As well as highlighting Canadian talent, The Salmon Arm Roots & Blues also makes an effort to bring local bands from around B.C. into the spotlight — and onto the stage. This year the festival welcomes three more acts that are close to home: Seal Skull Hammer, Jesse Mast and Jon and Roy.
Seal Skull Hammer is a band that was born in Salmon Arm.
Sprung from once-a-week summer jams on Alton Gowen’s front porch, these three melodious mountain musicians have joined forces, moving off the front porch and onto the stage.
These three do-it-yourselfers of the doctrinal ditty are named for the idea of using archaic tools to build what they need.
The band prides itself on having the lowest-tech gear possible to make their music – giving up doctored sound effects and synthesizers for homemade instruments and hillbilly harmonies.
They hope to entertain you, laugh with you and send you home feeling better than when you arrived. So put away your toil, ease your mortal coil, put your woes and worries in the slammer and listen to some Seal Skull Hammer.
Jesse Mast is an 18-year-old talented homegrown singer/songwriter. He grew up with a passion for music, listening to genres including Celtic, bluegrass, and folk.
Over the past couple of years the multi-award-winning Mast has been developing his career as a Canadian Country entertainer and has gained recognition as an up and coming artist.
He took first place in the Country 103 Radio Interior Talent Search, has appeared in multiple songwriters showcases and has played alongside Canadian artists Shane Chisholm, Duane Steele and Alee. Mast has opened for some of Canada’s biggest acts including Brett Kissel, Joe Burt, Katie Mission and Andrew Allen.
Chorus-driven Jon and Roy continue to roll. Neither Jon Middleton nor Roy Vizer can recall exactly when or where they started playing music together, but they distinctly remember it was very soon after meeting.
The symmetry was there from the start: Middleton’s gently wavering voice, powerful in spots but never enough to overshadow his expressive guitar playing; Vizer’s inventive, expressive percussion, delivered in a way that meshed perfectly with its elements.
The band has released four critically-acclaimed roots albums: 2005’s Sittin’ Back, 2008’s Another Noon, 2010’s Homes, and 2012’s Let it Go, which earned Jon and Roy a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Recording.
With Louis Sadava on bass, the group is now proud to share their fifth addition By My Side.
Roots & Blues opens Aug. 15, with 46 acts on six stages. For tickets, call 250-833-4096 or visit www.rootsandblues.ca.