Shuswap artists do their own thing

Local musicians introduce program to showcase the creative talent of several area artists.

Kelly and Blu Hopkins

Kelly and Blu Hopkins

Artists perform by themselves, in pairs and in groups – all with distinctive results.

But for many artists, it’s about more than what they play, it’s about the words and music they have crafted themselves.

This month, well-known artists Kelly and Blu Hopkins introduce a showcase to highlight both.

“We have so many excellent songwriters here; we see them in concert but they’re doing cover songs,” she says. “We wanted them to be able to perform their own work and make it interesting for the audience.”

Planned as a monthly event, the Songwriters Showcase Series at the SAGA Public Art Gallery will feature interesting and varied performers focusing on original songs and acoustic music in an intimate setting.

Each showcase will be presented in a songwriter circle format, where the artists take turns performing a song then pass to the next act before ending with all the musicians jamming together. And each showcase will have a theme of its own.

The first showcase, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, is “duos” and will feature the original music of three such pairs – Sue Kyle and Alan Bates, Mike Shaver and Stephanie Webster (A Million Dollars in Pennies) and hosts Blu & Kelly Hopkins.

“A Million Dollars in Pennies has a folk sound that will definitely appeal to the younger crowd,” says Kelly. “Kyle and Bates bring the blues, folk and bluegrass.”

Songwriter/multi-instrumentalist musicians, Blu and Kelly have been entertaining audiences around B.C. and Alberta for the past 10 years.

They seamlessly mix many acoustic instruments (guitar, clawhammer banjo, dulcimer, stand-up bass, mandolin) and humour into their performances.

The couple have garnered two BCIMA Awards as “Best Bluegrass Artists” and have been nominated for awards 14 times in diverse categories.

Blu has recorded two solo projects and together the Hopkins have produced two recordings in their Silver Creek studio – Homegrown and Shakin’ the Dust Off.

Blu and Kelly are currently in the process of recording a children’s CD of traditional songs, while maintaining a busy performance schedule and producing recordings for several local musicians in their studio.

Back in the art gallery, the April 27 showcase will feature Richard Owings and Murray MacDonald (One Camel Short), Linz Kenyon and Gillian Cran, and Jesse Clarke and Jacob Verberg (The Wild Oaks).


Tickets for all showcase events are $10 and are available at Acorn Music.