Semple shares love of music in Vernon

Folk-Roots Music Society presents Jack Semple Jan. 18 at Lodge

Paul Tessier

Special to The Morning Star

There seems to be one in every class. That’s the kid who’s like a sponge when it comes to music. Jack Semple was one of those kids. At the age of 10, he started taking guitar lessons. By the time he was 15, he was teaching guitar at the local music store and playing live at the Folk Guild in Regina.

Since then, Semple has won the Much Music Guitar Wars contest and a Juno award in 1991 for best roots recording. He has also won two Western Canadian Music awards and he’s currently nominated for the Maple Blues awards for best blues guitarist.

Semple will be performing his brand of blues for the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society on Friday, Jan. 18 at the Vernon Prestige Lodge and Conference Centre.

See: Vernon Folk-Roots Society gears up for fifth season

Like so many kids in the ‘60s, seeing the Beatles on television had a lasting impact.

“I was about 10, when I saw them play on the Ed Sullivan show,” Semple recalls. “Then later that year, I saw B.B. King play the blues on TV. Music has been my passion ever since I was 10 years old.”

Early on, Semple played all sorts of styles on guitar. “At first, I studied classical guitar. Then I got into Flamenco guitar. But I always loved Blues music,” he explains. “But I never got an electric guitar till I was 18. At the time, I got asked to join a party band around town- it was a good way to make money. So I started reexamining blues music and rock ‘n roll guitar.”

His delving into past music helped form his view of music and the blues. “Blues music is the essential germ of rock ‘n roll, jazz, country, hip-hop and even heavy metal. It’s the root and the source of that feeling in music.” Semple goes on to say, “B.B. King’s music always spoke to because it’s so easily understood- yet incredibly difficult to pull off. Recently, I started doing a B.B. King tribute where I play a full evening of his songs. So I practiced his licks and studied his guitar style. I soon discovered that technically it’s very hard to do but it’s so lyrical and beautiful. So, I’ve discovered that blues music has always truly been at the centre of my gravity.”

In the late 80’s, his Regina-based band opened a show for the Lincolns: “I had seen the Lincolns a few times and they were basically the very best Toronto musicians playing classic soul and R&B music,” he remembers. “Their music really spoke to me because it was sophisticated, slick, well-played with a great stage presentation. So we opened for them and after the show, their leader asked me if i would join their band. And I said, ‘What? You want me to join my favourite band?’” he says with a laugh. “It was a great opportunity. My wife and I had a two year old at the time so we decided to move to Toronto and give it a shot.”

He spent a couple of years in Toronto and kept himself very busy. “I played on movie soundtracks, worked on albums and played all over Ontario and Western-Canada. It was great because I made so many connections in Toronto with folks I continue to play with to this day.” The move to Toronto also bolstered his confidence. “Just going there and seeing the level of talent- I came to realize I could compete on that level.”

The show on Jan. 18 will be very special because Semple will be reunited with Dave Chabot on bass.

“Dave and I played together for 30 years,” Semple says. “Dave just moved to the Vernon area a few months ago. I miss him terribly because he and I are partners, basically. It’ll be absolutely great to play with him again.”

See also: Shsuwap’s Roots and Blues adds world-class acts to roster

Semple is also looking forward to doing some tunes from his new album, Can’t Stop This Love!, released in September of last year. “Back in October of 2017, I spent two full months writing tunes for a new recording and I wrote 60 tunes in 60 days. I wrote a song every day. I just put the pedal to the metal and I came up with the best writing that I’ve ever done. Then I picked 10 of the songs and that’s the new album. It’s going over well and people are really enjoying it.”

“There’ll be stuff you’ll be able to dance to for sure, Semple says, looking forward to the Vernon show. ” I’ll also be doing some instrumental, solo-guitar stuff and lots of tunes with bluesy vocals.”

“Performing live is very exhilarating because i want to connect with the audience and give them something that they can feel good about,” Semple says. “That’s the whole point- to make the audience feel good. I love taking the audience on a range of emotions- from happy, blues-shuffle music that makes you wanna dance to more thoughtful music that makes you want to reflect on your life and the world around you.When I can create that kind of journey for the audience, I feel I’ve given them something to remember.”

Tickets to the show are $30, $25 for Vernon Folk Roots Society members. Available through ticketseller.ca (250-549-7469), Expressions Of Time bookstore (2901- 30 Avenue) or at the door (if available and cash only.) Doors open at 6:30. Show at 7:30. Food (beef brisket sliders), beer and wine available at the show.

Memberships to our Society sell for $20. Society members receive a $5 rebate when attending a show and are eligible to attend our Annual General Meeting. More information on all shows for the upcoming season is available through vernonfolkroots.com and on Facebook (vernonfolkroots). For further information, please contact: info@vernonfolkroots.com.


@VernonNews
entertainment@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Man charged in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

Signs commemorating Japanese interment in the Shuswap planned

Information on each of the five internment camps in the area will be provided at camp locations

Outdoor ice rink opens in the North Shuswap

Those looking to skate in the fresh air can do so at Farrell’s Field in Celista

Man admits responsibility for 2016 death of Shuswap motorcyclist

Brian Watson, 60, died after being struck while riding his motorcycle on Squilax-Anglemont Road

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

9 brains, 3 hearts: Some wild facts about octopuses

Things to know about the giant Pacific octopus, which is naturally found in the waters of the U.S. West coast, the Aleutian Islands and Japan

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Most Read