Tacoma in 2005.  His driving tempo keeps toes tapping. He has two CDs to his credit and his tasteful contributions to Canadian Whitewater’s sound can be heard on the two CD’s they released.Bassist Jeff Ellis is originally from southwestern Virginia, U.S.A. Born into a musical family, his father Ricky is a five-time world champion mandolin player. Jeff has performed as part of many national touring bands throughout the United States, along the way winning many band and individual competitions. His numerous recognitions include the titles of Virginia State Champion acoustic guitar player, Virginia State Champion acoustic bass player and over 50 first place awards. Jeff spent 2007 touring North America with Grammy & CMA award winning artist Marty Raybon (of country super group Shenandoah fame) and his exciting band Full Circle.Playing mandolin is an import from Manitoba. Paul Lange recently relocated here from the small town of Beausejour. He grew up with the sounds of old country and bluegrass music on the record player and began to play in the family gospel group from a young age.Somewhere in the early 90s Paul connected with some local bluegrass musicians and was bitten by the”bug.” Over some years he has had the opportunity to be part of several bands and play throughout western Canada and parts of the U.S.There is nothing Paul likes better than to be part of a good music jam or ensemble of musicians.Aside from music, Paul works as a carpenter and is hoping to stay busy in his new home on the Island.It was the “weather” that brought him here.

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