File Photo A large crowd of festivalgoers enjoys the music and vibe at the CBC Radio Blues Stage at the 2016 annual Roots and Blues Festival.

Festival fever rises

The 25th annual Roots and Blues Festival begins with a downtown crawl

Get ready for six days of musical magic.

From the Thursday evening crawl through Salmon Arm to the dying notes of Alex Cuba’s Sunday night performance, the 25th edition of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival will have the joint hopping.

Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 15, nine local venues will host a number of musical acts:

• Aug. 15 – Askew’s Uptown hosts Green Room at noon and Chicken-Like Birds at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m. Treehouse Bistro will rock to the sounds of Devon Coyote.

• Aug. 16 – Twin Peaks performs at WOW in Marine Park at 6:45 p.m.

• Aug. 17 – Let the Super Crawl begin! The Shuswap Pie Company hosts Chicken-Like Birds at 5 p.m.; Shuswap Theatre hosts Tiger Moon at 5 p.m., Zal Sissokho at 6:30, Parking, Scott &Browne at 7:30 and Tim Koslo at 8:30 p.m.; over at Branch 62 Royal Canadian Legion it’s Blu Hopkins at 6:30 and Braden Gates at 7:30; hear Basic Needs at 7 p.m. at the Ross Street Stage and Dylan Menzie at 7:30 at the Treehouse Bistro and the Barley Station Brew Pub presents Alpha Yaya Diallo at 7:30 p.m.

Then it’s over to the Jack Daniel’s Barn Stage for a lively musical blast with Coco Jafro at 8:10 and the Boogie Patrol at 9:30.

Rest up for Friday because the main event begins at the Shade stage with a performance by Stephen Fearing at 3:20 and a workshop, Something Borrowed, Something Blu, hosted by our own Blu Hopkins.

Look out for the storm as The Real Celtic Thunder explodes at 4:15 p.m. on the Barn Stage – a workshop hosted by Ricky Skaggs &Kentucky Thunder and including the Irish trio of McGoldrick, McCusker and Doyle. Another workshop, Keep on Truckin’ with Rev. Robert B. Jones Sr., David Essig and Michael Jerome Browne.

Evening on the Jack Daniel’s Barn Stage features Dylan Menzie, Altmeda, The OM Sound and Los Duendes.

The Main Stage offers a variety of single acts Friday night, including Asani, L’il Smokies, The House Band with John Primer, Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder and Frazey Ford.

The barn stage opens up bright and early Saturday morning with another round of workshops beginning at 10:20 a.m. and closing at 6:10 p.m., followed by a night of superlative entertainment from 6:40 p.m. to midnight.

Superlative is the watchword too, over at the Main Stage. Catch Talking Dreads, the Claire Lynch Band, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, McGoldrick, McCusker &Doyle and Booker T wrapping up the evening with “A Stax Revue and a Journey Through Soul, Blues and R&B.”

The CBC Blues Stage is the perfect place to spend warm (OK hot), lazy days. This year one of the favourite places among festival-goers with concerts and workshops the music will transport to another realm.

There’s another world of music playing out Saturday and Sunday at the Blues Stage.

The Jack Daniel’s Barn is where festival-goers can start their Sunday, with another great series of workshops and a boisterous evening with Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Talking Dreads, Five Alarm Funk and DJ Shub.

The Main Stage leads off with April Verch at 5:45, is followed by Stephen Fearing and a special tribute to Leonard Cohen that includes performances by Tower of Song, Livingston Taylor, Dana Wylie, the House Band, John Lent, Irish Mythen, Jeffrey Foucault and Dan Shinnan.

The festival wraps with infectious Latin rhythms of by Juno award-winner Alex Cuba.

To find out the skinny on who is playing or singing what, where and at what time, grab a printed schedule when you arrive on the fairgrounds or visit www.rootsandblues.ca and see the magical, musical menu online and start planning your festival adventure.

Several artists will be making appearances and signing CDs over at the “merch tent,” where albums usually sell like hotcakes.

Sales are also usually brisk in the festival’s artisan market, which features Canadian-made artistry. New this year Berety Design produces cigar box guitars, Hemptopia features Canadian edible products and True Spirit Revival will be on site with a special line of jewelry.

Sagestone Malas and Meditation sells gemstones and sacred jewelry and Rimanchik is a creator of handcrafted leather, felt and canvas creations. Britt Bidlake Studio produces a combination of nature and animal inspired handmade pottery and jewelry and artist K. Trebor will have landscape paintings and prints for sale.

When hunger strikes, there is a wide variety of delicious options in the food court. Some additions to this year’s menu include local Panzudo Flatbreads offering pizzas and paninis, Smokeshack 99 with their pulled pork and more and Surfside California with fish tacos.

TLC Foods will be bringing their big bad chicken wagon and Be Teased will serve specialty tea drinks.

Children under 12 years of age get in free so, as always, there is a special Play Zone that features performers, live musicians, artists and the young at heart, who engage children with juggling, puppets, music, workshops, interactive art and more.

Tickets are available at www.rootsandblues.ca or by calling 250-833-4096.

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