AUTHENTIC - Harpdog Brown, Canada’s number one harmonica player three years running, is slated to take the stage at The Krossing June 22nd with his Uptown Blues Band. photo submitted

Harpdog Brown and the Uptown Blue Band head to The Krossing

Few have tackled the smoky magic of the blues quite like Brown

Harpdog Brown is a one-of-a-king blues master – there could hardly be a genre more suited to this versatile powerhouse of a performer.

The winner of Harmonica Player of the Year from the Toronto Blues Society and their Maple Blues Awards for three years plays The Krossing on June 22nd with his Uptown Blues Band.

“It started around New Year’s,” he explained during a recent chat about linking up with a bevy of very talented musicians.

He did a show with some young musicians in Vancouver, and Brown had asked them if they were working on New Year’s.

“We conjured up a New Year’s gig with three of us old fellows and three young guys, and it was something that I had to repeat. So we did it again at a different joint in Gastown, and it was just as good or even better.

“I knew I wanted to pursue this. So that’s kind of how it all started – getting introduced to these young fellows who had gone down to New Orleans at age 17 to learn how to play the instruments,” he said. “So they are really speaking the language.

“Here we are now planning to cut a new album this year with these guys. I’m also taking them out to Quebec for a couple of big festivals in late June and early July, and then another big one back here in July.”

In terms of forming a new direction for the next CD, Brown is pursuing a broadened vision.

“I need to branch out. I’ve been doing classic Chicago low-down blues shows for the last (number of) years and now it’s time to go uptown,” he said with a laugh. A bigger focus on piano, for one thing, opens up a lot of musicality.

“I noticed a whole different type of reaction when I was taking this show across the country in February – it seemed to me to be a broader brushstroke that reaches a wider audience,” he explained, adding that it’s also provided him more versatility and expression as a singer. “I’m really excited about it – I’m stoked!

“There is a whole lot more that is going to come out of this album.”

As to production on the CD, Brown said he’s trying to find some time to focus squarely on the project, but it’s been tough with the brisk pace of hitting the road. “I’m keeping one step ahead of my mortgage on the road,” he laughed. But touring brings its own kind of inspiration. Brown recently took a swing through some of the southern United States and enjoyed every minute of it.

“I think ultimately it’s going to springboard me further, with a further reach,” he said, adding that Nashville-based producer Steve Dawson has been tapped to produce the upcoming project.

“I’ve realized that doing what I’ve been doing for the last four years is a little bit of a peghole,” he said. “I will love classic Chicago blues until my death. It will always raise the hair on the back of my neck.”

But, as mentioned, he feels like it’s time to step out a bit.

“It just feels like this new album and this new band is going to serve as a better platform for more of me than what has met the eyes and the ears (out there) to date. That excites me.”

Having been in the business as a touring and recording artist for more than 30 years, he has shared the stage with such greats as Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy, Pinetop Perkins, The Powder Blues Band, Jack de Keyzer and the late Dutch Mason to name a few.

In 2016, he was named Best Blues Artist of the Year at the first Fraser Valley Music Awards.

As a youngster, his mom would plunk him down with a lap steel guitar and he would come up with all kinds of stuff. In his late teens he landed his first gig as a guitarist with a singer.

The guys would open for comedians, and although it wasn’t exactly where his heart was it was during times like this Brown really began to see his ability to connect with audiences.

Brown’s latest CD, Travelin’ With the Blues, was released in 2016.

Just Posted

Lacombe Generals clip Eagles’ wings in 6-2 victory

Lacombe looking to continue to roll against Innisfail next week

‘Hey Doreen!’ becomes the latest mural in Lacombe

Digitally created mural features Nanton Street in 1949

Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre is back

Dinner theatre returns for 22nd season

WATCH: Robotics Mentor gives prestigious personal award to LCHS

Warren Kreway won the Woody Flowers Award for mentorship last May

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

WATCH: Robotics Mentor gives prestigious personal award to LCHS

Warren Kreway won the Woody Flowers Award for mentorship last May

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Most Read