Roots & Blues fans follow festival trails

Get a festival fix early when Routes and Blues begins Friday, Aug. 2, with several music, hike and dine stops across the Shuswap.

Hikers will again climb up the Albas Falls trail when Routes and Blues leads to Seymour Arm on Aug. 10

Hikers will again climb up the Albas Falls trail when Routes and Blues leads to Seymour Arm on Aug. 10

For the Roots and Blues Festival junkies that can’t get enough, Routes and Blues will keep you entertained up until the main event.

This year’s pre-festival lineup features eight stops within the Shuswap, featuring music, the outdoors and fine cuisine. Organizers promise a unique Shuswap experience.

“I hope to see happy faces at the events,” said Nina Reichle, a summer intern from Germany and member of the event support crew.

Reichle hopes to see lots of interaction between tourists and the locals, noting the crew has tried to inspire nostalgic vibes with the intimate community hall concerts.

And community involvement has spawned unique presentations at each stop.

“I really like that the communities are small, but they have big hearts,” said Reichle.

Routes and Blues kicks off Friday, Aug. 2 with Shred Kelly at the Malakwa Community Centre. The six-piece band claims to turn banjo doubters into sweaty indie, folk rock believers. Start the day with a hike in Yard Creek Provincial Park with the Shuswap Trail Alliance.

Notch Hill Hall hosts hailed blues singer and harp player Sherman Doucette on Aug. 3. The Trail Alliance hike will feature turtle spotting with local naturalist Trish Wallensteen at White Lake’s John Evdokimoff Park.

Five Alarm Funk will be in Falkland Aug. 4 at the village hall. The band plans to turn the hall into a dancer’s paradise with their 10-person, horn-powered and percussion-filled performance.

The morning walking tour of Falkland is dubbed “A Blast of History” and starts at the Falkland Community Centre.

Routes fans will  venture to Kingfisher on Aug. 9 for No Sinner. The Vancouver-based rock ’n’ roll quartet will be at the community hall for an evening of entertainment.

Explore Kingfisher Interpretive Centre and nature trail earlier in the day for “Groovin’ with the Salmon.”

Aug. 10 brings Current Swell and a Million Dollars in Pennies to Seymour Arm. Current Swell is a five-piece band from Victoria with a blues, roots, folk rock mash-up, while local favourites a Million Dollars in Pennies combine two voices and two instruments for their story-telling acoustic vibe.

The power and presence of water will be featured in the “Wild Waterfall Pilgrimage” hike at Albas Falls Provincial Park prior to the concert.

George Leach performs his ballads in Squilax on Aug. 11. The Canadian Aboriginal Music Award winner is a rock singer, songwriter, guitarist and performer.

The Trail Alliance’s “Ancient Pathways” hike follows the footsteps of Secwepemc leaders at Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park.


On Aug. 14 Routes and Blues will host Wednesday on the Wharf, where Fatoumata Diawara’s jazz and funk will emanate from the Marine Park stage.

The SiriusXM Live on the Lake satellite performances are on Aug. 14. The houseboat concert tour will take The Crooked Brothers and The Balconies to Herald Park day-use area at 11 a.m., Canoe Beach at 1:30 p.m. and the Salmon Arm Wharf at 4 p.m.

Routes and Blues wraps up on Aug. 15 with the Downtown Salmon Arm Music Crawl. The series of nine intimate performances starts at 4 p.m. with concerts taking place at various restaurants as evening arrives.

The six hall concerts begin at 7 p.m. with a community meal at 5. Get your tickets at www.routesand blues.ca or call 250-833-4096.

Shuswap Trail Alliance hikes start at 10 a.m. Admission is by donation and hikers must book in advance through Routes and Blues.