Roy Forbes brings his special brand of music to Sooke on March 15.

Roy Forbes in concert this Sunday evening

Singer formerly known as "Bim" takes the stage in Sooke

This Sunday evening, March 15, the Sooke Folk Music Society is extremely proud and honoured to be presenting Roy Forbes, one of this country’s most gifted singer/songwriters at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.

In July 1971, 18-year-old Roy Forbes left Dawson Creek for the bright lights of Vancouver. His songwriting, singing and guitar playing landed him immediate local attention with a late 1971 headline-making appearance at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Roy and his trusty Gurian guitar have toured extensively in Canada and the U.S. over these past three decades. From the early days of small coffee houses and opening act slots with artists like John Lee Hooker, Supertramp, The Earl Scruggs Revue and Santana to eventually selling out his own shows and headlining most of the major folk music festivals in Canada, Forbes has developed into one of Canada’s best loved acoustic performers.

Through the years Roy made a bunch of solo albums plus two with UHF (the ‘once-in-a-while’ group he shares with Shari Ulrich and Bill Henderson), as well as a Christmas album with Connie Kaldor. The first, Kid Full Of Dreams, received a Juno nomination in 1976 while 1998’s Crazy Old Moon, received a 1999 Juno nomination and a 1999 West Coast Music Award, one of several WCMAs Roy has received over the years.

One sunny day in June 2005 he decided to make a musical present for his mother and went into a studio with Vancouver guitar ace Robbie Steininger, laying down 14 tracks between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. Of those he kept 12. In 2006, he released the new album – Some Tunes For That Mother Of Mine. The wonderfully austere collection of 11 covers and one jaw-dropping new original pays tribute to the songs he grew up hearing in his snowy Dawson Creek hometown.

Forbes’ songs have always been performed and recorded by other people: Susan Jacks (of the Poppy Family), Sylvia Tyson, Matt Minglewood, Valdy and Shari Ulrich in the early days and, his songs have also been used as ‘source music’ for movies and television.

In the late 80s, feeling a need to do more than just tour, he turned his hand to more diverse musical activities. He produced other artists, did his first film score in the early 90s (Nettie Wild’s Blockade) and continues to work in that field – his most recent soundtrack being the CBC TV documentary Stand Up Samurais.

His huge and eclectic record collection comes in handy when Roy tapes his semi-regular and popular Snap Crackle Pop show for CBC Radio. And, as of April 2006, Roy now does a weekly radio show for CKUA Radio Network – Roy’s Record Room.

Roy gives back to his community by participating as a resource leader at songwriting workshops across Canada, an offshoot of his work with the Songwriters Association of Canada. Roy sat on the board of that organization for eight years.

In June, 2007, Northern Lights College gave Roy an honourary arts degree, in recognition of his work over the past three and a half decades. As well, the City of Dawson Creek named a street in his honour – Roy Forbes Drive.

Roy’s long awaited new album is finally ready for release. Strikin’ Matches – LIVE! was recorded at several of Roy’s solo shows between 2011 and 2013.

The entire combination makes for a most welcome live set from this one-of-a-kind artist who has handed us so many timeless, inspired and beautifully crafted tunes over the past four decades. Forbes’ gifted engineer Dave Meszaros mixed these songs to a point where listeners will feel like they’ve paid for the best seat in the house. Roy is known for his high soulful voice and percussive guitar playing.

This Sunday evening, March 15, Roy Forbes brings his amazing talent to Holy Trinity Anglican Church here in Sooke. This is one concert you are not going to want to miss. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the concert commencing at 8. Tickets will be available at the door or can be obtained in advance at Shoppers Drug Mart in Sooke.

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