Johnny Galactic will appear at Sookapalooza. The trio presents an energetic set that has audiences on their feet. (file photo)

Johnny Galactic will appear at Sookapalooza. The trio presents an energetic set that has audiences on their feet. (file photo)

Sookapalooza back for 14th year

Local talents are highlighted at annual event

Sookapalooza is returning for the 14th year and this year’s lineup looks stronger than ever.

It all started in the summer of 2005 as a way to build a musical community in Sooke and it’s flourished into a small stage event with a big sound.

“There’s a range of music here that you won’t find anywhere else,” said Graham Mackenzie, the organizer of the event.

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This year’s offering is as varied as ever and includes the following great talents.

Josef Mieto, an authentic singer/songwriter with the ability to take audiences through a full range of emotion with his raw and authentic style.

Tamihi combines a soul vibe with sit and storytelling to enthrall the crowd whenever she performs.

More storytelling folk music with the raw energy of rock is provided by Johnny Galactic. This trio exudes energy and that energy is picked up by the crowds, who have a hard time sitting still once the group hits the stage.

The Basin Boys will be on hand as well, with a repertoire that bounces between original songs, folk, rock and just about anything you can think of. An eclectic and entertaining group, to be sure.

Brett Smith-Daniels has been on stage with music legends such as Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones and Randy Bachman, and on the 17th, he’ll be bringing his magic guitar to the stage at Sookapalooza.

For something a little different, Sweetleaf will bring their three-piece horn section to the stage with music that defies pigeonholing. They play ska, hip hop, punk jazz and soul and, yes, a little bluegrass.

James Reynolds (the Brown Paper Baggers) takes storytelling to a whole new level with tales of growing up on the West Coast. All this is done with an organic use of the guitar that will leave a smile on everyone’s face.

Finally, Bella Cat, out of Ottawa, has been described as a beautiful love child with a soulful, unique voice that is reminiscent of Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Tina Turner and Etta James. She’s the princess of soul and a great addition to this year’s lineup.

The whole thing happens at the 17 Mile Pub on Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 and available at the door.

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