One of Salmon Arm’s best-loved musical acts are losing their founding member but not before two more live appearances.
Lody Kieken founded the Salmon Armenians in 1995 and has played organ for the band ever since.
“I’m leaving town after 25 years of living here and 20 years of playing with the Salmon Armenians,” Kieken said.
Kieken is moving to Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island to retire at the end of August.
Jim Johnston is taking over as the Salmon Armenians’ organist.
Kieken has many fond memories about his years playing with the band but a few during the Roots and Blues festival stand out in his mind.
“For me the personal highlights would be the three or four years we played at The Smokehouse where we used to have these fantastic after-hours parties for Roots and Blues with all these musicians from the festival coming to jam and they often went to about 2 o’clock in the morning. We got to play with musicians from all over the world,” Kieken said.
Music will remain a large part of Kieken’s life when he moves to Vancouver Island. He says Qualicum Beach has a similar music and arts scene to Salmon Arm, with passionate musicians playing in a wide variety of styles.
Kieken said he has already made musical contacts on Vancouver Island in hopes of forming another band or at least finding people to jam with.
When asked if his departure from the Shuswap is likely to lead to a departure from his musical style, Kieken replied he would probably be sticking to rhythm and blues.
“I like to explore other types of music but that’s what I come home to,” he said.
Before leaving the Shuswap, Kieken will be playing two final performances with the Salmon Armenians.
The Salmon Armenians will be playing at Off the Beat as part of the Roots and Blues Music Crawl on Aug. 18 at 9:30 p.m.
The final Salmon Armenians show featuring Kieken will be the season closer of Wednesday on the Wharf on Aug. 31.