Willy Blizzard blows into town to perform at Coffee House

Sooke Folk Music Society hosts folk group at Saturday concert

Willy Blizzard

Willy Blizzard

It’s time once again for another evening at the Sooke Folk Music Society’s Monthly Coffee House. But before getting into who is coming, we want to take a moment to thank all of you who came out to support our benefit concert on Feb. 4 for Bobbi-jo Peterson. It was a wonderful night of music and love.

This Saturday’s coffee house is featuring Willy Blizzard, from Vancouver. Willy Blizzard is the brainchild of long time Vancouver musician John Hough, who formed the group with guitarist Fran Madigan and bassist Andrea Law last year.

Fran Madigan plays electric and acoustic guitar and banjo. His vocal talent was recognized early when he was offered a place in the St. Michael’s Choir School (Toronto) and subsequently trudged the streets of Toronto hoofing it to Royal Conservatory piano exams. As a teenager, he blew it all when he purchased a Hammond B3 organ and joined an R & B band in order to get a girlfriend.

Andrea Law is the rhythm section, and is the only respectable member of the band. She is a third generation musician proud to dedicate her music to her late father, Thomas Law, a classical and regimental percussionist.

The trio’s unusual name “Willy Blizzard” comes from an old friend of her family back in her Ottawa days. Andrea adds background vocals, and is increasingly attached to her washboard.

Willy Blizzard is fronted by lead vocalist John Hough who has shared the stage with David Rea, Jesse Winchester, and Canada’s beloved Valdy. John’s former Celtic band Under The Moss brought his warm baritone vocals to wider audiences when his band was the feature at the Expo 86 Folklife pavilion.

Willy Blizzard is riding a musical journey that literally spans the decades, even the centuries. Their 2010 album In From the Cold conveys the emotional depth of a songwriter who is so earth-centered he actually holds a degree in Agriculture.

John’s public performance history began at age four in Toronto when he gave an impromptu, but well received, performance of Kawliga in McGirvens Grocery Store. He won his first official singing contest at age 18 at the old Caribou Club in Toronto, where he was privileged to play with Bob Lucier and Johnny Burke.

Willy Blizzard’s album In From The Cold is essential Americana. Its rich detail has met with generous praise from press and critics both in Canada and Europe. The last year has found Willy Blizzard enchanting audiences on tour in Western Canada, making appearances at festivals such as Kaslo Folk Festival, Desert Daze and sharing the bill with artists like Linda McRae, Romi Mayes, Andrea Ramolo and Dustin Bentall.

As the principal songwriter for Willy Blizzard, Hough’s music has garnered airplay on many CBC Radio programs like North By Northwest, Morningside (Peter Gzowski), The Early Edition, Vicki Gabereau, Folksounds (KBCS).

John’s musical history includes many TV and movie placements. The song Eamonn An Cnoic was purchased by Gordon Lightfoot for use in the feature film Harry Tracey starring Bruce Dern.

A true nature lover since long before the contemporary environmental movement took hold, John’s academic background in biology deeply informs his songwriting. Few writers can authentically utilize lyrics like symbiotic parasite in their work. (“Hallie”).

Bringing along his beloved Martin D18 and his trusty Sada to earlier careers as a canoeing instructor and outdoor education instructor, John has also served as a very popular teacher of math and science to generations of guitar-loving teens. In Willy Blizzard, right brain meets left brain to sustain an enduring encounter through music.

Please join us this Saturday, Feb. 18, at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Murray Road. Doors open at 7 p.m., open stage at 7:30 and our feature at 9.

Just Posted

Red arrow shows the existing warehouse that is home to a variety of specialized equipment used by the Capital Region Emergency Services Telecommunications (CREST). The service provider is looking for a new home that will protect the equipment in the event of an earthquake or other natural disaster. (Google Maps)
CREST telecoms look to find a post-seismic facility in Greater Victoria

The move will better protect equipment vital to its 50 emergency service clients across the CRD

(Black Press Media file photo)
FRESH AND LOCAL: Greater Victoria farm markets ready to greet shoppers

A list of markets on the go this spring and summer, right into fall

A client and a staff member embark on an art project at Oak Bay United Church. (Christine van Reewyk/News Staff)
VIDEO: Oak Bay group of adults with developmental disabilities promotes community inclusivity

Victoria Community Connections moved to Oak Bay late last year

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Graeme Wright is the owner of Hullabaloo, a new ice cream and coffee food truck serving patrons at the Red Barn on West Saanich. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff).
VIDEO: Cool treats, warm bevvies a specialty for new Saanich food truck

Hullabaloo owner Graeme Wright passionate about blending green space with sustainability

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Vancouver Island man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Most Read