Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Sherman Doucette have a musical valentine in store for Salmon Arm with a concert, organized by Roots and Blues, at the Nexus on Friday, Feb. 14. (File photo)

Share love of music with Salmon Arm Valentine’s Day concert

Roots and Blues welcomes festival favourites Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Sherman Doucette

Barb Brouwer

Contributor

Why not combine romance with a love of music this Valentine’s Day?

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival will present talented Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Sherman Doucette in concert Feb. 14 at the Nexus.

Wayne has decades of playing, countless globe-trotting tours and award-winning albums behind him and this 74-year-old piano master has no intention of resting on his laurels.

“I’m not looking for a different path, I love that jump blues and boogie-woogie, that’s where my heart is,” said the Kelowna-based performer on his website.

“I’m just trying to keep that style alive; that’s classic stuff and I’m at that classic age, so it all works out.”

With 11 originals — including a tribute to Fats Domino — plus a bonus track of Georgia On My Mind recorded live in Mexico, the self-produced set serves as a throwback to 1950s rhythm and blues while putting a fresh spin on the genre.

“Wayne is recording a new album in the Lower Mainland right now and personally I think we’re really lucky to have someone of his calibre living in our part of the world,” said Roots and Blues Festival artistic director Peter North.

“He seems to win a Maple Blues or Juno every year.”

North is also glad that Sherman Doucette lives in the Interior, a great asset to B.C.’s blues scene.

“He’s one of the top flight veteran blues artists in Canada,” North raved, calling Doucette a sort of Roots and Blues Festival mascot— someone who has played the festival, the music crawl and the Blind Bay summer concert series in the past.

“I try to use him in any blues event; he just loves playing with everybody and has done such a good job with the house band, John Primer and the Reverend Jones. He fits in everywhere.”

Born into a musical family in North Battleford, Sask., Doucette recalls the sounds of his dad on guitar or banjo, his brother on guitar, his mom, sisters and aunts dancing and singing along, and his grandfather giggin’ and jiggin’ on the harmonica.

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“My grampa played harmonica and fiddle. He played French jigs, where they dance with their feet and even though they’re sitting down they’re jiggin,” noted Doucette on his website.

“I’d sit on his lap and he’d keep time with his feet, and the rhythm went right through me.”

When he was 17, Doucette went to see John Lee Hooker who, he recalls, took him and 1,200 other people at his concert to another place.

“I couldn’t believe how much fire and power and energy the blues had,” Doucette recalled.

Years later, he would play with Hooker on five different occasions which he says today remains the highlight of his career.

Doucette has played with several bands, as a studio musician backing artists and performing on commercials. He has appeared on the CBC and CTV and hosted a number of Vancouver’s blues rooms.

Doors open at 7 p.m., Feb. 14, at the Nexus. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, available at rootsandblues.ca or by calling 250-833-4096.

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